[Greggs] Hear Me Roar | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Greggs] Hear Me Roar

December, 14, 2005

The other day I was reading a news brief about Heidi Fleiss opening the first all-male brothel in Nevada. It has all the other cathouse owners in the state, the owners of the regular brothels, in high dungeon. They complain she is drawing attention to the sex trade in Nevada. They've obviously been trying to hide the fact that they operate whorehouses from the religious population and don't want her sashaying in and "causing problems."

I have two things to say to this: 1) You aren't hiding anything under that hot pink canopy and neon light, and 2) It's about damn time.

I don't say that because I will be one of the first women in line. I say that because, well, don't you think it's time women had the right to walk into a house of ill repute, pick the cutest Hank and pay for an hour of personal pleasure? One of the biggest complaints being raised is that Ms. Fleiss will actually petition to have Nevada law reworded. Current law only refers to prostitutes as "she," and says that all must submit to a "cervical" exam according to a very specific timetable. Most men I've met don't refer to themselves as "she" and a doctor would get a little long in the tooth searching for his cervix. But male owners of female brothels are mostly raising the hoopla over that change.

This obviously strange and almost laughable "sexism" leads me to something else I've been wanting to speak about. One of the points that arose when discussing this topic with friends was the idea of women becoming more like men. And essentially, if that was something of which we should be proud. I beg to differ. I'm not sure the birth of the first all-male brothel has anything to do with women becoming more "male." I think that the sexual freedoms, or rather any freedoms women currently enjoy, don't have anything to do with becoming more masculine.

I think it has more to do with power. Males have held power in society for so long we have begun to attribute characteristics of "people with power" to masculine characteristics. This isn't necessarily true. What I find most amusing about the affront to males is their obvious disbelief that women have sexual urges and aren't too timid to act on them. They forget how powerful we truly are. Hell, one of us gave birth to Jesus. Try that. We are only just now beginning to fully enjoy the perks of true social and economic independence.

We, as women, forget that it wasn't too long ago we were taught that men could not control their sexual urges and these urges were to be "forgiven" and "understood" in the context of a relationship. It seems that men aren't ready to let this farce of a biology fact go by the wayside. After all, it lets them get away with all manner of things. Isn't it funny how they have all that power, but can't control it?

Two weeks ago I was browsing in Goodwill and came across a book named "On Becoming A Woman." It was basically a manual of what "good little girls" in the 1950s were taught about being a woman. Most of it was about the evils of masturbation and homosexuality. The rest included a section on woman's responsibility of keeping her virtue safe from males who have "very little control" over their own urges.

The book surmises that the male sexual response is so violent and uncontrollable they couldn't possibly be expected to "stop, no and don't" if the woman decides that getting naked and funky isn't something she wants to be doing.

While reading the book and violently laughing, I couldn't believe how far we've come in the past 50 years. That message juxtaposed against the backdrop of male brothels and other current, socially acceptable sexual behaviors of women certainly creates a picture of two very different points on a cultural spectrum. How can it be that we have covered this much territory in the past half century?

This forced me to realized how much I had taken for granted with regard to my current freedoms as opposed to the poodle-skirted, silk-bloused, 1950s housewife who was actually told in a manual that the only two acceptable avenues of employment were nursing and teaching. The chapter on the hell-fire punishment for reading fiction tops employment in its pure unapologetic belief that women were born without brains.

But the more important question to me seems to be finding the point on the spectrum where the authentic female is found. Are women truly the more gentle sex? Are our sexual urges so stagnant and slow that we are to be the referee against all invading and uncontrollable erections? Are we forever to be left with the responsibility to say "no" and then being held legally accountable for it?

Or are we closer to males than anyone assumes? An animal. A powerful female animal. A female animal with all of the urges and feelings contained therein. One for whom sex is just as beautiful and invigorating as it is for males. One who would wish to take part in a relationship where she isn't in control of her mate's bodily functions, but there to take part in them to the best of her ability. One who was just waiting with baited breath to quit teaching, or nursing, to take up a spot in line at Heidi's Hot House Of Hanks.

Because I'm thinking Ms. Fleiss is banking over a million dollars that it's the latter.

Previous Comments

ID
71099
Comment

Umm, It takes a special man to get "things going" for a random chick that comes in and spends 1000 bucks. What about guys that come in? Do the male whores have to be able to swing both ways or do they go to a different room to pick the gay guys? The same rule applies if a 300lb lady waddles in there, i don't think i could do it. No matter how much i kept my eyes closed or how dark it was. I think girls sexual urges are moreviolent than males, once they are in a environment i.e. the bedroom,public,car, wherever they are comfortable in their sexuality, hang on. Then again maybe it's just me. But i doubt it.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-15T10:37:04-06:00
ID
71100
Comment

Superstar, her plan/model is for women only... Not for gay men. But, a gay group is suing her for discrimnation according to the laws already on the books.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-12-15T11:12:26-06:00
ID
71101
Comment

I, personally, think everyone should have their own whore house. Gay, straight, bi, little people. Everyone.If we're sellling sex, we might as well be an equal opportunity sex seller. ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-15T11:21:14-06:00
ID
71102
Comment

Ahhh, well in that case she better get it up and going, no pun intended, in order to pay for the lawsuit expenses. If things end prematurely, do they get a refund or is it prorated? What insurance company covers brothels?seems like a big liability. So many what ifs it's not even funny.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-15T11:22:19-06:00
ID
71103
Comment

What a woman, what a mighty bold women to write this article? Women are powerful. I'm amazed y'all haven't already realized your power and taken over the world. As the actor Gary Busic once put it "y'all got half the money and all of" something else more precious than gold. The problem of women is that they will never all stick together. Some would argue this is a good thing. Ali, has Heidi mentioned whether she would be getting any discounts on Viagra or not? This sudden dare by Heidi makes me think of the teachers molesting teenage boys. Some friends of mines were just asking the other day where were these caring, kind, and fine good teachers when we were growing up and attending school? How come the teenage boys who can't keep a secret always the ones to get picked? If that Florida teacher, Lafave I think is her name, ever start molesting adults or old men my friends said they hope somebody will tell them. They want to get in that long line. I'm only joking about the child molestation. But I probably wouldn't have told had it been me. Why would any women go to a place like this and pay for it, when the world is full of able men who would gladly oblige for free?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T12:20:29-06:00
ID
71104
Comment

For sure I think we've all had a fat one, and some people i have seen would sleep with anything, as long as it has a pulse, pulse optional. Then there's that next day breakfast I wonder if that's included, if it's in nevada it must be a buffet. Take two shots at the bar and get down to it, then they have robes and showers sort of like a spa resort. Gift certificates maybe? At least Heidi is sticking to her roots, her entrepreneurial spirit outshines that of every Dogwood mart and madison franchise owner by far, it is original and apparently she is good at setting up some whoring.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-15T13:27:00-06:00
ID
71105
Comment

