Six thousand years ago, a prudish God threw Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Evil for fornicating. He foolishly put a nude man and a nude woman together with a few apple trees and told them that they could do anything but fuck each other. Naturally, given human nature and the DNA that God so wantonly created, Adam and Eve got bored with paradise and a bit of horny in the bargain. It did not help that Eve looked pretty hot with no clothes on and that Adam was very well endowed.
They ate from the “Tree of Knowledge” and not the “Tree of Life” which is kind of funny, since one would think they would need to have some skills in copulating and procreating and the “Tree of Life” would provide these abilities . Nevertheless, the apple from the “Tree of Knowledge” seemed to have all the information required and before long Eve was pregnant and both Adam and Eve were escorted out of the Garden of Evil. It is ironic that the fault was blamed on Eve for initiating things and ever since then men have been expected to take the lead in sex. Nevertheless, it is still typical for men to blame women for all the problems in the world. Remember the story of Pandora’s box?
Six thousand years later and God is still a prude. You still can’t walk down the street nude. Women can’t show their breasts in public and men cannot show their pubic areas. You certainly can’t have sex in public. Natural human activities include eating, sleeping, working and sex. However sex is not really included when we talk about public or “au natural” activities. You can spread a blanket out in any park and have a picnic. Try spreading a blanket out in a park and start fornicating and see how long it takes before you are arrested. Cops still patrol “lonely hearts areas” looking to bust people doing “it” in the back seat of their car.
For six thousand years, people, governments and society had been hung up and intolerant towards sex. It would be foolish to say that we have remained in the Dark Ages, Victorian Ages or Middle Ages in our attitudes towards sex. We have simply remained with the attitudes that we got from God in the Garden of Evil way long before these time periods. Then came the sixties and the “Free Love Movement!” The “Free Love Movement was an effort to create a more open and tolerant attitude towards sex. The result was labeled as promiscuity. (Promiscuity means that you are having sex with someone but I am not.) People picked up books on sex that were written by Wilhelm Reich, who became known as the prophet of Free Love.
“In his 1927 study The Function of the Orgasm, Reich concluded that “there is only one thing wrong with neurotic patients: the lack of full and repeated sexual satisfaction” (the italics are his). Seeking to reconcile psychoanalysis and Marxism, he argued that repression – which Freud came to believe was an inherent part of the human condition – could be shed, leading to what his critics dismissed as a ‘genital utopia’” — “Wilhelm Reich: the Man who Invented Free Love” by Christopher Turner
The Sexual Revolution of the sixties as well as the Women’s Liberation Movement (perhaps its third reincarnation) led to some major changes in the way sexuality is now played out in society. Women started wearing sexier clothes and the clothes have continued on a sexier and sexier spiral ever since. While women are still fighting for the right to expose their breasts in public, sex out of wedlock has become common. There is no longer any expectation that sex partners will be married or that sex will even lead to marriage. Condoms are as ubiquitous as lollipops and are now distributed in schools.
In our 21st century hook-up culture, friends with “benefits” have become the norm. Television, movies and commercials all portray scenes of sex that censors would have cut to pieces even twenty years ago. The dividing line between pornography, erotica and sexy has become ever more blurry if it even exists at all. We have not quite come to commercials showing two people openly having sex, but it certainly would not be a shock or surprise to anyone today. Books and literature describe sex acts from sodomy to bondage that are simply taken for granted or read on the sly. The censorship that accompanied “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is a thing of ancient history.
“In 1930, Senator Bronson Cutting proposed an amendment to the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act, which was then being debated, ending the practice of having United States Customs censor allegedly obscene imported books. Senator Reed Smoot vigorously opposed such an amendment, threatening to publicly read indecent passages of imported books in front of the Senate. Although he never followed through, he included Lady Chatterley’s Lover as an example of an obscene book that must not reach domestic audiences, declaring “I’ve not taken ten minutes on Lady Chatterley’s Lover, outside of looking at its opening pages. It is most damnable! It is written by a man with a diseased mind and a soul so black that he would obscure even the darkness of hell!” — Wikipedia
So sex crazed people are no longer sinners but they are still not saints. Sex is still something that is hidden away and referred to by euphemisms. “Friends with Benefits” mean that I am fucking my “friend”. “Special friend” means we go to bed regularly and copulate. “Significant Other” means that we are living together and screwing without being married. The promise and allure of sex is used to sell everything under the sun from cars to perfume to camp stoves.
