Posts Tagged ‘Beyond the Sexual Urge’

Week 2: Beyond the Sexual Urge

July 8, 2011

Week 2 of  Love & Responsibility in NYC was all about living “beyond the sexual urge”.

(Check it out online; not as extensive as the book, but handy.)

In short, it acknowledges that often dating relationships (or even friendships) start out with a basic attraction and that is due to an innate sexual urge that we humans have.   It explains that in reality it’s not an abstract sexual urge that we experience, but an attraction to another person.  It’s not an attraction to blonde hair per say (because being attracted to just a wig would be strange!), but it’s an attraction to a person who has blonde hair.  The chapter encourages one to go beyond the sexual urge to SEE the other person.

(See – this blonde hair piece just isn’t that exciting when it’s all by itself!)

blonde hair by itself = not so hot

The chapter goes on to explain that if we allow ourselves to remain in relationships that are based merely on the sexual urge we end up using each other.  This refers back to week 1 where we talked about Utilitarianism.  Blessed JPII goes on to describe that these utilitarian situations develops into a dynamic of fear and insecurity.

One of the breakout questions asked, “Why do people in utilitarian relationships feel so much insecurity and instability?”  We discussed it in our small group and commented that because it’s a relationship of use, as soon as the use ends – or it becomes clear that it’s no longer useful to one of the persons, then the relationship fizzles.  Basically there’s nothing there to hold it together.  I think that’s why so many women live in a state of uneasiness – they know deep down in some small way (or sometimes in a big way) they are being used – and they are afraid of being dropped like a hot potato.

Girls: don't let yourself be a hot potato!

One of the women commented that she thought that it also worked the other way around; people that are insecure often enter into a relationship that is insecure.  This seems to perpetuate the cycle.  They feel insecure beforehand, they allow themselves to be used, they fear being dropped when they are no longer “useful”, they get dropped like a hot potato, and then they feel even more insecure.

Then someone in the group asked me,  “What was it that led you to have such a good marriage? Was it prayer?”  My response was: “Well, yes, I guess that prayer played a part.  But it wasn’t the foundation of the marriage.  Honestly, it was Chastity and our struggle to achieve Chastity.  Striving for Chastity enabled us to NOT use the other person.  We avoided having a utilitarian relationship by striving to be chaste.  The good outside of ourselves that created the Virtuous Friendship was that we didn’t want to use each other.  There were times that we fell and that was tough because we actually admitted to each other, “I’m sorry.  That was NOT our plan.  I’m sorry that I used you.” Thankfully we had the grace of the sacrament of Reconciliation which picked us up after we had fallen and encouraged us to continue striving for that Virtuous chaste Friendship.  It was hard, but it was worth it because our relationship is strong and has an awesome foundation.”

The last question of chapter 2 is: “What does John Paul II mean when he says the sexual urge can provide the raw material for love? How is this so?”

I think my story above is a witness to the fact that it is good to be attracted to one another, but I believe it’s the act of moving past that that allows you to SEE the other person, to stop the cycle of using each other, and to create a wonderful strong foundation for a Virtuous Friendship that blossoms into True Love.

Later in the large discussion group I mentioned that while I am blessed to have a virtuous friendship as the foundation of my marriage, I have to daily take steps to ensure that I don’t fall back into use of my spouse.  For example:  My husband has awesome cooking skills.   Coming home to a hot dinner that my Handsome Husband has finely crafted is easy to get used to.  So on the days when he was tired I caught myself being a little miffed that dinner wasn’t already ready.  “Boooooo” 😦  As a way to combat thinking of my spouse as merely my private cook, I made a conscious effort to thank him for cooking.  In thanking him I was able to look past the action that he was doing and SEE him – the person that he is and that his act of making dinner was how he was loving me.  Likewise even though I may not want to get up and go to work in the morning, my husband has made a special effort to thank me for going to work.  That little action of thanking each other that helps keep us from using each other.

Yummy Thai Hot Soup with Pineapple thanks to my fabulous spouse

Later in the evening a comment was made by a woman in the large discussion group.  She brought up the issue that when it comes to living ‘beyond the Sexual Urge’, often men get a bad wrap.  She commented that often women complain about men not getting past the sexual urge.  She gave a great quote:

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
Max Lucado

Her advice to the women in the crowd was that they should grow deeper and deeper in their relationship with God.  That closeness with God will be the draw for men to go out side of themselves.  Their holiness will attract men and actually assist them in seeking God and living Beyond the Sexual Urge.

On the dance floor, beyond the sexual urge, and beyond the Lindy Crush.
On the dance floor we are also called to go beyond the sexual urge – beyond that sexual attraction- beyond the “Lindy Crush”.  I first heard about the term “lindy crush” after I had only been dancing for about 2 months.  Someone flippantly said, “oh have you danced with Mr. x? I soo have a Lindy Crush on him.  He’s a great dancer.  You should dance with him.”  For a moment I wondered, “am I 15 again? did she just say crush? and what’s a Lindy Crush anyway?”  So when I asked for some clarification she explained that a Lindy Crush is where you have this great connection on the dance floor, you have an amazing dance, and you feel this euphoria and you think, “Wow. That guy is dreamy.  I think I have a crush on him.”

Go beyond the Lindy Crush!

Actually, when you have a Lindy Crush, it’s more like a crush on the guy’s dancing, not him.  You might not know him at all – whether he’s got a girlfriend or if he’s single, what his interests are or what his background is and yet you still feel as if there’s this great connection (off the dance floor) and any moment now he’ll be asking you out on a date and soon after you’ll be living happily ever after.  It’s tricky because when you are dancing you are close enough to pick up on the guy’s pheromones, so it’s even more difficult to work past the sexual urge

So my advice to women is:  enjoy the dance and then resist the urge to day dream.  Get to know the guy on and off the dance floor.  Don’t look at a guy’s dancing expertise and stop there.  Look beyond to SEE the person and to get to know them.

My advice to men is:  work hard to go beyond the sexual urge.  Resist the urge to day dream.  Get to know the gal on and off the dance floor.  Don’t look at a woman’s physique and stop there.  Look beyond to SEE the person and to get to know them. (We women notice it and appreciate it!) 

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