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Join LiYana's intrepid traipsing through the peaks and crannies of Sex, Relationship & Intimacy for the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Violence + Domination = Sex?

In a moment I am going to get erudite on your ass, quoting from the esteemed Riane Eisler's "Sacred Pleasure" which is a dense, remarkable anthropological look at …

What happened to replace partnership-based relating with what we've got now, mostly: a dominator/dominated model of relating?
What happened to goddess-inclusive religions?
And what happened to UNLINK sex/sensuality with pleasure and RELINK sex/sensuality with violence and domination?

To get the whole story, you too will have to plow through this tome as I've been doing (actually, the geek in my thoroughly enjoys it!) – or just stay tuned as I expound on the best parts!

The Roman culture is one of those displaying the patriarchal practices of dominator/dominated relating, slavery of men and women, and a strong link between sex and violence and war. Although it puts men in one camp and women in another, a bit too much for my taste, this is an amazing piece of information:

"But for all their idealization of the power of the phallus, if we look at the compulsive sexual excesses of the Romans, we see that what they reflect is actually a sexual powerlessness: the powerlessness to feel real sexual and emotional fulfillment.

For what we are today learning about sexually obsessive and compulsive behaviors is that they generally stem from an inability to fully experience bodily sensations and a full range of emotions. In other words, behind the seemingly insatiable appetite for sex and cruelty of many Romans lies a dominator psychosexual armoring that effectively blocks the full experiencing of bodily and emotional sensations.

It is this same psychosexual armoring that in our time continues to drive men to ever more sexual conquests, to the "excitement" of warfare, and to all the other frantic compulsions that fuel both war and the war of the sexes. It is this armoring – and the seething frustrations inherent in a dominator/dominated way of structuring human relations – that in our time still find expression in mass media in celluloid violence and cruelty … And it is also this psychosexual armoring that is both expressed and fostered by a modern pornographic industry where men's violent domination and humiliation of women is presented to us as exciting and sexually arousing entertainment.

So it is not only women whose sexuality has been suppressed and distorted in dominator societies, to the degree that many women still today are incapable of expressing themselves sexually, much less reaching orgasm … It is also men's sexuality that has been distorted and stunted, so that for all their obsession with the power of the phallus, many men are still today essentially cut off from the very essence of sexual power: the capacity to freely give and fully experience sexual pleasure."

Why tire my little fingers typing this in for you?

It's what I am most fascinated with: why is the only relationship model available to us a dominator/dominated one? Oppressor/oppressee? War of the sexes? Why do we have to have a war of the sexes at all?

Where's true partnership? Not bland equality, but true partnership where both people are invited to be whole, individual and expressed, to enjoy their strengths and weaknesses, to stand, hand in hand, looking out over the same vistas, allies.

Where's true partnership? Offering the information, skills, practices and tools to have one for yourself, my friend, is what my entire life is about.

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Posted by LiYana at 12:02 am

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