Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hogamus Higamus


Hogamus higamus
Men are polygamous
Higamus hogamus 
Women monogamous
-Ogden Nash

A little while back, over at my favourite site, Hooking Up Smart, there was some debate over advice being offered to a college girl when the 19 year old boy she was kind-of-seeing-but-not-sleeping-with got caught out kind-of-seeing-but-possibly-sleeping-with someone else. Well, it happens. The boy was branded a 'player' (!) right from the get-go, a ghastly predator practising his 'toxic' dark arts on this sweet virginal child [of the same age], & some of the female commenters ( I may be exaggerating a little here) seemed just about ready to organize a lynching there & then. On the other side of the fence, most of the men tended towards a groan & a sigh & a shake of the head & a 'been-there-done-that-God-doesn't-the-desire-for-pretty-women-make-us-do-some-stupid-things-sometimes' stance. They weren't as ready to judge & demonize the boy for urges & actions they knew they could just as easily have had & carried out themselves.

The point is that it split into two camps quite quickly, with the women growing increasingly hostile & in some cases openly insulting of the men, who kept on trying to make their points in different ways but weren't being heard. Now, if you've ever been to HUS, you'll know that this is a rare occurence - the commenters there are smart, thoughtful, original, generally open-minded & constructive, & I've never found a group of women more empathetic towards the problems men face in modern society anywhere. So this was a little odd. It got kind of ugly & I've not been back since. I'm sure I will eventually, I think I just need a break to absorb it all. But since then I've been trying to figure out what happened & why it happened & if there is a way to not make it happen in the future. How do you talk between the sexes about the differing experiences of sex?

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For the most part, the wonderful women of HUS are highly-advanced in their thinking about the workings of male/female relationships (the marvellous men too, of course). Regular topics of discussion there include evolutionary psychology & Game Theory, so the ability to step out of ones own personal narrative & emotions & attempt to observe the human situation objectively & dispassionately is present. Feminism is looked at very critically & it's largely understood there that men & women are necessarily different in matters relating to reproduction & therefore sex. But once this sore point was touched on, practically all the women rounded up their wagons & all that theoretical thinking went out the window. And in my life, pretty much every woman I've ever spoken to has reacted in the same way, with the exception of a few polyamorous types (but they generally haven't cleared the feminism hurdle yet, & apply all discussion about sexuality to both sexes interchangeably, so they're not much help either).

It seems to me the women got hostile because to acknowledge the essentially polygamous drive of men, to recognize that it is necessarily different to womens, that that is their nature, cannot help but threaten the (also necessary) female biological need for stability, i.e. that the man, who is needed to provide for the female while she carries her child & later nurses it, will be there to stick around.

It's become common, the past 40 years or so, to hear women talking quite openly about their experiences & requirements of sex, & as a result we as a society know quite a lot about the preferences & desires of women, which we see largely without judgement. Men's desires, on the other hand, although so overwhelmingly strong (men on average have between 20 to100 times more testosterone, the hormone which governs sexual desire in both sexes, than women), are still shrouded in shame. Female fantasies (which we call 'erotica') are considered benign. Male fantasies (which we call 'pornography') are still considered harmful & wrong. This moral judgement & imbalance makes men & women's experience of sex even harder to explain to each other. As Bill Maher said, "There are no such things as mutual fantasies: yours bore us, ours offend you."

Pornography simply doesn't interest most women, & so is off their radar - it doesn't really exist for them. Conversely, 'romantic' tales of rich surgeons/sheiks/oil barons/princes whisking barmaids/florists/typists up & off into the sunset on their yacht/mercedes/pony bore almost all men silly too, so the entire 'Romantic' aisle in the bookshop is something they don't ever really think of either.

But our sexual fantasies tell us an awful lot about how different we are from each other. Men & women may well be as much as 99% the same, but then again, we're told that the DNA of the human race & chimpanzees are about 99% the same, too. It's that 1% that makes all the difference. And the places the sexes differ the most are the areas closest to reproduction, & so sex.

