We are afraid of sex. Everywhere I turn I see a culture that is afraid of bodily pleasure. We can’t talk about sex. We can’t ensure that children have a healthy perspective toward sex. We can’t communicate desires. We mostly ignore sex and hope that it all just goes away. The only exception is when sex is used to sell things. Then it seems to be OK. Just look at most commercials selling cars, shampoo and alcohol. Buy the right product then all your sexual issues will just go away.
Yet we seem to love violence. A recent Supreme Court decision codified it. This decision says that a state cannot restrict violent video games to those under 18. I’m not a gamer, but games have certainly changed. I remember games like Doom where the objective was essentially to shoot everything in sight but the object of the shooting was aliens and monsters. Today’s violent games feature rupturing the insides of people, dismembering and decapitation. All of which is extremely visually explicit.
So the high court says it’s OK for someone under 18 to see a woman literally torn in two by pulling her legs apart, yet this same child cannot access information about sexuality or the body. There’s something really wrong with this!
One of the dissenters of this opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer, summed up this important question clearly.
But what sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting a sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively but virtually binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her? What are we teaching our children? It’s OK to rape, torture and kill someone else, but only if their clothes are on?
Why can’t we have open, honest, intelligent conversations about sex? Why can’t healthy sexual expression be viewed as the gift that it is rather than something so disarming? Of course everyone won’t agree on what healthy sexual expression is, but I’m sure most anything is better that teaching 13 year olds that there’s nothing wrong with extreme violence. I guess it’s just a reflection of who we are.
As for video games… I actually enjoyed the original Mario Brothers. I’d rather stomp on mushrooms.
Opportunities to Explore Bodily Pleasure
Mindful Self-Loving continues on the third Monday of each month. We gather next on Monday July 18 at Eros in San Francisco at 6:30. Generating and playing with erotic energy in a group is definitely different than doing it alone. For most guys, a supportive of erotic explorers can add to the experience, even if you’re a bit shy. Many men find that a group encourages each other to let go of preconceived notions and connect on a profound energetic level.
We meet in a private space not connected with the rest of the activity at Eros. You do not need to pay an admission fee to Eros for this workshop; however, you may optionally enjoy the facilities at Eros after the workshop by paying a separate admission fee. In the words of Douglas Adams, be sure to bring a large towel.
If one evening isn’t enough, imagine spending a week diving into Eros. I’ll be returning on the facuty ofEros Spirit Camp this July at Easton Mountain in New York. Join me and a group of gifted facilitators at Eros Spirit Camp July 25-31. Imagine taking the best of your summer camp experience as a child and combining it with a supportive environment of men helping everone practice creating the kind of erotic life we’ve always wanted. During the week, we’ll use workshops and events to explore the possibilities of interacting erotically that are respectful, safe and life affirming – ways that both help us to go within and to discover new depths of self by connecting with others.
Easton Mountain is a retreat center created by gay men in upstate New York. It’s a short 2 hour train ride from Penn Station in NYC and is also easily reached from Boston and Montreal.