Hypersexuality and Bipolar Infidelity – Is It Better For Having A Name? 45


It has been a hard but rewarding week for political bloggers here in the UK. I remember feeling much the same sense of relief when watching the Major government fall apart. The horrible Jonathan Aitken – who I liked marginally better as an aristocratic spiv than as a charismatic christian – was in a different style the same kind of creature as Damian McBride and the other New Labour horrors.

But then we got Blair, who was worse than a Tory. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Anyway, today we are going to have a day off and, because you’ve all been very good, I am going to blog about sex.

I received an email from a Josh Peters accusing me of being a racist misogynist for my post yesterday on Ayesha Hazarika. I recall being attacked as “Anti-semitic” in the Times by crazed neo-con David Aaronovitch. In fact I think I am genuinely blind to race. Not just some but most of my close friends are not caucasian. I don’t think anyone who actually knows me would consider me in the least racist.

I am not, however, blind to sex. I attack people in positions of power where I feel there is an abuse, and most of the time I find I am attacking men. I don’t think yesterday’s attack on Hazarika, Toynbee and Harman was motivated because they are female, but their sex did come into it because they had indulged in a very expensive “Gender equality” jolly to Ghana funded by the taxpayer.

But while I feel there is no issue to address with the accusation of racism, I do have an issue which I need to square – with myself – over my attitude to women.

If you look through the amazing reader reviews for Murder in Samarkand on Amazon, you will find a repeated theme, even from people who loved the book. They dislike my attitude to women and the sexualised way I portray them.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Samarkand-Ambassadors-Controversial-Defiance/dp/1845962214/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240134863&sr=8-1

All I can say in defence is that the book honestly reflects the way I think and feel. When I see a young woman, my mind instantaneously runs a sexualised check on her physical appearance and, if I find that appealing, I start acting in the way I can best calculate to enhace my chances. All that happens more or less subconsciously, or at least without any need for conscious initiation on my part.

I always rather presumed that all heterosexual men went throught the same process all the time. Apparently I may be wrong.

In a less clinical way, the process is described several times, sometimes more and sometimes less fully, in Murder in Samarkand when I describe looking at various girls, most notably of course Nadira. Plainly many people find this off-putting.

I would say this.

I accept that it may appear that I pay more attention to sexual attributes than is the accepted norm.

But I do not accept that this in any way means that I undervalue women’s other attributes.

I may find a girl very sexy. But that does not mean in any way that my perception and appreciation of her intelligence, determination, work-rate, courage, dignity, humour etc is any less. Or their opposites if appropriate. In fact in both Murder in Samarkand and The Catholic Orangemen, I give concrete examples of women whose careers I believe were unfairly held back by glass ceilings, particularly in the FCO, and write a great deal about the rights of women and my work to prevent abuses.

In short, I do not acept the thesis that it demeans women to fancy them. It demeans anyone if you only fancy them.

None of which addresses the issue of my tangled love life and the infidelity which has brought much pain to many people, most of whom did not deserve it. I also have to face the fact that I have told many lies to people in my love life, yet I am almost pathologically honest in any other context. What is that about?

I do not give the following as the answer. It is neither explanation nor excuse. It is, I think, nonetheless interesting.

My entire adult life I have suffered from what used to be called manic depression, and now is known as bipolar disorder. By and large I have struggled against it very successfully, and really major depressive episodes have only kicked in when there is a very big real world problem to act as a trigger. But there have been plenty of very bad days over the last thirty years, at both ends of the swingometer.

I took lithium as a student for a short while, but I felt that the changes to the chemical balance of the brain were making Craig Murray disappear, and were replacing him with someone much too bland. The outbreaks of incredible energy and capacity for work, of wit and intellectual vim on the highs were invaluable. I am NOT trying to put myself in their league, but if I give Winston Churchill, Spike Milligan and Stephen Fry as examples of famous manic depressives, you will get some of that feel of genius bordering on madness. A famous psychiatrist (whose name escapes me at the moment) said that if Churchill hadn’t been manic, he would have known the situation was hopeless after Dunkirk and sued for peace. Instead he had that vision and energy to lift a whole nation.

So I have lived on willpower my whole life, a feeling of intense concentration like permanently walking a tightrope of mental stability. You get tired.

