Dancing?

I think I’ve finally figured this one out. Why do humans dance?

I’m pretty sure that it’s only humans. At least, after all the hours I’ve seen of wild animals doing their thing, none of them have ever gotten up and boogied. Of course, who knows what happens late on Saturday nights when all the cameras are gone, right? Maybe there are rabbit raves? After all, where do all those rabbits come from?

I’ve never been a good dancer, and I’ve never understood why people dance. As a nerd I can blame my computerish tendencies. I can also blame my lack of skill, balance, and coordination. As you can tell, I’m pretty good at rationalization. I can also blame the fact that I learned to dance in the 80s, when disco was big. That alone may have traumatized me.

But why do others like to dance? I could never figure this one out. Every now and then I’d ask someone, usually a dancing partner. At which point they would promptly dump me. I never did get a good answer.

Anyway, after all these years, I think I got it.

People dance as a way to show that they are in touch with nature, deep nature. That’s it.

What is deep nature? It’s the rhythms permeating our lives; rhythms that are so old and so deeply entwined in our being that words are inadequate. Deep nature is life itself, and death; deep nature is breath itself, and the beating heart. Deep nature is hunger, sleep, love, and fear.

You probably already knew this, most people do. Some of us don’t, and we stand at the wall wondering what all the undulating is about.

Dancing occurs in all cultures, to many different beats, in many different forms. It changes slowly between generations, because the beat of nature for your generation is slightly different than it was for mine. Your dancing reflects that.

More women dance than men in our culture; not surprising because women are more closely tied to nature. Do we need music? No, but it certainly helps, as music reminds us of the beating of natural rhythms, like our heart, the tides, seasons, or the sun and moon. Do we need a partner? Again, not really, but if dancing is about communicating our ability to feel nature, then a partner is required, for who else are we talking to? The more people the more the need to dance. The greater the celebration, such as a wedding or even funeral, the more need to dance.

So the next time I see the group get up and sway, I’ll do my best to join in. I may not feel the forces that they do, but at least I can try undulating a bit. I just wish my relatives wouldn’t laugh so much!

Dancing the night away

Do you dance?

Sadly, I can’t.  Never could.  Even the most extreme embarrassing moves of the 1960s and 1980 weren’t weird enough to save me.  Most people I know dance wonderfully.  I even took some classes, and found them mentally exhausting!

So, as someone who can’t dance, I’ve applied the sour grapes rationale to my shortcoming.  That means I ask myself this question; what is dancing good for?

For me, nothing!  Therefore I don’t need to dance.

But those grapes are still hanging there, looking mighty delicious.  And I’m willing to bet that you can dance – certainly better than me.  That means YOU can reach those grapes and taste them.  So please, tell me,

Why do YOU dance?

 

Millionaire Magic

Want to make a million?

That question is relatively new, as society goes.  Back when we all scratched each other for ticks, we didn’t worry about accumulating cash.  We wanted babies and power.

Even a few hundred years ago the idea of individual ambition was far-fetched.  Only your lords and royalty were allowed to be ambitious.  The rest of the herd could only rise so far, success was measured by your belly.

Today’s society allows us to be ambitious, to take chances, and accumulate wealth without great fear of it being swept up by his highness.  Maybe our Uncle will sweep some up, but that’s in exchange for intangible goods.  Another story.

So, let’s make a million.  Here’s two recipes, tried and true many times since the invention of the Renaissance.  First, take an ordinary substance, like water.  Second, take a dash of technology, like sugar, food coloring, or a spice or other natural element.  Maybe a combination of all of these.  Then create a story about your new product and weave them together.  PRESTO CHANGO!  You have a product that can make you a million.

We are surrounded by such magical products that have made many millioinaires, and indeed, global mega-corporations whose reach extends deeply into all of our lives.  But what does it say about us, as a society, that we are willing to exchange some of our wealth for a bit of their magical product.  What does it say about comparing societies, perhaps some allow more magic than others?

The moral of today’s story is that we as individuals, and we as a society should question everything.  Value should be of a lasting and improving sort, not something that merely subtracts from our current existence.

And what’s that second recipe?  Let me know if you want to know – and I’ll tell you!  Here’s a hint – Ben Franklin is one of the first to put it to use!

 

Sex and Society: Who are You?

Sex is such a ‘hot’ area within our culture it’s difficult to know when to stop.  There are many other aspects we could touch upon: gender issues, cross-gender issues, our responsibilities to our society, parents, peers, children, mates.  The fundamentals underpinning many of these issues are the same fundamentals that drive many problems today, such as: What defines the successful life?  What does it mean to fulfil our individual roles as a man or woman, both to ourselves, and our society?

There are no easy answers to these questions.  That’s why most people turn to their religion or other mystic source.  Our religious leaders have been addressing these issues for thousands of years, some successfully.

It’s time for science to lend a hand.  That’s why I write, and why you read.  There is a way for us to look at these problems in a systematic fashion that forges understanding and progress.

It has to begin somewhere, and that beginning is yourself.

