Friday, April 30, 2010

Pornitopia

Triple play today: a political post on The One, a religious post on ritual language, and now a sex post on porn.

Nothing deep. And no pictures.

One site offered a section for watching "mature men". They were 35.

I don't know if it's acting skill or erotic charisma or what, but there's a guy on another site who, while impressively hung and in decent shape, is not a handsome head turner. But his attitude and his energy and engagement make him very hot. And there are tons of handsome and terrifically built guys who project all the sexiness of a tenured English teacher. Zzzzz.

Oops. I do know one tenured English teacher who has sexiness to spare. Not, however, in the classroom.

There is a site that specializes in very rough men-to-men sex, but the narrative is that it is with captured and unwilling straight guys. Now this is fantasy; the site makes it clear that all the actors are consensual, of age, etc. And the conversion theme is an old one in gay porn: straight guy resists at first but then finds he likes it and gives in. But two things make this site very unappealing and unwatchable. The "tops" are all British! And I find even the fantasy of homos torturing and raping very unwilling straight men as a conscious act of erotic vengeance, well, vile.

I have an old friend, a straight guy, very religious but easygoing and curious, who told me that he found straight porn offensive but gay porn, while unstimulating, sort of interesting. A lesbian friend of mine once told me something similar. True or not, both of them found the supposedly unequal power between man and woman difficult to handle but assumed a kind of fraternal equality between the men as men that made the sex playful.

I have not watched very much dominatrix porn, but what I have seen has impressed me as being far rougher than most of the leather porn between men.

I have never found watching porn with someone else exciting. Splits my focus. Like threeways.

There is a site where you can't jump ahead with the downloaded video. You have to watch the whole thing just as the director filmed it. Do these people not know their audience?

Years ago I was at a mixed-gender conference that included a discussion of porn. The man at the podium asked a lesbian friend what kind of porn film she thought women would like. She said that her idea of porn was a book full of empty pages, scented, and with a velvet cover.
Male brain vs female brain.

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Popular and elite


The texts of the Roman Catholic Mass have been re-translated into English. The translation in use for the last 40 years will be replaced by a new version. The new one will be more literal, closer both in content and style to the original Latin. Conservatives are delighted, liberals dismayed.

More than one proponent of the 1970's version has decried the introduction of vocabulary that may be unusual for, as they say, "God's whole people gathered in the liturgical assembly." This is elitist popular talk for "illiterate idiots in the pews." Funny how these folks are always screaming that "God's people" be consulted on all sorts of complex matters, but when you throw them a word like "incarnate", they are supposed to become pre-literate. (Did no one ever hear the very common phrase "the devil incarnate"?)

I once had an argument with a low-church Anglican in which she exacerbated Catholicism for its statues and ceremonies, etc. She quoted John's Jesus, who praised worship "in spirit and in truth." In a flash of insight, I told her that because of her tight-assed Anglo culture, she confused "spirit and truth" with "neat and tidy", spiritual attitude with aesthetic preference, when in fact they had nothing to do with each other. I think the translators of the 70's confused "noble simplicity"with "dumbing down" .

I recall an irate Dutch woman taking on the parish priest after a High Mass one Sunday. She complained, with inordinate bitterness, that incense confused her children and they did not understand it, so it should be stopped. The priest replied, "You mean they understand everything else? What else should we get rid of to suit the breadth of your children's minds?" Priest 1, Dutch bitch, 0.

Back in the days when I was church-involved, I wrote a note to the translation committee about something and in return I was sent a booklet with a draft translation of some prayers, with a request for my input. My assessment of the whole 1970's project was that they were aiming for their idea of a 12 year old's vocabulary and comprehension. Note I say "their idea". I happened to have a comic book that my 12 year old brother was reading at the time. Its language was full of subordinate clauses. Clearly comic writers had a higher estimate of 12 year olds than the liturgical group. So I sent them the comic as an example of both poetic and complex popular speech. I never heard back and was not asked again for my opinion.

The 1970's translation was, with very few exceptions, pretty 1970's: basic English for dummies. Sound bites for kindergarteners. It was boring, empty, condescending, lacking in fire, drama, punch or life. And it certainly had a theological bias against transcendance, majesty or sin and in favor of inclusivity and schmaltz.

Having seen the new translation, at least of the common prayers, it is clear that they are sacred language and they do not shy away from Roman orthodoxy. Some of them are a bit clunky and the Book of Common Prayer need not fear being replaced by this revised Catholic English. But at least it has a sense of drama.

"God's whole people gathered in the liturgical assembly." And who knows what that means?
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Irked by Urkel


Saw a headline yesterday in which The One pronounced that Wall Street executive bonuses were "shameful". And today His Obamaness pontificates about when people have made "enough" money.

That's not his damn friggin' job!

Maybe he should be calling George Soros or Nancy Pelosi.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Same ole same old again and again

Melanie Philips points out something I have often said, that supposedly pro, non, post or anti religious Progressivism --the attitudes and ideologies of the Western Left-- is strikingly religious. Secular on the surface, the old archetypal patterns continue.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anti-immigrant!

On immigration, here's what I think should be our policy.

We only bring in people

who match our nation's demographics rather than upset their equilibrium.
who are physically and mentally healthy.
who enhance our economic and national interests.
who demonstrate respect for our national sovereignty and security.
who have no criminal record.
who can support themselves without government aid.

We require that law enforcement at all levels carry out immigration statutes,
including the military.
We empower ordinary citizens to detain illegal aliens.
We require all non-citizens to carry appropriate identification,
to be shown on demand.

We punish those who break immigration laws
with imprisonment and fines and deportation,
even en masse.

We ban the involvement of non-citizens
in political discussions of immigration issues.

So, there it is.
Does that make me a racist xenophic rightwing Teabagger from Arizona?

Well, actually, what it makes me is...Mexican.

HT to FB friend Charles Winecoff.

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Distraction


Ryder Lee, lead singer of The Lost Trailers. I watch and listen to their videos primarily to watch and listen to him. All of Kenny Chesney's good points without any of that annoyance, and as sexy as Tim McGrath, without the sentimentality. Great voice for his genre. Handsome as hell, great smile, built right and moves better. Hey, I toldja I wasn't always deep.