Gay culture is a very interesting barometer of this, I find. Men are men, after all, & Gay men are very much the same as straight men sexually, as Sai Gaddam & Ogi Ogass' recent A Billion Wicked Thoughts has shown - it is simply the direction in which male desire is pointed that differs. What we see when we look at gay culture is men without women - more precisely, men living outside of the societal compromises they otherwise would have struck with women.

And what do we see when we look at gay culture? By a rather huge margin, the people self-reporting having the most sex in the world are single gay men. The people self-reporting the lowest amount of sex in the world are lesbians in long-term relationships. On a grossly simplified level, we have there the male/female polarity. Promiscuity is not a gay trait, it's a male trait. But it's treated with far more understanding in the gay world than in the straight world, because there everyone is male, so they all know how it is to be male, what that reality feels like, inside.

"Considering our true wishes & longings, our daily lives are pretty ridiculous"
- Dieter Duhm


It must be great to be gay, in this day & age. So simple. Can you even imagine it? If I could go to a bathhouse, pick up a different woman every night for the rest of my life & then perhaps never see her again, I would. Gladly. Wouldn't you? It doesn't have anything to do with falling in love - which I also love to do but experience as a largely seperate thing - as Lenny Bruce told us earlier, 'men detatch - not consciously but they do detatch.' There's the day-to-day need to be met - food/water/sex - & then there is romance on top of that, an additional sweet taste on top. That is the male reality stripped down the best I can. Women are different in this, or at least healthy women. A woman compulsively engaging in anonymous sex would be seen by others & herself as unhappy & damaged in some way. Yet every male is like this, to a greater or lesser degree, healthy & happy or not. Most men would feel biologically fulfilled by this: they would be doing what life has told them to do. Whereas women would be going against their own best interests in doing this, mating with whoever crosses their path.

When you bring this subject up, some women always have to tell you about that one girlfriend of theirs with a sex-drive as big as any man, who goes out every weekend picking up one-night stands. Every girl, it seems, knows at least one girl like that. And it's true, there are girls like that out there. But she's not telling you how all her male friends would like to be doing that too, if they only had the chance (which they don't). It's likely that she doesn't even know that, because that's something the men & boys she knows most likely don't tell her, for fear of being shamed or judged. And if you asked that friend of hers if she see herself doing what she's doing now at 55, 60 years old, it's highly unlikely that she will tell you 'yes'. No woman dreams of a future which consists of them simply fucking a different man - or several men - every single day for the rest of their lives until they die. No riding off into the sunset, no marriage, no children, no settling down... Just new, different, sweaty faces, day in & day out for the rest of your life.

To almost any woman that's a nightmarish vision of white-slavery-crackwhore hellBut to most men, that's veritably an all-areas pass to the Hall of the Gods.

Men are biologically driven to be with as many sexual partners as they can be: Quantity Matters. Women are instructed by their own bodies to find the best male they can find & be with them at least long enough to raise a child out of infancy. Quality matters.

This isn't rocket science - We all know this. Stand-up comedians make their living from talking about the differences between the sexes on stage every night. They can do this only because their audience already recognizes those differences & knows them to be true. Women know that men are born different, that they "think with their dicks", that they are "only after one thing". All their jokes & advice & wisdom rely upon that ancient knowledge. But there is no understanding or kindness accompanying it.

The change I see that needs to come is for the different male experience of sex to be accepted [it is], without judgement [it isn't].

19 year-old boys do not start out 'toxic players'. They start out being the male of their species whose bodies are instructing them - in the prime of their youth - to go spread their seed with as many females as possible in order to enable the survival of the human race. They make many mistakes & blunders along the way, chiefly because no-one, least of all their mothers - who are now primarily raising them - is instructing them in the best way to strike the balance between what their society expects of them & what their body demands of them. They receive no instruction on how to be male in the present society as being male runs contrary to female goals & expectations.

In the society we live now,  men's needs & concerns have for some time been overlooked & downplayed, as any truly objective observer would have to agree. Mainstream society - if not civilization itself - is always a compromise between male & female concerns. If we believe in equality - or at least fairness - then we have to make sure that one sex is not promoted at the expense of the other. We cannot apply identical expectations to both men & women, as men & women are, by definition, different. If you have a law or a morality that is very easy for 50% of the people to live under & very hard for the other 50%, it isn't a fair law, & it isn't a healthy morality.

