Fairy tales and the preparation for sexual awakening

One more, and then I’ll put the “princess” theme to rest for a while.

Watching fairy tale movies with the little kids for whom they are made gets one thinking.  They deal extensively with things beyond the experience of children:  falling in love, battles to the death, marriage.  Since I’m on a Disney kick, think of that beautiful scene in Sleeping Beauty where Prince Philip meets Princess Aurora in a forest.  We know from experience what draws men and women together, and we can read that understanding into portrayals of love at first sight.  How does a child understand it?

Foolish thought!  The opposite would be closer to the truth, that the fairy tales of my childhood made it possible for me to one day understand sexual attraction.

Man never experiences even his own biological urges unmediated by understanding and imagination.  I cannot imagine what hunger would be like to one who doesn’t know about food.  Take the intentionality away, and all that would be left would be some inexplicable discomfort.  By the time I reached the age of sexual maturity, my mind–and, more importantly, my imagination–had been made ready for it.  I had just enough knowledge about marriage and babies, and I had an aesthetic intuition from all those images of how masculinity and femininity are drawn together.  So the sexual urge came to me not as some new meaningless physiological trigger, but already humanized and mythologized.  I knew it as the yearning for intimacy with a woman and experienced it as such.  Without this preparation, the sex urge might be experienced as just some strange new sort of itch, which we can all agree would be monstrous and degrading.  This is not to say that having a properly mythologized sex drive will keep one out of trouble–through my own grievous fault, mine led me into plenty of sin–but it is the start of a sensibility that can see the logic and beauty of chastity.

What must it be like for the coming generation, so many without both biological parents, growing up in a culture that has abolished the sexual archetypes and “heteronormativity” in the name of equality?

9 Responses

  1. […] more and MOAR princess stuff. From the […]

  2. The idea that strict censorship aids in a child’s development is ridiculous. More often than not the lack of exposure to and preparation for dealing with the real world actually hurts them.

    My personal story:

    When I was just a preteen, I discovered pornography by accidentally stumbling across it on the internet. I’d never even heard the word “pornography” before then, but still knew on an instinctual level that it was wrong. That wasn’t enough, however, and in a flurry of vincible ignorance I became addicted to it for over a year before I got caught. Even after I stopped, inchastity was – for years – the temptation I had to be most wary of; always guarding my thoughts for.

    Had I been taught about what pornography was, that it was evil, and how to avoid it before I encountered it on my own, it’s far likelier than not that I wouldn’t have had that struggle.

    It’s important to make sure your children are ready to face the world before they are called on to do so.

  3. JustSomeGuy, it’s not clear how strict censorship is at fault in your situation. If censorship were strictly enforced, how were you able to access the pornographic images? Would you have been aided better if your parents had purposely shared a pornography session with you with the intent to show you what exactly the thing is that is wrong?

  4. If censorship were strictly enforced, how were you able to access the pornographic images?

    That’s just the problem. Our culture is so immersed in this amoral muck that exposure is inevitable, even when censorship is strictly enforced. You have to take an active role in avoiding it in order to prevent exposure.

    Would you have been aided better if your parents had purposely shared a pornography session with you

    That’s not at all what I was suggesting. You don’t have to stab someone in the chest in order to teach them what murder is. Similarly, you don’t have to actually have any pornography inflicted on you in order to be taught about it.

  5. Our culture is so immersed in this amoral muck that exposure is inevitable, even when censorship is strictly enforced.

    Yes, but where is the censorship? Anyone can easily access almost any pornography he wishes or does not wish to access. There is no censorship whatsoever, let alone strict censorship.

  6. There is no censorship whatsoever, let alone strict censorship.

    Are you talking about censorship on a global scale or on a in-the-household scale?

    Pornography is everywhere. It’s true that there is no global scale censorship; but parents can’t do anything about that. The only thing they can only do anything about is what goes on in their own households. Refraining from teaching their children about how to deal with pornography in the name of in-the-household scale censorship will inevitably do harm to them. They have to prepare their children for the world as it is, not as they’d like it to be.

    If global scale censorship was a thing – which the internet has made impossible – it might be a different story.

  7. Refraining from teaching their children about how to deal with pornography in the name of in-the-household scale censorship will inevitably do harm to them.

    I think this clarifies it for me. It simply didn’t occur to me that treating the subject of pornography as a taboo is the same thing as censorship.

  8. […] I-Really-Didn’t-Give-This-The-Coverage-It-Deserved-Last-Week, this bit from Bonald on the role fairy tales play in sexual awakening was positively […]

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