Their mediocre song Country Folks Livin Loud shows off his many talents to good effect :)

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Privilege in black and white


I ran across a site that was talking about "white privilege" the other day. Ah, sweet memories. Did you know that there is an annual conference on White Privilege at Colorado Springs campus of UC?

Privilege, for those of you not blessed with the Knowing, is the set of "invisible and assumed" social benefits you get for belonging to a privileged class, even though you as an individual have not earned them. Being white, being male, you get privileges that people of color and women do not. And among the more advanced, dismantling privilege, especially one's own, is a great way to pass the time.

There are other kinds of privilege, too. Being a citizen as opposed to an immigrant. Being able as opposed to disabled. Being tall, being beautiful, speaking English. And recently I found the most delightful...and one that revealed the game in the whole paradigm...cisgender privilege. If you are not transgendered, aka at war with your physical gender, then you are cisgendered, at home with your gender of birth. (Cis is Latin for "this side"; it is the antonym of the Latin trans, beyond.) Well, that gives you privilege, one that you did not earn but simply enjoy....at the expense of the transgendered, of course, who constitute, what, .00001% of the population?
Hmmm, I wonder if there is FTM vs MTF privilege. Boy, this is fun.

My response to all these systems of privilege is: what the hell else do you expect human societies to do? Expecting to dismantle them is just like expecting the classless society of Marxist utopia. A deluded pipedream of moral inflation that usually just leads to more misery than the original situation.

And the role of this privilege scam, like all the Progressive Orthodoxy we call political correctness, is to engage members of successful groups in self-sabotage and self-erasure through manufactured guilt. Dismantling one group's privilege will NOT lead to a society without systems of group privilege any more than Communism led to the withering away of the state. It will mean that another group will have the privilege, not you. So my suggestion is that if you are part of a group with privilege, hang on to it.

A funny thing is that white men, for instance, are castigated for enjoying group privileges they did not earn as individuals. But they can be held accountable for historical group wrongs that they had not part in as individuals. Cool, huh?

I was conversing the other night with my ex, T, who is black, and our friend Bill, who is another old white guy like me. Neither Bill nor I are at all rich or powerful. Bill made some joke about us enjoying white privilege and we all laughed.

Now T has his own privilege --aside from getting free rides on the bus sometimes when the driver is black. As a black, he has moral privilege: in any situation where race is involved, the assumption will be that he is the victim. And the whites will always be assumed guilty. That's how the game is played these days. Any person of color can weave a narrative of discrimination, etc and they have the privilege of being believed prima facie, without necessarily having earned the role as individuals.

Works both ways, this stuff.

Welcome to the human race. BS abounds.

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PS. Wow, what a self-hating homo I must be. I forgot to mention heterosexual privilege and its evil handmaiden "heterosexism" which holds the ridiculous notion that a sexual paradigm both utterly necessary to civilization and shared by about 97%+ of the human race should have a certain assumed prominence. My bad.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday


Gosh, but I had a nice time yesterday.


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Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday


A bright and seasonal sunny morning by the Bay. B is playing hookey from work today --taking one of his 150 unused sick days!-- and we are going hiking and picnicking on Mt. Tam. Later I'll grill lamb chops and we'll sit on the back steps by my kitchen and drink. He may read from and comment on sections from Mad Magazine or Newsweek. I can't tell them apart.

Interesting and sometimes (very) challenging for me to re-negotiate this relationship. It's been my experience that when a romantic duo hit a wall or come to a fork in the road, they are often tired of each other both personally and erotically and so they break it off entirely. Unfortunately, that's not true of us. It'd be easier if we disliked each other or had become bored in bed. Or if we had a history of bad behavior against each other. We could just part ways and be done with it. In fact, I tried that before with him and it never lasted.

Although I would more than occasionally like to strangle him for being so profoundly, deeply and abysmally foolish as to not want what I want (he knows this, so I am not blogging out of school), he remains for me the most likeable of men, with a super-quick wit and a sunny disposition. No one makes me laugh the way he does. And it is a cosmic understatement to say that we still have a spark between us. We are both eligible for AARP membership but our hormones don't know that. They think they are still 22.

Where will it/we go? I don't know, of course. On one level, I am still pretty confused. But in the midst of all the conflictual desires and the passion, there is a friendship. In a pinch, I know that he would do anything he could to help me. We really like each other very much. That is worth pursuing.


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

2 clever by 1/2

A would-be mentor of mine once opined that the Irish were good for little more than "strong drink and light verbal humor." Well, he was half right, rather than right by half. I do like my own cleverness sometimes.

I posted a comment recently where a bunch of gay men were indulging in the usual back and forth: opinionated vitriol balanced by relativistic pleas for tolerance. Zzzz. Anyway, I wrote that "I used to think that gayness was about erotic orientation but now I have come to suspect that gay culture is about dealing with gender dis-orientation."

Clever, no?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Regrets


Once in a while I have met people who, when asked if they would live their life over differently, say that they have no regrets. I admire that, but it's certainly not me. No Edith Piaf, moi. I have plenty of regrets. Plenty.

I was talking about this with my ex, T, last night at our weekly Friday dinner. Although he is not as infallible as he believes he is, he is extraordinarily, sometimes frighteningly, intuitive about people. I refer to him as the DFO, the Delphic Fuckin' Oracle. And I hate it when he is presciently right when I don't want him to be.

But he was right about one thing last night. When we were talking about regrets for paths both taken and untaken, I said that in principle I would do things differently, but it would be very hard to actually decide what to un-do. The reason? That along with unhappy parts of my life have often come very happy parts. Lose the one, you lose the other. How do you rearrange that? He himself is a great example. In the end, we failed to make a go of it as partners. But we have loved each other for almost 20 years now. Would I forego those nine years if it mean not having him in my life? T said that he knew one thing for sure I would let go of without hesitation: P.

