Sex with aliens made me want to be an Astronaut
A little bit about wild and untamed things
NOTE: There are a few footnotes at the bottom of this essay.
My mom, when I told her I was starting to attend a local, non-Catholic (Evangelical) church:
“Why don’t you go to Catholic Church?”
“Why don’t you go to Catholic Church?”
*shrug* - “It’s boring!”
I’m the fourth of five children. I was the baby for a few years but then my sister came along - the first and only girl - and stole that thunder. This is evidenced by the number of baby photos of each of us. I think there may be three or four baby photos of me, usually as part of a group.
You’ve seen one boy, you’ve seen ‘em all!
Me: Mom, why didn’t you give me a middle name?
Mom: You are the fourth boy. You are lucky you got a first name.
And so, there are many more photos of my sister as a baby… it’s not even close.
Granted, I was not the cutest baby and she was pretty damned cute so the photo disparity is probably warranted.
I’ve divested myself of the above referenced metaphysical beliefs. This was a somewhat slow, though not arduous process. Some day I may write about my journey into faith and my extrication from the same.
Let’s just say that, these days, stoic & harsh self-assessment is my liturgy, music and coffee are the sacraments, and sex is worship.
Can I get an amen!
The above was a preamble.
We are going to discuss sexual attitudes and moralistic concerns. I’m writing this from my friend and client’s house in Sebastopol. Yesterday we did a wine-tasting. In discussing how we select wines, I explained that I often select wine based on the label.
I told them I picked the wine below because it’s a term Deb often calls me. This article might (or might not) explain that.
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My parents as Squares
By the time I was five years old, we had moved to Chatsworth, where my sister was born. I don’t recall much of our time in Canoga Park. I have vague memories of the Sylmar earthquake and a red-headed kid picking on me.
I think I recall going out to the desert where my father piloted gliders. But that may only be memories produced by photographs. I remember bits of pre-school. I think I attended a preschool named, Alice and Wonderland Preschool or it had that theme. It was somewhere near a Green Thumb Nursery… maybe?
When we moved to Chatsworth, my parents pulled my brothers out of Catholic school and placed them in public school. They had also relegated church attendance to Christmas and Easter. Within a few years that had abated as well.
There was a brief foray into having me attend CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. I never made it to my first communion. A few years later my Aunt Bev told me I could approach the altar and take communion. It might have been at her and my Uncle John’s wedding.
I knew it was scandalous because the priest had said that only those who were in the faith, who had been trained in the catechism, were allowed to take communion. But I had such a huge crush on my Aunt Bev that her words alone resulted in an ecstatic transubstantiation… body & blood. I ate it and drank it with her permission.
It felt good; and by that, I mean it felt good to break the rules at her direction.
I traded the priest for the priestess and I’ve never truly looked back!
A few years ago I wrote a song inspired by my aunt. Here is the first verse:
FOR YOU © 2014 - Matthew Moran Verse Those muggy Canadian nights And those piggyback rides Discovering I could be happy anywhere with you I seemed to make you smile And me just 10 years old but I knew Every woman in my life would be measured against you (chorus)
I suspect my older brothers’ memories of moral guidance and the rules of their youth are far different than mine.
I’ve never had a curfew. I was never told I couldn’t watch something or read something due to my age. My parents allowed a young woman named Sara, who lived with us for a short time, take us to see, “The Legend of Hell House” I was 8 years old.
I recall being so terrified that I spent much of the movie at the back of the theater, peeking through the theater doors at the screen. Sara was laughing at my fear but nothing about her laughing at me bothered me. She wasn’t mocking me. She thought it was cute… She thought I was cute! Today, Deb laughs at me a lot. I still like it!
My older brothers were giving me a steady dose of rock & roll, comic books, Conan novels (the art of Boris Vallejo), and, at around 12 years old, Heavy Metal magazine.
Sex with aliens!
Heavy Metal magazine had a lot of that.
Aliens (and robots) in Heavy Metal magazine are wonderfully anthropomorphic and curvy.
Make no mistake about it, my interest in space travel was not to discover new worlds. It was to discover sex-crazed aliens…. where no man has gone before… or something like it.
Perhaps not the most noble musings of expeditions & discovery but we have many examples of less than honorable reasons to explore unknown lands right here on earth. I’m comfortable with mine.
