Sexuality and Religion

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Zenda71, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0


    OMG!! Chris!! You trying to get a divorce already!!!:p
     
  2. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hey man, pin me down and I'll always tell the truth! And, to tell the truth: isn't this whole female culture of skinny and young forever just so ridiculous? Thank the gods we men don't have to play that game. I have to work too hard, and I just don't have the time to worry about it. Fortunately, the other men aren't rating my boobs!

    Chris
     
  3. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,633
    Likes Received:
    49
    Erm, doesn't the stupid female "be skinny, be young" attitude come from the fact that so many husbands divorce their wives and marry a newer model??

    I believe, that is also where the competition comes into it. I don't believe women really care whether another woman has better boobs than her, as long as her man doesn't think so! It's your (mens) fault, you have made us this way LOL :p
     
  4. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    You know, there's got to be a distinction between what's sexually attractive in the opposite sex and what's just attractive from a non-sexual perspective. I like those little laugh lines that women get at the corner of their eyes after a certain age. I like a fresh face with no make-up. I like those UPS girls in their brown uniforms and dirty fingernails. I like a woman who can change her own tire.

    Chris
     
  5. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    Nope. You have made yourselves this way because you all compete against and secretly hate each other. Sucks don't it?:)

    Chris
     
  6. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,633
    Likes Received:
    49
    Hell it's a shame we are both married then Chris, although I don't have a brown uniform - damn. :rolleyes:
     
  7. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
  8. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'm impressed by ability, and pretty isn't an ability. I admit that I've struggled with throwing off the programming about young and skinny, and I'm not entirely there, but I'm working on it. I come from a long line of really strong women. My mom would never call herself a feminist, but she taught me how to catch a baseball and handle a circular saw. My grandma was a crack shot with a rifle and knew every plant, tree, and critter in the forest. My wife can fast-pitch a softball at a blinding speed. These are the kind of women I admire.

    Chris
     
  9. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,633
    Likes Received:
    49
    I admire your attitude Chris. I am damn good with a gun, a jigsaw and a hammer (not all as deadly weapons though, although it could be arranged for the right price). My father wanted me to be able to look after myself and depend on no-one.

    I just find it an interesting subject. As I think you know, my husband is very much younger than I and imo he is gorgeous, yet he is so devoted to me. My western "must be skinny, must be wrinkle free, must be eternally 21" brainwashing gives me serious problems on this issue. My hubby doesn't even seem to see my laughter lines, my grey hairs and he likes my wobbly bits. Some days I can accept this (I grin a lot those days) and others I am waiting for the punchline. But I accepty it is a me issue, due to the way women are made to feel in the west.
     
  10. Impqueen

    Impqueen Queen of the Imps

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think the 'young and skinny' thing is men's fault after all it's womens' magazines that deride celebrities who aren't up to scratch. I think China has hit the nail on the head. Though admittedly the men's magazines do airbrush their models to hell and back.... I think it's probably 'society's' fault, and therefore the fault of everybody and nobody. :confused: I saw an amusing programme the other day called 'F**k off I'm a hairy woman' which celebrated female body hair. It was interesting. I see no logical reason why female body hair should be repulsive yet I still found myself going a bit 'eew' over the underarm hair....

    Can I join this not-girly girl club please? I present the evidence that I can handle a petrol hedgetrimmer and strimmer (not at the same time :p) and have to struggle not to have dirt under my fingernails. Mind you, I do like mini-skirts and fishnets too... and I have to admit to being fairly skinny (I can't help it, my job means I get lots of exercise)... maybe it should just be associate membership :D I think we are lucky in our partners MW, mine doesn't seem to see the bad bits either. Maybe it's true that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' or maybe it's because we're just damn sexy.
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,292
    Likes Received:
    22
    Thanks. They do show off my best feature.

    s.
     
  12. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,292
    Likes Received:
    22
    I think this western men thing is a bit of an over-generalisation here MW, at least as far as I'm concerned I hope. My partner is my partner, an equal but different individual in our relationship. She is not a "trophy" to be shown off. I am "proud" of her only in the more general sense of loving her whole being. OK, end of sloppiness. She wears whatever she wants to, for whatever reasons she wants to, as do I. She is not the "sort" of person who likes to go around in public half naked and I am not the "sort" of person who would have been attracted to such a person. We both dress "conservatively" for ourselves.

    s.
     