I'd like to add, just in case any women are loading their guns to shoot me down later on, that the world has produced countless remarkable women of all kinds of talents, beauty, skills, minds and capabilities. Take for instance Margaret Thatcher, Mary Francis Berry (attained a JD and Phd while working full-time and caring for her children), Glenda Glover (Dean of Jackson State Business School who has a JD, PhD, MBA and is a CPA), and coutless others who are as smart and capable as any man. I agree that there shouldn't be a double standard on so many things. But there is one. Or was one. A friend of mine and I went to get Valentines present for our wives, I thought. When my friend got ready to select his present(s) he told me to get away from him and I did. The next day upon entering the office my coworkers ( some no good b@#$%^&*!) said to me "go ask so and so if he slept with a tiger last night." Being the jokester and fool I am, I went and asked him. As he turned to tell me to kiss his you know what, I saw all the stratches to his face. He wouldn't tell me what happened but I figured out the florist had cossed up the two valentine presents thereby allowing the wife to get the girlfriend's and vice versa. Ang good florish should know better. Smile. A few months later this same friend called asking me to come talk to him as he said he needed to talk to someone with some sense. Anyway, he told me he started to kill a person that morning. As a matter of fact he went outside and fired off a couple of shots for fear. It turned out that while he had a lady on the side the wife had a man on the side, too. (How wrong, how wrong?) He asked me why she would do him like this. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He said a man can do anything but a woman can't. I asked what book did he read that from, I need to read it too. Ultimately, I told him he couldn't morally expect what he wasn't giving. And if he wanted the woman to apologize and work it out. Apparently, he listened and they still wanted each other. They're still together.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T13:47:15-06:00
ID
71106
Comment

This reminds me of the discriminatory sex-toy laws. Of course, there will never be another toy-assisted sexual act in the city of Jackson if Mr. Frank Melton has his way. Gotta love all that policing morality.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-12-15T13:58:20-06:00
ID
71107
Comment

Now back to this lust or sex thang. I have always been told that women are innately more stable, virtuous, and moral than men are. We're supposed to be like dogs. I know many human dogs. The first thing one of my favorite cousin ask on every occasions he sees me "are you doing anything outside of marriage?" I have to step away from my wife to keep the fool from asking it in front of her. I tell him "no and I'm not supposed to", and he says bull$#@&. I have some cousins who would date any woman; so, I know a woman can get a man without having to buy time from him. Perhaps it's like the comedian Hope Flood used to ask, "you mean I can get the sex without having to accept or put up with the stupid ____________ that the thing belongs to?"

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T14:03:57-06:00
ID
71108
Comment

I would say that the appeal of prostitution for men or women comes from the fact that it comes without entanglements. So most women could go out on a Friday night and get some slob to sleep with her, and maybe he would be content with a one-night stand. On the other hand, despite our adolescent bravado, many men would want to start a thang with the woman, especially if the sex was good (for him at least). Also, this sort of brothel clearly fits in with the "what happens in Vegas..." campaign, which amounts to "Cheat! No one in Ohio will ever know!" I read that though Americans are chronically unfaithful in their marriages, they usually cheat by having one night stands. This is in contrast to the French, for instance, who also cheat but tend to have long, friendly affairs. One thinks of Mitterrand's long-term mistress attending his state funeral, with his wife there also. So it would seem that America is a country perfectly suited to prostitution!

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2005-12-15T14:21:20-06:00
ID
71109
Comment

The other point is that if a woman does pick up some guy, the chances are good that she will have a...mixed experience. Can I hear you ladies? As Chef of Southpark once sang with a fake James Taylor, "A prostitute is like any other woman / they all trade something for sex / but a prostitute / does it well!" The point on women is ugly and stupid, which is why a woman might consider a night with her friends at a male bordello. If she can go into the experience knowing that she'll be pleasured, a woman might become more adventurous than she would in the midst of sour beer stains and egocentric two-pump chumps.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2005-12-15T14:29:58-06:00
ID
71110
Comment

But brjohn9 would we want a real relationship or just to sleep with her again? I ain't that smart but it seems to me that a man who would fall in love with a prostitute over good sex is not the shapest knife in the rack. I doubt that Anna Nicole's husband was really in love; but I sho can see why a young and virile man or a 2 inch from death man can lust at her.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T14:35:57-06:00
ID
71111
Comment

Hey...it ain't called the "oldest profession in the world" for nothing. ;) My biggest question about this column has been people asking "So, you think it'll fly?" (in reference to the male brothel) I think Heidi wouldn't be backing it with such a large chunk of change if it wasn't. I also had a friend mention that it HAS to be a "reality show" in the making. I agree. I'm sure there are multiple ways for her to make money off the idea...not just the sex. That makes it a pretty valid business venture. As per the question "Why would women want to pay for sex?" I answer....Do you guys TRULY know how annoying you can be? ;) When I get home I will be posting some actual quotes from the 1950's "On Becoming A Woman" because I think people should truly understand what was taught to women about their sexuality. One last thing, ladd, why do you think it is that Melton has such a huge thing against sex toys?

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-15T14:40:02-06:00
ID
71112
Comment

A final point. The idea that women are less sexual than men is old, dearly held and entirely false. This has been a hotly contested argument in science for at least the last twenty years. Some scientists have advanced theories for why female orgasm might have been advanced by natural selection. For instance, some scientists have argued that vaginal and uterine contractions like those produced during orgasm might draw sperm up into the uterus. However, evidence for such mechanisms is unconvincing. Other scientists, such as my beloved Stephen Jay Gould, maintain that female orgasm is an example of "exaptation," by which he means that female orgasm is a happy accident, which serves no evolutionary purpose and derives from homology between the penis and the clitoris, which both come from the same bundle of tissue and nerves in the fetus. Recently, scientists have discovered that the clitoris is actually some nine inches long, extending along and embracing the vagina. Like the penis, it becomes engorged with blood during arousal, though only the "head" is visible. This to me indicates selection, which makes sense for other reasons. In a species as social as ours, where female ovulation is (very unusually for primates) hidden, which inevitably leads to continual mating, it seems obvious to me that female sexual pleasure is a key component of our biology. Most opposition to the idea arises from old-fashioned ideas about "the nature of man". And there is a larger silliness, the natural selection determinism (that every feature is precisely honed by selection) that biology is finally outgrowing. Time and time again, species which were thought to be monogomous have been observed sneaking quickies off in the woods. Between 300 and 400 species have been observed engaging in homosexual behavior, including full male penetration, which as recently as ten years ago was held to be virtually exclusive to humans. We have just begun to grapple with how sex really operates in nature, let alone us.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2005-12-15T14:43:08-06:00
ID
71113
Comment

