READY FOR LOVE? WHO ISN’T? Many. I know that from my work as a mental health clinician. Depresses many, threatens marrages, can even lead to thoughts of suicide, or turn a man against sexy women. The hero of my long time coming and soon to be released novel Merlin and Meredyth is no wizard, but an atheist, abortionist, hypnotist, and healer who couldn’t cure his own impotency. He lived when the Roman Empire was morphing into the Catholic Church and seeking to dominate not just religion, but the world.
One of the thesis of my novel is that St.Paul and many who followed him were men dealing with problems of impotency, possibly life long problems or the erectile problems that come with age. St. Paul is the one who said, “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (KJV. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9).
These words began a war on sexual pleasures that has continued until today. I like sex. That is too mild, for I think sex is one of the creator’s greatest gifts. The only greater gift is love. And when the two walk hand in hand that is the path to Nirvana. Moreover, I think woman are lucky because they don’t have to contend with having to get an erection in order to have intercourse.
St Paul was recognizing that he couldn’t do away with sexual feelings and behavior. Sadly, his statement burdened sexual expression with negative feelings. Freud thought repression of all feelings only drives the feeling underground and can create mega conflicts.
A reaction formation is one solution to such conflicts. What is a reaction formation? Dealing with a painful emotion or feeling by denying the original feeling and promoting an opposite feeling. Want but cannot have sex–find that to be painful; deny the pain; say you aren’t interested in sex; turn lack of desire or ability into a virtue while making sex into a vice.
A man who is overly aroused by pornographic material who utilizes reaction formation may take on an attitude of criticism toward the topic. He may end up sacrificing many of the positive things in his life, including family relationships, by traveling around the country to anti-pornography rallies. This view may become an obsession, whereby the man eventually does nothing but travel from rally to rally speaking out against pornography. He continues to do this, but only feels temporary relief, because the deeply rooted arousal to an unacceptable behaviour such as watching pornography is still present, and underlying the implementation of the defense. At that point he can be said to have developed an obsessional personality above and beyond the defense mechanism.
My novel is a rant against many things that stem from Paul’s edict and that I think was his problem with his aging penis. Time St. Paul lost his halo. Sex is a gift, not a sin. And yes, sex can be used as a weapon. Moreover, rape and child molestation are properly named sexual sins. Pre-marital sex, open marriages, self-pleasing sex, and sex with the same-sex people should not be so labeled Assume some of you will not agree. I don’t object to different beliefs. I do object to forcing me to believe as you do.
End of Cranky Old Lady Rant.
STAYING STRONG TIP For many reasons, men are vulnerable to shame about sexual performance. Should not be. St. Paul is not the only one to blame–warrior and competitive mind-sets have played a role throughout recorded and probably un-recorded history. The saddest part of the shame, as far as this clinician and Cranky Old Lady are concerned is that shame keeps many from seeking help.
Don’t let shame hold you back if you are pained by lack of potency.
FUEL MY HOPES: Be kind to me, get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong. Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.
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