Autobio ch. 15

Chapter Fifteen: Where Now?

Where has my journey now taken me? Well, as with many others, out of my religion- Evangelical Christianity- entirely. In fact, I’ve pretty much abandoned the beliefs and practice of any form of religion. What then? Atheism, or its twin, materialism? As I noted in the previous chapter, for most people atheism will never be a serious alternative. It does not deal properly with the fundamental human impulse for meaning and purpose. And it is too incoherent in its explanation of reality. It also does not take human consciousness seriously and that has led to the silliest attempts to devaluate or dismiss consciousness (see, for example, the explanations of Susan Blackmore).

Since leaving my religion I have spent decades taking a good look at the history of religion and spirituality. I think I now understand more of how it all began and what it represents. Religion has never expressed the best of the human spirit. Rather, it too often embodies and expresses the worst of our animal past with the institutionalization of base drives such as the submission to dominating authority, the exclusion of outsiders to the band, and the destruction of enemies. I have concluded that religion has little to do with the great reality that we know as God and it certainly does not express the true nature of that reality as unconditional love (despite the endeavor of religious people to apply this term to their version of God).

Religion began with the mythmakers of early human societies (the shaman or priests). We have evidence of these people beginning to function around 30,000 years ago. See, for instance, John Pfieffer’s Explosion: An inquiry into the origins of art and religion.

Shaman presented themselves as having knowledge about larger mysterious realities behind life. And early on they made the worst error that has ever darkened human consciousness (again, I noted this in the previous chapter but it deserves some further consideration because it is beyond important to understand). The shaman claimed that the great invisible forces or spirits behind life were threatening, retaliating, or punitive. This would take human perception of gods away from the core truth of unconditional love and toward its dark opposite- punitive retaliation. Humanity has been cursed ever since with this perception of something threatening and punishing behind all things. This perverse belief has penetrated to the core of all religions including contemporary environmental religion (e.g. angry GAIA or angry planet myths).

With this belief in angry gods, the early shaman then began to develop the salvation industry which has burdened humanity ever since with its incalculable waste of time and resources- the offering of endless sacrifices to atone for sins and to appease the angry deities. It is all about never-ending fear, anxiety, and the felt need to placate.

And yes, mixed within all this darkness there were also the elements of awe at the transcendent and the impulse for meaning and purpose, which are foundational to human consciousness. But these impulses have always been severely distorted within the larger retaliation and condition context of religion. They are impulses that function just fine outside of religion.

Further, the claim of the shaman to special secret knowledge then led to their establishing themselves as mediators that would tell the average person just how to live so as not to upset the fickle gods and what sacrifices were necessary when they had pissed the gods off. Religion thus developed as an institution of priestly mediation. The enlightened priests, pastors, or gurus would mediate esoteric knowledge to the ignorant outsiders who would then submit themselves to the religious authorities in order to be “saved”, to become specially favored insiders. Members of each religious group are then separated from the rest of humanity by their insider identities. So religion of necessity is about us versus them dualism (good vs. bad, righteous vs. unrighteous, saved vs. lost).

Religion also portrays God as something elite, powerful and controlling. The consequence of this is that religion then teaches that “people were created to serve the gods” (a belief stated in some of the earliest human writing- the Sumerian cuneiform tablets). Therefore, religion emerged as a blow against human freedom from the very beginning. Religion subsequently has been very much about domination and control of people. But in reality, love does not love up or down to anyone else. It is a reality that relates horizontally to others.

Religious Salvationism further reinforces the belief that humanity is separate from God, something that has been rejected by God as impure and corrupted, or fallen. This has had a traumatizing impact on the human psyche throughout history.

Almost all religion eventually adopted a basic worldview or template of beliefs that could be summarized best as Fall/apocalyptic mythology (again, see my essay “Rise of Decline?: The actual trajectory of life” for more detail). Fall/apocalyptic is at core a mythology of vengeance, violence, and despair. It expresses the very worst of the ancient priestly imagination.

