Sexuality Best Quotes

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The desirable virgin is sexy but not sexual. She's young, white, and skinny. She's a cheerleader, a babysitter; she's accessible and eager to please (remember those ethics of passivity!). She's never a woman of color. SHe's never a low-income girl or a fat girl. She's never disabled. "Virgin" is a designation for those who meet a certain standard of what women, especially young women, are supposed to look like. As for how these young women are supposed to act? A blank slate is best.
Jessica Valenti (The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women)
The world is so obsessed with defining sexuality for everyone and attaching labels to it. Any time any person openly leaves the sexual norm, their sexuality becomes, more often than not, the absolute defining characteristic of that person. It becomes the first thing people think about and often the first thing they mention. Every other part of that person all but disappears.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one's best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another.
Judith Butler (Undoing Gender)
Love him,’ said Jacques, with vehemence, ‘love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters? And how long, at the best, can it last, since you are both men and still have everywhere to go? Only five minutes, I assure you, only five minutes, and most of that, helas! in the dark. And if you think of them as dirty, then they will be dirty— they will be dirty because you will be giving nothing, you will be despising your flesh and his. But you can make your time together anything but dirty, you can give each other something which will make both of you better—forever—if you will not be ashamed, if you will only not play it safe.’ He paused, watching me, and then looked down to his cognac. ‘You play it safe long enough,’ he said, in a different tone, ‘and you’ll end up trapped in your own dirty body, forever and forever and forever—like me.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school. 'But how?' we ask. Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)
It was frankly sort of confusing, the way everyone stared at our bodies exactly as they tried to erase the ideas of our bodies from our minds. We were supposed to get over ourselves but no one was supposed to get over us. The female body was our worst handicap and our best advantage -- the surest means to success, the surest course to failure. (p. 72)
Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
The best protection against rape, stalking, and domestic violence is to raise men who both understand that women are different, and would never dare take advantage of this difference.
Wendy Shalit (A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue)
How does one get across the fact that the best way to find out how people feel about their gender or their sexuality—or anything else, really—is to listen to what they tell you, and to try to treat them accordingly, without shellacking over their version of reality with yours?
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Addiction" might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates society. Our addiction make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world's delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in "the distant country," leaving us to face an endless series of disillusionments while our sense of self remains unfulfilled. In these days of increasing addictions, we have wandered far away from our Father's home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in "a distant country." It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
Victims exist in a society that tells us our purpose is to be an inspiring story. But sometimes the best we can do is tell you we're still here, and that should be enough. Denying darkness does not bring anyone closer to the light. When you hear a story about rape, all the graphic and unsettling details, resist the instinct to turn away; instead loo closer, because beneath the gore and the police reports is a whole, beautiful person, looking for ways to be in the world again.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
But if you are a poor creature--poisoned by a wretched up-bringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels--saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion--nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends--do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all - not least yourself: for you have learned your driving in a hard school.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
i was raped, too sexually assaulted in seventh grade, tenth grade. the summer after graduation, at a party i was 16 i was 14 i was 5 and he did it for three years i loved him i didn't even know him he was my best friend's brother, my grandfather, father, mommy's boyfriend, my date, my cousin, my coach i met him for the first time that night and- 4 guys took turns, and- i'm a boy and this happened to me, and- ...i got pregnant i gave up my daughter for adoption... did it happen to you, too?
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
Here lies a she sun, and a he moon there; She gives the best light to his sphere; Or each is both, and all, and so They unto one another nothing owe; And yet they do, but are So just and rich in that coin which they pay, That neither would, nor needs forbear, nor stay; Neither desires to be spared nor to spare. They quickly pay their debt, and then Take no acquittances, but pay again; They pay, they give, they lend, and so let fall No such occasion to be liberal. More truth, more courage in these two do shine, Than all thy turtles have and sparrows, Valentine.
John Donne (The Complete English Poems)
The healing process is best described as a spiral. Survivors go through the stages once, sometimes many times; sometimes in one order, sometimes in another. Each time they hit a stage again, they move up the spiral: they can integrate new information and a broader range of feelings, utilize more resources, take better care of themselves, and make deeper changes.” Allies in Healing by Laura Davis
Laura Hough (Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child)
Sexual tension is like a ruthless pigeon. Feed it once and it will follow you around forever. It never tires or goes on vacation. It just lingers.
Chelsea Fine (Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate, #1))
Denial can be a most useful, temporary shield. Unfortunately, such flimsy armor will not last a lifetime. It is best to face your past, and do so quickly, before your past returns to face you.” — André Chevalier
Nikki Sex (Accuse (Abuse, #2))
What is a flower? A giant sexual organ in its Sunday best. The truth has been known for a long time, yet, over-aged adolescents that we are, we persist in speaking sentimental drives about the delicacy of flowers. We construct idiotic phrases like "So-and-so is in the flower of his youth", which is as absurd as saying "in the vagina of his youth".
Amélie Nothomb (Le Sabotage amoureux)
I no longer look to my abusers with any expectation– of remorse, or apology or restitution or restoration or relationship. I’m at peace, accepting that they won’t and can’t help me out of the mess they created. But, I’m the best qualified for that job anyway and I’m happy with the job I’m doing.
Christina Enevoldsen (The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal)
Do not seek for the best partner, but seek for the person who makes you a better version of yourself.
Abhijit Naskar (Wise Mating: A Treatise on Monogamy (Humanism Series))
Uh-oh! BEWARE!!!" said Fensler. "Never, ever marry the best sex of your life. It only happens with someone who is very dangerous for you. It's passionate, exciting, but it generally indicates that you are pushing each other's dysfunctional buttons. Be very wary of men you are crazily sexually attracted to-they're the dangerous ones for you. That's what all analysis says in one form or another.
Plum Sykes (Bergdorf Blondes)
This principle - that your spouse should be capable of becoming your best friend - is a game changer when you address the question of compatibility in a prospective spouse. If you think of marriage largely in terms of erotic love, then compatibility means sexual chemistry and appeal. If you think of marriage largely as a way to move into the kind of social status in life you desire, then compatibility means being part of the desired social class, and perhaps common tastes and aspirations for lifestyle. The problem with these factors is that they are not durable. Physical attractiveness will wane, no matter how hard you work to delay its departure. And socio-economic status unfortunately can change almost overnight. When people think they have found compatibility based on these things, they often make the painful discovery that they have built their relationship on unstable ground. A woman 'lets herself go' or a man loses his job, and the compatibility foundation falls apart.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
It seems the guys who are best at sex approach it with the serenity of a Buddhist monk. They are never going to beg for it and when the time is right (and all signs point to yes), then they take charge masterfully and completely.
Roberto Hogue (Real Secrets of Sex: A Women's Guide on How to Be Good in Bed)
So the city became the material expression of a particular loss of innocence – not sexual or political innocence but somehow a shared dream of what a city might at its best prove to be – its inhabitants became, and have remained, an embittered and amnesiac race, wounded but unable to connect through memory to the moment of injury, unable to summon the face of their violator.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope. We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Make life easier for those around you, not harder. Every person you know is fighting their own great battle. Few of us ever know what those battles entail, and so often we say and do things that push others deeper and harder into the front lines of those battles. I know such has been the relentless lifelong reality for me. Love a person for the person that they are. Or dislike them for the person that they are. But don’t love or dislike them for the sole reason that they see people differently than you do. Don’t love or dislike them because they experience the world differently than you do. And please don’t eternally and wholly define them with sexual labels just because they were among those who finally found the courage to acknowledge their truth.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
That first drunk, first high, first sexual encounter, those feelings of first are the most intense, the best remembered, always impossible to attain again.
Justin Donner (I Just Woke Up Dead: A Memoir)
Life is just a series of choices. We try to always make the best ones, but really we’re just settling for the lesser of two evils. Or at least trying to.
S.L. Jennings (Taint (Sexual Education, #1))
Dominance functions best in a culture of disconnections and fragmentation. Feminism recognizes connections. Imagine
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat - 25th Anniversary Edition: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (Bloomsbury Revelations))
What you're experiencing isn't a dry spell. It's a dust bowl. Tell me, do you find cob webs in there every time you get yourself off?
Parker S. Huntington (Asher Black (The Five Syndicates, #1))
Just for the record, the way to a man's heart isn't through his stomach, but through the best fucking blow job ever. You want a man to be your bitch? Perfect your craft.
