Back in January, I wrote the post Understanding Attraction. It was somewhat based off of insight based off of what we see in the real world evidence from the PUAs and players. Donal Graeme has two excellent codified posts of what “vectors” are involved with attraction. 5 vectors of female attraction and going APE with a categorization of appearance/personality/externalities.
However, this didn’t really sit right with me. I think material world analysis is good, but it’s of the world. We know that God created the world and everything in it as good, but it’s not the same thing as what God says in His Word. And we are supposed to base our actions, thoughts, and beliefs off of what God says, especially in His Word.
It was actually this past series on Authority and the argument in Authority is Good that has really opened up my eyes to understanding attraction from a Christian perspective. I think most of the Christian manosphere bloggers will kick themselves for not understanding this sooner.
To understand attraction let’s go back all the way to the creation of the world.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule (râdâh) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue (kâbash) it; and rule (râdâh) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [al]sky and over every living thing that [am]moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the [an]surface of all the earth, and every tree [ao]which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the [ap]sky and to every thing that [aq]moves on the earth [ar]which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
H7287 — râdâh — raw-daw’
A primitive root; to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.
H3533 — kâbash — kaw-bash’
A primitive root; to tread down; hence negatively to disregard; positively to conquer, subjugate, violate: – bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection.
I think the best word for understand this authority or rule is dominion. God tells man to take dominion over all of the earth.
If you read the previous post on Structures of Authority before the fall, you’ll see that that there are 3 arguments from Genesis that husbands had authorities over wives prior to the fall. Namely,
- God creates and brings the animals in front of Adam to name, and the same thing occurs with Eve.
- The comparison of Cain’s temptation with sin and his decree to master it is the same as Eve’s curse to desire her husband and the husband’s rule over the wife.
- The fact that we understand that perfect authority, as exemplified by God -> Jesus and Jesus -> Church, is love. Adam, prior to the fall, could perfectly love his wife as Jesus does the Church.
God intentionally does not make men and women “equal” prior to the fall. Instead, God creates with the intention of a husband having the authority over the wife which is exemplified through being his helpmeet.
Therefore, by the same measure we understand that it is one of the innate characteristics of marriage — the dominion of the husband over the wife — that God has created to be attractive to women. Likewise, this is in agreement with God’s command to take dominion over all of the earth.
Let’s look at Donal’s vectors of attraction which we know to be empirically true, and see if they fit within the paradigm that God has created and commanded — that man have dominion over the earth (which includes himself).
- Power/Personality — A man that has dominion over his person and thus power/personality is not needy or have any deficiencies. He does not have anything to prove. If he needs something instead of begging others for it, he goes out and accomplishes it.
- Status — Status is an indicator of man’s dominion over social situations or social groups.
- Athleticism — Athleticism is a man’s dominion over his body primarily physically but also psychologically and emotionally in action.
- Looks — While men cannot change what they are born with, they can exert dominion over how they look and how they appear by taking care of themselves with proper grooming, smell, clothes, etc.
- Money — Money is a dominion in itself because it can be exchanged for needs, goods, and services. It is literally a means by which a man can access that which he desires.
As you can see, each of these vectors show different aspects of what a man has dominion over here on this earth. This is expressed through a man’s dominion over himself, and a man’s dominion over his environment.
What is very interesting is that a man’s lack of dominion results in sin. Think for a moment about the 7 deadly sins:
- Lust — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his desire for money, food, fame, power, or sex then he falls into sin.
- Gluttony — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his wants or needs then he overindulges or overconsumes.
- Greed — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his desire for material possessions.
- Sloth — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his own laziness.
- Wrath — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his emotions especially anger.
- Envy — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over his desire for what his neighbor possesses.
- Pride — When a man is uncontrolled (or lacks dominion) over himself.
Pride, being the original and most serious sin, is what all of the other sins stem from. It is a lack of dominion over himself such that he loses control in any of the areas above such as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, or envy.
Thus, the Christian definition of “attraction” is doing that which God has commanded in the beginning: to take dominion over the earth and likewise to his wife. A Christian man can do that by exerting dominion over himself and any environment he inhabits.
When a man fails to exert dominion over himself then he sins and will also generally becomes unattractive. Men who cannot control their own lust put women on a pedestal or become addicted to things such as pornography. Men who cannot control their gluttony will become obese or become addicted to things such as video games. Men who cannot control their sloth may quit their jobs and live in their parents basement. etc.
You can see this across the world as both non-Christian and Christian men become more feminized. There is a lack of responsibility for taking dominion over their own lives and their environments.
2. Sexual desire / arousal
Attraction is different than sexual desire or arousal. However, they are accomplished by similar mechanisms. Let’s explore the Scriptures which speak to this.
As previously mentioned in Structures of Authority before the fall, God outlines the curse put on Eve, and it is contrasted against Cain’s struggle against sin:
- Gen 3:16c Yet your desire (teshûqâh) will be for your husband, And he will rule (mâshal) over you.”