Needless to say, I'm not Dr. Laura, Westheimer, or any of the rest of them, but I'm playing one here. Now, I have heard many men brag about being the heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to pleasing their women. Are you saying they're lying and many, if not most, are unfulfilling their duties? This has made me think of Richard Pryor again. Richard said he told a woman one time he was leaving her and getting him some new you know what. He says she told him if he wasn't so little he could find some new you know at home with her. What a cold woman?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T14:44:34-06:00
ID
71114
Comment

I aint Ladd, but from a male who likes women perspective, sex toys take away work and business from men who are willing and able to do the job. Those sex toys can't cuddle and tell you how wonderful and beautiful you are. I thought y'all liked to talk too? Getting out before I get cursed or shamed out?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T14:58:07-06:00
ID
71115
Comment

Ray that was his wife that he was talking about the was a good bit before he went off on the white girl bit black guy bit.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-15T15:05:18-06:00
ID
71116
Comment

Before I leave let me answer Ali question about annoyance. We're annoying because we know every women is different and we have to learn each women specifically in order to be all we can be. Unlike us, y'all are complicated. How will you know what to do right off the bat without some exploration? All of this can be avoided by four simple words. This runs my mind into the doctor and construction worker story. A women complained to her friends about how boring her doctor boyfriend was. She said he knows all of these big words and thangs, but he's so lacking at bedtime in the passion department I'm going to leave him. Months later an old dirty-looking construction guy hollers at her as she struts by. After being begged for a date, Ms. Prissy finally concedes and goes out with Mr. Construction. The dating goes on well and Prissy was so enamored that she eventually lets him spend the night with her. He was fullfilling and she couldn't wait to see him again. After a while he asked her why we never go around any of your friends or out to social gatherings together, and she would make up stories or excuses. After a while some of her friends commented girl you have been glowing with apparent happiness for months, do you have a new man? She said yes but I can't let y'all meet him. I'm embarrased because he doesn't know any big words, and he doesn't know subjects and verbs are supposed to be doing anything together, so I got to leave him too. She then gives her friends intimate details about their relationship. (Like most women I might add) Finally, one of friends says "tell me girl, when exactly is this breakup supposed to take plcace, and where does he live?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T15:37:37-06:00
ID
71117
Comment

Never understood why any sane person would want to ban sex toys. It just ain't Christian. As for the bunny-stag ranch: I wish the best of luck to Fleiss, but to my knowledge there has never been an example of a successful het male prostitution enterprise. If she wants to rake in the big bucks, she really should hire men who swing both ways. I would imagine there is a HUGE untapped market for legal gay prostitution. Re the evolution of the female orgasm... If you want to see a real knock-down drag-out fight about the subject, see this exchange: David Barash responds to Elizabeth Lloyd. Elizabeth Lloyd responds back. Personally, I find the debate a little too speculative for my tastes--but if I had to hitch my wagon to one hypothesis, Lloyd's is probably the strongest one going right now. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-15T15:41:17-06:00
ID
71118
Comment

Ladd "This reminds me of the discriminatory sex-toy laws. Of course, there will never be another toy-assisted sexual act in the city of Jackson if Mr. Frank Melton has his way. Gotta love all that policing morality." I had been waiting for the right moment to ask about a new product out on the market and wondered if any here had seen it. A major condom company (sorry I won't link) has introduced a condom that has a tiny vibrator attached to it for "added pleasure." I guess the vibrating razors have gone south, so to speak. So, how will this affect local grocers and pharmacies that sell these necessary birth control objects? I mean they already have variations of condoms for “added pleasure” at most stores now. But, now we have one that employees the use of a battery operated stimulant in addition to serving primarily as a birth-control device. And, condom sales rep. person is going to want to put these on display for sale to make more commission. I can see the SWAT raids now at Walgreen’s at midnight. To address Ray and his worker bee attitude… Just consider them extra tools for the trade that will enhance the job. And, they shouldn’t detract from you cuddling and cooing in their ear afterwards. But, unless you travel or shop online at say a naughty website like “Amazon.com” you will never know in the great State of MS! And keep roaring Ali, even the book from the early 70’s “*Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex…” has outdated and stereotypical “scientific” sexual facts that are laughable by today’s knowledge of a woman’s sexuality and desires.

Author
pikersam
Date
2005-12-15T16:32:24-06:00
ID
71119
Comment

I thought of your points after posting Pikersam. Not everybody need, desires or trusts outside help in the bed. One of my law school buddies was lucky enough to date the finest girl at the school. As far as we knew they only had one date. After their date or whatever it was, we saw her but not him. We went looking for him and found him handcuffed at her house to the bed. We don't know if he was being enslaved or whether he had been violated in some in some unwanted way. For the longest while he didn't tell and we didn't ask because we were scared of what the answer would be. From that point on we all carried guns until we really got to know the women well. After the episode with my friend that women suddenly wasn't that appealing to me anymore. Speaking of modern day voluntary slavery, there was a woman named Nona Hendrix that sung with Patti Labelle and the Blue Belle. I was so smitten by her looks that I didn't know Patti LaBelle could sang until the group broke up. I didn't even see or hear Patty or the third women for years. Nona Hendrix could have enslaved me for at least 20 years. I would have worked the filelds and everythang. She had an average-looking face but she sho was fine to me. I ain't saying I or most men want to cuddle, coo or talk. Most of us just want a warm place to go to sleep afterward, so I hear. Me not included.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T16:59:49-06:00
ID
71120
Comment

Ali sure does bring out the sassy side in all you intellectuals. Remember to preserve some decorum as you go. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-12-15T17:06:50-06:00
ID
71121
Comment

You're right Donna. I'm leaving before I completely embarass myself. I hope the jokes were clear and funny.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T17:16:34-06:00
ID
71122
Comment

You don't have to leave! It's just a gentle reminder. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-12-15T17:20:03-06:00
ID
71123
Comment

PLEASE DON'T LEAVE. I, for one, am absolutely loving the smut talk. Carry on. I'll join in after five....seems only fittin', right? ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-15T17:31:05-06:00
ID
71124
Comment

Ali, you coming here? I don't know if you're on my list. E-mail Casey.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-12-15T17:34:08-06:00
ID
71125
Comment

Luckly, handcuffs are not on the state list of banned devices for the bedroom. However, it sounds as if they should have been in your friends case. If that had happened today, y'all would have painted his face, stuck pencils in his ears and taken pictures for the internet! We have come a long way! "Not everybody need, desires or trusts outside help in the bed." Ray Yes you are right! But, having moved back to Jackson from a more progressive city/state a few years ago, I support those who do want, desire and trust outside help in the bedroom. Whether you need a Trading Spaces makeover to set the mood or the lastest greatest toy made by man, it is all good! And, it should all be legal as long as it is consentual, respectful, and desired by the other person!