Devon Ashley (Falling Upward (Falling, #2.5))
rest of my teachers maybe did the best they could, but they just needed a lot of help making their best better. There were so many things we needed in those classrooms, in our city, in our state, in our country that our teachers could have provided if they would have gone home and really done their homework. They never once said the words: “economic inequality,” “housing discrimination,” “sexual violence,” “mass incarceration,” “homophobia,” “empire,” “mass eviction,” “post traumatic stress disorder,” “white supremacy,” “patriarchy,” “neo-confederacy,” “mental health,” or “parental abuse,” yet every student and teacher at that school lived in a world shaped by those words.
Kiese Laymon (Heavy)
Brad (Lauren's ex) ignored Hayley (she's Brad's ex girlfriend) and looked at me, he did a top to toe and back again then his gaze moved to Tate. "I'm here to tell you I'm suing you," he announced. Jim-Billy, Nadine, Steg, Wing and my eyes moved to Tate. Tate stared at Brad then he said, "Come again?" "I'm suing you," Brad repeated. "For what?" Tate asked. "Alienation of affection," Brad answered. Without hesitation, Tate threw his head back and burst out laughing. Then he looked at me and remarked, "You're right, babe, this is fun." Ignoring Tate's comment, Brad declared, "You stole my wife." Tate looked back at Brad. "Yeah, bud, I did." Brad pointed at Tate and his voice was raised when he proclaimed, "See? You admit it." He threw his arm out. "I have witnesses." "Not that any judge'll hear your case, seein' as Lauren divorced your ass before I alienated her affection, but you manage it, I'll pay the fine. In the meantime, I'll keep alienating her affection. You should know, and feel free to share it with your lawyers," Tate continued magnanimously, "schedule's comin' out mornin' and night. Usually, in the mornin', she sucks me off or I make her come in the shower. Night, man…shit, that's even better. Definitely worth the fine." Sorry, it's just too long; I have to cut it off. But it continues…like that: "This is the good life?" (Brad) "Part of it," Tate replied instantly, taking his fists from the bar, leaning into his forearms and asking softly, in a tone meant both to challenge and provoke, "She ever ignite, lose so much control she'd attack you? Climb on top and fuck you so hard she can't breathe?" I watched Brad suffer that blow because I hadn't, not even close. We'd had good sex but not that good and Brad was extremely proud of his sexual prowess. He was convinced he was the best. And he knew, with Tate's words, he was wrong. "Jesus, you're disgusting," Brad muttered, calling up revulsion to save face. "She does that to me," Tate continued. "Fuck off," Brad snapped. "All the fuckin' time," Tate pushed. "Fuck off," Brad repeated. "It's fuckin' magnificent," Tate declared. "Thanks, honey," I whispered and grinned at him when his eyes came to me. I was actually expressing gratitude, although embarrassed by his conversation, but I was also kind of joking to get in Brad's face. Tate wasn't. His expression was serious when he said, "You are, Ace. Fuckin' magnificent.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Wow, Angela and Holly,” Ash said, sounding awed. “Hot.” “Excuse me, what is wrong with you?” Kami demanded. “Other people’s sexuality is not your spectator sport.” Ash paused. “Of course,” he said. “But—” “No!” Kami exclaimed. “No buts. That’s my best friend you’re talking about. Your first reaction should not be ‘Hot.’ ” “It’s not an insult,” Ash protested. “Oh, okay,” Kami said. “In that case, you’re going to give me a minute. I’m picturing you and Jared. Naked. Entwined.” There was a pause. Then Jared said, “He is probably my half brother, you know.” “I don’t care,” Kami informed him. “All you are to me are sex objects that I choose to imagine bashing together at random. Oh, there you go again, look at that, nothing but Lynburn skin as far as the mind’s eye can see. Masculine groans fill the air, husky and..." "Stop it," Ash said in a faint voice. "That isn't fair.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2))
Our abusive parent didn't give us the gentle, encouraging nurturing we needed. But healing invites us to give our inner child the kind of loving empowerment that will help us reach our potential and celebrate our spirit. Move past what you wished you could have experienced and embrace the uncommon, sweet possibilities of being your own best parent.
Jeanne McEvlaney
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Robin Williams
I traced a finger along my bottom lip as I wondered what his erection would look like, and how I should seduce him. I thought what kind of approach would work best: whether to go in slow and seductively, or whether I should make him notice me in some hard and fast way.
Fiona Thrust (Naked and Sexual (Fiona Thrust, #1))
I wasn’t raised in a household where it was considered abnormal to be gay. So for me to meet people who use the word 'faggot' as an insult, with a derogatory meaning, I can’t take it. I don’t understand it. It’s so foreign to me. I was raised in a household where being gay was like, the most normal thing. You know, my brother is gay, all of my best friends are gay. When my brother came out of the closet, it wasn’t a big deal for my family. Even my grandpa, who is like, super old-school, was like, Good for you! It’s outrageous to me when I see people hate on someone because of their sexuality. I hate the intolerance. I hate the judgment. I hate it so much. Most of my favorite people in my life are gay. It’s something I’m super passionate about, because whenever I would see my friends get bullied, or my brother get hurt for his sexuality, I would become a raging lunatic. I would literally become a raging lunatic because I just can’t take it. When you see someone you love hurting, for such a superficial, bullshit reason, it’s like, how small and spiritually unenlightened and dumb as fuck can a person be? How much further can your head get up your ass that you’re actually judging someone as a person based on their sexuality before you even have a conversation with them?
Ariana Grande
The queen bee's life is totally overrated. All she does is lay eggs, lay eggs. She takes one nuptial flight. That one stuns her with enough fertile power to be trapped in the hive forever. The workers—the sexually undeveloped females—have the best life. They have fields of flowers to roll in. Imagine turning over and over inside a rose.
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
Feminism is a political practice of fighting male supremacy in behalf of women as a class, including all the women you don't like, including all the women you don't want to be around, including all the women who used to be your best friends whom you don't want anything to do with anymore. It doesn't matter who the individual women are. They all have the same vulnerability to rape, to battery, as children to incest. Poorer women have more vulnerability to prostitution, which is basically a form of sexual exploitation that is intolerable in an egalitarian society, which is the society we are fighting for.
Andrea Dworkin
Misogyny has not been completely wiped out anywhere. Rather, it resides on a spectrum, and our best hope for eradicating it globally is for each of us to expose and to fight against local versions of it, in the understanding that by doing so we advance the global struggle.
Mona Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution)
God put us here to go through this kind of mental gymnastics, and He certainly put us here to enjoy our sexual lives. He put us here to ask, to try and find out the best way possible to live with our neighbors. Of course, you can go through a life not asking, and that's the tragedy: so many lives lived in moral blindness.
Dorothy Day
Last year I told Lori I thought I might be bi. Ever since, whenever she saw me looking at another girl, she asked if I liked her. Lori didn't get that sometimes it was fun just to notice people without having to think about whether you liked them or not.
Robin Talley (Our Own Private Universe)
Three guys are drinking in a bar when a drunk comes in, staggers up to the counter, and points at the guy in the middle, shouting, "Your mom's the best sex in town!" Everyone expects a fight, but the guy ignores him, so the drunk wanders off and bellies up to the bar at the far end. Ten minutes later, the drunk comes back, points at the same guy, and says, "I just did your mom, and it was sw-eeeeet!" Again, the guy refuses to take the bait, and the drunk goes back to the far end of the bar. Ten minutes later, he comes back and announces, "Your mom liked it!" Finally, the guy interrupts. "Go home, dad, you're drunk.
Various (101 Dirty Jokes - sexual and adult's jokes)
Ella.” I jump when his warm hand covers mine, and then his head moves to rest on my shoulder. His soft hair tickles my bare skin, and I force myself not to run a comforting hand through it. He doesn’t deserve comfort right now. “You can’t leave,” he whispers, his breath fanning over my neck. “I don’t want you to go.” He kisses my shoulder, but there’s nothing sexual about it. Nothing romantic in the way his hand tightens over my knuckles. “You belong with us. You’re the best thing that ever happened to this family.” Surprise filters through me. Okay. Wow. “You’re ours,” Easton mumbles. “I’m sorry about tonight. I really am, Ella. Please…don’t be mad at me.” My anger melts away. He sounds like a lost little boy, and I can’t stop myself from stroking his hair now. “I’m not mad. But dammit, Easton, the gambling needs to stop. I might not be there to bail you out next time.” “I know.” He groans. “You shouldn’t have had to bail me out tonight. I promise I’ll pay you back, every last cent. I…” He lifts his head and presses a kiss to my cheek. “Thank you for doing that. I mean it.” Sighing, I turn my eyes back to the road. “You’re welcome.