Instead of shaming male sexuality, we could instruct teenage boys about some of the realities that accompany sex out there - we could tell them that if they make a girl pregnant, they will be in legal servitude to that girl for many years, & have to work to provide for a child they weren't ready for.We could tell them that unprotected sex with a promiscuous partner can result in STDs. This, after all, is basically the message we give to girls. But we could do it without judging & shaming the boys naturally polygamous urges. We could tell them if a truly exceptional woman comes along, he may want to commit to her, to build a life together & start a family, but in the meantime not to confuse the sex he will have with love. That won't end happily for anyone. 

So anyway. The fundamental point I have been trying to make in this somewhat meandering monologue is this:

Until there is a widespread recognition of male sexuality being innately different, without judgement, there can never be a truly fair, honest dialogue between the sexes.

And I guess it's in service of that that I am writing this.


_-*-_-*-_-*-_-*-_


There's more to be said on this, but it's starting to get on a little. I'll pick it up again next post.

31 comments:

  1. Excellent commentary. The feminist idea of marriage is that it turns women into chattel, making them the property and servants of men. There is a grain of truth to this, but the reality is mostly the opposite. A commitment to marriage meant that a man was giving up his natural inclination to spread his seed far and wide. Instead his was commiting to one woman. In return, that one woman was committing to satisfying his sexual desire (which might be greater than hers). In addition, the man committed his resources to her. This was her benefit or reward for her sacrifice. He knew the children he was providing for were his, she had a man she could depend on.

    The feminist ideal destroyed this social contract. Women may be monogamous by nature, but it is serial monogamy, motivated by hypergamy. She seeks out the best possible male, but rather than making a permanent commitment, since feminism, she now makes a series of temporary commitments. Men know this and have become less committed to women, or at least any one particular woman.

    The vilification and demonization of male sexuality is the feminist response. It is intended to enslave the male through guilt and shame, forcing him to remain committed to a permanent relationship that the woman views as temporary. Thanks to feminism, the woman may leave a relationship whenever she chooses, but the man may never leave. His commitment of his resources remains regardless of whether he has chosen to leave or whether she has chosen to leave.

    Feminists use a theory based on power and control to define relationships. Domestic violence is about men exercising power and control. Rape is not about sex, it is about power and control. Marriage is the same. What they don't tell you is that the vilification and demonization of male sexuality is also about power and control. It's sole intent is to enable women to control male sexuality in order to maintain dominance over men and their resources.

    Women become angry at men when they can't control them. men who are free to express themselves sexually are men who aren't being controlled. The anger stems not only from their biologicial nature, but also from a social culture in which they have been taught to equate "liberation" with the ability to change sexual partners at will.

    TDOM

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  2. This post ends too soon! You had just gotten me to agree with you and hinted that the next logical question to ask is "What should we do now?" when you ended on that cliffhanger. :P

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  3. Great Piece Byron
    I most tell you though that there is something you go wrong from my personal uproar. Shaming cheating at any age is not a matter of demonizing male sexuality, in my country we know of men impulses and do not shame it so they indulge in it all the time by any means necessary, lying, deceiving or whatever. I would had shamed a 19 year old girl leaving her loyal boyfriend for a "better man" too as harshly as I did with Emma's whatever.
    You probably didn't read fried chicken girl comment I did months ago at HUS, she was 15 and a guy in a nice car asked her to eat fried chicken and she went and have sex with him while she had a nice beta boyfriend I didn't excused her traded up because of her "hypergamy"
    I shame impulses because is the only way to control it the younger the best, again this is my experience in cheating island understanding male impulses mean that they are free to go for it.
    IMO a 19 year old needs more restrictions than understanding in order for him to grow out of that, the same for a 19 year old girl, you had never lived in a society were men are raised as feral as women but I did, it ain't any prettier, YMMV as usual.

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  4. Hi Bellita - yep, I know.. but it's a big question, ain't it?

    I'm not sure I have the answer as such, but I AM looking, if that helps. I guess this post was partly me pointing out a change of perception needed on the part of women to speed up the process. Not that men don't need to do a lot of work too, but I don't think they're going to be able to without women becoming more selfless & objective.

