Ode to Porn and Masturbation

I’m back home after a long trip.

Making love to my wife is going well.

Today, someone needed to take the kiddo to practice.  Wife volunteered and said, you probably need some time alone.

“I do” I said, “but, I’ll probably just jerk off to porn.”

“I know,” says wife, “and that’s OK.”  She smiles because she really just wants me to be happy.  She know that masturbation has nothing to do with her, and porn is just an aid to it.  Since I got home, I’ve done nothing but make love to Ivana frequently.  So, it felt strange pleasing just one person instead of two.  It also felt good, at many different levels.  Of course the orgasm felt good, but I mean…it felt good to do something for myself.  Start to finish, all alone…I accomplished something.  That makes me feel steady, emotionally strong inside, stable, clear minded.  Which makes it easier for me to study for school, and helps me be a better man.

The church really attacks masturbation and porn.  In fact, I could give so many references of the church attacking porn, that I don’t really even know where to begin…but that one really ladles the guilt on.  “Do you like porn?  That’s because you’re a murderer.” (The irony of Dr. Dobson refusing to believe Richard Dawkins, but having no problem at all taking the words of sociopathic serial killer completely at face value is just mind boggling.)   This was also a real winner, getting serious bonus points for asking “But what about the children!” in a non-ironic context and equating the stills of Playboy to child snuff films…yes, really.

There is always this “gateway drug theory” thats thrown around, and in my own life…I just don’t see it.  I like exactly the same things I’ve always liked with one caveat:  Alas, age is sneaking up on me.  The 18-to 25 something crowd looks so terribly young to me, I find them more beautiful than erotic. I like porn because it helps me masturbate, and I like to masturbate because, like going for a bike ride, jogging, or climbing a big rock, it’s something I can do alone that takes a lot of focus, and I feel strong and sure of myself as I do it…resulting in me feeling good afterward.

Why is finding naked women beautiful and liking pleasure wrong again?

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The Atheist is full of Hate today.

Did you come to this page for Rage?  Did you come from one of those touchy feely posts that I wrote last time.  Well I’m returning to my radical anonymous core today.  I wish there was God so I had so one to blame.  Let’s play photo album of Rage’s life.

Snap

And you see way back , in pretty sepia.  It’s Rage, before he was Rage…the old self.  The lost little boy.  What’s he doing?  Well he’s crying.  Why?  Well he’s in fervent prayer.  He’s about 12 years old and he’s begging god to please give him girlfriend, a  little woman he can be have a special relationship with.  Little pre Rage doesn’t want to grow up and go to college to find someone.  Little pre-Rage is lonely right now.  He wants someone to hold him, someone to love him and kiss him and make him feel special.  Hot tears are rolling down his face as he talks to his Father.  Not the abusive one in the room next door…no his real Father in heaven.

Snap

It’s a midwestern summer…1993 at Jesus Camp. Rage is talking to a girl.  She has beautiful grey eyes  the light of a false dawn and as warm and soft as flannel blanket.  Her angelic face is framed by ringlet curls of brown-black hair. Her name is Victim.  She’s caught between girlhood and woman hood as she like pre-Rage is 12 years old, but she bears it gracefully.    She has sought him out to have a good talking to.  pre-Rage is scared.  He really likes her. What is going to say?  She says…everyone seems to be forming into little couples here…thats not what I want to do, but I really like you and I want to be your friend.  Promise me you never ask me out. pre-Rage swallows hard.  He wants to marry her.  “Ok, but you have to promise to marry me if we are still single at 30.”  She agrees.

Snap

1994. It’s pre-Rage and Victim sitting together.  They are such good friends.  The write each other emails all year when they are not at camp together.

Snap

1995.  There they are again! Those crazy friends! The spend every camp together.

Snap

1996.  Oh no, pre-Rage is the camp life guard!  He is still Victims friend though.

Snap

1997.  Its amazing!  pre-Rage has tried to go with different girls, lots of them.  He has tried a long distance relationship with every girl he is friends with from camp!  Every girl except Victim.

Snap

1998. Pre-Rage sneaks away from the pool to have long talks with Victim.

Snap

1999.  Pre-Rage and Victim sitting together by the cabins, by the pond, by the chapel.  What a loving friendship they have…

Snap

What’s this earnest conversation?  Why that Victim telling Rage that she thinks they should go out.  Rage doesn’t want to break his word though.  What sort of husband would be make?  He asks for a week to think about it.  He prays and fasts and talks to anyone he trusts for advice.  He decides that it is OK.  He has wanted to marry Victim for 5 years now. He tells victim…yes I would like to go out.  He’s about to tell her that he needs to ask her father permission to to court her.  When she says…

NO! She doesn’t want to be another one of his ex-girlfriends.

