Talented columnist, Maureen Callahan, recently wrote a fascinating, eye-opening article in the New York Post about Brunei and its rulers. It’s a tiny Muslim Asian country with a population of less than 500,000 that abounds in oil and wealth, and its citizens are well cared for. Forbes rates it as the 5th wealthiest nation in the world. It recently announced that Brunei would be governed by strict Islamic or Sharia law where certain acts are punishable by amputation, public flogging and death by stoning. Homosexuality, adultery, pre-marital sex and women wearing indecent clothing are banned. Drinking is prohibited, and there is little night life.
Brunei is ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkia who shares some of his power with his younger brother, Prince Jefri. They are, to say the least, big time spenders. The Sultan’s palace has almost 2000 rooms, about 300 bathrooms, five swimming pools and a banquet hall that accommodates 5000 people. Ms. Callahan lists their innumerable assets including 17 airplanes, 150 private homes in 12 countries and 9000 cars. Prince Jefri spent an average of $747,000 a day for 10 years. The list of luxuries is almost never ending.
These two guys are very, very horny brothers who have harems and love to drink and play living by their own hedonistic rules instead of those of their people governed by Sharia law. Ms. Callahan claims that they have a global network of employees whose function is to procure women for them. She interviewed an American gal, Jillian Lauren, who was recruited at age 18 to join the harem of Price Jefri for a fee, the sum of which was not disclosed and, I’m sure, has American prostitutes highly curious and envious as hell. Lauren said Prince Jefri would open magazines searching for photos of gals who could increase his testosterone production. Once found, he would demand, “I want that one” and have one of his global lady-hunting employees contacted to locate and get the woman to his bedroom. She has just published her memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem.
Way back in the 70’s, G’s travels took him to Beirut in Lebanon which, in those days, was considered the Paris of the Middle East where sin was permitted. The wealthy Arab men escaped from their cultures of sexual and other prohibitions such as drinking and gambling and partook of those vices in that then dynamic, alive city. Girls were imported from Europe and elsewhere, and, like Lauren, returned home wealthier than before they had arrived. One can say that this male behavior is hypocritical. Maybe. But it is also in male genes.
The Sultan owns a chain of hotels, one being the famous Beverly Hills Hotel for the rich and famous which, in the past, was one of G’s favorite hangouts though he was neither rich nor famous. But he, like Leonard DiCaprio, stayed in the bungalows which are apart and in the back of the hotel where he, let’s say, entertained. After the Sultan recently declared Sharia law, a group of Americans, including Jay Leno and a large homosexual contingent, held a protest demonstration in front of the hotel encouraging potential clients to lodge elsewhere and to date, it has worked.
One night G and I had an interesting dinner with a wise upper-middle aged lady friend and her daughter, who, in the past, had graduated from a very liberal college but, probably because of her upbringing by her dad and mom, was not fully infected by political correctness. Both had read the Callahan article which opened the door to a wonderful, sparkling evening of good drink, good food and creative conversation. Insightful humor set the tone with a minimal dose of cynicism and sarcasm.
We started with making an assumption that these two guys’ sexual escapades were heavily covered in detail by the U.S. media and how they would take a public beating not only by the feminists but by practically everybody. Our lady friend said she would stick a hot poker up their rear ends for the sins of sodomy and then march their penises to the guillotine to insure their eternal chastity.
To be sure there would be lots of envious men who would trade places with the brothers and lots of women who would not hesitate to be in their harem and, in addition to experiencing a unique sexual adventure, make lots of dollars and gifts of jewelry. We concluded that, if any man or woman in the U.S. publically expressed such opinions, they would be, as happens with the baddies in cowboy movies, run out of town!
Then we wondered why, historically, queens and empresses did not sexually behave like kings and emperors. We noted that that Solomon, the great king of the Jews, Muhammad, the great founder of Islam and Charlemagne, the great Catholic Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, were all polygamous, but we could not come up with a great polyandrous woman leader. Yes, it’s said that Catherine the Great of Russia lined up the palace guard but that’s not the same thing.
We had finished a couple of drinks, and we were on a conversational roll on a variety of sex subjects. Let me give you one example of one subject before we get on to the main point. How do you sexually label these guys? If they were women, they’d probably be labeled as nymphomaniacs but there is no equivalent word for males. Maybe, “hypersexual”. But what’s the difference between a nymphomaniac and a very horny lady and a hypersexual versus a very horny guy? Where do you draw the line?
