It occurred to me while reading about the “Competitive Advantage Paradigm” that much of what applies to business markets also applies to sexual markets. There’s a reason it’s called the sexual marketplace.
I may develop this idea further in the future, but here are my notes on the topic so far:
- A man’s fundamental sexual asset is his genes, or his “seed.”. A man may have some genetic advantages and some genetic disadvantages. If women are considered the “market” there are different segments of that market. Each market segment has different displays of good genes that they value and seek out (e.g. athletic ability, creativity, street smarts, mechanical ability, etc.). A man has an advantage in those few areas where he can find an intersection of a genetic advantage and a group of women that value a display of that advantage.
- There are two sources of sexual competitive advantage a man can secure – (1) lowering his standards and courting a woman who does not normally receive attention from men, or (2) giving such a superior display of good genes that he outshines all other men in that segment of the market.
- Both forms of competitive advantage depend on the woman perceiving that the man is the “best she can get.”
- A man’s sexual advantage is relative to his competition in a specific niche. To use an analogy, it’s better to be a fish twice as big as all the other fish in a small pond than to be a bigger fish competing with other big fish in a larger pond.
- The ideal positioning for a man is to be the obvious alpha male (relatively speaking) in a group where the gap between women and eligible men is rapidly increasing (i.e. many women to one man).
- A man should avoid seeking mates in any arena where he doesn’t have a clear competitive advantage.
- Being the alpha male of a group becomes a competitive advantage in itself due to social proof. If a competitor wishes to displace the alpha, he must be offer something significantly superior to the current alpha’s offering. Being marginally better is not enough.
- For every lower “point” a man is willing to accept in the beauty scale, he increases his options a hundredfold. For example, when a man decides he is willing to mate with women he judges to be “7”s instead of just “8”s or “9”s, he immediately has more options.
- Being the alpha male in your niche is the only secure long-term advantage.
- But no position is ever entirely secure. New leaders can replace old leaders.
- Being the only alpha in your niche has a “network effect”. If a man’s objective sexual marketplace value is twice as high as his closest competitor, he will be subjectively be perceived to be more than twice as attractive by the women of the group. This attraction of other women serves to elevate his perceived value, which in turn attracts even more women. He will be perceived as “the king” by all the women of the group. By contrast, if a man has a close competitor, both men will be assessed by more practical and “objective” standards.
- A man will do best if he only (visibly) operates in activities where he has a large competitive advantage. All other activities which do not align to a man’s signature strengths should be ignored, outsourced to other men, performed with humor, or performed away from the presence of women.
The advantage of such a paradigm is obvious to single men looking to secure a woman. But there is also an advantage to men in a monogamous marriage: her attraction to you is still based on feeling like she’s the “lucky one.” She needs to see that you are clearly the best man within a particular niche.
I’m going to try to introduce a new idea that depends on a complex argument. This is a dangerous thing to do on the Internet. Yet I keep hoping it will work.
Here it goes…
I’m sure you’re familiar with Leviticus 18. It’s that passage you kept returning to as a teenage boy when mom and dad weren’t looking. It’s the one with the miscellaneous laws about sex. Stuff so perverted that it didn’t even cross your mind until you read it in the Bible.
Most Christians read Leviticus 18 and they only see restrictions. But, because we live in such a sexually retarded age, I think we miss the point. We don’t stop to consider why God might command such things.
We know from Genesis, that God is not a scarcity-minded God. He creates in abundance and he wants us to eat in abundance. He only adds sensible boundaries to protect us from harm as we go about enjoying the good things he created.
In the beginning, only one commandment was required: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But this command assumed there would be an abundance of eating. So it was necessary to warn where the boundary was.
I believe this assumption, that God is graciously abundant and only gives sensible restrictions, is the key to understanding all of God’s commands. God is not giving these restrictions in Leviticus 18 because he wants to put a damper on sexual fun. He knows his children are sexual beings and He fully expects them to explore their sexual instincts.
