Who says lawyers are lacking in sensual appetites?
Perhaps every lawyer should be required to take a class in poetry. I'm always a bit taken aback when I read something beautifully constructed by a lawyer (no, I'm not talking about an airtight stock purchase agreement).
Retired Debevoise & Plimpton partner (and acclaimed novelist) Louis Begley wrote a lyrical essay recently celebrating love and eroticism in old age in The New York Times. It's a little tribute to his wife (I assume) simply called "Old Love." It's quite lovely—in fact, much too lovely for me to summarize—so please read it yourself.
Speaking of Fifty Shades of Grey. So sorry to go from the sublime to the absurd, but a little bird tells me that E.L. James's best-selling trilogy about sexual submission is still a hot topic with female lawyers at some big firms. Several lawyers I know are putting it on their "must-read" list for the remaining weeks of summer.
Personally, I don't see why anyone—much less women lawyers—with precious little free time would spend it on devouring clumsily written (according to critics) porn in which a young woman willingly submits to spankings, whippings, etc., at the hands of a cold but handsome and rich man. I mean, I can sort of understand it if the novel places the woman in the dominant role.
Alas, I finally stumbled on the answer why so many accomplished women seem drawn to the book (no, it's not because the male protagonist insists that the woman sign a nondisclosure agreement about the S&M!). Working women want to be submissive because they are simply tired and want a little attention, theorized a "Harvard-educated" phone dominatrix who works under the name Jennifer Hunter (rather mundane sounding, no?), reports The New York Times's Maureen Dowd. Submission is alluring, Hunter told Dowd, because the only thing the woman needs to do "is relax and enjoy the ride while delicious sexual acts are visited upon her."
Hunter gave Dowd a rather romanticized version of female submission:
She’s the star of the proceedings. Someone is ministering to her needs for a change. Master is choreographing all the action. The book seems to have resonated with so many women because, after a long day of managing employees, making all the decisions, and looking after children, a woman might be exhausted about being in charge and long to surrender control.
So ambitious women like the book because they are sick and tired of juggling—all that pressure trying to balance work and home. No wonder Fifty Shades of Grey is called "mommy porn."
Now, that sounds enticing.
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