Women: Show it for Sex or Money. But That's All!

For those of you who don't follow Panthea on Facebook, I want to post this here as well.

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In reference to this story here.

Seriously? The fact that this is at all news makes me want to scream. Second... women should not be objectified period - no matter if they're pregnant or not. BUT! The fact that anyone feels a pregnant woman should cover up (or try not to b
e *too* sexy - whatever that means) but it's okay for women who are 5'10" and 115 lbs with huge breasts to be flaunted all over magazines, billboards, the mall, etc. baffles my mind.

So a woman who is seen as purely a sex object is acceptable but a woman who is seen to own her power as a mother (as a woman!) is not? This goes right back to the public breast feeding debate. People are fine with women flaunting themselves and shaking it for sexual reasons but using their bodies for what they were actually intended is threatening.

It's about power ladies! So long as we remain sex objects we are just things for someone to covet, possess, and control! We give someone else the power when we believe our bodies (and our spirits for that matter) are only intended to entice and excite. Your value is not in your sex appeal - especially not the manufactured, mass produced, vapid, void of love, Victoria's Secret kind that only 5% of the female population could even possibly live up to.

The Goddess is calling on all of us as individuals to wake up. So long as woman is the property of our mass delusions of sexuality SHE can never be fully realized. And She is beckoning us to see Her face in ours, see Her love within us, to see ourselves as whole women - as Goddess! Hear the call and be truly free.

The Year of the Paradigm Shift

While it's not yet over, and I'm eager to see how it comes to close, 2012 has been a huge year of realization for me. I'm calling it the year of the paradigm shift. Perhaps this is what the Mayans were talking about in their grand prophecy about an end to the world as we know it and a shift in consciousness. Or maybe it's just me getting older.

This journey of life is a constant one with ups, downs, and more subtle plateaus. But for now, I'm at a place that feels like I have a better understanding of things. It probably sounds kind of vague, but I have to imagine if you've been a spiritual seeker though life, that you know what I mean. We all tend to face little crises of faith every now and then which inevitably makes us stronger, better, and more clear as we come out the other side. Though these times are often painful or dark, we are then reborn with our eyes more wide open.

I think these sometimes painful shifts in thought are usually the result of what some call "shadow work". Though we may not know that's what we're doing at the time, they seem to always be brought on by a form of inner turmoil; perhaps issues we've fooled ourselves into thinking we've already made peace with that have actually just taken firmer root within and been hidden away by the ways we pacify ourselves in the material world. The Goddess within has her own plan to lead us towards happiness and genuine inner peace - not just cheap substitutes for it. And sometimes that means we have to struggle to listen to her voice. 

So as this year winds down, I'm at a place where my own suffering has lessened and my eyes are now more open to the suffering of others. This is the first step of course. Love your true self - the essence of which is divine, pure love - and your heart grows so that you have more room within to love others. That selfless mindset in which we live in the most conscious, ego-free way possible, is what leads to true happiness. But this is not about morals or right and wrong. It's only a question of realizing what leads to happiness and what leads to suffering.  Define that and be responsible to it - striving for the happiness and love that all human beings desire within their spirits, and there is no need for dogma.

I have vowed to do my best not to contribute to the suffering of others by breaking free of habits and social conventions that perpetuate it. I will no longer go with the crowd and turn a blind eye to the consequences of mass unconsciousness. Or at least I will do my best. After all, even the Dalai Lama gets angry sometimes. ;)

I am grateful for all the turmoil that led to my eyes and heart being more open. I know more peace and love than ever before.

Happy holidays and a Blessed New Year.

The Goal of Thean Practice



What is the primary goal of all people? Quite simply, we all wish to be happy. In order to do this we must first become at peace with our internal and external worlds. But the reality of our external world is completely dependent on the reality of our internal world. Therefore, the place to begin our search for happiness is always within.

In modern Earth spirituality there are the axioms of “as above so below” and “as within so without”. However, these are not strictly modern ideas and certainly do not originate with Neo-pagan ideologies. Instead they come down from a long history of mythology and are some of the first concepts taught by the ancient stories of the Goddess. These ideas tell us through allegory and metaphor that the outside, or material world will never bring us to our goal so long as we neglect the nature of our own suffering. As modern Goddess worshipper, Doreen Valiente said in the Charge of the Goddess “Know that the seeking and yearning shall avail you not, if you know not the mystery. For if that which you seek you find not within, you will never find it without.”

So what is the mystery? What is the Goddess trying to say when she tells us to look within? The rest of the stanza says “For I have been with you since the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.” When the Goddess says she has always been with us could she in fact be saying she IS us? Could she be illustrating the reality that we are divine and always worthy? Is she telling us to look within and find love and wholeness? Might this be an illustration of the necessity of self love?

So how do we achieve the goal of happiness through self love? One of the first concepts to think about is what Buddhists call unwholesomeness – unwholesome thoughts and actions. First let’s define unwholesome.

When we examine the word unwholesome we can see that it quite literally can be interpreted as that which makes us not whole. This can be applied to being not whole individually and as not being part of the greater whole illustrated by the concept of oneness. To be not whole is not good for us and does not allow us to actualize self love thereby cutting off our connection to the universal oneness that is the ultimate reality of existence. And as illustrated in the First Natural Law, oneness and an intimate connection is what human beings (consciously or unconsciously) always seek.

When we are thoughtful it is easy to see that unwholesomeness is not a question of morality but pertains to our own personal well being. Some actions that may appear selfish are in fact not self serving at all. Instead they are harmful to our search for inner peace, especially if they cause us to judge ourselves. We should not feel shame or guilt for unwholesomeness, but have compassion for ourselves and strive to remove the negative afflictions of our lives. The emotions of guilt and shame could also be considered unwholesome.

Let’s look at an example. When we feel angry there may be a tendency to feel justified in that anger and we might think that the anger is directed at another person and will not harm us. In reality, the anger we feel most specifically causes harm to ourselves. It brings us suffering and inner turmoil with an intensity that will most often never touch the source of our anger. But instead of feeling shame for this anger, we should seek to understand it so that we may have conscious control over our emotions and actions instead of being controlled by them.