Snap

It’s 30 seconds later.  Pre-Rage is on his knees.  He didn’t want to be own them but they just  gave out. He can’t see. His eyes are welling up with tears.  Telling Victim he wanted to go out with her was the most eye contact he had ever made with a woman before.  His mother used to slap him for making eye contact.  She thought it was disrespectful for children to look into their parents eyes, as if they were equals.

Snap

2010.  Look it’s Rage, the way we know and love! Gone is the bushy mop of hair, it’s shaved to the skin. Gone are the big Farmer glasses.  Where their used to be a pathetic love for Jesus there is now a little gem of hate.  He got an email from Victim today.  Wants to be friends.

Snap…

Look, it’s Victim crying for 2 solid hours, just like little Rage did.  Victim just found out that Rage hadn’t made her wait a week just to be mean because he didn’t like fat girls.  Victim just found out that Rage wanted to marry her and she broke his heart.

Snap

Look! It’s Rage throwing up in wastebasket.  Good thing facebook chat doesn’t have any video or sound!  Victim is telling him about the 27 guys shes fucked in 8 years.

Ok…cut the crap…I can’t cry type and write in 3rd person at the same time.  27 guys…by beautiful little girl…My beautiful little…Grace…because she deserves a better name than Victim.  And it wasn’t the 27 guys in 8 years that made me cry…it was when I offered to take her and her latest man to dinner and she had to refuse…because they can’t be seen in public together….because he is 30 years older than her.  Grace is 29.  She’s fucking a 59 year old man. Man number 27. Beautiful little Grace is looking up with those huge grey eyes saying “Will you love me now?” to a senior citizen.  He’s not really her boyfriend she explains…just kind of.  They are faithful to one another…but he isn’t marriage material.   So they don’t go out to dinner and Ivanna and I can’t take them out for coffee.  They don’t do things together other than fuck, you see.

My beautiful little Grace, with her big curvy hips, and amazing breasts, and those eyes…is fucking random dudes to kill the pain because daddy didn’t love her enough.

And want God to be real today.  I want God to heal her.  I want God to make her OK inside and give a good steady relationship with someone who will love and take care of her.   And if he can’t do that….

Doesn’t it make you sad, Grace…being with strangers…

“Oh that’s OK” says Grace, “God made me this way.  He made me to feel the pain of the world like he does, so I won’t forget how much all the sin in the world hurts him”

God…made….Grace…to…hurt.

And now, I want God to be real.  I want him to be flesh and blood in front of me.  So I can kick him in his little godly balls over and over again 27 times…once for every man Grace sold herself too for 20 minutes of feeling loved. 

Words fail me.

I hate Christianity.  I hate Grace.  I hate myself.  I hate everyone and everthing. I hate the illusion of God…held out to people like Grace.

Hiding my Depression

I struggle with depression.

Every week to two weeks, there are 2 to 3 days when I find it difficult to get out of bed.  Everything looks stupid and pointless.  I think about hurting myself, and in passing, killing myself.  Sometimes, those 2 or 3 days turn into a week or two of slightly less intense depression.  Rarely those weeks turn into months of intense depression, where I struggle to do basic things like eat, shower, go to work, or basically function.  On one occasion I’ve had full blown clinical depression with all the dark bits.  Most people have no idea because (1.) I hid it.  (2.) I don’t take medication. (3.) I don’t talk to shrinks.

Why do I hide it?

Because people don’t have very good imaginations.  Depression is a chronic thing, not an acute circumstantial issue.  The problem is with people who don’t have good imaginations is they imagine disability to be a acute thing and respond thusly, when it is a chronic thing.  Example: being in a wheel chair and not being able to get up.  Chronically, that’s just a sad reality: you are less able, so you need a chair with wheels.  Acutely, however it’s just like being tied to a chair.  People make asses of themselves because they respond to chronic problem (disability) with what they falsely perceive to be an acute problem (Oh my god, that woman is tied to a chair.)  So depending on whatever goes through their head they might A. see someone to abuse, B. see some sort of sicko who goes out in public tied to chair, C. see someone so dangerous or mentally unstable/retarded,  they need to be tied to a chair, or D. all of the above.  My friend Kat has experienced all four.

Depression is similar.  People who have never thought about cutting themselves or ending their lives or just how much everything sucks right then see this as a acute condition and not a chronic one,  so they try to fix me instead of the action that my disability prevents.   It’s a little bit like seeing a person in a wheelchair struggling to reach something and giving them a lecture on how to not be in a wheelchair…instead of just handing it to them.