Who ARE you?

Do you see yourself as a sexual being, a political being, a biological entity, or something lesser, or greater?  Where do you see your lifeline going?  In that great tapestry of ALL LIFE, which thread is yours?

There are two young women out there who started this series, and I hope that they survive the tumult of today’s society to become happy, productive human beings.  I fear that their misunderstandings and our lack of general knowledge of behavior will instead create bitter and under-performing individuals.

These two women represent millions of other young women who have not had the courage or the opportunity to raise their voices.  I also write for them, and hope for them.  I certainly hope that you will find some time to help them, in your own way.

 

Sex and Society: Virgin Whore Dichotomy

Two web articles started this whole Sex and Society ball rolling for me. [1, 2].  Lauren and Liz bemoaned the fact that their behavior resulted in surprising social reactions.

Lauren decided to become a porn actor in order to pay for her schooling.  Liz advertised herself as a sexual object available to the highest bidder.  What could go wrong?

When Lauren’s peers found out what she did for a living, she was attacked in ways that let her know that she was no longer thought of as a “nice” girl.  Liz became the object of too much attention, her pornographic “selfies” became internet sensations, and her body attracted a Japanese millionaire offering 800,000 dollars for one night of sex.

The angst Lauren and Liz felt before was that society has already pigeonholed them into simple categories.  Both, before they were outed, were “virgins.”  An unacceptable category for many men, because they represent something to be attained and conquered.  Virgins are also unacceptable to most women, because peer pressure forces them to want other women to be just like themselves.  Many (not all!) women think “if you aren’t just like me, then you can’t be my friend.”

The whore is another world, at the opposite end of the spectrum.  Men appreciate whores for being available, but at the same time know they will make poor long-term mates.  Women can despise “whores” in the sense that they offer up sexual services competing with their own.  Therefore they not only demean themselves, they also lessen the value of all other women by association.

How does one negotiate being a “nice” girl?  You have to walk the invisible shifting line.  If our culture was well-defined, that line would be visible and solid.  In our nebulous dynamic culture, a young lady finds herself stumbling, running into trouble and obstacles at every turn.

The nice girl must play the game of being both a virgin and a whore.  She must be a whore to the extent that she can compete with the real whores.  She must also be a virgin to the extent that she can prove she is a valuable long-term mate.

In terms of behavior, there is only one way to play this game.

Don’t. [3]

[1] http://www.xojane.com/sex/duke-university-freshman-porn-star

[2] http://sexhealthandalittlepolitics.com/2014/02/

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086567/quotes

Sex and Society: Pornography 2

The young lady mentioned in the last post wants the right and freedom to create pornographic films.  Speaking personally, individual freedom to choose one’s fate should be considered one of our greatest freedoms.

But any freedom must be combined with the responsibility to understand implications.  Her ‘freedom’ to create pornography ripples throughout our society in ways she may not appreciate, or understand.

First, the impact upon her life.  Today she finds herself ostracized by her peers, even villainized.  Whether or not you approve, what this means is that her circle of friends becomes defined by what she does, and how she appears.  Should she choose to start a family, that family’s chances for long-term success will be influenced by the man she chooses.  If he’s not a porn actor, will he be so forgiving to understand she shared her vagina with many others?

The impact upon society is more nebulous.  It’s likely that she has weakened the links she had with her own parents, her siblings.  It may be that those links were never there.  She has helped further the illusion that women are to be used, dominated, and desire nothing more than the physical act of sex.  No, she is not the first to do so, and will not be the last.  But each woman who elects to send this message is complicit in its continuance.  To try and stand up later and claim that such a message demeans women is the same as declaring alcohol to be satan’s drink, while holding a cocktail.

I do not say that pornography is bad, or good.  It simply is.  This young woman also, simply, is.  That she chooses to make pornography is her choice.  That society chooses to condemn her is its choice.

How do you, choose?

 

Sex and Society: Pornography 1

We’ve been discussing sex and society in general terms.  Society needs order, but it also needs children to continue more than one generation.  In Western civilization everyone wants liberty and the right to determine their own destiny.  At the same time, women want equality and empowerment over their biological fates.  As a result, individuals have fewer babies, society passes laws that discourages sexual freedoms, and conflicts result.

Most traditional societies have solved this problem using a special set of rules that we call “culture.”  Part of a traditional culture is to frown upon, or place an outright ban upon, pornography.

What is pornography?  Justice Potter Stewart summed it up best when he used the well-known phrase, “I’ll know it when I see it” back in 1964.  This is the best definition because pornography is a form of entertainment whose purpose includes sexual excitement.  If you get excited, you’ve got porn.

This also means it’s impossible for a society to create a definition that satisfies everyone.  In our “free” society, a young lady writes that creating porn films satisfies her need for self-expression.  However, she is surprised when she’s attacked by her Duke classmates.

She claims a right to create a pornographic film.  At the same time, she has forgotten that she also exists within a society that sets its own expectations upon her.  By breaking those social expectations, she encounters resistance.

