Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Relax About It

Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me...

But no, let's actually talk about sex. One of the greatest aspects of our humanity lies within the realm of that most intimate act. Puberty creates the necessary physiological and psychological changes for people to be able to have sex, and therefore procreate. Humans are one of a few species that have sex just for the sake of pleasure. Marriage was reinforced for the purpose of controlled sexual intimacy so that children could be produced, owned (as in ancient times and not so ancient times) or brought into a safe environment. Yet for all of this, but more than likely because of, sex is a taboo subject in the West. Protestants have had a long history of being very pessimistic towards sex.

It was once thought that sex debased a person. Engaging in the act of sex caused the individual to fall into their most carnal state and fall so far from the grace of God. After all, we must direct our thoughts at all times toward God. During sex, our sole focus is on the individual we are with. Passion and lust over come us. Intimacy is the sinful worship of another human being. Sex, then, is an abhorrent thing that all mortality engages in.

Sex has become a dirty thing in the West. The tawdry, inappropriate wrestle in the hay that you do not speak of. Should you speak of such acts, you certainly do not do so in decent society. Like a boy in grade school shouting "penis" in an escalating competition with his peers, sex is just an indecent word you do not say unless you want to embarrass and make others feel awkward around you.

"We had sex last night." "Our sex was amazing." "Wanna hear about my weekend? It was full of sex. Legs: everywhere." These are not polite dinner conversation to have.

Yet, I feel we have to ask why. Why? Perhaps we're crazy, prudes, or just odd. It seems that so many of our peers are obsessed with sex on the flip-side. How many of us know of friends that are constantly seeking out opportunities to engage in this most sweaty of sports? We all have that friend or know of a person that unabashedly discusses sex openly. The friend that admits to sexual acts to you whether in privacy or publicly. The friend that requests sexual interactions (Wanna play some two hand touch?). The person that interprets everything in a sexual manner. "Are you coming yet?" This phrase suddenly turns into one that has so many sexual components.

So why are we so uptight (or so loose) about it? What's the big deal after all? Honestly, I think everyone should consider these possible options for seeing sex:

1. It's sex. Get over it. Yes, it's exciting, wonderful, and probably a bit too heated in the summer. But that's what showers are for after.

2. Yes. You want it. I want it. She wants it. He wants it. We all have sexual urges. We all are curious about what someone has been born with or received surgical enhancement on. Get over it.

3. Yes. There are thousands, maybe millions of people, having sex right now: casual acquaintances, lovers, adulterers, parents, grandparents, paid-for sex, and so on. Get over it.

4. There is a darker side to sex as well. Some people like it kinky. Some people like it mild. And probably many don't know.

5. You are not an expert. You have no right to decree beyond simple guidelines, discussions, and humorous stories what another person can or cannot do with yet another individual. Unless you are a parent and they are teenagers. Then that's negotiable.

6. Finally. Sex is fun, probably fun, maybe fun, sometimes fun, never fun, and/or gross. Get used to it. Once more, take showers.

Relax. That's what I'd like to see from everyone. Relax about sex. It just is what it is. Stop being obsessed about it. Much of our culture is obsessed with sex. Sometimes I just want to say, "Calm down. Go have sex. Leave the product you are marketing to less sexual innuendos." Seriously, I do not need McDonald's or Presidential races to becomes objects of sexualization. Sex is sex. That's it. There's not much more to it than that.

Anyway, that's my opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree. But before you do either, ask yourself one question, "What is sex to me?"

It's all good, people. It's all good.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Night time seems to bring on a contemplative mindset for me. I am more likely to try things that I wouldn't normally try during this period of time. Most of my life changing decisions occurred after sunset. It's a strange time. The sun is gone and vision diminishes, changes, and becomes unreliable at times. Sounds and smells and even the sense of touch seems to alter during these hours. The ache of the day creeps up on us during these hours.

Tonight my thoughts cannot help but dwell on the quiet nature that only the night can provide. That quiet that seeps through muscle and bone until it reaches spirit. It speaks only the language of the silence. In it, there is rest and calm. In it, there is at last peace. 

In closing...Some unconventional thoughts from You Tube videos in dealing with stress-

Lesson: When necessary, scream "Death!" as much as needed. I typically do this to my work assignments and in my head at annoying customers. It's a great stress reliever ;) Try it. DEATH!!!!!

Counting is a great de-stresser. 

Rifftrax: the only thing that made Twilight bearable when I watched it. Rifftrax is a great way to calm down and rid yourself of stress.
Finally: Dancing and singing are both therapeutic.

