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Old 06-22-2012, 05:38 PM   #121
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food for thought?
To me his themes are more or less what I was getting at in the 'Abstinence...' thread awhile back, when I commented that, if all I've heard from female friends over the decades is anything to go by, there really doesn't seem to be much correlation (at least for women) between number of partners/level of 'experience' and actual enjoyment of sex. Too many women seem to be preoccupied with being desirable rather than with realizing their own desires, and 'freedom' as conventionally imagined doesn't really address that problem one way or the other. (And note, in saying "one way or the other" I'm also dismissing the idea that mandating premarital abstinence or banning pornography would somehow 'fix' the problem--it wouldn't.)

And y'know, if the 90s were the decade of Catharine MacKinnon and Rape Culture in 'leftist feminism,' they were also the decade of Camille Paglia and Riot Grrrrl, so, lots of absurdly overdrawn nonsense and spinning off into the ether from both ends.

But none of this has anything to do with what sin is, either...
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #122
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Nathan posted a statistic that 1 in 6 women in Colorado had either been assaulted or full on raped, implying that it was a result of our culture of sexual objectification.
Oh,yeah I do recall that. Oops.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #123
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To me his themes are more or less what I was getting at in the 'Abstinence...' thread awhile back, when I commented that, if all I've heard from female friends over the decades is anything to go by, there really doesn't seem to be much correlation (at least for women) between number of partners/level of 'experience' and actual enjoyment of sex. Too many women seem to be preoccupied with being desirable rather than with realizing their own desires, and 'freedom' as conventionally imagined doesn't really address that problem one way or the other. (And note, in saying "one way or the other" I'm also dismissing the idea that mandating premarital abstinence or banning pornography would somehow 'fix' the problem--it wouldn't.)

And y'know, if the 90s were the decade of Catharine MacKinnon and Rape Culture in 'leftist feminism,' they were also the decade of Camille Paglia and Riot Grrrrl, so, lots of absurdly overdrawn nonsense and spinning off into the ether from both ends.

But none of this has anything to do with what sin is, either...
I find it interesting, though not necessarily surprising that the discussion of sin ended up being a discussion of sex. The religio-political obsession with it notwithstanding, I think that most sexual sins (at least of the consensual adult kind) are probably of lesser concern than others. Certainly less of an issue to God than they are to a lot of His followers. Not that I claim to know the mind of God, but while Jesus touched on sexual issues it wasn't a huge theme in his teaching.

But on the topic of sex, connection, and intimacy, I highly recommend the book Passionate Marriage by therapist Dr. David Schnarch. I found his ideas revolutionary, particularly coming from a secular author. His ideas don't have to be limited to married people but he finds a fascinating intersection between being a fully-realized individual (my phrasing not his) and sexual satisfaction in a long-term relationship. He more or less suggests that really great sexual chemistry can only come with time--a lot of time (like 15-20 years at least). At least that's how I remember it. Really, really good book.

Here's a link to his website: Passionate Marriage | PassionateMarriage (Or at least to the book website).

I gotta run (literally, my running partner is waiting on me) but if people are interested I can dig the book out and elaborate more later.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #124
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So unless I'm missing something, there was a clear implication that the activity was somehow abnormal or dysfunctional. And given that every reputable psychiatrist and doctor will tell you as much (putting aside people with sex addictions), then the conclusion is that it is something about Nathan's religious orientation that leads him to the above conclusions, and not something that has bearing on us physiologically.
My comment wasn't intended to be a comment on masturbation (like Sean, not a subject I intended to discuss at all), but rather about the use of normal to justify behavior. As someone else pointed out, concepts like "sin" -- or, frankly, "normal" -- have rather elastic definitions depending on your cultural context -- what's considered normal in one culture will get your hands cut off in another. So saying "it's normal!" isn't necessarily an effective rebuttal to the whole "is it sin" question. I'm sorry if anitram thought I was going after her; I wasn't. (Though given that the number of people struggling with sex addiction is apparently on the rise, it's not totally irrelevant.)