To repeat, Fall/apocalyptic posits that there was a time of original perfection but early people were created out of a mixture of divine and demonic substance. Those early people gave place to an evil power and sinned against the good power. This led to the corruption of the original paradise. In response, the good power will purge the world in a great future destruction- apocalypse- that will remove and destroy corrupt humanity and then reinstall the original paradise.

In the meantime, salvation is to be found in joining the true religion and fighting against the “false religions”.

The most important thing to correct in this mythology is the perception of a Fall. We know now with certainty that there was no Fall in the past where life regressed from a state of original perfection to something defiled and impure. Life has not regressed from something better to something worse. There is no evidence of a time of past perfection and then a decline of life. To the contrary, all evidence shows that life has progressed from something less developed toward something more developed. It has progressed from something more primitive to something more advanced.

Consequent to this, we can now reject all the derivative themes that emerge from Fall mythology. We can safely conclude that there has been no separation of humanity from the Source of life. There is no ruptured relationship that has to be healed. There is no need to seek salvation or to engage in violent bloodshed (sacrifice) to appease supposedly angry deities.

More than any other ancient error there is the need to correct the root perception that there is some threatening, punitive, or retaliating entity behind life. Something that needs to be appeased or placated with sacrifice. There is no such reality and never has been. This perverse belief has fueled most of the other significant errors in ancient mythology, from Fall/apocalyptic to Salvationism.

There is also no evidence of the demonic or sinful in people. Yes, we do suffer from the residual animal brain that we have inherited and its primitive drives often influence us to respond more like animals than humans. But fortunately, our human consciousness enables us to counter and overcome the drives of this primitive core brain (the impulses of the amygdala and related structures). Ultimately, the presence of this residual inheritance does not make us sinful or evil. With human consciousness we are essentially good, or as many people argue, our true self is most essentially love.

And let me state with an extra dose of anti-mythological fervor that there is no such reality or place as Hell. This is the most barbaric idea ever concocted by human minds to terrorize and enslave others. It epitomizes the basest drives to hate others and to retaliate against them or punish them. It is a myth that has long served to subjugate people to the enslaving obligations of religious traditions. You can trace the origins of this dark myth to such things as the beliefs of ancient Egyptians in rivers of fire in the underworld (places were the dead were thrown).

At the heart of reality there is infinite love, forgiveness, generosity, and peace. There is absolutely no threat of vengeance, payback, or punishment in that Ultimate Reality, or God. The truth of “God is love” has forever ended such nonsense. Any common sense understanding of love should inform us that any reality that is authentic love will not love down to others, will not place itself above others, will not exclude others, and will not punish others. Love is not about threat or retaliation or any other dark impulse.

Religion has long distorted common human values and ideals such as love and forgiveness by defining them in terms of Fall/apocalyptic mythology. Love in religions like Christianity is then highly conditional. People can only become full members of the elect group if they become Christian. If they refuse to convert, well, then they are excluded and damned to hell. This is not love by any common understanding of the term. Also, forgiveness is offered by Christianity only if the debt is first paid in full (i.e. the Christian claim that Jesus died to pay for all sin). But this is not forgiveness by any common sense definition of the term. If the debt is paid first then there is no need for forgiveness. Chew on this for a minute or two. It renders the entire Christian salvation scheme a confusing contradiction with no basis in any common sense reality.

We need to seek entirely and radically new alternatives to the ideas and practices that we have inherited from our religious and spiritual traditions. Any truly human alternative must promote human freedom and encourage people to fully engage this life. It must affirm humanity as something essentially good. And it must offer hope based on the long term trajectory of the universe and life. This trajectory is one of endless progress, advance, development, and growth. It progresses endlessly toward something better. Any version of God that we embrace must not be separated from this history of progress.

