blog traffic analysis
This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %DIFFERENT EXPRESS AFFECTION BOND SEX POWER LOVE 910318 In healthy human relationships there are appropriate expressions of affection, and there is the recognition of the differences between the variety of kinds and levels of expression of affection. The boundaries between different kinds of expression of affection are often not sharp, yet it may be clear that the boundary between one kind of affection and another kind of affection has been crossed. Some expressions of affection are spontaneous, not according to formulas, ritual, expectations, traditions or prescriptions; and are highly valued. Some expressions of affection are according to some formulas, rituals, expectations, traditions and/or prescriptions; and are accepted as such within the fabric of communal activity with integrity. Some expressions of affection are coercive, part of a manipulative endeavor; and are resented as a violation of personal integrity. The more powerful people may impose their affection upon the less powerful people. Some expressions of affection contain within them the implicit possibility of sexuality without the expectation, anticipation or intention that the relationship will become explicitly sexual in nature; but the possibility is not dishonestly denied, and there is no fear of that possibility. There is no preoccupation with the possibility of sexuality, either in fear or anticipation. Some expressions of affection contain the implicit possibility of sexuality with clear signals that the possibility would be welcomed and is courted with expectation, anticipation and/or intention. If such expressions are responded to in like kind, the boundary between two kinds of affection is likely to be crossed with mutual assent. It is risky for people with significantly unequal levels o power, responsibility, authority and/or influence to cross into expressions of affection which are clearly sexual in nature, for there is likely to occur some abuse of the vulnerability which is central to sexual relationships. It is difficult to avoid such abuse for it is very likely to occur if the more powerful participant takes on responsibility for taking care of the one with less power; just as it is likely to occur if considerations are lacking in responsibility. How is the weak and relatively less powerful person to be protected from the strong and relatively more powerful person who might involve the weak one in an inappropriate sexual relationship? Is another more powerful person, or are more powerful persons, to control the relationship between the weak and the powerful: (a) in ignorance of the nature of the relationships by being objective and outside it? (b) by intruding and becoming informed about the nature of the relationship through the exercise of greater power? Would either approach be an improvement over the absence of the exercise of great external power? Some alternative to these two must be better than either! The weak person may be informed of the nature of intimacy, affection and sexuality; and be given the tools to take care of themselves in the face of the risk of abuse in relationships which are affectionate, intimate and involve the possibility of becoming sexual. Each person must ultimately learn how to take care of themselves. No person can with power and integrity have full responsibility for taking care of another person. To the extent that one person assumes (or is given) the long-term responsibility for taking care of another; to that extent there is a risk of the development of an unhealthy relationship and abuse. Children need to be taught how to recognize potentially abusive situations, and how to respond in them with personal integrity. Abusive sexual relationships entail the abuse of some form of power: physical strength, psychological strength, economic superiority, political power, parental authority, supervisory authority, social status, chronological age, etc. Abuse may be intentional or un- intentional; active or passive; public or private; with or without consent. Sexual relationships entail vulnerability; abusive sexual relationships entail taking advantage of the vulnerability associated with being sexual, violating a person and their trust---and through violence generating alienation which is contrary to love. Attempts to control abusive sexual relationships through the abuse of power lead to further abusive sexual relationships. The imposition of judgmental rules, regulations, taboos and the like, leads to alienation which is contrary to love. True love does not try to control. Attempts to be in control often involve dishonesty about what can be achieved through control. True love seeks to inform and expand alternatives and opportunities, not to limit or restrict them. True love is open and honest about alternatives and their likely consequences, not secretive or deceptive about them. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================