Erin Watt (Paper Princess (The Royals, #1))
When rehabilitation works, there is no question that it is the best and most productive use of the correctional system. It stands to reason: if we can take a bad guy and turn him into a good guy and then let him out, then that’s one fewer bad guy to harm us. . . . Where I do not think there is much hope. . .is when we deal with serial killers and sexual predators, the people I have spent most of my career hunting and studying. These people do what they do. . .because it feels good, because they want to, because it gives them satisfaction. You can certainly make the argument, and I will agree with you, that many of them are compensating for bad jobs, poor self-image, mistreatment by parents, any number of things. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to rehabilitate them.
John E. Douglas (Journey Into Darkness (Mindhunter #2))
The teaching of the sexual tantras all come down to one point. Although desire, of whatever shape or form, seeks completion, there is another kind of union than the one we imagine. In this union, achieved when the egocentric model of dualistic thinking is no longer dominant, we are not united with it, nor am I united with you, but we all just are. The movement from object to subject, as described in both Eastern meditation and modern psychotherapy, is training for this union, but its perception usually comes as a surprise, even when this shift is well under way. It is a kind of grace. The emphasis on sexual relations in the tantric teachings make it clear that the ecstatic surprise of orgasm is the best approximation of this grace.
Mark Epstein (Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life - Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy)
I stood in front of him, frustratedly imagining his naked muscular chest, and wanting his hot cock to spear me. My nipples were aroused, feeling as hard and long as coat hooks. They prodded fiercely through the thin blue material at him, like little calling signs of how horny and ready for sex I was. The best advertisement of all: erect nipples!
Fiona Thrust (Naked and Sexual (Fiona Thrust, #1))
I agree. The best defense is a good offense. I say we take Blake to task on some of the allegations of a cover-up and challenge him to reveal his sources or admit he has no evidence of church involvement,” a member recommended. “I concur.” “So do I.” “One word of warning, of course.” “What’s that?” “We’re lying,” a member warned. “Gerry has done this before, we did know about it, and we did cover it up after we botched the transfer. If Blake finds out and can prove it, we’ll have only made a terrible situation disastrous.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #1))
If an imaginative boy has a sufficiently rich mother who has intelligence, personal grace, dignity of character without harshness, and a cultivated sense of the best art of her time to enable her to make her house beautiful, she sets a standard for him against which very few women can struggle, besides effecting for him a disengagement of his affections, his sense of beauty, and his idealism from his specifically sexual impulses.
George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)
Trans” may work well enough as shorthand, but the quickly developing mainstream narrative it evokes (“born in the wrong body,” necessitating an orthopedic pilgrimage between two fixed destinations) is useless for some—but partially, or even profoundly, useful for others? That for some, “transitioning” may mean leaving one gender entirely behind, while for others—like Harry, who is happy to identify as a butch on T—it doesn’t? I’m not on my way anywhere, Harry sometimes tells inquirers. How to explain, in a culture frantic for resolution, that sometimes the shit stays messy? I do not want the female gender that has been assigned to me at birth. Neither do I want the male gender that transsexual medicine can furnish and that the state will award me if I behave in the right way. I don’t want any of it. How to explain that for some, or for some at some times, this irresolution is OK—desirable, even (e.g., “gender hackers”)—whereas for others, or for others at some times, it stays a source of conflict or grief? How does one get across the fact that the best way to find out how people feel about their gender or their sexuality—or anything else, really—is to listen to what they tell you, and to try to treat them accordingly, without shellacking over their version of reality with yours?
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
The best sex and the most satisfying sex are not the same. I have had great sex with men who were intimate terrorists, men who seduce and attract by giving you just what you feel your heart needs then gradually or abruptly withholding it once they have gained your trust. And I have been deeply sexually fulfilled in bonds with loving partners who have had less skill and know-how. Because of sexist socialization, women tend to put sexual satisfaction in its appropriate perspective. We acknowledge its value without allowing it to become the absolute measure of intimate connection. Enlightened women want fulfilling erotic encounters as much as men, but we ultimately prefer erotic satisfaction within a context where there is loving, intimate connection. If men were socialized to desire love as much as they are taught to desire sex, we would see a cultural revolution. As it stands, most men tend to be more concerned about sexual performance and sexual satisfaction than whether they are capable of giving and receiving love.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
...this is the first time in the history of humankind where we are trying to experience sexuality in the long term, not because we want 14 children, for which we need to have even more because many of them won't make it, and not because it is exclusively a woman's marital duty. This is the first time that we want sex over time about pleasure and connection that is rooted in desire. So what sustains desire, and why is it so difficult? And at the heart of sustaining desire in a committed relationship, I think is the reconciliation of two fundamental human needs... So reconciling our need for security and our need for adventure into one relationship, or what we today like to call a passionate marriage, used to be a contradiction in terms. Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it's a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.
Esther Perel
Since middle-class Western women can best be weakened psychologically now that we are stronger materially, the beauty myth, as it has resurfaced in the last generation, has had to draw on more technological sophistication and reactionary fervor than ever before. The modern arsenal of the myth is a dissemination of millions of images of the current ideal; although this barrage is generally seen as a collective sexual fantasy, there is in fact little that is sexual about it. It is summoned out of political fear on the part of male-dominated institutions threatened by women's freedom, and it exploits female guilt and apprehension about our own liberation -- latent fears that we might be going too far.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I feel like there’s a genuine hole in me. The little death, almost. I need stimulation. I used to need physical stimulation constantly, whether that be from listening to the sound of my own voice, or flirting with guys or girls. I’m not bisexual, but that moment when you realise someone likes you – it’s the best feeling in the world. If you could bottle it..
Matt Healy
If you want what’s best for your kids, one surefire way to provide them with a healthy, happy home is to make sure they have lesbian parents. In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date,2 zero percent of children reported physical or sexual abuse—not a one. In the general population, 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.
Jessica Valenti (Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness)
A few times in my life, I have been manipulated by the sexual power of a woman. "Could you help with my assignment?" I'll do it for you. "I don't know why they've given me middle seat." Take mine. "I thought the trains would still be running." Let me drive your home. No promises, no offers, nothing expected in return.
Graeme Simsion (The Best of Adam Sharp)
In the movie I was played by an actor who actually looked more like me than the character the author portrayed in the book: I wasn't blond, I wasn't tan, and neither was the actor. I also suddenly became the movie's moral compass, spouting AA jargon, castigating everyone's drug use and trying to save Julian. (I'll sell my car," I warn the actor playing Julian's dealer. "Whatever it takes.") This was slightly less true of Blair's character, played by a girl who actually seemed like she belonged in our group-- jittery, sexually available, easily wounded. Julian became the sentimentalized version of himself, acted by a talented, sad-faced clown, who has an affair with Blair and then realizes he has to let her go because I was his best bud. "Be good to her," Julian tells Clay. "She really deserves it." The sheer hypocrisy of this scene must have made the author blanch. Smiling secretly to myself with perverse satisfaction when the actor delivered that line, I then glanced at Blair in the darkness of the screening room.
Bret Easton Ellis (Imperial Bedrooms)
There’s so much wonder in the world, but instead of giving a damn, and taking the time to come to the realization that we are all very, very, small in a very, very miniature place, we like to pretend we are the alphas of the whole universe. We like to make ourselves feel big. And we each like to make our way seem like the best way, and our hurts seem like the biggest hurts, when really, we are nothing more than a tiny burning dot that makes up a part of the giant sky. A tiny dot that no one would even notice was missing. A tiny dot, that will soon enough be replaced by another speck which thinks it’s more important than it actually is. I just wish people would sometimes stop fighting about stupid mundane things like race, sexual orientation, and reality television. I wish they would remember how small they are and take five minutes a day to look up to the sky and breathe.” “Logan?
