Wednesday, April 16, 2014
This is extracts from an article that appeared recently in “The Economist”, from their correspondent in Biskek. (April 5-11, 2014)
CENTRAL ASIA's republics are no bastions of tolerance. But now even the most liberal of the region's countries is moving to restrict gay life. Rulers in these ex-Soviet states seem to be inspired by Russia's growing anti-Westernism. Kyrgyzstan is considered the region's most open and democratic country, despite grinding poverty and recent experience of revolutions and pogroms. Yet a bill introduced into the legislature in March proposes jailing anyone who spreads information about gay rights. The bill is a stricter version of Russia's recent ban on gay "propaganda". It must now pass several readings before going to the pro-Russian president. There have been calls for similar legislation in next-door Kazakhstan, where a deputy from the ruling Nur Otan party said last year that gays should be considered "criminals against humanity". Civil-society activists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital, fear that Russia, still the dominant economic force in the region, is pushing an anti-liberal ideology on its neighbours. But Russia may have simply provided a legislative model to reinforce existing conservative attitudes.
Either way, with Russian media dominating Central Asians' television screens, gay, bisexual and transgender rights have become synonymous with a degenerate West. …Homophobia runs deep across Muslim Central Asia. In Turkmenistan gay sex earns up to five years in a labour camp (going up to 20 years for repeat offenders). In Uzbekistan the sentence is three years in jails rife with tuberculosis. In all five Central Asian republics, anti-gay attacks go unpunished. Challenges to homophobia are seen as Western meddling.
In January Human Rights Watch, an NGO, detailed how Kyrgyzstani police use violence and blackmail to extort money from gay men. In response, the country's chief Muslim cleric issued a fatwa condemning same-sex relations as well as groups, such as NGOS, that "disseminate social discord".
Monday, April 14, 2014
I bring forward Sebastianus’ comment on my post on the Orthodox Calendar, because he himself is a priest, who I thought was Orthodox but, by going to his blog I discovered that he is a fellow Catholic priest. His blog has been on my list for some months, but I must confess to having forgotten all about it. It is on my list of “Interesting Sites” at the bottom of the column on the right. It is a beautiful blog of erotic photographs and a real celebration of enhanced masculinity in pictures. His comment on my post on the Orthodox Calendar went like this:
“This is very interesting. I have extensive experience with the Eastern Churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, and I can attest to the fact that there are very gay-friendly pockets of the Orthodox Church, particularly the Church of Finland (an autonomous church under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople). I have known Orthodox clergy and seminarians who are extremely open to a pro-gay point of view. Much of this may have to do with the state of Orthodox moral theology, which, in reaction to the very strict and rationalistic approach of the Christian West, would seem to be far more supple and person-oriented (witness the very old Orthodox pastoral approach to second and third remarriages).”
In some ways I think the pastoral approach of Pope Francis builds on the Orthodox position. People, penitents, should be accompanied from where they are at in their growth process and not condemned as wrong or sinners.
Sebastianus also had an earlier comment that expressed so well the values that we are both trying to put across. That time, on my post “ Fulfilling our Destiny ” he wrote:
“I think that casual sex can be empty and even nihilistic, and it often is ... but it need not be. If it is these things, it's because our culture is deeply nihilistic and at the same time haunted by the old Christian (mis)conceptions about sexual pleasure and homosexuality. I think the concept of enhanced masculinity which you've been developing here shows a radically different way, at least for Christians: a way to deep meaning and joy, because it places sexual play between men in the context of vocation: being who God created us to be ... which brings me back to that wonderful quote from St Irenaeus of Lyon: "The glory of God is a human being fully alive!" "Being fully alive" for the gay man means, among other things, free sexual play with other men (without, of course, losing sight of the Lord's supreme commandment of charity towards our neighbour).”
Sebastianus also had another dynamic comment, on “Dono di Dio” part 5, he wrote:
“"We are now exploring sexuality as a value in itself and its expression in just plain sex as a separate activity from procreation." Yes indeed. Western society is now undergoing a kind of "Copernican revolution" with regard to sexuality. It's a terrible, terrible shame that the institutional Church has not learned to read the signs of the times.” In his self-presentation on his blog Sebastianus says this: “I’m a 33 year old single, white, gay man and Catholic priest by profession. I’m proud of who I am, and fuck all the bigotry and hatred that claims the name “Christian” but has nothing to do with the Man himself. After years of denial and self-repression, I am in the process of becoming more comfortable in my gay skin. I love porn and camming. I’m a bottom, and I have something of a penchant for body hair and piss. … A little note on my Tumblr address, “yaysodomy”. ”Sodomy” as non-vaginal sex is a non-biblical concept dreamed up in the Middle Ages. Real “sodomy” in the Bible is hatred of one’s neighbour. Nevertheless, to those who ignorantly and hatefully misuse this term, I can only say I am a proud wearer of the “sodomite” badge and can only say “Hooray for sodomy! Bring on the men!”
Sebastianus’ blog link: http://yaysodomy.tumblr.com/
Sebastianus actually wrote to me: “joy is seeing the beauty of men, alone or together fucking and sucking, and communing with my own masculinity through jacking. I hesitate somewhat to say it, but when I behold a particularly gorgeous naked man, or a couple in the throes of hot passion, I have an almost "eucharistic" experience: I thank God for making the male body so beautiful, and for making men fit together so well, and I thank him for making me gay! Pornography and jacking off, far from being the nasty dirty little habit some want us to think, is a genuinely life-giving experience for me, especially as more and more I advance in shedding the years and years of neurotic guilt built into me by my upbringing and by the deep seated anti-gay and anti-sex attitudes in the Church.” Such thinking, to me, represents real theological progression.
Friday, April 11, 2014
This is a little bit along the lines of what Dave said in commenting on my post about Ecstasy versus Guilt. The question that pops in and out of my mind is why the erotic impulses were ever thought to be bad.
When you read or hear people advocating the traditional attitudes of abstinence and continence you can easily hear the language of fear, for a start. Is it simply that there is an instinctive fear of forces that are suspected to be powerful and that people do not want to let themselves be overcome by, lest they cannot control them?
The problem is that a lot of these people are basing their arguments on fear of things they have necessarily never experienced. Unless you cultivate erotic, orgasmic, ecstasy you do not know the good it does for the body, the psyche and the spirit.
Without experiencing it you cannot know how relaxing and re-invigorating, therapeutic and energy-stimulating is, for example, a dry orgasm. But the traditionalist will say, do not go near any of that.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Two comments on recent posts were pretty concordant.
They illustrate how what I term “enhanced masculinity” transcends the conventional categories of gay, bisexual, straight. Men are interested in men, to the point of being stimulated to play erotically with each other. This shared male dynamic has a totally different meaning and value than heterosexual impulses.
RockHard wrote that he would not mind having a jack off buddy, but “most hetero men believe that’s a gay thing. How wrong they are.” Russ’ recognition that men that have an interest in other men and having sex with other men has another dimension, implies something of the same thing.
Then he goes on to say that sexing is not the entire life of many enhanced males. I suppose that is the secret of getting your mansex integrated. If, for example, because of your formation you have been brought up to think that erotic attraction to another man is something you should never feel, then the man who discovers he has a built-in enhanced masculinity impulse is going to be pre-occupied and worried about it, until one day he accepts the goodness of the way he has been made and the rightness of his impulses and mansexing activities.
Probably Russ witnesses to a transitional and transient phase. We finally feel the freedom to have mansex as part of our life and it looms rather larger in our consciousness than it will later on when we have it properly stored as just a part of our life.