But God also knows that, sooner or later, some dumbass is going to take a good instinct and do something depraved. Get enough dumb people doing dumb things and the whole culture goes into a downward spiral of one-upmanship depravity. This was the kind of culture Israel was going to be rubbing shoulders with. So God had to introduce some boundaries.
So I believe the proper frame for interpreting Leviticus 18 is not as a group of miscellaneous sexual restrictions. Rather, they should be seen as sensible boundaries to what are natural and (if I may dare say so) good sexual desires.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that most conservative Christians don’t have too much trouble avoiding bestiality and not sacrificing their children to Molech.
Christians today are far more likely to have problems with sexual suppression than with depraved heathen sexual expressions. But I think Leviticus 18 can be used to restore an understanding of healthy sexual instinct. Once you understand what the boundaries are, you can start filling in the picture.
So, enough yapping. Let’s get on to the good stuff…
Boundary Point #1: Incest (Lev 18:6-16)
The Desire: Women want to have sex with someone they are in a close familial relationship with, particularly with a male who protects and guides her. Robert Greene refers to this as “sexual regression” in The Art of Seduction. This is why terms like “daddy” and “princess” have strong erotic connotations to most women. It’s also why many men call their wife “babe.”
The Folly: This desire and erotic play is fine and dandy until some idiot decides it would be a good idea to knock up his grandaughter. Umm… no. That’s not good for the gene pool. Leave and cleave. Leave and cleave.
Boundary Point #2: Mother-Daughter / Sister “Threesomes” (Lev 18:17-18)
Hmm… not going to touch this one right now. Let’s just say it’s not a good idea to marry two women from the same family. It gave Jacob a lot of headaches.
Boundary Point #3: Menstruation (Lev 18:19)
The Desire: Women’s sexual desire is strongly tied to her hormonal cycles. When it’s “that time of month” a woman body wants nothing more than to get a baby inside her ASAP. As Rollo Tomassi has pointed out, this is the time of month when a man needs to get his alpha on and give her the rough breeding she craves.
The Folly: I’m not an expert on this, so correct me if I’m wrong. But my guess is that ancient heathen cultures understood there was a connection between female horniness and her blood flow. Someone probably got the idea that the best time to pound away was right in the middle of her flow. This probably resulted in “uncleanness” and perhaps was harmful to the woman.
Boundary Point #4: Adultery (Lev 18:20)
The Desire: A woman wants a man who is better than her and better than other men. She wants a strong man. She wants the best man she can get.
The Folly: Alpha males get the idea that they can go ahead and knock up any wife they want. Wives get the idea that it’s okay to cheat if her husband is a “loser.” Society becomes okay with it. Rather than getting their balls back, beta men settle for bad sex and an emasculated existence. They embrace cuckoldry as a sexual fetish. Family structure falls apart. Hmm.. this one actually sounds familiar…
Boundary Point #5: Child Sacrifice (Lev 18:21)
The Desire: Something valuable must be given up in order to bring forth life and blessings. In a healthy culture, the woman sacrifices her youthful nubile body in order to bring forth children. (In the right context, a man “deflowering” and “ruining” a young woman’s body so she can bear his children is an erotic sacrifice. Even to participate in the sexual act, a woman’s pristine body must endure some pain and be stretched in order to accommodate the man.)
The Folly: In a backwards culture, rather than sacrifice to bring forth children, the children are sacrificed in order to bring about or preserve supposed blessings. Hmm… this one sounds familiar too.
Boundary Point #6: Homosexual Sex (Lev 18:22)
The Desire: The phallus is the symbol of masculine potency and dominance. In arguably more sane cultures, it was revered. Even to this day, women have a subconscious need for seed and a desire to adore this sacred vessel of life.
The Folly: “Hey, if one phallus is so great, why not put two of them together? Double the masculine power, right?”
Boundary Point #7: Bestiality (Lev 18:23)
The Desire: A woman wants to be bred like a wild animal.
The Folly: It’s a bad idea to breed with an animal.
Well, those boundary points should give you a good outline of normal sexual desire. God understood these desires and placed sensible boundaries so that we wouldn’t do anything too stupid.