Unwholesomeness is anything that creates separation and perpetuates suffering. It is not about morality or a black and white distinction between right and wrong. There should be no judgment and no shame when reconciling unwholesome thoughts and actions; only compassion that brings understanding, peace, and ultimate happiness.  

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there..." - Rumi

The Thean Eightfold Path

The purpose of the Thean Eightfold Path is to encourage practices and ways of thought that promote happiness and peace in the practitioner thus creating a happier and more peaceful world in general. These are not step by step instructions, but may instead be seem as concepts that work interdependently with each other in a cycle of practice that is ongoing and has no beginning and no end.






The Maiden

Freedom from Ignorance and Delusions
It is important to know yourself and the true nature of existence through the practices of self reflection and non-judgment. You must know yourself void of judgment, cultural delusion, and unwholesomeness before you can achieve awareness.

Self Responsibility
We must accept that our thoughts and actions create change. We are ultimately in control of our own lives and what we become. We must also understand that creating peace and happiness within our own souls removes suffering and betters our world.

The Mother

Love and Compassion
It is of primary importance that we strive to cultivate self love in order to truly love others and spread compassion through the Universe. We can cultivate love and compassion better once we are free from delusions and judgment and then learn to accept and understand the nature of humanity through the Four Natural Truths. Then we can strive to remove negative and unwholesome thoughts and emotions towards ourselves and others.

Service to Others
It is important to realize that a life lived in service to others is most rewarding and creates in our souls self worth, purpose, and true connection. Selfish endeavors only bring suffering to ourselves and others. We must always make an effort to be generous in spirit. 

The Crone

Transformation of Illusions
Our world is full of illusion. Impermanence, emptiness, and oneness are realities to be pondered, accepted, and ultimately understood. We should also strive to remove unwholesomeness from our minds. What is unwholesome can be characterized by anything that creates separation and prevents the intimate connection required for humanity’s wholeness and happiness as described in the Four Natural Truths.

Meditation and Mindfulness
There is no past and no future. There is only the present in which we can transform, connect, and simply be. Mindfulness and meditation are the tools we utilize to actualize the lessons of the Dharma of the Goddess.

All Goddess

Understanding and Acknowledging Oneness
We are all connected as part of the ever becoming Universe. We can use meditation and connection with the natural world as a tool to understand this concept in totality. We are all divine and wholly human; perfectly imperfect as we are. But, who we are, how we behave and how we affect relationships with others can change the world for better or worse.

Responsibility of Oneness
We must first do no harm while living in balance with nature. It is our birthright and our responsibility to walk gently upon the earth and do our best to care for her creatures. It is also our birthright and our responsibility to pursue spiritual enlightenment so that we may strive to heal our spirits in order to heal others and find the intimate connection all people require for happiness and an end to suffering.

The Fourth Natural Truth



Human beings have a deep desire to create and search for meaning.

Here is where everything is tied together. When we create and seek meaning, whether it be in art, music, architecture, scholarly knowledge, or scientific discovery, we are in essence circumventing our conditioning and biology referred to in the second and third Natural Truths to seek the intimate connection spoken of in the first. Though we don’t often realize it, self expression and exploration are tools humans use to facilitate our deepest desire for intimacy.

You could say creating is a way to solve the problem of the exterior conditions of existence and get straight to the core of being human. Learning or seeking meaning serves the same purpose of connection when understanding is created in our minds and we gain something new. It is the way we find significance within ourselves by creating or looking for something we assume is exterior.

In the act of creation we can effectively explore inner space in a way that is comfortable and non-threatening to our own ego and present something of our deeper selves that can be widely accepted by us and by others. We can say “this is of me and isn’t it beautiful” even though, if we have yet to love ourselves, we may not find much beauty within us at all. Through creating we express a desire for self-acceptance and self-love without even being conscious of it.

When we search for knowledge we are also exploring our inner selves in a safe way. We are pursuing the depths of our own minds, pushing our limits, and connecting with something we perceive as bigger and better which in turn makes us feel more worthy or more valuable. Again, through this search we express a greater desire for self-love.

We must use these gifts to our advantage and realize that through the acts of creating and learning we are expressing our deep desire to connect and grow spiritually. By utilizing and nurturing these very specifically human endowments we can achieve those desires more readily.

When human beings create and quest for meaning they self-actualize and connect to the greater oneness of the Universe. If we could develop this gift with mindfulness, with an understanding of what it is and why we do it, we can move closer to actualizing our true human potential.

The Third Natural Truth



Human beings are not controlled by instincts.

A lot of clout is given to the idea that human beings are merely animals and the product of their evolutionary makeup or barely understood brain wiring. It seems the public grabs onto these ideas with both hands, allowing their lives to be defined by what they believe is their innate and uncontrollable nature.

But the reality is that having minds that allow us to overcome or contradict what some might call instinct is at the core of what it means to be human. While other animals have been shown to make choices, we are the only animals that have the capacity for rational thought that truly gives us free will. We are unique in that we are not simply a product of biological forces, but also of an extremely powerful force of mind.

According to Joanne Naiman in How Societies Work (Thompson Publishers, 2004) instinct is defined as "an inborn complex pattern of behavior that must exist in every member of the species and, because it is embedded in the genetic code, cannot be overcome by force of will. It should be distinguished from a reflex which is a simple response of an organism to a specific stimulus, such as the contraction of the pupil in response to bright light or the spasmodic movement of the lower leg when the knee is tapped. Instincts, in contrast, are complex sequential stimulus-response patterns; such behaviors are readily identified in non-human animals".

Because human beings vary so greatly in behavior, it’s hard to believe we truly have instincts in the scientific sense of the term. However, the fact remains that we are indeed influenced by biological forces or drives. But, because these are not true instincts, they can be bent by sheer will. Not all women want children and thus overpower any sense of a maternal instinct. Some people decide to end their own lives which then negates the idea of universal human survival instincts.

So why are people so eager to be instinctual animals? Perhaps the biggest reason is because it allows them to avoid personally responsibility. It is much easier to shrug our shoulders and say we’re just animals and take no control over our lives. This idea removes the need for self awareness, self improvement, and spiritual enlightenment. And in doing so we are settling for being less than human.

