05/20/2014 04:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Period of Adjustment


The refractory period is the time it takes before a male is able to have a subsequent orgasm. For a young man of 20 it's estimated to be about 15 minutes. For a 70-year-old it can be 20 hours. "Get thee to a nunnery," might be the best advice to give some would-be lovers in the 70-plus category, though the expression itself from Act Three Scene 1 of Hamlet, is misleading since for Elizabethans "nunnery" could be brothel. Shakespeare's refractory period is eternity so he's really out of the running anyway. However, let's look at the statistics.

According to these figures, a young man of 20 is approximately 80 times more potent than those 70-year-olds who can still do it. This creates an unfair condition for older males who will not be able to compete. Handicaps are not given out in sex, as they are for golf. The only solution would seem to lie in something far more radical. The current situation is a little like capitalism where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

In the Scandinavian countries income inequality has been reduced by high taxes which make capital preservation practically impossible. The welfare state is successful since the levies it makes provide services like health care while preventing the accumulation of wealth. Using the welfare state model with regard to refraction, those men who can barely get it up are provided with alluring partners by the state, while the 20-year-olds who can have serial orgasms are paired with shrewish crones who are guaranteed to inhibit fecundity. In this model government creates a more level playing field by addressing the inequities attendant upon the aging process.

This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to politics, art and culture.