P was a guy I fell in love with in the 80's. He was ten years my junior. Handsome, sexy, charming, a voice like corduroy over stone, a lost boy (over 21!) with a sad tale and a drinking problem. The dark archetype of the narcissistic butch wounded boy I have fallen for more than once. And he was straight.

What more need I say? That was a lot of pain for no good reason; I would skip knowing him, given a second chance. (I didn't even get laid!) When I think of some of the situations I got myself in because of him, I wince. The night involving drinking and the fire escape and underwear....Ouch. Maybe I played some role in his life that Providence decided he needed, but I can't think of anything worthwhile for me that came of that relationship. Except maybe to show me that when it comes to eros, I am as brainless as any man has ever been. That, too, I regret.

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Too bad

I chanced upon a program about death row in Texas. Of course it was filled with pity for the poor souls there. One guy named Willie took part in breaking into the home of an 85 year old woman and shooting her while robbing her. In his own words, he "smoked the bitch". It was not his first offense nor first act of violence.

For my money, any one who invades a home and causes a loss of life during that event should be taken down, no questions asked.

The story was full of sorrow for poor Willie cause he turned into a nice guy on death row. His girlfriend wept. We were treated to someone lamenting how "society" was killing "those it had abandoned."

Such BS. He got what he deserved. And if he was indeed rehabilitated, and took responsibility for killing an old women in her own home, terrified and alone, he should have said that he deserved to die for what he did.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Men's Studies: The Cutting Edge

One of the most prominent professors in the world of Men's Studies has decided to cut off his penis and be a lady.

Men's Studies is a pomo and feminist dominated academic passtime. The professor's actions are the logical outcome of the progressive male's beliefs. Now if he could only turn herself black.

What would be the response if, say, a prominent professor of Black Studies decided to do the Michael Jackson thing with bleach and plastic surgery and turn white? Hmmm...any guesses?
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alien homeworld


One of the religious traditions which has held my attention over the years is Gnosticism. It is a slippery phenomenon, but at its heart lies the shock of recognizing that the world made by a single, powerful, benevolent, wise Creator can be, well, nightmarish.

The Military Channel has an investigative program on Cortez' conquest of the Incas. A lot of time spent on detailing the practice of human sacrifice. Spanish records assert that over a four day period, 20 thousand captured soldiers had their hearts cut out on the altars of the temples in the capital. Skeptics have since suggested it was Spanish propaganda. Recreating the situation, the investigators discover that it was indeed quite plausible. Using a flint knife, the priest opened the victim up beneath the sternum --matching all the images we have--and reached in to rip out the beating heart and offer it to heaven. The body was then rolled down the steps, as the next victims ascended these same steps. All in well under two minutes each.

With the required and deeply stupid moral equivalence, a Mexican professor points out that Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands in an instant. Oh yeah. Just the same thing. Apparently the heads were cut off for display on skull racks and the bodies were eaten.

But the program asserts that it was the Aztecs' bloodthirsty imperialism against their vassal tribes which finally brought them down. Without the enthusiastic help of so many of these subject peoples, the 300 Spaniards --even with their guns, germs and steel--could never have taken them down alone. Plus, the Aztecs' own religion depicted them living in their final days. They had an ideology that reconciled them to their downfall. (Just as we do.)

Speaking of which, I read about how Scandinavian newspapers pixelate or actually whiten pictures of Africans who are accused of crimes, so that they appear to be a white males. Camp of the Saints, anyone?

And at home, Barry Hussein O and Company are creating a national debt beyond imagination.
Now have in place a massive, really massive, legal framework to control health care. Have decided that insulting allies and bowing (literally) to foes is a foreign policy. Have suddenly discovered the importance of civility in public discourse (except for Teabaggers...and George Bush for 8 years). And I await immigration amnesty to be next. America feels like it is disappearing before my eyes, being undone by alien pod people in charge.

Some days it feels to me nightmarishly like the end of the Roman Empire.

Anderson Cooper

finally does something other than look pretty.

Good for him.


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What color is the elephant

in the room?

Two black kids punched an Asian man and then beat his father to death in broad daylight on a street in Oakland. Unprovoked.

No one could figure out the motivation.

Hmmm.

Consider an alternative scenario. Two white kids do the same to an Asian father-son duo. Or, worse, though most unlikely, to two Blacks.

Do you think anyone might have raise the possibility of race hatred?

But gee whiz, what could those boys have been thinking?

The orchestration to silence that thought was deafening.

When one news report finally faced it, the Asian woman who spoke the truth was almost apologetic --fear of being targeted by black kids in Oakland-- but the black spokesmen were all "let's not polarize", etc.

Such lies we live with.

PS on April 29th. An article in the SF Examiner notes crimes against Asians around the city but very clearly avoids mentioning the race or ethnicity of the attackers. A sure sign that they're black.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Worse than me

Just found a bunch of YouTube videos and some websites produced by homosexual men who are more homophobic than I am!

I have come to the point where the only thing about gays that I really like is that they have sex with one another. The knee-jerk liberal Democrat (or worse) politics, the feministoid animus against actual men and manhood, the victim-group attitudes....all this I can do without. But I do like the sex part.

These fellas, however, only like the sex part if it consists of frot, phallic rubbing. Although one liberal site will countenance cocksucking, I think. But they are as violently against anal sex as Leviticus and Jerry Falwell. To them, buttsex can only be degrading and dirty. Some of them go by the name of g0ys. That is a zero between the g and the y. Not a starter for me. I'm from NY and g0y will always mean Gentile. Jack Donovan's "androphile" is less odd, even though that, too, has little hope of catching on.

These sectarian spats are about as interesting as the theological differences between Dominicans and Jesuits. I do support these guys' unhappiness with the enforced ghyrliness of gay culture, but I have to say that I remain unmoved by their problem with penetration. Again, my experience counts for more than their arguments.