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2))
All these people who say they want a life free from sexual compulsion, I mean forget it. I mean, what could ever be better than sex? For sure, even the worst blow job is better than, say, sniffing the best rose . . . watching the greatest sunset. Hearing children laugh. I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a hot-gushing, butt-cramping, gut-hosing orgasm. Painting a picture, composing an opera, that's just something you do until you find the next willing piece of ass.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Origins Of Cptsd How do traumatically abused and/or abandoned children develop Cptsd? While the origin of Cptsd is most often associated with extended periods of physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood, my observations convince me that ongoing verbal and emotional abuse also causes it. Many dysfunctional parents react contemptuously to a baby or toddler’s plaintive call for connection and attachment. Contempt is extremely traumatizing to a child, and at best, extremely noxious to an adult. Contempt is a toxic cocktail of verbal and emotional abuse, a deadly amalgam of denigration, rage and disgust. Rage creates fear, and disgust creates shame in the child in a way that soon teaches her to refrain from crying out, from ever asking for attention. Before long, the child gives up on seeking any kind of help or connection at all. The child’s bid for bonding and acceptance is thwarted, and she is left to suffer in the frightened despair of abandonment. Particularly abusive parents deepen the abandonment trauma by linking corporal punishment with contempt. Slaveholders and prison guards typically use contempt and scorn to destroy their victims’ self-esteem. Slaves, prisoners, and children, who are made to feel worthless and powerless devolve into learned helplessness and can be controlled with far less energy and attention. Cult leaders also use contempt to shrink their followers into absolute submission after luring them in with brief phases of fake unconditional love.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
Now, eternity is beyond all categories of thought. This is an important point in all of the great Oriental religions. We want to think about God. God is a thought. God is a name. God is an idea. But its reference is to something that transcends all thinking. The ultimate mystery of being is beyond all categories of thought. As Kant said, the think in itself is no things. It transcends thingness, it goes past anything that could be thought. The best things can't be told because they transcend thought. The second best are misunderstood, because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can't be thought about. The third best are what we talk about. And myth is that field of reference to what is absolutely transcendent....That's why it's absurd to speak of God as of either this sex or that sex. The divine power is antecedent to sexual separation.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
Religion is the opium of the people. He believed that, that dyspeptic little joint-keeper. Yes, and music is the opium of the people. Old mount-to-the-head hadn't thought of that. And now economics is the opium of the people; along with patriotism the opium of the people in Italy and Germany. What about sexual intercourse; was that an opium of the people? Of some of the people. Of some of the best of the people. But drink was a sovereign opium of the people, oh, an excellent opium. Although some prefer the radio, another opium of the people, a cheap one he had just been using. Along with these went gambling, an opium of the people if there ever was one, one of the oldest. Ambition was another, an opium of the people along with a belief in any new form of government. What you wanted was the minimum of government, always less government. Liberty, what we believed in, now the name of a MacFadden publication. We believed in that although they had not found a new name for it yet. But what was the real one? What was the real, the actual, opium of the people? He knew it very well. It was gone just a little way around the corner in that well-lighted part of his mind that was there after two or more drinks in the evening; that he knew was there (it was not really there of course). What was it? He knew very well. What was it? Of course; bread was the opium of the people. Would he remember that and would it make sense in the daylight? Bread is the opium of the people.
Ernest Hemingway
For many people, the shock of sexual abuse pales before the shock of this mother’s statement, “I wish the fuck I never had her.” So thoroughly is motherhood sentimentalized that the mother who wishes to be rid of her child is considered a monster. In reality, women have always greeted the burden of motherhood ambivalently, even in the best of circumstances, and many women bear children involuntarily. But the approbrium which attaches to any woman who willing gives up her child is so great that some mothers will keep and mistreat their children rather than admit that they cannot care for them. Sometimes, the revelation of maternal neglect constitutes a plea for outside intervention, signaling the fact that a mother wants to be relieved of the duty to care for her child.
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))
By the nineteenth century, society had given up burning witches. Yet the sexual exploitation of children continued. In late-nineteenth-century Britain, for example, men who raped young girls were excused because they did it to cure venereal disease. There was a widely held belief that children would take "poisons" out of the body. In fact, leprosy, venereal disease, depression, and impotence were part of a wide range of maladies believed cured by having sex with the young. An English medical text of the time reads, "Breaking a maiden's seal is one of the best antidotes for one's ills. Cudgeling her unceasingly, until she swoons away, is a mighty remedy for man's depression. It cures all impotence.
Patrick J. Carnes (Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred)
Modern relationships are cauldrons of contradictory longings: safety and excitement, grounding and transcendence, the comfort of love and the heat of passion We want it all, and we want it with one person. Reconciling the domestic and the erotic is a delicate balancing act that we achieve intermittently at best. It requires knowing your partner while remaining open to the unknown, cultivating intimacy that respects privacy. Separateness and togetherness alternate, or proceed in counterpoint. Desire resists confinement, and commitment mustn't swallow freedom whole.
Esther Perel
A remarkably consistent finding, starting with elementary school students, is that males are better at math than females. While the difference is minor when it comes to considering average scores, there is a huge difference when it comes to math stars at the upper extreme of the distribution. For example, in 1983, for every girl scoring in the highest percentile in the math SAT, there were 11 boys. Why the difference? There have always been suggestions that testosterone is central. During development, testosterone fuels the growth of a brain region involved in mathematical thinking and giving adults testosterone enhances their math skills. Oh, okay, it's biological. But consider a paper published in science in 2008. The authors examined the relationship between math scores and sexual equality in 40 countries based on economic, educational and political indices of gender equality. The worst was Turkey, United States was middling, and naturally, the Scandinavians were tops. Low and behold, the more gender equal the country, the less of a discrepancy in math scores. By the time you get to the Scandinavian countries it's statistically insignificant. And by the time you examine the most gender equal country on earth at the time, Iceland, girls are better at math than boys. Footnote, note that the other reliable sex difference in cognition, namely better reading performance by girls than by boys doesn't disappear in more gender equal societies. It gets bigger. In other words, culture matters. We carry it with us wherever we go.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement, it is too fleeting; as an occupation, it is too wearing; as a public exhibition, there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long been banished from the social board. It has at last, in our day of progress and improvement, been degraded to brotherhood with flatulence. Among the best bred, these two arts are now indulged in only private--though by consent of the whole company, when only males are present, it is still permissible, in good society, to remove the embargo on the fundamental sigh.
Mark Twain (On Masturbation)
Consumer culture is best supported by markets made up of sexual clones, men who want objects and women who want to be objects, and the object desired ever-changing, disposable, and dictated by the market. The beautiful object of consumer pornography has a built-in obsolescence, to ensure that as few men as possible will form a bond with one woman for years or for a lifetime, and to ensure that women's dissatisfaction with themselves will grow rather than diminish over time. Emotionally unstable relationships, high divorce rates, and a large population cast out into the sexual marketplace are good for business in a consumer economy. Beauty pornography is intent on making modern sex brutal and boring and only as deep as a mirror's mercury, anti-erotic for both men and women.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Let me tell you a story. There was a student who asked his teacher, what is love? The teacher said go into the field and bring me the most beautiful flower. The student returned with no flower at hand and said, “I found the most beautiful flower in the field but I didn't pick it up for I might find a better one, but when I returned to the place, it was gone.” We always look for the best in life. When we finally see it, we take it for granted and after some time start expecting a better one, not knowing that it's the best for us.