I've got JiveTurkey on ignore, so I'm not sure what all the comments are, but my post about national rape statistics (not just CO) was a response to his "everyone walks around logging faces in the spank bank, and we don't live in a rape society" comments. If those statistics are to be believed, there are some uncomfortable questions we might have to ask ourselves. Ones that Irvine's article raises far more eloquently than I ever could.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:17 PM   #125
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I read "looking once is okay, looking twice is a sin" as something that wasn't intended to be taken absolutely literally.
It wasn't.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:18 PM   #126
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I'd argue that repressing those thoughts would be more likely to lead to rape than putting a face in the spank bank.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #127
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I'd argue that repressing those thoughts would be more likely to lead to rape than putting a face in the spank bank.
I'm curious -- do you consider self-control to be the same thing as repression?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:41 PM   #128
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I've got JiveTurkey on ignore
shocking

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Old 06-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #129
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shocking

It's probably because of responses like that so many of us have you on ignore.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #130
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It's probably because of responses like that so many of us have you on ignore.
That's why you were able to see the post then? For the record, I couldn't care less if anyone has me on ignore. I'm amused that you guys go out of your way to point it out though, as if it will hurt my feelings or something
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:36 PM   #131
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I'd argue that repressing those thoughts would be more likely to lead to rape than putting a face in the spank bank.
I didn't think I was advocating "repressing."
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:54 PM   #132
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shocking
I believe these are the kind of scornful, antagonistic one-liners that yolland was talking about. Seriously, this conversation would be worlds better without them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:27 AM   #133
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again, I'm not the one who initiated that whole thing.
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Wow. You know, you're absolutely right. Objectifying people for your own personal sexual gratification is absolutely the way to go.
^That's the moment the tone changed

The convo was very civil originally, but I guess we don't have to worry about it anymore
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:12 AM   #134
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Again, a gross oversimplification.
I didn't intend it to sound oversimplified, but I understand looking back it comes off that way, and I apologize for any misunderstanding on my part, both in my response and in reading Nathan's post.

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"Shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars" blah, blah, blah. . .

Seriously though, the question of perfection is where you really do start to see quite bit of disagreement among people of faith. Probably Nathan and I would disagree on it for example, since we come from different denominational backgrounds.

Beyond whether "perfection" is possible or not though, is really the question of whether "pretty good" is good enough. I think most of us think "Hey, look I'm a pretty good person. I may not be perfect, but I'm basically a good person. . .'don't cheat on my taxes, don't cheat on my girl, I've got values that would make the White House jealous'".

To be honest, I think most people on this world are pretty good. There's a few truly evil types and a few real saints, but most people are basically good. The question is: How is that working out, this world full of pretty good people?

When I look at the world I don't think it's working out so well. Pretty good, somehow, for whatever reason, isn't apparently good enough. And that's where the religious person's discussion of sin begins. IMHO.
Heh, and I'm a bit more optimistic than you are. I generally agree with your overall assessment of people in the world, but I also think that the media overload we have going today makes it seem like things are much worse than they probably are. That's not to diminish the severity and horror of whatever bad things ARE actually happening, which should be dealt with, but I think they're happening in probably roughly the same amount now they always have been, give or take a few spikes or drops here and there throughout history.

I also don't mean to imply we shouldn't strive for better. We should, absolutely. I want to be able to live in as fair and peaceful and helpful and caring a world as possible. And on a personal level, any flaws in my personality or actions that negatively affect myself or people around me, I should definitely take a look at and work to fix.

I just think the way religion frames the debate about sin and ways to remove yourself from sin seems self-defeating and contradictory at times, is all. It's like there's no leeway or "Well, at least you're trying, so that's worth considering" in some denominations' eyes. Add in the fact that religions can't seem to come to an agreement on what constitutes sinful behavior to begin with, and if religious institutions that people look to to help them solve their problems can't agree on how to solve said problems, or what are problems worth solving to begin with, it's going to be harder for people to take them seriously and give their suggestions any weight.

And then of course there's the argument that you don't need to believe in God to begin with to try and lead a good life, but that's another topic in and of itself.

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According to the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 1 of 6 U.S. women have experienced an attempted or completed rape.

I don't give a rip about masturbation. I do care about rape.
So do I. Very much so.

I would also point out, however, that some out there argue that rape has less to do with sex and more to do with exerting power over someone. So if you look at it from that perspective, that would put things in a whole new light.

Irvine's article poses some interesting thoughts. I'm going to be mulling that over a bit, share my thoughts when I have a bit more time on me.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:24 AM   #135
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Anybody that says otherwise is either dangerously repressed or a liar
That's actually pretty much where the tone changed for me.

If you want to call out my response to this post for being sarcastic, that's fine. But sarcasm and substance in FYM often go hand-in-hand (you are no stranger to it yourself). In any event, escalating to calling me a "repressed, shamed prude" was entirely your choice.

Onward.
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