59-THE IDEAL COUPLE

With regards to the hypothetical couple that I’ve chosen, both partners are eighteen years of age and heterosexual. They have been having regular sex for two years with both their parents’ approval, and they are both intent on avoiding disease and pregnancy. She has an LARC arm implant, and they can’t get enough of each other, so for now, fidelity and pregnancy are not a problem. They both agree to be answerable to all four parents who support them unconditionally, and this fosters mutual affection and trust.

They share thoughts and feelings concerning their parents, siblings, teachers, friends and pets, and talk about everything under the sun. They are aware they are living in the best of all possible worlds. They know they are 100% animals of the ape family and that their branch became intelligent some three million years ago. As intelligent animals, they realize they have the possibility of exercising some control over their autonomic nervous system. By curbing the disruptive forces of their ANS, mainly with regards to reproduction, they realize they can look forward to a lifelong relationship in a happy family context.

They are aware that all beings are beautiful and fulfilled when in a nurturing or creative mode, and that’s why they both want to form a lifelong family team and do what they love doing for a living. They have just finished high school, but do not plan to go to college until they are absolutely sure of what they want to do for a living. For now, he wants to become an architect. He has been working summers for a local building contractor and the latter has agreed to employ him full time. His passion is to conceive and eventually build self-sustaining buildings. She is very interested in animals and wants to be a veterinarian. After working summers at a local zoo, she has been offered an assistant’s position fulltime. Her passion is living with plants and animals and learning how to take care of them. They have rented a modest house on the outskirts of the city in order to have the full experience of living together. They want the responsibilities of looking after a house, having a garden and pets, and doing daily chores. His father gave them his car when he upgraded to a hybrid, and that takes care of transportation. They are committed to living together three years and will not marry or have kids till the end of that period, if they so decide. If one of them changes his or her mind during the trial period, they will go their separate ways, no matter how painful. All four parents are partners to this agreement and will support them in any way they can.

As they go about working in the real world as apprentices, they will pay for their own living expenses. As for college tuition, their parents have already planned ahead by creating a fund for that very purpose. In the meantime, they will glean all the knowledge they possibly can from their coworkers and sign up for all pertinent online university courses while waiting to physically register at a university in order to terminate their degrees and pursue their life’s passion.

They are active teens who jog and swim on a regular basis and have no intention of stopping. They each have a smartphone but use them strictly for meaningful communication. Like her mother, she refuses to wear the badge of femininity, no matter how great the social pressures. But of course, she doesn’t intend giving up on bizarre hairdos, fun clothing, and junky jewellery. They intend to cut the cable and stick to reading, watching movies and making and listening to music. Inviting friends over for simple home prepared meals made with natural ingredients will be a lot of fun. His father already makes his own wine, and he plans to team up with him, for making wine with his dad will be a nice way for them to bond. Enjoying the odd glass of wine with his wife-to-be and friends over home-cooked meals will also make for heart-warming experiences.

Accumulating wealth will never be their main objective. However, because they live in a world where it’s rather easy to make money, it’s not to be dismissed out of hand. Real estate values tend to rise, so owning one’s own home is a starting point. As for making real money, the couple will sit down and decide which multinational they want working for them. They’ll choose one that makes things they personally believe in and that are indispensable to the human race, like food, transport, communication, biotechnology and energy. Once they’re convinced they have the right company, they’ll buy shares in it every time they have spare money. Buying shares via the internet is a rather cheap and easy way to go about doing just that. Once the shares are bought, they’ll forget about them. They’ll never play the market. Their capital will grow as the world markets grow, and by adding to their capital little by little, down the road, they’ll have more than enough for their children’s education and their own retirement. If they adopt a healthy lifestyle, are passionate about their work, own their own home, and invest their extra cash in their chosen multinationals, they’ll have done away with most material obstacles that usually prove disastrous to young married couples, and thus be free to have and raise children. However, the greatest destructive force that they’ll have to face in their relationship is still lurking in the wings.

This young couple has seriously reflected on the problem where males are genetically programmed to reproduce well into old age while females cease to reproduce at menopause. They know that when she reaches menopause, he will no longer be sexually aroused by her. Since his ANS will continue to incite him to reproduce, and since he will be looking at younger women, they must get ready to counter this eventual pitfall. When a couple reaches that stage, it’s what I call hitting the WALL.