Conservative Christians tend to be experts on sexual sins. They have such an advanced understanding that they’ve even managed to invent several new sexual sins. But they tend to be ignorant about sexual desire.
As a married man, it would behoove you to spend more time exploring feminine sexuality rather than cataloging the various sexual sins of depraved heathens. No woman ever jumped into bed with a man because of his impressive knowledge of what wasn’t allowed.
I will feel like I’ve lived a life worth living if my writing can help men embrace the following two truths about life:
Truth #1: Women are easily deceived. A man should not trust a woman for advice.
Truth #2: A woman’s most powerful desire is to be bred and dominated by an alpha male.
Everything I write is really just theme and variation on those fundamental truths.
Coincidentally, you can approximate your rank (or potential rank) in the socio-sexual hierarchy based on how you responded to the above statements.
Alpha: **Shrugs and moves on.**
Beta: “Yes. I need to remember this.”
Delta: “I don’t know about that. I take advice from my wife all the time. She’s an intelligent woman. And a woman is not a sex object. You seem to be venturing into dangerous territory here.”
Gamma: “The socio-sexual hierarchy is based subjective judgments that have no scientific proof. I find it appalling that a blog that purports to give sex advice would force men into such arbitrary categories. Do you really think God would judge men by such standards? More likely, the author is simply trying to project an alpha persona to compensate for his insecurities. But he is clearly a poser who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If he’s so alpha, why doesn’t he show a picture of his wife? Probably because she’s an ugly overweight cow. Ha! This guy is a joke.”
Omega: “Women are so stupid. Their suffering is well-deserved. Men are better off without them.”
Sigma: “Hmm… let me think about that…”
NOTE: This is an article I wrote about 8 months ago but forgot to publish. Other than a couple minor edits, I left it unaltered. I may visit this topic more in the future if I detect a need.
This article is intended to give husbands a new perspective on how they might help their wives heal from past sexual abuse.
I discovered this by accident (or by providence) one day while discussing Proverbs 5:19 with my wife. Surprisingly, I’ve never heard anything like this from any sexual abuse “specialists” (Christian or secular).
After five years of struggling to find a solution for my wife through counseling and therapy books, a spontaneous 20 minute conversation immediately flipped a switch of such powerful healing that I was baffled why it took me so long to find it. It certainly didn’t solve every practical problem at once, but it was a fundamental breakthrough unlike anything I had seen before. In retrospect, it seems obvious. But if you don’t know what to look for, it remains hidden.
In order to avoid revealing anything to personal and hopefully make the point more obvious, I’m going to explain what I discovered through an analogy that men might find more relatable.
Pretend that you’re living in an alternate world. This world is almost exactly like our own world except for one thing: Whenever men get together, a common conversation theme is how “repulsive” it is when women wear revealing clothing. But other than that one difference, everything else is the same. You still have the same biology and women still act and dress the same.
As a “sexually awakened” teenage boy in this alternate world, you begin to wonder if something is wrong with you. Based on the conversations you hear, you conclude that it is wrong to be aroused by seeing a woman’s cleavage or the curves of her body. After all, it is “disgusting.” You hear that “sex is good”… it’s just women’s body parts that are gross.
But you can’t help feeling the way you do. You get aroused by women’s body parts. What is wrong with you?
When you become a young adult you decide to marry. After all, marriage is good. It’s the only way your sexuality can be purified.
Unfortunately, your problems don’t go away. You are unable to become aroused enough to “do the deed.” It seems that the only way you can be turned on is when you see your wife’s body parts. But you know that is wrong. That’s part of your of your corrupted sexuality that needs to be put away. So you stuff it down and don’t give yourself any opportunity to act on it.
You begin to despair. Why is sex so difficult? What caused you to be this way?
After doing some research, you think you’ve found the answer. You were sexually abused. You’ve tried to repress the memory but it’s coming back to you now…
When you were a 12 years old, your aunt touched your penis. Actually, it was more than just a touch. You were confused. It awakened a thrilling sensation inside of you that you didn’t know your body was capable of. And yet, you knew it was wrong. Your brain couldn’t make sense of the experience. So you buried it.