When I’m not depressed I’ll often try to correct false ideas about depression, but when I am depressed, I’m too fucking tired.  Most people don’t have the imagination to visualize what it is like, so I go to great lengths to hide it. You know what’s more depressing that being depressed? Being depressed and heckled by fools at the same time.

Why don’t I take medication?

I don’t want too, and I don’t have to.  First of all, let me say I very nearly had too. I have my own way of working under the constant fog of depression which does not include medication.  Recently while long separated from my wife I started to struggle with intense and deep depression.  Due to separation from family and circumstance, I couldn’t work it own in my own time. She asked me to talk to a doctor (which virtually means get medicated) if I thought there was real risk of harming myself. I agreed.  After a few days, it sort of drained away and I was OK.

I was willing to take medication under those circumstances because I needed too. Normally, I don’t need to.  I’m very rarely a threat to myself and when I am, I go to the people I need too and have them help look after me.  I’m no threat at all to others.  Hurting people makes me more depressed.

Lastly, I subscribe to a theory called Depressive Realism.  Basically, it is a theory that while some depressed people have excessivly negative veiws, many moderately depressed people actually have a demonstratively more accurate view of their own powerlessness and futility.

In general, I just don’t want too, and I don’t have to.  I’ll answer why I don’t want it further detail below.

Why don’t I talk to shrinks?

Because I think the modern mental health profession is based a variety of false concepts.  First off, I think that the fact I’m depressed doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me.  Yes, it does make me less able than others…but with enough arbitrary scales, everyone is less able than someone else.   If you make a graph and very, very sad is on the left and very, very happy is on the right, and population is up…then it will make a nice bell shape, and most people will be in that thick middle section with a few like myself far off on the left and few Pollyannas off on the right. 

Why is the left deviation from average a sickness, while the right deviation from average is a virtue?  The deeply joyous are as equally deviates as the deeply sad.  Yet only the sad have to be medicated into conformity.  When the medical community starts saying that chronic perkiness is a mental illness I’ll take their claims that my style of light depression that harms no one but me is a mental illness a little more seriously.  In the mean time, they’re just picking on sad people because we make them sad too.

And I chafe with the term “illness”.  Technically what I have is called RBD.  That’s not an illness, it’s a symptom list.  Chicken pox is an illness.  “Inflamed, red, itchy spots covering whole body” isn’t an illness, it’s a symptom.  The fact someone invented a title for what ails me doesn’t magically confer upon it a physiological cause.   The physiological cause most frequently bandied about is “chemical imbalance”.  I’d take that more seriously if they could actually tell me what chemical it is.  Zinc deficiency is a chemical imbalance.  It has a symptom list, and the symptoms go away when you provide zinc.  If there was a single chemical they could inject in my blood that would take away the symptoms of depression with no side effects, I’d say that one’s probably the chemical that’s not balanced.  But they can’t. Because they don’t have a illness, they have a symptom list and different people respond differently to different chemicals.  Further…life consists mostly of “side effects”.  As a side effect to having procreative sex with my wife, I have an amazing daughter.  As a side effect of having an amazing daughter I learn things about life I didn’t know before. 

I’m not willing to let someone change a manageable part of my life (depression) because of their puritanical moral judgment (normal statistical deviation is somehow sinful) through questionable means.  Added all up my point of view is this:

I’m disabled because the world is set up for people in the middle of the bell curve,  not because there is anything wrong with me.

When I meet a shrink that shares that perspective, I’ll let them help me out.  In the mean time…no dice.

But isn’t there anything I can do to help?

Yes, plenty.

Help me be able, don’t help me be normal. I’m not ever going to be normal. I don’t want to be normal. If that’s your plan…Go Away.

Respect my privacy.  If I’m obviously hiding the fact I’m depressed come to me when the sort of people I’m hiding it from aren’t around.

Don’t lie to me.  If you don’t want to help me, don’t say you do.

Don’t put in my groups of people who all demand my attention at the same time, or all want to touch me (prayer groups).  When you’re depressed, the effort to be socially normal in a large group of people is far, far too much.

Don’t touch me without asking.  My depression doesn’t mean you can paw on me.  If you want to hug or something, warn me first.  When I’m really hurting and people touch me unexpectedly I tend to panic.

This doesn’t mean I can’t go out in public.  Any place I can be anonymous in crowd is fine, but I need the freedom to be who I am and not have to try to be normal.  No one notices a dude sobbing in a rave club, for instance.

I can do all the things I normally do.  I’m just depressed.  If you’re going to movies, take me. I’ll sit there and be depressed and watch a movie.  It’s a lot like having a wheelchair.  I want to do everything I normally do, I just need some help doing it.

