Aesthetics, Bad Ideas, Celibacy, Complaining, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Education, Erotic Love, Eudaimonia, Health, Horniness, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mental and Emotional Health, Pleasure, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self-Flourishing, Self-Pity, Sex, Sexuality, Shame, Society, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being, Whining

A Indelicate Post on the Most Delicate Topic of Simpatico Sex

(About a 5 minute read)

It has long been my personal, tender opinion that the pure Japanese genius for first seeing nearly everything as an aesthetic experience, and for then optimizing the aesthetics of those experiences — that the Japanese genius for that has only been defeated once — and once only — in the entire cultural history of that remarkable people.

The Japanese genius for aesthetics was overthrown when it took on sex.

Continue reading “A Indelicate Post on the Most Delicate Topic of Simpatico Sex”

Abuse, Adolescence, Adolescent Sexuality, Alienation, Art, Artist, Attached Love, Attachment, Celibacy, Competence, Erotic Love, Ethics, Free Spirit, Horniness, Human Nature, Lovers, People, Political Issues, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Values, Wisdom

I Dumped Her When She Soaked Me With Buckets of Love

(About a 6 minute read)

Ask nearly anyone to sum up adolescence in a few words and most likely one of those words will be “confusing”.  Whatever else it is, that word is just as focused on a key truth as a teenage boy is focused on his friend’s suddenly perky nipples the very first time he espies them by the light of the werewolf moon.

What is often not mentioned, however, is how frequently adolescent confusions turn all manner of relationships into cruel ropes that jerk their victims back when they try to run from a bad situation.  Even blind or unintended abuse is magnified by the fact kids bond so quickly and firmly to each other.

Continue reading “I Dumped Her When She Soaked Me With Buckets of Love”

Celibacy, Courtship, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Happiness, Honesty, Late Night Thoughts, Lovers, Marriage, Poetry, Relationships, Seduction, Sexuality

Late Night Thoughts: Prose and Poetry, Children and Judgement, Priests and Celibacy, Culture and Change, plus more (July 31, 2018)

(About a 4 minute read)

Some of us who publish our poetry on the internet care more to get an idea across than get it across poetically.

We might break our sentences
Into several lines
As if they were poems
But they really are

There’s no crime in it, of course. The gods know life has so many much bigger things to worry about than whether someone likes getting his or her ideas across more than they

Continue reading “Late Night Thoughts: Prose and Poetry, Children and Judgement, Priests and Celibacy, Culture and Change, plus more (July 31, 2018)”

Abstinence Only Sex Ed, Adolescent Sexuality, Celibacy, Dr. Karen Rayne, Education, Health, Political Issues, Politics, Sexuality

What’s Wrong With Primarily Teaching Kids Abstinence?

Earlier today, I was visiting Karen Rayne’s thoughtful blog, Adolescent Sexuality, where she had a post up on the follies of abstinence only sex education.  I think her post prompted me to articulate my own views of teaching kids about abstinence a little bit better than I normally do.  Because I want to give Karen’s blog a shout out (It’s very much worth placing on your schedule of blogs to regularly visit), and because I wish to prompt you to share your own views on the matter, I will quote the  comment I made there:

As someone who has been voluntarily celibate for years, I guess I would be a hypocrite if I did not support abstinence. And, indeed, I wish for a world in which no one — especially young people — is pressured into having sex when they don’t feel or intuit it’s right for them.

At the same time, though, I have increasingly come to the belief we should raise kids to anticipate that they will become sexually active at sometime in their late teens or early twenties, and, of course, to be prepared for it if and when it happens. In other words, I’m no longer of the opinion, if I ever really was, that we should tell kids their first choice should be abstinence and that having sex is only plan B.

For one thing, it’s my understanding that the average age of first sex in the US is currently somewhere around 17 or 18. For another thing, I recall that only one in ten people wait for marriage to have first sex. And, if those and other things are the real facts of the matter, then I find it a bit off to pretend — as so many of our leaders do — that most kids can benefit from being taught that abstinence ought to be Plan A.