But now you read that it’s common for boys who’ve been abused to have similar fantasies about women that you are having.
That must be it! You’re a victim. It’s not your fault.
Now if you can only heal from this past experience, you’ll be made a whole again… and all those gross fantasies you’ve been having about women’s bodies will go away.
The Hidden War on Women
I hope you can see the absurdity of this story. The boy was perfectly normal. His biology was simply functioning as it was created to. Even when his aunt inappropriately touched him, the excitement he felt was a natural response. And it certainly wasn’t this inappropriate touching that triggered his fantasies.
As absurd as the story may seem, this is exactly the sort of thing our society does to women. The only difference is women have a different sort of fantasy.
It’s well documented that “rape fantasies” are one of the most popular sexual fantasies among women. And yet our culture spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about how wrong it is for a man to “have his way” with a woman. A woman is not a “sex object” we say.
On the surface, this “anti-rape” hysteria seems to be an attack on men. But I’ve now come to believe it is primarily a subtle attack on women.
Imagine a woman growing up in such a culture while secretly having such sexual fantasies. She’s practically forced to respond in at least one of three ways:
- Accept that she’s broken beyond repair for some unknown reason
- Speak out against rape in attempt to signal to others and herself that she is “normal” (The SJW)
- Find some other person or event to blame for these “dirty” fantasies she has (The Victim)
Even when we try to help sexual abuse victims, in our naivity, we often do more harm than good. For what do we tell them? “What he did to you was wrong. You are NOT a sex object. You are a wonderful person.”
Yet the real message she receives is “Rape is bad. You’re a disgusting person for fantasizing about being a man’s sexual object. People think that you’re a good person so don’t let them know about these gross fantasies you’re having.”
But is this what the Scripture teaches?
Beastly Passion in the Bible
Consider Proverbs 5:19:
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times;
and be thou ravished always with her love.
The scripture compares sexuality to an animal. Most modern translations hide the animal-like passion by saying a “graceful” doe… implying that the woman is to be elegant like some sort of fancy ball from a Jane Austin novel. But the Hebrew word used is chen which literally means to “find favor in the eyes of someone” (e.g. a sexually charged man.)
Dalrock described it well when he said the proverb is “exhorting husbands to approach their wives with the same kind of passion a rutting buck has for a doe.”
“Ravished” is translated from shagah. This is the same word used to describe someone who sins or strays from the right path without knowledge. The idea is that the wife is so irresistible to her husband that the husband literally loses control of himself without even realizing what he is doing, acting purely on instinct like the “rutting buck.”
“Always” is translated from tamiyd. This word is used to describe something that is constantly available. The same word is used to describe the “bread of the Presence” that the Lord commanded Israel to set before him in the tabernacle at all times. The idea is that the woman is available at anytime for her husband to ravish.
When this proverb is explained, it sounds an awful lot like a woman’s “rape fantasy.” It’s closer to a trashy erotic novel than the gentle “relationship-centered” sex found in marriage advice books.
Furthermore, it seems that the key to igniting this sexual passion is less about the man developing seduction skills and more about the woman embracing her fantasy for unbridled, almost rape-like sex.
If this is the case, the man is not responsible for getting his wife “in the mood.” Rather, he is to take responsibility for his wife’s well being by confronting her and showing her from the Scriptures that she has been deceived and needs to embrace her God-given sexuality…even if society says it’s wrong.
The Path to Healing
Yes, rape and sexual abuse is wrong. But not in the way our society tells us. It is not wrong because of the act itself. It is wrong because of the context. When it is done outside of a marriage, it is harmful.
But within the context of a marriage, there is no such thing as rape. As far as I can tell, God only gave us two rules to govern sexual passion:
- Don’t have sex with anyone who’s not your spouse
- Don’t do anything that might put your spouse in the hospital (as a general courtesy)
A woman’s “rape fantasies” are not unscriptural. In fact, they may be closer to the biblical model than anything else. A woman who’s been victimized through sexual abuse (and anti-rape propaganda) will not be healed until she recognizes and embraces her God-given sexual passion.