To take a deep, long look at ourselves and who we really are takes extreme courage. And no one said it was supposed to be an easy undertaking. It is understandable to feel tempted to sink into the box of “unwitting human animal” so we don’t have to see that we are the ones controlling how we succeed or fail and who we have become. However, this way of living and thinking will never lead to happiness, wholeness, or an enlightened state of mind.

In summation, biology is not an excuse for behavior that may cause suffering. No one is a helpless slave to their drives. We are always in control. The trick (and where the real hard work comes in) is to be aware of that control, to take the reins of our lives with both hands and create of ourselves a fully actualized human being. 

The Second Natural Truth


 Human beings are subject to their environment and cultural conditioning.

Who are we? What makes us into the person we are today? Are we the product of the society we live in? Are we simply the conglomerate of body and brain? What is the nature of our true being?

We must learn to differentiate between what is learned and what is innate about being human. This is perhaps one of the first steps towards becoming self-aware (for lack of better terminology). But this is no easy task. From the time we are children, we are taught what is expected of us. We learn about our place in the world, what we are supposed to do with our time, and who we are supposed to grow into. Little thought is given to simply being. We are taught we must do and become something more, something better.

We are also taught what it means to be male and female and how the sexes are meant to interact with one another. But these are societal constructs created in a world that pays no mind to what the words masculine and feminine actually mean or how they translate on a spiritual level. So we must work to see these ideas not as universal truths but as inventions of our culture.

We should not allow ourselves to be defined by our successes or material possessions any more than we should be defined by our failings and mistakes. We should also not be defined by our appearances and our perceptions of exterior beauties and imperfections. We are not better or worse than anyone else, no matter how much we may gain or lose throughout our lifetime(s). None of that changes what it truly means to be a human being.

In short, you are not the car you drive or the money you make and you are not a man or a woman because someone else says you meet certain criteria. You are a person, a whole human being. And you get to define who you are by loving yourself truly and completely as part of the greater universal, always-becoming, creation.

The First Natural Truth



Human beings are intensely emotional creatures that require intimate bonds.

It has been observed in modern medical science that when a child is born and does not form an intimate, touch-based bond with a caregiver, that child may wither and die even when they are fed and cared for on a basic level. I am not sure there is a better illustration of the human need for intimacy. It is almost as though when we feel we have no connection, no bond with another, we believe we are not meant for this world and soon leave it. 

The Buddha taught that what we think of as “self” is merely a delusion that does not exist interdependently without the unending becoming of the Universe. However, much is made in our society about being independent and not needing other people. This is a focus on self that does not actually nurture what it means to be human. Perhaps this is because we are unable to accept that other people may invariably let us down at one time or another. We may become hurt and suffer great losses by needing other people. And so we build a hard shell and isolate our hearts from the eyes of others.

It is certainly possible to exist without real connections with other people – if that can indeed be called existing. We can spend time with others physically and feel as though we are not alone for a time. We may even surround ourselves with animals that make us feel connected and unconditionally accepted. But deep within there remains a void where true emotional connection should be. This may lead us to seek intimacy in less than healthy ways with substances or unwholesome physical pursuits.

In order to allow ourselves to be truly intimate we must first be able to love ourselves. We must understand that while we strive to be our best, we must also accept our own failings. It is important to see ourselves as good enough and full of the innate human potential needed to achieve all things. We must be willing to be vulnerable, to fall down, to make mistakes, and to love ourselves despite of and because of those human frailties. I believe it was Thich Nhat Han who said “The moment you start loving yourself is the moment you cease to create suffering in the world.”

Once we love ourselves we can truly begin to love others. We can understand that those we love do not work to let us down and that their world and their suffering is not all about us. They have their own anguish and may be so wrapped up in it that they can’t even see the harm they cause because of it. We must have compassion for them and help them to have compassion for themselves until they can truly love themselves as we love them.

Imagine if all people approached relationships in this way. Then the world would be full of those who loved themselves and thus were truly able to love others. This in turn helps others love themselves and so on in a beautiful cycle of love and compassion.

The Four Natural Truths


I am planning on elaborating on these ideas in the very near future, but I thought I'd post these first nuggets here as food for thought while I ponder the deeper meanings and spiritual significances. Note: Links will be added to individual posts on each of the Four Natural Truths as these concepts are expanded on.

I have focused exclusively on the nature of being human because these ideas are meant to be utilized for spiritual purposes that impact the human mind-soul connection which is where true spiritual work and the pursuit of enlightenment must begin. Please feel free to comment and get a conversation started.

1. Human beings are intensely emotional creatures that require intimate bonds.

2. Human beings are subject to their environment and cultural conditioning.

3. Human beings are not controlled by instincts.

4. Human beings have a deep desire to create and search for meaning.

Theanism: Beginnings and Buddhism Comparison

Theanism can be loosely characterized as a combination of Nature Based, Goddess religion and the spiritual practices commonly found in traditional Eastern faiths such as Buddhism. In fact, if I had to pick a modern, main stream religion that most closely illustrates what I believe are the lessons of the Goddess, it would have to be Buddhism. I believe the Goddess is shown in the practices of loving compassion, meditation, inner reflection, peaceful living, etc. But, because Buddhism seems, in my opinion, to avoid embracing the nature of being human, since enlightenment appears only attainable to monks and nuns who forgo “earthly” lives, it is an incomplete concept of Goddess Religion - which I believe encourages a kind of graceful hedonism.

Still the teachings of the Buddha are the closest example and so I have chosen to begin defining Theanism through the framework of Buddhist teachings beginning with the Four Noble Truths. Please keep in mind this is an exercise in defining core beliefs and organizing thoughts for me. I often find putting my beliefs and thoughts into words a bit challenging. This is where I decided to begin and nothing that flowed onto the screen has yet been edited.


First Noble Truth: Life means suffering.

“To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.” (http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html)

Perhaps it is important to accept suffering as part of life. Without it would we truly know what happiness or joy felt like? Without darkness how do we define light? Suffering brings with it lessons for this life and those that follow and may in fact lend a more acute insight into the nature of existence and eventually bring us closer to enlightenment. However, recognizing the lessons of suffering are not always easy.

