Not sure where I’m going to go with this post as I start it, but I’m motivated and inspired by the Republican political candidates and what passes for their political campaigns, and sex is the reason why. A major portion of what they call a political platform, not to mention the questions that follow them from debate to debate, revolve around sex. Sick Rantorum, that frothy gentleman from Pennsylvania, is personified by the topic, given his stance on gay marriage, homosexuality, abortion and contraception. Newt Gingrich has made the earmark of his campaign a promise to never indulge in the pleasures of adultery again, because of his three marriages and the circumstances of his spousal selection process, though at the age of 68 that seems like a safe, and therefore empty, meaningless promise from him. And, of course, the rest of candidates, both those still in the race and those who have dropped out, have had various yet consistently judgmental opinions on the subject.
Sex. We all know what it is, we all partake of the pleasure and the comfort and the results. It is the leading human motivational force, second to none, though possibly equal to money, and not far ahead of guilt. It’s the engine that turns the human wheel. Look behind many of the human foibles, scandals and mistakes of most politicians, businessmen, blue collar workers, ….hell, everybody… and you’ll find either money or sex. It’s a biological imperative that we have neither the ability nor the will to control, yet we strive mightily to do so, always losing. The sex drive is the strongest drive on earth, turning gigantic intellects into quivering gelatin at the drop of a bra strap.
And of course, the survival of our species depends on it.
Victorian sensibilities shoved it into the background in national politics, where we winked and we nodded, and occasionally were forced to acknowledge it because we had no choice, but it was the so-called sexual revolution of the 60s that allowed us to confront it and speak about it and finally allow it into the forefront of the social consciousness of the nation.
It was, and still is, a topic that is not discussed in polite company (along with politics and religion). Innuendo and euphemisms are the language of normal discourse when the subject is brought up. We have pet names for body parts, and we are often ashamed to speak out loud the words penis, breast, vagina, fellatio, cunnilingus and sexual intercourse. Instead we speak of dicks and boobs, and pussies and fucking. But it is something we do, and have to do, and is as natural as breathing, eating and defecating. Yet it is always an embarrassing topic, except in like company. I blame the religious mores passed down to us, but that’s another topic for another day.
This never made much sense to me, but I was brought up in the same cultural milieu as everyone else, and found myself conforming to the same cultural restrictions. Instead of frank, sexual informational talks with my children, we discussed the “birds and bees”. If we talked about it at all. These puritanical notions of embarrassment at the very thought of sex seems to me to be antithetical to a healthy sexual environment, and in the back of my head, over most of my life, I knew that, but I was psychologically hampered from being more open. I always admired those that were able to speak about sex in a frank, normal, conversational manner without making others feel embarrassed. Dr. Ruth was one of these, and while her lilliputian physique and German accent seemed sometimes like a caricature, she opened up avenues of sexual discourse that were previously blocked to many. There are a lot of other examples, but they are irrelevant to this post.
My point is that I think it’s healthy for the population to be discussing the sex lives of not only their politicians, but the rest of the country, including ourselves. It’s part of who we are. We should be able to not only recognize, but celebrate the diversity of thought and practice that comes with a healthy individual sex life. It should not, in a psychologically flourishing population, engender feelings of embarrassment, or moral outrage, or disgust, any more than talking about someone’s cancer, or mental illness, or baldness, or hemorrhoids would do so.
When a politician uses sexual activity, or orientation, or history as a plank on a political platform, then that’s a good thing, as long as what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. Sex is something we all have in common, so a national dialogue is natural. The fact that Newt Gingrich is running on a so-called “family values” platform, which is really a dog whistle for anti-abortion and anti-homosexual, is not objectionable per se. It always was fair game, no more than if he was against man-boy love, NAMBLA style. That’s all part of what should be healthy dialogue about human sexuality. Maybe you disagree that it shouldn’t be part of a political discourse, that perhaps the place to discuss it is elsewhere, but it’s not outside the scope of normal and important human communication. If it sparks a multi-sided debate, then what could possibly be the problem?
What’s really objectionable is the hypocrisy associated with the judgmental position he takes, along with his fellow Republican Presidential aspirants. It’s one thing to tell others how they should conduct themselves in their sexual affairs. It’s another to tell them how they should conduct themselves while specifically violating those same judgmental imperatives at the same time. That is pure hypocrisy, and for Newt to find outrage in a question posed to him in a debate that specifically points out his hypocrisy is, in itself, hypocritical, not to mention ironic. It calls into question the very nature and character of Newt himself, and his fitness for being President.
