Why Most People Might Want to be a Prairie Vole

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Prairie Voles either have much superior willpower and strength of character than humans, or they are simply wired differently.

Maybe their ‘vows of marriage’ are much more meaningful to them.

Prairie Voles are almost exclusively monogamous, staying with their initial pair-bond for life. Indeed, if their partner dies, their commitment is such that they do not pair up with another.

I was intrigued by the article “Love is Strange” by Mike Lee Pearl in which he discusses the role of biology, and more specifically the hormones oxytocin and dopamine, in both Vole and human behavior around pair-bonding. It turns out that Voles are wired differently. They have “really dense oxytocin receptors...” which plays a critical role in their monogamous commitment.

So there you go. If only humans had denser oxytocin receptors the increased bonding instinct from the oxytocin ‘flood’ would cause us to stay for life with our first partner (as Voles do — although that might be a scary prospect for many). The issue of human infidelity and struggle with monogamy would be over!

But we don’t have equivalent biology. Yes, we process oxytocin and dopamine, but not to the same level. 

Despite this, we have somehow created a societal model that lauds monogamy as an ideal, and we use mental fortitude or pursuit of a higher spiritual esthetic as a way of accomplishing it. 

Let me just say I happily and sincerely extend my congratulations to any couple that is celebrating 50-years-plus of married life together. That is impressive, indeed (although, even as we cheer them on, we don’t know if they were truly monogamous).

So why do we so avidly aspire to a lifestyle we are not actually wired to? Yes, we do use oxytocin and dopamine for bonding and connecting, but not to the extent that we are so overcome that we don’t consider bonding and connecting with others.

Is it a spiritual test? That is, were we not given the Voles biology so that we ‘higher’ beings can learn to transcend our ‘lower’ physical nature? Seems rather cruel if the Universe intended it that way. The Voles get a free pass, but we don’t. Maybe if we succeed at monogamous commitment in this life we get to come back as Voles, so we can blissfully experience stress-free monogamy.

Okay, I jest. But doesn’t it make you wonder? If anything, shouldn’t our spiritual beliefs line up with our biology, and the biology of our planet?

Human beings greatest power for survival, beyond intelligence, is our capacity to share. We forget this from time to time, but we see it very clearly when there is a disaster or loss of life. People share and pull together. No doubt, if times get difficult on the planet, our key to survival will once again be to share.

Why is it we can share almost everything in life willingly—even money—but we can’t share our lover? Especially in light of the fact that we weren’t given the biology to be naturally monogamous.

What a revolution it would be if we could embrace our biology and see the sharing of our partner (both male and female) with others as a natural gift of loving connection. Ironically, more primary partner couples would likely stay together if this was so.

As for Mike Pearl’s comments about love, in the same article cited above, well, that’s for another blog post...

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On further thought: Of course, there is another way to look at human vs. vole oxytocin biology. Since our oxytocin receptors are less dense, we obviously have to touch each other and make love much more frequently to create the same level of pair-bonding. Perhaps the key to maintaining an exclusive couple is to touch frequently and make love several times a day — then no marriage contract needed. -- MH

Sexual Shame and Guilt Starts the Moment We Put Clothes On

Does viewing this picture make you feel uncomfortable in any way? Or does it make you feel like joining them?

Does viewing this picture make you feel uncomfortable in any way? Or does it make you feel like joining them?

Within moments of being born, the covering of our naked bodies begins.

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Often, as young children, we try to resist. Who doesn’t have a picture of themselves naked and joyful in the back yard, clothes happily discarded, exposed to the wind and sun? Ah yes, the freedom of it! Remember?

But we are quickly ‘marshaled’ into our clothing once again, when the frolic is over.

We learn that it is not ‘proper’ to expose our nakedness.

We learn that there is something ‘wrong’ with nudity.

We learn to criticize our bodies, based on being visually fed the scantily clad physiques of so-called “beautiful people” in the media. No wonder our bodies should be covered!

We learn to think that clothing represents our ‘style’. We begin to believe that what we wear is part of what defines us, or how we express our personality—a comfortable justification for covering ourselves.

Sometimes we tell ourselves we wear clothes to keep us warm, which is perfectly reasonable when it is cold. Yet when it is warm enough to be naked, we seldom go garment-less, especially around others.

We learn to believe that nudity is a trigger of lust (as if sexual desire is something bad). Therefore being naked is ‘asking for it’, or perverted, or immoral, or even sinful.

And it all begins with that first piece of clothing placed upon us.

