Monday, March 21, 2011

The Flames of Passion

It is odd to think of Hephaestos as a god of sexuality, sensuality, or eroticism, but among the most famous of myths regarding Hephaestos is the myth of his marriage to the glorious Aphrodite. But I think there is a difference in Hephaestos' role here than that of say Ares or Hermes, both of which are like paragons of male sexuality. They are represented in myth and art as beauteous, strong, lovers that likely can take you to the edge of orgasm by just looking at them, but in Hephaestos there is something else.

Hephaestos is a lame God, he is described in myth as a limping almost troll like figure. In Northern traditions, Dwarves are much like the description of Hephaestos, even down to their renowned industriousness and gift with metalwork. But Dwarves, for all their skill, are not attractive creatures to human beings.

So why would I think that the myth of Aphrodite and Hephaestos is one of sex, rather than the more commonly held notion that it is about Aphrodite's infidelity.

Aphrodite's infidelity, you see, is not a story about infidelity. Surely, that is part of it, but it is actually a story about the inability of man to imprison a woman's heart to a man she does not love. It is not that Hephaestos was not man enough for Aphrodite, by any standard of ancient times, Hephaestos would have been a hugely wealthy man, and he would have provided her with all the things she would have ever needed, except she did not love him. He was forced on her, and in this, this myth is a criticism on the ancient notion that a woman is property with no ability to choose her own husband, even if it is not a husband daddy approves of.

Hephaestus net Martin Van Heemskerk 1536

But from Hephaestos' side of the story, it is a cautionary tale. A tale about not being lead by your cock, because let's face it, the cock wants the prettiest, sexiest, and hottest. It has no notion of love and reciprocity in relationships, it only wants to feel really good while doing what it was designed to do. And be you gay, straight, or bi, the cock thinks the same way, it wants to fuck, and it wants the hottest person, or people, to do it with, and Hephaestos falls victim to his cock and demands the most luscious, beautiful, and sexually alluring of all creatures, and pays the price for letting his desire for that beauty outweigh his ability to think about the future.

Hephaestos, in association with sexuality, is a god who cautions you to beware. To not always be lead by your cock, but to think through the emotional price of allowing that to happen. Being horny is not a problem, Aphrodite's gifts are beautiful, but when you are needful of emotional connection, of love, and of that someone, or those someones, who can give you more than a good feeling down below. Aphrodite, goddess of love can gift you with that as well, but you must heed the warnings and think so that you not be trapped into the same horror that Hephaestos went through in his most famous myth.

I guess, as a sex god, Hephaestos is teaching you to stop, look, and listen, and when you find the right one, go for it.


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