And spirituality ought to be understood in terms of the mundane, the ordinary, and the common. It should be viewed in terms of human consciousness and the common human spirit. Religion has burdened people by demanding the development of spirituality as some additional requirement on top of everyday human existence. Over the millennia religion has developed elaborate and complex forms of spiritual discipline as some sort of special quality necessary for a complete life. Religious spirituality has subsequently developed the required elements of religious observance and ritual, long prayers, holy God-talk, techniques of meditation, the study of religious scriptures, and worship, among other things. This outcome of all this is to exclude many ordinary people from the spiritual.

The same distortion has occurred with religious faith. It has been developed into something more than common human intuition, insight, understanding, or imagination. It has been shaped into some ethereal quality that involves expression within religious belief systems and a religious lifestyle, and must be focused on invisible and unknowable realities.

But all this religious spirituality is simply the creation of religious people and it is designed for pursuing and pleasing religious gods. It is an intolerable burden of gobbledygook that no human being should ever have to bear. It is certainly not a demand from a humane God.

Ordinary life must be seen as the realm for the highest and best experience of transcendence or the spiritual. Loving and being loved in the common relationships and activities of life must be viewed as the ultimate experience of the spiritual. This means that anyone can access the best of life whether they be atheist or believer, rich or poor, spiritually oriented or not.

Remember also, the goodness of religious people does not spring ultimately from their religion but rather it comes from the common human spirit that they share with all other people. That common human spirit is something all of us have access to in any context we choose, and we may express it in any manner that we freely choose. Religion offers nothing to help its expression and more often hinders or distorts its expression.

As Bob Brinsmead said, “It is better that we forget the absolutely and totally dark unfathomable, incomprehensible mystery…Why waste time on this for everything every searcher has ever found out on this matter could be written on a postage stamp with a large piece of chalk. Why waste time trying to love, serve, obey the unseeable, unsearchable, and unknowable? Yet whole cultures are so sure of what they know and understand about this Absolutely Unknowable Mystery that they confidently go on a rampage in the name of the Nameless One to conquer, subdue and kill humans or sacrifice them on the altar of this Unknown God. As Alexander Pope said, ‘Cease from God to scan; the proper study of mankind is man’. Joshua Ben Adam (the historical Jesus) had the insight to see that the only thing that mattered was how we related to humanity” (email post to Joshua Ben Adam Society, September, 2, 2004).

Brinsmead has also pointed out that nothing is more important than people and love for people. He says that Jesus conflated the two great commandments- love for God and love for the neighbor- into one new commandment: love one another. In doing this, Jesus removed the focus on God and replaced it with a sole focus on people. He understood that the religious focus on devotion to God had led to endless neglect or abuse of others in the name of God.

We should recognize that the place where we most correctly know transcendence is in the human spirit or human consciousness. And all effort to improve life, whether through economics, politics, art, work, play, or whatever people do to make life better for one another, this is all the finest expression of the human spirit, or God. What humanity has long called God has always been vitally involved in the gradual emergence and development of the human spirit. That is where God is best known and understood.

So a new narrative for humanity demands an entirely new view of God or the spiritual. This will involve perceiving the divine not as some heavenly Father or King above in the heavens, ruling over all as some separate great Being, like a big ghost or spirit out in the ether. Rather, God must be viewed as vitally part of the consciousness or mind that permeates all life with inspiring hope and love. This God is manifest in the common human spirit that we all share.

And far more important than any concern for spirituality ought to be the concern for what it means to be human.

What Is Truth?

There is one supreme and essential insight for human existence- it has to do with being human and treating people humanely (i.e. love) as the central and most important thing in life. Being human means not allowing any loyalty to God, law, religion, scripture, ideology, lifestyle, some organization, idea, principle, or movement to come before compassion to others.

