Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rejoice with the wife of thy youth...

I was supposed to go into Kalamata today, to investigate the huge open air market they have on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I also wanted to buy some shoes.

Anyone who has seen my shoe collection is rolling their eyes. "Need" is surely an exaggeration, they are thinking.

Well, perhaps - but I would feel much better if I had a nice pair of comfortable, yet stylish flats at my disposal. I quite possibly should have packed a pair in place of one - of the three - pairs of heels I crammed into my already bursting suitcases. Oh well.

Hindsight and all that.

However, my shopping plans were ruined.

I woke up this morning with a pounding head, and when I got out of bed I kind of almost passed out. I found a wall before I hit the floor, and slid down it, which prevented me from busting my head open or breaking something. Which is good; but it did nix my goal of boarding the early morning bus.

With visions of knocking myself out and being eaten alive by spiders before I regain consciousness, I begin to reflect on the fact that the Bible should be paid more attention to. Man, as it says, is not meant to be alone. Small nuggets like that are invaluable.

Instead of shopping my head off, I ended up hopping around the internet reading a few articles. I came across this one, by Naomi Wolf, who I really like. She does her research, is honest about it, and writes really well.

I was first exposed to her a few years ago, when I read her book Misconceptions, which is a minutely researched book detailing the various erroneous practices in Maternal and Obstetrical care rampant in today's modern world.

I have no idea how I got a hold of it; all I know is that I was equally parts fascinated, disgusted, and traumatized. But don't let that deter you: it is immensely well written and eyeopening. Two things a book should be, if at all possible.

Today I came across an article by the very same Ms. Wolf, and I had to read it twice, so I think you should at least read it once.

Something to whet your palate:

I am not advocating a return to the days of hiding female sexuality, but I am noting that the power and charge of sex are maintained when there is some sacredness to it, when it is not on tap all the time. In many more traditional cultures, it is not prudery that leads them to discourage men from looking at pornography. It is, rather, because these cultures understand male sexuality and what it takes to keep men and women turned on to one another over time—to help men, in particular, to, as the Old Testament puts it, “rejoice with the wife of thy youth; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times.” These cultures urge men not to look at porn because they know that a powerful erotic bond between parents is a key element of a strong family.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I thought I reposted this? I accidentally used my old gmail address to comment here. Anyway, repost:

    I like the line "The reason to turn off the porn might become, to thoughtful people, not a moral one but, in a way, a physical- and emotional-health one." I've run across the idea before. It reminded me of this TED talk I saw over the summer: Philip Zimbardo: The Demise of Guys?

    I can't yet commit to agreement with Zimbardo on the fundamental cause of this unfortunate drift. For example, maybe porn viewing and video game use are born from and feed the drift, but they are not necessarily a chief cause.

    I think arousal addiction is the most interesting. It applies to more in life than just what is sexual, and it might suggest there is a more essential disorder present. One of my favorite quotes by Flannery O'Connor: "sentimentality is the pornography of the soul." Ralph C. Warner elaborates on that insight, "There is a secret link between sentimentality and pornography. The former undermines faith and the latter destroys art. They are both shortcuts to emotional fulfillment, bypassing the hard moral and spiritual obstacles scattered along the road to truth." My old literature professor, using this reasoning, likened pornography to the stereotypically showy, charismatic church services. Consider the the overt glamour of the faith healer.

    Once you leave something sentimental and return to reality, you can't help but feel disillusioned and short-changed (even if reality is what is more fulfilling in the end). I'm pessimistic about the transition from all things excessively sentimental back to reality for our culture.

    I'm glad Wolf brought up eros. I find to to be an especially illuminating term.

    I miss having good people to talk with, Mary. Clearly.