Yesterday, “CBS Sunday Morning” had a piece about Coney Island. It’s a small island off the southern end of Brooklyn, New York. Since the 1890s, it’s been the home to amusement parks. I was born in Brooklyn, and my father took me to Coney Island many Saturdays when I was growing up. The TV piece was a nice tour down memory lane.
Watching it reminded me of one of the guiding principles of my life. I have believed I should try to experience everything that I can, within reason, of course. This idea came to me when I was sixteen. My father died suddenly. He died in a hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. He had arrived that day to attend a conference he had wanted to go to for his entire working life. He was just 50 years old. The irony was that he died the night before the conference started. He never got his wish.
His death taught me that it was worse to regret something unexperienced than be sorry for something that didn’t work. I never experimented with drugs. Yes, I had a joint or two in my 20’s, but that was it. For the record, pot makes me horny but prevents me from coming. Not a drug I want!
Anyway, I often think about my dad and what he missed. My life has been the opposite. I’m sure I could have done much better if I had stayed the professional course. I didn’t. I tried new things and had a great time doing them. As you know, I’ve been sexually adventurous. That’s worked out very well. My heart’s been broken more than once. Whose hasn’t? I’ve also managed to find true, lasting love. That wouldn’t have happened if I followed the safe path.
Over the years, I’ve written about many of my sexual adventures. I haven’t written about the others. That isn’t the point. I don’t consider myself a role model. I don’t want others to follow in my footsteps. What I want is to ask you to reconsider every time you want to say no. I’m not talking about impulses to harm yourself or others. I’m talking about opportunities to broaden your experiences. Take that trip. Try that new kink. The idea of “someday” is a myth. Opportunities rarely come around more than once. There are always good reasons to avoid doing something. That’s inertia.
I’ve had a very good life so far. That can’t be taken away from me. I rode the Cyclone in Coney Island. I got Mrs. Lion to ride it too. I’ve had a relationship with two women (tiring but fun). I’ve topped dozens of women. Some have topped me. I went on a photographic safari in Africa. I’ve witnessed some historical moments. I have my father to thank for all of these wonderful memories. In a way, his death taught me to live. Thank you, dad.