In all likelihood, when/if we discover alien life it is more likely to be microscopic in nature. It is not unreasonable to think that, if it can survive here, it could introduce a deadly bacterial or fungal-esque scourge that kills us all.
And, if it is a more advanced society, it will probably just destroy us and take the resources it needs. That’s what we do. Nothing we’ve observed in our “advanced” society should give us confidence that “they” will come in peace.
But, don’t fret about extra-terrestrials, we are significantly more likely to destroy ourselves well-before the aliens arrive. Power-hungry and death-cult, Armageddon-welcoming, ideologies that believe their religious icon will pull an 11th hour rescue mission, ensure that we don’t truly work for peace.
When the built-in message is, things must get really bad before good wins, working for peace and rational, cooperative, resource utilization is a hindrance to the divine plan.
Can I get an amen!
It is the same fantasy that would lead people to believe an advanced, alien society would come in peace.
Anywho…. back to sex, aliens, and you!
Add to the above potpourri of pre-teen and teen sexual musings, The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
I was introduced to Rocky Horror by my parents around age 11. My father, as grandfather, introduced it to my kids when they were even younger. He thought it was great fun, good music, and hilariously absurd.
He was right, of course.
I always tell Deb that my parents were bridge-playing squares, who didn’t drink or smoke or party in any way. I submit as evidence, this photo from their wedding:
Okay… wait a minute. My mom is beautiful and my dad has the whole Buddy Holly, vibe, going on. I’ve never looked that cool in a picture.
When I say that my parents were squares, Deb reflects on the art, music, and free expression (or was it an exhausted abdication of parental duty) I was raised with and suggest that, maybe, they were actually swingers. Given her own upbringing and exposure to art/culture, she doesn’t buy my assessment.
Upon further review, my case for my parents being squares falls apart.
I don’t think they were 1970’s, free-love, swingers… but, who knows.
And look at the jacket my father is wearing in this picture.
I’m not suggesting it’s cool… but it’s not square either. It’s… noticeable.
But what about Morality, Matt?
My mom died of cancer a few years ago. I had the honor of staying with her through much of those final weeks. My sister and brothers took our turns staying at her house to help her during this time.
I worked out of the house, so I could stay there for days at a time. Everyone should experience conversations with a dying loved one. I’m not kidding about this.
Recognize that we are all dying - so start having those conversations now.
One day I asked her:
“Mom. You never really had rules for me. You never grounded me. You never spanked me. What made you parent me that way?”
She replied (paraphrased from recollection):
“I knew you knew right from wrong. It’s pretty basic. I felt it was better to try and live a good life and just ask you about your actions. I trusted you to figure it out.”
My parents were honest, worked hard, often helped others, and, in general, kept drama to a minimum.
The moralistic hand-wringing over things like homosexuality, transgenderism, or other “deviant” sexual behavior is a mask. It is meant to defer attention from those chaffing their skin with the most fervent hand-wringing.
They wring those hands at their mythical boogeyman of the moment.
As I’ve pointed out before, such hand-wringers rarely point at the obvious hidden abuses of the Catholic church (for instance) or that a young woman is more likely to be assaulted at church camp than, say, the more sexually open (and positive) experience at a midnight showing of Rocky Horror or a drag show.
We have some first-hand experience in our family with this. It is not my place to divulge more but having had kids at church camp and children who attended dozens of midnight showings of Rocky Horror and worked many drag show events, this comparison isn’t even close.
My youngest daughter shared that she was never touched or treated inappropriately at Rocky Horror but had some creepy interactions with some church youth leadership.
There are some obvious reasons for this:
The environment itself is set up for problems… It provides too much opportunity and has, as its backdrop, the assumed high-moral standing of those in leadership.
The illusion of a place of moral purity and safety is inherently dangerous. It provides a perfect place for adults (parents) and their children to let their guard down and overlook signs that there could be an issue.
The most fervent moralist are the scariest to me. I can’t help but feel that constant externally focused outrage is a thinly-veiled means to avoid focusing the scrutiny where it belongs - internal - at themselves.
Additionally, their pursuit of the immoral boogeymen is grotesquely selective.
The outrage never seems to focus on the fact that we sell billions of dollars of bombs to countries that have, at best, questionable moral judgement. Those bombs, killing and maiming, hundreds of thousands of women and children, are rarely scrutinized.
The men and women making millions selling those bombs also avoid scrutiny.
Because that “weird” guy/girl who is trying to understand their sexual and gender identity is so different than you - they are an easy target. I mean, they’re weird… right?