I have also avoided psychiatrists as much as possible. Doubtless if I ever have to ask for unemployment benefit, I will therefore fall foul of Purnell’s reintroduction of the concept of the undeserving poor. Anyway, it is probably because of this avoidance of the medical profession that I was told this week for the very first time that my behaviour was subject to “bipolar infidelity” and “hypersexuality”. Apparently this kind of sexual behaviour is so very frequently part of bipolar disorder, that it is actually one of the diagnostic tests as to whether you are bipolar or not.

So there you are. I now know that my presumption that most men think about women just like me might well be wrong. I do not intend to use the existence of the terms to justify or even continue my behaviour. That sounds to me akin to a plea of guilty but insane (only a joke, mental illness campaigners). I am extremely happy with Nadira, with my children, and the prospect of our new baby. I am being faithful. This post does not presage a plunge into priapism.

I am not sure that I even really believe in “Bipolar infidelity”. But I will remember the phrase, “I suffer from hypersexuality.” Sounds like a brilliant chat up line…


45 thoughts on “Hypersexuality and Bipolar Infidelity – Is It Better For Having A Name?

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  • Ron

    Craig

    Most men who are interested in women sexually (language chosen with care) will admit to immediately sizing up their sexual opportunities pretty well automatically. Others will just lie.

    Ron

  • Sue

    I agreed with your attack on Hazarika, Toynbee and Harman yesterday, for the same reasons as you and I’m a woman.

    I quite enjoy it when men lust after me actually… I don’t have a hangup about being a woman.

    Real women can handle men 🙂 x

  • McDuff

    This is a refreshingly honest post, and I appreciate you attempting to come to terms with the problem you admit you have, rather than simply trying to justify past bad behaviour.

    I would say though, and you may criticise me for being a radical militant feminist if you so desire, that I do wonder whether you’d have written a different post if you’d been told that your behaviour was merely wrong rather than symptomatic of an illness.

    Actions matter. Men do, as a general rule, treat women differently depending on how they view their sexual chances with them. You may differ in degree but you do not differ in style. And yet, it is still wrong. “Everybody does it” is quite plainly not an excuse.

    We are all biological creatures. But we are also creatures of intellect. Presume that all men act like you – I do – but presume that it is still beholden on you to behave differently. By all means keep writing about women being held back by the glass ceiling, or of their wit, charm and courage. But then ask yourself – do I also need to put in the part about her legs? If you would do the same for a male figure, then by all means. Perhaps that should be the guide. After all, that’s what “equality” actually means.

    On the subject that sparked the whole thing, the vast majority of your post didn’t seem offensive at all to me. The target of your ire was quite clearly wasteful government spending. I’d agree that there’s no point in Harman having anybody on her staff to consult about women’s issues or feminism because she’s one of the most retrograde anti-feminists around. New Labour may not think they represent the patriarchy, but they are so paternalist in their mindset they cannot help but infantilise everyone in the country, and women (who have historically had to fight to be taken seriously anyway) have suffered possibly more than everyone else.

    But in context, I do wonder whether it might have been helpful to be clearer about separating the subject of your ire from the potential collateral damage. If you have a history of such things and people are likely to assume – perhaps unfairly – that there is a hidden antifeminist agenda, it is probably worth taking more time and making it more explicit.

    I would like to say that, particularly having read the post, I think this would be unfair. But then people have to do things that are unfair all the time because of people’s prior judgements. Women have to deal with the “hypersexualisation” of their lives on a daily basis. There are cushy non-jobs for women in Harman’s office now – of course there are! – but there have been cushy non-jobs for men in this country for all recorded history, while in general women have had to work twice as hard to watch men swan past them up the promotion ladder.

    Life is unfair, sexism and gender inequality remains a problem. Perhaps imposing a level of unfairness on yourself might help people appreciate more that you want to change that.

  • Leo Davidson

    Mentioning Tony Blair and Stephen Fry in the same post reminds me of this interview Fry did with Blair in 2007:

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page10937

    It really soured my opinion of Fry. For such an intelligent man he seems to like without question those in power/authority, as far as I can tell. To have a nice wee chat with Tony Blair in 2007 and not even mention Iraq, let alone not punch him the c*** in the face and throw him out the nearest window, is indefensible in my opinion.

