While I find your concept of likening a gym to a sex dungeon rather fascinating, I have to point out some things for you to consider:
a) you backtracked on the potential history of the body’s need to move as it was created to be mobile. Earlier years saw less use for being more stationary and more mobility due to the need for hunting/avoid being hunted. Like most animals, we are meant to move, yes, but the primary reason for moving is to ensure that our bodies are working at its prime. The chemicals to make us feel good released by our bodies as a result of the activities are simply small rewards, but it’s not the end result. The end result–is to boost endurance, even if the marketing of exercise recently has geared towards a feel-good approach to make gyms more appealing.
b) sex, however, started out as for procreation but moved towards a much more hedonistic approach. For your case, you were stating that you need to understand what you want to ensure that you’re deriving the most return/maximizing the pleasure. Sex dens, therefore, will be useless to those who don’t find it appealing (i.e, vanilla, etc), especially since it is designed for users to derive pleasure.
c) However, since the goal of exercise isn’t exactly about whether it’s going to give you pleasure but simply to keep you moving, whether or not you like a gym invalidates likening it to a sex dungeon, primarily because 1) using a sex dungeon without cumming/deriving pleasure from it makes it inefficient, however 2) using a gym whether you like it or not will still keep you moving, therefore still achieving its intended result.
Of course, if we’re simply talking about “liking” it, then I guess my argument is invalid.
Most of my ideas concerning the body originated from a book called The Betrayal of the Body by Alexander Lowen, which occasionally seems to venture into the realm of the occult (he refers to certain types of personalities as “clowns” and “monsters” and “witches”, things like that) – I feel that this manner of presentation (overly creative?) is the reason why his ideas never really became a thing (as the kids these days put it).
Recently, however, I’ve begun to think that when a person’s ideas occasionally sound like they are off the mark, it is a likely indicator of originality of thought. It’s hard to be off the mark when you are simply repeating ideas that have already been validated by society. I would even go so far as to say that the current climate of requiring everybody’s thoughts and actions to be correct all the time is helping to kill the originality of thought. Like there is no room to be wrong, to make mistakes – every criticism is automatically perceived as an attack, and any admission of error is perceived to be the erring person (errer?) basically declaring himself or herself to be a complete and utter disgrace to society.
Okay, that may be overstating the case a bit. (Also this is a topic that deserves its own post.)
Anyway, I’ve somewhat hit a block on this analogy – I know what it is inside my head, but I’m having some trouble expressing it – so I guess this comment was pretty timely. And the above paragraph was me saying that I particularly welcome criticism, basically.
Okay. First, I’ll clarify the base of the analogy.
gym:body :: sex dungeon:unwilling partner
was not the base, but an offshoot.
this is the base
mind:body :: partner:partner
This analogy describes the mind and body as two distinct parts of a person that have a relationship. Since most people are familiar with the id / ego / superego model of the human psyche, we can try working from that.
body:mind :: id:ego/superego
I’ve not equated these two, and this isn’t an analogy that I like; it’s only to help frame the concept because the idea seems so strange to most people.
People are familiar with the id as the part that is “bad” – that it is a base, awful, greedy, selfish part of the personality that needs to be subdued by the “developed”, “realistic”, “moral” ego / superego.
Now, following this (imperfect!) analogy, the body is the base part of the person, which has strong and often inconvenient desires. I could give many examples but to help direct us back to the sex-dungeon analogy, I’ll go with this one: the desire to lay around in bed all day eating, and not going to the gym.
That would be a desire of the body, which is sleepy and tired and hungry. The mind, as the supposedly “better” part of the person, wants to eat salad and go to the gym.
Thus, diet and exercise becomes a battle of wills between the body and mind.
Sure, it’s possible to lose weight by forcing yourself every step of the way – by religiously going to the gym even though you don’t want to, forcing yourself to go hungry, forcing yourself to eat food you don’t like all the time – but very few people can do that, obviously. The reason for that is that willpower is a finite resource. It is a form of energy that, like all other forms, runs out and needs to be replenished. Like other forms of energy, too, some people have more than others, and some people have less – but everyone has a finite amount to work with each day. An amount that is spent every time you force yourself to do something you don’t fully want to.