The following may be TMI for some folks, but what's the point of a blog about religion, sex and politics if you don't talk about it? Certainly both oral and anal sex can embody a very wide range of meanings. Any sex can do that. And I am well aware that oral and anal sex between men is especially open to interpretation. But one of the experiences I have shared with some of the men in my intimate life is a sense of being honored by vulnerability. They have felt it from me and I have felt it from them. In a way, it's precisely the riskiness of being the guy who sucks cock or who gets fucked which allows the act to become something much more. It's what I mean by sexual alchemy between men. Remarks from real life: "It honors me that you would do that for me." "It honors me that you would let me do that with you."

So there.
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DisOrient


I fell asleep on the couch last night. It happens. It's a very comfortable couch.

However, the TV remains on, along with the lights, and that produces a less than thoroughly deep sleep.

So I awoke, sorta, in the middle of the night. Alone. First off, I was dreaming of someone, a man I have never met, who provokes in me one of the soul's most unpleasant feelings: jealousy. Like being caught in the tentacles of a jellyfish, but the poison is cold and clammy and claustrophobic. Of all feelings, I wonder if jealousy is the most resistant to redemption? Certainly it is the most humiliating. Waking up with that region of me activated felt...well, my stomach hurt.

Then there was the TV commercial, part of the nocturnal realm: get rich with real estate. Changing the channel you find the other nighttime denizens: purveyors of weightloss. Is the night filled with poor fat people?

Switching again, I stumbled onto a LOGO short film about an effeminate crossdresser, an African refugee in a London project, confronting local bullies and remembering the violence of his homeland. More themes that make the world seem alien and off the rails: the gay obsession with celebrating effeminacy, the death of Europe through deeply unwise immigration, the cowardice of group male bullying, the hellhole that Africa has become. My stomach moved from hurting to nausea.

So here I am, waking up "out of place" in both space and time, in the chilly dark before dawn, with the world's shadow beaming into my living room, feeling my own human wounds and hungers.

I will wait for the sun, the sounds of morning, coffee brewed in a bright kitchen. But right now the gyroscope is not working.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Pleasures of the flesh

Aside from the pleasures of the bed, there are the pleasures of the table.

Tonight, three medium-rare rib lamb chops done on my grill, fresh baby spinach sauteed in olive oil (and a dash of bacon fat) with garlic and salt. A glass of very cold Pinot Grigiot.

And the pleasures are not simply in the eating, but in the making.

Not political. Not sexual. But religious.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The eye of the beholder


This ten-foot high painted crucifix, in the 12th century San Damiano style, has created a controversy at the church where it was recently installed over the altar. Any guesses why?

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Transitions

In the wake of watching that program on Rene Pena, the FTM guy, I have visited the world of FTMs on YouTube. Now you can hear about and see the transition from those going through it.

My first thought is, who pays for all this? Lifelong hormones, as well as the surgeries.

And the YouTube demographic is young. And, frankly, not very interesting. Well, self-obsession rarely is. Almost all the videos begin with, "Hey, guys. What's up?" These are young females turning into young males. And young males are not, as a group, very interesting.

The occasional one stands out.


A trans guy named TheSixPack. Has a six pack!

The politics and "theory" that goes along with this is mind-bending. Did you know that if you are born with a gender that you are comfortable with that you are "cisgendered"? And that you have "cisgender privilege"? You can imagine how sympathetic I am to THAT stuff.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Risky business

A blog is a funny thing. Even though I have a very small readership, in principle anyone on the planet with internet access could read it. So putting personal stuff on a blog is almost like putting your family photo album out on the front steps for any passers by to see. Mostly for professional reasons, I don't put my picture or my name up here, but rants (or musings) about sex, religion and politics are bound to be kinda revealing and personal.

So, I took a risk last September by announcing that I and the fella I had been seeing for a couple of years had agreed to be boyfriends. I liked that. Very much. There were moments when, for me, it seemed too good to be true. Turns out I was right.

All I'll say here is that after about six months, the limits of who we could be to each other became clear. Although very sad for me, it was not a big surprise; we had been over that issue before. From my perspective, it was really the only problem we had with each other; not whether we loved each other (we do), but how to love each other, how to be a part of each other's lives. What I really want is that hard-to-name combination of friend, lover and family. For shorthand, a partner. Not so with him. We became lovers and friends, but The Boyo remained at heart a single man.

He is a wonderful guy. My affection and admiration for him remain. We are still connected, as I hope we always will be, but now I am also, like him, a single man.

Risky business, love.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Outside

Ran across a rivetingly good profile on one of those other superficial sites. This tall, built and very handsome greyfur calls himself Hercules and that's just fine with me.


I'd play Iolaus to him anytime.

The pic I saved is very striking, so if you don't want to see a godlike but actual man in his 50's with a big hardon, don't click here and go down to where it says Addendum.

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Inside and out


If I carry guilt or shame about my sexual orientation, I can't consciously find it. If it's there, it's unconscious. Prior to experiencing sex with another man in my mid-twenties, I lived in a practically constant state of fear and shame about it. And it was a complete secret. Awful awful way to live.

When I finally experienced it, all that changed. This, I thought, is so terrific! I never feel more completely at home or more fully myself than when up close and personal with another man.

I do recall that sometimes when I was sexually engaged with my first lover I would feel uncomfortable about what we were doing...even though it felt great. I realized that what I was doing was standing outside the experience and assessing it as if I were not involved. It was almost as if I were not in the bed with him but in the middle of the room, watching us. And since two naked men being intimate was not an image I was ever encouraged to admire (!), it produced some discomfort in me. So I stopped that. I decided to be where I really was and to let that experience tell me what was what.

My experience was useful in that it taught me the difference between what a phenomenon can look like to a third party and what it feels like to those directly engaged in it.

ExGays

My reason for posting this is that I wandered into a set of YouTube videos about ex-gays and reparative therapy. One conversion therapist used his fingers to point out that men and women "fit" and that men and men do not. Consequently, he said that homosexual relations, being against nature, cannot be satisfying.

Hmm. Well, I get the philosophical argument about reproduction, even about sexual complementarity. But don't tell me that homosexual relations are unsatisfying! Sex between men carries with it the limitation of all things created and human. Even though it feels like heaven on earth...and it does, boy does it...it is not. But neither is heterosexual intercourse.