    I still very much enjoy Fry and try to pretend that the interview never happened, but it tainted things rather a lot for me.

  • anticant

    For goodness sake don’t bother about all this PC labelling, Craig. Desire, of itself, is never wrong: it’s how we act on it [or don’t] that matters.

    If it’s any comfort, having been involved for most of my life in work concerned with various aspects of sex – political, personal, therapeutic – I find myself agreeing more and more with Havelock Ellis [who was a far better researcher and more insightful pioneer on the topic than Freud] that far more nonsense is spouted about sex by so-called ‘experts’ than about anything else.

    The great thing is to know oneself and endeavour to live according to our best lights. We’re none of us perfect; we’ve all been hurt and have hurt others in our personal dealings. Guilt doesn’t help: we must just pick ourselves up and resolve to do better.

    Hope the new baby will be a gift of lasting joy for you both.

  • Daniella

    You sound like a really kind person. Do you realise how lovely it would be to have a man caring enough to have these worries? Nadira is lucky.

  • Harry's Revenge

    I always said you were completely off your trolley. How can somebody mentally ill for “Their whole adult life” ever have become an ambassador. No wonder you were sacked for being pig useless.

    Gordon Smith and Jacqui Brown work hard to protect the British people. Your despicable attacks are only the noise of a madman.

    Maybe the parliamentary human rights committee will be interested that you admit to not being fit to testify.

    You criticised spads for telling the media you are mentally ill. But now everyone can see you are just a fruitcake who even talks about his perversions in public.

    You have completely blown it this time Murray you should be locked up…AGAIN!!!!!

  • Craig

    Everyone else,

    Thank you.

    Harry’s revenge

    Well, one of us certainly sounds unwell. I know it has been a stressful time for NuLab trolls, but please calm down.

  • opit

    This link seems like light sensualism or speculation : but I don’t think the implications are incorrect. Men are often portrayed as being distracted and vulnerable to sex to a ridiculous degree – which would imperil a woman seeking a life partner should her programming run in the same fashion.

    There’s a reason women dress to reveal bodies : men notice ! That’s not at all the same as spouting the unworkable drivel that this constitutes an open invitation to all comers.

    http://www.morethings.com/senate/2004/06/copyright-law-as-corporate-welfare.html

    What I’m saying is that the law regulates ‘impulse control’ regarding forced sex and accords special protection to the young. That implies the routine presence of such impluses, hm ?

    I suspect you are overcompensating because your mental balance is suspect. You might note that is a long way from fostering moral turpitude. Don’t ‘sweat the small stuff’.

  • Jaded

    ‘I always said you were completely off your trolley. How can somebody mentally ill for “Their whole adult life” ever have become an ambassador. No wonder you were sacked for being pig useless.

    Gordon Smith and Jacqui Brown work hard to protect the British people. Your despicable attacks are only the noise of a madman.

    Maybe the parliamentary human rights committee will be interested that you admit to not being fit to testify.

    You criticised spads for telling the media you are mentally ill. But now everyone can see you are just a fruitcake who even talks about his perversions in public.

    You have completely blown it this time Murray you should be locked up…AGAIN!!!!!’

    LOL. You really are a proper freak of humanity. The question is nature or nurture? Hmm…

  • yellowbelly

    Harry’s revenge said:

    “Gordon Smith and Jacqui Brown work hard to protect the British people. Your despicable attacks are only the noise of a madman.”

    ===

    Indeed they may well do, but I have never heard of either of them.

    It’s only a pity that Gordon BROWN and Jacqui SMITH haven’t worked hard to protect the British people.

    It’s a shame you couldn’t post your comment in green ink!

  • McDuff

    What I’m saying is that the law regulates ‘impulse control’ regarding forced sex and accords special protection to the young. That implies the routine presence of such impluses, hm ?

    How far would you like to take that logic? Since the laws in Saudi Arabia don’t recognise rape to anywhere near the degree we do here, does that imply that westerners are more compelled to be rapists by instinct? Do laws against theft and assault indicate that everyone is a violent thief? That seems to be an amazingly weak line of argument.

  • anticant

    I expect Gordon Smith and Jacqui Brown would do a better job than Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith.

    Will they step forward, please?

