Monday, March 23, 2015

Pornography Debate



I had an exchange with a long-time reader of this blog.  He provided me with an article that presented the debate on pornography as conducted within a conference on the subject in Catholic circles.  Then he shared with me his own personal life experience as contradicting all the hesitations and caveats expressed in that conference.



The article that sparked his reactions appeared in the Arlington Catholic Herald, under the title: “Boot Camp Tackles Porn, Relationship┼Ł.”  I read there: ““We love the body. It’s the temple for the Holy Spirit. The body is beautiful, and sex is beautiful when it’s an expression of authentic love,” said Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde Feb. 12 at the Mid-Atlantic Congress in Baltimore.
The bishop was responding to the secular criticism that Catholics are ashamed of or disgusted by the human body, specifically sexuality and sexual activity.”


I think the bit that really must have got under my reader’s skin was: “According to Frank Moncher of Arlington Catholic Charities, pornography harms the viewer because of the interplay of bodily, interpersonal, volitional and cognitive factors. It can cause stress, negatively impact family and peer relationships, and form obsessive and distorted thoughts, among other problems. An addict will make “sexual material a priority and an organizing principal,” preferring to consume pornography over spending time with loved ones. Moncher cited the bishop’s examples of the costs porn has on courtship, family life, business and industry, and society as a whole.”

My reader shared the following testimony from his own life-experience and I find his approach very balanced.  “I sent the attachment to my last e-mail because of my attraction to pornography. I’ve collected pornography since I was 14 and I disagree with what the article implied that it is harmful, can have a detrimental effect on a family relationship, etc. As I’ve told you I have been married for over 50 years, have four grown children all college educated, all in successful careers. In my mind pornography has not had an ill effect on my family life any more than masturbation has and I began masturbating at 12. I don’t know if you can use the article but I wanted you to know the push being made and how I feel about it.”   
Well, I want to thank him so much for sharing that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Acceptance of Sex.



On a website called “The New World Order” that I am not too sure what it is about, I came across this wonderful reflection on the place of sex in our contemporary human existence.

Sex is the unspoken legislator of the world. It dominates our lives. Sexual imagery is everywhere. Social networking is usually a disguised version of sexual networking. Most songs are about sex. The advertising industry is about sex. The beauty industry is about sex. Celebrities are always sexually attractive. Nearly everyone in TV and movies is sexy. Sexy politicians beat the less sexy ones. Sexy people get better and more lucrative jobs. Sexy defendants in trials receive lighter sentences. Sexy people have more friends and are in higher social demand.

Everyone wants to have a fantastic sex life. Everyone is envious of those who are having more of it, with sexier partners. Porn, romance, eroticism – three different approaches to sex – are omnipresent in our culture. A poor sex life can affect our mental health. Dysfunctional sexuality produces neuroses and even psychoses. Many serial killers have been found to have serious sexual problems. The sexual abuse of children ruins countless innocent lives. Horrifically, a substantial number of abused themselves become abusers, thus perpetuating the cycle.
Abrahamism is terrified of the power of sex and seeks, in effect, to eradicate any visible signs of it. It is supposed to be carried out shamefully, in the dark, in silence, in a bedroom. Capitalism, on the other hand, constantly uses sex appeal and titillation to sell things to the consumer society. So anyone living in a Judaeo-Christian capitalist society is infected with a dangerous sexual ambivalence. 

We view it as a fabulous thrill, but also a dangerous temptation that can wreck our life. We simultaneously lust after it and fear it. Doublethink underlies our attitude to sex: we at all times hold in our heads contradictory messages about it. It’s “dirty” yet we want as much of it as we can get. It’s not to be talked about and yet we talk about nothing else. Even when we’re not talking about it, we are. It’s an “absent presence”. Even when we think it’s not there, it is. It’s an ever-present subtext. Our bodies understand it much better than our conscious minds. We can be saying one thing while our body language is saying the precise reverse. Sex makes hypocrites and madmen of us all.


No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape sex. It’s the pulse of our world and, in truth, of the entire cosmos. Its significance cannot be overestimated. It’s as important as it gets.
If sex isn’t humanity’s greatest obsession, what is? Therefore, there’s no point in shying away from sex, no point in being embarrassed or dishonest about it. A new world must have a new attitude to sex: a much healthier, more honest and more productive one.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sexual Bliss





Sexual Bliss. I am grateful to my buddy at Queer Heaven for his encouraging reply of solidarity to my post “Listen to Your Spirit”, which was largely based on his inspiration.  He calls me “My dear friend in sex” which I just love!  He sums up beautifully the mission that we have in commom: “It seems that we both are trying hard to let these guys understand how utterly important Sex is to our spiritual being.” 

