Religion vs. Sex: The Battle Continues – Jewish men find novel way to rein in their savage lust

“The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, “Down with Sex” (1966)

 

”Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?”

William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1597-8)

 

“The sex instinct is one of the three or four prime movers of all that we do and are and dream, both individually and collectively.”

Philip Wylie, “Generation of Vipers” (1942)

 

It’s no secret that religion is obsessed with sex and that control of sexuality is one of the ways it maintains its hold on people.  

Religion interferes in the most intimate aspects of sex, sometimes with awful consequences.  E.g., as a humanist, I find the Catholic Church’s attitude on contraception loathsome because it contributes to overpopulation, poverty, and misery. 

Because of religion, people routinely sexually mutilate their children (why a piece of the penis, when a bit of the earlobe would do?).  I was appalled when I heard about what they do to girls in some parts of the world.  When will these fucking idiots join the 21st century?

Religion and repression

Since religion trades on the repression of lust, true believers (polygamous Mormons excluded) have to work hard to repress their carnal urges.  Here’s the latest, From Funny Times’ “News of the Weird”:

“An AP report from Jerusalem noted that the Orthodox community’s ‘modesty patrols’ were selling eyeglasses with ‘special blur-inducing stickers’ that fuzz up distant images so that offended men will not inadvertently spot immodestly dressed women [i.e., 95% of all women – AMP].  (The stickers apparently simulate nearsightedness. . .) The ‘modesty patrols have long tried to shame women dressed in anything other than closed-neck, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts, but may be losing that fight.  A columnist for the Tel Aviv daily Ha-aretz praised the eyeglasses for shifting the responsibility to men for their priggishness.”

ROFLAMO.  Laughed so hard I cried for these pathetic people and their dress codes.  The fact is that inevitably some women will dress to flaunt their sexuality. The vast majority will show a little skin as a matter of course.  Too much for the ultra-Orthodox.  Yes, these lewd Jews ARE responsible for suppressing natural reactions (as Jimmy Carter said, you can have lust in your heart).

Jewish solution

The eyeglasses are SO Jewish!  Solve a non-problem with a non-solution.  Bill Maher, in his documentary Religulous, visited a store with special Sabbath products, enabling people to avoid the 36 (I think) definitions of “work” prohibited on Shabbat.  There was a phone that dialed by interrupting (not creating) a signal.  A wheelchair that apparently involved no work on the part of the paraplegic.  Maher asked, “Why go to such trouble to appease the God that put you in the wheelchair?”  No answer.

But at least kudos to the men for taking responsibility. 

Religion and sex: Why?

Why the obsession with lust?  One answer comes from  Lynn Parramore, Reader Supported News, 20 October ’12:

“Monotheistic religions like Christianity are especially patriarchal and tend to be built on the denial of the feminine and a special abhorrence of those flesh packages known as ‘bodies.’ If you're only going to have one god, that god is probably going to be male, and so you've got to suppress the female element of spirituality so that He doesn't have any competition. Women are associated with the processes of nature, which can be scary, and you've got to do something about that, too. They give birth, and anything that is born must die, which is an unpleasant thought, so to get rid of that you just go around pretending that life is eternal and that everything really springs from the Great Celestial Father. Pretty soon you have concocted possibly the most unnatural idea in human history: The Virgin Mother.


“Polytheistic religions don't tend to operate this way, which is why you can see male and female gods frolicking with abandon on the walls of ancient Egyptian temples. Which is also why the Second Commandment in the Bible tells you not to ever, ever look at them. In fact, you're really not supposed to look at or think about bodies at all. They are inconvenient encumbrances to your eternal life, and the sooner you get rid of them, the better. Anything that upsets the fragile order of this strange system where males are celestial beings and women are nasty creatures whose bodies reek of dirty sex -- like gay love, for example -- will have to be squelched at all costs. Holding all these contradictory thoughts in your head deforms the mind into a labyrinth of twists and turns and on top of that there's a phantom floating around in there.” At http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/14093-why-does-sexua... .

The other extreme

This is by no means to excuse non-Orthodox or secular men generally.  Some go to the opposite extreme, totally objectifying women in the gazillion-dollar porn/strip/prostitution industries.  What these industries offer is seductive, compliant women, not real ones, who are sometimes non-seductive and non-compliant.  Men pay big bucks for fake seduction; they want the real thing so badly that they'll settle for the fake. 

Men thinking with their little heads: a truism, uttered with contempt.  And rightly so.  Men thinking with their little heads are men on the make, damn the consequences.  Hitting on women – that was one of the things I hated about being single.  Always it’s the male who has to make the overtures and risk rejection.  No wonder he has to abandon reason and let his cock do the thinking.

ADDENDUM/Breaking news: An army general commits adultery with his hot, bright, overachieving biographer, ruining a marriage and a career.  Sigh.  Men are pathetic, and the smallest or biggest of men (e.g., Slick Willie) are reduced to a worm governed by its little head.  Petraeus is the latest.  The little head knows no satisfaction, no matter how lovely one's mate (High Grant).  It does not have the capacity to contemplate consequences.

All the high-status men just mentioned are no better than the drunken lecher trying to pick up a woman at a bar.  The little head rules.

Self-overcoming

When I first read Nietzsche on self-overcoming, I was too young to grasp the full import.  Then I grew up, learned my many faults, and began to understand the what I had to overcome in myself.   One thing to overcome is that one must always be chasing pussy.  

