Couples (1 February 2009)

Couples who spend most of their life together in a loving, sharing way, are not best understood as traditional, for history has offered us very little of such. My guess is that the healthiest of the current generation, who are very at ease with the specific sort of talk about multiple-partners, orgasm and pleasure, Vanessa offers, and who would find 50’s Playboy stuff, at best, humorously clumsy and silly, will end up in the kind of lifelong (essentially) monogamous relationships History has so long held up as the ideal. Not about control, not about putting a ring on it -- but about life partners enjoying an ongoing, enjoyable "conversation"--sexual and otherwise--with one another. Relaxed and fun, not tight and dutiful.

We've got to stop teaching boys a history where their origins are in the management and abuse of women. It's sin-focused and abusive. Something drove men to feel the need to want to control women. The current answer seems to amount to suggestions of some inherent badness, but I think fear of female sexuality arises out of boys being used sexually by their mothers -- out of real felt personal experience of fearful female sexuality, out of incest. Women are always suspect in the male imagination after that. As women get more respect and love, they feel less of a need to use their boys to ward off their depression, and their boys grow up fearing women, less and less. And so we get some of the healthier couplings we see today.

Link: The Tyee

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