If it's unsatisfying, then you're doing it wrong, or with the wrong person, or the wrong attitude. And please don't expect me to believe that male-female sex is inherently satisfying. That, too, can be great or not. I have this on the authority of participants.

S/M

One of my professional specialties is working with guys into power exchange sex. Here is a place where what the observer sees and what the participants experience can be radically different. I had a fascinating set of conversations with a man who derives deep emotional and sexual satisfaction from being dominated by other men. This guy was one of the most beautiful men I have ever met, face and frame, as well as being a respected professional in his field. But his sexual drive was mostly about being controlled within the field of power of a more dominant man. And it could get pretty rough sometimes. Men do that. And the archetypal themes of sacrifice and worship and initiation were clearly involved, as they often are.

But he had a very clear sense of what provided him with both pleasure and connection as a submissive male. He told me that he had broken off with one man because the guy crossed the line from domination to contempt. Now to an outsider, that would be pretty invisible. But to him, it was clear as day.

Same thing with the interplay of pain and pleasure. I worked with another man who derived great pleasure and katharsis from being flogged. But he came in one day with his hand bandaged from having smashed a finger in his car door. That was definitely neither pleasure or catharsis. It just hurt and he hated it. One experience, which might horrify many observers, was an alchemical transformation of pain and pleasure. The second one was just an effing accident. Ouch.

The human soul, brain, heart, body is vast. A mystery, inside and out.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More superficiality

Meet the Spartans. Really, really silly parody of The 300.

But I do like watching Sean Maguire. Nicely beefed up at the gym for this role.


Perhaps it's my Hibernian genes, but there's a certain kind of Irish mug that makes me think that the Celts are the handsomest of men.

...Italians ain't bad either, and sometimes the combo can be incendiary. Oh, yeah, What's His Name is half Irish, half Calabrese....
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I wonder

how true it is. Maybe my straight male readers can enlighten me.

I notice on a lot of the TV shows I watch, lots of them with "strong women" --some of whom are strong women, some of whom are bitches and some of whom are worse than that, how much energy the women spend in attempting to control the speech and opinions of the men. The men seem uninterested in doing that to them.

I have no heteroid relationships with women, so I don't have this experience. (Although if I think back to my AIDS work days, with lesbians, they did that a lot. A lot.) The only woman in my personal life who ever tried that, and still does, is my mother.

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Opposite sex


Watching a LOGO documentary on a transgendered male (FTM) named Rene. This is a person who has insisted he was a boy since he was a very small girl. Played with boys, very aggressive and tomboyish. Eventually had hormones and breast removal. And has been in a relationship with a woman for several years, who is now having serious second thoughts. Amazingly, she has never seen him naked.

He's about to have an artificial penis constructed, to complete the process, as he says, of his body matching his soul. Complicated, to say the least. Tumultuous. Rene certainly has a lot of male energy and is pretty convincing.


Although quite adolescent in a lot of ways --he tried out to be a malestripper!-- overcompensating,and understandably self-obsessed.

A terrible predicament. And you can see the agony. Feeling he's a man trapped in an alien body.

Even though I have no political sympathy for the LGBT construct, and a lot of the transgenders I have met in my life --MTF's especially--have not inspired me to want to know them better*, I do have a very small bit of shared experience. Yes, me.

For most of my life I was tall and skinny. During late middle age, I put on some weight. So I was not very happy with my body. I was always clear that I was a male, --no one ever took me for anything but--but I think I felt inside stronger and more substantial than I appeared to be on the outside. Over the last eight years, I have been working out, on average, five times a week or more. I took my time, focussed on enjoying the process, and have achieved more than I expected. In my late fifties, I wound up being in the best shape of my life; and now, at 62, get more attention than I got when I was 42. I do like it, but I also think it's funny.

I remember the day, some years back, when I looked in the mirror and thought, "Hey, there you are." I felt that the inside and the outside matched better than they ever had. My physical form came close to my ego ideal. It was a very nice feeling. Very nice. And continues to be.

Just a tiny venn with this guy.

_____________________

*The first transgendered man I ever met was someone I knew for a year, and liked and respected, before he told me he had been born female. I had a very hard time imagining him as a woman, even though, after his revelation, I could see something of a more female bone structure in him. He was a more-than-decent, sane and utterly likeable guy. He married --his wife fully understanding the situation-- and later they had children (adopted or inseminated I do not know; have not see him for many years).

Huh?


I keep getting this weird pop-up ad....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Transfiguration

Le plus profond, c'est la peau*. Paul Valery.

(Although my blog is full of pithy wisdom, crucial information and life-changing opinions,
the Blogger Stats program tells me that this was, until 2013, my most popular post ever. By far. Ten times more viewed than the second most popular post.
It has now, in 2013, been eclipsed by this.)











 







A German fella named Logan McCree (?). Nice guy; worked out at my gym one evening. Don't know why, but the ink on him is, well, very appealing...

AND, he's a theologian:

_ video


*For you non-Francophones, "What is deepest is the skin".

WTF?


The One bows yet again, to the head of China.

_______________

Monday, April 12, 2010

Riddle me this, 2

World class freakazoid paedophile trainwreck Michael Jackson gets a moment of silence in Congress when his gruesome and pathetic life comes to an end, and Benedict XVI, following canonical procedures...often very slow...did not defrock a paedophile priest fast enough and he should resign?

_________________

Hurry up and die

Newsweek is alarmed by the "hate" and "extremism" in the current "anti-government" movement. I have a hard time keeping my breakfast down. I am sure they were also wringing their hands during the years when GWB was regularly hanged, drawn and quartered both in effigy and by the media. Now it's...oooooo...."hate".

The Boyo, who votes consistently for Democrats, subscribes to Newsweek. He also has a (gift) subscription to Mad. Told me yesterday that Mad is much better in every way.

The sooner Newsweek dies, the better. Such a waste of trees. Oh, is that "hate"?

Effing hypocrites.

________________

Two men, two minutes


Two men kissing. Still mesmerizes me. My ex finds it the most intimate of actions between men. He will turn away, out of modesty and respect, if he comes across two men locking lips.