So if nothing else is working, try this path:
- Show your wife that it’s not demeaning to be a “sex object” (Proverbs 5:19)
- Teach her that there’s nothing wrong with having “rape fantasies”, and even to embrace them within the context of a marriage
- Teach her that what was done to her in the past was wrong, but there’s nothing wrong with her… her supposed “damaged” sexuality is a myth
- Teach her that even if she’s not a “Perfect 10”, that you are still turned on by her body. After all, you married her because you wanted to have sex with her!
- Teach her to take small steps to act out her sexuality towards you. This will drive out fear. (1 John 4:18)
- Remind her of the above truths whenever she falls into old habits and thoughts
While he’s certainly not assessing the situation from a biblical worldview, Dr. Lehmiller has a point:
Research has found that the U.S. states with the most abstinence-only programs actually have the highest rates of teen pregnancy ! What does work when it comes to sex education is a comprehensive approach—one that gives teenagers the information they truly need to know, which will enable them to establish safer and healthier sexual relationships. Research also reveals that comprehensive sex education is not only linked to lower rates of teen pregnancy , but also to lower rates of STI-risk behavior .
It’s also worth noting that abstinence-until-marriage programs are unrealistic in an era when the average age of first intercourse is 15-16, whereas the average age of first marriage is almost 30. Telling teens they should wait 15 years before they start having sex just isn’t a practical goal.
Our ancestors may not have been so backwards in marrying off girls in their teens. The reason we find the idea so repulsive today is because we have idolized “education” at the expense of sensible sexual strategy.
The “wait until marriage” mantra will never work when marriage seems so impossibly far away to a young girl in heat.
A man can learn a lot about female sexuality if he pays attention to pop music. It’s one of the few mediums where it’s culturally acceptable for a woman to express her true desires about sex.
Consider the ending of the song “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida with Sia:
I am a wild one, break me in
Saddle me up and lets begin
I am a wild one, tame me now
Running with wolves and I’m on the prowl
Show you another side of me
A side you would never thought you would see
Tear up that body dominate you til you had ‘nough
I hear you like the wild stuff
Hey I heard you were a wild one ooh
If I took you home, it’d be a home run
Show me how you’ll do
I want to shut down the club, with you
Hey I heard you like the wild ones (wild ones wild ones) ooh
I am a wild one break me in
Saddle me up and let’s begin
I am a wild one tame me now
Running with wolves and I’m on the prowl
Just because it’s a party song, doesn’t mean it’s not applicable to the marriage bed. Your wife has the same desires buried deep inside her.
The other week I wrote a post summarizing some of the common sex questions Christian wives are privately asking online.
Most of the questions centered around issues of guilt. I thought it’d be fun/useful/provocative to give my answers to each of the questions.
Q: Is using birth control and condoms inside of marriage a sin?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God. “Be fruitful and multiply” does not mean have as many children as you can as fast as humanly possible.
Exception: some forms of birth control destroy life after conception. Sometimes it is difficult to assess the effects of a birth control. Condoms are probably the safest bet in terms of conscience.
Q: Is masturbation a sin?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: Is it a sin to have an erotic dream involving another man?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: I can’t enjoy sex…
A: Ask her what she is thinking about while she is having sex. Get specifics.
Q: Is it a sin to have sexual thoughts about someone other than my husband?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Exception: It is a sin to covet a man other than your husband. But this is different than fleeting sexual thoughts.
Q: Is it a sin to enjoy reading erotica?
A: No. Otherwise you couldn’t enjoy the Song of Songs.
Q: How can I deal with lusting after hot guys?
