Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Who is the Gatekeeper of Sex & Relationship
I have found that not many people are familiar with the creation story that contains Lilith. The story briefly goes: Before God gave Eve to Adam, He created Adam and Lilith together. Adam demanded to be on top (it is assumed while having sex, but perhaps figuratively meaning social status as well) and Lilith grew tired of his insistence. She flew out from under Adam and into the sky becoming a night flying dragon that took away the lives of infants and gave men night-time emissions (wet dreams). When God saw Adam all alone, He made Eve for him and Eve was submissive to Adam.
The ramifications of these early mythical man-woman interactions are visible in our modern day relationships. For whatever reason, we have yet to find balance in power. The best we can do it seems is to divide labor. But even our traditional ways of dividing labor have broken down, since the industrial revolution and women's liberation movement.
Someone very intelligent once told me that Women are the keepers of sex and men are the keepers of relationship. Their meaning was that while men may focus more on attaining sex, when and how sex occurs is left up to women. Similarly, as women may focus more on securing relationships, it is up to men to decide when and how a relationship begins. This principle has a lot of anecdotal support.
Though I can't help but wonder if the changes in social mores are changing these roles. Certainly this question is made more complicated by same-sex couples. In such cases, factors other than sex are more determinant. Perhaps the same is true for male-female relationships now that gender roles have shifted so much.
In a world where Adam is relating in new and perpetually shifting ways with Eve and Lilith, can anyone really say anymore what role a man and woman should play in relationship to one another? Does Adam prefer the power and independence of Lilith but the devotion of Eve? Does any one woman possess the characteristics of both Lilith and Eve? Would Lilith desire Adam, but reject his affection entirely for the sake of her independence and self-determination? Is Eve really the gatekeeper of sex?
How can we improve our epic struggle to nourish one another, and live in harmony?