  13. ardenz

    ardenz New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi all,

    I've been missing this discussion.
    I do all the DIY around the house. My partner is afraid of climbing ladders and cutting things up with circular saws. He's good at other things. I'm the one who grew up seeing men pouring concrete and taking engines apart etc..didn't make for great dining conversation mind you. Good company beats anything.

    I see the person. I don't see the sex thing first- I see me as a person first.....others too. Am I making sense?

    MW,
    I think you may generalise the west. I know from my menfolk and what I see around me in my culture that intimacy and a good relationship is paramount. Media and advertising are something else and yes, that can have influence...........Fairskinned women shouldn't wear fake tan.:cool:

    Ard:)
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,152
    Likes Received:
    2,131
    Here is my issue...and it is the same when someone pierces their face or tattoos their neck or whole arm.... I look, I contemplate. Sorry, same thing when a woman's neckline goes to her navel, or wears a thong at the beach...you don't expose what you aren't openly inviting folks to look at, ask questions about...

    So yeah, when something interesting walks by I look. And if wife or the woman I am with is wearing revealing clothes...I'd expect others to be looking...I'd be contemplating what is just beyond and I suspect others are as pondering as well

    Nude beaches...completely different story...everyone is exposed....we are back to people... you see everything...no need to ponder further...read the whole book...

    I've really appreciated MW's input on the clothing...I can see how it would make sense. And it comes with force of reason when coming from someone who is western, and changed because she wanted to....and as a male, when I just see the eyes...I contemplate the nose...or just the ankle...contemplating the thigh...

    Women get pretty wrapped up for winter 'round here...and after not seeing miniskirts and cleavage on the streets you oughta see them in the spring as the slits in the skirts get higher...
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    awwww dont stop there :p
     
  16. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    10
    I kinda like the armpit hair, but I think it might be a little harder to get used to leg hair. When I was about twelve there was this substitute teacher who was English. She was hot, she rode a bicycle, and she didn't shave. I spent a fair amount of time...er, uh..."thinking" about her in my private moments.

    Chris
     
  17. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Somehow this discussion has begun focusing more on gender roles and presentation that sexuality per se. I appreciate that, but want to bring the discussion back to "sexuality and religion" (I prefer "sexuality and spirituality" myself). I find myself very much in agreement with what Erynn has already stated:

    This is a difficult subject to talk about, I think. In many ways, it is simple enough to speak of gender roles in a liberated way, although I do agree with MW that many in our western societies still have very antiquated, patriarchal, and objectifying attitudes towards women. Not that I would expect that from many people in this forum. We do seem to attract a certain number of critically-thinking questioners here, and there isn't any reason that such insight shouldn't be applied to gender as well.

    Too often religious paths undermine a healthy expression of sexuality. They box it up and deny creativity, imagination, and exploration. In every "institutional" religion I've found myself in, there are rules, regulations, restrictions, and other dogma about how and what is sexually appropriate. That's no fun!!

    First off, culturally, I think we need to take the shame and secrecy out of sex. I do think it is improving as the generations pass; people are generally more open to different expressions of sexuality now than they were in the 1950s, I think. We now have certain sexual celebrities and thinkers who are advocating a sex-positive culture, one in which sex between consenting adults is fun and okay and where masturbation is seen for what it is--a form of self-love, self-pleasure. I recently heard Carol Queen say that the Chinese word for masturbation translates to "self-comfort," while the etymology of "masturbation" reveals the true meaning of the word to be something along the lines of "polluting with the hand." No wonder we have so many sexual hang-ups!!

    My actual thoughts on the connection between sexuality and spirituality are not well-formed. I do know that I believe that until we are honest with ourselves about our sexuality and our gender presentation, we cannot truly be free, self-actualized individuals. Without connecting to our sexuality fully, I don't think that we can honestly know ourselves, which would necessarily keep our spiritual growth stunted. So I believe that much of the religious dogma surrounding sexuality actually keeps people in the closed systems of varioius religious schools and effectively closes them out from their own connection to Spirit.

