(Listen to the podcast version of this article here)
Note: this article is part of my memoir, Broke, Single, Crazy and Old. I present it here as an addendum to the What Women Want article, as it goes more deeply into the political theory or ideology that underlies much of my work around sexuality. The basic idea is that the fastest way to end patriarchy — and maybe even the ONLY way — is the reconciliation of men and women, leading to a lot more good sexual loving. Of course, we must first wake up to our essential nature, and understand that Western culture has us all hood-winked (duped) about the nature of our humanity and the cornerstones (or causes) of authentic happiness and real success. My fundamental thesis is that increasing good sexual loving, will not only make us all much happier but will end patriarchy, eventually.
To be perfectly frank, I am not certain of the relevance of posting this article here, on a site that is about teaching men and women how to relate more successfully. However, this is a topic that I am extremely passionate about, and so I am posting it anyway hoping that it will bring some insight. My point is that the work of loving your opposite-polarity partner is one of the most important things that you can do to change the world — in addition to making you and your partner much happier.
“We cannot have peace in the world so long as men and women are at war with each other” – Dieter Duhm
A major theme of this book is the lack of quality information about love and sex, the conspiracy of silence, the guilt and shame surrounding it that block intelligent conversation and real solutions. I am not really a conspiracy theorist, believing that the culture – that is, all of us – act as we do out of ignorance rather than a deliberate attempt to suppress anything, or to maintain the status quo at any cost, the military-industrial complex or whatever. But whatever the causes, the suppression of good information and intelligent conversation through internalized oppression – the shame and guilt that is put upon us for being human, for having human desires and human needs, including sex – is tangible and disastrous to our happiness, fulfillment and well-being.
Sex and love are not the only areas of our internalized oppression, far from it. Our culture and the media try to paint a picture of “the good life,” the “American dream,” that only 10% of us (if that) will be able to achieve, leaving the other 90% of us feeling inadequate in some nameless way, blaming ourselves for our failure to be happy or successful. This fantasy-picture of “the good life” was invented and perfected by the advertising industry in America between the wars, in order to get us to buy more stuff. For more information on this topic, you can watch the amazing BBC 4-part series The Century of the Self (free on Vimeo), or read my mentor Mike Jay’s book, @F-L-O-W, Find, Design, Use Talent to Emerge Happiness & Success in a Post-Modern World.
So, while I am not a conspiracy theorist, exactly, you can easily discern a secondary function of this media-created fantasy (in addition to getting you to buy more stuff): to distract and pacify you from the callousness with which they kick you through their so-called educational system, bend you to fit into their heartless industrial machine, and then send you off to be butchered and poisoned in crazy, unnecessary wars. The purpose of the fantasy is to hold at bay your natural existential anxiety under the conditions of modern life, so that you play willingly into this inhumane treatment.
We are all complicit in this, full partners and guilty as charged, unthinking and unconscious victims; but this does not exonerate you or clear the responsibility that you have for participating in this insanity. The fantasy of the happiness and success available to you by “playing the game,” or buying into the system, is extremely seductive, because it does work for 10% of us, with the remaining 90% aspiring to be like the 10% and then imagining there is something wrong with us that we can’t be as happy and successful as the people in the ads, the movies and the celebrity sound-bites.
They say: “you must try harder! You too can be happy and successful! Your problems are all in your head”. And this argument is hard to counter, because it is true, you do have a problem in your head. What most of us fail to understand is that any normal person would have a problem in their head, under the conditions of modern life. “Insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” [R. D. Lang]. Of course you are crazy! You are being kicked through schools, denied human needs, and bent to fit into heartless business and war machines. If you did not feel crazy, this would be deeper proof still of your insanity.
This is a terrible problem, but not an unsolvable one. The solution is quite simple, and it is to understand that we have been duped. We have been given false values, and have adopted a lifestyle that does not meet real human needs, as social animals who really seek nothing more than to love and be loved, make some kind of contribution, and reproduce. That is all most of us want, really. And frankly, what more is there to want? Simply learning to love and be loved is enough work for a lifetime, for most people. It’s not that easy. We begin this journey by unlearning everything we have been taught. Then we must shed decades of emotional armor, cry oceans of tears, and learn how to feel and how to love again. Many of us imagine that we can make this change through a new ideology, way of thinking, or social-political structure. We can’t. There is one way forward here, and only one way: the way of the heart, of understanding and forgiveness. And this is really great news, because nobody can stop us from doing this. It is the “irresistible revolution”.
