• Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    Now that we have e gotten sex out of the way, we can talk about masturbation.
  • Education and psychology
    Not all has been lost. There have been a few public educators that recognized the problems presented in this thread, such as John Dewey, that education needs to be an active and fun endeavor. Unfortunately, people have settled for the easier option in my opinion.
  • Education and psychology
    You could really distil the sentiment of this post with the simple truism that there can be no object without a subject.

    The study of the relations between the subject and object has been neglected greatly by public educators for the simple reason that public education treats every subject as an object, of which, knowledge must be poured into, which is rather stupefying and regretable.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Do you mean the use of sex to advertise other products? Or are you talking specifically about the sex industry?Baden

    I guess you can say both. Either way, there's exploitation of people going on in both cases.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    I'd be interested how one ought to solve this situation?

    Is it because of the erosion of a strong public ethos? Is it the sense of 'individualism' instilled on American's? Maybe people have become egocentric to a large degree... due to, what? Is it rampant consumerism?

    Any hypothesis on the topic would be appreciated.

    Not everyone can become a Cynic or move to India, close to the Dalai Lama.
  • What is self-esteem?
    In reality it is affected by the persons desire and ego, and a persons inability to accept.eb0t

    An important fact about self-esteem is that it has become synonymous with the possession of material goods and status (again material goods, like a home, a nice car, and a high paying job). Thus, a person who can reject the desire for pumping up one's self-esteem with material possession and good, is in actuality the person with the highest self-esteem (think Stoics or Buddhists).
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    I would like to point out that advertisements are insidious. Meaning, they prey on our sense of self-esteem and ego in telling us that you should not deny yourself pleasure. And that sort of closes the loop, one can not dissociate from the source of discontent due to chasing after pleasure, and if someone were to convince someone that all this talk about what is good, beneficial, fun, and that you deserve it because we associate the commercials with our own selves, then they will be ostracised or despised for pointing out the truth.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    I can't improve on anything MU has said, but just to emphasize that there's no escaping the basic formula: Modern forms of entertainment result in the emotional equivalent of a sugar high and they are no more necessary for us psychologically than sugar is physiologically.Baden
    Hence, my sentiment towards the advertisement of sex. Food porn being another example.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    It's extraordinary, really. Look at the depth of concern expressed in most of the responses on this thread about trivial bodily matters by supposedly sane and intelligent people.unenlightened

    Yes; but, they're still human.
  • Psychology, advertising and propaganda
    Someone mentioned a video called, The Century of the Self.

    It's 3 hours long; but, can be split up in 3 parts for watching. Never felt so enlightened watching something about the evolution of the American psyche.

    Here it is in case one is lazy (as I am):

  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    Everyone finds them annoying; they are designed to upset. This is the whole foundation of consumer society. We at UNcorp set out to upset you, annoy you, make you anxious and fearful.unenlightened

    Then why do people still put up with this collective neurosis? Can anything be done about this predicament? Excuse me, I need to take my happy pills now.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    Researchers at UNcorp have devised the first and only protective head gear for you and your loved ones that will kill 99% (recognise that figure?) of all intrusive thoughts.unenlightened
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    The media manufacture want. Typically, they do so by creating insecurities. They have to make people uncomfortable in some way and that creates the desire for easement that is then used to sell something.unenlightened

    Some will say that this constant feeling of lacking something or feeling insecure will lead to alienation from the wants of society dictated by the aliens at the top. Personally, I feel like everyone subject to the will and demand of society feel incredibly neurotic.

    What's your opinion on this exploitation of basic human instincts? Do you think it's something particular to capitalism or not?
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    First - why does it have such an effect upon people? Where does its sting come from? Let's think about both the celibate here and the indulgent - taking the two extreme cases. Why do both of them suffer?Agustino

    I think they suffer due to the fact that as humans we tend towards the mean. Only unique individuals with extraordinary spiritual and intellectual strength can deviate from the norm and not have remorse over separating from the herd or feel depressed about not keeping up with the race to the top of the mountain.

    Since the psyche of mankind is open before us, presumably we can take steps to alter it.Agustino

    Yes, this has been attempted in the past as seen by social planners and regimes characterized by oppression and brute force and uniformity. Have those social experiments worked? Not in my humble opinion.

    Third - how is one to live in a sexually obsessed society without being themselves sexually obsessed?Agustino

    I think, strength, courage, and zeal are important factors here in establishing a healthy and independant psyche. Not everyone has the willpower to actually alter their behavior and disregard the collective hive mind.

    It seems that we are sort of cursed precisely because we - unlike animals - can form fantasies, and so we must learn how to relate with them, without crushing the boundary that always necessarily exists between fantasy and reality.Agustino

    Yes, it's a rather sad fact that people resort to trivial distractions and such fantacies to defend an overinflated ego or overactive libido, while those at the top are quite satisfied with their sense of status and seek every opportunity to confirm it relative to others. Speaking of which, I never understood the biological need to be competative against your own kin. Was there some evolutionary advantage to this behavior?

    But in the past, they never acted on it - they never confused fantasy with reality.Agustino

    I would disagree here. I hold the notion that we are born all equal with respect to each other; but, then through the need to individualize and form an identity, we differentiated some of our characteristics to stand out from the rest of the crowd. I mean, England might be a good example of an outdated political system, that people cling on-to out of sympathy with the past. The advent of the EU and supranational powers and interests seems to unite and enjoy the benefits of cooperation instead of brute competition. Many people still think the EU is a pipe dream, in my view it's one of the more astonishing feats of human achievement in recent history. It would be sad to see it go away.

