I can understand the need for restraint in life. Anything taken to an extreme is a bad thing, including sex.  Often I lead a life of hedonistic pursuits but eventually I start to feel drained and exhausted. Then there have been times when such things are not that important, where I want to spend more of my time pursuing things that are important to my mind and soul rather than my body. So in my own life I try to find a balance between erotic desires and expressions and moderation.  This has traditionally been referred to as “The Golden Mean”.  In contrast to sexual pleasure-seeking, there have been times when I have willingly and happily chosen to go without sex for shorter or even longer periods. It can be liberating. And for those of you who are proponents of “Game” such as Roissy details, one of my maxims is that the true sign of an “alpha” is someone who can walk away from being enslaved to the thrill of sexual conquests. A male who has the power to choose to say no to it all is in a position of great power.

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, spirituality is important to me. So sex within the context of spirituality or religious ethics is a question I have always grappled with. I once watched a sermon by Billy Graham where he talked about the fleeting pleasures of sex. It is true: sexual pleasure is fleeting. If you are sleeping with different women, trying to score with multiple women, despite the thrill of it all, what you are left with at the end is nothing but a memory and the desire to do it again.  I know this from much experience. So marriage, or at least a steady relationship, does have its benefits. Fortunately for me I was always interested in other things too than simply sexual conquest: art, literature, languages, religion, faith, God, so I had other outlets and important pursuits. I wanted to cultivate my mind, body and soul as well as enjoy life. These often demanded much of my time, and now that I am older, I am glad to have done all this, so that I have lots of things to interest me at this point in my life. It has contributed to my happiness. As I have gotten older all these things have become more important. I look with amusement on the games that younger people play in the art of love. They are necessary games, but still funny to me now, especially since I once played them myself to such a great extent. I still enjoy them, but now I try to keep things in perspective too. As I said, balance is important.

One thing I have always found disturbing though is the sight of men railing against sex. Everyone should beware of these.  Ted Haggard is a good modern example. The man who railed against homosexuality was himself gay. Or how about George Rekers, the  Rentboy.com  hypocrite? He spent his life crusading against homosexuality while secretly hiring young male prostitutes. As time goes on in this media age more and more of the moral purity crusaders are outed. Remember Jimmy Swaggart? Or Jim Bakker, just to name a few. And lets not even get into the Catholic stuff, ok?  I think a future post on all these might be in order, since sexual hypocrisy is always something I find amusing. We are surrounded by it to no degree.

The point is that sexuality is something that so many people want to fit into some neat little moral box, and the ones who are the most zealous about this are often the ones with the biggest and darkest secrets. I remember being younger and in a zealous religious phase and thinking sex was evil and wanting to suppress my desires only to have them explode later on in the most bizarre ways. I was one of those who once preached against the evils of sex while at the same time lusting after every female I would see. One blogger, I believe it was Seraphic Singles, once wrote about how she thought that Catholic men who preached against sex were “creepy”. I could not agree with her more, having spent a lot of  my life around such individuals. They are all not like that, but too many are. It is a strange and sometimes disturbing world. I was once read a book on Catholic sexual ethics which liberally quoted Mediaeval scholastics as a source of understanding human sexuality. Now I don’t have a lot of problems with most of the Church Fathers, I think they are a source of great wisdom and truth, but why should we still base a religious moral ethic so much on ancient writers who never even knew what a hormone was or had not real concept of human biology? I mean, to most of these guys, what we now know as testosterone would have  in their time been considered devilish temptation. If it is so evil then why did God put it in my body to torture me for all of my life with sexual thoughts??? And I have a shit load of that stuff too! More than most men, trust me.  And don’t just tell me that I need to get married. It is not that simple.

Aristotle, who wrote about the Golden Mean, as depicted by the great, High Renaissance painter Raphael in his “School of Athens” fresco, ca. 1510. One of the great artworks in the Vatican today.

So as I mentioned in the first paragraph, what I have discovered thus far in my life is that the Golden Mean works best for me: not going too far in either direction, either excessive restraint or excessive abandonment, trying to find some balance, a middle road, a Golden Mean, although if I were to err it would probably be in the area of excessive sexual pleasure-seeking.  Perhaps it is nothing more than common sense, but for me it is something I enjoy reminding myself of.  Not that I am perfect practitioner of this. After all, simply put, I am quite the horndog, or horny toad,  as one former lover used to call me.  And I recall her enjoying quite intensely my excessive sexual desires and pleasure sharing.

But besides the ancient Church Fathers, there are other ancient writers whom we can refer too.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) writes about the Golden Mean in his Nicomachean Ethics and other philosophical works. Confucius (551-479 B.C.) also has this in his philosophy. After almost twenty-five hundred years the concept of the Golden Mean is still true today, especially in the area of sexuality. At least I have discovered that in my life. In fact, there is always seems to be something true in these ancient precepts.  After all, a concept or principle that has rung true for most people for well over two millennia must contain at least some truth. Well, at least for me.