Monday, September 28, 2009
The PenIs Mightier than the Mind
Last night my friend Jennifer sent me an amusing story she wrote. It was a true-life account of an obnoxious redneck incessantly hitting on her. Of course, because I posses an overly analytical mind incapable of taking anything at face value, this simple humorous anecdote provoked me to dwell on a few of the crippling conundrums with which human nature is infected.
In her story Jennifer expressed amazement at the fact that this unlikely suitor could be so intent on initiating a relationship with her despite the immense and obvious differences between them. The irony of the situation and the antecedent to her bewilderment were summed up with the sarcastic quip, "Apparently my having tits makes us magically compatible as human beings."
This could not really be the first instance of her realizing this fact, could it? Indeed her statement perfectly explains the curse of male perception! And I’m sure that most females do not realize that we suffer much greater consequences as a result of this than they do. We are battered all too often by embarrassment, rejection, and feelings of worthlessness do to the fact that we cannot abate the weight of physical attraction on our desires. But of course the preoccupation with sexual attraction does not only apply to males. People try to marginalize Freud these days, but the fact is that our primal sexual instincts play such an enormous (often limiting) role in everything we do.
I’ve been thinking about how profoundly strange it is that people’s thoughts and behaviors are dictated so strongly by the desire for the penis and the vagina to merge. It's absurd when you think about it!: the formulated iambic friction of a flesh-pole and an anatomical cavity is the primary goal of our existence?...the facile bumping of pelvises is the foremost determinant of our contentment? Whether it is for the purpose of procreation, pleasure, companionship, security, love, the innate need to connect, etc., this simple act is certainly the most powerful driving force in our lives. Have you ever considered how advanced the world would be and how prosperous our mental efforts would prove if everyone weren’t preoccupied in that manner? Of course, even as I am aware of the constraining nature of this preoccupation, I am just as much a slave to it as anyone. And it makes me feel like such a fool. We are cursed to be petty and foolish by the mere occurrence of our births.
I implore you, readers, the next time you are watching a filmed sex scene, and even more importantly the next time you are actually engaged in intercourse, try to take a mental step back and look at it from an objective perspective. It's disturbing. This desperate grinding-in-place is supposed to be the pinnacle of our life's fulfillment? If an intelligent being from an alternative universe with no knowledge of mammalian biology were to observe this practice, it would doubtlessly conclude that we are absolutely asinine. It's exasperating how flawed the design of life is.
To relate all of this back to Jennifer’s story, I would simply contend that one should never be surprised by the power of libido. We humans constitute the peak of the evolutionary ladder on our planet; yet while we are crowned with a unique understanding of the utility of logic, we continue to be governed far more rigidly by primitive natural instincts. And of course you all know by now which is the most powerful of those instincts. From a scientific viewpoint, what astonishes me more is not that Jen’s redneck so easily marginalized societal norms and intellectual/emotional barriers in order to inflate the prospect of sexual gratification, but the fact that she gave no credence to the possibility of coupling with him and was able to remain completely steadfast in her refusal. I do not understand how each of us composes a rigid but seemingly arbitrary set of criteria for potential mates, and even more so for potential "loves.” What goes into that composition? It certainly is not as simple as having a “type.” But how specific do the criteria get—and does that vary from person to person? And what about people whose standards have proven faulty—how do they determine what adjustment to make—is it even possible to make adjustments? Why do so many people satisfy one another’s criteria for friendship, but not for sex or love (or vice versa)? Where do the fine lines divide and cross in one’s criteria for friendship, sex, and love? Why is it not possible even to decipher my own formulas for these things? (Insert any of the other thousands of questions that pertain to this topic here.)
Thoughts just lead to questions, questions generate ideas, and ideas lead to more questions. That’s how I roll. If I may impart some quotable words of wisdom on that note: The supreme answer to every question about life will always be a question itself.
*credit where credit is due: 1. Thanks to Jennifer Morgan for facilitating these ideas with her story., 2. Penis-vagina tree photo: "How Trees Make Babies" by Chip @ bushcraftliving.com.