Links, oh precious links! (from touchyourself.org)

You expected me to write something of substance here? Of course not, I’m just pointing you toward the substance of others.

First off, an article via Mind Hacks says

Women love a guy who can dance, right? Well, a study using Jamaican volunteers might explain why. The results suggest that men who are better at busting a move also have more to offer as a mate.Researchers led by William Brown of Rutgers University in New Jersey filmed more than 180 teenagers shaking it down, and converted the films into computer-animated, androgynous dancing figures. When shown the animated dancers, viewers gave higher ratings to dances performed by people who in reality had more symmetrical bodies and were generally more attractive.

Read the full article here

I just have to wonder. Where does that leave us poor, geeky, non-dancing folks. I mean hey, I’m symmetrical! I’m just not rhythmic. At least not in any way that people want to see.

Today’s second link is via Sexerati. Cam girl/artist extraordinaire Ana Voog has created an amazing 12 Days of Christmas project. It’s arty, subversive, festive and of course sexy! The most interesting part is that it’s a group art project. At the end are high-res images of everything used on the site. She’s asking people to save and manipulate those photos and send in the results. Brilliant.

The focus on the Holy Day, as well as the aesthetic of the pictures is appealing to me because it feels like the beautiful blending of the sacred and the sexual. Take note especially of the writings at the end, as they are quite beautiful and, dare I say, uplifting.

i think this whole “virgin birth” thing has really screwed men out of a big part of their sacred part in everything (no pun intended). and really screwed up women, as well!
men! you need to RECLAIM your part in creating “the SUN of god”.
this is why i chose to use symbols for the penis, too.
you are not so unworthy that you do not play 1/2 the part in creating a LIGHTbeing!
you do yourself (and everyone) a disservice by thinking this was only between mary and some “angel” and god!
you leave yourself out of the equation of creating the SACRED!
men! you are not so LOWLY that if you even TOUCH a virgin with your penis SHE becomes “unpure”! think about that!
this is ridiculous and backwards thinking, isn’t it?

In all my liberal religiousness, I’ve always held to the virgin birth. It’s not because I’m anti-sex (you think?) or that I connect purity with never having an organ in an orifice. It’s not the sexual aspect at all. It’s the miraculous nature of the event. It’s a new creation of flesh by the Divine. That makes it a reconnection of the spirit and the physical, or rather, a proof of the interconnectedness of the two. Yes, flesh can create more flesh, but Spirit can do it as well. There’s not a hard distinction between the two. They are fluid and interdependent. Thus a human girl can become impregnated by spirit, by Love alone. That doesn’t alienate me or reduce my part in the sacred play. It tels me that ultimately there is no division between the Divine and this body which is so much of me.

I can certainly see her concerns, however. Often women have felt alienated by the focus on male acts in our religious stories, and here, the biggest moment of all (okay, tied with the resurrection) in Christianity, and men are left out completely.

I’m always been more apt to find something about the person I could relate to and not worry so much about what kind of plumbing they’ve got. And I end up relating as much with women as with men in stories and myth. Hell, I relate more often with women in “real life.”

But all my rambling has led me into my third link:
Reuniting Sexuality and Spirituality by James B. Nelson. Here’s a sample

Some years ago Paul Ricoeur observed that there have been three major stages in the Western understanding of the relation of sexuality to religion (cf “Wonder, Eroticism and Enigma,” in Sexuality and Identity, edited by Hendrik Ruitenbeek [Dell, 1970], pp. 13 ff.). The earliest stage closely identified the two forces, incorporating sexuality into religious myth and ritual. In the second stage, accompanying the rise of the great world religions, the two spheres were separated: the sacred became increasingly transcendent while sexuality was demythologized and confined to a small part of the earthly order (procreation within institutionalized marriage). Sexuality’s power was feared, restrained and disciplined.Ricoeur notes that there now seems to be emerging a third period, marked by the desire to reunite sexuality with the experience of the sacred. This desire is prompted by a more wholistic understanding of the person and of the ways in which sexuality is present in all of human experience. If sexual expression is still seen as needing ordering and discipline, as it was in the second period, there is also, as there was in the first period, a sense of its spiritual power.

So I suppose I wrote a lot more than I expected, but that’s good.

Finally, if the Sex Workers Art Show is coming anywhere near you, make every effort to go. Last year’s show was an emotional roller coaster, and I mean that in the best possible way.

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