TBLA (11): the nature of heterosexual attraction (ii)

I wasn’t planning to come back to this so quickly after the last post, but I obviously didn’t make myself clear….

My language of ‘fundamental building block’ and ‘fundamental basis’ was meant to convey that this is where heterosexual attraction *begins*. It was not intended to reduce heterosexual attraction to this.

When St Paul talks about ‘the flesh’ I take him to mean precisely this biological inheritance. It is what we share with the animal kingdom, or, possibly more precisely, it is the nature of our ‘lizard brain’. It is the most primitive part of our personality. It is also what is most stimulated (in the male) by visual cues, which provoke the dopamine hit leading to addictions.

I believe that human desire – that is, the desire of one human being as a human being, not simply as an animal – is irreducibly complex. It begins with the biological for that is the stuff of which we are made, but it grows and develops until – ideally – the whole of a person is involved. This is what I believe the Christian notion of ‘chastity’ properly consists in. Not a simple repression of the biological but an integration of the biological with all the other elements of the personality. It includes all sorts of labyrinthine details of memory association, context and habits, friendliness and charm – all the things that poets have written about for a long time. Here, also, is where I think we don’t need to talk about ‘heterosexual’ either (I only brought in that restriction to try and simplify that first post).

So: sexy babies. That’s where desire begins for a human being. It isn’t where it ends, it isn’t even it’s most glorious flourishing – but I’m getting ahead of myself in my argument there.