Remember these lessons and apply them as needed!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The God of Childhood

In a book I was reading by Karen Armstrong (A History of God), she pointed out that the Western Christian God became a terrifying thing in the West. With the slightest whim, the Western God would send you to Hell. In certain later Protestant faiths (and parts of Catholic Europe), the idea that God had already selected those that would be saved rendered freedom of choice irrelevant. God had final say over everything and you, pathetic creation of His, had no say. After all, He created you. So shut up and accept His destiny for you.

Looking over my life, I realize that somewhere along the way I inherently took on that view. I don't believe it was something that I had just been taught but it was the result of a mixture of feelings and ideas that formed a bizarre union within my mind. I've talked about this view before on a different blog at a different time. I want to return to this again and go into greater depth. 

God, for me, was a great burden. By believing in His existence, I accepted that I had no right to make meaningful life decisions. God would whisper through his Holy Ghost who the woman was that I would marry. God would require certain things from me. God would determine whether I went to Heaven or some lesser Kingdom. After all, it was his place and I was merely some poor creature trying to get him to notice me enough to pick me for his team. God would do and demand all these things of me because He was God and I was something he had created.

I never felt adequate enough for God's love, even as a child. The idea that God could love me seemed impossible. After all, he had made better people than me. There were better children than me out there. People that were more obedient, more intelligent, more talented, more everything than me. It seemed quite unlikely that God would choose me in this vast universe.

I never felt like I got enough love growing up in my family. My friends name my hugs after me. They're a bear hug. Growing up, those were the kinds of hugs I wanted. I wanted to be swept up in an embrace in strong arms, by both my mom and dad. I wanted to be told "I love you" without me having to say it first. I wanted my dad to not be disappointed in me for choosing to play with toys instead of chopping wood. I wanted my mom to read bed time stories to me as a child. I wanted to go on walks with my parents like other families did in my ward. I felt loved but not as much as I hungered for.

No doubt this had a strong influence on my perceptions of God. I knew my parents loved me. I knew that they were aware of my needs. However, I felt like a burden on them. I was something that they tolerated at times no matter how desperately I wanted their love and validation. I struggled to believe that God could love me for most of my childhood.

What caused irreparable harm to that relationship was my religion's view on homosexuality. When I finally accepted I was gay in my later teenage years, the view of the Mormon Church was firmly entrenched in my mind. What had been this idea of God tolerating my existence and maybe loving me became God just tolerating my existence. The words abomination and faggot ravaged my mind with ease. There was no defense against such words. I already believed I was disgusting and pathetic. But now I believed that that view was supported by the great Author of the universe. 

I think it's no surprise that I would cry at night when I stopped to think about just how loathsome I was before God. Honestly, I had never once acted on my feelings as a child. My inadequacies came not from acts I had carried out but from simply what and who I was. God didn't hate the sin. He hated the sinner. He hated the entirety of my being. My sin was from being born. I felt caught between wanting to die because God hated me and being scared of killing myself because I'd be saddled with the sin of suicide and lose my place forever with God. It seemed to me, as a child and young adult, that there was simply nothing I could choose to do that wouldn't draw the ire of God. 

I was royally screwed.

I confess to seeing God in logical, legal, and cold terms. As much as I wanted to believe in a Being that was Love and Mercy, I couldn't and still can't see it. When I read through the scriptures I saw the great Law Giver and not some pathetic Being that surrendered his all in some mystical act to save us from our sins. I see the God of Wrath. I see the Great Judge. And as a believer, I stood condemned and hated by him. I harbored hope that God would simply kill me so that I wouldn't have to do it myself.

Those were thoughts I had years ago and those were beliefs I once held. I do not hold such ideas now. God is like the boogeyman: frightening but finally banished to the past. I will never forget as a child praying to know if God loved me. I had wanted so desperately to know that the supposed Father in Heaven actually knew and loved me. Even more, that he wanted me as one of his children. Yet the only response I got in my prayer was this sense that I was wasting God's time. With a sense of dismissal I felt that God had spoken to me "Of course I love you; now go away." 

I have forever despised the cruel and tyrannical God of the conservative evangelical Christians. I hate their view of God because it is the God of my childhood. I hate that God with every fiber of my being. He is not worthy of my belief. What God thinks it moral to ignore the pleading of a child wanting to know that He loves them? What God ignores the pleas of parents and children for food and safety so that they might live another day? What God cares more about the afterlife while condemning people to Hell or Outer Darkness or some arbitrary Kingdom for acts they did in this life? What God simply creates our situation and then allows great evil to occur without taking an interest in it except to whisper tickling words into his prophets' ears about pointless "evils" like pornography, gambling, and voting to keep gays from marrying? 

