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Sunday, June 06, 2004

SEX, DATING, MARRIAGE ETC. (AND JEWS) Smuhley Boteach has some more on his theme of sex and relationships. I have to say there are many religious-minded conservatives out there arguing down this line (have a look at this specimen and try reading it without laughing), but the only one I have ever found worth reading has been Boteach. He can also be surprisingly convincing, which for this sort of theme is a universally singular accomplishment.

His most recent piece is as worth reading as ever. On surveying the Jewish marriage and dating situation Boteach is probably alarmist, as most such thinking normally is. For as long as I can remember, I have been reading and hearing about the demographic collapse of Anglicanism. It just seems the plentiful congregations I have encountered when going to church haven't been made aware of this yet.
Nonetheless most of his observations have a general validity for all of Western society. Here's the key point:
Substitute the Bible's word and you have a different proposition altogether. "Marrying in order to know someone in the deepest possible way." It is only we, who have so degraded and abused sex, who can be appalled that men and women once married in order to become "bone of one bone and flesh of one flesh."
The problem why this doesn't have much appeal has to do with the general direction our civilization has developed in and I don’t mean the decline of religion. It's a simple material problem. We mature at the same age we always do, but the age in which we can sustain a family becomes ever later for largely economic reasons (longer period of studying for example). So the choice, in view of Boteach's thought, would be either no sex, or no money and no job. Given that we can't defeat the sex drive it's inevitable that it wins this challenge. Circumstances then mean that marriage cannot occur. That is why I think under current circumstances Smuhley's hopes for a revival of marriage are rather hopeless.
(For personal reasons these kinds of issues have been on my mind these past times and I hope to have an essay on this whole theme finished within the next few weeks.)


Anyways, talking about the adult game that is dating and particularly chatting-up, he observes that:
It is now the woman who must go to gym, diet, and paint her face in order that she be noticed at a party or a disco. Many women feel humiliated by the experience of standing around with a drink in their hand hoping, firstly, that they'll outshine the other women present and second, that a guy will be confident enough to come over and say hello. In the face of so much unpleasantness, a lot of women are simply saying, "To hell with it," and choosing to sit at home with their cats instead.
Well, I could think of a number of certain people of female gender that I could cite her as evidence, but a gentleman like me doesn't do that sort of thing. No, however I will be honest enough to admit that this would far more easily apply to myself. Ok, I'm no great fan of cats, so if you substitute men for women and book & sofa & hot chocolate & pizza & baggy sports wear for cats I think that quote would be quite an accurate description of my life as a single. And let's be honest: don't most of us secretly prefer laziness to the courting game? Ooops, did I just write that out loud . . . No, no, honestly, I'm not such a nerd.


But talking of sex, low behold, Norm has news of Viagra for women:
Sheagra [sic] "elevates natural sexual desire, and that's why it works differently for each woman," said Dr. Avner Shemer. "There are some women who have never before reached an orgasm, and who will now succeed with the help of this capsule. Some will experience strong and extended sexual ecstasy, and on others there will be no effect at all," he said.
However I wonder if the prof missed a quite important part of this, that I think may hold the key to its success:
Sheagra's Haifa-based manufacturer recommends that women swallow the capsule with a little bit of red wine on an empty stomach. About half an hour later, it is advisable to proceed to the bedroom...
Well, I wonder what the effect would be if the test-women just drank wine on an empty stomach? Is it just me or is there the creeping suspicion that the result would be the same, Sheagra or not? Female and male sexuality become more similar the more alcohol is added to the equation: women become more easily satisfied while men slow down. Anyway on that topic the youth of the nation probably know a thing or two. Why wasn't my youth like that? Ok, Mr Boteach, of course I don't actually want that, I want a stable loving lifelong commitment in marriage. Where was my mind wondering to . . .

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