    I think this collapsing of the boundary between fantasy and reality is one of the biggest problems of modern society. People are no longer able to enjoy their fantasises without seeking to bring them into reality, and out of the realm of phantasma. In fact, they confuse reality with fantasy, and this confusion underlies all of the problem.Agustino

    Ahh, but to live in a fantasy indicates that you know what your fantacisizing about. I do agree however, that it's a hard task to know that you are dreaming, when you are dreaming.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    I think that, to be honest, the media actually are in some way the psyche. They are a representation of the psyche of most people - of their hidden wants and desires.Agustino

    Not entirely. Why would people settle for bread and circuses only? I mean, after all, one does get quite bored with bread after a while. I see the media as tapping into the rather primitive aspect of human nature...

    However, things were not always like this. There was a time when facts mattered and truth was sought after. An understanding was important before committing to a position. Am I romanticizing the past? Perhaps, but I never really liked the invisible hand directing my behavior.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    Now, the media are not the psyche.unenlightened

    Such blasphemy! How can you NOT watch your favorite puppet regurgitate some narrative that was passed down to him from the 'aliens' at the very top?

    Suffice to say that science deals in objectivity, and when you study people as objects you learn only how to manipulate them.unenlightened

    Ahh, a Marxist interpretation of capitalism bellows the mob! The free markets know what is best for you!

    It is not true and you are being manipulated. Resist!unenlightened

    Shouts the crazy at Hyde Park. Resistance is futile! Consume, procreate, spend.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    People are terribly conformist, and the media work hard to convince us that we should be wanting grab women's pussies if we are real men. But actually, few of us do. Politics, sport, work, money holidays, food, even children and pets dominate my interactions with folks both face to face and on the net; sex is hardly mentioned, for all its pervasive presence in the papers and television and film. But your friends seem to be different. Perhaps I live in a little island of rectitude, but I have been propositioned once by a woman of the streets and that aside, I cannot remember having talked about sex with anyone but Mrs un to any significant degree in twenty years, excluding the odd philosophical comment or joke that is hardly obsessive. So I speak as I find, that the folks I come across are by no means obsessed with sex, but have much more interesting things to obsess about, much to the chagrin of the media, no doubt.unenlightened

    One can make the case that sex is idolized and hence many people are not "living up to" their expectations about sex. Ever notice the Viagra commercials? Why are so many couples basing their marriage on the sexual performance of their respective partner, as absurd as that sounds!

    For example, why is pornography so littered over the internet? Seemingly because people can't satisfy their own wants for their perfect version of sex and start searching/fantasizing for their favorite videos online, rather hopelessly.

    I find it somewhat paradoxical that I (as a not trained psychotherapist) would have to make the case to a trained psychotherapist that sex makes the world go round. Perhaps, you have concluded through the many years of experience with people, that they don't really care about 'sex' as it is hyped up to be? Then next logical question, is then, what the hell is wrong with society if there is a disconnect between the individual and social 'operant' behavior?
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    It is not for me to tell you whether you are miserable or not, or obsessed or not, or indulging in a sense of superiority or not. Or even being ruled by a fear of relationship - that is a possibility too. But comments elsewhere eventually drew me to read this thread, which I found rather sad and unenlightening, so I thought to make some contribution to the rather overheated conversation. Good luck to you in your abstinence, and there's no need to justify it to me or anyone here.unenlightened

    Maybe I need to feel special? Maybe I want to be closer to God? It might be that I want to be an angel when I die... Who knows these things? Rarely reason precedes emotions, which is not to say that reason can't steer emotions or limit their scope. Forgive me, I have a fetish with reason over emotions. Perhaps I'm a German at heart?

    I try and be a philosopher as I am one at heart. My love for knowledge overrides my desire for sex. Something tells me it's overrated, senseless, trivial, and a waste of time. I have not only done this to 'sex'; but, also to my social life, and other areas of my being. There is nothing more enjoyable, for me, to do on a Friday night than to read some philosophy or think about what Wittgenstein would have said something so fascinating.

    Or even being ruled by a fear of relationship - that is a possibility too.unenlightened

    Now, that is an interesting hypothesis. I suppose it can be true to some degree. Doesn't bother me though. Strange, eh?

    But comments elsewhere eventually drew me to read this thread, which I found rather sad and unenlightening, so I thought to make some contribution to the rather overheated conversation.unenlightened

    It may be sad; but, it is true. And that it is true is an affirmation of my petty and rather uninteresting life, which is fine by me.
  • Is sex as idolized elsewhere as in the West?
    Let me put it very simply; if one sees clearly that sex is not necessary to one's life, then there is no difficulty. I am like this with cars. I know most people around me have a car, and I see the use, but also the problems, and it is no effort for me to decide to avoid having one. Sometimes I have difficulties because I don't have one, but those difficulties are small compared to the trouble and expense of owning one. If sex is like that, then there is no problem leaving it behind. But If I found that I was constantly thinking about having a car, and disparaging those that have them, and lauding myself for doing without, then the truth would be that I was more obsessed with cars than those that had them. And that would be silly.

    So to be free from the obsession with sex that some people (but probably fewer than appears) have is certainly to be looked for. But celibacy maintained through gritted teeth, as it were, is not any kind of freedom, and maintains the obsession far more strongly than having a sexual relationship.

    Yes; but, don't you feel joy from not having a car and smile to yourself at times when you see that someone gets a ticket or is stopped so the Bobby can reach his quota?

    I feel different. Different in a good way. I feel happy that I am not like the rest of people, whom I find more strange than relatable. Maybe it's my genetics or maybe it's my psychology, maybe it's me just being me? I find it funny that people tell me that I will be unhappy or miserable or not fulfilling a bodily need. It's really hilarious the belief people have about sex, and mind you I keep a mental record of how often I think about it, and it ain't that much (hopefully less and less as the years go by)!