Gingrich was one of the leading instigators and proponents of the Whitewater Investigation, which was turned into a witch hunt of Bill Clinton, and eventually resulted in the discovery of an anti-climatic (no pun intended) semen-stained dress and the impeachment of the President. Gingrich was extremely judgmental of this short affair with Monica Lewinsky (a blow job in the oval office that did not terminate his marriage), at the same time that he was carrying on a much more involved affair with the woman who would later become his current wife. He was an outspoken advocate for Clinton’s impeachment and hoped-for removal from office (which backfired on him), primarily based on his denouncements of Clinton’s non-family based morality, while he was secretly carrying on a very non-family based relationship with a woman 23 years his junior.
Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y? And is his hypocrisy relevant to this election process?
You bet your boobies.
The fact that we went through the sexual revolution, which allows us to be more open about the subject of sex, has had a positive effect on society. We can talk about the consequences of sex, be they STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and children, without the guilt all churches used to impose on the discussion. We don’t look the other way when someone happens to mention that Father O’Reilly touched little Billy in a way Billy wasn’t used to, or which confused him. We now do something about it, and quickly, because Billy knows what a bad touch is.
And when a politician thinks he can sit on his high horse and tell us how we are to conduct our sexual affairs, we can tell him to go
to hell fuck himself.
That you would mention Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and sex in the same post is just really, really disturbing. I may not be able to eat for a week.
Seriously, I find profoundly disturbing the vigor of the cheers and applause Gingrich gets from the Republican audiences when he blows by his hypocrisies and spews lies and distortions about the government and Obama, and spits out his racial slurs, and is given a pass on all of that by the mob. And it is a mob. Mindless, ignorant, narcissistic, and unwilling to understand, to comprehend, what governance is about. Is this man really the best the Republicans can do? That could be asked of any of the Republican candidates. They’re all cut from the same bloody cloth of impending tyranny.
One might suppose that any civilization that holds a childish attitude towards sex cannot be expected to be any more intelligent about politics. And when you add religion into the mix, as the Republicans have so vociferously done, politics gets very ugly indeed.
One thing Gingrich is certainly right about: this is the most important election of our lifetime. If the electorate fails to quell this incarnation of the Republican Party, indeed, if it puts them into power, we can kiss democracy and freedom goodbye, and any one of these candidates can be the lever that dumps us into the pit of real darkness.
Hypocrisy has almost become a trademark of these people. Newt exemplifies them. Along with Larry Craig, of course.
I wonder if their own sexually dysfunction is the reason for their drive to push religion-based sexual dysfunction on others.
There is no doubt that hypocrisy reigns supreme in politics and that Gingrich is a leading example, but what in the world is “religion-based sexual dysfunction?”
I’m not desertscope, but I would say that it’s a sexual dysfunction caused partially or wholly by the effects of religious upbringing. Since the brain is the primary sexual organ, the one that controls sexuality, sexual response, and probably even sexual orientation, it makes sense that one’s upbringing as it relates to sex will have an affect on one’s sexual functionality.
I could get into examples, but this isn’t a sex advice column.;)
However, generally, an upbringing that teaches that sex is dirty, that only the missionary position is the only way to have sex, or that sex is for procreation only, I would imagine would play a significant role in one’s sexual activity and the enjoyment thereof. Taken to an extreme, it could cause serious sexual dysfunction. I don’t have to tell you that those types of attitudes are often, if not primarily, religion-based.
Why, those dirty missionaries!!
Poor religion! The good gets lumped-in with the bad! Sort of like the attitude of the ignorant toward snakes…kill ’em all because the only good snake is a dead snake (I believe the same rationale used to be applied to native Americans). The only restriction I was taught or have taught others is that sex is consensual and between a male and a female within the confines of their marriage. Within marriage they can do anything to or with each other as long as it is mutually agreed upon. No detectable dysfunction there.
Well, religion is fairly prevalent in society, so a significant amount of this could be laid at its feet. But I would be remiss to not acknowledge other sources, such as a simple lack of education (which could be partially blamed on religion again) and maybe just a lousy sex education (lack of education, religion, again?).
So, I wasn’t suggesting that all sexual dysfunction was the result of religious upbringing, and I doubt that desertscope was either. Looking at his remark, he was probably referring to stuff like Santorum tends to spout as “pushed” religion-based sexual dysfunction. But you have to admit that many religions have a very skewed outlook about sex. I was raised Catholic, and take my word, my sexual upbringing was sick, to say the least, in hindsight. Look at their response to priest pedophilia. And the RC church is the single largest religion in America, probably the world.
Lots of potential sexual dysfunctionality out there.
Don’t think I didn’t notice that you limit it to male/female, marital sex. For you, I’m sure that works out just great. Actually it works fine for me too, but there are people in the world it does not work out for, and if they were brought up with that attitude, they might find themselves suffering from some sexual dysfunction in their relationships.
