“… Her truth, her altar,
forms at the
juncture of firm thighs
where a hallowed moistness --
a sticky-sweet dew --
exists solely to quench
my lustful thirst.
It’s where the stuttering
of my lips
from an unknown religion
to forgotten Gods.”
All rights reserved © 2008
According to The Big Three (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) the erotic impulse -- the world of Eros, the body, and human sexuality -- falls under the domain of Satan. From this perspective, the physical is cast as sinful, bestial. Human sexuality, according to this view, is an obstacle from the lofty hallowed pursuit of God and everything that is good and ethical. From the moment we are born, we are told that the more we open to the erotic impulse, the more we listen and open to the needs of the body, the more we embrace and enjoy our sexual natures, the further we stray from moral rectitude and emotional well-being.
I write this Friday sex blog mostly because I argue that the opposite is true. I submit that the erotic impulse, honored and liberated from the shackles of guilt and organized forces of suppression, is a powerful spiritual path leading to a profound psycho-spiritual awareness. The sex blog is a call for us to stop trivializing the erotic/ sexual world as we so often do, as if sex involved nothing more than sensory stimulation, ego gratification, and the pursuit of an orgasm.
Some of my assumptions are radical. That there is more to sex than the giddy pursuit of carnal pleasure may be hard to accept in the aftermath of the sexual explosion of the 60s and 70s. It was an era when reliable birth control, combined with an awakening feminism, consciousness-raising, and the movements for gay, lesbian, and bisexual liberation released us from some of our legacy of sexual oppression and fear. However, it is my submission that that it is precisely our failure to recognize the depth of the erotic impulse that is at the root of our current dissatisfaction with our sexual nature.
Once we began to shake loose the shackles of sexual repression, we were as the proverbial children in the candy store. In the time of so-called free love, we seemed to want nothing more than to consume as many erotic experiences as we could. We were, after all, sexually starved beings emerging from thousands of years wandering lost in a wasteland into a world of lush jungles bursting with exotic fruit. I was there, and it was an exciting time in the cultural history of Western sexuality, and an important first step in freeing ourselves from the repressive world on the 50s -- the huge, white-picket-fence, clean and tidy, sexual suburbia of post-war America.
Released from sexual repression, we had more sex in more ways (with your mouth, your ass, with a vibrator, within groups, or with people of your own gender). But even as we feasted on the erotic delights we also discovered, even as we celebrated breaking down the political, religious, and cultural inhibitions, that there were limits. The new synthesis, to borrow from Hegel, had created a new antithesis. The crest of the wave was moving faster than the base and there were rocks up ahead. Jumping into the sexual realm, we found ourselves confronted with a landscape we could not have expected and did not know how to interpret.
As much as we would like to trivialize it, we must realize that whenever we play with erotic energy, we engage both emotional and archetypal forces that have their roots in the very heart of who we are as human beings, in how we define ourselves, and how we relate to the world around us. Entering consciously into the erotic world raises issues and feelings, for example, around usually unfulfilled desires rooted in infancy -- desires needing attention and nurture. The erotic impulse touches upon our prenatal memories of being at one with another human being, our ego boundaries, and the blurring of personalities, and notions regarding surrendering control of our behavior. The erotic impulse always raises all the issues related to intimacy: the very human desire to be close to someone else, the fear of becoming lost or smothered, and all the past yearnings, wounds, and disappointments we have experienced. Being sexual confronts us with issues of our worthiness to receive love or pleasure, as well as when and how we want, or don’t want, to extend these ways of caring expressions to another.
Going deeper into the emotions released by deep erotic experiences, we are confronted with anger, passion, even rage which we may find embarrassing or disturbing. We find ourselves dealing with issues of power, and of trust. Going deeper still, erotic experiences takes us down to basic feelings about the balance of chaos and order, and even to an experience that many describe as a direct contact to the Divine.
I view the sexual experience as a valid path for exploring the very meaning of life. I see the attempt to pursue awakening only through an otherworldly mental exercise as wrongheaded and culturally biased. Perhaps it’s a consequence of a spirituality dominated by male spiritual teachers who defined an embodied feminine way of engaging the world as inferior.
Sex is a matter of energy. Once you have learned to experience orgasm as an energy event outside the sexual context, you take responsibility for your well-being in sex. You realize that the true source of your pleasure lies not in your partner but within yourself.