Saturday, January 22, 2011

Erotic Capital

We pulled our red VW microbus up behind the massive black Mercedes with diplomatic plates. It was one of those Technicolor memories from my childhood. The large circular driveway, the huge fountain with that abstract sculpture in the middle, the flags from every country waving in the warm breeze and the grand, glass, rectangle of United Nations in front of us…my sister, beside me, seething…of course.

We had gone into the city on this beautiful, sunny, spring morning (not sure why my sister was not in school—I was barely five) to have a girls day in the city. My mother could not find street parking near the UN where we planned to meet my father for lunch. Rather than go to a parking garage my mother convinced the guard at the entrance of the UN, through smiles and pleasantries, to allow us to park in the stately front entrance normally reserved for heads of state. My sister was mortified. I was…intrigued by this power my mother had over men.

My mother always had a certain style that appealed. Brought up by a single mother, but in the circle of the upper class of Boston families—she had an easy elegance, a common touch and a warmth that carried her through life with a grace and a charm. She had what I now know is erotic capital.

“You don’t hear women in the U.S. talking about Erotic Capital” said the head with the truly great golden blond die job (I would say it has at least three layers of highlights to create that hair color that is almost too perfect) as she looked down at me over her big boobs.
Ms. Older Woman Sexy is probably around my age, but sans child and husband. She takes time on her appearance—fingernails flawless, eye brows perfectly arched—she is sexy. She is also a lesbian, but that does not stop her from using that capital on everyone. It is an exciting skill which I never really thought about in formal terms, but we were discussing the dress style of the younger people in our group—all of whom are very stylish ….and nice…and smart…very sexy.

I, like my mother, use my erotic capital (mainly my very sexy phone voice)…which I define as the ability to connect with people, mainly men, on the more gut level. My sister, although always more attractive than I (and with the exact same voice), never wanted to developed the skill. She refused. Obviously still scarred by the United Nations experience.

Now that I am a mother—I wonder about this skill of wielding erotic capital. I am not sure how I feel about The Beast manipulating that power. There are debates…mainly among women. Does Erotic Capital help women? Does it hurt women? I am not sure—I look at Hugh Grant and Pierce Bronson and think—they have it and use it. It is combination of charm, connecting with people and humor…and of course that underlying sexuality.
“Why not?” I guess is the true question. Sexually will always be there Why Not use it.

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