Abhijit Naskar (Wise Mating: A Treatise on Monogamy (Humanism Series))
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of those things. Three - that's it. Maybe four, if you're very lucky. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all of those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.' ...At the time, he hadn't believed these words, because at the time, everything really did seem possible: he was twenty-three, and everyone was young and attractive and smart and glamorous. Everyone thought they would be friends for decades, forever. But for most people, of course, that hadn't happened. As you got older, you realized that the qualities you valued in the people you slept with or dated weren't necessarily the ones you wanted to live with, or be with, or plod through your days with. If you were smart, and if you were lucky, you learned this and accepted this. You figured out what was most important to you and you looked for it, and you learned to be realistic. They all chose differently: Roman had chosen beauty, sweetness, pliability; Malcolm, he thought, had chosen reliability, and competence...and aesthetic compatibility. And he? He had chosen friendship. Conversation. Kindness, Intelligence. When he was in his thirties, he had looked at certain people's relationships and asked the question that had (and continued to) fuel countless dinner-party conversations: What's going on there? Now, though, as an almost-forty-eight-year-old, he saw people's relationships as reflections of their keenest yet most inarticulable desires, their hopes and insecurities taking shape physically, in the form of another person. Now he looked at couples - in restaurants, on the street, at parties - and wondered: Why are you together? What did you identify as essential to you? What's missing in you that you want someone else to provide? He now viewed a successful relationship as one in which both people had recognized the best of what the other person had of offer and had chosen to value it as well.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
I would like to ofer some exercises that can help us use the Five Precepts to cultivate and strengthen mindfulness. It is best to choose one of these exercises and work with it meticulously for a week. Then examine the results and choose another for a subsequent week. These practices can help us understand and find ways to work with each precept. 1. Refrain from killing: reverence for life. Undertake for one week to purposefully bring no harm in thought, word, or deed to any living creature. Particularly, become aware of any living beings in your world (people, animals, even plants) whom you ignore, and cultivate a sense of care and reverence for them too. 2. Refraining from stealing: care with material goods. Undertake for one week to act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart. 3. Refraining from sexual misconduct: conscious sexuality. Undertake for one week to observe meticulously how often sexual feelings arise in your consciousness. Each time, note what particular mind states you find associated with them such as love, tension, compulsion, caring, loneliness, desire for communication, greed, pleasure, agression, and so forth. 4. Refraining from false speech: speech from the heart. Undertake for one week not to gossip (positively or negatively) or speak about anyone you know who is not present with you (any third party). 5. Refraining from intoxicants to the point of heedlessness. Undertake for one week or one month to refrain from all intoxicants and addictive substances (such as wine, marijuana, even cigarettes and/or caffeine if you wish). Observe the impulses to use these, and become aware of what is going on in the heart and mind at the time of those impulses (88-89).
Jack Kornfield (For a Future to Be Possible)
Women incorporate the values of the male sexual objectifiers within themselves. Catharine MacKinnon calls this being "thingified" in the head (MacKinnon, 1989). They learn to treat their own bodies as objects separate from themselves. Bartky explains how this works: the wolf whistle sexually objectifies a woman from without with the result that, ``"The body which only a moment before I inhabited with such ease now floods my consciousness. I have been made into an object'' (Bartky, 1990, p. 27). She explains that it is not sufficient for a man simply to look at the woman secretly, he must make her aware of his looking with the whistle. She must, "be made to know that I am a 'nice piece of ass': I must be made to see myself as they see me'' (p. 27). The effect of such male policing behaviour is that, "Subject to the evaluating eye of the male connoisseur, women learn to evaluate themselves first and best'" (Bartky, 1990, p. 28). Women thus become alienated from their own bodies.
Sheila Jeffreys (Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West)
One of the first significant, substantial purchases I made after starting testosterone, was a Compact Colt .45 1991 A1 automatic pistol. It's just about the best penis substitute I've ever waved at a sex partner. I love my gun. Can I get an a-a-ay-men? You better fucking believe I lo-o-ove my gun. I love to take it apart and put it back together and admire...oh,you sexy little death-machine...I suppose I oughta feel guilty or something, loving and fetishizing to the point of anthropomorphizing it it. But I don't. I won't either-don't matter to me whether or not I'm supposed to keep this a dirty little secret. I got a dick and I can kill you with it. Yeah, baby, trip my trigger, why dontcha. Heh.
Allen James (GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary)
Bad horror stories concern themselves with six ways to kill a vampire, and graphic accounts of how the rats ate Billy's genitalia. Good horror stories are about larger things. About hope and despair. About love and hatred, lust and jealousy. About friendship and adolescence and sexuality and rage, loneliness and alienation and psychosis, courage and cowardice, the human mind and body and spirit under stress and in agony, the human heart in unending conflict with itself. Good horror stories make us look at our reflections in dark distorting mirrors, where we glimpse things that disturb us, things that we did not really want to look at. Horror looks into the shadows of the human soul, at the fears and rages that live within us all. But darkness is meaningless without light, and horror is pointless without beauty. The best horror stories are stories first and horror second, and however much they scare us, they do more than that as well. They have room in them for laughter as well as screams, for triumph and tenderness as well as tragedy. They concern themselves not simply with fear, but with life in all its infinite variety, with love and death and birth and hope and lust and transcendence, with the whole range of experiences and emotions that make up the human condition. Their characters are people, people who linger in our imagination, people like those around us, people who do not exist solely to be the objects of violent slaughter in chapter four. The best horror stories tell us truths.
George R.R. Martin (Dreamsongs, Volume I)
Once, I discovered it propped up on my sister's pillow, its neck wrapped in one of our mother's best linen dishtowels. Cookie fragments on dolls' plates were laid out around it, mixed with berries from the prickly-berry hedge, like offerings made to appease an idol. It was wearing a chaplet woven of carrot fronds and marigolds that my sister and Leonie had picked in the garden. The flowers were wilted, the garland was lopsided; the effect was astonishingly depraved, as if a debauched Roman emperor had arrived on the scene and had hacked off his own body in a maiden's chamber as the ultimate sexual thrill.
Margaret Atwood (Moral Disorder and Other Stories)
Even our behavior and emotions seem to have been shaped by a prankster. Why do we crave the very foods that are bad for us but have less desire for pure grains and vegetables? Why do we keep eating when we know we are too fat? And why is our willpower so weak in its attempts to restrain our desires? Why are male and female sexual responses so uncoordinated, instead of being shaped for maximum mutual satisfaction? Why are so many of us constantly anxious, spending our lives, as Mark Twain said, "suffering from tragedies that never occur"? Finally, why do we find happiness so elusive, with the achievement of each long-pursued goal yielding not contentment, but only a new desire for something still less attainable? The design of our bodies is simultaneously extraordinarily precise and unbelievably slipshod. It is as if the best engineers in the universe took every seventh day off and turned the work over to bumbling amateurs.
Randolph M. Nesse (Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine)
People hate thinking systematically about how to optimize their relationships. It is normal to hear someone say: “I will just wait for something to happen naturally” when talking about one of the most important aspects of their life while genuinely believing that this approach has reasonable odds of success. Imagine if people said the same thing about their careers. It would sound truly bizarre for someone to expect a successful career to “just happen naturally” and yet it is entirely normalized to expect that good relationships will. People pay tens of thousands of dollars to receive degrees in computer science, marketing, and neuroscience. They make tough sacrifices with the understanding that the skills and knowledge they build in these domains will dramatically affect their quality of life. Ironically, people spend very little time systematically examining mating strategies—despite the fact that a robust understanding of the subject can dramatically affect quality of life. We will happily argue that your sexual and relationship skills matter more than your career skills. If you want to be wealthy, the fastest way to become so is to marry rich. Nothing makes happiness easier than a loving, supportive relationship, while one of the best ways to ensure you are never happy is to enter or fail to recognize and escape toxic relationships. If you want to change the world, a great partner can serve as a force multiplier. A draft horse can pull 8000 pounds, while two working together can pull 24,000 pounds. When you have a partner with whom you can synergize, you gain reach and speed that neither you nor your partner could muster individually. Heck, even if you are the type of person to judge your self-worth by the number of people with whom you have slept, a solid grasp of mating strategies will help you more than a lifetime of hitting the gym (and we say this with full acknowledgment that hitting the gym absolutely helps). A great romantic relationship will even positively impact your health (a 2018 paper in Psychophysiology found that the presence of a partner in a room lowered participants’ blood pressure) and increase your lifespan (a 2019 paper in the journal Health Psychology showed individuals in happy marriages died young at a 20% lower rate). 
