Pleasure is a two-way street but boring sex is a one way road to contempt. The thing about Daniel Craig for me anyway is not the beauty of his physique. In fact I’m completely indifferent to it. It’s the man inside the body that brings me to the brink of hysteria. To put it another way he looks like the kind of guy that knows what he’s doing both in and out of bed. The kind of man who doesn’t have to rely on his looks alone or overblown ego to satisfy his partner were it matters most. And where it matters the most is located not simply between our legs but also in the foreplay that accompanying’s any great encounter. The calm before the storm if you will. And by foreplay I don’t mean dildos and handcuffs. I mean the mental foreplay of courtship. The slight brush across the knee at the dinner table. The subtle smirk of a chiseled off-center smile. A flirtatious conversation with another woman just to see your reaction.
The best sex you’ll even have is not with someone who only knows how to turn on one light but many and all at the same time. And that is an acquired skill that many purportedly beautiful men lack. As Alyssa Rosenberg rightfully observes part of Craig’s appeal as Bond is his:
“tenderness and sensuality….the delicacy of the way he unbuttons Eve Moneypenny’s blouse, or the rough hurry with which he pushes his unnamed paramour up against a wall in their lean-to on the beach-these all speak to attentiveness to and experience with women’s bodies that’s far more relevant to the question at hand than Bond’s ability to deal with a formally trained waiter”.
Or in other words looks only get you in the bed but don’t keep you there for the night. The look of a man who knows himself and carries it well is the ultimate form of beauty. And it’s a far too rare occurrence that creates such a man. What Richard Cohen doesn’t seem to understand is two-fold. Firstly we’re living in the 21st century. Men no longer get to decide who is and isn’t worthy of their advances. Tragic indeed.
Secondly Mr. Cohen doesn’t seem to make the most basic connection. Namely, that women have rarely been given license to the same standards as men. As Ms. Rosenberg astutely observes “James Bond’s being treated like a Bond girl.” Suddenly, Daniel Craig’s Bond only “triumphs physically not cleverly”. Huh, that sounds familiar. According to Mr. Cohen what Craig lacks is pure and utter style. The strut is gone. The macho bravado has been replaced with a sissy’s mentality and a Bond that “does not woo women; (but instead lets them) come to him.” Tough work if you can get it. Yes, I can hear the violins weeping in the background. Sic transit gloria mundi.
What Mr. Cohen fails to realize is that the modern-day Bond has evolved for the better. This new Bond is more interested in satisfying a female audience than creating a template for masculinity based on outdated ideals. It’s not about his body as much as it is about his mannerism. A mannerism that is more aware of a woman’s sensualism than her sexualism. Indeed, today’s Bond seems to suggest he has a penchant for the type of woman who much rather be heard than simply seen. Yes she’s still a super model but so is Craig in an unofficial way. After all, this is a movie we’re talking about. This shift in Bond’s persona is unsettling to Mr. Cohen. He’s a bit perturbed that the Bond of this youth is now an anachronism. Perhaps this shift suggest that he himself is becoming outdated. There’s still hope for Mr. Cohen but not if he fails to acknowledge that the new Bond is just as alluring as his past selves. And for that many of us are appreciative. Including yours truly. I think I need a cigarette now.