    Like China Cat stated, we have been conditioned and programmed in dumbfounding ways to have certain attitudes and perceptions about sexuality. Female body hair is completely natural, and that's one thing... why should it be unnattractive? Why not beautiful? :) And of course there is the cheapening of sexuality in mass media. What puzzles me as well is that men are hardly ever portrayed as beautiful in the way that women are. What's that about? Is it because it takes much more work to beautify a man? ;) Is it because men are not supposed to be beautiful? Instead, they are advanced utilitarian apes? Yet if we look at ancient art objects (from Egypt, for example), we can see some examples of male beauty.

    By denying men the right to be beautiful, by not allowing them to express beauty in any way they chose, our cultures stick women with the burden of being beautiful, which creates (or at least largely contributes) to the problems of objectification, possession, and oppression that we see in patriarchal societies.

    ;)

    Anyhow, I've been thinking about this topic a lot, and am very glad to find it being discussed in these forums. Thanks!

    Peace,
    Pathless
     
  18. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sex in some sense can be seen as the ultimate worship of the creative principle. Its quite absurd really that we don't celebrate it more rationally and publicly without descending to purely functional, seedy and exploitative porn. Even in movies that are not pornographic it can be very difficult to give a sex scene dignity. And I think this is a part of the reason for the wider attitude to it, sex seems to lose dignity when viewed publicly. During sex you lose control, pull funny faces, make rude squelchy noises and moan, squeal or scream in ways you don't really want to make a public display of. This loss of control leaves you vulnerable and exposed, something not many are comfortable with.
    The main religions try to set a moral standard in human sexual relationships by promoting monogamous heterosexual norms. The natural order. And you cannot expect anything else really from them. I support this idea but condemn them when they stray from this quiet message into damning or vilifying those who wish to express their sexuality in different ways. For most people sex is about their personal relationship with someone else and however deep and spiritual it can get it remains deeply personal and not something you want to sing hymns about in church on Sunday.
    Tantra is another matter. And to be honest its something I wished I had made more effort to develop in my personal experience. I can imagine how sexual energies can be harnessed and transmuted into something purely spiritual, intuitively, and more so the older I have grown.
    As for beautifying men, well there are many preener's out there. And the trend is to sell ever more product to men and they are buying. Women have a hard enough time trying to outdress each other tho, and maybe they dont want to have to start competing with the men too! That said men are increasingly expected to make more of an effort, but often this is more to do with displaying the labels of wealth than anything else. There is a fine line between introspective vanity and looking sharp, for men especially. And the modern ideas of image are not entirely healthy to my mind. Too plastic, artificial and superficial. But that describes society as a whole really. Everything is disposable.

    Tao
     
  19. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am actually puzzled as to how this "men want skinny women" thing has penetrated so much of society. I personally haven't found many skinny women attractive. Ok, I'm not saying they should be obese, but I reckon they would look a bit better if they put on a bit more fat -- they'd look more chubby and chunky (which is what I would like personally), but that is way better than being skeletal. I don't know about other men out there, but I don't want to be with Ms Bones. Nor do I want Ms Balloon. I prefer Ms Cushion.

    Often when I see or meet a couple, I look at the girl and find that she's skinny. I wonder how on earth he could find her so appealing. I really have a hard time wondering how skinny women/girls can be so attractive. What's so good about being with Ms Bones?

    That is, of course, just the way I see things, but that is exactly the point. Some other guy could actually find her attractive, for reasons I couldn't possibly comprehend. My attitude can also change, as I may decide later in life, due to some personal experience that maybe obese and skinny women aren't so dull after all!!!

    What makes people think men mostly prefer skinny women? Has someone actually conducted a survey? I don't think it's human nature, but mostly culture. It's what people want in their lives, but that can change depending on what society thinks is popular. There may be an underlying, subconscious reason why I don't find skinny women attractive. I just haven't been able to identify the reason why. It may have been some negative childhood experience or something stupid like believing that skinny women fart more (possibly an old wive's tale).:D I really don't know.

    Whatever it is, if you want to know what your man really wants, don't trust the magazines!!! Just ask him!!

    Men will often compete against other men or make fun of each other for the women they have. I believe women will do that too, either with the men they have been able to acquire, or their own beauty.

    It's not just women that have emotional needs. Men have it too. Nor is it just men that have pride. Women have it too. We all want to be accepted and appreciated in some way for who we are as people. Pride and the emotional need for appreciation by one's peers, I believe, are actually quite related to each other in both sexes. Neither want to feel worthless or inadequate. Neither want to feel that they are missing out on what the rest is enjoying. It's not just the men, but I think the women too. Does a woman not, at certain times, feel worthless, inadequate or rejected as men do? When that happens one often feels the need to assert oneself and stand up to the rest.