I would turn it around. Responsible sex is Plan A, abstinence is Plan B, and Plan C is to take responsibility for neither and become a fool.

Of course, given the current politics of sex, I believe there is no way any public school system instructor in the US could get away with telling kids, “You should pretty much expect to have sex by your late teens or early twenties, and if you don’t, then that’s alright too.”

So, Karen, am I a nutcase for thinking the primary emphasis should be on preparing for sex, rather than on preparing for abstinence?

I will ask you the same essential question I asked Karen: Should the primary emphasis in sex education be on teaching kids to prepare for sex, rather than on teaching kids to prepare for abstinence?  What do you think?

Abuse, Celibacy, Consciousness, Emotions, Ethics, Horniness, Idealism, Late Night Thoughts, Love, Lust, Obligations to Society, Quality of Life, Relationships, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Sexualization, Spirituality, Values

How to be Voluntarily Celibate for Fifteen Years Without Taking any Vow

I’ve been celibate now for over 15 years.  The first two or three years were difficult despite the fact I was, for once in my life, following my heart or gut.  That is, my decision to become celibate wasn’t an intellectual one.

When it’s your gut doing the decision making, you don’t always know what caused the thing to decide one way rather than another.  Yet, I’m pretty sure my gut decided on celibacy at least partly in response to a string of miserable “loves” that began in high school and lasted through my 37th year.

As I imagine it, my gut took a long hard look at that string of miserable “loves” and decided: “no more!”  It had had enough.

Of course, I don’t know if it really happened that way.  It’s still a mystery to me how my gut makes decisions.  But, to nevertheless be fair and acknowledge  my gut’s competence, these past 15 years have been on balance the happiest years of my life.  Thus, my gut seems to have made the right decision, because I’ve been significantly happier during my celibate years than I was during the years in which I took lovers.  Not every decision made in life works out so well.

I don’t know how much longer I will remain celibate.  But I do know I seem highly likely to remain celibate until my gut decides — if it ever decides — to take a lover.   That is, it does not seem likely to me that I will make an intellectual decision to end my celibacy.  If I ever do, I fear such a decision, because it would be intellectually based, must be unwise.

I think perhaps you can understand by now that vows of celibacy, as distinguished from gut decisions,  are not my thing.  They just aren’t something I can support.

I know many people think taking a vow of celibacy is noble.  And doesn’t the world seem full of religious people who take vows of celibacy?  Maybe I should haul down my flag, and get in line with what appears to be the majority of religious folks on this issue?

Yet, I believe, based on my limited experience, that the desire or decision to practice celibacy should arise from the gut, the heart, the subconscious — whatever you want to call it.  And specifically, the decision should not be a creature of the consciousness that we impose on ourselves.

It seems to me a decision that is a creature of the consciousness can easily become a monster.  Such a decision requires the imposition of celibacy.  Which is to say, it requires the repression of the gut, heart, or subconscious.  And by now, everyone in the world and their dogs should know exactly where that is all-too-likely to get you.

I could be wrong, but it is my impression the Catholic Church has seldom in its history been much of a moral guide.  It seems it has always claimed for itself a greater role as a moral guide than it has been willing to put into practice.

So perhaps it is mere justice the Church has inadvertently reinvented itself as the world’s largest, most visible, and best known example of what all too often happens to people (e.g. priests) who repress their sexuality with vows of celibacy.

If their example of moral insanity is not providing the world with moral guidance in this matter, if it is not causing the world to have second thoughts about imposing celibacy, then it is only because the world is not properly listening — is not, for whatever reason, seeing the obvious.

When I read in the news that ten thousand children are the number of children estimated to have been raped by the priests of Belgium, or that thousands of children are estimated to have been raped by the priests of Germany, or that fourteen thousand are estimated to have been raped by the priests of Australia — when I read of the numbers — the numbers that come from every country where there are priests —  I think to myself that the case against imposed celibacy could not possibly be based on firmer ground than it is.