  • Vronsky

    As with race, we have an instinctual reaction and the it is our conduct that matters, our ability to realise that not all of our instincts should be trusted or expressed. You can also be too civilised, as I discovered. I once worked as an engineer in an envirnment where a number of colleagues, including superiors, were women. I was always scrupulously careful to avoid any inappropriate word or look. A female friend asked if I dealt any differently with the women than the men. Of course not – I said – they’re only engineers as far as I’m concerned. Oh dear – she replied – you won’t be very popular.

    As Thurber pointed out, you might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backwards.

  • frank verismo

    Good grief! A functioning libido? In this day and age? And the temerity to be perfectly open about it? Hark – I hear the crunching boots of the Sex Police approaching . . . .

  • A Poster

    “In short, I do not acept the thesis that it demeans women to fancy them. It demeans anyone if you only fancy them.”

    Of course it does, if, as you say, it results in your doing this:

    “my mind instantaneously runs a sexualised check on her physical appearance and, if I find that appealing, I start acting in the way I can best calculate to enhace my chances.”

    …when this is wrapped up as honesty. Because you are out to trick, trap, seduce – or con. You don’t do that to people if you respect them. It’s the insult of it that is my whole point.

    Women see it a mile off, we’ve experienced it since before our first bra. If being yourself isn’t good enough, why orchestrate our being let down? For that is all you are going to achieve with this mirage. A genuine man (he can have desires – there’s not an issue – and say “all the right things”, if he honestly means them, when he feels he wants to…) is far more attractive.

    It’s insulting to women that we have to be fooled, led or manipulated to want to be with you. Would a friend treat you this way – and be wanted as a friend.

    As another comment said, “Real women can handle men”. Yes, but the usual drivel is boring. It’s only sad women that need a lift who fall for it, and therefore the relationship is a doomed one.

    Real men act as if they know that we already know…

  • JimmyGiro

    Sex; apparently feminists like McDuff don’t ‘suffer’ from it.

    The only evolutionary function that sex has is to randomise the genetic code, else we would be clones.

    It is therefore predictable that sex traits, like all other traits, will have a randomised normal distribution throughout all species that rely on sex for procreation.

    Those fuckwits in the pseudo-science of psychiatry have labelled many natural behaviour variations as ‘mental’ conditions.

    Schizophrenia is a condition with mental aberrations, and is therefore characteristic with delusional thinking; whereas hyperactivity and depression are not characterised by delusional thinking, but more the intensity of feelings.

    So called mental disorders such as bipolar, ADHD, and various other inventions, are merely the invention of psychiatry to help their backward intellects to characterise nature, just like the real scientists do.

    There is nothing wrong with you Craig, you are merely not popular with the other end of the ‘normal’ distribution of society.

  • MerkinOnParis

    ‘All I can say in defence is that the book honestly reflects the way I think and feel.’

    Like you Craig, I lived in Poland for a number of years.

    That experience taught me that a eunoch would be ‘charmed’ if the conditions were right (to put up a tent is the local slang) and I am not noted for my eunochoidal behaviour.

    So, speak your mind and don’t bother with the trolls who will fasten onto anything.

  • McDuff

    Sex; apparently feminists like McDuff don’t ‘suffer’ from it.

    I love it. Talk about respect and trying to overcome social inequality and someone will come in and assume that you’re just a sex-hating lunatic. Let me guess, JimmyGiro, all I need is a good shagging, right? Bet you could come here and give it to me, that would sort me out.

    Astoundingly, you might be amazed at the context. Not only am I male (a male feminist? Shocking!) I also have sex pretty regularly. And none of your boring sex either, because here’s the thing: because I’m a radical who thinks that women are fully actualised human beings and I don’t treat them entirely as sexual objects, I can have really good sex with them. Astounding, isn’t it? That a male with a high sex drive can still be aware of male privilege and the problems it causes for women and men.

    This, incidentally, is not intended to criticise Craig, who has been honest about what he sees as a problem and his willingness to try and address it. It’s just absolutely astounding that men will always come out of the woodwork and defend the supposed right to behave as if we’re not intellectual and social creatures with more to us than our gonads.

    For pity’s sake, do you neanderthals know how shit you make our gender sound? It’s not OK to be sexually manipulative any more than it’s ok to throw your own poo at people you don’t like. Seriously. Grow up.