    Not all of us behave that way, but some do. We both have egos that can be attacked. Choose your friends wisely!!! The company one keeps....

    Marriage is about liberation. You no longer have to impress and please your male or female friends. You have a new friend!!! An ally. Confidant. Comrade. Supporter in times of trouble. If your friends hate you, reject you, despise you and turn against you, you at least have someone to fall back on!!! A spouse, in that sense, must also be chosen wisely. The mistake is to choose someone to impress one's male or female friends.
     
  20. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,130
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think it's because men tend to be quite guarded about the deeply personal, and beauty might be something deeply personal to a man which is why we hardly see men "expressing beauty." In that sense I think men tend to choose not to "express beauty."

    It's just a theory that I have, but it may perhaps be one of the many things that makes men different from women with regards to "expressing beauty." Because women express their personal feelings more, they are more comfortable in expressing their beauty because they are more comfortable in expressing who they are as people. They are more transparent and open about themselves. Expressing beauty, therefore, may simply be embarrassing for a man as it's not just his body that he is showing, but his whole personality and concept of himself, which is something men naturally want to hide.

    I think the two sexes have a different notion of "nakedness." For a woman, being "naked" may be more of a physical thing (ie. revealing body parts). For a man, being "naked" may be where he fully expresses himself, pouring out all of his feelings, being transparent and laying everything out for all to see. In that sense, a man has less reservations about physical nakedness and isn't ashamed about people seeing his body as much as a woman. The woman, on the other hand, has less of a problem with expressing her feelings.

    This, I believe has a significant effect on the romantic relationships between men and women. Avoiding nakedness may be a natural defense mechanism designed by nature (or God) to prevent marital unfaithfulness. It's not fool-proof, but it does help "cover up" the respective and equivalent aspects of masculine and feminine personalities.

    I've got the impression that women are often frustrated that men aren't "personal enough" -- that men are either not concerned enough about the woman's feelings, or doesn't share enough of his own. If that is true, it may actually be a good, rather than a bad thing -- not for your spouse, but against other men and women out there.

    When a woman takes her clothes off, she may be opening doors for a man. Likewise, when a man expresses himself more and opens up for his feelings to be scrutinised, he may be opening doors for a woman. This is probably how many extra-marital affairs start. There is no physical contact, but there is, however, an emotional exchange. A man who expresses his feelings to a woman that is not his wife or partner is passing information to her that she can use to "get a hold of him." He is allowing her to see something that would otherwise be invisible. This information is hard for a woman to acquire from a man, or even for men to acquire from each other. It usually takes a woman to get the deeply personal truths out of a man (they can be very persuasive), but women can also be quite intimidating (causing the man to shut himself inside his own universe).

    In times of trouble, we look for allies. Sometimes that "ally" is a member of the opposite sex. Men look to women for affirmation. Women look to men for security. If a woman, while comforting a depressed man, causes a man to feel more appreciated than his spouse, and if he finds her physically attractive (as there is already emotional appeal), it may be a prelude to romance.

    It's not my intention to create stereotypes, but if the two sexes are naturally and intrinsically different (not culturally), then this may be a reason.

    I don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with a woman being fully naked to a man who is not her husband or for a man to fully express himself to a woman not his wife. There should not be rules and laws against that happening and nor should we develop an attitude that if a situation like that arises that there will always be "marital unfaithfulness".....

    .......But, if men don't express beauty that much it may have a lot to do with men and women being intrinsically different in the way they think, and this may even be a possible a natural defense mechanism against "marital unfaithfulness."

    .....so it may be a good thing if women don't like being naked or if men just don't want to express their feelings -- except maybe between a wife and husband.

    So, every time a woman refuses to have sex with you, or every time a man refuses to tell the truth or express his real feelings, count that as a blessing.:) If a man doesn't tell you the truth, it's quite possible that he might tell someone else (another woman) -- but it's a sign that he will only tell the person he most trusts. If you really desperately want the truth and don't want another woman finding the truth, you have to be nice.:D

    Disclaimer: This is just a theory. Most of it's speculation. Let me know what you think.:D

    Regards,

    Salty.
     

Share This Page