Wednesday, April 22, 2009

But It Feels So Good

When I was in grad school I had a bit of a mental crisis.

For a variety of reasons, I hit rock bottom mentally, and began to search for answers in my life. I'd always attended church and considered myself a Christian, but it was during this period that I really established a serious relationship with God.

I was also trying to maintain a long distance relationship.

I mention that because it obviously put a kink in my plans to do God's will. Anybody who has been in a long distance relationship knows that infrequent, short visits from a person you are sexually attracted to do not encourage celibacy. Fornication and frequent flier miles tend to go hand in hand.

So, while a part of me is busy lusting for my future wife's goodies, another part of me is telling me that I should get in line with biblical tenets. Consequently, we would have these marathon "getting to know you" sessions, capped off by me wallowing in angst about failing God. It wasn't very productive or fun.

Which brings me to Gandhi's second social sin, pleasure without conscience.

Clearly, in my example my conscience was present and working well. I was distraught by my fornication, which was a good sign. However, there have been many times in the past when I viewed sex outside of marriage much less negatively. To take that further, there have been times when I've viewed HEINOUS sexual activities outside of marriage much less negatively.

One source of enduring shame is my previous attitude towards "trains." For the uninformed, a "train" refers to a situation when someone, usually a female, has sex with a string of partners in consecutive sessions. As soon as one partner finishes, another steps up.

As a youngster, I didn't see anything wrong with participating in a train. I rationalized this mindset by telling myself that if a young lady wanted to do something like that, it was on her. I remember listening to my homeboys talk about the trains they had participated in and my first reactions was always "Damn, why wasn't I there?"

I almost got my wish once in college. A group of friends and I concocted a scheme where we would all hide in a dorm room, while another friend ushered in an intoxicated fellow student. Once those two got "engaged" we would all pop out of our hiding places and convince the girl that she should have sex with all of us. I actually chickened out at the last minute after fearing that she might feel violated and accuse me of rape. But, I still hid in that tub for a long time before I made up my mind...

It wasn't until I read Nathan McCall's book "Make Me Wanna Holla'" that I really began to understand that "trains" were not benign events, but were often quite close to sexual assault with girls coerced and intimidated into sex. I always assumed that these girls were just "freaks." But, McCall's book made me acknowledge that most young women only acquiesced because they were terrified that the pack of aroused and belligerent young men demanding sex from them in a strange room might do something worse if they refused.

Pleasure without conscience.

It's not hard to see the danger of that sin when you consider the reality of "trains." The thought of a frightened naked girl being tricked and bullied into having sex (often unprotected sex) with a string of random men should chill all our souls. There is nothing pleasurable about that experience for most girls, and therefore there should be nothing pleasurable about it for men.

Our conscience, or if you're a Christian the Holy Spirit, speaks to us when we've stepped from the path that we should trod. The pursuit of pleasure in its many forms, from sex, to drugs, to pain, can consume any of us if we do not have a good relationship with that inner voice.

But, how do we know when we've crossed the line?

I think that if you can honestly say that your pleasure is causing pain for others, you may need to reconsider what you're doing. If your actions, while fulfilling for you, seem to make the world a much worse place, then you're probably committing the sin Gandhi described. There is nothing inherently wrong with seeking and finding pleasure in the joys of life, but when the pursuit of your happiness overrides any moral code, you've ventured into deep and dark waters.

No man is an island, and all actions have consequences. When your enjoyment is tied to causing others undesired pain, you are drinking from a bitter and dangerous cup.



Smokie said...

You know, I knew 2 girls who had trains ran on them. They were young freaks, then -- and they knew what was up before even entering the house -- and they are old freaks, now. Not much has changed in 18 years. They really do LOVE sex and feel like they are being accepted when they give it up like that. So yeah, it's bad, but there are women out here who actually want it like that.

Deacon Blue said...

Well, I can't speak to any train action, as I didn't see any action at all in high school or college, but I will co-sign on the overall sentiments here.

Big Man said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

I'll have a new post tomorrow.

Solomon said...

this is sad when dudes need to do this for their own satisfaction

the uppity negro said...

Martin Luther said,

"Sin boldly."

Raving Black Lunatic