Author
pikersam
Date
2005-12-15T17:41:48-06:00
ID
71126
Comment

Trying to make it there. Might be in half an hour. Can I bring Chronos? He wants margaritas...

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-15T18:01:46-06:00
ID
71127
Comment

I would never ever try to tell anybody what to do in that regard. I'm for freedom. Even the stores if that's what people want. I'd spend my time chasing the real criminals.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-15T18:05:40-06:00
ID
71128
Comment

Ray brings up a good point. If people are happily satisfied at home, doesn't that cut out a lot of "unhappy" wandering of the streets? Viva la Vibrator!

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-15T18:08:50-06:00
ID
71129
Comment

Where the heck are these people who are against vibrators? I hang around some pretty conservative folks, and even I've never heard a coherent religious argument against them. And when folks who want to ban abortion also want to ban vibrators, they have a lot of trouble sounding credible when they say it's all about the fetuses and not about controlling women's bodies. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-15T18:25:37-06:00
ID
71130
Comment

Pikersam is now one of my mentors. Ali if women do as you suggest they should proceed cautiously. I read once in the New England Journal of Medicine or the nation's newspaper - the National Inquirer, that a woman got so addicted that she had to have carpal tunnel syndrome surgery on both hands which still didn't cure the addiction. Eventually she destroyed her neurological system and had to spend the rest of her life without any feelings at all. She eventually died in an nursing home. The janitors weren't allowed to vacuum the floors until she had been given medicine to put her to sleep. But that wasn't the worse case. Another woman unaware of obvious side effects got so addicted that she had a fatal car wreck. As I recall the story, she was driving down the interstate and suddenly came up on some road workers. They were clearing one portion of the road and building another one. As one of the workers cranked up that big vibrating machine used to bust through concrete, she thought she was alone at home and closed her eyes in complete surrender. Unfortunately, she soon hit an 18 wheeler and expired shortly thereafter. Before expiring she took a tube of red lipstick and wrote a dying declaration which said "I thought I was at home with my big boy. Ladies just say no. Men are better." What an awful way to go?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T09:52:09-06:00
ID
71131
Comment

Since no one has answered Pikersam question about the new vibrating condoms, let me give it a shot. It was certainly rude for people not to answer your question. I compare this slight to being urged to ignore a beautiful and provocatively dressed woman. If the woman can go through all that trouble to make herself look that way, the least I could do is look at her until she's completely out of my viewing location. Parading again as Dr. Ray here, I think it a good idea. Whatever helps keep families happy and together is a good thing. However, there should be some testing done to make sure no one is harmed or injured by these things. I know some people who would volunteer as test dummies for this. The pharmacies and grocery stores shouldn't have a problem selling them. But personally I'm waiting on cloning to become readily available. Guys, can you imagine having your own Tyra Banks, Vivica Fox, a young Jane Fonda or Racquel Welch, or your own Beyonce to sang and do that dance for you? We shouldn't have to die before experiencing this.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T10:49:27-06:00
ID
71132
Comment

Thanks to BC i don't worry about buying condoms anymore, and monogamy. I would think about it but the more i remember i actually remember that condoms suck, unless your not in a relationship, then they are awesome. But all the gimmicks usually are a bunch of BS, the raised studs and ribs don't do squat or so i was told. I would think a vibrating condom would sort of lead to things ending early if it was doing its job. Which is kind of a reverse cause aren't they jsut suppsed to delay things so everyone gets there cookies? Or at the most leave a guy sitting there without his?

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-16T10:57:53-06:00
ID
71133
Comment

Ray Carter said: Ali if women do as you suggest they should proceed cautiously. I read once in the New England Journal of Medicine or the nation's newspaper - the National Inquirer, that a woman got so addicted that she had to have carpal tunnel syndrome surgery on both hands which still didn't cure the addiction. Eventually she destroyed her neurological system and had to spend the rest of her life without any feelings at all. --Seems we're back to the topic of addiction and the concept of people not being able to control themselves. ;) You got anything to tell us, Ray? ;) --Seriously though, perhaps if sexuality (or sensuality) weren't so repressed in this country people wouldn't, likewise, be so sexually-obsessed about it. --But, I guess sometimes I forget that America is--in some ways--just the twisted little offspring of English Victorian society, spawned from all of that bizarre Puritanism, which used to mandate that people cover the legs of their tables and desks with cloth coverings because they could possibly become a source of erotic fantasy. GEEZ. Can you imagine that? --I mean, true, I really don't want any of my friends coming over and humping my furniture, but what you do with your tables and chairs at home is TOTALLY up to you! ;) --Look, I've done my fair share of hanging out in France, Spain, Morocco, Dublin, Glasgow, and, from my experience, European culture just isn't hung up on such subjects the way Americans seem to be. --Hung up: disturbed, obsessed, repressed, uncomfortable, unsure, insecure, etc. --And, per Ali's excellent column, women are seen just as much the sexually-empowered beings as men, and furthermore, women are often the initiators of such encounters (if memory serves me correctly... ;) --Another feature one sees over there is that the human body is not related to or perceived as a source of shame. People in this country give that a lot of lip service and may say they believe that, in theory, and yet theory is different than practice. My experience of the topless world of Costa del Sol, or the nude beaches in general in that part of Spain, is that sex, sexuality, nudity, sensuality, or any expression therein is celebrated and, for instance, nudity does not equal sex, and sensuality does not equal sexuality. --Their way is better.

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T14:41:19-06:00
ID
71134
Comment

Chronos, I'm beginning to see there are some very smart people reading the the Jackson Free Press online. I might eventually have to start being totally serious. Surely, no one believed my latest tales. I hope they made somebody laugh a few seconds. Good comment as usual. I'm for letting freedom ring from every mountaintop. You mean to tell me you didn't see a single body over there that made you wish temporarily you were blind? I must visit someday then.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T15:04:22-06:00
ID
71135
Comment

RC...No, I got a real good laugh from the women with carpal tunnel. ;) I thought to myself, "Yep. I had a year like that once!" ;) And, uh, as far as Spain is concerned....nope...no temporary blindness needed where I was. None a'tall. ;) Pensacola. Now that's another matter altogether. ;) chronos

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T15:11:46-06:00
ID
71136
Comment

But, I'll tell you another reason I liked Spain so much--besides the topless tapas vibe... Siesta. You gotta love a culture that finds it perfectly accetable to take an afternoon nap.