The problem here is that people have a task (movement) that most people cannot accomplish through willpower alone. Losing weight is hard enough for people who can afford dietitians and trainers and delicious but healthy food – just imagine how much harder it is for normal folks with demanding jobs / studies / children and very little extra time.
Are these people then doomed to a life of XXXL sweatpants, paying double on planes and / or earning the ire of fellow human beings into whose space they are softly spreading? If not willpower, what is the motivation that can consistently propel a person towards movement?
The answer is pleasure.
Now we can circle back to the question, how is
gym:body :: sex dungeon:unwilling partner?
In a healthy relationship between partners, sex is an activity that both seek and delight in. (exempting asexual people, as the analogy right now is complicated enough without going into an aside about them) Neither one forces it on the other. If one has issues about sex, they will communicate about what can be comfortable for both of them, keep communicating and trying until sex has become a completely pleasurable activity for both of them. If one forces sex on the other, that will drive the issues deeper and make sex even more unpleasant; one partner gets his or her way, and the other one is miserable.
In the same way, a healthy relationship between mind and body takes into account both the desires of the mind (I want to lose weight and be fit) and the desires of the body (I hate running). Years of inactivity and bad eating habits create the physical equivalent of “issues” inside the body. (Insulin resistance, joint problems, etc.) These are not issues that can be solved easily. They almost certainly need medical assistance to deal with. If someone has been in the process of turning into a vaguely human-shaped lard-vegetable for years (or even months, sometimes) it is not reasonable to expect them to squeeze into a pair of running shorts and eat nothing but salads and make that sustainable.
Just like it is not reasonable to have a partner whom you have denied sex for years, and then all of a sudden make them enact the entire Kama Sutra with you (in a sex dungeon), and expect them to find it pleasurable.
The people who rely on willpower to motivate their fitness can achieve their goals, but if they do not develop a good relationship with their body, the minute their willpower slips, they’re fat again.
That would be like having a sexual relationship wherein only one partner (mind) initiates sex (exercise) all the time, and the other (body) is unwilling or apathetic.
If a good relationship with the body is developed, the following happens:
- a person eats when they’re hungry and stops when they’re full
- a person does not hate himself or herself for missing a workout or eating something they shouldn’t have
- a person finds a form of exercise that they like
- a person moves freely and naturally
- a person is aware of when they need rest
- a person feels energy in their body which makes them want to move
Unfortunately, a large portion of these people are probably labeled “hyper.” This is because of the current setup of society, wherein the ability to sit quietly at a desk is paramount, which is a relatively new thing in human history, most of which saw our kind running across veldts and scurrying up trees and energetically massacring buffalo. This labeling starts when a person is young (the body is new and has no issues about movement) and is constantly being told to sit still (like a sexually demanding person being constantly denied) and develops into issues that persist into adulthood.
Now, don’t ask me what to do about that – I’m not a developmental psychologist – this analogy is only about fixing the damage that has been done, not about preventing it (sorry, kids, I don’t know what to do).
If the motivation behind exercise becomes pleasure instead of willpower, then a person would have no problem staying fit, because the body and mind are one in their action (body: I want to go swimming, because I like swimming – mind: I want to go swimming, because I will be sexy).
As opposed to the current view of how exercise should be (body: I want to stay here in front of the TV because I am unfit and I have metabolic issues that have not addressed – mind: fuck your issues, it’s swimsuit season).
The motivation becomes essentially infinite, because pleasure is… well, pleasure. Shifting motivation from willpower to pleasure would be like shifting from a finite resource like coal, to one like solar or wind.
(another analogy for you – willpower:pleasure :: fossil fuels:renewable energy)
From a terrible relationship wherein one partner was forcing all the activity on the other, it would become a healthy relationship wherein both partners have input. (The body also wants to move, quite apart from the mind’s desire to have the body lose weight – the body wants the process, the mind wants the result – as opposed to the mind wanting the result and the body hating the process.)
A) The end result of movement is to boost endurance, not to make our bodies feel good.
If movement cannot even be achieved, then the “end result” is not relevant.
B) – C) Sex dungeons cannot be likened to gyms because a sex dungeon wherein someone does not derive pleasure is useless, whereas a gym where people suffer is still useful because they lose weight afterwards.
Since most people gain the weight back, then it was useless for them too.