Fortunately, they know that human means intelligent, and that they have some say in complying with their ANS. For instance, if one is hungry, one can have an apple or a processed meat sandwich, and if one is thirsty, one can have a glass of water or a can of pop laced with sugar. The individual has no choice but to quench his thirst or satiate his hunger, but because he’s intelligent, he can choose how to do it, and with what. In a similar manner, they can control their libido to some degree, and that’s the secret to countering the potential destructive forces of the ANS.

They know they are animals that became intelligent when hominids broke the time barrier some three million years ago. They know that being intelligent means they can connect past experiences with the present and use that knowledge to make a better future. They know that sex is not love. Sex is forced upon them by their ANS in order to reproduce, whereas love is the result of intimacy and sharing. All beings are forced to have sex, regardless of specie, therefore, when the couple’s sex life is on the wane and his ANS incites him to look at younger women, they’ll both know what’s happening and he will categorically refuse to take Viagra or give in to his ANS. They are fortunate to be intimate with each other, both intellectually and physically, so when they hit the WALL, having always refused to let their libido define them as humans, she may even be able to poke fun at him when he starts looking sideways at younger women.

Their love will grow as their family grows, and not much self-control will be needed to resist having sex with a stranger. Why would he knowingly risk losing the warmth and joy that a loving family provides and that took years to build, for the pleasure of having sashimi served by a young geisha? One thing is certain, as their mutual affection grows, and as they go gaga over their grandchildren, they’ll both know that destroying their family life for a furtive romp in the sack with another is totally insane. Love will win over sex, especially if they are fully aware of the pressures that the ANS is putting on them, and they are.

If they’re really lucky, they’ll discover that one of the most beautiful things in the world, is growing old gracefully. An older woman sitting at her computer writing her book, nursing an animal back to health in her veterinarian clinic, or giving TLC to the plants in her garden, are beautiful sights to behold. And what about an older man teaching his grandson how to build a tree house, or his granddaughter how to play violin! What’s so bad about growing old? Does the woman have to become a wrinkled Barbie, or the man a ridiculous Casanova?

 

 

58-THE ART OF INTIMACY

 

Meaningful rewarding relationships, whether sex is involved or not, are impossible unless one learns to be intimate. I choose to replace the word love with intimacy because love is used in all sorts of concoctions, like in ‘making love’, a totally absurd expression. Though sexual attraction can morph into love over time, sex is not love. Sex lasts an instant, sexual attraction can last a few years, but love like the one felt for a parent lasts a lifetime.

Intimacy is the cornerstone of our happiness, for if we don’t learn how to be intimate as a child, we are condemned to having lame relationships throughout our whole life. Intimacy requires the ability to open and commit, that is, to trust to the point of being vulnerable, and that’s not the easiest thing to do. It requires suspending control, while merging emotionally. We have an innate need to experience physical and emotional closeness with another human being in order to grow emotionally, and that need for connection is with us from the day we’re born. If we are to have a chance at a fulfilling life, we have to be taught to connect at that time.

Historically, tribes were a critical part of our human experience, for we needed the group in order to survive. If one was banished from his tribe that was as good as a death sentence. In the global village, that is no longer the case, but if a child does not experience intimacy, it’s akin to being banished from the whole world, for establishing meaningful future relationships will be impossible. From day one, the child must be treated as a full member of the family team, he must be shown intimacy, valorized and supported on an ongoing basis, or else he will spend his whole life unconnected in a great but sad virtual world. The secret to a good life is to belong to a family where children are intimately connected to parents and siblings, which in turn allows the child to later repeat the process when he starts his own family.

The following is a summary of what the American Psychological Association says on how parents can connect with their children. ‘Parents must be available for their children at bedtime, before dinner, and in the car, in order to let them know they care about what’s happening in their lives. Conversations should be started when they feel the need to share thoughts and feelings that affect both parties. Parents have to make sure they let their kids know they’re listening by stopping whatever they’re doing. They should respect their privacy by treating matters one on one. They should express interest in what the child is saying without being intrusive. Letting them complete their point before responding and repeating to make sure they know that the parent understands them correctly is highly recommended. Parents should soften strong reactions; kids will tune them out if they appear angry or defensive. Parents should express their opinion without putting down theirs, while acknowledging that it’s okay to disagree. Letting them know that nobody is necessarily right or wrong, that circumstances have to be weighed in, while focusing on the child’s feelings is a wise modus operandi.

