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Herds and norms

posted 4/16/2008 6:50:21 PM |
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tagged: fetish, healthy
  enchanted50

Herds and Norms…

Some people confuse the concepts of ‘normal’ and ‘norms’ with being healthy. There is nothing inherently healthy about norms. Norms, and the shorthand reference to them in common parlance as ‘normal,’ simply informs us of the behavior of herds, of groups. It doesn’t tell us that the behavior is healthy, good, or uplifting. It simply tells us the majority of a herd behaves in such and such a way.

It is normal for wildebeests to run into a swollen stream and tens if not hundreds drown and get swept away. Its normal for them to rush into water into the waiting jaws of crocodiles. Its normal for frogs to sit on warm highways after summer rains. Its normal for coons to stand up and look at oncoming lights.

In this wonderful herd we call humans, it’s normal for people to vote in fear for right-wing whackos around the world. It’s normal for us to eat more than we need, exercise less than we need, and become obese. Its normal for us to be attracted to eating fats and sugars, adding not just fat to our tissues, but diabetes to our health projections. It’s a norm for mothers to make more food available for family than they need.

Norms are group specific. If I was part of biker gang, the norm would be for me to smoke more than I need, drink more than I need, and fuck more than I need. If I was part of a nudist colony, the norms would be clothing optional, touching of genitals in public prohibited, and no staring at women while sporting an erection.

Sex is about power, fundamentally, before as cultures, we put ‘love’ and all of its accouterments on top of it to make it seem so meaningful. That means anything to which we give power has the capacity to arouse some of us. We give power to men in uniform….ooooooh…sexy. We give a different form of power to women stacked in bikinis….oooooooh….sexy. We give power to gaze, and thus exhibitionism has arousal capacity. We give power to touch, and thus there is the touch of the attractive one, and the touch of the rapist…all of which have arousal for one or another. We give power to privacy, and thus sex in public thrills.

We give power to norms, and thus breaking norms can arouse. Some sexual norms protect us…like the norms about sex between children and adults. Other norms are simply interlocked with norms from other arenas of life in a manner that both gives the arousal to some while causing revulsion in others. So its normic to teach kids that urine and feces are horribly dirty (and certainly, feces have all sorts of health issues) and its why oral sex has so many hang-ups for people – after being taught for a lifetime genitals produce ‘dirty’ things and thus are dirty, why would I put that in my mouth? And it is also why some people react so vehemently against golden showers and fecal play.

Some people are aroused by power and its use, thereby dominance, and some are aroused by surrender and service, and thereby submission. Some want to be so servile as to be collared and branded, because it is how they find strong arousal and a place in their head they want to live. Healthy? Measured how? By whether the behavior is ‘of the herd?’

The very question assumes that somehow or another, we can look around and find a great deal of healthy relationships that are deeply fulfilling, deeply integrated, deeply motivating, profoundly self-expressive.

That we are not about to find wherever there are herds because the very nature of herds are not about self-expression but herd-expression. It’s why it was necessary to have civil rights, women’s lib, sexual revolution, women’s suffrage, and on and on, because the herd and its norms couldn’t care less about the self, its expression and mental health other than that a herd member ‘fit’ into the herd. Norms are to insure fit, and the ongoing life of the herd. They’re not about insuring mental well being and health.

As a herd animal, there is little evidence that the herd does little for us but help us feel good when our kids die for the herd’s glory and provide us a place to fit…once we bend enough to fit in the smallness of the ‘norms.’

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Blogs by enchanted50:
Giving without Getting (Part 2)
Giving without Getting (Part 1)
Herds and norms


Comments:

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TheAvenger

Apr 16 @ 6:54PM  
sadomasochism is not the norm, nor is it normal.
enchanted50

Apr 16 @ 7:01PM  
S&M is the norm amongst those who practice sado masochism.

That's the point...norms of the larger herd have minimal value to human interaction other than to try and fit into a herd. We choose the herds...and then we run with them over the cliff, because every herd has self-destructive tendencies.

Its what we do as humans...self-destroy. Sometimes we do it to get off. Sometimes we do it to be patriotic, religious, familial, etc.

But nothing in norms is in itself...healthy. It is simply a measure of group behavior.