When I was in Fundamentalist Christianity life was much simpler; much more black and white. The religious authorities gave us positions to take on every issue. It was often simply yes or no. But life is much more complex and diverse. I no longer know the answer to so many of the issues that we face today. But the religious drive for a sense of certainty and finality on all issues (a unified theory of everything) no longer compels me as it once did. The reality is- life is complex and rapidly changing. New information keeps coming to light that undermines and challenges what we thought yesterday was clear and final truth. It seems wiser now to hold most ideas lightly; taking nothing too seriously.

Fundamentalists hate the idea of such a relaxed approach to ideas. They feel we must have absolutes and be absolutely committed to our absolutes. There must be strict limits between black and white, with high walls between. They hate the idea of unclear or shifting boundaries. That sounds too much like human freedom and daily reality.

One of the most profoundly liberating things in my escape from religion was the freedom to relate to other people as normal human beings without the pressure of religious loyalties distorting normal human impulses. So I long ago abandoned the obligation to tell people they were wrong, damned, and must get right with my view of God- the Evangelical God. I no longer carry around a finalized, closed system of belief by which to measure and judge others. I no longer have a final authority to impose on others. I can accept and enjoy people just for what they are- whether atheists, Muslims, Sihks, Bhuddists, New Age, or yes, even Evangelical. I no longer feel the inhumane pressure to correct or threaten other human beings with warnings of divine retribution.

The freedom to be human means the freedom to share ideas on life and yet accept others as different. After all, ideas are things that float through our brains and are often just not worth separating and fighting over, especially when we can be certain about so few of them. It is rarely worth ruining relationships over what we may feel is a more correct idea about something. Tomorrow we may change our ideas completely. Too many people have died, and too many families and friends have fought and separated over differing ideas that ultimately matter little in the greater scheme of things.

And just as liberating is the freedom from the burden of having to be a good example of Christian living in order to win people to the Christian religion. Oh my God, what a burden that was.

Dad Again

Dad mellowed a bit over the last few decades of his life. Oh yes, once in a while if I did not respond to his conversation with familiar phrases and words he was quick to label, “That’s the Devil”. It made closeness or even normal conversation a difficult thing to negotiate at times. But for the sake of peace I often decided to bite my tongue and just keep quiet about my views. Dad and I learned to discuss mainly the weather and those damn (still darn to dad) politicians.

We learned to restructure our relationship to avoid differences in religious belief and yet maintain our love as father/son. When we did clash, Dad was quick to back away from pushing his views and return to a more comfortable stance of friendliness. I did the same.

We got along much better and even tried to be more expressive in showing love to one other, usually through some quick, embarrassed hug; leaning together like poles in a teepee for a quick pat on the back. Kind of like burping a baby. Nothing too long drawn out or mushy.

And Dad allowed his human impulses to emerge every once in a while. He even had the odd cold beer if no religious people were around.

Mom hugged a lot and expressed love verbally because she regretted that she did not show more affection to us during our childhood. She is a beautiful human being. I love her too. She still goes silent, though, if we joke about sex but she frowns less about it now. She is still growing too.

Mom only recently shared with us that as a small girl of 6 years of age she was raped by two older cousins. That was extremely hard for her to admit and it explained to me a lot about her own struggles with sexuality.

Sometimes I experienced a sense of profound sadness that Dad and I were never really close at any time during our lives. When I was younger we struggled over the issue of control. As I grew older, religion became the dividing wall between us. Oh well, human relationships have always been somewhat disappointing. Something in us desires far more and it is not fair to expect people to meet those deeper drives for fulfillment. That is placing too much pressure on others to do something that no person can do.

Dad had a long struggle with his God. The Christian God was difficult on him. I feel that God destroyed much of Dad’s humanity and his life in general. Dad was such a fun loving person but over his lifetime that love of life was crushed by the harsh demands of his religion and his God. Damn his God.

During some of the more difficult times in his life Dad even experienced suicidal thoughts. But he said that his God did help him through those dark periods and enabled him to get back into life.