Unlike some of the other more dramatic forms of male with male sexual connection, this one cannot be mistaken for anything other than what it is. There is an equality both in power and vulnerability which makes the kiss between men stunning, even awesome. To quote a deep and sensitive thinker (me):

This is the alchemical gesture.
Once the mutual recognition,
invitation, exploration,
challenge, intimacy
is established there,
then all the apparently more
explosive symbolic sex acts
and the whole rhythm of
physical and emotional power exchange
between two males
is set in its right archetypal context.


video


*Twenty plus years ago, my then boyfriend J had three children. We were pretty discrete about displays of affection when they were around, but once he and I were engaging in the above depicted activity (standing, and fully clothed) when his daughter rounded a corner unexpectedly and found us out. She was about 5, a preternaturally savvy and charming witch. Her eyes got wide as plates, as she said thru her missing teeth and in her 80's slang, "Oh, my. Two boyth kithing. How grody." And then, without missing a beat, asked if she could have some cookies.

_____________________

Sunday, April 11, 2010

MisMatch

Spending the day hiding out at home, aside from the obligatory gym visit. Today was delt day. I like that. I've worked really hard and am pleased with the shoulder results. (Pic from September)



Anyway, moving through the channels on the TV, I stumble on Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. What's her name, who owns it, arranged a mixer for this rich guy with a dozen women. There they were, all done up and dolled up and lined up, in training to become Real Housewives of Wherever.


I looked at them and thought, "Damn, am I gay!"

_____________________

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mood du jour


Irritable. Very.
__________

Friday, April 09, 2010

Free at last

I was very involved in the church for much of my life. At a certain point of crisis, I realized that we were not compatible, so I did the gentlemanly thing and departed. It was not easy...some would say that I have never really cut the cord...but it had two beneficial and liberating effects, both of which I am grateful for to this day. First, of course, my emotional and sexual life were simplified. No escape from the complexities of human love and eros, but at least I did not have to hide or make believe anymore. That was a great relief. The second one was that I no longer had to make believe that I was nice. People could not say to me that my opinion on this or that was "un-Christian."

For too many folks, "Christian" has come to mean little more than "inoffensively nice." Not true, but a very common attitude. Since I left my ancestral religious home, no one holds me to that stupid and infuriating standard any more. The world is full of morons, horses' asses, etc. I have been free to say so and have liked that.

My political liberalism, however, proved to be as much of an incentive to lie as my ecclesiastical affiliation had been. More, actually. Here I was prohibited from noticing many many obvious truths because they were offensive to the ego of certain sanctified groups*. "Racist", "sexist", etc.

As an evil conservative, I now get to tell the truth as I see it and no one is surprised by my coldheartedness. And one of the truths of life is that there are losers. Some lose from bad luck or circumstance. Many...many...lose because they are stupid and/or immoral. I worked in a city clinic a few years back and came face to face with lots of folks who were recipients of the public benefice as well as the interest of the courts and police. And some of them...I am thinking of one woman in particular...were both stupid and immoral. Her life was a mess and her selfish and dumb decisions only created more pain for other people, especially the two charming and likely doomed little boys she'd had by two different men...and the third one on the way by yet another. Because she was black and female, I was not supposed to notice that. But it was as plain as day. I noticed.

Heather MacDonald relates the latest set of expensive self-soothing lies our liberal betters have unleashed, and Shrinkwrapped attests to what I also discovered: "the problems of the multigenerational poor in America stem not from their lack of opportunity, as in the Third World, but from their inability to seize it."

*There are certain unsanctified groups, however, who may be insulted with impunity and who are in fact considered just made for that. For example, white Southern Christians, male and female both. But they are probably racists and sexists, so it's ok.

____________________

Tantalized


Tantalus, wishing he had it as easy as Prometheus.
________________

Curing homos by statute

Someone has apparently discovered a 60 year old section of a California law directing doctors to seek a cure for homosexuality. Its repeal is being debated in the State Assembly.

It is not the State's friggin business to tell doctors to seek cures for homosexuality...or homophobia, for that matter.

Did I remember correctly the brilliantly economical legal system in one of the states in Gulliver's Travels? They could have no more laws than the number of letters in their alphabet and each law could have no more words than that, either. Once the number of laws was completed, if they wanted to enact a new one, they had to get rid of an old one.

Politicians are a plague.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I know this



And this, too...



A very blunt woman on a righty political website held forth about how defective gay sex is because you can't make babies from it. I wrote her back that, as a reproductive strategy it is certainly pointless, but as sex, there ain't nothin' defective about it!

The second video, btw, is from Ciao, a movie about two men who meet in the wake of another man's death, one his best friend, the other a prospective lover. That pleasant rarity in a gay movie, two characters you actually like.

A not so thin green line

Powerline disagrees with Sarkozy's ban on the full Muslim veil in France. On good American grounds about religious freedom. Sarkozy's justification has to do with the dignity of women and Powerline says it is not the state's business to impose a particular ideology.

I don't know if Sarkozy believes his justification, or if he is using it as a cover, as it were, for the real issue: the expansion of Islamic power in French society.

The trouble is that Islam is not like Buddhism or Presbyterianism. It is an expansionist territorial theocracy. The full veil is part of conquering turf for the Prophet.

The trouble is that once you have a significant Muslim presence in a Western country, you cannot have freedom of religion any longer. The terms are obsolete. Either they dominate or they are contained.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

An admission


I like Ricky Martin.
I don't usually go for men who are perfect.
Even at his age, he is like the incarnation of the eromenos.
Unearthly handsome. Unbelievable.
And the boy can move.


So there. He just came out.
So now have I.
__________________

Unseasonable thoughts


Racial and ethnic groups all over the world have far more predictable patterns of behavior, and consequently predictable outcomes, than polite liberal society would allow us to contemplate. And in fact expects us to lie about all the time. Except when they call it "culture" and drool about it.

Genocide is as human as apple pie.