This does not mean we shouldn’t strive to remove suffering from our lives. After all, isn’t happiness the prime goal of all people? Doesn’t everyone work towards happiness? But the clincher here is that happiness does not come from the outside world and the Goddess teaches us as much. Happiness must come from within. No matter what you’re looking for, if you’re filling the void in your heart with material things and shallow endeavors, happiness will always escape you. “Know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not if you know not the mystery. For if that which you seek you find not within, you will never find it without.”


Second Noble Truth: The origin of suffering is attachment.

“The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardor, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.”
(http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html)

This is where I see some of the biggest conflicts in comparing Buddhism with Goddess religion. I believe in the idea of impermanence but I don’t think it is beneficial to a human being to avoid the emotions that come from attachment to others and relationships. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have a great love that teaches you about your soul, gifts you with intimacy and peace, and adds joy to your life or never know a love like that as long as you live? What if you could only have that love for 20 years? Would you still want it? Even if you knew you would suffer the loss of it? Of course you would. Everyone would. So, allowing yourself to be attached to something (in an obviously healthy way) can not only add to your quality of life but also teach you important lessons that can make you a better person. However, material things and vapid pursuits of greed or power will never make us happy and will inevitably cause suffering to ourselves and to others.

Those of us who don’t choose a monastic lifestyle will most likely get married, have children, and live a life filled with various relationships. Should we avoid feeling the intense emotions brought on by interactions with others? Should we remain detached from others because they are impermanent? Would our lives be as full and happy as they could be if we did?

I believe the Goddess teaches more of a “middle way” approach to the idea of attachment. It is good and wonderful to love with all your heart, to not be afraid that suffering may appear if your love is lost, and to feel all the emotions that comes naturally to us as human beings. Love, feel, cry, heal. This is being human. To not be passionate about anything in your life is to not have lived at all. But these passions must not be allowed to control us or lead us down paths that will cause suffering. We must always accept the nature of impermanence as an inevitable reality.


Third Noble Truth: The cessation of suffering is attainable.


“The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.” (http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html)

The first thing that comes to mind here is what I’ve basically been saying about the other two Noble Truths. In order to have joy, perhaps some amount of suffering is necessary and should be accepted as such. If all things are subject to impermanence, then suffering is also temporary. While I am not proposing we walk intentionally into suffering, I am saying it may be at times a fair trade off for true happiness – permanent or not. And the word “dispassion” actually makes me shudder. If we are not to feel passion, love, joy, and the losses that come with those feelings, we may as well not exist at all. Passion should be embraced not destroyed because we want to avoid suffering.

Fourth Noble Truth: The path to the cessation of suffering.

“There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.” (http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html)

Ah, and now it all comes together to basically sum up my entire argument. The “middle way” between two extremes is what I refer to when I say Goddess teaches a sort of graceful hedonism. She tells us to live completely, to love passionately, and endure suffering so that we might learn from our existence. To enjoy food is healthy. Gluttony is dangerous. To love someone selflessly and desire their company, both mentally and physically, leads to joy and happiness. But selfish love or love taken for granted, serves no purpose other than suffering. So basically, being a graceful hedonist means to enjoy life and earthly pleasures to the fullest without causing harm to yourself or others. We’ll talk more about some of these ideas as we venture on into the Eightfold Path of the Buddha.

Happy High Spring!



And their immortal flesh stirred a white foam
around them, and in it grew a girl. At first
it floated to the holy Cythera, and from there
it came to Cyprus, circled by waves. And there
came forth a goddess, beautiful and feared,
and grass grew up beneath her delicate feet.
Her name is Aphrodite among men and gods
because she grew up in the foam.

Aphrodite is then the daughter of Heaven and Sea – the original mother goddess in many traditions – and the first fruit of the separation of Heaven and Earth, carrying as her birthright, as it were, the memory of their union. By imagining Aphrodite at the very beginning of the process of creation when Heaven and Earth are parted (…) love is drawn in the greater perspective of humanity’s longing for the whole. Aphrodite is no longer the one Great Mother Goddess who is the origin of all things, but, as daughter of the sea, she is the child of the beginning. Consequently, she is the figure who, in the likeness of the original goddess, brings back together the separate forms of her creation. In this sense Aphrodite is “born” when people joyfully remember, as a distinct and sacred reality, the bonds that exist between human beings and animals and, indeed, the whole of nature. The myth proposes that this happens through love. Union is then reunion, for love that begets life resounds with the mystery of life itself.

Myth of the Goddess by Cashford and Baring, page 353

See This Film and Share it - "Miss Representation"

http://www.missrepresentation.org/

Intimacy as a Primary Human Instinct


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6338751.stm

As a society we prioritize sexuality over intimacy and commitment. A lot of that has to do with how relationships are portrayed and people are objectified in the media. And almost all of our mainstream media is unbalanced without a significant female presence.

I am not a fan of the idea that men are somehow wired to be unfaithful or objectify women. Most of the "studies" done in this area too often take social conditioning out of the equation and that’s just bad science. The fact that people are products of nature and nurture, and are extremely adaptive creatures, can’t be overlooked. We've also just barely touched the surface when it comes to mapping the brain and its wiring, so conclusions based on neuroscience alone can be considered circumstantial at best.

I would like to think that a man in a fulfilling relationship, one that has a combination of deep love and good, emotionally charged sex, (which are both equally important in a long term relationship) isn't sizing up every woman he sees as a prospective bed-mate. And if he is, it's not because it's hardwired. At least not entirely. It's because he's been programmed to objectify women and automatically see them as sex objects throughout the course of his life. One of his baser instincts has been perverted and exploited, most likely for profit. And it works, putting money in the pockets of everyone but him. Let’s remember there is a half naked woman on just about every billboard selling beer, bras, jeans, cologne, or whatever advertisers can make the public feel insecure about this week.

Various male-only activities often thought of as harmless in our modern culture like leering and cat-calling, porn use, and strip clubs are a big part of this social conditioning. These things are a way for men to show their “man card” to each other and be able to share some modicum of intimacy without homophobia coming into play. And why is that? Because our men are taught from very early on and often in subtle ways that real men aren’t emotional and in fact that emotions are a threat to masculinity. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth and not being in touch with the very things that make men human (and not just instinct fueled animals) may be the biggest cause of relationship strife, infidelity, and overall misery. 