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T15:29:24-06:00
ID
71137
Comment

Topic Round Up Okay, this here article's 'bout PROSTITUTION. Specifically, prostitution in an all male brothel. Not naked boobies in Spain. BROTHELS. Question: I have actually spoken to women who claim to NOT enjoy sex. (imagine that, huh?) What I want to know is do you think they just haven't been with the right guy...or they just were shamed when younger about actually enjoying sex? Because, I'm so interested in this. Whenever I speak to a grown (sometimes middle aged) woman who states that she does not enjoy sex...I constantly wonder if she had a very religious upbringing...or her partners have been less than satisfying.

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-16T15:34:52-06:00
ID
71138
Comment

Okay, Ali. I'm sorry. I'm listening to some gypsy-flamenco music from Seville, and it's cold outside, and...and...my mind drifted to Spain, and...and....it was Ray's fault! ;) A riveting question here. I hope some women will speak up.

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T15:39:12-06:00
ID
71139
Comment

Don;t forget about the sangria. I thought someone alluded to it earlier when they said you have to learn the other person? A lot of housewives that I have ehard say they have an allowance and just give it up to keep husband from cheating. Then comes plastic surgery breast implants. I don't think those people would be the ones to frequent a brothel, i would lean towards those who are popping advils for their carpal tunnel. They REALLY enjoy it.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2005-12-16T15:44:41-06:00
ID
71140
Comment

When I was in Houston working for corporate america I worked around lots of women and gays, males and females. I think I have heard just about everything from women. Two female friends grossed me out so bad one time, I had to exit the car. They wouldn't let me close my ears. As I put on my Dr. Ray hat again, let me start by saying I have never met a women who said she didn't enjoy sex at all, or have never enjoyed sex. But what is sex to some might not to sex to others. I learned that from my buddy Bill Clinton. One of Donna's heroes, too. I find it hard to believe most women are incapable of enjoying sex at all. When there are problem of sex I think it's usually the wrong person you're doing it with, the person has no clue what they're doing, the person doesn't know you, the person is unattractive mentally and physically to you, you don't know how to relax and surrender, past injurious sexual experiences such as abuse, undeserved and unresolved guilt, you hate your body, aor you want tell the dumb a#@ what to do, etc. Mr. or Mrs. right person can usually overcome all of this. One of the most amazing thing to me about women is that women have all these rules that are supposedly ironclad. Some people can never penetrate or overcome them. Lo and behold, when the right person or circumstance comes along, you throw away all the rules. A rejected standby would be shocked and overwhelmed by what they just saw. Personally I feel it's the suitor responsibility to figure the woman out while courting or dating her. All you have to do is get them to talk honestly and soberly.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T16:09:32-06:00
ID
71141
Comment

I might add I have never talked to a woman who wasn't susceptible to some form of arousal. Fellows, don't ever throw away your playbook or stop learning the game of love and life.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T16:17:09-06:00
ID
71142
Comment

As to the religion argument, some of the biggest whores and freaks I ever met were churchgoers and preachers. Religion rarely overcomes hormonal desires.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T16:23:54-06:00
ID
71143
Comment

>>>don't ever throw away your playbook F*#@! I just found out I accidently placed mine in the wash. Nothing to do but drink more sangria! ;)

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T16:27:14-06:00
ID
71144
Comment

Ray: ...some of the biggest whores and freaks I ever met were churchgoers and preachers. e.g., Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Bakker

Author
Rex
Date
2005-12-16T16:29:25-06:00
ID
71145
Comment

I think I might be becoming a huge fan of "Dr. Ray". :)

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-16T16:35:09-06:00
ID
71146
Comment

Thanks, Ali. For some reason, still mostly unknown to me, women have picked me out as somebody to talk to. I started noticing this in particular when I was about 14. The prettiest girl in our neighborhood, although 5 years older than me, always sought me out as the person to hang with. The older boys used to get mad and curse me out about it. They said I was blocking. Thank God she caught me before all the older boys and men messed my head up about women. This was a real friendship and nothing more. All these years later she lights up when she sees me. She married one of my no-good cousins and mostly lived an abusive marriage until he went to jail for shooting a bunch of people.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T17:08:10-06:00
ID
71147
Comment

Ladd:>>>This reminds me of the discriminatory sex-toy laws. Of course, there will never be another toy-assisted sexual act in the city of Jackson if Mr. Frank Melton has his way. Gotta love all that policing morality. --Aye, perhaps we should be a placin' a wee order for Mr. Melton at the following purveyors of wiggly-jigglies ;) Good Vibrations Since he's got most of Jackson politics, including the Clarion-Ledger, bending over for him, I think we could probably skip the The Beginner's Kit

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T17:20:05-06:00
ID
71148
Comment

Ray, I can so totally relate. And you can almost tell from a man's personality whether he has ever had any real female friends. Men who haven't go around talking about where to meet "women," how they don't understand "women," etc., feeling threatened by strong women; they inevitably seem to rely mainly on other men for emotional support. I know of one all-male group that meets every week for sushi and seems to be made up of guys who feel very threatened by successful women, and that saddens me. But men who have had female friends realize that people are just complicated, and understanding "women" as a whole makes about as much sense as understanding "men," and that successful women can, among other things, be really great allies to have. I'm a big believer in abolishing gender apartheid. Both maleness and femaleness, completely lived into, are unmanageable. They do funny things to someone's personality, and tend to force people into lives of, well, quiet desperation--the man who always wants to be good enough, the woman who always wants to belong. The freedom not to do the male thing, not to do the female thing, is an amazing freedom. I think that in the long run, women's liberation will in many respects help men every bit as much as it helps women, because maleness, like femaleness, is too restrictive. No matter what face he might put on, the man's man is a miserably unhappy person. Everybody needs a little room to breathe. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-16T17:25:03-06:00
ID
71149
Comment

Tom, I was at a football game in Houston one time and an outstanding couple walked by. Many of the men nearby badmouthed the women. The man was a law professor and Rhodes scholar who made about $75,000.00. The woman was an anchor woman and made $750,000.00. The guys said in damn near unison "I'd have to beat her butt every now and then to keep her in her place." I said "______, if my wife made that much money I would be the happiest joker in the world." Juxtapose this to Stedman Graham who once supposedly said he feels swallowed up sometime by Oprah. One comedian joked that "if I was dating Oprah Winfrey I would change my name to Oprah's Boyfriend so there wouldn't be any doubt who my lady is."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T17:37:00-06:00
ID
71150
Comment

Well, I will weigh in and say that I've made more money than the last three guys that I went out with. It never really made a difference to them. At least I don't think it did. I'm fairly independent ;) and can be a handful at times. But, I've never had a man give me anything but respect for it. I think I've known some great men in my life. Men that weren't threatened by a strong woman. I will never understand the need to demonize a woman simply because she has opinions and a mouth which she uses to express them.