- Gen 4:7 If you do well, [e]will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire (teshûqâh) is for you, but you must master (mâshal) it.
H4910 — mâshal — maw-shal’
A primitive root; to rule: – (have, make to have) dominion, governor, X indeed, reign, (bear, cause to, have) rule (-ing, -r), have power.
H8669 — teshûqâh — tesh-oo-kaw’
From H7783 in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing: – desire.
H7783 — shûq — shook
A primitive root; to run after or over, that is, overflow: – overflow, water.
The two implications here are very interesting.
Teshûqâh comes from the root word shûq which denotes a manifestation of human desire such that it overflows overflow. I believe that it is directly related to the condition of the heart.
The first is the traditional interpretation of the verses here. This is that a wife desires (overflows with longing for) her husband in that she desires his authority. This is the evil state of the heart where desire is a temptation. This is the easiest interpretation to pull out because humans are naturally rebellious. Likewise, the desire of a wife to usurp the husband’s rule is a temptation like sin. This the temptation that many Christian wives today have fallen to.
The mean here where desire is temptation agrees with the verse about Cain in Genesis 4. Sin lies at the door, and the desire (temptation or overflowing with long for) is there but Cain should master it.
The other interpretation is pulled out from the only other verse where teshûqâh is used in the Scriptures — Song of Songs.
- Gen 3:16c Yet your desire (teshûqâh) will be for your husband, And he will rule (mâshal) over you.”
- Song of Solomon 7:10 — The Union of Love — “I am my beloved’s, And his desire (teshûqâh) is for me. 11 “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the [l]country, Let us spend the night in the villages. 12 “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine has budded And its blossoms have opened, And whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. 13 “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.
From this we know that desire — teshûqâh — is also an overflow of sexual desire and/or longing for in both feeling or emotion that spurs one to action.
If we take this into context with the passage from Genesis, we see that the wife will sexually desire her husband when [when she submits to] his dominion over her. This is the good side of submission to authority for the wife — she will overflow with sexual desire for her husband. See the rest of Song of Songs for more details, or alternatively look no further than romance novels or 50 shades where the protagonist ravishes the woman.
The passage in Song of Songs is from the reverse perspective. When the woman — the Shulammite Bride — is possessed by her love (e.g. “I am my beloved’s”) then the husband’s sexual desire will be for her. Thus, a husband’s overflow of sexual desire comes from possessing his wife. In other words, the Shulammite wants to be her beloved’s/husband’s. There is probably no greater turn off, aside from obesity, than an unsubmissive wife. An unsubmissive wife does not want to be her husband’s as she disrespects, nags, and otherwise in rebellion.
Therefore, following God’s command of the husband’s authority over the wife in the marriage relationship results in a husband’s sexual desire for his wife (Song of Songs) and a wife’s sexual desire for her husband.
These Scriptures unify what we have observed throughout the manosphere. Those wives that are rebellious and thus desire the authority of their husband instead of submitting to it will have no sexual desire for him. Those wives that submit to their husband’s authority and his possession of them will overflow with sexual desire for him. And likewise, vice versa.
I am always amazed at the multiple meanings that can be found in the Scriptures.
This is a post I have been most excited to write since the inception of this blog, and I suspect that it will stay that way for some time. This is the paradigm shift from “PUA/player” understanding of attraction and sexual desire that I have been looking for ever I took the anti-game perspective.
I wrote in Reactive, Proactive, and Truth that currently the majority of the Christian manosphere is based off of neo-reaction style of thinking. Basically, the neo-reaction is that we see trends emerging from what has happened in society (namely feminism), and there is a rational, logical based response to it (e.g. players, PUAs, MRAs, Christians, etc). The problem with this is that God does not call Christians to be reactive but to be proactive by obeying His commands. Thus, a concept such as game is incompatible with Christianity.
However, the failure of the Christians to understand what the Scriptures state on attraction and sexual desire has impeded us from becoming proactive in our faith. This is the reason why I am excited because Christians now have a rational, logical, Scripture-based reason to understand the nature of attraction and sexual desire from a Scriptural standpoint.
- The nature of attraction is rooted in God’s command to humans to have dominion over the earth, and in a husband’s dominion over his wife.
- A man that has dominion over his personal life and environment will be attractive.
- A man that lacks dominion over his personal life and environment will tend to be unattractive AND almost always in sin.
As you can see, this unites the commands of God with how Christians are supposed to live their lives. When Christians fail to do what God commands, not only are we generally more unattractive but we are also in sin.
- A wife that desires to usurp dominion/authority from her husband will have no sexual desire toward him. This is typically involved in the context of nagging, disrespect, and otherwise inward or outward rebellion against authority.
- This desire — teshûqâh — is not mutually exclusive although often results in a mutually exclusive outcome. Either the wife will desire to usurp authority from the husband, or she will sexually desire him.
- A wife who submits to her husband dominion over her will have sexual desire toward him.
- A husband whose wife wants to be possessed by him — she wants to be under his authority — will have sexual desire toward his wife.
Post up any discussions, thoughts, or critique.