One of the favorite phrases I often read in reference to male sexuality is that “guys need sex like they need food and water”. Well I argue that this is true for the bulk of humanity. People in general need sex, but not for the empty, vacant reasons we're taught to accept. Sex without intimacy just leaves you lonely and wandering for more. You might have scratched that physical itch, but the emotional scab is still there and seeping pus all over your good shirt. No amount of shallow sex will genuinely make a human being happy for very long. At least no human being who is the least bit self aware.

And as for women (speaking as a woman and from my experiences with other women) we tend to be quite fond of sex. In fact, some people have argued that women are the more sexual creature compared to men. I might agree being that we can quite literally be insatiable and ready for more just moments after while men are limited by their refractory period

But then why is there the stereotype that women don't want or like sex as much as men? I'd bet most women probably do want sex. But good sex. And lots of it. And not with the schmucks lying next to them who only pay attention long enough to cop a feel and beg for a quickie. Women want to be wanted and loved for who they are, not the size of their breasts. They want their partner's attention and genuine affection. They want to feel precious and treasured. But many men can't do that because they don't know how. And now we’re back to men being socially programmed to see women as little more than sex objects and we can see where this vicious cycle will take us. 

The bad news is this way of thinking is learned and perpetuated by young culture in colleges and bars all over the world and in the media. Women buy into it just as much, if not more, than men. We buy products to make us look like models, beat ourselves up for not being perfect, and flash our breasts to get the attention we so deeply crave that will somehow validate (at least momentarily) that we are good enough. It's like a scourge that comes just before an apocalypse. The good news: if it was learned, it can be unlearned. 

Vapid pseudo-scientists who suppose to sum up human sexuality without taking all of the expressly human factors into consideration are missing the big picture. Quite plainly, people need emotional intimacy and that intimacy is created and reinforced through physical human contact. In fact, intimacy is one of the first things our brains are wired for. Newborns who do not create an intimate touch-based bond with a caregiver often fall ill and sometimes die. Even with adequate care and feeding. This tells us that love and the feeling of being loved is essential for life itself; that without it we can literally wither away and die even when all of our other needs are met. No one ever died from not having sex. 

So sex alone is not a need that we must fill in order to survive. But intimacy and bonding are. Perhaps sex then serves a much grander purpose than procreation alone. It facilitates and strengthens the bonds of love and real emotional intimacy which appears to be crucial to our overall health and happiness. But when there is no love or intimacy in sex, it does not fulfill this need. Instead it tends to permeate our lives with sickness and unhappiness which forces us to seek intimacy elsewhere.

Obviously more than sex is required for a healthy, emotionally satisfying relationship. But when one man and one woman utilize sex for one of its original purposes as an intimate bonding activity that accentuates their emotional connection, both people can be healed of their suffering and truly be happy, healthy human adults. Isn't that worth a million meaningless sex partners and more?

The media and scientists looking to gain professional esteem (and sell books) by sensationalizing human sexuality would have us believe we're just sex crazed animals; slaves to our baser instincts that are hardwired to spread our genes and nothing more. This prevents us from ever really actualizing what is so amazing about being human in the first place and robs us of our true potential. We must always remember that we also have free will, rational minds, and complex emotions that allow us the capacity to love at enormously extreme levels. That love can change our lives, the world around us, and perhaps even the world at large. Find me another animal that can do that.

Being Thoughtful People


"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; you might want to rethink your constant access to porn in the same way that, if you want to be an athlete, you rethink your smoking. The evidence is in: Greater supply of the stimulant equals diminished capacity.

After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.

Other cultures know this. 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.

And feminists have misunderstood many of these prohibitions."

Woman, Rise Up


misogyny (n), describes the fear or hatred of women leading to the discrimination, oppression, and devaluing of women in systematic, institutional, and individual ways.

I think it's important to really think about the impact of misogyny on our society and reevaluate social structures in order to really see where women are being devalued. Look around your world and take notice of the misogyny that abounds. We've become dead to it, desensitized, and we think so much of it is just harmless good-natured fun.

Are women being treated as human beings when their wombs are being considered the property of the government as we're seeing in recent debates over birth control? Can women be seen as actualized, individual human beings when their bodies are imagined as little more than sex objects and incubators?

These attitudes begin and are fortified by how women are portrayed in society. We can no longer sit back and allow the nurturing, creating force of woman to be degraded for any reason. This force of love, tenderness, and sacrifice is a pivotal part of our community, of the raising of our children, and the shaping of our world.

It's time to stop and take a look around. It's time to stop giving in to society and being just bodies. It's time to bring back the sacredness of being a woman - of being a person - and stop being just the sum of our parts. Women, you are being called to rise up and have a voice. For your children and their children. Enough is enough. Demand a better world. Right now.

Look Ma, I've Grown


So I was perusing old posts earlier today and found one from 2007 - back when I was married to man who treated me like an object in a society where I was taught to accept it (and even excuse it) as part of normal male behavior. I felt that if I didn't accept this behavior it meant there was something wrong with me and that I would be dismissed for being "uptight" or "prude". He ended up cheating on me in the end.

Five years later, I'm happy to say that actually being loved and appreciated for more than my curvy figure, has made me do a complete 180 in my way of thinking. It's amazing to me that I could've thought this way and I'm even feeling a little ashamed by it. But I just didn't get it. I wasn't there yet because I had never honestly been cared for by a man as more than the sum of my parts. I thought that was normal. I had never even had sex where I was more than just the source of masturbatory friction for a guy to get his rocks off. Now I know better. Now, someone looks me in the eyes, says my name, and tells me I am loved and cherished beyond measure. And now I can see just how broken I used to be.

For nostalgia's sake and as an example of the growth I'm speaking of, I'll post the 2007 blog entry from "old me" below.


[This Might Piss You Off - 07.13.07]

I was reading Deborah Lipp's blog, Property of a Lady, the other day and found a post entitled Harassment in an Elevator.

At first I totally bought this article. I was like "Yeah, those guys suck. Society is screwed..." Then I took a shower and thought about it. I mean really thought about it. The conclusions I came up with were much different than my initial reaction.

Then, in the interest of getting all the facts, I wandered over to where the post originated from and saw some pictures. Firstly, I'm not saying this woman is not attractive but she certainly does not look like a stripper. I think it's the leotard. She looks more like a dancer. Strippers typically don't shop at the same places ballet dancers do. And the gloves or wristlets she's got on say "costume" for sure.

