Sex has overtaken many aspects of our culture. It is on the television, on the covers of many magazines, in almost every corner of the internet, and our children seem to be immersed in innuendo and direct sexual content. I would not call myself old-fashioned, but I feel that our culture’s attitudes and behaviors about sex are out of control, and we seem to be more and more desensitized the more we are exposed to this. I believe that human body is a work of art and should be appreciated. I am not in favor censorship — I am in favor of good taste and mutually respectful behavior that models and emulates a respect for ourselves, each other and our bodies.
“Your Body is a Wonderland”
Many of you may have heard the song ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ by John Mayer, which I am sure, has inspired many a couple to be moved to an amorous exchange. But, in our culture I feel very concerned by the trends that we are seeing with our teens and young adults. What I feel that I have observed is that too many people, young and old, are treating their bodies like amusement parks, letting almost anyone take a ride who is interested. What I feel that we are losing is our self-respect, blurring our boundaries and don’t understand what love and intimacy truly is. What is the message our kids are getting from us and from all of the influencers out there?
We are humans that seek pleasure, and seeking pleasure is part of our hard wiring. We can look back to our roots as animals and find neurochemical reasons why we would seek pleasure. I also look at us from an intelligent design view and can see why sex would be made to feel pleasurable. But…
Think More Highly
What I always tell people is that even though we may have roots that connect us to the animal world, we also have a brain that functions at a higher level. The gift of our frontal lobe is that we can use our ability to reason to help manage our unavoidable more primal and animalistic tendencies. The goal of this blog article is not to become moralistic and judgmental, it is to challenge people to consider their intentions, values, emotions, attitudes, and choices.
Let’s first look at our concept of love. We have one word that describes so many different emotional states, and this lack of attention to detail to this very important concept is a major problem in our culture. There is a popular urban legend that says that Eskimos have more than one-hundred words for snow, and while the figure has been grossly exaggerated, the idea is that concepts that are important to a culture will have much more specificity than those that aren’t as important.
So, just how do we “love” things, let me count the ways… You can love your mom, your dad, your kids, your sister, your brother, your friend, your uncle, your aunt, your cousin, your teacher, your boss, your student, your country, your team, your school… You can also love a sunny day, an ice cream cone, the beach, skiing, baseball, football, as well as your pets. Some even say that they love sex.
The question is, even with this short list of things we may say that we love, do we love them the same way? I think not. Yet we use the same word to describe so many states of emotion. Do we have some words that describe different states of love? Yes, but our use of the word love is somewhat careless and leads to a lot of confusion that I firmly believe affects our relationships and attitudes toward intimacy and sex.
Admiration and friendship
Developing a deep friendship (philos) and admiring the person (agape) that you are in a relationship are crucial to a successful relationship. It is easy to open ourselves up to our more primal urges and let emotion take over only to find ourselves in the walk of shame the next morning, but I feel that we were born with the ability to reason beyond our more primal self and learn to respect ourselves and those we relate to. We owe that to ourselves.
About the author
About the author: Erik Fisher, PhD, aka Dr. E…, is a licensed psychologist and author who has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN. Visit him at www.ErikFisher.com to learn more about his books “The Art of Empowered Parenting” and “The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict or to check out his blog.
Intent.com is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others’ intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra’s daughter Mallika Chopra, Intent.com aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to personal, social, global and spiritual wellness.