Malcolm Collins
The last time that I consciously wrote anything to 'save the honor of the Left', as I rather pompously put it, was my little book on the crookedness and cowardice and corruption (to put it no higher) of Clinton. I used leftist categories to measure him, in other words, and to show how idiotic was the belief that he was a liberal's champion. Again, more leftists than you might think were on my side or in my corner, and the book was published by Verso, which is the publishing arm of the New Left Review. However, if a near-majority of leftists and liberals choose to think that Clinton was the target of a witch-hunt and the victim of 'sexual McCarthyism', an Arkansan Alger Hiss in other words, you become weary of debating on their terms and leave them to make the best of it.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
But in any case, validity, offender self-reports have dubious validity, especially when the offender's self-interest is at stake. The only rule for deception in sex offenders I have ever found is this: If it is in the offender's best interests to lie, and if he can do it and not get caught, he will lie. Being victimized as a child has become a ready excuse for perpetrating child molestation. The offender who claims he himself was victimized gets seen as less of a "monster" than one who wasn't a victim, and he gains much more empathy and support. It is hard to trust self-reports of sex offenders about abuse in their past when such reports are in their best interest. Only a few studies on this topic have used objective measures, and they have found very different results.[102]
Anna C. Salter (Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders)
Only then will women be able to talk about what “beauty” really involves: the attention of people we do not know, rewards for things we did not earn, sex from men who reach for us as for a brass ring on a carousel, hostility and scepticism from other women, adolescence extended longer than it ought to be, cruel aging, and a long hard struggle for identity. And we will learn that what is good about “beauty”—the promise of confidence, sexuality, and the self-regard of a healthy individuality—are actually qualities that have nothing to do with “beauty” specifically, but are deserved by and, as the myth is dismantled, available to all women. The best that “beauty” offers belongs to us all by right of femaleness. When we separate “beauty” from sexuality, when we celebrate the individuality of our features and characteristics, women will have access to a pleasure in our bodies that unites us rather than divides us. The beauty myth will be history.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women)
It is the moral anesthetic of our day to ask God and our friends to only understand our sin from our point of view. This mind-set of seeing sin from a personal point of view has led to, at best, weak Christians crippled by sin and untouched by gospel power, or at worst, wolves in sheep’s clothing who hunker down with offices in the church, teaching feeble sheep a perverted catechism, one that renders sin grace and grace sin, one that confuses doubt with intelligence and skepticism with renewed hope. When we live by the belief that sin is best discerned from our own point of view, we cannot help but to develop a theology of excuse-righteousness. We become anesthetized to the reality of our own sin. One consequence of this moral anesthesia is the belief that you are in good standing with God if you give to him what the desires of your flesh can spare. But sin, biblically rendered, is both a crime and a disease, requiring both the law of God and his grace to apply it for true help.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
But he still lingered, feeling the wind lift his hair and grateful for another minute of peace. He was grateful, too, that Kate Miskin could share it with him without the need to speak and without making him feel that her silence was a conscious discipline. He had chosen her because he needed a woman in his team and she was the best available. The choice had been partly rational, partly instinctive and he was beginning to realize just how well his instinct had served him. It would have been dishonest to say that there was no hint of sexuality between them. In his experience there nearly always was, however repudiated or unacknowledged, between any reasonable attractive heterosexual couple who worked together. He wouldn’t have chosen her if he had found her disturbingly attractive but the attraction was there and he wasn’t immune to it. But despite this pinprick of sexuality, perhaps because of it, he found her surprisingly restful to work with. She had an instinctive knowledge of what he wanted; she knew when to be silent; she wasn’t overly deferential. He suspected that with part of her mind, she saw his vulnerabilities more clearly, and understood him better and was more judgmental than were any of his male colleagues. { by Adam Dalgliesh, of his teammate Kate Miskin }
P.D. James (A Taste for Death (Adam Dalgliesh, #7))
Single-strand identities do not exist in a household, let alone in a nation. When America is at its best, we acknowledge the complexity of our societies and the complicating reality of how we experience this country—and its obstacles. Yet we never lose sight of the fact that we all want the same thing. We want education. We want economic security. We want health care. Identity politics pushes leaders to understand that because of race, class, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity, and national origin, people confront obstacles that stem from these identities. Successful leaders who wish to engage the broadest coalition of voters have to demonstrate that they understand that the barriers are not uniform and, moreover, that they have plans to tackle these impediments. The greatest politicians display both of these capacities, and they never forget that the destination—regardless of identity—is the same: safety, security, and opportunity.
Stacey Abrams (Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America)
Feminism is as old as sexual repression. In this country, women’s liberation flowered best in the soil prepared by black liberation the mid-19th century abolitionist movement yielded suffragettes. The mid-20th century civil rights movement yielded women’s liberation. Both movements were loudly championed by black men no white men so distinguished themselves. But both abandoned Black Civil Rights and regarded the shift away from the race problem as an inevitable and necessary development. An opportunity to concentrate on exclusively sexist issues. Each time that shift took place, it marked the first stage of divisiveness and heralded a future of splinter groups and self-sabotage.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Increase. Being fruitful is a good and necessary start, but it should grow into the next phase, increase. Once again, even though the idea here is to multiply or reproduce, sexual procreation is only part of the meaning. The Hebrew word for increase also can mean “abundance,” “to be in authority,” “to enlarge,” and “to excel.” It carries the sense of refining your gift until it is completely unique. It is impossible to reproduce what you have not refined. In this context, then, to increase means not only to multiply or reproduce as in having children, but also to improve and excel, mastering your gift and becoming the very best you can possibly be at what you do. It also means learning how to manage the resources God has given you and developing a strategy for managing the increase that will come through refinement. By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. The more refined your gift, the more in demand you will be. Proverbs 18:16 (KJV) says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. What is your fruit—your gift? What are you known for? What do you have that is reproducible? What quality or ability do you have that causes people to seek you out? What brings you joy? What are you passionate about? What do you have to offer the world, even just your little part of it? Fruit must be reproducible or else it is not genuine fruit. “Be fruitful” means to produce fruit; “increase” means to reproduce it.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
The second most frequently asked question is, “What can we learn of moral value from the ants?” Here again I will answer definitively. Nothing. Nothing at all can be learned from ants that our species should even consider imitating. For one thing, all working ants are female. Males are bred and appear in the nest only once a year, and then only briefly. They are unappealing, pitiful creatures with wings, huge eyes, small brain, and genitalia that make up a large portion of their rear body segment. They do no work while in the nest and have only one function in life: to inseminate the virgin queens during the nuptial season when all fly out to mate. They are built for their one superorganismic role only: robot flying sexual missiles. Upon mating or doing their best to mate (it is often a big fight for a male just to get to a virgin queen), they are not admitted back home, but instead are programmed to die within hours, usually as victims of predators. Now for the moral lesson: although like almost all well-educated Americans I am a devoted promoter of gender equality, I consider sex practiced the ant way a bit extreme.
Edward O. Wilson (The Meaning of Human Existence)
Aristotle tells us that the high-pitched voice of the female is one evidence of her evil disposition, for creatures who are brave or just (like lions, bulls, roosters and the human male) have large deep voices…. High vocal pitch goes together with talkativeness to characterize a person who is deviant from or deficient in the masculine ideal of self-control. Women, catamites, eunuchs and androgynes fall into this category. Their sounds are bad to hear and make men uncomfortable…. Putting a door on the female mouth has been an important project of patriarchal culture from antiquity to the present day. Its chief tactic is an ideological association of female sound with monstrosity, disorder and death…. Woman is that creature who puts the inside on the outside. By projections and leakages of all kinds—somatic, vocal, emotional, sexual—females expose or expend what should be kept in…. [As Plutarch comments,] “…she should as modestly guard against exposing her voice to outsiders as she would guard against stripping off her clothes. For in her voice as she is blabbering away can be read her emotions, her character and her physical condition.”… Every sound we make is a bit of autobiography. It has a totally private interior yet its trajectory is public. A piece of inside projected to the outside. The censorship of such projections is a task of patriarchal culture that (as we have seen) divides humanity into two species: those who can censor themselves and those who cannot…. It is an axiom of ancient Greek and Roman medical theory and anatomical discussion that a woman has two mouths. The orifice through which vocal activity takes place and the orifice through which sexual activity takes place are both denoted by the wordstoma in Greek (os in Latin) with the addition of adverbs ano and kato to differentiate upper mouth from lower mouth. Both the vocal and the genital mouth are connected to the body by the neck (auchen in Greek, cervix in Latin). Both mouths provide access to a hollow cavity which is guarded by lips that are best kept closed.