So, after gathering my facts and giving this some serious thought I now have a well formulated opinion. Or something like it. Below is the original article and below that is what I have to say about it. You can choose to only scroll half way if you're not interested in my thoughts.

Until, going to the bathrooms on the second floor alone**, I stepped into the elevator. It was filled with men who were all taller than me, and not wearing WisCon badges. They looked surprised and pleased as I got in. And I felt uneasy and self-conscious before I had time to think of why.

    “Well, hey, now,” one guy murmured. “Hey there.”

    “Yeah,” another chuckled.

    “Second floor, please,” I said.

    “Hey!” someone else said. “What’s going on on that floor?”

    “Costume party.”

    “Well, can we go?”

    They laughed appreciatively. I said “No.” And I got out.

    And that was it. They didn’t say anything foul, they certainly didn’t touch me, and it wasn’t even close to harassment by the standards of our society. So why was I shaky and scared and angry afterwards?

    Two things:

    1) At the costume ball, my clothing – fishnets, black leotard, blonde wig - was coded “superhero”. In the elevator, it was coded “stripper”.

    2) Everyone is conditioned to assess women primarily by how sexually attractive and/or available they appear to be. Making that assessment clear is normal. Vocalizing that assessment is normal. Blaming women for others harassing or abusing them based on how attractive they are or what they were wearing at the time is normal.

    If you’re gearing up to say something like “But nothing really bad happened!” or “Well, what did you expect?” or “Come on, weren’t you looking for attention?”, or “They were just being nice!”: don’t.

    I know that those men almost certainly meant me no harm; they probably thought expressing a wish to follow me to a party was a compliment. It is entirely possible that none of them have ever imagined being in an enclosed space with a group of big strangers eyeing you up and asking if they can come with you could be a frightening experience. Our culture is set up so that they’ve never had to.

    This and like incidents have happened to me, like many women, time and time again: strange men telling me to “smile!”; strange men shouting “Show us your tits!” as they drive past; strange men groping my breasts and ass in crowded train carriages.

    (Women also buy into the patriarchal imperative to judge women primarily by their physical appearance, and that is also extremely unpleasant. However, as it is far less likely that women will follow such assessment with rape or other violent crime, it is generally much less threatening when a woman says, “You look like a whore.”)

    If a woman doesn’t want to be viewed – for some weird reason - as a sex object, her choices are limited. She can be visibly angry or ignore harassment, in which case she is a FRIGID BITCH who can’t take a COMPLIMENT from NICE GUYS. Or she can be pleasant in an attempt to show them she’s actually a human being, in which case she may be ASKING FOR further “compliments” with her MIXED SIGNALS.

    Or she can stay at home.
    - Karen of Girls Read Comics (And They’re Pissed)

Now for my thoughts...err rant. Stop reading now if you suspect this might piss you off and you're not in the mood. :)

"I felt uneasy and self-conscious before I had time to think of why."

If you're uneasy and self-conscious why is that someone else's fault? I have been in this situation numerous times, and while being surrounded by a bunch of strange men can be somewhat intimidating, it doesn't have to be. Why not make it an empowering situation? At that moment they were admiring the woman walking into the elevator. She made a conscious choice to feel uneasy and nervous. She could have chosen to feel powerful and even beautiful.

Let's face it folks, we're animals. Animals are driven by instinct. Our instincts tell us to be attracted to someone or not. Men are easily attracted to a woman who appears to be fun, interesting, and yes clad in tight clothes. Remember that our ancestors didn't wear clothes. The body is a big turn on. Anyway, I digress.

Men (straight men) are hard wired to be attracted to women. It's just a biological fact. And thank goodness for it or there would be no people on this planet. It is this drive to reproduce (in conjunction with the natural nurturing qualities of women) that is responsible for the thriving human race. If we expect men to honor us for being what makes us women - bleeding, birthing, nursing, emotional-izing, multi-tasking, powerful women - then why shouldn't we honor them for what makes them men? Yes they are sex driven and yes most of them have the will power to control those desires. But they can't control the every-seven-minute sexual thoughts any more than we can control the blood that pours from our wombs.

Now, before I get the whip let me clarify that I do not believe women should should be seen or used as objects. But admiring a beautiful woman in an elevator is far from objectifying her.

My main point here: You can choose to feel powerful instead of weak. You can choose to be a gorgeous and confident woman who can wrap a man around her finger. Or you can choose to be a frightened little girl with confidence issues. There are thousands of women who would love to be shown a little (appropriate) attention by a bunch of men.

This leads me to another point.

"Everyone is conditioned to assess women primarily by how sexually attractive and/or available they appear to be."

No kidding. And women do the same thing with men. Are you going to go up and talk to the unattractive guy at the bar who looks like he might not have showered in a week or are you going to catch the eye of the hunky 6 foot guy with nice hair? Again, this is another biological instinct. We go for the people who appear to have the better genes or jeans.

American men could use some changing. This is very true. Mostly I think they should learn to be more cultured, less interested in football, and more vocal with their emotions without having their buddies question their sexuality. And absolutely many of them could learn to appreciate and honor women instead of objectifying them. Let's just keep things in perspective and remember that they are men - human - and they can't control their hormones any more than we can.

To close I am going to clarify a few things.

- There is a big difference between admiration and harassment.
- There is a big difference between attraction and objectification.
- There is a big difference between showing someone attention and raping them.
- There is a double standard for men that shouldn't be there. Men are Goddess too.
- There is a choice in everything.

Now bring on the flogging.

[/This Might Piss You Off - 07.13.07]

Porn as Misogynistic Ritual

"Misogyny is kept alive and well these days but pornography is the most obvious. Pornography is a ritual. It is one of the chief rituals of patriarchal control because it is so effective in teaching (and reaffirming) misogyny and a male-centered view of sex roles. We have touched on this before so we can brief here. Susan Griffin puts it best: "For above all, pornography is ritual. It is an enacted drama that is laden with meaning, which imparts of vision of the world. The altar for the ritual is a woman's body. And the ritual which is carried out on this altar is the desecration of the flesh. Here, what is sacred within the body is degraded." 