Parents should ask their children what they may want or need from them in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings or help solving a problem. Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow the parents’ lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems and work through difficult feelings. Because kids also learn from their own choices, parents shouldn’t feel they have to step in as long as the consequences are not dangerous. Realizing their children may test them by telling them only a small part of what is bothering them, parents can encourage them to talk and may even get them to share the rest of the story if they listen carefully to what they say.

Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between parents and children. To the small child, a mother’s or father’s words are important, comforting, and soothing. Parents should use this to their advantage, for communicating thoughts and ideas is not a skill they or their children are born with. If parents create a trusting intimate relationship from the day their child is born, it’ll naturally carry on into the very difficult teen years and beyond.’

If a child is to have the best quality of life in the best of all possible worlds, he or she has to be familiar with intimacy. As for the parents who have never been connected, the cycle can be broken and their kids spared if they know why they have difficulty being intimate and if they try to make up for their inadequacy by talking to their child. Being completely frank and open with a child and making him reveal his inner thoughts by creating a safe, protective mood so that he doesn’t fear being punished or reprimanded is a good way to proceed.

Because too many of us have never known intimacy, the 100-year-old sexual revolution that we’re undergoing is a social disaster. Since I am an enlightened victim of that revolution, I intend to shed light on how important it is to make a child and even more important to learn to communicate with him. It is extremely hard to use words one has never learned, especially those regarding feelings. But one can have a semblance of intimacy with his child if one takes time to have an honest tête-à-tête with him when circumstances warrant it, or for no reason at all, while making the child feel he’s an important and full-fledged member of the family.

So far, in previous postings, although not exhaustive in nature, I have given what I think is a plausible account of how we got to this wonderful world of credit. That was the easy part. Now, I have to show to those who accept my synopsis of history, ways to take advantage of that great world. With that in mind, I decided to depict the life of two imaginary horny teens who both have been taught intimacy by their parents, and who are both intent on finding the key to having a family that’ll defy the test of time. By showing how they go about planning for a permanent family dream team, and especially how they intend to deal with the sexual minefield that lies before them, it should create a mood for fruitful reflection.

54-ANS

If we study group behavior among our chimpanzee cousins, and if we accept the fact we were exactly like them prior to our breaking the time barrier, we can learn a lot about ourselves. In the wild, alpha males dominate physically in a altruistic way. They play an important role in the survival of the specie by spreading the best available genes while protecting the females and their offspring. But it’s the wily alpha females who most often lead the group to food sources and water holes and teach the extended family members the necessary survival skills.

Since becoming intelligent some three million years ago, the female’s role has changed, but genetically, she hasn’t. She is as invaluable as she ever was to the specie, but it seems that the opinion she has of herself has seriously deteriorated, and we should want to remedy that. To my way of thinking, when explaining the injustices done to the female, the three main culprits have to do with our breaking the time barrier, with her reproduction lifespan, and the Christian Church’s perennial attitude towards her gender.

We have already seen in a previous posting how unkind nature was to women, how after breaking the time barrier and leaving the world of natural selection, the males dominated them more than ever. But before I attempt to show how her reproduction lifespan and Christianity dampened her aspirations for freedom and equality, I think it would be helpful to better understand our ANS.

All vertebrates have a reptilian brain sitting atop the spinal cord consisting mainly of the hypothalamus which links the endocrine and nervous systems. It’s where the autonomous nervous system (ANS) control center that regulates, without our conscious intervention, bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, defecation, and sexual arousal is located. If we want to focus on our human values and eventually establish parity between the sexes, we have to become more familiar with that primitive brain that can only be synced up with our human brain if we intervene consciously.

When the dinosaurs disappeared some 65 million years ago, we were small burrowing mammals and we lived by our fight-or-flight and feed-or-breed instincts. Danger was everywhere, in our burrows and in the sky above, and the constant stress we experienced was such that we didn’t live much longer than rodents do today. However, as our brain developed, we learned to sort things out, and as our daily survival stress was reduced, we grew and lived longer. We acquired a limbic brain, then a cortex and neocortex grafted themselves onto the limbic brain, and as little as 3 million years ago, standing on our own two feet, we had the wherewithal to break the time barrier as explained in an earlier posting. Though we were no longer subjected to the forces of ‘natural selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’, we still answered to those forces, and we still do to this day.

