January 01, 2010
The human animal mirrors all other sexual species in many ways. As we observe mating habits of mammals, birds and the rest of animal kingdom, the basic similarities in propagating the genetic code causes us to take note of our primal functions. As with all manner of convincing and winning over in life, the politics of sex permeates almost every routine in daily life. The power of sex – from conquering to submitting –results from our internal drive and almost subconscious maneuvering to do or say whatever it takes to win a willing partner.
Wilson Bryan Key, in his work Subliminal Seduction
, analyzes the effects of subconscious stimulation by the advertising industry on an unwitting public. Citing experiments and uncovering then-difficult tricks of photography, his avant garde conclusions drew the suspicions of academia as well as the private sector. From high-speed flashing of popcorn images in the movie trailers which purportedly enticed the audience to make a trip to the concession stand, to carefully placed and imaged ice cubes in liquor print ads, Key posited the futility in resisting the coercion of these suggestions.
In our daily life, we face myriad suggestions for compulsive action. As technological advances progress, our attention spans diminish proportionally. Thinking ourselves immune from the sexual innuendos of the media, we nonetheless buy products or align with services which allow us to feel more potent about our cunning. Finding the biggest and most robust cell phone service equates to our savvy in selecting the most desirable option from the herd of available choices.
The mystique of Priapus, a minor God with a major asset in Roman mythology, allures the minds of many, even today. As a symbol of health and fertility, the son of Aphrodite and Dionysus, personified the irony of impotence, ugliness and foul-mindedness. Gifted with the largess of seeming readiness, Priapus' demise befell him when the time came to perform.
In the political world today, we easily mistake the elected office with effectiveness. We hold the politician to our expectations to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason, that we forget they, too, may fall flat when it comes time to satisfy their constituents. While the size of the instrument – be it phallic or pen – looms impressive, the true measure of planting seeds in the hearts and minds of others lie in the quality of the person.
The media titillates us with the May-December relationships between a young, taut woman and an accomplished older man. Whispers confirm his virility by nature of such a youthful counterpart, and her attraction to this man with whom she shares little in common. His status and power seduces her, and in exchange she offers her youth and beauty. Each party receives mutual benefit, instigated by the wagging tongues of the tabloids.
Men in powerful positions find themselves surrounded by eager women whose sexual gratification may be forestalled by the romance of his importance. Drawn naturally to distinguished people and institutions, we choose to align ourselves with the “winning team” in order to vicariously succeed. From “fair-weather” sports fans, to wives who identify with their husbands success, fulfillment of the need for recognition provides a cogent recompense for a primal trade. And in the politics of sexuality, power exudes the most potent aphrodisiac.
The seduction of stamina reveals itself in both the long-distance runner as well as the laboring Lothario. Setting up the chase, the female extracts from man his eager efforts to prove his mettle as a partner and lover. Happily, the dance continues until satisfaction or exhaustion sets in! In setting up a situation for a man to demonstrate his prowess and endurance, the female plays the sexual politics game to give the man the opportunity to show his colors.
In life, underlying carnal challenges disguised as socially acceptable scenarios fill our everyday lives. The rise to the top of corporate management puts forth the requirement of persistence, for example. While it may not appear on the surface as a sexual interaction, the ramming horns of competition can be heard from the boardroom to the mailroom.
When all political and sexual maneuvering is done, the sweaty resolve rewards us. Thankful for a frenzied finale, the need for satisfaction dissipates for the short term. But what positions us for the next politically expedient opportunity for life's basic instinct?
When we finally release and let go of all the machinations we believe necessary to reach the pinnacle of life, we realize that any manifestation of satiety is temporary. Our nature as sexual beings, arouses within us the desire to conquer ever newer and higher mountains. The role we play as we walk through this world either restricts or frees us to understand that waves of happiness emanate from within our own power, the breadth of our willingness to embrace life and the passion to keep moving forward toward our dreams.
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