Pornography trashes what used to be venerated: procreation and female principles. Pornography degrades the very features of femaleness that once gave women status, power, and self-esteem. Through pornography, woman's genital - the source of life itself, the organs of procreation - are reduced to a "cunt". Through pornography, woman's breasts, which sustain infant life, the organs of nurturing are reduced to "tits". 


The chief purpose of pornography is to destroy the possibilities that femaleness can be seen with dignity, that femaleness can be power, that it has important status. Pornography reduces femaleness to erotic tidbits, to things for male sexual pleasure, to dismembered body parts. Pornography dismantles female wholeness, which is female being, identity, and self-esteem - the collective power of which would threaten the shape of the patriarchal order. Pornography, to put it bluntly, is the ritual that keeps women in their place on the ladder of being."

- An Unnatural Order by Jim Mason, page 267


Once upon a time I would've bought into the whole "porn is empowering" idea. I was essentially brainwashed to try to fit in with men or be dismissed as stupid and not worth listening to. I didn't realize it then, but I was seeing myself through a pornographic lens - that I was somehow empowering myself by being seen as merely a means to a sexual end. I had no idea that I shouldn't be seen as just the sum of my parts. I suppose as a young girl, male attention does make you feel powerful. At first. But when you wake up and realize just how much they don't care about you, you're left feeling utterly worthless and used.

It's been said that the "urges" that drive people to view pornography are naturally built into us in order to want to proliferate the species. By that rationale, porn serves some sort of natural purpose. But porn has nothing to do with procreation. And our urges are meant to do something much grander than make more people. They are meant to bring us together as individuals - to become one thing by participating in one of the most glorious things humans can experience together. We are meant to come together, bond, and love deeply. Because what's the point of making more people if we're not bringing them into the most complete and loving environment possible? Porn only drives a wedge between us, feeds loneliness, and keeps us from experiencing true intimacy with another human. So porn is not natural. Making love to another person is natural So let's stop making excuses for generations of poor social conditioning and give both genders the opportunity to become whole and happy.

I've posted this excerpt here because I felt it related well to a Goddess-view of the world and how we (men and women) as a collective voice must no longer stand for a degraded image of woman for woman is the embodiment of Goddess and everything She represents to ALL humans, both male and female. It is not sexually empowering. It's effects are harmful to our relationships, have negative impacts on our children, and is detrimental to our society as a whole.

Because I Believe in Love

So I started thinking that maybe some of you who read "Lap Dances and Other Lies" were thinking "why is this woman so interested in this stuff and what does this have to do with the Goddess?". Well I thought I'd explain.

I think relationships are pretty much one of the most important things in life. We need to be able to love and be loved as part of our life's purpose. That's what I believe the Goddess teaches us. I especially believe in the idea of soul mates, true love, etc. and I think people who come together, fall in love, and create a family need to realize that marriage and a great sex life takes effort just like anything else.

I recently had this crazy sort of monkey wrench thrown into my beliefs about love and all that when I was confronted with the idea that some people want to believe love and human relationships are easily broken down to some sort of combination of chemistry and biology and that people inevitably can't last in a monogamous relationship due to the human propensity for infidelity - which everyone seems to want to excuse as part of our evolutionary makeup. Because I believe in love but I also believe in Nature (remember, Goddess-worshipper here) I was left with a conundrum to work out in my head. So, my previous post was the culmination of months of hair-pulling pondering and research.

Human beings and human emotions are far too complex to break down into simple science. Furthermore, love is the greatest mystery in existence. It is not a series of chemical reactions or what have you, but a real genuine force at work in the Universe.

Hopefully I've added a little insight into the themes of my recent posts and everyone is less confused. Remember, I would LOVE to talk with any of you who have thoughts, ideas, or comments on these topics and any others. All things are Goddess. )0(

Lap Dances and Other Lies

"Make no mistake. A boys-will-be-boys-mentality abuses love and murders monogamy."

It’s been proposed that monogamy is unnatural and a challenge to truly accomplish. Once upon a time I may have bought this idea. But I believe it is marriage in general that's the hard part, not monogamy specifically. And we must always remember that marriage is a choice for monogamy. Don’t want to be monogamous? Don’t get married.

Good marriages take work, plain and simple. But so does anything worth attaining. Life takes constant effort. Problems such as infidelity and extramarital activities tend to arise when marriage is the last thing a couple puts work into. Where did we get the idea that once we get married everything is just supposed to poof itself into perfection without us even trying? That’s ridiculous.

Recent evidence has been unearthed that points to monogamy as being one of the chief reasons human beings thrived long enough to create societies. (Re: anthropological pair bonding theory). So perhaps monogamy is much more natural for both of the sexes than many people would like to believe, especially those in charge of the millions of porn sites on the web which is now the primary source of extramarital sexual experience.
It’s so much easier to relinquish control to our primitive brains, right? But what most people fail to realize is that many of the first functions our brains accomplish is to enable us to bond, connect, and love on deep levels. Babies who do not achieve this essential bonding often fall ill and even die. Love supersedes all other needs and functions and appears to be completely necessary for survival.

People in general, especially those prone to intellectual pursuits, can find they are plagued by boredom and a sense of isolation. This may lead to all sorts of instantly gratifying behavior but it doesn't solve the core problem of loneliness. In fact, self gratification only leads to more isolation. The supposed male “need” for variety, often cited to explain male porn use, is a poor excuse for men to be allowed certain gratuitous behavior and avoid the guilt brought on by neglecting the real women in their lives. How has masturbation become one of the main things people allow themselves to overindulge in? Eating feels really good but too much of it and you become obese. Sleep is wonderful but too much of that and suddenly you’re covered in bed sores.

One reason that excessive masturbation has become so commonplace and acceptable might be that it’s believed that no one else is getting hurt in the process. We’re told it’s harmless, healthy, normal, etc. But continued porn use and masturbation in marriage can prevent men from getting to know and continuing to feed their desire for the women in their lives and stops both parties from ever knowing genuine emotional and physical fulfillment.
If she’s attentive and loves him deeply, a wife probably knows about her husband’s habits and doesn’t know how to bring it up to him. She most likely feels wounded and not good enough compared to the perfect women of his fantasies. If husbands find they’re not getting as much actual sex from their wives, it may be because she’s already lost respect for him and put up walls to protect herself from his mental and visual infidelities.