To tell the truth, the subject of this conversation is not one that would interest many but, for some reason, we enjoyed the intellectual challenge that night.
For dinner we ordered taglierini, a thin, light pasta, served with a black truffles sauce. Though it was very tasty, G, as usual and based on his extensive knowledge gleaned by his worldwide travels, remarked that the taste of black truffles could not compare to those of tartufi bianchi d’Alba or white truffles found in Piedmont, Italy. During our moment of gustatory pleasure, the daughter caught us off guard when she asked, “What if one of those wives, who was an extremely horny one, did a mental- sex domination job on the Sultan, and he went big time bananas over her? And, on her threat of leaving him, she convinces him to change his Will where she, and not his brother, would inherit the kingdom. So he did, and a week later he suffered a heart attack while frolicking in the harem after the wife persuaded him to try a “new” energy drink. She immediately became the Sultaness of Brunei and pronounced her only daughter as Princess. She banned the brother from the kingdom for having violated Sharia law but, of course, financially rewarded him handsomely to get him out of her life.
“She then held a luncheon with the wives to inform them that they were all dismissed. In the room, there were four huge muscular men with authentic Samurai swords that the Sultan had purchased in Japan. She, while speaking to them, periodically fixed her eyes on this symbolic death squad while warning them not to break the silence that they had sworn to keep. The ladies, oftentimes looking at the huge guys, got the message, and there were no objections. They were all more than happy with their severance pay.
“After they left the dining hall, she immediately summoned the harem ladies and repeated what she said to the wives and, as with the wives, all would leave Brunei happy ladies with sealed lips and, no doubt, having scary nightmares of those big guys with their sharp-edged Samurai swords.”
We all paused for a brief moment sipping our wine and reflecting a bit. Her mother, G and I were highly impressed by this outline of a potential creative novel so much so that the mom said, “Keep going, honey.”
“She, feeling confident as hell and on an emotional high after her victory and loving her newfound power, hired a public relations firm to announce to the world about her plans for her reign. It happened at a press conference. She declared she would, like her beloved deceased husband, continue his tradition of having more than one spouse but this time it would be polyandrous, and she is now using her dear husband’s global network searching the world for five ‘special’ husbands.
“The media guys and gals couldn’t wait to get to their computers and report on this spectacular, historic social revolutionary sex event, and the media hit in the U.S. was, as expected, enormous. But that press conference was only the beginning. Shortly thereafter, she held a second and more incendiary one. She announced that she would also continue her husband’s tradition of having a harem, but this time it would be composed of six heterosexual males, two bisexual ones and two polyamorous women in order to accommodate multiple ‘special’ situations. She cancelled Sharia law and, in addition for the right of men to be polygamous, women would have a polyandry right.
“Mom, Mr. G and Dr. Lorenzo, what do you think would be the reaction in our country? Let’s not talk about the potential political and dangerous consequences.”
A long, spirited conversation ensued, and the following is a brief summary of what they believe would happen in our country: It would be one of the biggest news events in history, and she would become the most famous media personaility overnight ; her admirers would far exceed her detractors; she would dominate the media world and media folks would, on their knees, beg to interview her; with the unfolding of events this would become a long-term story; she’d have the greatest Twitter followers of all time far exceeding the combination of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga- we’re talking about a hundred million or more for the two; she would permit scripted interviews with her husbands and harem guys and gals carefully describing certain controversial sexual rituals such as ménage a trois, sodomy and dungeon domination- yes, she built a dungeon for the Sultan, and that was a key factor in getting him to sign the Will. The media coverage would far exceed what’s going on with Obama Care and the Ukraine; she would ,at first, keep the Princess under wraps to create a groundswell of curiosity until the time would be optimum for a big public relations hit based on a single unique, controversial sexual event; she would tell men how to apply to be her husbands and harem guys on the Internet where the website would quickly shut down because of overload, and she could possibly be the spark behind a powerful polyandry-polygamy movement which Supreme Court Justice Kennedy along with the liberal wing of the court, would certainly support.
G ended the conversation with an observation followed by two questions. He said, “This, regardless of Jay Leno, would be a boon for the Beverly Hills Hotel as well as other hotels which she inherited. All she has to do is visit the place especially with her entourage, and the room prices would skyrocket, and the hotel would operate at full capacity again. Also, I wonder how we would treat the dictator, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, if he married fives wives and started a mixed-sex harem? What would his U.S. reception be like?”
Everyone smiled, finished off their cognacs and called it a night.