  • abualshawareb

    Craig;

    thank you for your opennes and honestly with us, I feel at home here when you share all your thoughts with us.

    Harry is a disgrace, he is clearly mixing freedom of expression with freedom to offend.

    Delete his comment,

    kick him out

  • dreoilin

    “It’s not OK to be sexually manipulative any more than it’s ok to throw your own poo at people you don’t like.”

    All species are sexually manipulative. Otherwise peacocks wouldn’t have elongated upper tail coverts. Give it a break for pete’s sake. And watch some David Attenborough.

  • dreoilin

    As for poo throwing: We only gave it up when we started wearing clothes and the dry-cleaning got too expensive.

    In my experience (I’m female) the most obsessive feminists are male.

  • JimmyGiro

    McDuff,

    The nature of the erection and orgasm are actualized by the interplay of the psyche and hormones; I put it to you that it is impossible to achieve boring sex, as the erection and orgasm both require sexual excitement.

    If men do not regard women as sexual objects, then are they not at risk of being asexual or perverted. What would stop the average man from regarding children and animals as sex objects if they liberated their evolved inhibitions on sexual objectivity?

    And at what point do we privileged Neanderthals exploit sex:

    (a) at the point of desire?

    (b) at the point of purchase?

    (c) at the commencement of foreplay?

    (d) during penetration?

    (e) during orgasm?

    (f) or during remand after rape charge?

    Your estimation of men seems to be based on their ‘sexual problems’ of having heterosexual desire; do we grow up in your feminist estimation by handing ourselves in to the nearest police station for having carnal desire.

    We could help the bobby to trump up the charges by calling it ‘the near-actualization of pre-emptive rape upon a yet-to-consent post juvenile human female’.

    I think I’ll rather not grow up thanx.

    PS. Did you know that the Neanderthals may have become extinct because the males and females were too similar?

  • Drew Murray

    I’ve done some work supporting/counseling folks with bipolar disorder. One of the main features of this disorder is a desire/drive to be loved – worshiped even. So wit, charm, and seduction are tools used towards that end. Naturally, this can lead to all kinds of complications in one’s life. This is the price one pays for the high.

    As for McGuff – yer a tool.

    As a young bull I enjoyed the chase – the seduction. Every woman I’ve ever been with understands the chase – they enjoyed it just as much. Hell we’ve even turned it into an art form – it’s called the Tango.

  • Matt

    “I really fancy her!” Said a friend, indicating a woman in the room. “Oh yes?” I replied.

    “Yeah! I’d like to have sex with her!”

    “Right,” I said.

    “Only problem is,” my friend added, I think she’s 100% straight. Not into women, at all.”

    Sexual attraction: It’s not just for those of us who are heterosexuals.

  • Mae

    You call one Female Enablement junket a trip and you get called a sexist, not fair – a snipe. I commented, mainly in your memory, on someone (one person, not all concerned or a party) who is actually as near to old Labour as you can get these days and I get the troll moniker.

    At the moment people are too concentrated on Nu Labour as there is blood in the water, doesn’t make them innocent but it gives people tunnel and usually those who are the most vehement have the least answers regarding what happens after.

    If I disagree, I’m not trolling, I hope you take this sincerely

    That aside, I know what you have to deal with(though each has their own tale) and that it can take a lot out of you and the people around you. Dear Lord the Doctors too. You see them on a good day and you are a time waster, you see them on a bad day and they want to dose you up to the eyeballs and make you a zombie. Short of a compound fracture I avoid them.

    Can you write on bad days (or what ever you call them) or do you just write with a different voice as it were? If you don’t mind me asking?

    It’s just I know that I have to double check my tone sometimes, what is a positive positive letter can end up sounding like a death knell.

    As for diplomats, people in power, world leaders being unfit, Chruchill was on crack, Hitler was a smack-head and would stay in bed until 4pm for a long period (so he may not havee known what Goebbels was saying for a time), all types about, good and bad for reasons usually unrelated.

    So I agree, I agree, some Labout twonk has spent stupid amounts in a very poor way, Hallelujah! I’ve seen the light. So can I leave the place under the bridge now? The wireless signal is really poor down here.

  • Craig

    Mae

    Mostly I can’t write on bad (depressive)days. But sometimes I do, and it tends to be notably more bitter, I think.

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