Letters to DOMAI
I read the response letters this week to "T.V." letter with interest. I find all of them thoughtful and insightful, especially R.W.S's.
However there is one thing that I'm concerned about. It seems a point's being missed here. That being that when we appreciate the beauty of a nude woman without feeling lust toward her, and we deny that our feeling is sexual, we're creating a problem. In fact I wonder if by doing so if we aren't setting ourselves up for failure.
For the life of me, I don't understand what is wrong with feeling "sexual" toward a woman. And by that I include lust, desire, as well as the simple appreciation of her beauty, and all that goes with the fact that I'm a man, and I enjoy women. I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling "sexual" about a woman. In fact if I didn't I'd be more than a little concerned. But I also am aware of the fact that that the sexual feeling I experience includes the appreciation of her incredible beauty. I don't think that we men are doing ourselves any favors by trying to separate the two feelings. By doing so I think we're setting ourselves up to be neurotics. I just don't think there's anything wrong with feeling "sexual", whether that includes lust and desire, or simple awe at the beauty of women, nude or not.
It is my opinion that the guilt T.V. refers to is very much linked to this contradictory outlook on our own beings, which, in my opinion, has been impressed on us from childhood, and that if we could reject such idiocy, and simply accept ourselves for who we are, life gets a lot simpler.
I have a feeling that T.V.'s guilt may not be one related to sexuality or nudity, but instead guilt concerning trust and consent. Women in pornography expect to be used for pleasure purposes and then discarded. They say with their eyes and actions, "Come, take me. Do as you want, then leave."
Sincerely; Brian O
Sometimes I look at the pictures and think "What a wonderful world we live in, to contain such beauty." Sometimes I look at the pictures and feel sexual stirrings. It doesn't matter to me if the pictures are on Domai, in my memory from sights I've seen, or just in my imagination.
T.V.'s lament touches us all. It's because we all are prone to guilt, even if we deny it and wish it not so. Guilt is a universal emotion, like joy and hate. So is appreciation of the opposite sex's form, and in some cases, the same sex's. The appreciation of that form leads to procreation, so it must be genetic.
This young man speaks of a very common problem that we all seem to suffer from too much. Now that I'm "old & tired" (74+), you might think I'd be past most of that, but I'm not.
I think it's mostly because our religious leaders have been too successful at laying these "guilt trips" on us, for basically "doing what comes naturally". In addition, even after all these thousands of years, we're still very backward about discussing and teaching proper information to our younger generation. We seem to hope that someone else will do it for us, and of course, that seldom happens in the right ways, or the right times.
A lot of this, I think, is because our religious leaders have traditionally forbid most sexual activities unrelated to actually producing more contributors to the collections, and more peasants in the fields. Even now, when we can see the disastrous effects of all that, these same leaders haven't changed their tune to recognize up to date knowledge. The use of guilt, and "Thou shalt not....." has worked too well for them.
Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for a good read.
TV's letter is more about maturing than it is about guilt. He is starting to feel respectful for some nude models and worries that masturbating while looking at these photos is disrespectful. It's good that his conscience asks him this question and is helping him differentiate. He is acquiring taste. He might ask himself why he feels this greater respect for the Domai models and what this means to him.
At some point TV may want to join a naturist group or at least spend time at public nude beaches. Once he gets more comfortable that all people have nude bodies then he can continue to appreciate there are times when looking at an attractive nude woman is merely pleasurable and other times when it is erotically stimulating. And it can be the same woman or the same photo.
Your question, "TV", if I might paraphrase it, is this; "Is there anything wrong with seeing the pictures featured in a site like DOMAI as sexual, and even using them as 'inspiration' as you masturbate?" It is basically a religious question. However, most who ask this question were brought up under the three great religions of "the book," which are Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Only these religious have attempted to make all things sexual into carnal. As an example, the apostle Paul perscribed marriage for those who couldn't control their sexual drives, in order to avoid burning in hell. He believe that the more spiritual among us would not need this "solution."
In addition to this, I believe you still have a latent problem with the act of masturbation itself. That would not be surprising, considering you Catholic background. But I, who was raised in a fairly liberal Northern Presbyterian Church, before the merger, was raised to consider masturbation a sin. I was told that it was the "sin of Onan" (see Genesis 38:8-10) and that God killed Onan for this sin. (No, masturbation isn't what Onan was killed for, but you can see how those who are obsessed with sex as evil could work it in.)
Now, you want to be absolved or even acquitted of this sin. Actually you desire to be told that it is not a sin and therefor, there is no need to either absolve or acquit you of it.
Unfortunately, I cannot do this for you. Neither can any other person, including your priest or any other religious authority you might appeal to. You have to deal with your demons yourself, which is unfortunate considering the fact that you aren't responsible for those demons being there. They were imposed on you by your upbringing; you did not readily accept them yourself.
However, I can offer you information that you might use as you work to overcome these demons.
First, let me quote Genesis 1:31, which concludes the first creation myth found in the Bible. It reads; "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." If God indeed created everything, including we humans, He created sexuality as well. According to this creation myth, He pronounced even our sexuality as being very good.
Next, there are two views of the sacred and the profane. The most common categorizes everything into one of these categories or the other. Consequently, sexuality is seen as being profane, or carnal. However, most spiritual psychologists see this attitude as indicative of spiritual immaturity. The view they hold is that everything is spiritual and we profane it by allowing or carnal natures to misappropriate it. From this perspective, our sexuality can only become carnal if we misuse or abuse it, AND sexuality is spiritual until we do this.
The third piece of information is the fact that most, if not all of the other religions in the world, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confuciusism, and so on, consider sex to be a spiritual exercise. Hinduism includes a sub category called Tantric Yoga, which concentrates on sexual activity as a route into spirituality. Lately, the more enlightened forms of Christianity have adopted this attitude toward sex, that it can be just as spiritual as anything else, even prayer and worship.
But, what about masturbation? Is that one of the spiritual uses of sex, or does it fall into the category of that which profanes sex? Your fourth fact is that most sex therapists prescribe masturbation. It enables you to know your own sexual responses better. With this knowledge you can enable your partner to give you greater satisfaction which can increase the spiritual nature of your sexual liaisons. Also, masturbation is proscribed by Tartaric Yoga, again for the very same purpose.
For our fifth and final piece of information, let's consider the subjects of the photographs you use to masturbate to. The women in these photographs, like every other human being on this earth, are multi-faceted creatures. Sexuality is one of those facets. While it is only one, their sexuality is just as important as any other facets. When you find the pictures sexual, you are recognizing this fact. It doesn't mean that you are diminishing them to only this facet any more than the husband diminishes his wife into a sexual object every time he mates with her.
Your fears are that by seeing the women depicted in the pictures of a site like DOMAI as sexual, and good fodder for masturbation, is somehow wrong or sinful. I have likened these fears to demons, which I believe is a good analogy. Unfortunately, these demons do not respond well to logic. They were placed in your psyche by years and years of repetition. They are a part of your subconscious, which is emotional, not analytical. It will take work for you to exorcise these demons.
I believe that this work is worth it. If I didn't, I wouldn't have gone to the effort to give you all this. I also believe that you need to exorcise these demons if you ever want to enter into a more perminate relationship with a woman. If not, these demons will only get in the way of making that relationship more meaningful, hence spiritual. While the "facts" I have cited above are not sufficient, in and of themselves, to exorcise those demons, they can be used as ammunition in that battle.
I wish you luck in that battle. The effort is well worth it.
Sincerely, Art S.