    As a stop-gap, I don't think you could do any better than follow Steph's advice over at her post on HUS:

    Do you think that a man that expects the worst from you because you are a woman is going to have a nurturing, successful relationship with you? Of course not! Well, it works the same way for women too. Repeat this to yourself:

    * I’m not better than men and men are not better than me.
    * All men are innocent till proven otherwise.


    http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2011/10/14/relationshipstrategies/how-to-alleviate-suffering-from-female-hypergamy/

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  5. Byron, I've missed you and didn't know you'd been mulling this over. This post is excellent, and it explains a lot. You're lucky to have missed the most recent bloodbath in the comment threads, which also hinged on the differences between male and female sexuality. I confess I get very discouraged and frustrated myself. I don't wish that on anyone else, but I certainly understand it. Your general good will makes you a person women can learn much from, I hope you'll come back and hang with us soon. :-)

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  6. Bellita / Anacaona -

    thinking it over, I would say the answer is actually right there in the piece: we need to begin a shift in our morality to something based on what we truly are rather than what any ideology would have us believe for its own purposes, be that Christianity, Communism, Feminism, Conservatism, Political Correctness etc. I am aware that society must have sexual morality of some kind if it is not to fall apart, but that morality can be based on reality rather than arbitrary beliefs.
    In this instance, if we start from a place accepting men's polygamous natures - which are universal & irrefutable - we would not be framing their actions as 'cheating' in the first place, as it would be behaviour understood to be natural & the expected result, rather than deviant, wrong behaviour. We would not be shocked by it, or afraid of it, because it would be seen as natural as breathing air & eating food. You cannot reform biology, & it makes no sense to brand something that the majority of the people (in this case men) are as 'immoral'. It makes no sense.

    Understanding that is the first step towards whatever comes next.

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  7. Susan,

    aw, glad to be missed. Also glad I missed the bloodbath..

    This period of time right now (immediately post-feminism) IS frustrating & discouraging, & I think a lot of that is due to men & women not presently having a language we can use to describe our internal realities to one another that works. We don't yet have a language to talk between the sexes. But the more we talk - & the more we listen - the closer we get to that day.

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  8. @Byron

    Your post has already inspired me to work on one of my own. It should be up in a couple of days. Interestingly enough, it anticipates your comment @17:06 about arbitrary beliefs. I think you and I in the same boat about what is and why it should be a bigger factor in our determination of what should be.

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  9. "Understanding that is the first step towards whatever comes next."

    Sorry but I grew up in a society that understood and accepted male sexuality and it didn't improved it one bit, it just made it worse. The whole lets accept whatever we are and let the chips fall were they made is the way feminism started to take hold in women's heart we will be raising the seeds for a new separation of the genders just out of fear of being victims of men's sexuality again.

    But then this is MY experience you never actually lived in a society that didn't shamed men. I advice you to talk to more latin men, so you know the consequences of your proposal are, YMMV.

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  10. I see your point Steph.

    I remember growing up in the seventies & seeing genuine sexism which appalled me. I wouldn't want to go back to that, but rather would hope we can find a way forward through listening & talking to each other in a way this is not derogatory & belittling to the experiences of either men OR women.

    It's true I don't know Latin culture but as I understand it they are usually strongly under the influence of Christianity, & the messed up beliefs about sex & the body that accompanies that faith. Just as men may start to rebel in violent ways under a hateful unnatural ideology like feminism, healthy sexuality has always had to struggle under Christianity, often coming out in destructive ways. Just a thought.

    It might be idealistic of me but my hope has always been that without twisted ideologies poisoning our minds & hearts, men & women might find a way to naturally live together in peace.

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  11. Actually the bible has poligamy and many biblical men having sex with prostitutes so male sexuality was never repressed in Latin America. Most of the advice about virginity was told to both genders, but there was always the underlying "men cannot help it" message behind it and many women allowed their boyfriends to have sex with the town slut in order to preserve their own virginity so yeah....