A: The modern concept of lust is different from the biblical concept of lust. She is probably just noticing physical features that women instinctively find attractive. But if it truly is sinful lust, the solution is simple: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Q: I feel guilty because I privately fantasize about being raped…
A: “Rape” is modern term used to shame both men and women for natural sexual instincts. It is not wrong to have sexual fantasies about being roughly taken by a man. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: Need prayer to heal from the past…
A: Pray. But don’t allow her to continue to identify as a victim. There is (probably) nothing wrong with her physically. It’s all in her head. Help her to focus on positive aspects of sex (like the Song of Songs) rather than negative (like being a sexual abuse victim.)
Q: I have issues with attraction and fantasies towards women…
A: The Bible never condemns women for finding other women sexually attractive. The Song of Songs even encourages it (Song 6:13).
One of the great things about the internet is it allows a savvy user to practically read the minds of people you wish to influence.
Case in point:
There is an online forum over at Grace Centered called “Christian Women Sexual Topics.”
Here are some of the most popular questions that Christian wives are privately wondering:
- Is using birth control and condoms inside of marriage a sin?
- Is masturbation a sin?
- Is it a sin to have an erotic dream involving another man?
- Can’t enjoy sex…
- Is it a sin to have sexual thoughts about someone other than my husband?
- Is it wrong to enjoy reading erotica?
- How can I deal with lusting after hot guys?
- I feel guilty because I privately fantasize about being raped…
- Need prayer to heal from the past…
- I have issues with attraction and fantasies towards women…
Notice that most of the topics are variations of “is this a sin?” A woman cannot focus on pleasing her husband when her conscience is guilty.
It is psychologically damaging to hold in guilty secrets. If your wife has aversions to or anxiety about sex, there’s a good chance unaddressed guilty thoughts are at the root.
As her husband, you can take the initiative and get these topics out in the open. You don’t need to “solve” the problem. Just show her how God’s word is not as restrictive as she was led to believe.
Alleviate her guilty conscience by drawing a clear line between what is good and what is sin. Do not be afraid emphasize the boundaries that God clearly commanded. But also remember the most important principle of interpreting the Bible:
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
Given my apparent theme lately of Satanic deception and sexual suppression, it seemed fitting to wrap the week up with a lesson from Disney.
The other week, there was some discussion in the manosphere over the Satanic nature of the song “Let It Go” from Frozen.
I would agree that the lyrics are Satanic (at least when they stand alone). But the lyrics also provide a perfect perspective on the inner thoughts of a woman as she is being deceived.
So let’s consider the following lyrics and try to become “wise as serpents” in our dealing with our wives and daughters:
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I’m the Queen
She feels like her responsibility is forcing her to be isolated from relationships with others. Like any girl, she is curious about the world and wants adventure. But she feels trapped.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried
Her inner (sexual?) passions are too much to contain. She feels that she can’t “keep it in.”
Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Being “good” and her inner passions are placed at odds with each other. She now feels like she is “bad” and cannot let loved ones get too close to her. Being “good” becomes a heavy burden.
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
It is her passions that make her “bad.” The message she perceives is that she must conceal these passions. Don’t let anyone know how bad she is.
Well now they know
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
After having her epiphany that her passion is too much of a burden to hold in, she finds a new sense of liberation in letting it go.
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Now that’s she’s made her decision to “let it go”, she reaffirms her decision by burning her bridges. They don’t understand. She doesn’t need them.
Let the storm rage on.
Her conclusive cry of “liberation.”
The cold never bothered me anyway
Sure, there’s a down side, but it’s not that bad…
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
She is uncertain about her decision so she needs further justification. Compared living in fear as a “good girl”, this new liberated lifestyle is clearly better for her.
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
With the shackles removed, she can finally explore the limits of her passion. No more rules! That means she’s free, right?
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on
She’s a grown up now. She’s has understanding now of things she was never allowed to previously explored. She boldly declares “here I’ll stay.”
Suppression is the necessary condition for deception. Women always want to feel like they’re being liberated from an oppressor.
Don’t allow God’s Word to become that oppressor she secretly craves to be liberated from.
Frame is everything.
Here’s some Bible passages you might find surprisingly arousing…
May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your love is better than wine.
Wet, open mouth kissing. The bride would only know how he tasted if her tongue was involved! Also implies an ecstasy similar to being drunk on wine. Some commentators suggest other kinds of oral activity are involved as well.