And finally and perhaps most clearly…give me yourself.

If you really want to help me, give me yourself.  Write me a letter, take me out for coffee, hold me.  As long as your focus is helping through and not trying to cure me (believe me, I can feel the difference) it helps.   Give me whatever you can of yourself.  I’m not sure why it helps but it does.  Just make me a part of life for however much time you have to share.  Play some X-box with me for 2 hours.  Squeeze my hand for a second.  Just give me yourself, and if you aren’t comfortable with that, PLEASE don’t offer to help.

I mentioned earlier that I struggle to deal with depression when I am away from my wife.  This is because a sex in general, and warm, loving, kind, easy, respectful, gentle, earnest, sex in particular is balm for my soul.  I understand that’s not something most people give away, but as I said…don’t offer me help if you don’t want to help me.   Give me the help you can. If that includes gently making love to me while I look in your eyes, I might take you up on it.  Just really spell out the boundaries because I’m too internally focused when I’m depressed to find social cues easy to follow.

The church eats marriages for breakfast

And craps them out for lunch.

By Ivana

I don’t know if it’s something in the holy water or what, but it seems to me that the Christians around me are going through some serious marital issues. My college roommate’s fiancé cheated on her. That was over 10 years ago. In the decade since then, I’ve not had any close friends go through really rocky times in their relationships. And then, in the last three months, I’ve had four friends, two close, two not so close, whose husbands have been unfaithful and have told them that they 1) don’t love them, 2) haven’t loved them in a quite some time, 3) doesn’t even like them, 4) it’s all their (the wives) fault, 5) they want to stay together for the kids.

What the fuck people? Who the hell do these men think they are? Why the fuck are these women putting up with this shit? My one friend’s husband wants to work out their marriage. His part in working it out? He’s sticking around.

Yup.

That’s his big contribution. His mere presence. Which in reality means that he likes having someone do his laundry, cook his meals, and keep him from feeling the complete and total ass hole that he is. He says he wants to stay together for the kids, one of whom is an infant that he does NOTHING for, another is his 4 year old son that he only interacts with to yell at him. His daughter gets 110% o her “daddy’s” affection while their eldest son looks on in worry and silently processes the fact that mommy and daddy don’t sleep in the same room anymore. Great legacy you are leaving your kids there.

Another friend’s husband suddenly started running up credit card debt at bars and clubs while he was on overnight business trips. When confronted about it he was belligerent and defensive. In one of the ensuing arguments, he told his wife he didn’t love her and in another argument called her a cunt.

A cunt, people. That’s NOT okay.

Her response? To love him more. To buy him gifts. To do little special things for him in order to “love” him back into being someone he’s not – that is, a nice person.

Another friend has been living across the country from her husband for a year. During that year, he took a mistress. When his wife found out/he told her (I don’t know how it went down), he told her that he didn’t love or like his wife and hadn’t for many years, but, again, didn’t want a divorce. He wanted his wife to move back across the country in order to save their marriage and was unclear as to whether or not he would be willing or able to break it off with the other woman. She recently moved back to him.

I don’t understand. I mean, I do but I don’t want to. Sterling had this to say when I told him about all these goings on:

How can I help her and leave her Christianity intact? I’m reading these “Is your partner emotionally abusing you?” questionnaires. Here’s an example:

http://www.lilaclane.com/relationships/emotional-abuse/male-victim-abuse.html Read the following with a mind on God.

Do you feel that you can’t discuss with your partner what is bothering you?
No one is fit to question God. Read Job.

Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem?
I’m a filthy creature worth of eternal suffering because of my constant failings.

Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?
Its only OK to express myself if I do it His way. Expressing myself through means He doesn’t like, like sex, is worthy of my painful death.

Does your partner try to isolate you from friends, family or groups?
I should only socialize with people who have my values. Close friendships with anyone but fellow believers are forbidden.

Does your partner limit your access to work or material resources?
Everything I have comes from Him. I shouldn’t worry about finances. In fact, if I do, he’ll be angry or disappointed for the sin of not trusting him totally.

Has your partner ever stolen from you? Or run up debts for you to handle?
Everything He takes was his to begin with, so he can’t steal from me.

Does your relationship swing back and forth between a lot of emotional distance (clammed up) and being very close?
When we first met, he wanted to kill me, but now that obey him totally he loves me. When I get good things they’re from Him. Bad things too. And that’s OK.  Sometimes I really feel like he’s near me, sometimes I feel like he is very far away.