We all struggle with something in life that tests our responses and becomes the arena where we engage the battle to learn love. My struggle to overcome the urge to retaliate and instead respond with unconditional love, happens regularly in traffic. Yes, traffic. Cars on the road. This has become less of an issue over time, maybe due to aging and the diminishing of the competitive spirit.

Sometimes in the past when people would cut me off in traffic and I have responded by screaming (inwardly), “Fuck you” and flinging my index finger at them (flipping the bird). I know- it was not nice. But then I would cool down and after a few minutes once again remember my lifelong ideal to try and love others. I could be such a contradiction at times. When I was much younger I felt that I could control myself better and be more patient. Later in life it seemed that I would fly off so easily and it was sometimes frightening. I guess age weakened restraints. Just like the sphincters in key places in our bodies start to weaken with age. Maybe it was the feeling of fedupness- that I had put up with too much crap all my life and was not going to take it anymore. But doesn’t the guy doing the cutting off in traffic feel the same?

I remember Germaine Greer’s comment that she felt less able to take crap from people as she got older. She found herself snapping back at people who did not treat her decently. But that can get you into trouble and it only diminishes love on the globe.

So I try to watch my temper because it can get you into trouble. For instance, I have sometimes thought- what if you blow up at someone in traffic, do something foolish and then find out it is someone you know? Yikes, eh.

Well, that actually happened to me.

I was driving home on the freeway from Chilliwack back to Vancouver late one night. It was dark or this would probably have never happened. I was leading a pack (Group? Herd? Gang?) of about 3 or 4 cars in the fast lane. About half a kilometer ahead I saw a 4by4 entering the freeway from an entrance ramp off a side road. Instead of remaining in the slower right hand lane, the 4by4 pulled around some slower cars and over into the fast lane in front of me. I was back far enough to not feel immediately violated but he did not pick up speed right away and all of us faster guys had to slow down behind him. That was all right.

After we drove by the slower cars in the right lane, our new leader (the 4by4) continued driving too slow in our fast lane. So I pulled over into the right lane and sped up trying to pass him on the right side. But then he also suddenly sped up trying to keep me from passing him. Now that was definitely not nice. I sped up more (to about 130 km/hr). Finally he backed off and after gaining some more distance on him I pulled back into the fast lane in front of him. I was well ahead now and going too fast so I slowed back to what our group had previously been doing, about 110 km/hr. Well, that ticked him off. He probably thought that I was trying to teach him a lesson by doing what he had just done to us, pulling in front and driving slow. Who can guess the thoughts and motivations of others?

So he came roaring up behind my little Tercel like he was going to ram the rear end. He approached to only feet away at 110 km/hr. Scared, I quickly pulled in front of a car in the right lane to get out of the way of the now crazed 4by4. But ooohh was I was pissed off. As 4by4 sped by, I gave him the finger. Up ahead, he returned to driving slow in the right lane. I sped up and passed him once again throwing one more finger out the window at him. Remember, it was dark and I could only make out a form in the front seat of the 4by4. I could not see the face. Idiot anyway.

A few minutes later I turned off the freeway onto the exit ramp going toward my home. The 4by4 followed and he had his bright lights on. You know the awful annoying glare in the mirror. I thought he was doing it purposefully to egg me on.

Well, that was the last straw. “You fucking idiot” I screamed inside my car. My poor son and daughter- aged 4 years and 2 years respectively. Children have tender ears.

I slowed to let the 4by4 come up beside me. Then I opened my window to angrily motion him to pull over. “O.K. Lets do it buddy. Lets have it out right now, right here at the side of the road” (remember what the sage said- If not now; when? If not us; who?). My head was out the window and he could see me waving wildly at him.

He drove on by slowly, almost subdued now. I followed, still mad as a rejected hornet. He then turned at the cross road leading toward our area. I followed. Ha. He’ll think I’m still chasing him. Serves him right.