    I think you are a bit like my husband (he is agnostic) in that aspect that consider that people who lack superstitious believes are better than indoctrinated by religion folks. What he misses and you do too is that you and him are smart people that found their skepticism out of reason and observation. People in general are not insightful, without a proper guide they will follow whatever looks the shiniest (I did a research on celebrity culture and I found out a lot of the same patterns that religious extremists have when a person is fanatic of their particular idol), thus you are attributing all illness of humanity to a system of beliefs that shamed them out of their natural "benignity" humans are beasts, animals. Without any control they revert to that very easily, thus we need ideologies that shame us in ways that benefit the society at large. Is truth that the true rebels will try to break the rules but as noted in HUS we were better off with the minority being rebellious than the big majority, in USA the women in my culture the men, being totally out of control and inventing their own rules, YMMV.

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  12. I don't believe male sexuality (or female sexuality for that matter) was never repressed in Latin America. Christianity relies mainly o the new testament, & that is where all the Christian hatred of the body & of sex tends to emanate from.

    I'm not agnostic, I believe in religion I just haven't found one I feel happy enough with to commit to, & am most critical of the monotheistic ones, which I believe to be very bad for humanity. However, I agree that all religions have good things about them: 'There is good wine in every generation'.

    I can tell you've possibly thought more deeply than me about the practical need for morality (& ideology?) in society. I haven't made up my mind about the details of that yet - I know a society needs morality (& religion of some sort) to survive, but I'm cautious of projecting too much too : people who have lived under a regime or ideology or religion long enough can come to believe life is impossible without it. Whereas, as we can see from looking around the world at the thousands of different types of religions & societies, there are many ways for human beings to live.

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  13. Heh you are right about me reflecting on the effects of morality. The truth is that I have had a "turbulent" relationship with religion and morality but after seeing pretty much every scenario I think morality and monogamy is like democracy. The worst way to guide human beings, except for everything else that came before. I will certainly change my mind the moment I see an alternative getting better results at large for the majority of the members of our entire species, but meanwhile SHAME SHAMe ON YOU :P

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  14. This is very similar to how I think, except that I am more critical of western morality's recent past. There are clearly moral societies out there that do not have either monotheism or monogamy, & even before feminism came along, we weren't the happiest of cultures. So I don't believe our way of life is necessarily best, regardless what our leaders say. I think we can dream up something better. I hope so, anyway.

    But I agree there must be ways of feeding the conscience if society is not to fall apart. I would just like those ways to be based on something truer than the teachings of an angry sky-god of a neolithic desert tribe.

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  15. In fairness to the followers of that sky god, weren't they originally okay with polygamy? The same strain continues with the FLDS, although as Athol Kay recently pointed out, there's no way polygamy could become mainstream and not cause society's collapse. What to do with all the cast out boys, punished for having any sexual urges at all?

    I realize that you're not necessarily advocating that sort of social acceptance of polygamy. But it goes too far in the other direction to say that idealizing monogamy is to normalize women's natural urges while shaming those of men.

    And it was while I was explaining why I wrote the last sentence of the previous paragraph that I realized what my post was lacking. I've finished it now.

    Sex and the Free Gift

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  16. "In fairness to the followers of that sky god, weren't they originally okay with polygamy?"

    True, the Israelites believed in their 'being fruitful & multiplying' for fairly practical reasons - an insignificant tribe stranded in the middle of a desert needed to increase its numbers as fast as possible to defend itself from neighbouring tribes or else die out. Polygamy is the fastest way of achieving this (one bull, field full of cows).

    However, there's very little about any of that in the teachings of Christ, & the New Testament (Christianity) is very much about renouncing the vile body for higher things - renouncing sex altogether if you can, but if you're so filthy to actually NEED to have sex, at least do it within the bonds of matrimony, & through a hole in a sheet if possible.

    It is almost impossible to over-estimate the toll the Christian Churches teachings have taken on our attitudes to sex, the body, & nature. Most of our hang-ups originate with that source, & it's a factor which needs to be addressed directly when trying to fathom our beliefs on morality in general & sex in particular.

    And feminism, too: Where the Christian Church saw all sex as sinful, under feminism only male sexuality is dirty. I guess that's some kind of progress, anyway. You go, girls.

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  17. I have a feeling that this comment will be absolutely boring to everyone who is not me . . .