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-16T17:45:32-06:00
ID
71151
Comment

Any man with truly good sense would know that spunk, courage and daring are transferable. Know what I mean? A light up stairs man is too dumb to be that lucky!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-16T17:51:47-06:00
ID
71152
Comment

I think all heterosexual men are influenced by perceptions of women that hail from two sources: 1) conditioned or inherited-cultural views and 2) informed experience. The first influence is something that springs from an old patriarchal model that sees or relates to women-as-property, or women-as-should be-wallflowers. This is ancient stuff, transcending the history of entrenched Southern mores. Any man that has a growth-imperative in his life has to look at this stuff, unpack it, dismantle it, and really find these inherited seeds of that way of being in himself. Any heterosexual male in America who says he didn't inherit some of those seeds to contend with is delusional. It's a developmental process, a process of radical honesty, honesty with oneself, honesty with the women in his life, and while I know a lot of good men who've done that work, I think the old model is still very much alive and often just under the surface even in those men who have the appearance of having worked this crap out. It's also something that gets reified through male pressure. I know of too many scenarios to count where a group of threatened men would pull aside the husband of a powerful woman and tell him to "get his women back in line." But, TH, I like that phrase "gender apartheid." Well put.

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T17:56:45-06:00
ID
71153
Comment

Tom: maleness, like femaleness, is too restrictive. No matter what face he might put on, the man's man is a miserably unhappy person. Philip (to society as a whole, not Tom): FROM WHERE do we get our ideas of what is a “man” and what is not (same thing for “women”)? Are they TRULY natural for us? Or have we just uncritically accepted as true the definitions of “man” and “woman” that mainstream society repeats thoughtlessly? Gender roles, like “normal” behavior, is just some cultural bureaucracy filled with pointless do’s and don’t’s that accomplish nothing beyond stifling our creativity, stifiling our happiness, and affirming our petty prejudices. The “masculine” this (especially as opposed to “feminine” that) is mostly cultural indoctrination of the past several millennia (sort of like the old line “a woman’s place is behind a hot stove” was - and unfortunately still is in many mens’ minds). As far as I’m concerned, a man is an adult homo sapiens sapiens with a Y chromosome, end of story. Why can't it be as simple as that???

Author
Philip
Date
2005-12-16T18:05:41-06:00
ID
71154
Comment

Ali: " can be a handful at times." --Er, eh, ah,...Aw. I better keep my mouth shut. ;)

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-16T18:09:55-06:00
ID
71155
Comment

Since this article has gotten so much attention I decided to run it by a couple of my cousins - veterans as they like to call themselves. One has a master and the other one a PhD jugology. First of all , they asked if I was sure the ladies weren't just trying to discard us common men altogether. I admitted I had wondered the same thing a time or two. We sat down with 2 gallons of corn whiskey by an outside fire and Platehead, the one with the masters degree said he usually didn't give advice to people who do not drank but he'd make an exception this time. He went on to say the problem with women is that they're more confused than complicated. "You see Muhammad Ali was a ring general in his younger days when he fought consistently (got lots of ring time) but after he was banned he got rusty and wasn't very good until he started fighting again consistently. The great failure in the pleasure department between men and women is simply a matter of too little ring time. When Muhammad Ali got lots of ring time he was sharp again and won nearly every time. I hear men complain all the time that once they get married or commit in relationship, they're lucky if they ever got any more ring time from anyone. You see, too many women want you to be the heavy weight champion of the world but they give up too little ring time. If you try to get some ring time outside the relationship, they act like you killed their parents and all their children. The average women is stingy with the ring time. If you think I'm lying the next attractice women you see, walk up to her and ask for some ring time. I bet my last swallow of whiskey she will say hell no and to get out of her face because she doesn't know or like you. Juxtapose this to a brothel, and you will see that by going to a brothel she's looking for good ring time from a person she doesn't know or love. Yet, she would reject giving you some ring time for the same reason if you as a stranger asked her. Tell me this ain't confusing?" You can't be expected to be sharp unless you're getting lots of practice and ring time like they get at the brothels. I then asked what about those sex toys or aids. Junebug, the one with the doctorate degree asked "how many toys they need"? He then went into this long monologue: "It seems to me that a man has 2 hands, two foot (feet), a head that contain a brain, a voice box, and a food receptacle (commonly called a mouth, et al), 2 arms, 2 or 3 legs, and other body parts. What else can they possibly need? I'm beginning to wonder if they're not just looking for reasons to kick all of us out? I ain't against the toys if they like them. I just don't want them to throw us out the door with the bath water. Most of all, I want to be fully utilized."

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-18T17:42:01-06:00
ID
71156
Comment

Uh, Ray? What is ring time exactly? You lost me.

Author
whateveryouwant
Date
2005-12-18T17:52:03-06:00
ID
71157
Comment

Chronos, I bet my last dollar that Junebug and Platehead have closed down the conversation here. We know what ring time is? As you can probably tell I get a kick from sparring with women on the male/female relationship thing. I wish I knew what they thought. They think lots of things but they're often too chicken to say it to our faces. They complain to their friends who often can't help them. As a person who has seen many moons while sober and paying attention, I discovered men and women are very similar in the views and desires toward sex. The one big difference is that most women consider themselves and their "ring" more precious than us and our ring. I wish I could disagree with them, but as R. Kelly said one time, my mind is telling me one thing but my body is telling me another one. If I were allowed to ask one final question on the subject, I would simply ask, ladies, how you like me now? I'm out! What a man, what a man?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-19T09:52:40-06:00
ID
71158
Comment