I have read the arguments that say women shouldn’t take these activities personally. Mostly, you can be assured that these comments come from men who are heavily conditioned to believe that they are entitled in some way to ogle every visible woman on the planet. With this often silent agreement, society has allowed women to become little more than change in the “spank bank” of every average guy. Well, pay no attention to the man playing with himself behind the curtain ladies.
Women have a right to be hurt when they feel undesired by the man they chose to spend the rest of their life with. These feelings are justified and are often the source of some of the most destructive marital patterns. You’re not crazy for feeling undesirable, neglected, and unloved. Imagine if you cooked a lovely meal for your husband seven nights a week. If six of those nights your husband cooked for himself or ordered in, when would you be warranted in assuming he wasn't crazy about your cooking?

On the singles front, there is some evidence to suggest that single men who masturbate more than once a week are less likely to approach possible mates. They are less full of testosterone and less confident in their prowess. They are also theoretically less attractive to females. So the whole reason men “need” variety is because of the idea that they are wired to inseminate as many females as possible according to evolutionary theories. Right? Well it would seem to me that if they continue to view porn and masturbate as a way to chase that “need” for variety, they won’t be inseminating much of anything.

Women are supposedly hardwired to continue the pursuit of the best genetic match in order to have the strongest offspring throughout their childbearing years. And our sexuality is much more complicated than a man, albeit women are just as capable of having detached and meaningless sex as men are. We’re not always the ones who get emotionally attached after we sleep with someone. And sometimes we don’t even call the next day. So there seems to be a similar vein of that “need” for variety present within female psychology.
I don’t know about other women out there, but I would choose my marriage over a random hunk any day of the week. My eyes don’t wander in search of the best DNA while I’m at the grocery store or out to dinner. I don’t watch pornography or compare my husband to other men. I accept him for who he is. Empty sex just leads to more emptiness. It’s not worth it and it’s not what will make me (or anyone else for that matter) happy. The sooner everyone figures this out and stops taking their relationships for granted, the easier marriage will become.

So why are men and women assumed to be so different if they allegedly have similar sexual goals? Could it be that women have only recently begun to be taught to treat men as objects? Or perhaps it’s because women are conditioned from an early age to build relationships, to take comfort in emotions, and foster loving environments for themselves and their children. Women are able to find loving relationships fulfilling as part of their social training while men are taught that love and true intimacy can make them vulnerable, weak, and placed under the thumb of women. Perhaps for today’s unaware man, the only way to fill the emotional void is to ogle and objectify women that pose no emotional threat. That way they can hold on to a fictional idea of freedom and allow themselves to feel like the distant lone wolf portrayed as the stereotypical picture of masculinity.

Married Women: Know that you are gorgeous and amazing. Though it may be difficult, search your heart for a compassionate way to understand your husband. Be aware that we are all products of our nature/nurture environments and that for men it is not always easy to look at themselves critically. Many of them are just going about habits they’ve had since they were boys while others may have more deep seeded issues to deal with. Stick with it, don’t be too critical, and offer to help him heal. Try to avoid relegating your husband to the stereotypically masturbating monkey boy. He has the ability to be so much more if he tries. Regardless, never think that you are not good enough. It’s their job to work out their issues and our job to support them.

Married men: You get to choose who you desire. As a married man, the only choice you should be making when it comes to sexual desire is your wife. Repeat! Desire is a choice. It must be fed to be maintained. Write that down somewhere so you don’t forget. So it’s time to stop focusing your desire elsewhere by looking at and fantasizing about every random woman you see. These women are not your wife and you have no right to their bodies or to use their images for your personal gratification. It’s not fair to your wife and it will not better your relationship with her.

These urges are not products of your evolutionary wiring as you have been trained to believe, but of your social conditioning. Incidences of infidelity, pornography use and other forms of female objectification vary from culture to culture. These byproducts of puberty have been reinforced by your dad putting his arm around your shoulders and saying “Hey pal, check out that hot little thing.” Couple that with the idea that real male bonding only happens in strip clubs or at bachelor parties and what we’re left with is a bunch of never satisfied, wandering-eye-having boys instead of men.
FYI: lap dances are cheating regardless of how you spin it. It’s called dry humping in the real world and I doubt you’d be so casual or quick to defend it if another man was brought to ejaculation because your wife stimulated his erection through his pants? Enough said.
Throughout your life, ogling women gained you acceptance from your father, an older brother, and your male friends. You looked up to them and felt they were proud of you for this behavior. You were accepted as part of the “boys club”. And therein lies the problems we’ve been discussing. How could you possibly devote your sexual energy to one woman when you’ve been coached from boyhood to do the opposite? And all of this leads to and is compounded by the idea that looking at porn and fantasizing about other women who aren’t your wife is just something guys do.

Well, I call shenanigans. That’s something boys do as part of the growing up process; as a way to identify their sexuality and learn how to find a mate. Somehow it’s been integrated into the adult male psyche (and female for that matter) as “just a harmless thing guys do”. In reality, it’s a well conditioned response that allows you to escape from the boredom and responsibility of your life that only leads to emptiness and less overall satisfaction. You’re being used by the adult “entertainment” industry. You are just a silly sucker of a consumer with his money in one hand and his you-know-what in the other.

Make no mistake. A boys-will-be-boys-mentality abuses love and murders monogamy.

Writer's Notes: I am not anti-masturbation. I think it's especially useful for people to get an understanding of their bodies and sexuality when young or whenever they feel out of touch with themselves as sexual creatures. I would actually say the latter is more beneficial for women. I think it can sometimes lead to a lazy, orgasm driven lover in men instead of fueling their sexuality. So, diddling yourself can be good and fun and has some healthy applications. But anything in excess can be detrimental.

I am also not anti-male. Men are amazing, multi-faceted beings with an endless amount of potential. My beef is with the idea that they are all merely a product of their hormones and misunderstood, barely mapped brain geography. These ideas make excuses for the way men have been taught to deal with life’s challenges and makes them into little more than sex-crazed idiots that can’t possibly talk about their emotions or be the least bit self aware. What a sad and pathetic portrait we’ve painted of our modern men.

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