We are not taught all this by words alone. Much of it comes intuitively, from silent social cues. And as we get older we come to understand that we can even be thrown in jail for removing our clothes.

It is astonishing that more people do not practice nudity. That is, of all the millions of people worldwide who seek to shed life’s traumas and grow in self-awareness and confidence—to expand consciousness and connection—a very small percentage regularly get naked with others. We do arduous work on our ‘insides’, yet miss the very simple, yet deep, work we can do with our ‘outsides’.

Sometimes I think practicing nudists or naturists are a step ahead in ‘consciousness’. The stories of folks who have embraced ‘public’ nudity with like-minded others are invariably the same. Almost all talk about the initial fear and inhibitions they experienced as they doffed their clothes. Self-awareness and self-criticism can be excruciating at that moment. Not only is there anxiety about people looking at you, but also anxiety about ‘where’ and ‘how’ to look at others. Yet despite these initial discomforts, new nudists ALL talk about the experience as being wonderfully freeing. It does not take long to realize, and internalize, that others embrace your nakedness as being beautifully normal. Issues about body image eventually dissolve. New confidence flourishes. 

Sexual shame and guilt begins with clothing. Which is why taking off our clothing in the presence of others is a critical step in healing self-limitations. 

Here’s to all of you who have no problem doffing your clothes, no matter what your gender, age or shape, within any kind of group gathering. You have, no doubt, found the experience as freeing as I described above. We need to better communicate how this simple act is crucial to healthy self-awareness, confidence, joy, enlargement and wellbeing.

It is not surprising that most of society regards nudist/naturist camps or resorts as being sleazy, or even dangerous. Most think they are havens for immoral, hedonistic people. And it is true that some people even fetishize such places. But there are many well-run resorts that are filled with Average Jills and Joes. And while these can be great places to take this first step to healing sexual shame and guilt, there is nothing stopping you from doing it with any group of friends or acquaintances, as long as everyone participates by choice, with understanding of the framework and goal for doing so.

To grow we must allow ourselves to become vulnerable.

Imagine how easy this step to healing is. No process to study. No long term work to be done. No talking required. No evaluations to complete. Just two brave hands, unbuttoning buttons, unzipping zippers, unclasping clasps, sliding off material. It takes less than 30 seconds. All done! 

Now relax and let the healing do its magic.

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Note: There is nothing wrong with clothes. Clothing does, of course, serve many purposes. But we are not taught to have a balanced view of why we cover ourselves. Instead, most of what we internalize about clothing limits us. If we experience anxiety about being naked in the presence of others we know we have a distorted perspective of clothing—and ourselves!

Loving, Peaceful Community is Matriarchal in Nature

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle Six: Loving, peaceful community is matriarchal in nature.

Female leadership, leading through the wisdom of full spectrum loving sexual energy, creates bonded, sharing, egalitarian human communities that thrive peacefully.

Why this is important: 

We have lived for the last few millennia in a largely patriarchal world. Patriarchy creates ownership, hierarchical decision-making, exchange economies and a host of other peace-, family- and sex-negative social structures and phenomena.

Matriarchal societies, both historically and in the few present-day forms left, demonstrate that true female leadership leads to a culture of sharing, consensus decision-making, gift economies and a host of other peace-, family- and sex-positive social structures and phenomena.

Many people erroneously think that a matriarchal society simply replaces men with women in the traditional patriarchal structures we are used to. Nothing is further from the truth. 

Matriarchy is a completely different paradigm, resulting in completely different social organization. Since almost none of us have experienced it, it is hard to imagine what it would be like.

The current state of our debt-ridden, environmentally depleted and war torn world provides abundant evidence that patriarchy is failing.

We are so embedded in patriarchy that envisioning a paradigm change is almost impossible. 

It is important, however, to know there is another option. We once again need brave people who will create communities where women truly take on group leadership, growing into their natural capabilities as nurturing leaders. 

It is also important to note that the significance of men is not diminished in a matriarchal society (unlike women in a patriarchal society). Their role simply shifts, continuing to do tasks they are naturally proficient at.

As givers and nurturers of life for our species, every woman is a ‘temple’ of Creator power. Their sexual organs are intricately wired into their ‘knowingness’ of our connection to all things. Reawakening the wisdom of the ‘goddess’, that all women are born with, is crucial for creating bonded, gifting, sharing, peaceful communities in the future.

Related articles:

Imagining a Different Way  

The Bonobo Factor: Sexy Feminism  

The Bonobo Factor: Sisterhood  

Why Women Are the Catalyst & Foundation for Polyamory  

Call For A Vagina-Centric Society?

