My all-time favorite novel is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. It helped me see where I had been enabling other people in my life. It helped me grow a spine and set boundaries in relationships. It opened my eyes to where I had lost myself. Reading Atlas Shrugged was one of the first steps I took in finding my way back to emotional and relational health.
I like Rand because she makes me think, and I absolutely love the characters in Atlas Shrugged. I’ve watched video interviews with Rand, and she comes across more abrasive and stubborn in person than in her fiction. I don’t always agree with her philosophies, but because I love the novel so much, I’ve tried to at least understand where she’s coming from. Doing so, has helped me gain new insights into relationships and humanity.
I was researching some of Rand’s quotes today for another blog and found this intriguing quote on sex. In recent years I’ve come to understand how closely tied our sex lives are to the value we see in ourselves. I’ve never heard anyone articulate it quite this way.
“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves.
No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire.
It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.” – Ayn Rand
What do you think of what she has to say on this subject?