Wow! What a discussion. I may regret wading into this pool, but I guess I will anyway. I know this is a LONG post, but bear with me please. Just for the record, growing up in a conservative, and what most might describe as a "very strict, religious" home does not necessarily result in a person being prudish or having "issues" with sexuality. I grew up in such a home, and as many of you know, am now a preacher, but I think my, and my wife's (if I may speak for her) feelings about sexuality are pretty much normal. Granted, we do have a much narrower view about fulfilling sexual desires than most people (i.e. only in marriage), but neither of us are ashamed of saying the word or feel like it is dirty or not to be pleasurable for both of us. Based on what I hear others say, see on tv and read in magazines, we are pretty normal sexually. I was taught, in my religious home, that sex was a good thing and that God created it, not just for procreation, but for us to enjoy as well. Ironically, this was the subject of my sermon last night. Gasp, he said sex in the pulpit (edit), he said the word "sex" from the pulpit, not "sex in the pulpit" ;) I was preaching from Song of Solomon and pointing out what a beautfiul thing God says sex is. If you want to read some steamy, romantic descriptions of the body and sex, read Song of Solomon. It is so explicit (not vulgar) that many Rabbi's wanted it excluded from the Old Testament cannon and did not allow men under the age of 30 to read it, and women altogether, for fear it would elicit unbridled passions. Keep in mind, that was man's doing, not God's. Want to spice up your love life, try reading the Song of Solomon to one another, it is far better than the romance paperbacks at Wal-Mart for sure. It also appeals to both men and women. Men can enjoy it because they "hook up" and women can enjoy it because they "hook up," but it is not in crude or what would be typically male centered descriptions (i.e. porn). It is poetic and romantic and beautiful (which we men actually do enjoy too, but we can't own up to it publicly because we took an oath not to when we were little boys in our He-Man Woman Haters Clubs ;) ). "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine...thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely...thy neck is like a tower...thy two breasts are like two young deer that are twins...thou art all fair my love; there is not spot in thee...thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue...how beautiful are thy feet with shoes (my wife's favorite Bible verse :) ), the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman...thy navel is like a round goblet...thy neck is like a tower of ivory. Beware, it gets steamier, "This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; and the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly...I am my beloved's and his desire is toward me...his left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me...a garden inclosed is my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed...thy plants are an orchard...blow upon my garden that the spices thereof may flow out...let my beloved come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits." Compare that to our modern "poets": Color Me Badd, "Ooooh, I want to sex you up." Black Eyed Peas, "Whatchu gonna do wit all dat junk, all dat junk inside your trunk...I'ma get, get, get you drunk, get you love drunk on my humps." Juvenile, "Girl you look good, won't you back that thang up." Or the "master" R. Kelly, "Girl you remind me of my jeep, I wanna ride you." I will close my ramblings by saying that an accurate understanding of the Bible leads one to appreciate, celebrate and participate the physical relationship between a man and a woman, not be ashamed of it.

Author
brandon
Date
2005-12-19T11:53:57-06:00
ID
71159
Comment

Don't worry brandon most of us can't talk bad about preachers when they can hear it. You'll be fine reading this blog. If it helps any, I wish I could polish up my earlier comment about preachers and churchgoers. I got that straightforwad disease. Many of my colleagues complain about it too until they realize I can take whatever I dish out without hardly any complaining. Too bad I gotta leave for today. I wish I could carry on from home. If someone would tell me how to find my account number and log on from home I would carry on. Ali Gregg, I'm even a bigger fan after witnessing your courage to write this. The first time I read one of your article I knew I would probably like you. I'm sure your cousin, Muhammad Ali, would crown you a champion, too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-19T12:23:23-06:00
ID
71160
Comment

Wow. What a thread. Where to begin... Brandon, you know my views on the Bible, but I think one area where we are similar is that we both basically practice abstinence. The issue for me is not marriage as such (hard to have a belief in marriage as a unique sacramental environment for sex when the theological underpinnings of same aren't part of my worldview), but I've had opportunities in my life to satisfy my male urges outside of a real relationship and never taken them. What I know of human nature tells me that sex is an intense pair-bonding experience. It just doesn't seem appropriate to use that very intimate experience as an end unto itself instead of as a means. I can't guarantee that I won't get my cherry popped before I've officially gotten married, but I can guarantee I won't ever just go out and get laid. It'll have to mean something, to be bona fide lovemaking, before I'm interested. That's not a judgment on people who have casual sex; I don't think anything really bad necessarily happens to people who are less picky about who they screw, as long as they're smart about it and take the appropriate measures to avoid STDs and unplanned pregnancies. It's just that I value sex as an intense act of intimacy and that's how I plan to use it. I do like the Song of Solomon (though verse 4:5--"Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from washing"--might be a little more context-specific than much of the rest of the chapter). I keep telling secular folk: Like the Hebrew Bible or not, everybody should respect the fact that it actually has an erotic poem in it, particularly one that is not anti-womanist. It's the only book of the Bible focusing on sex, and it's very sex-affirming for both genders. And I agree that it's a heck of a lot better than most of what makes radio play these days. Truth be told, I'm getting a little tired of songs about sex that don't have a sense of humor--and the Song of Solomon does (verses 5:4-6 are so far over the top that you just know the author was giggling uncontrollably while writing them). I'm also getting tired of people trying to sound dramatic and erudite singing "I" when they should be singing "me" (e.g. "Baby, I'm not gonna lie / We depend on you and IIIIIII..."), but that's another rant. Love the article. And who knows; maybe Fleiss really will run the first successful het male bunny ranch. But I tend to see prostitution as mostly a vice, partly for reasons people can grok based on the second paragraph but mainly because the industry seems to destroy so many women's lives, and so I lean towards thinking this is just an area where men are more likely to screw up than women. Partly because they're stimulated in different ways (aren't men much less likely to purchase sex toys?), partly because society has essentially always said that it's okay to "stud yourself out" but not okay to "be a slut." I'd rather see men get uninterested in hiring prostitutes than see women get interested in same, but hey, sauce for the goose. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-19T12:54:05-06:00
ID
71161
Comment

Brandon-I really appreciate the input. I enjoy hearing about concepts of sexuality from all sides. I have never read Song of Solomon...and minus the part about teeth that Tom quoted, I might have to get into it. ;) I also think its WAY cool that you speak about sexuality with your congregation...I think there has been too much shaming around sex already. Ray-Thanks for the nod. Although, I'm not sure that writing this was so much "bravery" as hubris and smartassedness. :) I am VERY happy to have "Dr. Ray" as a fan!!!

Author
Lori G
Date
2005-12-19T13:37:35-06:00
ID
71162
Comment

Ali and Tom, I actually referred to the part about the teeth in my sermon. "thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them." (Song of Solomon 4:1-2). I made a joke about Hallmark needing to put that in a Valentine's card and then explained that he was complimenting her long and curly black hair (like the very valuable goats of Gilead) and that she had white (sheep shorn from the washing), straight (every one bear twins) teeth and none of them were missing (none is barren). An awfully fancy way of saying, "You sure are purdy." Tom, I also love the 5:4-6, talk about risque`! I often wonder what would become of the ladies Bible class if they read those three verses and "got it." Ali, as far as talking about sexuality with the congregation I look at it this way. You cannot live in America and not be innundated with sexual images, references, etc. So ignoring the elephant in the room is not going to keep him from crapping on your coffee table. Why not acknowledge it and then discuss it with some safe parameters that will protect people from being hurt by it. So often things that are good result in people being hurt because we don't explain how to use it properly. A gun can be a helpful tool, if you are trained to use it and are responsible with it, otherwise it can be used as a deadly weapon, whether intentional or not. Same with sex. It can be one of the most wonderful things in life when respected and used with responsibility or it can be painful, destructive and confusing. I am very frank with the teenage Bible class I teach and when parents get upset because I said sex in front of 14 year old Jenny and Joey I tell them to wake up. If they have MTV they know more about sex than you do most likely. Would you rather Christian (XXX-Tina) Aguilera and the Ying Yang Twins explain it to them or me and the Bible. Again, the whole religion vs. sex thing is man made, not God intended.

