Mia, I don’t know why I seem to slip so easily into controversy, but I do and always have. Of course what we’re discussing involves different opinions of different people, and I have no business arguing my point as being valid for everyone.
Having said that, I am willing to extend myself just a bit and say that some (not all) of the most successful couples have been together for so long that sex is more of a chore than a thrill. But something holds such couples together even if it’s not sex. Why should such a couple not look outside themselves? I’m in favor of both genders having equal opportunity, by the way.
What often happens is of course quite different from my modest proposal. Either the husband or the wife, or perhaps both of them, are unable to detach their emotional selves from their sexual selves. The idea of prostitution is abhorrent for cultural reasons, even though prostitutes do not commonly attempt to steal a spouse from a marriage. So, if sex isn’t working between husband and wife, truly loving relationships may bloom outside the marriage. The marriage then is at high risk.
Mia, I apologize if my frankness is a bit too much. It’s only my opinion. Divorce is rampant, and I try to think outside the box. I’ve never been married and probably never will simply because it makes no sense to me to make long-term promises that I might not keep.
What can I say; I’m a devout monogamist. I was seriously asking . . . although probably snarkily, sorry ‘bout that, Dave . This is classic stuff—each gender looking at a crucial issue in hugely different ways. What crosses the line? Each person has a different answer, and definitely a different emotional response.
It interests me a lot, though— the male and female atheist perspectives on relationship rules and ‘vows’. Are they just as weak or strong as any theist? Especially since the buck stops with the atheist—no passing off one’s misdeeds to his Supreme Being of choice for that oh-so-immediate nod of forgiveness. Believers pretend they’re better insulated against temptations. . . but as we see from their divorce stats (compiled by one of their own—the Barna Group!), that’s not true by any stretch. They’re just as susceptible to vice—from porn, to online relationships, to affairs, to pedophilia, to drugs. Far more likely to conceal those things, too.
I can see how never having been married would definitely cause one to put a lot less stock in the ideals that ‘society’ (and our country in particular) have embraced . . . or at least stated that they do. Hopefully you would be as upfront with your partner . . . at which point I guarantee you’d discover exactly how she weighs in on the idea of allowing cuties near your *cough* lap :D.
[quote author=“Mia”]Unless otherwise persuaded (feel free, do your darnedest, I’m all eyes ), I’m with the man who decides to come home and ask me to dance in his lap. The question is, are such (non-theistic) men mere myth?
Not at all, Mia. I’m sure several non-theist men in here would be quite eager to ask you for a lap dance! :twisted:
Hey, I can’t be expected to resist a setup like that!
[quote author=“Mia”]Now you’re getting into an interesting area of discussion, the age-old emotional divide between men and women, and what they deem potentially destructive to the relationship.
My man getting a lapdance from a young cutie helps our marriage. . . how, exactly? Does it not only help him? And the cutie, by way of getting [our] dollar bills tucked into her thong?
I think for cases in which a wife (or partner or whatever) isn’t completely in sync with a husband ( . . . or whatever), it’s far more healthy for both to find an alternative means of meeting any such needs.
Ideally that’s not necessary because the couple is very sympatico, but to choose such a partner is a feat of wisdom that most of us just aren’t capable of until (if ever) much later in life than most of us are compelled to make such decisions. It’s just reality that in many cases the partners we choose don’t cut it in every way, and it’s not actually reasonable to expect that. Religious indoctrination (and therefore US socialization) would have us delude ourselves to perceive it differently than it really is (to deal with it by not really dealing with it but rather pretending to), but that’s not a very smart or very likely successful way to go about it—it’s begging for trouble, actually, which may go a long way to explain those stats.
It’s couterproductive (even self-destructive) to suppress needs because you partner doesn’t meet them, even if motivated by a sense of loyalty (which in our society is dysfunctional and twisted and detached from reality in any case—it’s religiously based, as with most if not all aspects of our socialization, and as such it’s inherently ideologically- rather than reality-based). Probably all of us underestimate the power socialization has on us, and most of us drastically so (if you allow yourself to question what you think and believe at the most fundamental level you’re going to catch a lot of it that most people are completely oblivious of).
It’s always smarter and more effective and ultimately easier to accept reality as-is and deal with it as directly as possible. If that means a lap dance now and then, then as Homunculus says, it’s a healthy way to go. Frankly I’m not so sure that would really help truly satisfy rather than agitate the needs in question, but that’s an individual thing. I’ve found my true needs are pretty much cerebral (ideological and philosophical intimacy), and when those things are taken care of my sexual needs aren’t terribly difficult to satisfy—other physical/fitness needs aside.
