“I wasn’t very good at the things that a woman wanted; I don’t know if many men are.” Leonard Cohen On Love

 

How has love changed throughout the years?

 

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I never thought that I was very good at it, you know. I had a great appetite for the company of women, and for the sexual expression of friendship, of communication. That seemed to be the obvious and simple and complicated version of the attraction between men and women that I came up with. I wasn’t very good at the things that a woman wanted; … I don’t know if many men are. [laughter]

[Interviewer: Which is?] I wanted that immediate affirmation of the, what can I call it, just the possibility of escaping from the loneliness, the sexual loneliness, just the pure loneliness of being, of living with that appetite. The pure loneliness of living with an appetite that you couldn’t ever satisfy, that nearly drives everybody crazy, that drives all men crazy. So of course, it drove me crazy too, so of course that’s what I wanted.

So it seemed to be that’s all that I wanted, anything after that I was ready to negotiate, but that seemed to be what I wanted. And I was very fortunate because it was the 60’s, and it was very possible. And for a tiny moment in social history there was a tremendous cooperation between men and women about that particular item. I think it lasted maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but it was a great deal of compassion and understanding where the woman understood what you wanted, though it might not be her priority, and you understood what the woman wanted, even though it might not have been your priority. And all this was unspoken, and it was a tremendous generosity, people somehow, for 15-20 minutes in the entire history of men and women, when this agreement flourished, and like all such agreements it wasn’t contractual, it wasn’t written and understood, it was just embraced. So I was just very lucky that my appetite coincided with this very rare religious, social… I don’t know what you call it, but that allowed men and women, boys and girls we were, to come together in a union that satisfied both.

 

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Looks Back On The Past (unedited interview for Norwegian Radio) by Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Oct 24, 2015.

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