Anne Carson (Glass, Irony and God)
I remember the embarrassment I felt when Lie With Me came out over ten years ago. There was no good way for me to explain why I shot fiction with pornography, hoping for the best. That initial public embarrassment was likely a kind of useless repression. Because I had no big truth to tell about myself. Now, though, in retrospect, I know why I wrote Lie With Me. It was to sustain this perfect, merciless feeling I first had while spitting art’s extremity into the suckhole of porn. And it’s not embarrassing for me to admit anymore that I was desperate to find meaning in this action. Unfortunately, by the end of two books I didn’t know any more about female sexuality than when I’d started out. My mercilessness had not blossomed into compassion either. Is untapped sexual energy in women even still a problem these days? In 1999, I felt that problem as acutely as my shame. And it was this push-pull of pressures that made me transcribe and complicate the getting-fucked female voice - a voice that I found in porn, a voice that was utterly wasted by porn. Porn needed fiction, I felt. I needed the fight.
Tamara Faith Berger (Little Cat)
In the studies I have directed, and in my international experience speaking with women in prostitution, the majority of women in prostitution come from marginalized groups with a history of sexual abuse, drug and alcohol dependencies, poverty or financial disadvantage, lack of education, and histories of other vulnerabilities. These factors characterize women in both off and on-street locations. A large number of women in prostitution are pimped or drawn into the sex industry at an early age. These are women whose lives will not change for the better if prostitution is decriminalized. Many have entrenched problems that are best addressed not by keeping women indoors but in establishing programs where women can be provided with an exit strategy and the services that they need to regain their lost lives. There is little evidence that decriminalization or legalization of prostitution improves conditions for women in prostitution, on or off the street. It certainly makes things better for the sex industry, which is provided with legal standing, and the government that enjoys increased revenues from accompanying regulation.
Janice G. Raymond
And how easy it was to leave this life, after all - this life that could feel so present and permanent that departing from it must seem to require a tear into a different dimension. There the bunch of them were, young hopefuls, decorating their annually purged dorm rooms with postcards and prints and favorite photographs of friends, filling them with hot pots and dried flowers, throw rugs and stereos. Houseplants, a lamp, maybe some furniture brought up by encouraging parents. They nested there like miniature grownups. As if this provisional student life - with its brushfire friendships and drink-addled intimacies, its gorging on knowledge and blind sexual indulgences - could possibly last. As if it were a home, of any kind at all: someplace to gather one's sense of self. Flannery had never felt for a minute that these months of shared living took place on anything other than quicksand, and it had given this whole year (these scant seven or eight months, into which an aging decade or so had been condensed) a sliding, wavery feel. She came from earthquake country and knew the dangers of building on landfill. That was, it seemed to Flannery, the best description of this willed group project of freshman year: construction on landfill. A collective confusion of impressions and tendencies, mostly castoffs with a few keepers. What was there to count on in any of it? What structure would remain, founded on that?
Sylvia Brownrigg (Pages for You (Pages for You, #1))
I thought to do something good by giving an interview to People, which was exceedingly foolish of me. I asked Aaron [Asher] to tell you that the Good Intentions Paving Company had fucked up again. The young interviewer turned my opinions inside out, cut out the praises and made it all sound like disavowal, denunciation and excommunication. Well, we're both used to this kind of thing, and beyond shock. In agreeing to take the call, and make a statement I was simply muddle-headed. But if I had been interviewed by an angel for the Seraphim and Cherubim Weekly I'd have said, as I actually did say to the crooked little slut, that you were one of our very best and most interesting writers. I would have added that I was greatly stimulated and entertained by your last novel, and that of course after three decades I understood perfectly well what you were saying about the writer's trade - how could I not understand, or miss suffering the same pains. Still our diagrams are different, and the briefest description of the differences would be that you seem to have accepted the Freudian explanation: A writer is motivated by his desire for fame, money and sexual opportunities. Whereas I have never taken this trinity of motives seriously. But this is an explanatory note and I don't intend to make a rabbinic occasion of it. Please accept my regrets and apologies, also my best wishes. I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about the journalists; we can only hope that they will die off as the deerflies do towards the end of August.
Saul Bellow
His voice grew more remote. She wondered if he was calling from his condominium, where he’d lost his best friend, or from Avalon, where he’d lost himself. “I like you, Billie. You’re a nice person. Good company. But tonight was a mistake.” She flung an arm over her eyes and swallowed the lump of tears that had lodged in her throat. “Oh? Which part? The part where you introduced me to your family and exposed yourself as coming from a perfectly average, wholesome background? Or the part where you touched me and turned me inside-out while swaying in a hammock in the rich, beautiful woods—one of the most searing sexual experiences of my life? Which part do you regret, Adrian?” “All of it. I can’t have those things with you. You know what I am.” “Yes, Adrian, I know what you are. A gentle man. A likable one. Smart. Cultured. Sexy. I know what you are.” “But the other part—” “What about the other part? You hide behind the other part.” She yanked the pillow out from beneath her head and winged it across the bedroom, furious suddenly. “Did you call to tell me I’m not going to see you anymore? Because if that’s the case, hurry up and say it. Then hang up and go back to work, and don’t worry one bit about me. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I’m tougher than you think. I won’t cling to any man who’d rather be a-a—” She stumbled, bit back the ugly words rushing to her lips. “A what?” he countered softly. “A whore? A gigolo? Go ahead and say it, Billie. If you’re going to waste your time caring about me, then you’d better get used to the idea, because I can’t change. I won’t. Not for you or anyone.” She bit back a sound of pure derision. “How about for you? Think you could walk the straight and narrow for yourself?” He didn’t reply. He didn’t have to. Billie already knew the answer. “You’re afraid.” She sat up among the sheets as cold realization washed through her. “Afraid to live without women clambering to pay top dollar for you. All that money…it’s a measure of your value, right? It’s your self-esteem. What would happen if you were paid in love instead of cash? Would the world end? My God, Adrian. You’re running scared.” The half-whispered accusation seemed to permeate his impassivity. “I was fine before you.” His voice came low and furious. Finally, finally. True emotion. “Damn it, Billie. I want my life back.” “Then hang up and don’t call me again, because I’m not going to pay you for sex, Adrian. What I offer is a worthless currency in your world.
