Dear A. Lien (Letter Two)

by John Olson

Of course you have Internet access! What was I thinking? My bad.

Yes, Wikipedia is quite convenient. I won't bother you with anymore definitions. I sent you a set of encyclopedias, but forgot you live in a liquid medium. Perhaps you can donate them to a charity organization on your planet.

Twelve tentacles. Wow. That's impressive. Can't imagine what that feels like. I've only got the two arms. Two legs. And yes, just one reproductive organ. There are two sexes, male and female, one reproductive organ each. The male reproductive organ is essentially a tube and a sack. The female's is more like a tunnel. Or anemone. Depending on how you look at it. But there I go again. You've got Wikipedia. Look them up: vagina and penis.

What Wikipedia will not tell you, however, is the thousands of years of human anguish, and rapture, wrapped up in those two organs.

When a man is in his twenties, everything is determined by his penis. Where he goes. What he says. Who he chooses to be with. It is what occupies his mind from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed.

Women, alas, are not driven by their reproductive organ. They are driven by their heart, which is considered to be the seat of feeling in the human animal. This means that the man must make all of his appeals to the woman's heart, her feelings, and not directly make proposals concerning the joining of their two reproductive organs. Most women find this offensive, and frightening.

Yes, as a man, as a young man especially, finding a sexual partner is occupying, frustrating, and leads all too often to feelings of despair and futility. But when a man reaches fifty, ah, things begin to sweeten. The drive relaxes. One can peruse the sexual landscape from a distance. From a balloon, let us say, drifting through the sky, looking down, seeing green pastures on which to land, and taste the air and surrounding scenery, absorb the serenity, without the nagging force within propelling one back to town, where there are bars, and wine and beer and whiskey, and people dancing, and women swaying under the influence of strong spirits.

If I paint a clumsy picture concerning questions of reproduction, I am sorry. I must also hasten to add that reproduction really isn't the primary reason for the joining of these organs. It just feels good. Fantastic, in fact. Then as one grows older and has the good fortune to maintain sweet and enduring relations with a member of the opposite sex, feelings deepen, and the sexual impulse assumes a fainter, more dulcet tint, a softer hue.

I am eager to hear how you manage with your four sexual organs. Please feel free to describe them, however you might. I am all ears.