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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
The Adult Conspiracy 
9th-May-2004 11:14 pm
tell tale heart
It depends on what the meaning of 'abstinence' is.

Last Friday (Beltaine eve), Green Sabbat held its penultimate ritual. Our first Beltaine ritual was very physically erotic, and featured people massaging, biting, and braiding the hair of people they'd never met. This last ritual, with a very intimate group, was all about passion, but not the steamy kind. Passion about helping people, passion about learning, passion about family, passion about the Earth. Of course as organized ritual tailed off and casual conversation took over, sex came up. But that's par for the group, and it wasn't any more pronounced.

This brought to mind a theory I'd devised some time previously, but which I rather fancy. I consider the word "adult" to imply "mature," so I always find it ironic that the subjects of most "adult content" aren't being particularly mature. I therefore propose a distinction:

Adolescent Sexuality is very genital-focused. Penetration is a major goal, and the whole experience is targeted towards getting up and getting off. Things are high-paced, bursting with teenage energy. Porn is almost entirely adolesex.

Adult Sexuality is focused on the whole person. A foot massage might be the most erotic activity in the evening of a married couple. The genitals aren't ignored, but foreplay may be the main act. Actions are performed with the long-term health of the relationship at least partly in mind.

Neither is necessarily better than the other, nor do I intend to imply that no teens are capable of adult sexuality or that a husband and wife are never in the mood for high paced penetration. It's just meant to draw a distinction between ways of being physically intimate with a person. (Of course, with time adult sexuality can become even predominantly nonphysical.)

After working all day Saturday (Beltaine day) I attended Earth Temple's ritual, complete with maypole dancing, (semisymbolic) fire jumping, and hand massage. The metaphors were all about perfect matches of Male and Female, which felt a little odd. Starhawk talks about this some in the 10th and 20th anniversary notes to Spiraldance that I've been reading. For a religious movement that welcomes every sexual orientation (or tries to, anyway), it's rather odd to have a mythology based on the sacred union of Goddess and God. There was a gay couple there and several polyfolk and everyone seemed to enjoy the innuendo, but it feels restricted to me.

The basic Beltaine mythos combines several concepts, predominantly the fertility of the earth and the lust of humans, into a single metaphor -- a man and a woman having sex. Balance and polarity play an important role in the other concepts, but there's no reason why we must assign a gender to the soil and the seed or the sun and the earth. It's rather like asking a gay couple "So which one wears the skirt?"

This is one reason why my overarching metaphor is Yin and Yang, manifesting in different ways. The ideal state is a balance of Yin and Yang -- a person should not manifest just one or the other. There's no reason a relationship between a God and Goddess should be preferred over a God{ess} and a God{ess} (unless Godlings are the intended result). What's important is the interplay between the two (or more) parties.

As long as it's all made up, we might as well add some myths which squares what we've learned in the last hundred years.
24th-May-2004 09:41 pm (UTC) - Blessed Be... I totally agree...
I having been the Gay Couple must admit... That I appreciate the freedom to be myself. And to be recognised as one no matter if I comply or not... FOR I am known for non Complyance... Thanks Trevor, and I agree with you totally.
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