As was with the relatively, highly inflammable word, “womanizer”, the same holds true with the old, decadent one, “debauchery”: Both are now almost nowhere to be seen.
What is debauchery? It’s tough to precisely define. Historically speaking, it generally involves a group of men and women who eat and drink excessively coupled with minor and major sexual acts during or after. Debauchery was a common occurrence during the orgies of the Roman Empire. Today, I would add recreational drugs to the list. After such rambunctious sessions, exhaustion, leaving the scene or sleep frequently follow.
I must be truthful: I’ve never participated in a classic debauchery session so I cannot speak from experience. I then called G, full well expecting to get the scoop. Much to my surprise, though he had the opportunity, he only took part in one, but principally as a witness. It happened in London in the 80’s. He was invited by a wealthy lady to a “festive occasion” and was told that lots of friends would gather to have a “blast” at her flat. He, curious as hell and being an adventurous soul, readily accepted the invitation. The flat, by any standard, was a big one. There were about six informally dressed couples in their late 30’s and early 40’s. All, except, which remains a mystery, the lady with the biggest breasts, showed their wares- décolletage style. G was alone -or so he thought- for he soon discovered he indeed had a blind date- the hostess! There was an impressive buffet with smoked salmon, caviar and pate’, among others. There was a serve -yourself bar along with bottles of corked wine, seemingly placed on every table in the flat including the bedrooms.
They all ate and drank up a storm. G initially went along with the pace but then slowed down becoming primarily an observer. Drugs were not part of this scene except for one couple smoking grass. Hands were exploring everywhere and the six couples were no doubt “warming up” to become debauchers. No Roman- type of debauchery sex scene happened before G left. He found the hostess an interesting lady and wished he could whisk her away to a romantic restaurant but knew that wasn’t in the cards. He, bored, decided to leave but didn’t have it in him to tell the hostess. Casting aside his customary manners and while nobody was looking, he sneaked out and, relieved, returned to his hotel suite to watch TV British comedy. He loves British humor. He once told me that the Italians, Americans, the Brits, Irish and the Scots are his favorites when it comes to humor.
Frankly speaking, I was a little disappointed that G hadn’t more to say. I then called around but couldn’t find one person who had experienced what I consider to be real debauchery until a lady friend of mine jumped to mind. She lives in a wealthy section of Manhattan- and that’s all I’ll say about her. We met over cocktails at the Michelangelo Hotel, one of my favorites. She told me that these scenes, with lots of variations, do happen in her circle of friends and acquaintances, but not that often. I pressed her to give me a detailed account of one such scene. She, after her first Campari and soda, reluctantly agreed. It differed in one major aspect from G’s London scene. It was drugs. Cocaine is usually taken in lines in order to give one a sense of the quantity taken. But at this scene of a handful of couples, piles of coke were poured on a center table. The guests, armed with robust straws, just tooted away without the guideline of the lines. She estimated there was about $5,000 of the cocaine powder on the table which I would guess to be about 50 grams, enough grams to make an elephant male and female dance the Macarena. Lots of smoke or marijuana, was also taken to add to the coke hit as well as smooth it out. I almost forgot about booze. She told me it flowed like the relentless tide of the Hudson River. Most of them disrobed at the same time and, while naked, fought to take a bath with others than their dates in the only tub in the condo. In the tub they continued to coke and smoke away talking about sex and touching each other’s body parts. I asked her if jealousy reared its ugly head with the switching of mates and other kinds of touchy-huggy scenes and drug-induced effusive expressions of temporary affection. She didn’t detect any which made me think that drugs may decrease the jealousy passion. There were a couple of ménage a trois episodes without objections from any quarter. (For the record, I believe jealousy had to be part of the debauch).
I wondered whether I would enjoy such a scene when I was younger. Truthfully speaking, I couldn’t make a judgment for, as I said, I never was in such a scene. I recently read a review of Henry Miller’s novel, Quiet Days in Clichy, published in 1956. He was a controversial harbinger of the future of sex novels. After the acts of debauchery described in the text, his last words in the book about debauchery were, “It doesn’t make sense.”
So what’s my point? It’s a simple one. The reason why the word womanizer is disappearing from our vocabulary is because we now have manizers who are women who do to men what womanizers do to women. It’s now commonplace. The same holds true with debauchery. Unlike in the past when it was a special eye-opening event reserved to a special class of “decadent” folks, it is now commonplace and not worthy of mention anymore.
I sometimes wonder what will be the next disappearing word.