That about sums it up. When fertilized with enough religious insanity, the feelings of natural human sex drive can result in feelings of self-loathing. If being aroused by attractive people is a sin (it is, according to Jeebus), then every teenaged boy (I have no experience as a teenaged girl) is drowning in sin somewhere in excess of 18 hours a day. Do you think constantly fearing the “wages of sin” for something over which you have no control is healthy?
Let me get this straight (no pun intended). You think it is just fine to be uncontrollably aroused by attractive, married members of the opposite sex (which is what Jesus was talking about)? Wow! No self-control needed? Arousal (I presume you mean “lust”) is different from attraction. Lust happens when I go beyond attraction either mentally or physically. Jesus tells us to exercise enough self-control that we willfully stop short of having sex, in any form, with another person’s spouse.
No Christian “drowns in sin” ever. We sin, yes, but we also have forgiveness for those sins…and that includes hormone-soaked teenagers.
What Jesus was saying was that merely thinking about having sex with another woman was the same as having done the actual act. In other words, a thought crime. That’s just ridiculous.
I can turn that around and say that if I spend all day dreaming about helping people in need, it’s the same as if I actually spent all day helping people in need.
No, I think it’s obvious what he’s referring to when he says
is what happens to teens when they reach the age of puberty, and their hormones kick in. (1st century Palestinians probably didn’t even know what hormones were, so I’ll give Jesus a pass on his ignorance.) Now, if a teen boys sees an attractive woman, regardless of whether she’s married or unmarried, social conventions prevent him from pouncing on her, but that doesn’t diminish the lust, the arousal, the attraction he feels, involuntarily I might add. Christianity, or some parts of it, says that mere arousal is sinful.Remember Jimmy Carter, who had “lust in his heart”? That’s what desertscope is referring to.
And if a person has it instilled in him that he’s sinning over something he has no biological control over, that can screw him up.
I can’t argue with ignorance stubbornly masquerading as knowledge. I don’t give a fig about what “some parts” of “Christianity” say. All I know or care about is what Jesus and his messengers taught about sexual conduct.
Well, you know me well enough by now, Dwight, that I don’t give a fig what Jesus said, because I don’t consider him the supreme arbiter of morality as you do. In fact, I don’t even think he existed, so it’s hard for me to take his pronouncements on sexuality (as few and as ambiguous as they may be) with any degree of credibility, any more than I take to heart any other moral teachings by fictional characters.
But you already know that. I understand your beliefs relating to Christ (I was there once) so I would be a fool to try to convince you otherwise. But that’s not the point we’re discussing.
Regardless of what your individual beliefs about sexuality are, and whether they comport with other factions within the umbrella we conveniently call Christianity, there are many people out there who have sexual hangups, often leading to dysfunction in their relationships, that can be directly and almost irrefutably tied to their religious upbringing. You’re a pastor. You must have seen it in your travels among your various flocks over the years? You know that there are criminals in prison for various sexual crimes who committed those crimes partially or wholly affected by their upbringing, and in many cases that upbringing was religious in tone and fact. I would think you’d have a hard time denying that.
Does that mean that individuals could not have sexual dysfunctions that stem from other religious upbringing (Islam comes to mind) or even an atheist upbringing? No, I’m sure one could find examples of the latter. But with the prevalence of religion, the odds are that there is more religiously based sexual dysfunction in the world that the latter.
By the way, Dwight, it’s nice to see you here. Are you trying to fulfill the first of your “10 things Christians must do now”?
If so, I like that. Practice what you preach, I always say.
Hi John. I wouldn’t call what is being said here in regard to sexual conduct as “lies” as much as misinformation and a result of “lumpism” as referred to in number three. Of course I’m not sure why I should bother because there is no possibility of prevailing in an argument where my beliefs are lumped in with Roman Catholics and others. I cannot (and don’t even want to) rise to their defense. I guess my comments are more of a “vent” than an attempts to persuade leopards to change their spots.
And the chief hypocrite now admits that he lied in response to John King’s question at the debate.
Personally I find it easier to sleep with other married women than with single women, because single ladies after awhile aren’t content with being the ‘other woman’ and start expecting me to dump my wife. As if! Married women on the other hand, they’re just looking for sex too and don’t expect any actual commitment from me. It’s what I call a win/win situation.
Yes, there is a nice symmetry to having married men sleep with other married women, and vice versa. Sort of the adult ‘friends with benefits’ thing the younger generation does. The downside is discovery by the cuckolded spouse, but life is full of cheap thrills. You get ’em where you can. 😉
The best is when they’re a couple of months pregnant, so you don’t have to worry about any accidents.
You are truly evil…I like that in a person.
This post started off with a really gross picture followed by a photo of two snails having sex.
