The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Orgasms and relationships

I have a good friend, a lady in her fifties, who is exiting a loveless, sexless marriage and beginning a new relationship. Almost accidentally, I discovered that she has never had an orgasm in her life. Needless to say, I suggested that she invest in some toys, and begin to discover her body. My question: what do you think about this situation? Guys, how does it impact you if your lover cannot or does not climax? Ladies, I would just bet that you have some thoughts on this one. Love to hear them...
One of the comments about "Children of Men" touched on the cultural difference between American and British blacks. The thought was that the average British black person is descended from people who wanted to be there. The average American black person is descended from someone who was dragged kicking and screaming...and it is easy to imagine that there is a real difference.

But the real question is one of the difference between our innate abilities and those that are programed or developed along the way. And if you look deeply enough into that question, it is an inquiry into the soul itself. What are we? How shall we make our way in the world? How can we find a path with heart? It is so terribly easy to lose our way. Here is a short list of factors I've seen damage lives massively:
1) Rape. Oh, my God. Damages future relationships, body image (lots of obesity in this group), self-worth and anger issues.
2) Sexual abuse. Very very similar. When a child is abused by a trusted adult, the result I've seen is a ferocious implosion of esteem. Despite high intelligence and energy, their efforts to move forward in their lives are often sabotaged on every side.
3) Lack of family support. People who are the butt of the family joke can be over-achievers, or drastic under-achievers.
4) Lack of community respect. Combine this one with #3, and you're sleeping on the street.

Like I said, a short, short list. Our job as adult human beings is to clearly define the path leading to a life of contribution, joy, and growth, and then to walk it. Whatever damage we have sustained, we are not alone--others have walked the Thousand Mile Road with similar, or worse, challenges. I remember a Conservative friend challenging me about the education system. What would I do if I was given the money to renovate it? I said that the first move would be to spend a year studying every example of teachers or schools that have performed above expectations, have corrected negative behaviors and grade trends. Those who have taken disadvantaged minority or poverty-challenged students, and produced unusually positive results. I would get those people in a room together, and create a list of the common elements in their successful programs. And then I would replicate that.
The same thing is true in individual human beings. What are the things in common in that group achieving beyond the average? True, some of these things are innate, probably genetic or prenatal. Others have to do with early childhood development. Well, that's too late for us adults, but we can choose our mates carefully, and give our children every advantage in the home. But some of the differences will be things we CAN control. And if you turn yourself in to a student of such differences, and then look at your own life and see where you are out of alignment with them, it is possible to change your life.

So here's another question: what have you seen to be the most important qualities or habit patterns that have helped people from negative or disadvantaged backgrounds achieve despite their environments?

No comments: