Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On the sex drive, boundaries, and labeling women 'objects of temptation'

In my dream, I am about to get into a tub. Dream dictionary says it could symbolize purification of the soul. Except...the tub is filled with melted chocolate. One interpretation for chocolate is "good health, contentment, a pampered lifestyle." It would seem that purification is at odds with hedonism. But is it really?
The day before, I'd been thinking about the Huffington Post article on VP Mike Pence living the Billy Graham rule (no solo meals with a woman not his wife, and other potentially sticky situations.) One outraged response on Twitter cast Pence's decision as disrespectful to women, supposedly reducing us to objects of temptation rather than equally competent potential leaders of the country.
My thought had been, "Wait, what if Pence—and the others who see the wisdom of setting boundaries—are doing this because they know themselves through and through? This decision is about their acknowledging that the human heart, and, let's face it, the male libido, is like a roaring lion. Better not to wander into a compromising situation in the first place than have to expend so much energy trying to get out of it, justify it, hide it, deny it, etc.
So how does this relate to my dream?
I've long formed the opinion that sensuality and spirituality are entwined. They're not flipsides, they actually arise from the same source. One is not profane, which would make only the other thing holy. (This is the bedrock of my MindersMovers with Marie mission statement.) Imagine my delight when I came across a quote that said, "Sensuality is the fire in you. Spirituality is how you handle that fire." Bingo!
People with high leadership drive also have high testosterone, I read many years ago, in an article explaining why JFK and many prominent figures were philanderers.
So here's the thing: the sex drive is a revved-up engine, and willpower isn't always enough to apply the brakes. Now, if you argue that men and women ought to be evolved enough to be alone together without falling into bed, and that men and women can be platonic friends, you wouldn't be wrong.
But that doesn't nullify the need for boundaries. Some people need them, that's all. Let's not make them (me!) wrong for needing them. These people aren't morally weak or misogynistic. Just realistic, for themselves.
And here's where I tread on possibly offending somebody: Even if you, personally, can work with/be close to a person and not have sparks fly to the point where it becomes risky, other people have a lower threshold, shall we say. We're Just So Attracted. And attractive.
Women are objects of temptation? That's not an insult. Hahaha! I should hope so! Women are luscious as well as brilliant. That's what I teach in dance and yoga, you guys! Yes, DO build a hedge around your marriages. I'd be insulted if you proclaim that I do not appeal to anyone of any gender, that I'm SAFE, that you don't need to worry about me.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
So when men hit on me, I always say, "Sure, if my husband can come."