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.

We are All Born to Share

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle Five: We are all born to share.

We are born sharers. At any given moment, we must ‘share’ the total amount of energy available on earth with all other life forms and matter. When we die, the energy that our bodies represent is ‘shared’ back into the system, to be re-formed. Our understanding of loving, sharing connection to everything around us awakens us to embrace sharing as a spiritual principle.

Why this is important: 

The spirituality of sharing is essential for the health of our planet and our continued place in it. Early humans were very connected to their environment and aware of how sharing was critical to survival. Sharing was built into every aspect of their way of life. 

As we modern humans have become increasingly disconnected and removed from our natural environment, and from the processes that create food and shelter, we have continued to lose touch with our need to share to exist.

Embracing the spirituality of sharing counters the cultural myth of possession. We don’t really possess anything. Ever. 

In a sharing system like our planet, possessiveness will ultimately fail. Possessiveness creates separation, which creates endless opportunities for strife instead of peace. 

We live in a modern culture of separation. Sharing, for the most part, is reduced to token donations to charitable causes.

It is important for us to explore and rediscover what sharing really means. We need people who are brave enough to reject possessiveness; who embrace, instead, the spirituality of sharing, in order to forge a new path to peaceful, egalitarian life.

Related articles:

Monogamy vs. Polyamory is NOT the Issue  

The Bonobo Factor: No Jealousy  

Our Sexual Catch 22 

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.

All Human Beings are Equal and Beautiful

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle Four: All human beings are equal and beautiful.

Each person, male or female, represents a unique spectrum of divine characteristics. All bodies are beautiful. All gender orientation is beautiful. All ages are beautiful. All gifts, abilities and mannerisms are beautiful.

Why this is important: 

Perhaps this principle seems so intuitive it doesn’t need to be stated. Yet somehow we have an ongoing difficulty with acceptance of human equality.

Certainly, human equality is constantly under siege in our paternalistic world. Especially gender equality.

We are fed myths of what an acceptable body is, every moment of every day. Body acceptability may be the most prevalent sexual myth of all; so embedded in modern society, in our psyches, that even the most enlightened souls fall into judgment without realizing it.

We also have deeply embedded judgments about gender orientation. How did we decide to put “homo” and “hetero” and “bi” in front of sexual? Does it matter? We are all beautiful, sexually-energetic beings. 

In modern times, we have lost the magic of our elders. Historical tribes valued their old, for the beautiful wisdom etched into their minds, bodies and souls. 

In those same tribal communities, all gifts and talents were valued, from the clairvoyant and eccentric, to the sensitive and witty, to the strong and mighty. We have lost touch with the value of what we often call ‘strange’ or ‘weird’.

Racial intolerance, despite all the good work towards accepting diversity, still churns behind the facades of normalcy.

It is important, for the sake of peaceful, thriving human communities, to see every woman as a ‘goddess’—a truly gifted, divine representation of Creator, no matter what her age, size, shape or color of skin. 

And it is important to see every man as a “knight of valor”—a powerful contributor to the sustenance of the human ‘community’, regardless of characteristics.

Related articles:

Embracing Our Sexually Energetic Being-ness  

A Call for a Vagina Centric Society

Going to Church

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.

Full Spectrum Sexual Energy is Loving

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle Three: 3. Full spectrum sexual energy is loving.

Sexual energy can be expressed in a narrow spectrum way, or a full spectrum way. Narrow spectrum sexuality, caused by centuries of limiting cultural influences, laws and religious beliefs, lacks consciousness of the divinity of sexual energy. Narrow spectrum sex is often non-spiritual, damaging, unconscious, negative, possessive, dissociative and wounding. Full spectrum sex is spiritual, loving, honoring, creative, conscious, positive, liberating, bonding, and healing. 

Why this is important: 

Imagine this. You are a big pot, filled with sexual energy. Your sexual energy gets heated up naturally; by hormonal activity, by attraction, by sexual imagery or words, by smells and other senses. You can quickly become a furnace of sexual desire. But suddenly you are not able to boil freely. Someone (society’s myths and constraints) has sealed you with a pressure-cooker lid to contain that heated up energy.

The pressure builds and builds, until something or someone opens a narrow valve, and your sexual energy comes bursting out in a thin, restricted discharge of steam. Instead of your energy being free to bubble and release its energy in a fully open way, it comes out, under pressure, through a narrow, limited portal.