So, I have a dream…
… and a possible solution to this problem. It is perhaps delusional, but it is the deeper reason for all my writing.
I hold this truth to be self-evident: that men and women want some good sexual loving more than they want to be kicked through boring and oppressive schools, or bent to fit into heartless industrial machines, regardless of the promised rewards. And a few of us, especially feminine people, want some good sexual loving more than a big house, a secure retirement fund, or even the most interesting and prestigious job in the world.
So here is my dream: Imagine that men and women could learn to speak each other’s language. And from there, the fights at home would stop, for maybe the first time in human history. As Victor Baranco said, “you are either fighting or fucking”. Let’s imagine a lot more fucking and a lot less fighting in the bedrooms of the world.
If that happened, what impact might it have on the fights in the schools, workplaces, parliaments and even battlefields of the world? Maybe they would stop too, duh? Or at least quiet down a bit? More fucking in the parliaments and on the battlefields might be too much to hope for, initially, but maybe we could try for a bit more civility, fewer insults and bullets?
And from there, once people found what they most deeply want – love – and started putting their resources where their hearts and minds truly are: can you not imagine that the oppressive schools and industrial machines would empty, and the big expensive houses all go up for sale? Who would grieve any of these things, really? We might be poorer, but we would make do. We would have fewer physical comforts, but more time to enjoy the comforts we had. As everybody knows, the best things in life are free: time, freedom, play, creative work, music, peace of mind, and the company of our loved ones.
Could this be the next revolution of humanity? Beyond religion, democracy, communism, and “economic progress”? The world’s first true revolution of the heart?
Could we be heading toward the kind of world described by Werner Erhard:
“We can choose to make the success of all humanity our personal business. We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family. We can choose to make our love for the world what our lives are really about. Each of us now has the opportunity, the privilege to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us. It will require courage, audacity and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution, it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet. You have the power to ‘fire a shot heard around the World’”
A world where the greatest aspirations and focus of our efforts would be our “love for the world,” our desire to make a difference to other people and to our loved ones? Could we?
I personally believe so.
This revolution, of course, has many dimensions and ramifications. But it can begin, as far as I am concerned, with men and women learning to love each other. It’s really quite doable.
Furthermore, that act alone may be sufficient to start the ball rolling, dragging everything else in its wake. Men and women were actually made for this; they are perfectly designed to teach each other how to love. The proof, paradoxically, is that they are also perfectly designed to torture each other. They would not be able to torture each other, if they did not care. It is time they accept the great work and get on with it, get on with the job. It’s no longer just for fun and pleasure, it has become a survival need for the planet.
One can dream this could happen: that the men and the women of the world would finally understand they are on the same team.
Perhaps the great tragic flaws in men’s and women’s psychology[i], the cause of enormous suffering to both sexes over millions of years, has a reason after all. Perhaps God has a plan, and maybe it is not a bad one. Perhaps He wanted some good sexual loving to happen, and the only way He could do this, was to create men and women so that they were optimally designed to torture each other.
One can dream that this was God’s true intention, and that what he did was not some tragic error or oversight.
Notes / Resources
-  The Century of the Self – Part 1: “Happiness Machines” on Youtube
-  @F-L-O-W, Find, Design, Use Talent to Emerge Happiness & Success in a Post-Modern World, by Mike Jay
-  “The great tragic flaws…” — this is from my memoir. The great tragic flaw of feminine psychology, is that the women still want us and need us men, that they crave our attention and affirmation, despite our being a selfish, unconscious, betraying lot. The great tragic flaw of masculine psychology (from women’s perspective, that is), is that women are replaceable, since men are genetically driven to solve problems and search for “freedom” more than they are driven to love, exactly. This point is also made in a different form in What Women Want: that men’s purpose needs to precede and pre-empt their primary relationship, as per David Deida.