Wordsofwit

Apr 16 @ 7:06PM  
Excellently done, very well written. Greenie for ya.
sundance64

Apr 16 @ 7:32PM  
Very good! I wrote mine before reading this...you explain things very well indeed!
aftershox

Apr 16 @ 8:08PM  
Very clearly and eloquently stated. Another kudo is well deserved.

Sad to see that the Discredited One again chooses to discredit herself.
girlcountry

Apr 16 @ 8:10PM  
Very good! And thank you for explaining things in a way that everyone should be able to understand!

A green thingy for ya!
nawtikitty

Apr 16 @ 10:13PM  
lol You're way too smart

Green thingie for ya luv.
dumblonde

Apr 16 @ 11:22PM  
in addition to norms, there are also "trends"...what is the norm now (lets say gay or bi sex, as a possible example) might have been considered totally unacceptable and hidden 50 years ago...

this was an intelligent and well written blog on the topic...
SxzeNewMe

Apr 16 @ 11:31PM  
Oh, so eloquently written! Not easy to write on such a topic with such tact and grace - I am duly impressed.
Norms are to insure fit, and the ongoing life of the herd. They’re not about insuring mental well being and health.
Excellent distinction!
evild614

Apr 17 @ 12:12AM  
Beautiful!

I'd even go so far as to say that "Normal" people rarely accomplish anything great.
Dominus

Apr 17 @ 12:26AM  
It is all based on functionality. If a person is a contributing member of a society, then they should be a respected member of that community. Not in spite of, but because of their lifestyle choices.
nawtikitty

Apr 17 @ 12:44AM  
"...what is the norm now (lets say gay or bi sex, as a possible example) might have been considered totally unacceptable and hidden 50 years ago...

The "herd" couldn't deal with bisexuality 50 years ago and this comment seems to reflect an idea that bisexuality is optional or a passing "fancy"?

Norms are to insure fit, and the ongoing life of the herd.


.....speaking of "herds"..
so eloquently written
enchanted50

Apr 17 @ 1:12AM  
Thank you for all the kudos and warm compliments. I'm happy that I was able to write in a manner that was didn't isolate and distance people from the subject.

In posing the blog, what I was most interested in addressing was the question expressed basically as 'show me how perversion is mentally healthy."

If we ask the wrong the questions, we will always arrive at dead-end answers. Such a question is not asked to be shown anything, as in real inquiry. It is simply a rhetorical question posed to make one's desired answer in asking the question, the only logical conclusion.

Fortunately in this rhetorical question, the illogic was embedded in the preamble to the question by trying to make norms and normal a measure of mental health, which, in sociology and psychology, they are not. They are just a measure of group behavior - what are people expected to do and what do most people do? Perversion is a breaking of norms. And the herd tries to work from that break with norms to lay on...mentally unfit, unhealthy.

But that isn't from the person's perspective, or its subgroup. That mental health model is something that the larger herd attempts to impose on sub-herds to force conformity with the group. Much as the herd has tried to impose homosexuality as a mental health disorder, and bisexuality and transgender.

What is healthy is in part always a battle within the herd for the 'right' to define what is healthy. History's motion is to allow more and more of us that right, thereby undermining the herds ability to force compliance with norms and to throw us all in the state hospitals because we aren't normal...

Thanks heaven!
enchanted50

Apr 17 @ 1:21AM  
Evil - I think that maybe we agree on your point on 'normal' and great, but for this point...it is in doing great things that we leave 'normal?' By definition, it is hard to understand a 'great normal' or a 'normal great' as the words are oxymoronic in juxtaposition like that - i.e., they are mutually exclusive and unintelligible in joint reference.

Yet...it is often normal people who emerge into greatness when history asks of them great things. Ask veterans of war who were infantry and combat. They speak in almost hushed tones of the 'great' ones among them who came from small towns, from neighborhoods, from down the street, and in the midst of great travail, great terror, were able to rise above, risk life, limb and dreams, and help their fellow members of the armed services to survive, if not carry the day.

Dominus - What does 'it' refer to when you say...'It' is all about finctionality'?? Norms, normal??? They don't seem to fit with what you're arguing. Can you explain more??

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Herds and norms