To me, my darling, you are like
My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.
Chariots were normally pulled by stallions, not mares. So to place a mare among the “chariots of Pharaoh” would excite the sexually eager stallion. Stallions were known for their sexual heat. According to Ezekiel, stallions were known for having large emissions… an obvious result of sexual excitement at the sight of a breed-worthy mare.
While the king was at his table,
My perfume gave forth its fragrance.
A reference to the ancient custom of women to perfume their sexual parts. As she becomes aroused, her body heat rises, sending forth the smell of perfume to signal her readiness.
The beams of our houses are cedars,
Our rafters, cypresses.
Outdoor sex. Women love the thrill of having sex in different locations.
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.
Pomegranates are filled with an abundance of seed and were known in ancient times as a symbol of fertility. Pomegranates also have a high content of estrogen. It’s worth noting that the etymologic definition of estrogen was “begetter of mad desire.”
Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether.
The “mountains of Bether” can also be translated as the “mountains of separation.” The fact that a woman’s sexual parts were perfumed makes the preceding reference to lilies more clear and clarifies the reference for this line. One only needs to take a brief glance at the female anatomy to identify where the “mountain of separation lies.” The man is invited to use his tongue (presumably) to playfully prance about her “mountains of separation” like a gazelle or young stag. Or, as the Moffatt translation puts it: “Play like a roe or a hart on my perfumed slopes.”
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
A clever play on words. Her lover stands out from other men like an apple tree amidst the plain trees of the forest. And thus she desires to “sit in his shade” and taste his fruit. Her lover towers over her like a tree as she sits down (or kneels) and tastes his fruit. A man shouldn’t need need too much prompting to figure out where his “fruit” would come from (i.e. “be fruitful and multiply”) and how a woman would go about tasting that fruit. Also worth noting that his fruit was sweet to her taste. Making the effort to make your semen taste good is worthwhile.
thy breasts to clusters of grapes
A cluster of grapes hangs down, just as a woman’s breasts hang down when she is in a “ready position.” Additionally, grapes become increasingly round and elastic as they ripen, similar to a woman’s breasts when she becomes aroused. This is a setup for what happens next…
I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree,
I will take hold of its fruit stalks.
In the ancient near-east, female palm trees were fertilized with the flowers from male palm trees. In order to fertilize the female tree, one had to get some flowers from the male tree and then climb the female tree and tie some pollen-bearing flowers among the female flowers. Thus, to “climb the palm tree” means to fertilize it. (Even to this day, a similar practice is performed in growing dates.) The sight of the woman’s shape as well as her breasts hanging down like clusters of grapes signals that is time to “fertilize” her.
Come, my beloved,
Let us go forth to the field
In ancient usage, “plowing a field” was a natural metaphor for sexual intercourse. The back and forth motion opens up the ground in order to receive seed. In Eastern custom, a man was thought of as a “plough” and a woman as a “field.” In Latin, the word vomer can mean both “penis” and a “plow.” It is clear that there is a useful sexual metaphor we have lost over the years. The opportunity for erotic wordplay on this theme are endless. Take, for example, this ancient east erotic poem:
“As for me, my vulva,
For me, the piled high hillock,
Me, the maid, who will plow it for me?
My vulva, the watered ground — for me?
Me the Queen, who will station the ox there?”
“O Lordly Lady, the king will plow it for you,
Dumuzi, the king will plow it for you.”
“Plow my vulva, man of my heart!”
This is really just scratching the surface. But this is a good “teaser” to get you started.
Solomon’s writing style is to pack a lot of meaning into a small number of words. Rather than give detailed instructions, he gives you the clue so that those who are diligent can fully explore it’s implications.
From the Song of Solomon, we learn that being fruitful and multiplying is about much more than simply having kids. It is about unlocking a world of ecstasy.
Sources and Further Reading:
K.J. Aaron’s Sexuality in the Bible
New Life Community Church’s “Sexual Allusions and Symbols in the Song of Songs“