Sex may be more open but it is still not considered as natural a function as sleeping or eating. We still have parents who have a difficult time discussing sex with their children. This is true even when their children are now adults. We still use euphemisms like “doing the dirty” or “doing the nasty” to refer to an act of passion and sometimes even love. We walk on tiptoes around young children as though they don’t watch TV or go to the movies. When I was a young child, I was taught in school that masturbating would either make my cock fall off or grow hair on it. Both seemed like undesirable outcomes when I was eight years old.
Priests, monks and prophets still believe that celibacy confers some type of special honor in heaven. Even non-celibate pastors and ministers hardly ever bring up talks about sex in their weekly homilies. Sex is something we still do not discuss in public. It is reserved for back rooms and brothels, unless you are in Las Vegas where street vendors routinely pass out pictures of available women for a price: “Real college students!” “Actual pictures of the women you will get if you call this number!” Elsewhere in the United States hooking up with a prostitute, street walker, call girl or “escort” may get you a jail sentence. The female side of the equation is usually locked up until a fine is paid. Many zealous police departments throughout the US occasionally decide that they can better stamp out sex by jailing the John and not the “sex worker.” A former CEO of my spouse was arrested several years ago in such a sting when he decided to take a mid-morning break from his job with an “escort” he met on Craig’s list. Both the police department and his company frowned on this. He was arrested, released later in the day and fired from his million dollar a year CEO job before the sun set that evening. The moral here is that you don’t do sex on the job or at least you don’t get caught.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to a talk show and the interviewee was a journalist (Nancy Jo Sales) who had recently published a book titled: “American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers.”
“In her new book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, readers are afforded the opportunity to understand what is really going on in the lives of teenagers, especially our girls. ..This book stands apart from other books targeted at understanding the concerns and current plight of teenage girls… A must read for all parents.” — Examiner
The dialogue was very interesting between the talk show host and Nancy. Then, Nancy was asked if her 13 year old daughter had read the book and what she might have thought about it. Nancy seemed shocked by the question and I was shocked by her reply. It was something to the effect that her daughter was still too young to read the book. I could not believe that this woman who was ostensibly studying the sex lives of teenagers could say such a thing. Was she unfamiliar with the following statistics?
Among U.S. high school students surveyed in 2013
- 47% had ever had sexual intercourse.
- 34% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these
- 41% did not use a condom the last time they had sex.
- 15% had had sex with four or more people during their life.
- Only 22% of sexually experienced students have ever been tested for HIV.*
- Nearly 10,000 young people (aged 13-24) were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States in 2013.
- Young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24) accounted for an estimated 19% (8,800) of all new HIV infections in the United States, and 72% of new HIV infections among youth in 2010.
- Nearly half of the 20 million new STDs each year were among young people, between the ages of 15 to 24.
- Approximately 273,000 babies were born to teen girls aged 15–19 years in 2013
These statistics are taken from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
We still have too many sinners out there and not enough saints. We have created a culture where people spend a good portion of their lives surfing the Internet for sex, porn, hookups and other forms of what are called illicit sex. The amount of money spent on Internet pornography is said to exceed all other forms of Internet revenue. We label this the dark side of the web. Anyone trolling for sex is considered a pervert. (The real perverts are those that prey on little children and are truly sick individuals). However, for many normal people seeking a sex life that is consensual with other adults of their ilk, we have created a culture where sex is in a Freudian sense sublimated. Sex is considered anything but a natural activity.
Two shows that I like on Netflix are “Murder in Paradise” and “Numb3rs.” In both shows, the heroes are on love with women they work with. The shows constantly tease us with the potential relationship between the two erstwhile lovers. However, nothing is consummated in episode after episode. It can be argued that this is to keep us tuned in each week but the net effect is to portray people who do not seem to know how to establish a loving relationship with each other. My wife watches Bones where this same scenario between the FBI agent and the Forensic Anthropologist went on for many years.