The genius of the Founders was to make a government for men as they are. They created the antagonistic separation of powers in reliance on the greed and vanity of men. Leftists of all stripes before and since have wanted to make government for men as they think they ought to be. Which always leads to disaster: tyranny and failure. We have a disaster sitting in the White House now. To paraphrase his irritating and spoiled wife, his election made me really ashamed of my country for the first time in my life.

When people go on about the depravity of the human race...no argument here, really...what they usually forget is that our species is the way it is also because of the place where it has lived: planet Earth. Our kind did not come to be on a tabula rasa level playing field. (Nothing of the sort has ever existed.) The beloved "environment", now seen as Our Lady of the Sorrowful Gaia, is also a system which forces any creature wanting to survive to compete and struggle, with not a lot of room for choice. Nice humans would never have lasted and still do not (See item 2, above). So if you want to trash humanity, be my guest, but make sure you include Mother Nature.

Shrinkwrapped has made the case for nationalized health care pretty clear. Please give me an example, he says, of a system where you have 1. universal access 2. good quality and 3. affordability. There ain't none. You can have 2 out of 3, but never all three. We are about to find out...again. If we have health care for all, it will not be good care and it will bankrupt us. My prediction. (Who will go into medicine if it's a government job?)

Is it an accident that the places in the world which combine both the greatest amount of social and legal freedom and the greatest security and prosperity are the places created by white Christian men? And is it not odd that the places Third World peoples want to go and live in --America, Australia, Canada--are the very places created by those paragons of racism, white Christian and English-speaking men?

And since I am being unseasonable, I wonder if there are or were any societies where there was a difference in skin color and darker color did not correlate with lower social status? (This is a real question; I don't know the answer.)

Much of the world is savage and/or barbarian Other and we would do well to recognize it and act accordingly. Makes no difference if they use cell phones or not. If you want evidence that use of technology has no bearing on human value, just read the comments sections of, say, a controversial YouTube video. It's all there. The global "we" is thin as a micron. All men may be created equal, but that equality lasts about ten seconds til they start to cry and are handed over to their mothers.

There can be a huge difference between what is merely true and what is both true and significant.

If group A has an average IQ that surpasses group B by several points or more, then if group B is gonna do more than just hang on, it had better have some serious cultural resources that can balance up its intellectual inferiority.

I am speaking, of course, of Asians (A) and Whites (B).

When Wyoming passed the non-binding Code of the Cowboy, some effete pussy on the local paper complained that it was an "ethnocentric ethic" which would not appeal to our multicultural society. Does he not know, this post-Enlightenment waste of breath, that the only codes of ethics that have any claim on a man are ethnocentric? Include his own Kantian BS, which every other group in the world recognizes as useless except for monks and showoffs who never have to face anything like a real moral demand.

Islam is a religion for men. There is no god but Allah, a single and very male God. Muhammad --a ruler, a soldier, a lawmaker-- is his prophet. Submit and obey. End of story. It is utterly patriarchal in its values and structures, absolute monotheism being the primary drive and submission to absolute divine authority the primary structure. The mosque is for men. Men worship together, the women segregated and secondary. Men love this: affiliation created by hierarchy and rank.

Christianity represents a significant feminization of Judaism. Men have had to struggle with it to create versions of it that they could tolerate and thrive in. These versions must always be only partly Christian. Unadulterated Christianity requires either monastic withdrawal or unconnected mendicancy. Not really a religion for this world, without significant admixtures.

______________________

Dreamland

I guess the world of politics in my country is getting into my subconscious. Last night I dreamt of being in a new country, a ReFounded America built out of the Northwest and parts of the upper West. It was a place, apparently, where you can tell offensive jokes without fear of being arrested, since one of the first acts of the government there was to repeal most laws passed since 1960. Grounds being First Amendmentish, "it's not our business to tell citizens how to talk."

I'll miss the weather in California.

______________________

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Shrouded in mystery

The History Channel just showed a 2 hour piece on the Shroud of Turin. Lots of scientific investigation, lots of negative findings (no pigment, etc) and speculation. Using the Shroud and computers, this is an image of the face of the 5'8"man depicted there.



_________________

Easter

Christ descending into the mouth of Hell with his Cross
to rescue Adam and Eve
and the just dead



(The Easter fire from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem:
actual religion, not "spirituality"!)



_____________

Saturday, April 03, 2010

New candidates


for the burlap bag. "Anti-racist" White people and their whiteness.
Dunk em. All of em.
_____________

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Friday called Good


The Dream of the Rood
The 700's in England

The Dreamer:
Listen! The choicest of visions I wish to tell,
which came as a dream in middle-night,
after voice-bearers lay at rest.
It seemed that I saw a most wondrous tree
born aloft, wound round by light,5
brightest of beams. All was that beacon
sprinkled with gold. Gems stood
fair at earth's corners; there likewise five
shone on the shoulder-span [ 1 ]. All there beheld the Angel of God [ 2 ],
fair through predestiny [ 3 ]. Indeed, that was no wicked one's gallows,10
but holy souls beheld it there,
men over earth, and all this great creation.
Wondrous that victory-beam--and I stained with sins,
with wounds of disgrace. I saw glory's tree
honored with trappings, shining with joys,15
decked with gold; gems had
wrapped that forest tree worthily round.
Yet through that gold I clearly perceived
old strife of wretches [ 4 ], when first it began
to bleed on its right side. With sorrows most troubled,20
I feared that fair sight. I saw that doom-beacon [ 5 ]
turn trappings and hews: sometimes with water wet,
drenched with blood's going; sometimes with jewels decked.
But lying there long while, I,
troubled, beheld the Healer's tree,25
until I heard its fair voice.
Then best wood spoke these words:

The Cross:

"It was long since--I yet remember it--
that I was hewn at holt's end,
moved from my stem. Strong fiends seized me there,30
worked me for spectacle; curs├Ęd ones lifted me [ 6 ].
On shoulders men bore me there, then fixed me on hill;
fiends enough fastened me. Then saw I mankind's Lord
come with great courage when he would mount on me.
Then dared I not against the Lord's word35
bend or break, when I saw earth's
fields shake. All fiends
I could have felled, but I stood fast.
The young hero stripped himself--he, God Almighty--
strong and stout-minded. He mounted high gallows,40
bold before many, when he would loose mankind.
I shook when that Man clasped me. I dared, still, not bow to earth,
fall to earth's fields, but had to stand fast.
Rood was I reared. I lifted a mighty King,
Lord of the heavens, dared not to bend.45
With dark nails they drove me through: on me those sores are seen,
open malice-wounds. I dared not scathe anyone.
They mocked us both, we two together [ 7 ]. All wet with blood I was,
poured out from that Man's side, after ghost he gave up.
Much have I born on that hill50
of fierce fate. I saw the God of hosts
harshly stretched out. Darknesses had
wound round with clouds the corpse of the Wielder,
bright radiance; a shadow went forth,
dark under heaven. All creation wept,55
King's fall lamented. Christ was on rood.
But there eager ones came from afar
to that noble one. I beheld all that.
Sore was I with sorrows distressed, yet I bent to men's hands,
with great zeal willing. They took there Almighty God,60
lifted him from that grim torment. Those warriors abandoned me
standing all blood-drenched, all wounded with arrows.
They laid there the limb-weary one, stood at his body's head;
beheld they there heaven's Lord, and he himself rested there,
worn from that great strife. Then they worked him an earth-house,65
men in the slayer's sight carved it from bright stone,
set in it the Wielder of Victories. Then they sang him a sorrow-song,
sad in the eventide, when they would go again
with grief from that great Lord. He rested there, with small company.
But we there lamenting a good while70
stood in our places after the warrior's cry
went up. Corpse grew cold,
fair life-dwelling. Then someone felled us
all to the earth. That was a dreadful fate!
Deep in a pit one delved us. Yet there Lord's thanes,75
friends, learned of me,. . . . . . . . . . .
adorned me with silver and gold.

Now you may know, loved man of mine,
what I, work of baleful ones, have endured
of sore sorrows. Now has the time come80
when they will honor me far and wide,
men over earth, and all this great creation,
will pray for themselves to this beacon. On me God's son
suffered awhile. Therefore I, glorious now,
rise under heaven, and I may heal85
any of those who will reverence me.
Once I became hardest of torments,
most loathly to men, before I for them,
voice-bearers, life's right way opened.
Indeed, Glory's Prince, Heaven's Protector,90
honored me, then, over holm-wood [ 8 ].
Thus he his mother, Mary herself,
Almighty God, for all men,
also has honored over all woman-kind.
Now I command you, loved man of mine,95
that you this seeing [ 9 ] tell unto men;
discover with words that it is glory's beam
which Almighty God suffered upon
for all mankind's manifold sins
and for the ancient ill-deeds of Adam.100
Death he tasted there, yet God rose again
by his great might, a help unto men.
He then rose to heaven. Again sets out hither
into this Middle-Earth, seeking mankind
on Doomsday, the Lord himself,105
Almighty God, and with him his angels,
when he will deem--he holds power of doom--
everyone here as he will have earned
for himself earlier in this brief life.
Nor may there be any unafraid110
for the words that the Wielder speaks.
He asks before multitudes where that one is
who for God's name would gladly taste
bitter death, as before he on beam did.
And they then are afraid, and few think115
what they can to Christ's question answer [ 10 ].
Nor need there then any be most afraid [ 11 ]
who ere in his breast bears finest of beacons;
but through that rood shall each soul
from the earth-way enter the kingdom,120
who with the Wielder thinks yet to dwell."

The Dreamer:
I prayed then to that beam with blithe mind,
great zeal, where I alone was
with small company [ 12 ]. My heart was
impelled on the forth-way, waited for in each125
longing-while. For me now life's hope:
that I may seek that victory-beam
alone more often than all men,
honor it well. My desire for that
is much in mind, and my hope of protection130
reverts to the rood. I have not now many
strong friends on this earth; they forth hence
have departed from world's joys, have sought themselves glory's King;
they live now in heaven with the High-Father,
dwell still in glory, and I for myself expect135
each of my days the time when the Lord's rood,
which I here on earth formerly saw,
from this loaned life will fetch me away
and bring me then where is much bliss,
joy in the heavens, where the Lord's folk140
is seated at feast, where is bliss everlasting;
and set me then where I after may
dwell in glory, well with those saints
delights to enjoy. May he be friend to me
who here on earth earlier died145
on that gallows-tree for mankind's sins.
He loosed us and life gave,
a heavenly home. Hope was renewed
with glory and gladness to those who there burning endured.
That Son was victory-fast [ 13 ] in that great venture,150
with might and good-speed [ 14 ], when he with many,
vast host of souls, came to God's kingdom,
One-Wielder Almighty: bliss to the angels
and all the saints--those who in heaven
dwelt long in glory--when their Wielder came,155
Almighty God, where his homeland was.


Jonathan A Glenn, Translator.
________________________

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I Corinthian 1.18



April 1st, the Feast of Fools.
I have already been fooled twice...that I know of.

The Orthodox even have a special category of saints, along with apostles, martyrs, virgins, etc:
Fools-for-Christ.


And Holy Thursday, first of the Threedays.

The Office of Tenebrae,
Shadows



The Mass of Chrism, blessing the sacred oils for baptism, sealing, ordination and death.



The Mass of the Lord's Supper

with the Footwashing, the Mandatum.*



The Altar of Repose


And the first day of the month of which TS Eliot wrote in his 1922 Wasteland:

“April is the cruelest month,

breeding lilacs out of the dead land,

mixing memory and desire,

stirring dull roots with spring rain.”


_________________

* When I have given thought to how two men might ritualize a bonding for life, it has seemed to me that washing each other's feet would be a right Christian symbol, and one that did not depend on the male-female marriage ceremony. I have taken part in this ritual on Holy Thursday many times, both as foot washer and as one of those being washed. It is very intimate and physical, quite moving. From what I know of married men and women, it strikes me that mutual footwashing would not be a bad sacramental sign for them, either.
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