Today, there are no socially prescribed forms of conduct that help guide young men and women in the direction of matrimony. Some conservatives frankly wish to turn back the clock and think a remoralization of society in matters erotic is a real possibility. And it certainly is messy and confusing at times. Indeed, what understanding of marriage informed their decision to marry in the first place? As these mores and sanctions disappear, courtship gives way to seduction and possession, and men become again the sexually, familially, and civically irresponsible creatures they are naturally always in danger of being. Notify me of new posts by email. Indeed, virtually all of the social changes we have so recently experienced are the bittersweet fruits of the success of our modern democratic, liberal, enlightened society-celebrating equality, freedom, and universal secularized education, and featuring prosperity, mobility, and astonishing progress in science and technology.
Providing an opening to the future beyond the grave, carrying not only our seed but also our names, our ways, and our hopes that they will surpass us in goodness and happiness, children are a testament to the possibility of transcendence. But most young women strike me as sad, lonely, and confused; hoping for something more, they are not enjoying their hard-won sexual liberation as much as liberation theory says they should. One can make a good case that biblical religion is, not least, an attempt to domesticate male sexuality and male erotic longings, and to put them in the service of transmitting a righteous and holy way of life through countless generations. Sexually active--in truth, hyperactive--they flop about from one relationship to another; to the bewildered eye of this admittedly much-too-old but still romantic observer, they manage to appear all at once casual and carefree and grim and humorless about getting along with the opposite sex. In the absence of such countervailing customs, as Bacon clearly understood, the successful pursuit of longer life and better health leads--as we have seen in recent decades--to a culture of protracted youthfulness, hedonism, and sexual license.
However, women who pay their own way and are 'independent' consistently have issues dating. I'm actually pretty progressive in dating. Men, as Rousseau put it, will always do what is pleasing to women, but only if women suitably control and channel their own considerable sexual power. What kind of wooers can one hope to cultivate from reading the sex manuals — or from watching the unsublimated and unsublime sexual athleticism of the popular culture? To be sure, there are still exceptions, to be found, say, in closed religious communities or among new immigrants from parts of the world that still practice arranged marriage. Teoh pursued the girl for over a year before she finally agreed to go out on a date with him, to watch a live band. After all, a man spends perhaps all of 30 seconds of his sexual life procreating; sex is thus about something else. They may love their friends above all else.
I just have a hard time seeing relationships no longer being so tied to geographical closeness being a bad thing. If chastity begins at home, it has lost its teachers and exemplars. The view of life as play has often characterized the young. The celebration of equality gradually undermines the authority of religion, tradition, and custom, and, within families, of husbands over wives and fathers over sons. . Falling in love, should it still occur, is for the modern temper to be explained not by demonic possession Eros born of the soul-smiting sight of the beautiful Aphrodite but by a rise in the concentration of some still-to-be-identified polypeptide hormone in the hypothalamus.
And in this sporting attitude they are now matched by some female trophy hunters. For they condemn the old ways as repressive, inegalitarian, sexist, patriarchal, boring, artificial, and unnecessary. Even better, they could teach without ideological or methodological preoccupations the world's great literature, elevating the longings and refining the sensibilities of their students and furnishing their souls with numerous examples of lives seriously led and loves faithfully followed. Only respectable women were respected; one no more wanted a loose woman for one's partner than for one's mother. Face-to-face communication can be terrifying, stultifying. Now the vast majority goes to college, but very few — women or men — go with the hope, or even the wish, of finding a marriage partner.
I prefer to start with something casual and open-ended, like meeting for an afternoon cup of coffee. The sexual abominations of Leviticus--incest, homosexuality, and bestiality--are going the way of all flesh, the second with religious blessings, no less. Thanks to technology, a woman could declare herself free from the teleological meaning of her sexuality--as free as a man appears to be from his. Indeed, what understanding of marriage informed their decision to marry in the first place? Her sexuality unlinked to procreation, its exercise no longer needs to be concerned with the character of her partner and whether he is suitable to be the father and co-rearer of her yet-to-be-born children. How many so-called grown-ups today agree with C.
But scientific advances have more directly helped to undermine the customs of courtship. I have no problem paying for dates. Indeed, a woman's earning power can become her own worst enemy when the children are born. Courtship disciplined sexual desire and romantic attraction, provided opportunities for mutual learning about one another's character, fostered salutary illusions that inspired admiration and devotion, and, by locating wooer and wooed in their familial settings, taught the inter-generational meaning of erotic activity. If there really is an end of courtship, it's because our younger generation has lost sight of courtesy and forgotten how to treat people with the respect they deserve.
But, until very recently, the aging self-proclaimed bachelor was the butt of many jokes, mildly censured for his self-indulgent and carefree, not to say profligate, ways and for his unwillingness to pay back for the gift of life and nurture by giving life and nurturing in return. Careerism, now an equal opportunity affliction, is surely no friend to love or marriage; and the careerist character of higher education is greater than ever. No matter how successful he was in business or profession, he could not avoid some taint of immaturity. Do their own career preoccupations obscure their own prospective maternal wishes and needs? So, men want equality in dating, but they don't want the women who espouse equality? The carefreeness and independence of youth they do not see as a stage on the way to maturity, in which they then take responsibility for the world and especially, as parents, for the new lives that will replace them. Is traditional courtship over as we know it? Sexual Technology and Technique The sexual revolution that liberated especially female sexual desire from the confines of marriage, and even from love and intimacy, would almost certainly not have occurred had there not been available cheap and effective female birth control — the pill — which for the first time severed female sexual activity from its generative consequences.
My guy likes taking the male role, he feels good, it gets his testosterone pumping, and if I pulled out my wallet it would be like pouring ice water between his legs, and lord knows I don't want to do that, lol. Who is out there helping our youth truly value themselves and therefore not growing up into adults who accept less than they know they deserve? Decent sex education at home is also compromised, given that most parents of today's adolescents were themselves happy sexual revolutionaries. Marriage, especially when seen as the institution designed to provide for the next generation, is most definitely the business of adults, by which I mean, people who are serious about life, people who aspire to go outward and forward to embrace and to assume responsibility for the future. Necessity, not luxury, is for most people the mother of virtue and maturity. Truthfully, I believe traditional courtship is over. To repeat, sexuality itself means mortality--equally for both man and woman. I recently had dinner with two 20-somethings in New York who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University a couple of years ago.