Men, women, sex, how confusing it all is


When our ideas of social moralism come out of our collective mind, the lines, or boundaries, of right and wrong are both fluid and confusing. This is because they change like the changing blowing of the wind. This is also because social moralism is nothing more than political correctness gone even madder than what it naturally is.

For instance, when the owner of the Houston Texans NFL football team recently made the statement “the inmates are running the prison” representing his idea of the recent conflict between players protest by kneeling when the National Anthem played, his players felt personally insulted. These players wanted to make a statement about their feelings over their owner’s words so they took a knee while the National Anthem played. Curious. Let’s insult Americans and America because we’ve been insulted by our owner, they seemed to be saying by their action. It reminds me of the time I was in a bar and someone in the booth behind me got mad over something and hit me in the back of my head expressing his anger. It’s the child who is mad at his father walking out of the room and kicking the cat as he leaves. This kind of childish behavior is a series of disconnected actions. Kicking the cat shows your anger but the cat did nothing to you so why kick it? Because it’s there, I guess.

When we have a confusion of boundaries we have a confusion of behavior. The hippy movement of the 1960s was a statement that there are no boundaries, not in how we dress, not in the drugs we take, not in our sexual behavior. Everything goes. We didn’t get here from Nietzsche’s Übermensch, the overman who has freed himself to be himself, more from “God is dead” that leads to the Übermensch.

There has always been sexual attraction between a male and female rooted in the process of creating another person, also rooted in the Garden of Eden injunction of be fruitful and multiply. Intercourse is not a perfunctory behavior, simply a physical act. Pleasure is attached to the act both on the physical and mental and emotional level. The thing is, sexual pleasures are also independent of procreation. When Adam and Eve thought that their act of rebellion against God was really their coming out party as fully functioning humans it really was a denial of who they were. From that moment on they were confused about who they were and who the other was seen in the fact they hid from each other using fig leaves to hide their naturalness and hid from God, as well.

While sexual intercourse stayed the way of procreation outside the Garden (until our modern era) everything else about it changed and purity was lost. The relationship between a man and a woman could be as innocent as the driven snow or perverted in abusive ways. Sex was used in a multitude of ways for purposes of personal gratification ignoring the needs of the other. Sex encounters can be loving and tender to very abusive and destructive having nothing to do with pleasure.

Without an absolute moral guide the boundaries that make sexual behavior tender or abusive, taken or given, can be very confusing. The free sex of the hippy movement was supposedly in reaction to the puritanical moralism taught by the Christian church. Let me just say that there are contradictions in both and the moralism of the church, certainly there is confusion in the anarchy of free sex.

I’m not about to get into the fullness of this subject because it would take volumes and even then there would never be total agreement between us. I do want to point out a few obvious things that keeps us confused about our role and behavior as both male and female.

There is a question that you’ve encountered before, Does art reflect life or life reflect art? Those are black and white questions in a gray world. It’s like what came first, the chicken or the egg? Is Hollywood (generic for moviemaking) reflecting culture in its movies and television shows or are they attempting to create cultural mores? I’m thinking here only about one behavior given to us on both the large and small screen; whether on a first date or just meeting the couple jumps into bed like it’s no different than sitting down and eating a wonderful banana split. Is this a behavior that happens? Yes. But notice that Hollywood is doing two things with this behavior; it’s in almost every movie making it appear normal and there is never a moral question attached to it. This forces the question that we must contemplate; Is Hollywood simply reflecting behavior or creating it by presenting it as both normal and every day? And with there never being a moral question somewhere are we being given the image that it is both normal and acceptable? And now having seen this behavior in everything we see on screen are we accepting it as normal and forcing it on others like it is the normal and right thing to do? Do either men or women on first meeting expecting to end the night in bed together? Does this bring about anxiety into a budding relationship that need not be there and trouble when one or the other doesn’t want this?

Any behavior that is consistently given to us without ever a moral question it becomes accepted and expected behavior and we have a right to practice it. In this case, and this is mostly about males thought not always, we expect our first date to give us that night in the sack and maneuver her or him into that behavior.

This end question is only the end question, there is much going on before that. What is the acceptable behavior in terms of passion between couples? You just have to listen to the news to know how confused this subject is today, and no wonder given that our images are sending out mixed messages. While sexual behavior is being presented as amoral behavior (having no moral questions) it obviously isn’t that way. There are moral questions about moral behavior and right now (and probably forever) the answers are all over the place.

What we are now witnessing through Harvey Weinstein is clearly sexual abuse due to power and power too often gives the person the feeling that he or she is above morality. But when is a touch not a touch but sexual aggression? When is “pushing it” beyond the pale? What does one do with excessive passion, take a cold shower?

On that merry-go-round we always find ourselves riding, Hollywood may have taken sexual behavior from life but it also changed life’s behavior by promoting it as usual and common which influenced life.

I would say the answers lie in common sense, except we no longer have common sense. Even we Christians are confused between a more liberal morality to a more fundamentalist morality. I haven’t even gotten into the conflict between emotions and reason. So I’m not offering “my” answer except to say we cannot live with sexuality being amoral. This being the case we then must have serious discussion on how we treat sex and passion and not leave it up to emotion or political correctness that is ever changing. By trying to play it as amoral we have done nothing but added confusion to confusion.