Exactly the way I planned it too. 😉
I was wondering if there was any literature that supported the religion/sexual dysfunction link. I found a few:
1. Social and cultural issues may also be contributing factors to FSD. Some cultures teach young women that sex is only for procreation, that sex is not to be enjoyed, or that the most important thing in a sexual encounter is pleasing the partner at her expense. Such issues are paramount in male-centric cultures. Religious upbringing may also influence attitudes toward sex and possibly lead to a psychogenic problem or other issues, such as lack of use of birth control measures by Catholics. Guilt related to diversion from literal religious teachings can exacerbate sexual dysfunctions. Evaluating a woman’s sexual education, religious beliefs, family values, and societal taboos can help determine the root of the dysfunction.
2. Here is someone’s opinion.
3. Patients with strong religious beliefs and practices do present with sexual problems. Awareness of the belief system and teachings of the particular religion regarding sexual behavior is essential to be able to provide optimal care for these individuals and to reduce barriers that could prevent problem resolution. By following the 4 principles outlined in this article, health care providers can offer respectful, useful advice that allows patients to operate within the constructs of their religion. For providers with general practices, it is always useful to have a set of referral options for more complicated cases or those that are beyond the scope of their skill set.
These were on the first page of a simple Google search. There were a lot more.
Plus, think of all the guilt Catholics feel when they masturbate!
Venting’s OK. I do it a lot here. Feel free.
As for lumping, well, you may have a myopic view of your beliefs in the grand scheme of things. You are a Christian. Not sure what version or flavor (feel free to tell me) but in many senses, in fact most, with the exception of some theological hair splitting, you believe the same things that just about every person who calls himself a Christian believes, in some degree or another. At least from the viewpoint of those of us outside looking in.
You read and ascribe to essentially the same scripture. The core beliefs as contained in that scripture are essentially the same from sect to sect (Catholic and Protestant alike). Correct me if I’m wrong, but you believe Jesus existed, that he was divine, and that he was the Son of God, sent here to save us from our so-called sins. He did that by getting himself crucified, and then rising from the dead to rejoin Dad. He performed miracles while he was here, including that Resurrection. I think even Mormons believe all that stuff, and I know that Catholics do.
But back to the issue at hand, from we non-Christian’s point of view (as I said, outside looking in) most Christians (not all, mind you, so don’t feel like you’re being lumped in here) seem to have this obsessive fixation on matters of the crotch.To listen to our Republican campaigners, especially Santorum (I know, another Catholic) that’s the only issue worth talking about when it comes to religion. Forget saving souls, forget dying in a state of grace, forget good works while here on earth, but dammit, you better not have sex with anyone other that your opposite sex spouse.
If the effect of one’s morality here on earth is to be decided after death at the entrance to the pearly gates, in a private conversation with God, why all the legislating and opprobrium-flinging down here on Earth?
It makes no sense to this (highly moral otherwise) non-Christian.
And, for further reading on the subject, there’s a new book out, just published Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality. I have not read it, but I’ll try to.
I agree with you on so many points here…especially the obsessive fixations on sexuality with no apparent problem with lying. I’m just a follower of Christ. What people believe or think he (as well as his messengers) said is important to me…not the crud that has been slathered on through the centuries. If someone says that Jesus or his apostles said or did this or that…if it isn’t true then I will take issue with it. Jesus emphasized the necessity for believers to do the will of God in every aspect of life…not just sex. Why screwing around is any worse than rank hypocrisy, greed, arrogance and lying is a mystery to me. What a pitiful bunch of candidates (with the possible exception of Ron Paul)!
Thank you. It’s nice to see we agree on some things. There’s hope for the world after all. 😉
The one thing I admire about Ron Paul is his tenacity and unwavering adhesion to his principles. He doesn’t appear to presume that his audience is stupid, and adjust his message to suit whoever he’s talking to. He believes what he believes and has no fear about repeating it to whoever he’s talking to, even if he knows they’ll disagree. I do disagree with him in most regards, and won’t vote for him in an election against Obama, though I don’t think he has much of a chance of getting that far.
The rest of the Republican candidates are simply pathetic. Santorum is clearly delusional. He needs meds to suppress the voices. It’s clear that the GOP has given up on this election, holding their real candidates for the 2016 elections. By that time, hopefully, Obama will have at least two more Supreme Court appointees.
If a Republican is elected this year, I’m looking for real estate in Sweden or Australia. Hope I can afford it. I’m too young to retire. 😉
That’s not to say that I think Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread – he’s not. I’m severely disappointed in many aspects of his first term, probably more that I’m happy with. But compared to the alternatives…well, it’s always relative.
Well, I used to live in Australia and would like to live there still…great people…fantastic land. However, they have their problems as well. In fact, they are a good example of what secular cultures can be like…both for good and for bad. Unfortunately, they won’t let me move back to stay…too old.
I’m glad to see Ron Paul hanging in there until the end. The fact that he has gotten as far as he has should send a message (but I’m not holding my breath). He will get my vote.
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