the lost man chronicles

The Sultry Swoon of Summer

“I Love the Summer!”

Well, actually, when it comes to summers here in NYC, I would fully support anyone who laments the unbearably, hot and hazy, justifiably lazy, summers days and sleepless nights that plague the tri-state area.

However, barring my vociferous whine, I will readily laud the divine swoon that the merciless sun and stifling air have upon women and what they (do—or rather don’t) wear.

For lo and behold, I am a man.

And regardless of our orientation—whether it be straight ahead and unswerving or curving as wildly as the contours of (Michelangelo’s) David’s chiseled frame, whether it be an Adonis or a dame—there is certainly, definitely, something inside us that is to blame for our proclivity toward ogling, gawking at and admiring the visual beauty of the human form.

Albeit, truth has been obscured by the movement to flatten the earth and make everything and everyone on it equally plane (plain) too, my truth—my existentially felt, experienced and well thought-out proof—is that there is something within that makes me tick whenever and wherever I come across uncommon (or common), curvaceous, voluptuous, iridescent beauty.

Porn thrives not only because it may trigger an ancient call to copulate, but perhaps also because men are hard-wired to be stimulated by what they see.

So maybe, this is one reason I love photography.

One should take note that the cause here is not the same thing as the effect. For regardless of your position on the sex industry, there is nothing inherently wrong with our naked selves, it is only the values that we impose upon people’s reactions and subsequent actions that make human nature unnatural, taboo, unacceptable, lascivious and controversial.

Nudity, sex and sensual stimulation (sensuality) get a bad rap (rep) because of the foolish, inconsiderate, and errant behavior of others. However, in and of themselves these things are natural as nature can be. Nature is amoral, it is only human ethno, chrono and gender centric consciousness (aka: “thinking”) that makes it otherwise. Scientific American recently published an article entitled “His Brain, Her Brain” by Larry Cahill (May 2005, p40-47) which speaks to recent experiments that conclude that men and women “differ quite a bit in (cranial) architecture and activity.”

The conclusion offers the following: “In a comprehensive 2001 report on sex differences in human health, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences asserted that “sex matters.” Sex, that is, being male and female, is an important basic human variable that should be considered when designing a and analyzing studies in all areas and at all levels of biomedical and health-related research.”

In particular, they found that men’s right hemispheres were stimulated, whereas females left hemispheres were triggered, whenever shown the same visual stimuli. The right side of our brains are said to process creativity, patterns, spatial awareness, and context; whereas the left side processes speech, analysis, time, and sequence. The left side recognizes letters, numbers and words; the right side recognizes faces, places and objects. Our brains in general, regardless of gender, are also said to be dominated by one side or the other. Individuals who are predominantly right-sided are found to be more “visual in nature.”

My point here is not to argue that women or men take better pictures or appreciate them any less or more, but it is simply to acknowledge that there is a difference between aesthetic admiration and lewd attention, and that perhaps, by being a male, it is the same blind internal motivation that leads to one or the other (or both) in our kind. And it is only the intentions and actions that follow that make this unavoidable stimulus inappropriate or otherwise.

Sir Richard Burton once translated verse from The Kasidah, which has long influenced how I see the world. I find it is worth repeating here. Or perhaps, it is merely an excuse to share poetic words that have long had a great influence upon me…

Kasidah Haji Abdu'l el Yezdi

There is no Good, there is no Bad;
These be the whims of mortal will.
What works me weal, that I call good;
What harms and hurts I hold as ill.
They change with place, they shift with race,
And, in the veriest span of time,
Each Vice has worn a Virtue's crown,
All Good was banned as Sin or Crime.

Also See: testosterone

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