Further on he slowed and turned at the next street that led directly to our neighborhood. Well, so he lives in the same area. I turned too, still hot, but cooling down more. Anyway, I assumed that my following would make him think that I was still pissed off and chasing him. It would rub the lesson in real good.

Then as we neared the entrance to the cul de sac where we live, the 4by4 did not drive on by as I was expecting him to do. Instead, he slowed and turned into our street. Instant recognition of the vehicle flooded my consciousness.

Oh, my God. He was my neighbor who lived right across the street from our house. Instantly, my heat evaporated and I felt like a fool.

I was so humiliated that I did not even stop at our street and turn in. I drove right on by hoping now that he might think that I lived somewhere else. My son Kyle asked, “Daddy, why are we driving by our house?” I simply could not stop across the street from 4by4, get out and go into the house at the same time that he would be entering. Driving on by our street let me deceive myself that he might not recognize me. But he had seen me earlier leaning out the window, waving and cursing him.

It was months before we could handle seeing each other. We would give each other quick embarrassed little nods of the head before ducking into our cars and scooting off out of sight. Eventually, we recuperated enough to occasionally talk but we never referred to that one dark night of the soul.

Prayer for Help

I have also stopped praying for God to intervene in life. Prayer for God’s intervention seems to violate the true nature of life and freedom. And prayer for God to intervene or help is often an effort to return to the supposed security of previous human immaturity when people believed the gods controlled all things. It is a desire to return to a childish dependence on someone else. It is also an effort to escape the sometimes frightening responsibility of true freedom in a world of randomness, chaos, and chance. We all fear such freedom where we are responsible to make choices and live by the consequences of our choices. We want God to step in and take control and rescue us from our fear and ignorance. But that abdication of responsibility only destroys our own freedom and hinders our development as truly human beings. And anyway, God obviously has such profound respect for freedom that he will not interfere.

And with time and effort I have been able to improve on areas where I once failed so miserably. I don’t use the finger anymore in traffic nor do I get so angry with guys cutting me off. Its just not worth the expenditure of emotional energy. After such explosions I never did feel good about myself as a human being. Maybe progress in this area has a lot to do with aging also. I remember Dad telling me in his seventies, “Wendell, I have to just let it go cause I am too weak to do anything about it anymore”. He was referring to the fact that he could no longer physically challenge younger guys who cut him off in traffic. He was a boxer in his youth.

Mom and Dad even survived the shock of two of my sisters and me all marrying Catholics. That was a real stretch of acceptance for them, but they were generous.

We used to get together regularly with Mom and Dad and often drift into reminiscing about our days at Prairie. We would end up laughing ourselves sick at the weird things we were pressured into doing there, such as going forward during altar calls. Manobo used to laugh at similar weird things they were told to do while they waited for the gods to come and rapture them. Dad usually did not join in the laughing, perhaps out of fear of crossing some line of blasphemy or disrespect and thereby upsetting God.

Repeating patterns

When my oldest son was younger I had a lot of struggles with being human in relation to him. I did not want to control him as I felt my Dad had controlled me, but at the same time he needed some structure from me until he was able to take more personal responsibility for his own life. Our relationship had lots of struggle with anger, excessive control at times, backing off, apologizing and trying again. We had a lot of fun too, but human relating can be a real struggle at times. Dad used to watch me dealing with my son and then would say knowingly, “Now you see what it’s all about, eh”.

While I could never tolerate religion as an option for myself, I could accept it as an option for other people such as my parents. It appears that some people find in their religion a sense of community and support. And as long as their religion does not make them too intolerant of others, then it appears that it may be a useful and comforting presence in their lives.

Catholics and Liberal Protestants in particular seem able to remain tolerant and generously human while still engaged in religion. Many Bhuddists, Sikhs, New Agers, atheists, and Wicca witches (a friend once engaged this belief system) also seem to practice the same tolerance and acceptance.

It seems that many people find a suitable vehicle in fundamental Evangelicalism for the expression of personal nastiness.