Then he tries to come to grips with a conundrum: “It still is a puzzle why so many guys do not get this. Sucking Dicks or Fucking a beautiful Man's ass is where the BLISS of life exists.”

Sucking and being sucked, fucking and being fucked is certainly bliss.  That bliss is only part of life, of course, and I suppose each one is going to be different in where he puts the emphases in his life and even in his spiritual life.  Indeed each one is going to have to work out for himself how he needs to articulate the balance in his life between the bliss of sex and the time and energy he puts into his duties to others and the other occupations he values in his life.  If someone seems a bit reticent in following our call to sexual bliss, it may be that he is working on this equilibrium or, quite frankly that his emphases are not quite like ours.

But another reason for the reluctance sex-positive thinkers may encounter in trying to convince others that sexual bliss is the healthy and right way forward is the lingering effect of our religious-based malformation.  It takes one hell of a lot to shift that deep-ingrained feeling that sex is bad.  However liberating the guide’s message might be there is always something in our human make up that does not want to let ourselves be liberated.  There is a sense of security in the old known ways and attitudes and we fail to notice that the security in question is akin to that of a prison.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Listen to Your Spirit.



Queer Heaven posted this inspirational message the other day: 

I hope you find that stopping by here (his blog) will not only give you a nice hard Dick, but also might just empower you to be more of who you are.  And to understand how totally wonderful life can be if you are open and proud of the fact that you happen to enjoy sexing with other guys.”   


I love that expression “sexing” because it provides a vocabulary for keeping sex apart from procreation and also for being able to talk about sex as a value in itself.  When you think about it the thinkers who see sex as exclusively for the purpose of procreation automatically declare, implicitly, that sex, in itself, did not ought to exist.   


Indeed, one has heard attitudes proposed that really were saying, procreate, yes, but the nearest you can get to it being without sex the better.  Sex, really, to those people is just a necessary inconvenience.  But, wake up, our whole being, our whole experience, the very way we function as sexual beings – beings who cannot be other than sexual – tells us something else if you listen to your own deep spirit.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mercy



In the Lenten liturgy we keep on hearing repeated the words of God: What I want is mercy not sacrifice.  I have been thinking about those words relative to the Church’s official guidance or ascetical theology on the use of sex.  The principle was alwas there, sex for procreation only.  For all the rest we were supposed to deny ourselves and invoke the spirit of sacrifice, which was kind of two-edged, it convinced us that we were pleasing to God in the measure in which our abstinence or purety was complete; it also enabled us to sublimate, in union with the passion of Christ, all the renunciation and repression of our natural appetites in matters sexual.  These approaches certainly produced a lot of neurotics, but some people have seemed to get holy on it.

Personally, I feel that I need, perhaps most people need, something more positive.  Ultimately, a spirituality and asceticism of sex-positivism.  This is, I guess, what this blog is all about.  Of course, the first practical stage of getting beyond the old negative attitude to sex is to accept masturbation into your physical and spiritual life.  Perhaps we should meditate on how the words “mercy” and “masturbate” resonate with one another.  In masturbating I show mercy, compassion, acceptance to my male urge.  In masturbating with others, which includes sucking and fucking with other guys, I extend that mercy to all my fellow males in the communion of enhanced masculinity.

Sam, in the comments on my post about the Pope’s remarks, asked the question: “Do you think that God speaks directly to the Pope?”  I am inclined to think that God speaks to all of us who have the Spirit of God.  Christians, all Christians, receive the Spirit at Baptism.  But God does not limit his Spirit-gift only to baptized Christians.  All human beings have been redeemed, so all have been given the Spirit, in a certain way.  It suffices for us to listen to the voice of God as the Spirit speaks within us and among us. 



You could say, perhaps, that baptism gives a facility for hearing what God says that the non-baptized may not have, but possibly nothing more.  The Pope is baptized and therefore God speaks to him like to the rest of us.  There could be something about his office and responsibility to the Church that enables him to hear more accurately what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.  But the Pope remains human and he cannot get it right all the time.  It was Benedict who pointed out that papal infallibility was effective in rare and well-defined circumstances.