Ignoring Hashem's Wisdom - Part 3 of 3

Continued from Part 2.

Part 1 is here.



UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

His wisdom: Partners, modest and chaste before marriage and faithful in it, abstaining from porn and viewing a sex-saturated culture from a distance, don’t have unattainable expectations for intimacy that often lead to infidelity / divorce.

On commutes and just driving hither and yon I hear ads for various… shall we say… “performance enhancing” medications for men.  One, for a while, had the tag line (from memory) “The porn industry calls <product> ‘our secret weapon’”.  Another place has ads for a local “men’s clinic” – which is ALL about ED and regaining your sexual youth.

When one expects physical features, male or female, to match the images we see in porn (let alone, in general, the images of both men and women in ads and popular culture) the reality can disappoint – on both sides.

In fact, in general porn’s presentation of “the ideal woman” deterred me from dating someone back in college; again, PG (bolding added)):

There was a young woman at college: intelligent, attractive, nice, and Jewish, with 20/20 hindsight it’s clear she really liked me.  But she was, shall I say, very small topside and I had been convinced, thanks to my viewing materials, that any target of my interest had to be a woman with larger (ahem) assets.

And once one becomes sexually active and expects – based on porn, pop-culture articles, and social media chatter - that “performance” should be rock star levels or more with mind-numbing/body-quivering orgasms each and every time, reality is bound to disappoint.  It becomes all about the orgasms.  For example, hearkening back to those radio ads… another was of a woman “confiding” to her friend that her boyfriend “almost had it all”: kind, intelligent, financially stable, loving, good father material… but he was not giving her fireworks in bed she felt she deserved – causing her to consider breaking up with him! – until he tried <product>.  Seriously, you’d ditch all that because the orgasms aren’t what you think they should be each and every time?  Who set that expectation?  (Not to mention just talking with your partner to tell him what you want?  I remember the late Sam Kinison had a routine with that as his shout like – Tell us what you want, we’ll do it!)

Yet this probably happens.  Imagine a woman whose love life is “acceptable” starting to hear these ads and thinking “I deserve rock star sex”!  Could these ads lead to dissatisfaction?  Sure they could.  If they’re married, an affair?  Or pushing those medications on their man – these things are not without possible health consequences.  Depending on, not likely... but don’t discount that it could happen.

Similarly, operant conditioning from “toy” use leads to disappointment when the real act doesn’t match.  I remember, back in my porn-watching days, a pivotal video as one of the “final straws” in my discarding it from my life: a party of all women (college sorority?), with the assemblage cheering as sequential women “rode” a toy known for giving orgasms a man could not possibly match (reading the reviews)… and thinking how these women, the next time they’re one-on-one with a man, will feel crashing disappointment – not just at the orgasm per se, but the lack of illicit thrill of doing so in front of a cheering crowd.

Let me be clear: I have no specific objections to couples using “toys” as a part of intimate relations.  It becomes a relationship problem when the endorphin dosage needs to constantly increase for satisfaction, as in any addiction, especially when used as a substitute for actual intercourse.  Consider this woman; Mum’s very honest review of vibrator sends sales through the roof (bolding added):

 “I started on low, which I barely even felt, so me being me, I decided to go from zero to 60 in 3.5.

“I hit the suction button setting to level five or six and hit the G button as well. At least, I think that’s what happened, because I’m pretty sure I blacked out. My legs went straight out like those goats who faint when scared.”

Having had this happen, and doubtless doing it again repeatedly, do you honestly think her husband could possibly compete pleasure-wise?  And the women who bought this device as a result of the review, and reproduced her experience – likewise will be disappointed that their man doesn’t generate that same response.

Consequences for not following Him:  Relationships not developed between otherwise compatible people because of unrealistic expectations of body shape and *ahem* attributes.  Relationships ruined or not pursued at all when reality does not meet porn-driven fantasy expectations.  And a turn to machines rather than your partner when the machines give pleasure a partner cannot possibly match.

There are, doubtless, countless other examples, not just sexual – and this essay is not intended to be an exhaustive list.  So let me attempt to wrap up with something resembling a conclusion.