Shelby Reed (The Fifth Favor)
A cell phone rang from the end table to my right and Kristen bolted up straight. She put her beer on the coffee table and dove across my lap for her phone, sprawling over me. My eyes flew wide. I’d never been that close to her before. I’d only ever touched her hand. If I pushed her down across my knees, I could spank her ass. She grabbed her phone and whirled off my lap. “It’s Sloan. I’ve been waiting for this call all day.” She put a finger to her lips for me to be quiet, hit the Talk button, and put her on speaker. “Hey, Sloan, what’s up?” “Did you send me a potato?” Kristen covered her mouth with her hand and I had to stifle a snort. “Why? Did you get an anonymous potato in the mail?” “Something is seriously wrong with you,” Sloan said. “Congratulations, he put a ring on it. PotatoParcel.com.” She seemed to be reading a message. “You found a company that mails potatoes with messages on them? Where do you find this stuff?” Kristen’s eyes danced. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you have the other thing though?” “Yeeeess. The note says to call you before I open it. Why am I afraid?” Kristen giggled. “Open it now. Is Brandon with you?” “Yes, he’s with me. He’s shaking his head.” I could picture his face, that easy smile on his lips. “Okay, I’m opening it. It looks like a paper towel tube. There’s tape on the—AHHHHHH! Are you kidding me, Kristen?! What the hell!” Kristen rolled forward, putting her forehead to my shoulder in laughter. “I’m covered in glitter! You sent me a glitter bomb? Brandon has it all over him! It’s all over the sofa!” Now I was dying. I covered my mouth, trying to keep quiet, and I leaned into Kristen, who was howling, our bodies shaking with laughter. I must not have been quiet enough though. “Wait, who’s with you?” Sloan asked. Kristen wiped at her eyes. “Josh is here.” “Didn’t he have a date tonight? Brandon told me he had a date.” “He did, but he came back over after.” “He came back over?” Her voice changed instantly. “And what are you two doing? Remember what we talked about, Kristen…” Her tone was taunting. Kristen glanced at me. Sloan didn’t seem to realize she was on speaker. Kristen hit the Talk button and pressed the phone to her ear. “I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you!” She hung up on her and set her phone down on the coffee table, still tittering. “And what did you two talk about?” I asked, arching an eyebrow. I liked that she’d talked about me. Liked it a lot. “Just sexually objectifying you. The usual,” she said, shrugging. “Nothing a hot fireman like you can’t handle.” A hot fireman like you.I did my best to hide my smirk. “So do you do this to Sloan a lot?” I asked. “All the time. I love messing with her. She’s so easily worked up.” She reached for her beer. I chuckled. “How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?” She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.” My laugh came so hard Stuntman Mike looked up and cocked his head at me. She changed the channel and stopped on HBO. Some show. There was a scene with rose petals down a hallway into a bedroom full of candles. She shook her head at the TV. “See, I just don’t get why that’s romantic. You want flower petals stuck to your ass? And who’s gonna clean all that shit up? Me? Like, thanks for the flower sex, let’s spend the next half an hour sweeping?” “Those candles are a huge fire hazard.” I tipped my beer toward the screen. “Right? And try getting wax out of the carpet. Good luck with that.” I looked at the side of her face. “So what do you think is romantic?” “Common sense,” she answered without thinking about it. “My wedding wouldn’t be romantic. It would be entertaining. You know what I want at my wedding?” she said, looking at me. “I want the priest from The Princess Bride. The mawage guy.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
Moral for psychologists. -- Not to go in for backstairs psychology. Never to observe in order to observe! That gives a false perspective, leads to squinting and something forced and exaggerated. Experience as the wish to experience does not succeed. One must not eye oneself while having an experience; else the eye becomes "an evil eye." A born psychologist guards instinctively against seeing in order to see; the same is true of the born painter. He never works "from nature"; he leaves it to his instinct, to his camera obscura, to sift through and express the "case," "nature," that which is "experienced." He is conscious only of what is general, of the conclusion, the result: he does not know arbitrary abstractions from an individual case. What happens when one proceeds differently? For example, if, in the manner of the Parisian novelists, one goes in for backstairs psychology and deals in gossip, wholesale and retail? Then one lies in wait for reality, as it were, and every evening one brings home a handful of curiosities. But note what finally comes of all this: a heap of splotches, a mosaic at best, but in any case something added together, something restless, a mess of screaming colors. The worst in this respect is accomplished by the Goncourts; they do not put three sentences together without really hurting the eye, the psychologist's eye. Nature, estimated artistically, is no model. It exaggerates, it distorts, it leaves gaps. Nature is chance. To study "from nature" seems to me to be a bad sign: it betrays submission, weakness, fatalism; this lying in the dust before petit faits [little facts] is unworthy of a whole artist. To see what is--that is the mark of another kind of spirit, the anti-artistic, the factual. One must know who one is. Toward a psychology of the artist. -- If there is to be art, if there is to be any aesthetic doing and seeing, one physiological condition is indispensable: frenzy. Frenzy must first have enhanced the excitability of the whole machine; else there is no art. All kinds of frenzy, however diversely conditioned, have the strength to accomplish this: above all, the frenzy of sexual excitement, this most ancient and original form of frenzy. Also the frenzy that follows all great cravings, all strong affects; the frenzy of feasts, contests, feats of daring, victory, all extreme movement; the frenzy of cruelty; the frenzy in destruction, the frenzy under certain meteorological influences, as for example the frenzy of spring; or under the influence of narcotics; and finally the frenzy of will, the frenzy of an overcharged and swollen will. What is essential in such frenzy is the feeling of increased strength and fullness. Out of this feeling one lends to things, one forces them to accept from us, one violates them--this process is called idealizing. Let us get rid of a prejudice here: idealizing does not consist, as is commonly held, in subtracting or discounting the petty and inconsequential. What is decisive is rather a tremendous drive to bring out the main features so that the others disappear in the process. In this state one enriches everything out of one's own fullness: whatever one sees, whatever one wills, is seen swelled, taut, strong, overloaded with strength. A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power--until they are reflections of his perfection. This having to transform into perfection is--art. Even everything that he is not yet, becomes for him an occasion of joy in himself; in art man enjoys himself as perfection.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States: 1492 - Present)
Man knows himself as body, and what he knows of spirit comes through grace. The poet would call it inspiration. But the spirit bloweth where it listeth. Man has no control over his inspiration. If a piece of music or a poem has moved him once, he can never be certain that it will happen again. But man hates to think that he has no control over the spirit. It would discourage him too much. He likes to believe that he can summon the spirit by some ordinary act. Instead of striving to prepare himself for it through discipline and prayer, he tries to summon it arbitrarily through some physical act—drinking Düsseldorf beer, for instance. . . Stein said, chuckling: Which is the way all good Düsseldorfers summon the spirit, since our Dunkelbier is the best in Germany. The priest laughed with him, and for a moment Sorme had a curious impression that he was listening to an argument between two undergraduates instead of two men in their late sixties. He shrank deeper into his armchair, wanting them to forget his presence. The priest stopped laughing first, and Sorme had a glimpse of the tiredness that always lay behind his eyes. Stein also became grave again. He said: Very well. But what has this to do with the murderer? It has to do with sex. For sex is the favourite human device for summoning the spirit. And since it is also God's gift of procreation, it nearly always works. . . unlike music and poetry. Or beer, Stein said. Quite. But even sex is not infallible. And man hates to think that he has no power over the spirit. The more his physical methods fail him, the more voraciously he pursues them. His attempts to summon the spirit become more and more frenzied. If he is a drinker, he drinks more, until he has more alcohol than blood in his veins. If he is a sensualist, he invents sexual perversions. Ah, Stein said. There are many other ways, of course—the lust for money and power, for instance. All depend upon man's refusal to face the fact that the spirit bloweth where it listeth, that no physical act can be guaranteed to summon it. . .
Colin Wilson (Ritual in the Dark (Visions))
I'm going to throw some suggestions at you now in rapid succession, assuming you are a father of one or more boys. Here we go: If you speak disparagingly of the opposite sex, or if you refer to females as sex objects, those attitudes will translate directly into dating and marital relationships later on. Remember that your goal is to prepare a boy to lead a family when he's grown and to show him how to earn the respect of those he serves. Tell him it is great to laugh and have fun with his friends, but advise him not to be "goofy." Guys who are goofy are not respected, and people, especially girls and women, do not follow boys and men whom they disrespect. Also, tell your son that he is never to hit a girl under any circumstances. Remind him that she is not as strong as he is and that she is deserving of his respect. Not only should he not hurt her, but he should protect her if she is threatened. When he is strolling along with a girl on the street, he should walk on the outside, nearer the cars. That is symbolic of his responsibility to take care of her. When he is on a date, he should pay for her food and entertainment. Also (and this is simply my opinion), girls should not call boys on the telephone-at least not until a committed relationship has developed. Guys must be the initiators, planning the dates and asking for the girl's company. Teach your son to open doors for girls and to help them with their coats or their chairs in a restaurant. When a guy goes to her house to pick up his date, tell him to get out of the car and knock on the door. Never honk. Teach him to stand, in formal situations, when a woman leaves the room or a table or when she returns. This is a way of showing respect for her. If he treats her like a lady, she will treat him like a man. It's a great plan. Make a concerted effort to teach sexual abstinence to your teenagers, just as you teach them to abstain from drug and alcohol usage and other harmful behavior. Of course you can do it! Young people are fully capable of understanding that irresponsible sex is not in their best interest and that it leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, etc. In many cases today, no one is sharing this truth with teenagers. Parents are embarrassed to talk about sex, and, it disturbs me to say, churches are often unwilling to address the issue. That creates a vacuum into which liberal sex counselors have intruded to say, "We know you're going to have sex anyway, so why not do it right?" What a damning message that is. It is why herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases are spreading exponentially through the population and why unwanted pregnancies stalk school campuses. Despite these terrible social consequences, very little support is provided even for young people who are desperately looking for a valid reason to say no. They're told that "safe sex" is fine if they just use the right equipment. You as a father must counterbalance those messages at home. Tell your sons that there is no safety-no place to hide-when one lives in contradiction to the laws of God! Remind them repeatedly and emphatically of the biblical teaching about sexual immorality-and why someone who violates those laws not only hurts himself, but also wounds the girl and cheats the man she will eventually marry. Tell them not to take anything that doesn't belong to them-especially the moral purity of a woman.
James C. Dobson (Bringing Up Boys: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Men)