But that’s me . . .
And by the way . . . this and many other such topics can and surely will be contemplated and argued and discussed at a Northern CA gathering in late July, should it take place!
[quote author=“Mia”]. . . the male and female atheist perspectives on relationship rules and ‘vows’. Are they just as weak or strong as any theist? Especially since the buck stops with the atheist—no passing off one’s misdeeds to his Supreme Being of choice for that oh-so-immediate nod of forgiveness. Believers pretend they’re better insulated against temptations. . .
I think this is the crux of the issue, Mia. People seem so ready to make wild promises to one another, even in front of all their friends and relatives. It’s even a sacrament. Religious people in particular are susceptible to fooling themselves into assuming that magical forces (God, of course) will assist them in monumental fidelity. Keep in mind that, as with so many conventions tossed up for discussioon around here, marriage is an ancient invention. Only very recently has human longevity grown into what we now take for granted. When we hear of someone dying in their forties we say, Oh so young—what a shame. Rightly so. But it wasn’t always this way. Recently extended longevity, it seems to me, explains a lot about current divorce rates. We’re living in a different world than our ancestors had, and we need to be creative about solutions. The solution I offered yesterday is theoretical. It may or may not actually make sense for a lot of people.
The fact remains that when I consider making a major promise, I know that no magic will transform my anciently invented neuro-system into something that automatically fits the different world we now have. When I was 25 or so, contemplating marriage, I knew myself well enough (though I was still somewhat of a literalistic Christian then) to realize that my vow might eventually turn out to be a lie. I refused to take part in such nonsense. To this day I occasionally regret not having married that person, but I know I made the best decision.
Maybe something’s wrong with me. I can occasionally fib about trivial matters when social custom demands it, but I refuse to lie about crucially important matters.
If the way this thread is going is any indication of how the meet-up might be, then I’m certainly in!
Regarding lap dances, fidelity and the faith divide:
It is actually pretty common for couples to go to strip clubs together. Most dancers will happily come up and offer to dance for the woman, or do a “couples” dance. Before forming a final opinion, though, I would suggest going to a club, and talking to some of the girls themselves about it. I’m not saying that you will agree with everything they say, but I guarantee that you will come away with a lot to think about.
Possible issues with the industry aside, I have a hard time seeing the difference of a couple going to a strip club together, and watching a porno together. In either case, both are going to be aroused by something/someone other than their partner, but, ultimately, it will be their partner that they end up with, so to speak.
For me, I think the big question is that of secrecy. I don’t think that people should have to tell each other everything, but anything that one feels compelled to go to lengths to conceal, is, IMO, corrosive, because it indicates a fundamental inability to address what is obviously an issue. When the thing being concealed ultimately comes out, it will probably be compounded by trust issues.
If I guy comes home from the strip club singing Wyclef’s “Stripper Song”, though, there might be a problem. . .
I thought I’d already PMd you, Noggin, but it looks like I didn’t. Sorry about that.
My in box was also full, so I took care of that as well. Wonder if I missed any attempts to contact me about the get together? If so, it’s all clear now, and I’ll monitor my in box more closely (as far as keeping it clear and open).
It’s got to be late July for me. It would be cool if you guys could get together before that, and I could just catch you when I’m out there though!
Byron, it looks as though I’ll be stuck in my area (Sonoma County) for the summer. Long story, but I won’t be able to meet in the big city unless it’s between the hours of 9 a.m. and around 2 p.m., weekdays only. But I get coffee in the Santa Rosa-R.P.-Petaluma area all the time (again, weekdays only).
I’m back and forth between Tahoe and Sacramento the next couple of weeks but will likely get to the South Bay area near the end of the month I may be in Half Moon bay or San Jose. If there is anything going on in that general area I might be able to make it.
[quote author=“Autochthon”]I’m back and forth between Tahoe and Sacramento the next couple of weeks but will likely get to the South Bay area near the end of the month I may be in Half Moon bay or San Jose. If there is anything going on in that general area I might be able to make it.
I can just imagine all the fun you guys will be having, sitting around complaining about us happy Christians, working extra hard at unbelief, devising intricate plans to overcome the joy Christians spread. You know, wow, what a great time.