IS THERE A SOLUTION?

This is the question.

Today’s popular culture has tremendous pull.  Sex is everywhere.  Discarding of Hashem’s wisdom in general is, likewise, everywhere with no direct and visible consequences.  People lie, cheat, steal, slander… even murder… and we see those who do escape without consequence.  The slowly-slowly shifting has not happened overnight, and the vast majority of it has been deliberate:





The Left has been working on changing the culture for decades, if not a century-plus.  To change course back will likewise take generations… but that’s the key: our children, and our interaction with them.

I talk to my kids about things like gay marriage, transgenderism, climate change, and other topics.  We’ve gone over the idea of “taxation is theft” many times, and that to force someone else to give you what they’ve produced is actually slavery.  I’ve talked about other topics, such as the idea that our first allegiance is to Hashem and being good people – for example, I don’t recall where I got the idea… IIRC it was an essay by Dennis Prager but I could be wrong… to the extent that when someone says “What do you want to be when you grown up?” it’s not an engineer, or a teacher, or a whatever.  Rather, “I want to be a good Jew, a patriotic American, and a good person”.  Or “I want to be a good parent”.  The change, the shift, is from occupation to something more fundamental.  (My younger one said, at Passover dinner, that I’d said only marry a Jew, and I’ve pushed them to think of marrying a Jew more observant than they are – to raise the bar.  That could have led to a very bad moment with my non-Jewish wife, who squawked a little but didn’t raise it to fight status – fortunately.)

It means pushing back on the school boards.  It means taking a stand publicly, with the risk of SJW mobbing.  Our ancestors pledged "Their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors"; many lost everything.  And we don't post on Facebook or twitter or wherever?

And it means pulling religion back into our lives as individuals.  I discussed in Part 1 how if you told me 15 years ago that I’d be wearing a kippa, attempting to keep kosher, learning Hebrew actively, and so on, I’d have laughed.  Five years ago if you’d told me I would be saying morning and evening prayers, morning prayers with tefillin, and even starting a short prayer session at midday to get to the three-times-a-day that are doctrine, I’d have laughed.

Yet here I am.  Here I am saying the Shema with the kids at night.  Saying Modeh Ani with the kids in the morning, and starting to add in the Shema as well.  And so on.  Introducing the kosher rules to them – even if the wife rolls her eyes.  Working with them both on their Hebrew, as I wish my parents had done.  Discussing the benefits of faith and following His wisdom to the extent that they, still in single digits age-wise, can grasp.  The older one knows what sex is (and thinks it’s “disgusting” but that view will change) and I’ve stressed that it is something for husbands and wives to do – not a recreational thing with whomever.

In parallel with home, hearth, and family, there is working on your community.  Try to take an active part in your religious institution and slowly-slowly push back on the inevitable liberalization that’s likely taking place.  Either that, or find one that’s stricter and change – for example, I am hoping I can push my wife to have us join the local Chabad (Orthodox) synagogue since I don’t think I’ll be able to shift our shul’s Titanic off course (the BoD pushed out a hard-core Conservative Rabbi and we ended up with a SJW; he has a good heart but very liberal politically).

If your kids are in the public schools, watch them like a hawk.  Leverage resources like MassResistance to push back on drag queen story hour, gay sex advocacy, and so on.  Be a thorn in their side.  Attend school board meetings – and if you don’t like what you see, run for office.  I know, we’re all busy.  Did you think this would be easy?

If – as said by Charles Kettering - A problem well-stated is half-solved, I think we’ve identified a great deal of the problem.  We even have ideas on what much of the solution is: a rekindling of faith, which in turn will drive better adherence to His wisdom.  Part of this will be emotional argumentation, and some of it will be logical (e.g., discussing STDs and so on), and part of it will be habitual.  Make prayers and other faith-based rituals part of everyday life.

What else?  This is going to be an intergenerational effort.  Please give me your comments… let’s help each other, and get started. 


It is not up to you to finish the task, but you are not free to avoid it.


- Rabbi Tarfon, as cited in Ethics of our Fathers, Pirkei Avot 2:16



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