God cares about social values? No. God does not. But I have talked too long about God in this post. I will pick this up again later. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Perception of Another

I went to an LDS fireside tonight that was for gay men (and theoretically lesbians). The theme for the fireside, not shockingly, was about the birth of the savior in Christianity. The typical scriptures were quoted concerning Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the divinity of Jesus, and the wise men. Music was shared and I even participated by playing the piano (crudely may be the most accurate depiction of my performance). Yet through it all, I had both a typical and an interesting experience.

It was unique because it was a Mormon religious gathering that was specifically directed at lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Priesthood leaders were present and one even gave some closing words about Christ and how he can be applied in our lives this Christmas season (I'm actually only guessing. I lost interest pretty quickly and read a book during his remarks).

However, before I ignored him, he did say something that I thought was interesting. He stated that the music tonight was all manifestations of our testimonies to the Father in Heaven. I admit I had to chuckle that an atheist had actually managed to bear witness to the reality of Deity. Took me by surprise.

But it made me wonder, what else happens in our lives where others take our apparent superficial show as a depth of testimony or belief in something. Furthermore, what actions or words do we give that encourages people to believe something entirely inaccurate in us? My own parents try to take the lack of my discussing any pertinent relationships with other men as a sign that I'm not "acting on it" or "being gay." It's no real shocker that we all attempt to read into other people's actions what we would like to be true. Our negative, positive, and realistic outlooks are merely manifestations of this desire to perceive the world in a certain way. We are all guilty of doing this to one degree or another.

Perhaps it's a far fetched goal of mine, but I have tried to just see people as they really are. I fail many times in doing so. For me it means there will be pluses and minuses to them and that my only job is to simply observe people and see them as they are and not as I want them to be. Again, I fail a lot. I inadvertently place what I wish to see into the picture that I'm attempting to put together of the person. But I'm slowly improving in this effort.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where God Rests

I feel so lost some days. I feel it deep inside. I think it's the result of setting aside what I've believed since I was a child. I know that when I write on this blog, I want to address the God hole in my mind. But I do think that such a hole is not permanent. When you're taught as far back as you can remember that the existence of such a Being should just be assumed, I think it is understandable that letting go of that belief takes some time.

I stopped believing in God about two year ago.

It happened the summer after I came out. You could say that God's parting gift to me, before He died inside my mind, was to allow me to forgive and accept myself as gay that winter prior. But the death of God that summer came as a result of finally being willing to accept that I had questions. If I want to be honest with myself, and I do, I started questioning the validity of the Mormon Church back in high school. But I was afraid of the natural outgrowth of that line of thought (loss of family, loss of friends, loss of faith, etc.). I had even dared ask if God was real. But those questions were buried in fear and left forgotten in some dark corner of my mind, just waiting for the day when I was no longer afraid.

When I finally allowed myself to doubt the existence of God, it was met with such fear. Suddenly the whole world was emptied before me. There was no supreme Sculptor behind the craggy mountains and wide desert around me. There was no sense behind the religions of the world. There was just randomness and madness in the world. Those feelings welled up inside me and brought on a sense of dread. No God meant the world was doomed to never being redeemed from its awful state of existence. 

Such dreary thoughts, right? Right.

But then something wonderful, something precious happened. I felt like I was freed. Freed from some monstrous tyranny that had caused so much pain, sorrow, and despair in my life. Suddenly the dread that I had felt at the thought of there being a lack of a sculptor that carved the mountains was transformed into a profound sense of wonder and awe at the forces of nature and the sheer beauty that exists around me. It was as though the sky took on a deeper hue of blue! Everything seemed to have a deeper richness of being than before! I realized then that I was seeing the world around me as it was. 

It was beautiful!

Since then, I still have moments of sorrow for not believing in God. There are days where I want to believe that some great Judge will right the wrongs that I see around me. That some great Father will gather up the homeless, heartbroken, and rejected into his arms. That some Mother will nurse those that cry out in pain, sorrow, and despair. That some Being knows all of me personally, distinctly, and lovingly. That the darkness of the unknown is pierced through with Knowing by the Divine. 

It is in these moments that I envy the believers. That I briefly wish to be counted among them. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be human in the total sense; beyond the physical body and into the mind where ideas, beliefs, and ambitions are cultivated? Does it mean we are selfish, brutish, and evil? Does it mean we are beautiful, kind, and optimistic? Of course not. Being human lies both somewhere in between this and yet so much more than this. That would be my guess.

Consider me for a moment. I am a nobody. My words have influence among only a small number of people. Most just disregard what I say. Among my own family, I am looked at as being someone to tolerate when I speak. I am a fag, a Democrat, and an atheist. All things that negate my words among my family and among others. I speak in such a way that most people smile and nod and say they are nice words but those words hardly provoke the person into introspection.