SO may things are done to impress women – it’s pathetic.  Sports, war, auto racing.  Men take advantage of power situations to hit on women, even in this age of extreme PC.  (Clarence Thomas: You know in your heart that you hit on Anita Hill.)

Lust and indignity

I have no answers.  Monogamy isn’t the answer for most people.  Only a few get to have lifelong, sexually satisfying relationships.   So lust leads men to some pretty undignified behaviors.  It’s fine to appreciate feminine beauty, but maybe, for men, less panting and more dignity are in order.  On the other hand, what do I know?

Views: 209

Tags: Judaism, Orthodox, Petraeus, adultery, lust, religion, repression, sex

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Comment by Alan Perlman on November 11, 2012 at 5:56pm

Ruth...Point taken.  These things are not done solely to impress women. A lot of it is men showing off their maleness to each other.  But female attention is one of the perks.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 11, 2012 at 3:42pm

I agree with you on everything but

SO may things are done to impress women – it’s pathetic.  Sports, war, auto racing.

Just because testosterone drives men to such madness, don't imagine it's to impress women.

Imagine all women disappeared tomorrow. Did sports, war and auto racing immediately disappear from your imaginary all male world? I rather think they'd soar.

Comment by Daniel W on November 11, 2012 at 2:46pm

Oops, I meant the younger have less impulse control compared to older.  But you are right about men having libidos that take over at any time. 

The requirement to renew marriage licenses would also be a source of revenue for the state.  Plus, we all get rusty in our skills. It would be a time to improve marriage skills, so that for those who want to new their license, they will be better at it.  That might make marriages last longer.  Like driving - you have to renew every few years, but how many people want to give up driving?

Comment by Alan Perlman on November 11, 2012 at 1:13pm

S/B...I'd like to know that ANY male population shows self-restraint (without religious repression); men of any age can have poor impulse control. I like the license renewal.  You have to renew your driver's license - why not the marriage license? 

Comment by Daniel W on November 10, 2012 at 6:00pm

Alan, what you say about pride makes sense to me too!

A young person is more likely to have impulse control in the sex department, compared to someone older.   You could say I've been a serial monogamist, given my own history.  Especially when young.  Lots of serial then.  Although there is some degree of hanky panky in the medicare crowd.

One way to make serial monogamy easier would be to have a license renewal requirement, like driving, or like some professions.  A spouse would need to take a test and prove they are up to date on the latest requirements, in order to renew their marriage license.  Then you could say, "Sorry honey, I wanted to stay married to you, but you flunked the test.  You have to move out now!"

Comment by Alan Perlman on November 10, 2012 at 12:16pm

To Loren...It seems that, paradoxically, obsessing over sexuality and modesty makes lust even harder to control.  Nothing is more odious than the argument that women who are perceived to be dressing seductively "ask" to be raped.

 

To S/B...Thanks for thoughtful comments. You make several good points.  The Seven Deadly Sins are more psychologically accurate than the crude Commandments, though I find nothing wrong with Pride (which usually means "questioning religious dogma"). 

Gluttony can be found all over this great land, e.g., in restaurants that give you a prize for finishing their 16-oz. steak.  What kind of society invents competitive eating?

Greed is good, if you mean simply wanting to better one's condition.  But salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions?  Holy shit, how much money do you need, really?

If I were advising a young person (and I have), I would seriously recommend serial monogamy (with legal arrangements in place to divide the property when breakup occurs).  Legal marriage, as presently constituted, is too dificult to dissolve and condemns too many people to lives of monotony and misery.  As Bill Maher said, "Gays should have the right to fall in love, have great sex, get married, and stop having sex -- just like everybody else."   

Comment by Loren Miller on November 10, 2012 at 9:57am

The blur-inducing glasses remind me of Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers of Kurt Vonnegut's utterly "equal" America, where EVERYONE is supposed to be average and NO ONE is supposed to excel.  I wonder if those "modesty patrols" would take it upon themselves to make the good-looking women ugly, if they were so empowered.

Meantime, I can't help but notice that there are beautiful women among us who are not constantly ravaged and rapped by crowds of testosterone-laden men with keen eyesight.  Why is that, do you suppose?  Is it possible that even the average citizen can exercise something which these preoccupied nincompoops can't be bothered to acknowledge?

Something as simple and basic as respect for another, combined with self-control.  Gee whiz, what a concept.

Comment by Daniel W on November 10, 2012 at 9:34am

Those blur inducing glasses are hilarious.  

We wear glasses to improve our vision.  With improved vision, we see objects of lust so must modify the glasses to worsen our vision.  How silly.   Maybe there is a metaphor there about religious belief as well?

The special sabbath compliant telephones, elevators, etc are equally laughable.  My kitchen stove manual tells me it's also sabbath compliant.  Convoluted ways to please an inscrutable, invisible, childish, demanding, arbitrary, and silly deity.

On sex, people should worry less about being lustful.  Looking around, gluttony has made major inroads into the overreach of human desire.  And greed is way up there too.  And power lust - that is the base instinct of those efforts in controlling human desire - "YOU will do what I say, especially if you don't like it and it makes you miserable."

If people expend more effort into making themselves potentially better partners, more attractive in emotional, intellectual, and physical ways, maybe they would be happier.   The nice guy doesn't always win, but sometimes it works out.

I agree with you that monogamy is not for everyone.  It does work for some people.  We need to be understanding of one another.  And maybe there are different kinds of monogamy.  Maybe there is emotional monogamy with sexual adventure, and emotional adventure with sexual monogamy.

But what do I know?

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