Happy Heart Day!

February 14, 2010

So it has arrived, a cacophony of clinging glasses, sighs and the sound of unusually quickly drumming hearts. The one day of the year where an excess of chocolate, roses, and Champaign is more than an expression of love, it’s practically a ceremonial procedure.  Today is Valentine’s Day; the time of year for some to show their love through grand gestures and for others to reciprocate through swooning and fuzzy feelings.

 That being said there are those that at times can feel left out, after all Valentine’s Day has paraded itself as an exclusive lovers club, well at least that what it can feel like at times.  Besides the many single people that may feel excluded, there’s also those who oppose the holiday due to the exorbitant 14$ billion price tag attached to the holiday.  According to a survey conducted in January by the National Retail Federation and BIGResearch this year’s amount spent on Valentines day will be a 13.5% decrease from 2008’s V-day amount  of 17$ billion.

I remember in elementary school we would either make or buy a box of cards for all our classmates. Even though I was little, I recall the excitement as I and some of my other classmates had as we opened our V-day Animaniacs, Looney Toones or X-Men cards hoping to have a secret admirer.  At times there was that youthful eagerness to read into the meanings of a heart candy that said “I Love you” or “kiss me.”

In middle and high school, kiss-a-grams were the “it” thing. The day before V-Day one would buy a dollar kiss-a-gram only for it to be delivered by class picked Cupids sporting cherry lipstick.  My freshman and sophomore year I remember hoping   that I would get a kiss-a-gram.  Only the disappointment of not getting one was much more frustrating than in elementary, where there was practically no frustration at all due to my ability to move on, and continue day -dreaming about  whatever movie character crush I had at the time.

Although I am quite the romantic, love dark vanilla cream chocolate, and red heart stickers, I do think that Valentine’s Day    has become a consumer driven holiday.  Mind you there is nothing wrong with celebrating it, I just think we need to go back to a time where buying something was not the first means of expressing our love.  The most important things that cannot be bought or found in any store is romance, romance, and more romance. With the economy being what it is this is the best time for creative gestures of love. 

I don’t think singles need to feel excluded either.  Although it has been championed as a couple’s holiday, the underlining meaning to Valentine’s Day is Love.  That means whether you are single this year or not, you need not feel left out this holiday.  It’s just a day dedicated to love of any kind. The love you have for your mother, father, neighbor, best-friend, or even dog.  I realize there has not been a fun undertone created for any other love besides lovers, but thats for you to make. 

You don’t have to be a love sap to enjoy the lighthearted silliness of a day excusing the most wonderful at times ridiculous displays of love.  I don’t think the day calls for expensive bouquets of roses, pounds of chocolate or diamond necklaces; but maybe we should think back to the simplicity of spending time, of lasting kisses, or pontificating love letters.

Whether the day is celebrated or not perhaps the symbolism of the day could be seen as a reminder to us on how we should be every day with those we love. Maybe see it as the New Years of Love, giving people second chances, new beginnings to how they want to go about love in their relationships with family, friends, strangers or lovers.

Sometimes the best way to say I love you is as simple as a gaze, hold and a kiss. 

If nothing else let the day remind you that a life without love of any kind, well, is not much of a life at all.

To all of you coupled, and singled out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! 😉

LIKE A VIRGIN

November 8, 2009

“My first time, hard to explain, Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain On a cloudy day, it’s more common than you think. He’s my first mistake.”

A poetic description of a first time, two lines in Vanessa Carlton’s song ‘White Houses,’ tells the story of a girl who loses her virginity during a summer of love . For those that have done the deed, the first time is always remembered, no matter how good or bad it was. And for those that have not, the idea of their first time hangs inside their mind, colored with excitement, fear and the hope of mindful discovery.

But what does it mean to be a Virgin? Our society has a way of scrambling and re-defining words based upon the current trends of morality. I.e., if we are not kind then we alter the meaning of the word kind in order to sustain sanity, deflect our true reflection and ignore our flaws. We subtract, add, divide and multiply a word until it resembles something we can swallow, something that makes us feel comfortable in the unflattering parts of ourselves, something that allows us to be functionally dysfunctional.

These thoughts were provoked after I read an article on Wired.com called, “Artificial Virginity Hymen. Yes, It Exists.”   The article spoke of a vaginal gadget from Japan sold by Gigimo, a Chinese Sex Toy company. The $30 product consists of an artificial hymen that allows women to fake their virginity it reads;

“No more worry about losing your virginity. With this product, you can have your first night back anytime. Insert this artificial hymen into your vagina carefully. It will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrates, it will ooze out a liquid that look like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans, you will pass through undetectable. It’s easy to use, clinically proven non-toxic to human and has no side effects, no pain to use and no allergic reaction.”

VIRGIN RESTORATION, FOR SOME, A CULTURAL NECESSITY

Although it is a nice thought to believe that the main purpose of developing an artificial hymen product was solely to protect women in countries where losing their virginity could in fact result in the loss of their life, unfortunately it seems more geared towards carnal reasons.