    For what it's worth, the idea of the body being a vile receptacle that the soul must not be corrupted by is actually a heresy. It is also, admittedly, a very persistent one, cropping up every other generation or so--which makes it seem like part of the official teachings, although it isn't.

    I also think that much of the Christian approach to sex is less arbitrary than you might be thinking. If one of a person's first principles is that he possesses an immortal soul (and a body which will be restored to him in glorified form at the end of time), then it's only logical that he develop what outsiders to his religion would see as "hang ups" about the human body. While someone who isn't a Christian would benefit from sifting through his own beliefs and picking out the vestiges of Christian morality that he feels haven't served him well, remember that a Christian would feel that the same have served him well. But are you saying that Christians should stop being Christian when it comes to sex?

    It's not clear to me what you're mean by pointing out the relative silence on polygamy in the New Testament. I don't think the lack of discussion is a big deal; Christianity is not merely another way of looking at sex. Beyond the supposedly telling omissions is the subtext that sex actually isn't that central to Christian doctrine. I'd say that polygamy isn't a big deal in the New Testament because Christ was trying to populate the world with Christians in a way that was radically different from what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had needed to do to populate the world with Jews. He Himself did not have sex to do it. There is your break in the Jewish tradition, and one of the first times virginity was seen not as a failure, a tragedy, or a lack, but as a sign that we were made for more than this world.

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  18. "So I don't believe our way of life is necessarily best, regardless what our leaders say."

    I actually support morality/monogamy out of my own conclusions and observations not out what the leaders say.

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  19. "are you saying that Christians should stop being Christian when it comes to sex?"

    I'll keep this short, because, although I could happily talk about this all day, I don't think it's the right place, & it could run & run.

    I think the fall into monotheism (which led to Christianity) is one of the worst turnings in human history. It separated us from God, nature, our own bodies. I grew up in a Christian community & saw no-one with what I would consider a healthy sexuality - it was something shameful, sanctioned only within matrimony & never spoken about. I've never met a christian who is SENSUAL, who openly enjoys their body & celebrates the sharing of it with others.

    Asceticism is a part of most religions, but for only a few (saints, shamans, monks, holy men) & it has a very specific purpose - to keep that individual away from distractions so that they can devote themselves full time to spiritual concerns. Obviously, only a small number of people feel called in this way - if everyone did it, the infrastructure of sociey would quickly fall apart & very little would get done.

    I remember something the Dalai Lama said that stuck with me, that he thought there should be created a 'lay spirituality', a spirituality for ordinary people, rather than monks, because most people aren't going to - & can't - live up to that ideal: they are busy baking bread, delivering letters, building homes, raising families. But they could still have a spiritual life in which they contemplate the glimmers of the divine in the universe without giving up living in this world.

    I think something that happened with Christianity was that a 'lay spirituality' was never an option. It made everyone aspire to live like a monk & blame themselves when they failed, when they 'sinned'. The physical world, the human world, was fallen & profane, & something to be transcended, left behind. Most hang-ups of Christians, & our society in general, go back to this, one way or another.

    Which is a shame, & a waste. We're here to taste the fruit & drink the wine, to savour all the gifts of life while we're here, not to waste away waiting for a life we envision after death.

    That would be my take on it, anyway.

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  20. Anacaona,

    "I actually support morality/monogamy out of my own conclusions and observations not out what the leaders say.

    I know Steph.

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  21. I could obviously talk about this all day as much as you can :) . . . But I understand if you'd rather not let the discussion "run and run" as far as it might go.

    Leaving aside the question of monotheism vs. polytheism (which actually make a fascinating backdrop to the monogamy vs. polygamy issue), one point worth making is that until the Reformation, Christianity was very, very sensual. The forty day fast of Lent was balanced by the forty day feast of Easter. Monks brewed beer (which they sometimes drank like water) and developed everything from cognac to champagne. Worship was full of "smells and bells" and going to church could be--and was supposed to be--an assault on the senses. There were some culinary delicacies that only aristocrats could enjoy because the ingredients were so rich and expensive, but that only nuns could make because the women who knew the secrets to making them had entered convents.

