This editorial is in response to Tom Balistrieri's "Male Initiation" series of articles. I find no fault with his calls for respect for women; obviously, rape and abuse have no place in our world.
As a side note, Mr. Balistrieri also objects to the gorgeous goddesses and half-dressed women in media and the portrayal of women as merely sex objects. At the root of this problem is the suggestion that there's something wrong with men and women being portrayed as sexual beings. I disagree!
Sex is a wonderful pastime that has received a bad rap in today's society, where many things that feel good are considered bad for us. I've heard sex called "the necessary evil," which is pure bull. Sex is the highest physical intimacy any two people can share, and speaking in the physical sense, it's probably the most fun you can have with your body.
Our physiological makeup has built-in sexual peaks which occur early in the lives of both men and women. I doubt a these biological clocks exist in error. Yet it is during this time that we're encouraged to wait, abstain, and distance ourselves from sex.
We are conditioned from childhood to accept this unfamiliarity with our bodies. Parents cover themselves when dashing from the bathroom to the bedroom, or send their children to a neighbor's house when they wish to be intimate. Parents sue when an Austin Powers doll prompts their eleven-year old daughter to ask, "What's horny?" When they finally do speak to their children about sex, it's in mainly biological terms — not sensual, emotional, or spiritual.
Our lives are driven by energy and passion. Lives are meaningless without passion, be it for work, play, or song and dance. Yet the passion to intimately know each other is restrained, whether by society, religion or other sources. Without other means for releasing this passion, we become bitter and angry. Sex is a wonderful expression of life-driving energy; by denying it, we're denying part of what it means to be human.
Naturally, there's more to life and relationships than sex. Pleasuring our bodies while neglecting our minds and spirits is unhealthful and can pervert an otherwise divine gift. Yet, when used correctly, sex can be a wonderful way to satisfy our entire triune being.
But, maybe I'm just frustrated.
This article is copyright (c) 1999, 2001, 2002 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.