Upon becoming intelligent, we did, however, learn to live in sync with some aspects of our ANS. However, we never learned to deal efficiently with our sex drive. Having become aware of the exquisite and gratuitous pleasure that an orgasm procures, and with ever more time on our hands, when we became aroused sexually, we just didn’t try very hard to put on the brakes. Nonetheless, right up to the 20th century, we depended on the family for survival, and because we didn’t want to be shunned by it, we felt obliged to use some degree of self-discipline in controlling our sexual urges. But when demopotency took hold in the 20th century, fashion ads, social media, celebrity lifestyles and Hollywood films seriously encouraged us to adopt lascivious and superficial behaviors. We still followed the group, but the group had become virtual and individuals related to each other through their libido, and most often, virtually.

We can’t escape the fact that sex is forced upon us by our ANS, that it procures us intense pleasure and that we have no choice but to reproduce as a specie. It is all the more reason to be aware of this archaic breed-or-feed instinct that’s taking over our lives, and to establish education programs to help us channel it. Sex is a lot of fun and indispensable, but we have to put it in its proper place by using the brain we acquired as humans. Why do teachers, mothers and fathers have so much trouble explaining sex to children?

Ask any 10-year-old child what he or she thinks about dad sticking his penis into mom in order to make a baby, and he will quickly respond by saying that it’s gross. Perhaps that may be the reason untold generations have refused to talk openly about sex with children, but perhaps it’s simply because adults unwittingly want to cover up the fact that they think the act of penetrating another’s body is vulgar and demeaning. Sticking a penis or a tongue in the vagina, the anus or the mouth of another isn’t esthetic. Hollywood, the media, and even the Christian Church make it sound attractive or at least acceptable for their own purposes, and because we’re intelligent monkeys and don’t want to be labeled prudish, we adopt and even defend those view points. The end result is that though the ugliness of the act makes us uncomfortable, we act as though it’s cool. The only time we are totally in tune with our sex drive is when we’re sexually aroused, a time when we are forced to blindly answer nature’s call.

For the most part, horniness is brought on independently of our will, and when men are in that state, they may even go so far as to kill someone who stands in the way of their penetrating the targeted body and injecting their semen. And women also display despicable behaviors when in estrus and determined to get a man. So, how can we explain such behavior except to say that it’s our ANS that’s forcing us to reproduce. If we sometimes go completely out of control and adopt horrid behaviors in order to comply with that imposition, who’s to blame? Traditionally, the Cristian Church has tried to control sexual behavior by insisting on no sex before marriage, pretending sex is love, dressing it up socially, and using the condemning-confessing-repenting-forgiving solution, but those are all band-aid approaches. We would be much better off if we faced the problem head on in a scientific and objective manner through education. That way, we could deal with sex like we deal with food. A shared meal prepared with patience and with tasty natural ingredients is more rewarding than stuffing one’s face with a bag of chips on the run.

In spite of the sexual act being ugly, we have to admit that some courtship displays preceding it are breathtakingly beautiful. When we write love poems, slow dance, walk hand in hand, whisper sweet nothings to each other, hug and look at each other languorously, what could be more beautiful? And later, is it necessary to mention the boundless joy felt when a newborn comes into the world? But the middle game where one’s body penetrates or is penetrated by another is ugly, no matter what the fashion magazines or Hollywood tell us, show us, or imply regarding the matter. Observing someone penetrate the mouth, the anus or the vagina of another with his body parts is no prettier than observing the ejection of urine, excrement or vomit by these same orifices.

Nonetheless, excluding our sex drive, we did learn over time to deal with some of the ANS impositions that affect our daily lives. The use of knives and forks is today common, and we no longer act like pigs when we eat. And what about toilets and bathrooms that made urination and defecation banal a mere century ago? Nonetheless, we definitely haven’t learned to deal with fornication where a partner is indispensable. We willingly give in to it if we’re horny, drunk or drugged, that is, when we don’t have to think about it, but because we still refuse to face the issue in a rational manner, we continue to make a mess of it. For centuries, thanks in part to the sacrament of matrimony instituted by the Christian Church, we have amalgamated the words sex and love in order to deal with the grossness of the sexual act being forced upon us. And if we’re not sure of how we feel about the sexual act, all we have to do is picture the next-door neighbor copulating with his wife, and that should give us the answer.