by Faith Dyson
I’m not sure if ‘The Truth About Love’, Liam Scheff’s new semi-autobiograhical novel, is all true, or not, but it’s the kind of story that makes me wish it is. It’s a modern-day Romance, not so much about, as with Love – and Sex, from the masculine point of view.
Can such erudite realities still exist in a post-modern world? We can only hope so, because there’s precious little else but the art of Love and Sex that will keep the species together when its being given fewer and fewer options for the plain old comforts of – home.
While looking for this elusive place, we find ‘Will’, the main character, a fine arts creator at heart and plain ad-man by day, in Boston – walking the thin line between being sensitive and sexual, a rare combination most women find completely intoxicating – in a man. It makes them want to call him friend – and, maybe, even a lot more.
The situations this quality sparks in his circle of female – and male – acquaintances invites him to then maneuver the precarious relationships between monogamy and polyamory, which opens for us the voyeuristic door into some of the biggest questions that illuminate our confusion about the activities between ‘consensual’ adults, and not just those we ask during our time period, but the kind that have plagued us all through-out history.
Most of all ‘The Truth About Love’ takes up the quest to discover: Why can’t we just make up the rules as we go along that are right for us in each given situation – instead of feeling like we have to play by some Romantically-Correct manual written by other folks to limit all of our choices?
After all, the world turns, people change, sometimes they grow together and sometimes they grow apart. Nothing – natural – ever stays the same or it stagnates, which is the rule of biology that socially-engineered monogamy seems to have forgotten.
But it hasn’t escaped ‘Will’ at all. He still has lots of questions that need answers – specifically designed for him, the main one being: If we’re really grown up, shouldn’t we be happy that we’re all just – growing – from our Loving and Sexual experiences, because – isn’t that what Life is really all about anyway?
Watching Scheff’s characters fumble their way through each new encounter makes plain what we all know in Life – that Love and Sex can’t be learned ‘by the book’. It’s a hands-on education that can be messy at times. (All puns intended.) So – when ‘Will’ points out his Radar is broken and he has to go out there in the Dating World to learn how to physically navigate the territory, he’s speaking for all of us, not just himself.
He is honest enough about this subject to admit that he – and everyone else – is different in every situation and to say not is Biological Blasphemy.
Therefore, ‘The Truth About Love’ reminds us of this fact and that pretending we live in the equivalent of a Flat Relationship System – in which we must settle for its ‘One Size Fits All’ Model of Life – is not true.
To do so means we aren’t being true to – ourselves – or anybody else either and the consequences of practicing such pretense only ends up being the greatest deterrent of all to experiencing – real Love and Sex – and the natural growth process that can spring from it.
What ‘Will’ learns is what we all learn – that sooner or later we actually have to physically give Love and Sex – in all of their many forms – a try – or not, depending on our level of – relaxation – before anything will work out just right. In short – the message is – stay comfortable in your own skin and then you may have a chance at making someone else feel at home in theirs too.
Therefore, I highly recommend reading the book about throwing away all of the books that try to teach us ‘How To Correctly Experience Love And Sex The Monogamous Way’ – and, when you’re done reading, go out – and physically experience the fine art of living in their personalized realities – for yourself. That really is the fun part of this process.
The least that can happen is that, like ‘Will’, you’ll also discover there really wasn’t anything wrong with your own ‘Radar’ to begin with. You just needed to figure out how to use it. When you do – you too will accept the fact that – what’s natural for you – is natural to do…