Who are you? Are you someone of influence among friends and family? Or are you like me: a nobody? Who is the person sitting next to you in a restaurant, classroom, or while passing as you walk? What does it truly mean to be human? Are we more human than the child suffering from disease and famine in Asian or Africa? Are they more human than us? The acquiring of goods makes us a people that acquire goods. But does the actual acquisition of goods bring us into being human? Does religion provide us a pathway to becoming human at last? Does God?

These thoughts have bothered me over the years. They are the questions that have consumed my thoughts at times. I cannot help but wonder at the heart of the matter. I know that I seek to be better as a person. I seek to be more than I am. But what does that end goal look like? And is there even an end goal?

Words fail me sometimes. I see my deficiencies with near crystal clarity as one would notice the intricate details are on an artwork. I am bitter, sarcastic, petty, jealous, defensive, and weak. When I go to the clubs, I find my eyes wandering and envying the more attractive men around me. In class, I envy the smarter students. At work, I envy the more diligent workers. In everything, I am less than someone else.

But as life has gone on, I have come to accept something about this question of being human. Life isn't about perfecting weakness. It's about accepting and transcending them. I shouldn't glory in my weakness and become a victim and I shouldn't try to perfect my imperfections for the sake of being perfect. In the ancient world, the Greek concept of perfection was about balance and about harmony. That's what I wish to seek. I will never be some ripped and muscular man that has muscles upon muscles (mostly cause I don't want that, ha ha!). I will never be some twink (for the same reason as the previous one). I will never be a genius and I will never be an idiot. But accepting mediocrity defeats the point.

I would guess that being human lies not in listing off traits of excellence or imperfections. It lies not in settling for accepting you as you are. I would think being human lies behind the self. Beyond the individual. Only then can the individual be embraced and transcended. I would think that being human lies beyond the lists of dos and don'ts; beyond the seven habits of highly effective whomever, and beyond all the self-help books in the world.

That's my guess.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dignity and Video Distraction

Dignity and Shame have been on my mind a lot recently. For now, though, I want to share some videos that have I have found beautiful, funny, or informative.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Introduction

When I was little, I used to dream up the journeys that life would take me on. As a child in love with fantasy and science fiction, I may have had some exaggerated ideas. The adventures I imagined spanned the very stars in the heavens, the depths of the ocean, and worlds with magic and dangerous fights. Yet, couched among the fantastical illusions, was the simply belief that I would grow up, serve a mission for my church, get married, have a family, and die. Then there would be all the other journeys in the after life and so on.

The future was a mythical, mystical, fantastical realm to be filled with as big of an imagination as I could muster. Reality, however, has been quite different. It has been one involving the ongoing theme of waking up. Of discovering small measurements of courage and accepting just who I am as a person. It has also involved the burying of childhood dreams and beliefs, of saying goodbye to loved ones, and of saying goodbye to false friends and true friends. It has also been one of unparalleled self-discovery for myself, of gaining friends that I feel I have known forever, of risking so much and realizing I was risking little in comparison to what I have gained.

Life. It's a roller coaster. It's a journey. It's basically whatever it wants to be. Hell. Heaven. Neutral. Life just is.

I closed my other blog down because I felt it was time to bring to a close that journey. Today marks the beginning of a new one. And what will be in this blog? I want to write about politics, religion, guys, life, and ideas. I want this blog to be an echo chamber for whatever surfaces in my mind. I do not promise it will be anything fantastical, mystical, mythical, or phenomenal. I merely promise that it will be heartfelt, honest, and at least worth-taking for me.

I chose the name "The Prometheus Path" because of what I remembered of the legend. Prometheus was among the few Titans who served the younger, more familiar gods of the Greeks, after the great war between these two families of gods. Prometheus ultimately created humanity out of clay in the image of the Greek gods. Zeus punished humanity by denying them fire but Prometheus took pity and stole fire from Vulcan's forge to give to the humans. Prometheus was punished for this by being chained to a mountain where an eagle would eat his liver during the day. At night, his liver would heal and in the morning the eagle would return to repeat its gruesome task. Prometheus was saved from this fate a long time later when the hero Heracles freed him from his prison. Prometheus is the hero of humanity. He chose to side with the mortal world over the divine even to the point of forfeiting everything he knew and loved.

I want to discovery who I am at last. So I want to begin this journey of casting out of the gods of my childhood and go in search of what lies within me. I want to walk past the demons that haunt my fears and wreak havoc on my doubts and leave behind the vacuous realm of empty theology. Who am I in this world that seems so ready to tear itself apart? Where will I fit in?

That's what I seek and what I want to record here.