So, I will say it again: A decision to become celibate that is made by the consciousness, and that is therefore a creature of the consciousness, can easily become a monster.

I have been happily celibate for above 15 years, yet I cannot imagine myself nearly so happy if I had imposed the decision on myself.  The moral insanity of the priests should be a lesson to the world.

It should also be a lesson to the Catholic hierarchy — a lesson that very soon results in a sane policy of allowing priests to marry.

This post has to some large extent been inspired by those of you who have been finding my blog by googling “dealing with celibacy”, “how to be celibate”, “staying celibate”, and similar phrases.  It’s my guess that some of you either are priests, or are thinking about becoming priests, and you are now wrestling with the various issues spawned by imposed celibacy.

If my guess is right, then I hope this post has been of some help in your struggles.  Should you want my advice in this matter, it is free for the asking.  There is more to being happily celibate than I am able to discuss here.  Simply email me at paul [underscore] sunstone [at] q [dot] com.   You and anything you have to say or ask will remain confidential.

Celibacy, Depression, Emotions, Happiness, Health, Late Night Thoughts, Mental and Emotional Health, People, Sexuality

Celibacy and the Single Sage

I was careening around the net this evening looking for inspiration when I bumped across two blog posts in a row dealing with celibacy. That’s when I thought, “Surely this is the start of something: I predict the next blog post will be titled, ‘Celibacy and the Single Sage'”.

It wasn’t.

“No matter”, I thought, “I shall take it as a sign to write about celibacy, for I have a title!” So, here I am, writing about celibacy on the theory I have a great deal to say about celibacy because I have a great title.

Well, although I’m not exactly a sage, I am celibate — so at least I’ve got that going for me here. Moreover, by coincidence, a couple of people asked me last month why I was celibate — so I now have some experience discussing it. How could anything go wrong with such a great title and — all that experience on my side?

So, let’s begin. Perhaps, like the folks last month, you wonder why anyone would choose to be celibate?

Actually, I don’t know an answer to that. Dang. Next question, please!

OK. What I do know is that, when I tried to answer the folks who asked me why I was celibate, I made a good faith effort to answer the question. Yet, the result was only my stumbling through six or seven possible reasons I choose to become celibate. And none of those reasons seemed very correct to me.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever begun answering someone only to realize you didn’t have any reasons for what you did — you were instead acting on your gut instinct? On your intuition?

It took me a while stumbling through the reasons I have often thought I had for becoming celibate, but eventually I recalled enough of the past to discern I was following my instincts — and not my head — at the time I choose to become celibate.

So, I cannot really answer the question of why I decided to become celibate. It was a gut decision. The reasons I’ve often fancied I had for my decision are really just afterthoughts. Near as I can figure it out, that’s far closer to the truth than the six or seven reasons I offered my friends in haste last month.

Those were challenging times — back when I decided to become celibate. That was the context.

I had only recently lost my business, my wife, my house, and much else. I had then gone on the road with no clear destination, looking for someplace to live. I’d come to Colorado Springs by quirk and circumstance. And though I didn’t know enough about mental health at that time to recognize it, I was afflicted with depression. It surprises me I didn’t shack up with someone.

I have known many people who went through something similar, and in most cases, they sought solace in sex and romance, religion, drugs, or alcohol. I went with my intuition and stayed away from those things.

That was 13 or 14 years ago. Except for a few one-night stands in the early years, I have been celibate ever since (Eventually, I even got therapy and treatment for the depression and became insufferably happy).

So I can’t really say I decided to become celibate for this or that reason, but only that I went with my gut, and that it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. These past few years, after getting the depression under control, have been the happiest of my life.   Celibacy:  It’s not just for sages anymore!

Now, I’m curious to hear what life decisions you’ve made by going with your gut instincts? How did those decisions work out for you?