    As I've said, I could go on and on for hours, pausing only for breath, but if we're going to look at the theological fine print, I'll stop and say that it's telling that some branches of Protestantism see medieval Catholicism as very pagan--very full of the polytheism, or just the pantheism, of the ancient world. If someone is looking for a balance between sensual pleasure and Christianity's brand of monotheism, thirteenth century Italy would be a good place to start. And I'm not talking about the ascetics in monasteries, but all the ordinary folk. The "lay spirituality" that the Dalai Lama is talking about now has been around in the Christian world for over two thousand years. (Who do you think popularized the definition of "lay" that he is using?)

    This is why I wonder whether the problems you see are not rooted in Christian culture, but in American culture, with its unique Puritan tradition. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance may have had their share of miserable souls, but it they had no cultural equivalent for modern America's cubicle culture.

    (On a purely personal note, I'm tickled that while I'm defending the sensuality of Catholics over here, I'm fielding accusations over-sexed Renaissance popes at another blog.)

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  22. Hi Byron,

    I quoted you a few times in my most recent article on Blast. Check it out:

    http://blastmagazine.com/the-magazine/culturefashion/kinky-stuff/feminism-the-winter-of-men’s-discontent/.

    Best,
    Neely

    http://twitter.com/#!/NeelySteinberg
    neelysteinberg.com

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  23. "This is why I wonder whether the problems you see are not rooted in Christian culture, but in American culture, with its unique Puritan tradition. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance may have had their share of miserable souls, but it they had no cultural equivalent for modern America's cubicle culture."

    I happen to lean to this Bellita. Like mentioned I was raised Catholic and was very sex positive we discussed sex openly as teenagers and it was considered a God's gift to mankind to be enjoyed fully in marriage. The out of marriage sex was not considered sinful but being out of place was less enjoyable than sacred sex. Once the mind and the soul were joined together in holy matrimony the joining of the flesh was the last rite and made the connection powerful (It might be Salesian's teachings only?) and without marriage the flesh was enjoyable but there were no guarantees that your lover's mind and soul were with you too so less powerful and less pleasurable. Then they added all the human issues of STD's and unwanted pregnancy and you ended up pretty convinced that waiting till marriage was the optimal way to have sex, without losing the idea that it was joyful. My husband tells me that this is not anywhere how he thinks Christians here promote abstinence so my guess is that the culture colors religion a lot more than we think. The same thing that happens with Muslims in different countries, YMMV.

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  24. "we need to begin a shift in our morality to something based on what we truly are rather than what any ideology would have us believe for its own purposes"

    Bingo.

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  25. Yodahami,

    Aw, thanks dude. I've got more to say on all this, it's taking a little while to finish, but that point - the need to evolve societal morality into something inkeeping with physical & biological reality - is at the heart of it.

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  26. I agree that boys shouldn't be necessarily shamed for sexual urges. But they SHOULD be taught the responsible road to take. You think monogamy, from start to finish, is female's biological nature too? Guess again. Being a male doesn't mean that you must be allowed to be polygamous. I sympathize with a man's desire to have a lot of sex, but he can get that with one woman. And if she doesn't get it from him, I won't blame him an inch for walking, even if it means divorce.

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  27. "If you have a law or a morality that is very easy for 50% of the people to live under & very hard for the other 50%, it isn't a fair law, & it isn't a healthy morality"

    Then that includes polygamy. Monogamy requires sacrifice from both sexes and holds society together, just like women raising their own children and not abandoning them for a career does, and just like promoting heterosexual marriage and not gay marriage does. Maybe that's why female monogamous fantasies (even the stupid ones) are more tolerated. But right now, again, sexual promiscuity is tolerated massively for both sexes.

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  28. "And if she doesn't get it from him, I won't blame him an inch for walking, even if it means divorce"

    I meant if she doesn't GIVE it to him :P

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  29. "Which is a shame, & a waste. We're here to taste the fruit & drink the wine, to savour all the gifts of life while we're here, not to waste away waiting for a life we envision after death."

    Well, my take from my early Catholic teachings is that we are actually here to resist the fruit and drink the wine. To prove we are worthy of eternal happiness in heaven. To walk through fire for our beliefs.

    But maybe that's just how I internalized it...

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