I remember an old Evangelical friend of our family, a Mrs. S, who started rumors many years ago that I had become a New Ager. Others told me about her slanderous mouth. Well, tribal people did similar things when they confronted the unknown. Anything that they did not recognize, they demonized. Long ago, New Age was a tag for anything that did not sound orthodox. It was a past resident bogeyman of Evangelicalism.

Initially, I was quite angry with Mrs. S. But it does no good to hold anger towards what we consider to be the stupidity and cruelty of others. It’s more liberating to forgive and just move on. I can now even look back at what D G did and realize that despite his nastiness it was time for me to move on out of OMF. I hold no bitterness toward such people anymore.

And no, not all Evangelicals are nasty. Some of the finest people you would ever want to meet are Evangelical. True; they often get into trouble with their stubborn insistence that they alone have truth and all others are wrong. That cantankerous arrogance continues to upset those who suffer from it.

Do I have regrets? Yes. Lots of them. I wasted so much of my younger life in religion. But I have less sourness over it now. And yes, I still get angry with people who try to threaten, dominate, and control others, especially when they use God to do so. But my anger eventually cools down. I like to think of myself as a generally forgiving person.

Sex Again

What about sex now? Well, it’s kind of like god ideas- don’t take any of it too seriously. As Bob Brinsmead says, “God gave us sex so we could have something to laugh at”. Let me tell you about a funny thing that happened to me on the way to an orgasm. The sex manuals tell you how to twist and thrust and grunt and groan, but they don’t tell you how to hold back a fart when the rest of the lower region is ready to let go. There are lots of other things they don’t tell you.

My wife and I were visiting my parent’s place one weekend long, long ago and we decided to enjoy some of the base fleshly pleasures and good old lusts of married life. My parents had let us sleep in their large antique bed, which had a set of rails for a headboard. The rails were all about 9 inches apart. Just the width of a large-brained head. Ha.

We proceeded to become swept up in passion and I, like a sensitive modern man, was trying to use the new technique that I had once seen discussed on the Phil Donahue show. It seemed like a good technique because on that show a married lady had appreciatively fluttered her eyelids at her husband who used the technique on her. He had sat slouched to one side of his chair wearing a cockeyed grin of successful macho. He was “the man” on that show.

Now studies have long stated that only some 10% of women orgasm through direct vaginal intercourse. The new technique claimed to correct that problem. It works like this. After penetration (following proper foreplay of course), the man should rotate his pelvis forward above his wife’s pelvis. The idea is that in that position the man is able to drag his penis across his wife’s clitoris and stimulate it better (its called Coital Alignment Technique).

But in that forward position and with the mattress slanted slightly toward the head of the bed, our rocking motion carried us both forwards. Our heads started to go through the bars at the head of the bed, mine further than my wife’s. I am almost a foot taller than my wife. It was difficult to watch my head and concentrate on the rest of my body. I did not want to break the rhythm and spoil my wife’s enjoyment, so I kept going (I think it was enjoyment. Who knows? Her grimacing may have just been frustration or even pain. Who can really decipher the mystery that is woman?). Whatever, during one rocking thrust my head went right through the bars and when I came back the bars caught the back of my ears. I was stuck. We had to stop. It took a moment to rotate my head and free myself from the trap.

My wife says that I did not actually get stuck but just started going through the bars. But I like my version of the story better. And anyway; how would she remember? She was lost in ecstasy.

In the end we broke down and laughed ourselves silly.

Another time while staying at a hotel, we slept in a bed with a large wood headboard. The same thing happened. Our motion carried us gradually forward till my head was knocking against the wood board. “Donk, donk, donk, donk”. I had to stop before I knocked myself out. That new technique still has some bugs that need to be worked out.

Laughing has now become an alternative orgasm for us. Oh well, as one British wag said about sex, “The position is ridiculous, the cost is exorbitant, and the pleasures are fleeting”. Much like sitting on a pew at church.