Author
brandon
Date
2005-12-19T16:20:12-06:00
ID
71163
Comment

Brandon, where is the sex only between married people located in the Bible? When was that rule or law made? Was Adam and Eve married? What constitutes marriage from a church or Godly standpoint. Can not two people who agree and to commit to live exclusive to each other be considered married in the eyes of the church?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-20T15:50:33-06:00
ID
71164
Comment

Additionally, Brandon, what are those without the power or desire to be celibate before marriage in for by way of punishment or damages other the usual diseases or dysfunctions? As I have conversed and studied other cultures I realize not everyone lives by or practice Christian or Biblical rules.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-20T16:08:22-06:00
ID
71165
Comment

I meant to ask "were Adam and Eve married'? I also meant "agree and commit." Work here keeps getting in the way of my real job at JFP as writer and commentator causing me to make errors in my post. Please overlook my inability to do several things at one time well.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-20T16:49:56-06:00
ID
71166
Comment

Brandon is probably the only person on this board to take his point of view, so I'll have a little mercy and back him up even though I don't buy into much of this stuff. My Methodist preacher great-grandfather would probably say... (1) Adam and Eve did not need to get married because Eve was created specifically as Adam's wife and helpmate (Genesis 2:18), sanctioning their relationship; marriage subsequently did not need to be instituted, and was not instituted, until after the Fall (Genesis 2:24). (2) It is not for us, as Christians, to say definitively what happens to those who are outside of the Christian fold. However, since all are in a state of sin and only Jesus can forgive sin, premarital sex is not a special problem for these folks. The more serious general problem is salvation from all sin, including (but not limited to) premarital sex. (3) Dante aside, there is no biblical evidence to suggest that there is more than one hell, or gradation among the levels of hell. Subsequently, the punishment one would get for having extramarital sex without repentance is the same punishment one would get without repentance anyway. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-20T18:37:45-06:00
ID
71167
Comment

(Brandon, did I get it right?)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-20T18:39:38-06:00
ID
71168
Comment

I think Tom pretty much said what I would say concerning Adam and Eve. They apparently were married (Genesis 2:18-25) and presumably God performed the wedding ;) The marriage/sex thing is addressed in Hebrews 13:4 as well as any of the literally dozens dealing with fornication and/or adultery. What constitutes marriage? I think that would vary from place to place and culture to culture. Most weddings I perform are "church weddings" but this past weekend I performed one in Memphis for an atheist couple. It was non-religious, but still a commitment ceremony where two people vowed to be joined together and faithful to one another as long as they live. (I know what you're thinking, "Why would atheists have a Church of Christ preacher perform their wedding?" He is one of my oldest and dearest friends from childhood and also the best man in my wedding.) As far as what does the "church" consider a marriage? If you are talking about the Catholic church I don't know, but neither do I consider that "the church." Biblically there is nothing specific given as to what constitutes a marriage. Perhaps the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 19: male and female (which I know some will argue vehemently with me about that, I'm not trying to start a fight, just quoting Scripture) leave father and mother; cleave to your wife; what God joins together let no man put asunder. Beyond that, I really don't think the Bible gives specifics as to what constitutes a marriage. As far as the special dangers/punishments of fornication, I pretty much agree with what Tom said. It is no greater sin than lying, steling, backbiting, hatred, murder, etc. Sin is sin. I do realize that some sin has greater consuquences in the here and now (i.e. if I commit murder I could be imprisoned or executed, if I lie I could be elected president ;) But as far as the afterlife, judgment day and all of that, I don't see a distinction.

Author
brandon
Date
2005-12-21T12:05:45-06:00
ID
71169
Comment

Thanks for your reply, Brandon. I bet someone or everyone thought I was baiting you. I wasn't, but I do admit that I usually have some idea of the answers to questions before I ask them. Barbara Walters did a 2 hours show last night about the various kinds of religions of faiths. I learned several things I didn't know before although I didn't get to watch the whole show. I wasn't talking about the Catholic church. I'm not Catholic either, but I often joke my friends that I'm thinking about becoming Catholic for the one hour services, and because you can sin all you want to as long as you tell that man (priest) you're sorry before doing it again. I know my joke doesn't tract real Catholicism. I agree that sin is sin and we shouldn't be judging others because they have a stick in their eyes when we have a plant in our's we can't see or won't acknowledge. Moreover, we shouldn't judge because our temporary good situations could change for no fault of our own. We all need as much grace and mercy as we can get, and it's often unmerited and undeserved. Finally, what I expect from preachers is always tell me the truth. I will then decide what to do with it. I have had preachers to say "I ain't telling y'all not to fornicate, all I will say is do the best you can." I have also heard of preachers condemning drug addicts and the likes unmercifully while at the same time saying his only flaw is "he has to get him a liitle on the side every now and then." He though his flaw was better, or better yet, wasn't really a flaw. I bet his opinion would have been different had he learned his wife had the same flaw.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-12-21T12:42:45-06:00
ID
71170
Comment

Good post, Brandon. My well-documented beliefs on the issue aside, I wouldn't make the argument that any of the unambiguous examples of marriage described in the Bible are anything but male-female. There is an interesting theory pertaining to the vow David and Jonathan took (connected to certain "friendship vows" and other same-sex commitment ceremonies performed during the Middle Ages), but it's never biblically described as a marriage or in what I would consider unambiguously romantic terms. Truth is that physical affection between men--kissing, holding hands, professions of love, etc.--has always been a part of that region's culture, which makes it very difficult at times to determine what is meant to be a gay or lesbian relationship and what is not. If you go to Saudi Arabia, you will still see ostensibly heterosexual men napping in public with their heads in each other's laps, or walking arm-in-arm to the grocery store. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-12-21T13:31:25-06:00
ID
71171
Comment

Ray, a quote I like says, Our best days are never so good that we are above the need for God's grace and our worst days are never so bad that we are beneath God's forgiveness.

Author
brandon
Date
2005-12-21T13:58:31-06:00

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