Now love and sex are certainly not the same thing. Sex is much easier to define, unless you are into politics in which case “sex” often becomes a very ambiguous affair. For most of us though, it is rather clear when and if we have had sex. Sex is a physical affair. Love on the other hand is an emotional affair. Philosophers, poets, prophets and authors throughout history have tried to define love and yet we still do not really know what it is. We use the term in very strange ways. “I love you” we say to friends, relatives, spouses and even strangers. I love my cat. I love my house. I love my new steak knife set. Father Stochel at the Demontreville Retreat Center used to make fun of a class taught by Professor Leo Buscaglia with the words “luv, luv, luv, everywhere you look everyone is in luv.” Buscaglia created a popular course at the University of Southern California during the eighties and became known as “Dr. Love.”
The question that haunts many of us is where does sex leave off and love begin or sometimes vice versa? Where does love leave off and sex begin? I have little doubt that if “love makes the world go round and money greases the wheel” it will be many decades and generations before love really becomes free. It is just too valuable an enterprise to allow it to become as common as picnics in the park. Sexy people will continue to be thought of as sinners and virgins will continue to be our erstwhile saints. Men and women will both continue to be torn between the saint and the sinner. Women will continue their love affairs with the “bad” guys and men will continue their love affairs with the “evil” women. Society will continue its schizophrenic relationship with sex where on the one hand we all want as much of it as we can get and on the other hand, we don’t want to be labeled as sinners. There are few saints associated with an excess of sexual activity either in God’s Garden of Evil or the 21st Century.
There are some readers who might wonder or even think that I made a typographical error in my naming of the Garden of Evil. However, it is a little known fact that up until the Council of Vogogna in 634 AD, what is commonly referred to now as the Garden of Eden was first called the Garden of Evil. This was the first name for the garden because this is where the “evil” deed of copulation was done by the first man and woman in the world to break God’s law regarding fornication. The Catholic Church despite wanting to stamp out the growing tide of wanton sex that had taken place ever since Adam and Eve did it, also wanted to soften its stance a bit regarding the name of the earliest habitat of humanity. Thus, at the Council of Vogogna, 200 or so Cardinals headed by Pope Honorius I decided on a name change. The Garden of Evil would now be called the Garden of Eden and all records of the former name were to be expunged from Bibles and holy books. Of course, prohibitions against fornicating would continue on as before. Priests were always encouraged to remain celibate although this injunction did not apply to Bishops, Cardinals or Popes. (See the following for a list of sexually active Popes.) The list is even longer if you look at those who were sexually active as priests before they became Popes.
Sexually Active Popes:
Pope Sergius III (904–911) was supposedly the father of Pope John XI by Marozia (Source: Liber Pontificalis, Liutprand of Cremona).
Pope John XII (955–963) (deposed by Conclave) was said to have turned the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano into a brothel and was accused of adultery, fornication, and incest (Source: Patrologia Latina).
Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, again in 1045 and finally 1047–1048) was said to have conducted very dissolute life during his papacy.
Pope Clement VI (1342–1352) according to contemporary writer Petrarch held dissolute life both before and after his election to the papacy. Countness of Turenne was ostensibly his main mistress.
Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) had a notably long affair with Vannozza dei Cattanei before his papacy, by whom he had his famous illegitimate children Cesare and Lucrezia. A later mistress, Giulia Farnese, was the sister of Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III. For rumors of Alexander’s sexual activity see Banquet of Chestnuts. He fathered a total of seven children.
Pope Julius III (1550–1555) was accused of having homosexual relations with his adoptive nephew Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte whom he made a cardinal shortly after his election to the papacy. Some others claimed also that he was his father. None of this allegations, however, have been confirmed with certainity.
Time for Questions:
What role does sex play in your life? Are you a sexy person? Have you taught your children about the role that sex plays in a person’s life? Is sex a good part of your life? Why or why not? What do you think we need to do to create a healthier attitude towards sex in life?
Life is just beginning.
“Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness. And the intelligence which goes with sex and beauty, and arises out of sex and beauty, is intuition.” — D. H. Lawrence