Does she have the “right” to be a pornographic actor, as a legal adult but under the age of 20?  Does age matter?

Are we even sure that what she is receiving from others constitutes vindictive behavior?

I’ll know it when I see it.

 

Sex and Society: Sex and Women

Gentlemen, let’s talk about ladies.

Who am I kidding?  As a guy, this will be guy talk.

Boys, if you’re listening (and I know you’re not), consider this a dope slap.  You complain you can’t figure women out?  That’s because they’re (generally) smarter than you are.  Don’t argue, that’s another column and I’ve got tons of evidence against you.

Here’s another fact.  They are great to have around.  In fact, if you’re looking for a life partner, there’s none better.  If you’re a guy looking for a guy, we’ll talk about that later.

Here’s another tidbit.  Keep it in your pants.  Talk to it on your own time, but don’t force it on her.  Here’s why.

You want to have sex.  I know that.  You know that.  Heck, the whole world knows that.  Here’s what you don’t know.

She doesn’t.  Not really.  Not deep down.

She most likely wants a relationship.  Marriage.

She wants to know you’re going to be there for her when times get bad.  When she gets old and wrinkled and baggy.  When she’s sick, or thick with child, or goes crazy during menopause.

What?  You didn’t think about all those things?  That’s because you’re a guy and thick between the ears.  You probably think you’re beautiful and never going to be ugly, or baggy, or bald.  You may even think you’re hot stuff (you’re not).  Even if you’re a billionaire, you’re still an idiot compared to the average woman.

Right now our society is messed up.  No one has any rules for meeting and staying with “Mrs Right.”  In some countries your parents make the arrangements while you’re a teenager.  And guess what?  Lots of those marriages work out fine.

So here’s the deal, dude.  Be a gentleman.  Look for someone you can love, long term.  It’s your job to make every date, every night of love, and every other life event come naturally.

Unless of course someone else does all your thinking.

Who could that be?

Zip it up.

 

Sex and Society: Sex and Men

Ladies, our culture is a bit of a mess at the moment.  Western civilization has accumulated and amalgamated so many ethnic and cultural customs that none of us know which way is up.  We allow it to be influenced by our peers, our pop-stars, and our technology.

This confusion may be one reason why so many families have rebelled and joined a traditional religion, rejecting “liberal” ways for their fantasized utopia based on regulating the behavior of young men and women, especially with regards to sex.

If you are a young lady interested in meeting a young man, know this; he has probably been raised in a family without strong tenets regarding your body, your mind, and your long-term value.  He has been raised in a culture where young women are shown as fashionable objects, where sexual intercourse is easily obtained, and where oral sex is required.

Lurking below these “liberal” attitudes is something far more sinister.  Your potential lover has also been programmed by Mother Nature to do one fundamental thing; impregnate you.

It’s true.  Studies have been done (their quality is dubious, but that’s for another day) showing that men think about sex far more often than women.  The reason is Mother Nature.  It’s his job to make sure you get pregnant.  His lizard brain tells him so, and no one is very good at arguing with their inner-lizard.

As a higher being, you do not think about sex continuously, and so you assume that he doesn’t as well.  Be careful.

Does this mean all men are pigs?  In a sense, yes.  The good news is that some young men do aspire to become better men.  They have successful fathers or other role models to follow.  They may have created their own rules of engagement so that they too can look forward to many happy years with you.

So, ladies, don’t be afraid to aim high.  Don’t belittle yourself with casual sex or other demeaning acts.  Demand men with higher standards.  They can do it.

Just don’t aim too high.  After all, we’re only men.

 

Sex and Society: Mystique of Sex 3

Here’s my final post on this subject.  And it has one point to make.  Casual sex sucks.  Here’s why.

If you are one of a very small minority where coitus creates mind-numbing fireworks every single time, then congratulations.  You can have a great orgasm with any stranger.  But you’re at a disadvantage to a sexually normal person.  Unless you find a mate who is exactly like-minded and sexually-wired, you’re going to be out of balance.  And one of you is going to be sexually frustrated.  A bad recipe for a long-term romance.

The best recipe for long-lasting love is one in which both of you grow together.  You love each other and sexually please each other many times as youths, but as you age you become more sensitive to each other’s needs. You gain a deep understanding of what turns them on, and when to best apply it.  Over time, you may end up playing in bed more rarely, but when you do, it reaches heights that no casual contestant could dream of.

There is no real data to cite here, there are no good studies.  But those of us who have been married for a long time know that it only keeps getting better.  Yes, there may be periods where we are out of balance, but one or the other of us will adjust.  For those that think the honeymoon is the best part, you have no idea what lies ahead.  Ten years, twenty years, each year brings new learning and new joy.

There you have it.  The lie has been outed.  Your magazine can pretend to teach you tricks and turns, but the real trick is to stick with the one you love and keep learning.  The act of coitus in year one is nothing like year two.  After a few more years you realize that going back in time would be nothing but disappointment.  Find your true love.  And look forward to what you’re going to learn!