Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 83

So are we witnessing the rise of a sub-psychopathic minority for whom society doesn’t exist? A new breed of individual with little or no conception of social norms, no respect for the feelings of others, and scant regard for the consequences of their actions? Might Pinkler be right about those subtle fluctuations in modern personality structure—and a nefarious nudge to the dark side? If the results of a recent study by Sara Konrath and her team at the University of MIchigan’s Institute for Social Research are anything to go by, then the answer to the questions is yes.

In a survey that has so far tested fourteen thousand volunteers, Konrath has found that college students’ self-reported empathy levels (as measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index) have actually been in steady decline over the previous three decades—since the inauguration of the scale, in fact, back in 1979—and that a particular pronounced slump has, it turns out, been observed over the past ten years.   

“College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of twenty or thirty years ago,” Konrath reports.

More worrying still, according to Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, is that, during this same period, students’ self-reported narcissism levels have, in contrast, gone in the other direction. They’ve shot through the roof.

“Many people see the current group of college students, sometimes called ‘Generation Me,'” Konrath continues, “as one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history.”

The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Kevin Dutton          2012

Love vs Sex 169

You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs—the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limb, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate—the little deadly demon among the wholesome children; she stands unrecognized by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov          1955

Love vs Sex 168

All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other; hopelessly, I should add, because that frenzy of mutual possession might have been assuaged only by our actually imbibing and assimilating every particle of each other’s soul and flesh; but there we were, unable even to mate as slum children would have easily found an opportunity to do. After one wild attempt we made to meet at night in her garden (of which more later), the only privacy we were allowed was to be out of earshot but not out of sight on the populous part of the plage*. There, on the soft sand, a few feet away from our elders, we would sprawl all morning, in a petrified paroxysm of desire, and take advantage of every blessed quirk in space and time to touch each other: her hand, half-hidden in the sand, would creep toward me, its slender brown fingers sleepwalking nearer and nearer; then, her opalescent knee would start on a long cautious journey; sometimes a chance rampart built by younger children granted us sufficient concealment to graze each other’s salty lips; these incomplete contacts drove our healthy and inexperienced young bodies to such a state of exasperation that not even the cold blue water, under which we still clawed at each other, could bring relief.

*French, meaning beach

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov          1955

Love vs Sex 167

She said “You are the most intelligent person that I have ever known,” but then she started to tell me what my thoughts were and at other times, she would raise her hands and cover her ears to block out and repel the feelings and truth which accompanied that intelligence, the feelings and truth which I needed to share.

She said “You are the only one, the only one that I can talk to like this. No one else gets it,” and she would call and talk to me for hours at a time on the phone…hours, but then in the same breath, a glitch later, she would reflexively proclaim that a man of minimal awareness, a vector of the pathologic delusions of commonality, was her best friend, her best confidant. And then, I suppose, she went in search for conversation from a third or more…of another sort in some satiating way that our exchanges had lacked.

She said “Your mom didn’t deserve you Jeff. She really didn’t…with some of the things she said to you and the way she behaved,” but on a different day she would go home to her own mother and demean her and make her cry. And I defending her in one respect and critiquing her in another, all in an effort to lift her up, to strengthen her and help her overcome her own demons, eventually found myself under her attack as well. How dare I critique her in any way…how dare I critique her in her rudeness and selfishness in regards to myself…how dare I ask her questions about anything…how dare I even have my own demons of warranted anxiety and frustration related to divorce and the crippling of an economic depression…how dare I subject her to such issues. How vile of me.

And I wanted to believe their words,
And I wanted to believe they actually had my back,
And instead, I found their words empty,
And I found my back uncovered and scarred.

Cribb          2015

Love vs Sex 166 (#20 on Tantric Sex)

Rediscovering erogenous zones

Nature gave us erogenous zones that function naturally to produce sexual interest and excitation. Excitation can be felt as the buzzing of life energy itself and this is not to be confused with excitement. These erogenous zones assist us in accessing our life energy, and they function as as bridges to the present moment. However, through our lack of understanding in sex we overuse or abuse our erogenous zones, and they gradually become desensitized. This may show up as a lack of sensitivity where we withdraw physically and close down to the other and thus ourselves, or it may reflect as hypersensitivity, where we become unbearably sensitive, almost repelled by touch. The body can also feel leaden, numb, and dead.