But bombs, dropping on civilians and the ensuing famine, disease and displacement they cause - thousands of miles away - are not seen. And even if you could see it, what can you do about? It would require a concentrated attack on bad policy and corporate power.
So… rather than truly help children, dangerous places are protected by moral delusion & misdirection, people who have no impact on the moralizers are attacked with no beneficial effect to society and significant harm to those attacked, and the most egregious actions are lauded as corporate growth, entrepreneurship, and amazing military ingenuity.
You do remember those videos of “precision bombs” going right down a chimney to get “the bad guys.” How cool, right?
Wave a flag, big applause, and break to commercial!
My parents focused on common-sense, exposure to broad ideas, an artistic and sexual - “what you do is none of our business”, and realization that being a good person (moral) is a personal battle and is not particularly difficult to figure out.
More so, the most sexually and artistically liberated have the least to hide. Sexually liberated does not mean, “loose” or indiscriminate. That is a personal decision.
Let me be clear about something. My parents did NOT talk about sex openly. Neither in the negative or positive. At times my father alluded to sex in a joking manner. My mom avoided any such talk except to shake her head and say, “Come on Matthew. Do you have to talk like that?”, if I brought it up.
We had plenty of clinical and psychological books that discussed sex in our house. Sex, as a topic, was neither discouraged or encouraged.
But, even as a kid, the books that discussed the topic, were not off limits to me. So I would occasionally find myself reading the Kinsey reports and other books about sex and sexual attitudes.
I’m not claiming much understanding at 11 years old but somewhere along the line I did glean that men often failed to pay adequate attention to their female partners during sex.
If I could share one message with my reader, either male or female, work to be open about what you want/need and, more importantly, allow your partner to be similarly open. And… pay attention.
When it comes to sex and sexual attitudes, I often say, “I have no special techniques as a lover except I’m energetic and I try to pay attention.”
Awareness and open to correction may be the best technique one can develop in the bedroom.
In fact, those traits apply to many areas of life. Including, being a good/moral person and cooking.
All I’m trying to say is that I value the allowance my parents gave me to explore the world - unimpeded by moralistic hand-wringing.
I also value the comic books and Heavy Metal magazines I read. Sure.. they reinforced that I wanted to be a swashbuckling hero who rescues the occasional damsel in distress.
But, they also taught me that that damsel might just pull a sword from… wherever they kept swords in their less-than-functional outfits, and jump past you to slay the dragon.
I can be a man and still bow in fealty to the bad-ass queen. I like that parity.
If you are struggling with this topic I suggest you point your hand-wringing concerns at yourself, pick up a copy of an old Heavy Metal magazine, and learn to pay attention.
You might want to explore the cosmos too. To go where no man… or woman… has gone before.
3-2-1 BLAST OFF!
Thanks for reading.
May 6, 2023
I’ve mentioned this before but if you’ve ever wondered how I became such a snarky and sarcastic ass, thank my mother. She could sling a zinger! Thanks mom!
I had to look this up. I remembered CCD. I’ve never known what it stood for until today.
I read this to Deb and she said, “Yes you have looked that cool in a photo… because of your photographer!” She is my photographer. Touché Deb!
My mom did slap my face once. I was 14 years old, helping clean the kitchen. I don’t know what we were talking about but I kept saying the F-word. Not in anger, it was very casual. I still use it too freely. At some point she had had enough. I said it again and she slapped me.
We both looked at each other in shock. Then we both started laughing.
My mom said, “Why do you keep saying that? Does it make you feel tough?”
I said, “I don’t know.”
Then I hunched over, making myself smaller, and started repeating, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
As I did, I started straightening up and puffing out my chest.
I said, “Look mom, it does make me tough.”
She was laughing, shaking her head, and said, “Fuck off!” and walked away.
Deb can confirm that I have not out grown this juvenile humor.
Yep. Sex with aliens was certainly one variation on my mind when I was 12/13 or so ... and it's great to know I wasn't alone. Though, to be fair, I realised it wasn't just me when I watched Explorers (Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix's debut film, I think) - there's a line that one of the young teen characters says when their ship is being tractor beamed into the alien vessel: I don't remember it exactly, but he's fantasising that maybe the occupants of the alien ship are Amazon women who want to breed a new race. I felt vindicated.
Rocky Horror Show! Wow - you bring back some great memories! I always enjoy your honest writing.