Lock and Key: Revisited

Ness wrote a little piece about that saying about keys and locks:

“A key that can unlock a lot of locks is an awesome key, but a lock that can be unlocked by a lot of keys is a bad lock”

I’ve heard that saying a lot before and I had to question it.  What does it really mean?  Is it just some silly frat boy saying about phallic things and the objects they go into?  That seemed so crude, and I guess on some levels that’s how we’ve been conditioned as a society to feel.  James Bond, Hugh Hefner, Gene Simmons, and so many others are awarded and always forgiven for their ways with women.  It’s who they are.  It could be that we live in a patriarchal society and those kind of powerful, confident, men are powerful with women as well.  But take the women from Sex and the City and they don’t have the same charm.  But the target audience is different.  As men watch Bond movies to re-inforce their daydreams of being heroic, suave, billionaires, it seems that Sex and the City is for women to deconstruct the male daydream.

Before I say this, I’ve watched the entire series, and I enjoyed the show because it was actually a learning experience for a man to watch a show constructed by a woman to entertain women.  But at the end of the day the daydream isn’t quite the same.  It’s not about Bond seducing that amazing bombshell after he’s saved the world.  There’s a lot more cynicism, a lot more strings attached at times, and at times there are moments where I did not approve of how the women acted even if they were men.  I still understood the merit of the show, but there were times where I guess I felt the shoe was on the other foot.

In a way, it could be seen that these powerful womanizer’s feel most powerful when they are being praised by women.  As a patriarchal society, there is always that respect we hold for our mothers.  Especially with the rise of single-parenting.  I’m kind of going in a lot of directions but what I’m trying to get at is that even though this is a patriarchy, women still have a lot of power in their own respect.  Of course, the glass-ceiling and suffrage happened, but aside from that, that’s just one aspect of power and control.  Isn’t it true the behind every great man is a great woman?

It’s clear that men need women and women need men.  Regardless of who does the voting or earning money or raising the kids or doing whatever it is that couples do.  The balance lies in how we treat each other.  So onto this lock and key business.

Here’s my take: it’s not simply some phallic joke. It has to go a little deeper because it’s not just the visual that matters.  Men and women aren’t having sex solely based on what penises and vaginas look like.  There’s something intellectual to it as well.  Plato explains it really well in The Republic, there’s the physical form of something and the mental form.  We can see a chair and know it’s a chair, but what we “know” a chair is basically doesn’t exist, there’s no perfect physical representation of the picture we draw in our mind of what a chair is.

So similarly, yes the lock and key analogy is about sex.  But it’s also about what it takes to get to that point, it involves what goes on up top before it goes on down below.  Sex then, is a representation of a mental connection.  The key represents integrity, and the lock represent virtue.

There are doors in this world that you don’t need a key for, sometimes you just need to jiggle the handle a little bit to open it up.  That’s not the type of door you hide your valuables behind.  Even if you have the key to unlock it, it’s not the best choice for you if you have something important you’d like to store.  Right?

So there are girls who will unlock without a very good key, if any.  Some women don’t need much convincing.  Whereas there are lots of guys who will try to unlock every lock.  So maybe the guy who tries his key in every lock opens a lot of doors, but he probably can’t open any door that is a little more complicated.  And vice versa.  A lock that is more complicated won’t unlock for just any key.

What it takes is honesty and integrity.  Would you trust the common thief who unlocks every door looking for a scrap here and there?  Or would you rather trust the man who knows what his key belongs to?

It comes down to the better a key or the better a lock you are will yield the best prize.  In Zelda the best stuff was unlocked by the Master Key, not just some random key.  The boss wasn’t hiding behind some average door, he was hiding behind some awesome door.

I’m not at all conservative on my view of sex, but I’m not throwing it around like it’s going out of style.  There’s a balance between to prudish and too loose, but it’s all in the terms one defines for themselves.  But that, is another blog post.

-Bryan

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