In cases where a woman is violated or is not born with one, hymen restoration is an understandable solution. In the Egyptian Islamic culture premarital sex is forbidden and can lead towards “honor” killings or violent punishments. In some conservative Muslim customs, violence or ostracism is a risk. In countries where virginity is held as a prized possession over a life, this product seems to be a necessary solution to a cultural rule of propriety that is only held over the heads of women and not men.

VIRGINITY, A BRIEF HISTORY

The origination of the word ‘Virgin’ comes from the Greek and Latin word maiden or “Virgo.” Virginity began as a term of power, often used in Greek mythology as a term of classification for Goddess such as Artemis and Hestia.  Hestia, whose name means “the essence,” is the goddess of Hearth and was notorious for her inner world focus rather than outer world focus.  Artemis, the Goddess of wilderness, wild animals, and fertility, is associated with chastity and as known as the protector of the venerable. These goddesses were immune to the temptations of Dionysus, the God of wine and seduction. In Greek mythology, Dionysus invented the process of growing grapes and creating wine. Woman and men worshiped him, dancing and drinking. The word “orgy” comes from these wild celebratory gatherings.

Virginity has played a pivotal role in history with the unbroken hymen being used as symbolism of purity. There is the case of Elizabeth Bathory a.k.a “Blood Countess,” a 16th Century Hungarian Countess who insanely bathed and supposedly drank the blood of over 600 virgins in order to preserve her beauty.

Virginity played a major role in one of the most famous reigns of all time, that of Queen Elizabeth the I; also referred to as the Virgin Queen, the Good Queen Bess, the Faerie Queen, Virgin Goddess and Gloria. Queen Elizabeth was the 5th and the last ruler belonging to the Tudor dynasty from November 17, 1558 until her death in 1603. It was her virginity that exalted her to a 45-year reign embroidered with mystery, power and tales of parallel allusion to the chaste moon-goddess Diana.

LIKE A VIRGIN II

November 7, 2009

THE VIRGIN or SOMETHING LIKE THAT

 The question is this, what does it mean to be a virgin? It cannot solely be based upon whether a hymen is intact because there are ways outside of sex that it can be broken, i.e. strenuous sports exercise, wearing a tampon, and childhood accidents (monkey bars). The hymen does not determine a virgin rather what determines a virgin on a physical level is someone who has not been involved in sexual intercourse. Being a virgin is not just a state of physicality, it is also a way of thinking and being. I’ve met “virgins” who did everything but sexual intercourse, i.e oral sex, anal sex and/ or kissing/make-out fiends.  Not giving into extreme carnal sexual situations or pleasures, whether it is short or long-term is part of the code of a virgin.

The virgin archetypes originated from Goddesses that were not asexual but from goddesses who expressed their sexuality with control, openness, confidence and shamelessness. They were not slaves to their sexuality or partners and did not find their power in bartering or giving their sexuality away but in keeping it. The virgin, whether man or woman, is one who understand the power of sex and exercises patience, intelligence and faith when going about their relationships and sexual decisions.

THE VERDICT

 With the exception of using the Artificial Virgin Hymen for life saving purposes, it seems wrong if a woman is using it to trick, deceive or manipulate the truth. The problem is that virginity should not be looked upon as something that can be re-done, as once lost it cannot be restored. That being said, not being a virgin does not mean one cannot be or become virtuous in their ways of sex and relationship dealings. I have friends who have had sex but work towards being more virtuous in their decision making process. When it comes to finding “the one” or maximizing on happiness, even if one has had sex it’s always wise to understand the psychological and emotional affects of promiscuity.  Although the past and some cultures have had and have some extreme and wrong views on virginity, it does not mean that going in the opposite direction is the answer. Happiness and fulfillment generally seem to be attained when things are in balance.

We seem to be living in a time that exists in a state of extreme desensitization and consists of overly exposed sexual images on teenage shows, girls and women who flash their privates at a shot of fame or just to be shallowly admired.  It seems that things happen in reverse nowadays; people have sex then truly meet.  In my eyes, an odd trend and idea that has been spreading to the youth creating baseless relationships upon which   promiscuity is accepted and exalted and virtuousness trivialized.

Take for example this past Halloween my friend and I went to the West Hollywood parade, it was my first time, and although quite enjoyable almost every girl in sight was stripped down in what looked like lingerie parading as costumes. It was sensory overload.  There is nothing wrong with showing your best assets because it makes you feel good, but when you become a walking advertisement, you should not be shocked by what you attract.    Their intent might have been to exude sensuality or sexiness, but  it appeared as a desperate plea for attention, a subconscious void filling ploy to validate their worth by men. I noticed the same with some of the men that night, but it was more present with the women’s costumes. In most of the research I conducted, I found no accounts of the importance of men and virginity or virtuousness in history or in present time. I do think it is unfair that the world has put pressure and an expectation for women to be virginal or virtuous and permit men to not work towards the same ideals. Women just as men deserve to be with a man of great virtue.  When it comes to being sexy, exuding sensuality and sexual courtship, whether you are a man or a woman,more often then none,  more is less and slow but steady will always win the race.