Do you sometimes feel trapped in the relationship?
If I leave Him, he’ll have me tortured to death for all eternity.

Has your partner ever thrown away or destroyed things that belonged to you?
He regularly “takes my loved ones home” i.e. kills them.

Are you afraid of your partner?
Not as long as I do everything He says. Of course I’m afraid when I disobey. That’s how it should be.

How do I help a woman who thinks she was created solely for the purpose of His pleasure?  He made her to please Him.  He allows her suffer when it pleases Him.  He makes her happy when it pleases Him.  And if she doesn’t like it, He’ll make or miserable. Or kill her.  Then even in death, He will allow her to be tortured forever.

And there you have it folks. The church teaches that it is the woman’s (bride’s) place to be under the man’s thumb. It is the bride’s place to be made to suffer at the whim of the man. How many times did I hear phrases like “the Lord is testing you” or “purifying through fire?” When you believe that it is okay for your god, who supposedly loved you more than anyone else ever could, to “test” you by making you suffer and seeing how you come out the other side, is it any surprise that you believe it’s okay for your earthly lover to also treat you badly? If God is all knowing and what not, why does he need to test you at all? Doesn’t he know what you are made of? I, as a mere mortal, might test someone because I want to see what they will do, what their character under pressure is. God should know that, right?

Anyway, it’s majorly fucked up and I think it’s only going to get worse. The church sets a dangerous example by embracing the marriage analogy. The church forbids the open conversation about sexuality. The church fully encourages hypocrisy by judging those who don’t fake it. The church promises growth and help in time of need and then judges you for lack of faith when you are not helped nor experience growth. It will be interesting to see this unfold. How many marriages based on god will fall apart while my marriage to Sterling, based on equality, respect, an insatiable lust for each other, genuine friendship and camaraderie continues to progress happily? How many naysayers (you know, the people who say that your life will fall apart when you walk away from the Lord?) will experience extreme betrayal or commit betrayal while my atheist husband and I, with our non-absolutist life, just tool along respecting each other and remaining faithful because we want to? It’s utterly mind boggling.

Crappy poetry day.

I really did love you

So I hope you hurting me

Was as therapeutic for you

As leaving you was for me

Sex and PSTD

Ok, so there was this girl.

Men had done terrible things to her.  She said she loved me, and I wanted to the special one, the guy who was different and loved her for her instead of treating her like a lifeless object whose only job was gratify me.

I was 18, so was she, and both good Christians.  She was very sexual.  I had a lot of guilt about sex.  She said if I really loved her, I would want her to be happy and I would do the things with her she asked.  So I did, but it hurt me inside.  I can’t say she ever asked me to do anything that part of me didn’t want to do, but at the same time part of me wanted very badly not to do it.  Love, and sex, and violence, and god got all mixed up.

Yesterday Kat asked me to explain something to her about it.  I did. And then last night I dreamed I was with her again.  I woke up with a start.  Today I find myself with 100 yard stare.  I feel raw, exposed, cut down, abused.  I feel the sickness I felt when I was with her.  I feel small and scared and weird.

God Monster II

First of all, this isn’t really my perfect blog.  This is just supposed to be my occasional “RAWR! I’M SO ANGRY” blog.  But I don’t have the time to run two right now, so I’m just doing this one.  I didn’t mean for this to turn into the polite dialog it is…

Anyway, Anna L Davis, a friend of mine from the blogosphere and I were talking about hell.  Being an atheist, I don’t believe in hell, but being an ex-Christian I’m also curious about the place it serves in other people’s lives.  Anna’s attitude seems to be “I think being seperated from someone who consistantly hurts you is a good idea, so I can see where God is comming from, but the duration and intensity of it is pretty horrific.”

Fair enough, but upon reflection I realized what I really wanted to know was, “Are you comfortable looking in the mirror and seeing someone so monstereous that deserved (past tense) such a horror visted upon them in that duration and intensity?”

Her answer in a word? “No.”   Well, good.   Christianity has a very positive message: You are worth saving!”  Which unfortunately smuggles in a very negative message: you are a contaminant that has to saved.  Saved from what? Contaminating heaven with yourself/filth.

This is a concern to me.  I’m not happy with most people looking in the mirror and seeing a disgusting wreck that needs saving.   I’m somewhat knowledgable of disgusting wrecks that need saving.  My father was a drug dealer, as was my brother in law.  I’ve lived in a level of poverty that most American don’t even know exists in the U.S., been down, out, and suicidal.  I was a disgusting wreck that needed saving…of course…the only person who could save me was me, and luckily I did.

But why does my friend Anna look in the mirror and see someone that, but for the love of Christ…deserves eternal damnation?