Folks you'd label as "religious" aren't as glib about the issue, but we still have a hard time acknowledging anything redeemable about male sexuality. Browsing the "men's issues" section of the Christian bookstore, a guy's going to find plenty of input on how to not do all the horrible things that men are often compelled to do.And what, pray tell, is the result of people freaking out about male sexuality? This ...
But after 10 years being involved with sexual ministry, I've met hundreds of men afflicted with shame over their sexuality, and just as many women living under a deep fear of it.Yep. Other people have said as much. And the Evangelical Establishment still wonders why so many men these days are not asking Christian ladies out for dates.
Hang on, it gets worse. According to the article, when the author tried to convey a positive message about male sexuality in a class recently, one man expressed dismay. "This is terrible," the man said, "I have two teenage daughters, and I know what boys want to do to them — and I'm not going to let that happen!" When Ensley asked how a woman can give herself unreservedly to a man if she believes the man's desires are disturbing, the irate father responded, "That's exactly what I'm going to tell them [his daughters] men are like." I have to admit that my Disgusted-At-Human-Stupidity Meter went into the red when I saw that statement. It only goes to show that some of the worst enemies of men are other men, even so-called "Christian men."
The demented father described by Ensley represents an extreme instance of religious misandry, but it does make one wonder about the more subtle messages propagated by our religious communities about male sexuality. I have met a lot of women who have grown up in Christian homes that have struck me as being emotionally distant and not really able to show affection or friendliness to men. Indeed, I have had the misfortune of dating a couple of women that fit this bill. Now I think I know what the problem is. They're might be sick in the head. The people who raised them might be even sicker. I'll never know, but it does cause me alarm.
Anyway, I have to give credit to Mr. Ensley for trying to counter the negativity expressed in our churches against male sexuality. His article, however, falls short for me. For instance, he writes, "There are a lot of good reasons men are put together the way we are. I think the best and most important one is women." No. Sorry, pal. I am getting sick and tired of writers who justify the existence of men on the basis of their utility to women. Cut the feminized, hand-wringing appeals for sympathy from your female readers. If they can't deal with the celebration of male horniness in Prov. 5:18-19, then they need to find another religion.
Ensley continues: "Consider that the man is visually oriented, sexually driven and emotionally more simplistic than the female and that that is good for her." Emotionally more simplistic than the female? How about emotionally more stable? Let me suggest that much of the "complexity" one sees in the emotions of some women these days is nothing more than neuroses. The reason these women are such basket cases is because society tells them they can have it all, but reality keeps interfering with their delusions of grandeur.
I'm afraid that Ensley just plays into the old myth that men are inferior beings with simple desires and thoughts. Sorry, again, pal, but it may surprise some people that men are relational, too. Case in point, it has been recently reported in the news that men don't cheat just for the sex. I read this story from another source that additionally noted some people got mad at this revelation because it seemed to be an excuse for the men. How strange that being relationship-starved has traditionally been a perfect excuse for cheating women all these years. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, it's the all too typical shame-n-blame game for men.
Anyway, Ensley writes ...
So is it such a bad thing that a guy is visually stimulated? Seems to me that God had the visual very much in mind when He first sculpted the female form ...A woman's body and soul were made to be sought after and adored? Isn't that a nice way of saying that a woman was made to be a self-absorbed, attention queen? Okay, maybe that was too harsh, so sit down and hold the sides of your chairs, folks, because I am going to say something truly novel and shocking: Women are not the center of the universe. Did it ever occur to Ensley and the other "relationship experts" that men like to be admired and appreciated, too? As it is, I have nothing against cherishing women, but I believe they were created to be helpmeets, not idols.
I'd wager God wasn't just thinking about art when He made Eve's body, but when He made her soul, too. Advertising execs are obviously onto the truth that there's something in every woman that longs incessantly to feel beautiful. A woman's soul was made to be sought after and adored, not just her body. Not just her body — meaning it's still true for her body, even while it's more true for her heart.
Here's another juicy one from Ensley ...
Guys just need help transcending the physical (not omitting it in an attempt to feel righteous). That's why women are wired so differently; we help each other.Transcend the physical, eh? If a man transcends beyond what's in a woman's underwear, does she transcend beyond what's in his back pocket?
But wait, Ensley also says ...
I think we all get — to some degree — that a woman inspires a man to venture into deeper realms of relationship.Did he say deeper realms? Considering what has often befallen men who have dared to open up about their feelings, it doesn't surprise me that some gents have been inspired to either stay in the shallow end of the pool or just stay out of the water altogether.
Bottom line: I'm not impressed. I don't need a simpering, half-hearted apology for my sexuality. Stop damning it with faint praise. I am especially not impressed when I consider that Boundless, who published Ensley's article, has been ground zero for a lot of material that strikes me as being unduly critical of male sexuality. I think it is time to throw the tray of spaghetti against the wall and tell the cooks to stop feeding us "that slop."