For example, a woman’s nipples can become either dull and unresponsive or extremely sensitive to touch, almost painful. The tendency to either reaction is to immediately push the other person away. The same thing can happen to the clitoris, especially if used habitually to achieve orgasm. An insensitive touch can also have a repelling effect and will cause a woman to withdraw sexually at the very moment that her partner is trying to reach her.

In Tantra we learn that the breasts and nipples are a woman’s positive pole, the gateway to her sexual expression, and she can be brought to the depths and heights of orgasm through her breasts. The breasts are the route to her feminine sexual energy. So it becomes meaningful for a woman to have sensitivity in her breasts, and to be able to welcome and receive attention there. She must not react to the touch but respond and open up to it, so a man must take care how he touches her.

A useful guideline is to see if the approach contracts or expands your body energy, noticing whether it leads to more excitement and tension, or more inner sensitivity and expansion. It is beautiful and natural for the woman to touch the penis, but usually when she does so she wants it to be erect immediately so penetration and orgasm can happen. The classic way to an erection going is to use friction by moving the hand backward and forward. With this kind of stimulation, the man will feel excited, restless, and desirous of moving once he is inside of a woman, making it more difficult for him to penetrate slowly and consciously. With masturbation-like movements, the penis feels an unspoken pressure and demand for erection, sometimes making it more difficult for him to achieve. This type of erection, which relies on stimulation, can be temperamental, fragile, and easy to lose, so once the man is inside the woman he will then have to continually maintain and build up the level of sexual excitement in order to remain erect. In this way sex can become frenzied and overexciting, leading to quick ejaculation.

When the penis is fondled and caressed unhurriedly without the intention to get an erection, where the touch is loving and not demanding, this can be a beautiful experience, a wonderful sharing of energy. When the woman simply touches the penis with loving presence, when she massages, squeezes, pulls the foreskin folds back, the penis will absorb the love, feel the interest, and respond accordingly. The erection will be a side-effect of the love, with a different quality than that experienced when erection arises from a mental or physical pressure. The intention here is to love and adore the penis for its wonderful qualities, a healing, loving power tool. The penis itself recognizes the difference in the woman’s attitude and feels empowered.

The Heart of Tantric Sex

Diana Richardson          2003

Love vs Sex 165

Happy:     I gotta show some of those pompous, self-important executives over there that Hap Loman can make that grade. I want to walk into the store the way he walks in. Then I’ll go with you, Biff. We’ll be together yet, I swear. But take those two we had tonight. Now weren’t they gorgeous creatures?

Biff:          Yeah, yeah, most gorgeous I’ve had in years.

Happy:     I get that any time I want, Biff. Whenever I feel disgusted. The only trouble is, it gets to be like bowling or something. I just keep knockin’ them over and it doesn’t mean anything. You still run around a lot?

Biff:           Naa. I’d like to find a girl—steady, somebody with substance.

Happy:     That’s what I long for.

Biff:           Go on! You’d never come home.

Happy:     I would! Somebody with character, with resistance! Like Mom, y’know? That girl Charlotte I was with tonight is engaged to be married in five weeks.

Biff:          No kiddin’!

Happy:     Sure, the guy’s in line for the vice-presidency of the store. I don’t know what gets into me, maybe I just have an overdeveloped sense of competition or something, but I went and ruined her, and furthermore I can’t get rid of her. And he’s the third executive I’ve done that to. Isn’t that a crummy characteristic? And to top it all, I go to their weddings! Like I’m not supposed to take bribes. Manufacturers offer me a hundred-dollar bill now and then to throw an order their way. You know how honest I am, but0. it’s like this girl, see. I hate myself for it. Because I don’t want the girl, and, still, I take it and—I love it!

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller          1949