A Tale of Two Yogas

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My wife and I attend a small studio up the street.  She has deep knowledge of musculature.  The poses are gentle, our progress slow, in a cozy, comfortable environment.

Across the street is a bustling studio with 4 large rooms, the coolest one being 30 degrees centigrade (85F).  Some classes go up as high as 40C (105F).  That’s hot.

When I say bustling, I mean bustling.  Not like wearing a bustle, but like being super busy.  Which is pretty good for our small town.  There’s over 15 classes a day!  And the classes have all the latest trends, bikram, barre, and whatever.

Not only that, but the classes are an hour long.  Perfect for scheduling into your busy day.

Meanwhile, in our little space, you spend the first half hour getting warmed up, the next getting into the practice, and another one figuring it all out and cooling down.

Cooling down.  That’s important.  You can’t do that in heat.  In order to listen to your body properly, you have to let it speak to you.  That’s not going to happen in an extreme environment.  Your body is working to keep you cool, and that throws all your inner workings out of wack.  Sure, you feel better, for the moment, but what did you learn?

A good yoga class is a true class.  You will come away with a nugget of knowledge, a new insight into yourself.

The trend towards fast, hot, trendy yoga is surely a money maker for the studio.  But what does it lead towards?

Students who want hotter, faster, trendier solutions to their problems.

The ultimate?

I see a drive-thru studio that offers a quick yoga drink and a semi-mystic experience while you sit in your car.  Perhaps like the drive-in diners of the 1950s.  Scantily clad roller skating yogis will bring everything to you and your friends as you sit in the comfort of your SUV.

Or you could slow down, and get to know yourself.  Not trendy, not hot, not even hard.  Just right.  Just perfect.

But if you’re planning to make it to 70, 80, or 90, you’ll appreciate it.

Otherwise, you’ll be taking plenty of pills.

Ommm.

 

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.