Ironically it is not our “obsession with sex” that causes spillovers of aberrant sexual behavior, as many would argue. It is our societal/cultural constraints, limitations and myths that cause skewed, narrow releases of sexual energy.

Sexual energy embraced in a full spectrum (holistic) way is loving and honoring, unafraid of open vulnerability and expression. 

By bravely embracing sexual energy’s life-giving, divine power, its potential for creativity and self-expansion, its ability to heal the effects of cultural, sex-negative myths, we slowly remove the ‘pressure cooker’ lid from our sexuality, allowing us to experience ourselves more truly, more openly, more lovingly, more fully.

Related articles:

We are Stuck in a Sexual Catch 22 

Casual Sex or Not, Women Want Loving Sex

The Creative Power of Sex

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.

Sexual Energy is Spiritual Energy

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle Two: Sexual energy is spiritual energy.

Because sexual energy is the foundational component of life, it is, in essence, a spiritual energy. It is inextricably linked to Creator or Source (however you envision our origin). It is divine, creative power. As such, sexual energy is not something to be afraid of, but rather to be embraced, celebrated and expressed fully.

Why this is important: 

Once we acknowledge the essential link between sexual energy and the creation and existence of life, it is easy to understand why it is spiritual, both for those who have no religious faith at all, and for those who do have some sense of God or Creator. 

This Creator-power lives right inside us, with all its life-giving potential. We are not separated from ‘God’. God is in us. And it does not require any elaborate belief system or ritualization to make that connection. 

Acknowledging that sexual energy is spiritual energy elevates our view of it from a ‘base’ or ‘low’ urge to something that is ‘high’ and ‘holy’. 

It also means that when we activate our own, or someone else’s, sexual energy, we are engaging in a spiritual act, whether we acknowledge it or not. 

Unfortunately, in modern society, the spirituality of sex is almost completely ignored. And because of this, much of our expression of sex (think of the proliferation of narrow spectrum porn, for starters) becomes unfulfilling or limiting in some (often very subtle) way.

This is the opposite of the way we were made to be. 

Embracing the spiritual nature of sexual energy is an important healing step in allowing our sexuality to be freely expressed in an honoring and loving way—stimulating growth, enlargement and fulfillment.

Related articles:

God is Sex: The Divine Connection  

Embracing Our Sexually Energetic Being-ness  

We are Stuck in a Sexual Catch 22  

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.

Sexual Energy is Equivalent to Life

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This series of six posts outlines and expands on the principles of Loving Sexual Energy. We invite you to show your support. The most practical way to join our worldwide community of loving sexual energy supporters is to “Like” us on our Facebook page and/or subscribe to our blog. Please join us!

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Principle One: Sexual energy is equivalent to life.

The first living cell to experience the ‘ache’ of existence, whether plant or animal, vibrated with sexual energy in order to continue. All living things are essentially sexual beings. Without sexual energy and the impetus to reproduce, we, and the beautiful natural world we live in, would not exist.

Why this is important:

Modern human tendency has been to view sexuality as only part of what we are, caused by centuries of constraining and/or restraining the natural expression of the abundant sexual energy that flows inside us.

We talk about our “obsession with sex” as if it is an aberration—something humans can, and need to, transcend from.

Ironically, this way of thinking is like denying our essence, because we are inherently filled with life-producing sexual energy. We are 100% sexual. Denying our essence inevitably leads to a limited experience of ourselves and of our kinship with all living things.

For example, do we see a tree, a flower, a worm, a bird, or a field of grass as sexual beings? They are. They, and all other living beings, exist to reproduce. All their energy is given to growth and reproduction. And we are the same.

Sexual energy, as seen in the diversity of our living, vibrant, natural world, is a beautiful, creative power.

Once we acknowledge that sexual energy is equivalent to life—that we are sexual beings at our essence—we can begin to embrace ways to express its life-giving, creative power more fully and naturally with each other.

We need the bravery to begin to explore ways to challenge and break down the societal sexual constraints that are embedded inside us, that bind us, little by little, as we are able.

It is important for us to embrace life energy as sexual energy—and sexual energy as life energy—in order to experience the fullness of our nature and our kinship and connection with all living things.

Related articles:

God is Sex: The Divine Connection  

Embracing Our Sexually Energetic Being-ness  

We are Stuck in a Sexual Catch 22  

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Living in Community

We are also looking for people who are interested in joining a real life community based on the principles of LSE (loving sexual energy) in, or near, Vancouver, Canada, which will be an experiment in sharing/gifting, matriarchal living, and also an outreach to the wider community. See our Community page.