We Are Stuck in a Sexual Catch 22

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The other day a good friend suggested that sexual desire and sexual urges are from our ‘lower’ or ‘base’ nature.

Or sometimes we hear it described as our ‘animal’ nature.

I think this is a pretty common view in our culture.

We hear constantly about “our obsession with sex”. The word ‘obsession’ delivers the same message, that sex is a human urge out of control. It sends the negative message that we have let our lower nature overpower our higher nature. And most people seem to agree this is true, based on the proliferation of porn online, the popularity of behaviors like ‘sexting’ and sending naked ‘selfies’, the use of sexual imagery in almost every form of advertising and entertainment and the constant stories of sexual crimes in the media.

Welcome to the human ‘Catch 22’.

On the one hand we are constantly told, in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that our sexual energy is a low, base, animalistic urge that must be controlled, yet on the other hand we are born with a built in ‘furnace’ of sexual desires—urges that want to be expressed and fully experienced.

Kim Anami, noted life and sexuality coach, describes it as our bipolar attitude towards sex. I like that analogy. We fluctuate between engaging willingly in sexual energy and then attempting to transcend it, riding the rollercoaster of opening up, then shutting down, opening up, shutting down, etc.

Even if we find a sexual partner with whom we are able to experience true sexual bliss—a partner who has given the space and safety to allow us to be fully open and vulnerable—we often subtly censor, or ‘make private’ that experience, as if it is something special we can’t share. This censoring more accurately reflects a learned discomfort about revealing that we have given in to our animalistic nature; knowing such behavior within our culture of ‘transcendence’ will almost surely lower other people’s view of us.

So how do we escape this sexual energy ‘Catch 22’?

In any process of inquiry, I love flipping things upside down to see if the reverse view holds a revealing perspective.

The common cultural view is that we must elevate ourselves from ‘unconscious’, animal body urges and desires into a state of spiritual consciousness, free from the physical world.

The reverse view would be this: we must elevate ourselves from ‘unconscious’ spiritual urges and desires into a state of body consciousness, free from the spiritual world.

Does this statement make sense to you, on any level? It may sound odd, on first reading, but if we dig into it a bit, I think it does make sense. Profound sense, actually.

First, we are definitely part of the physical world. We share energy within the physical system we call planet Earth. When we die, the energy that comprises our physical human body gets returned into the system.

Second, because of our ability to be conscious of our actions, thoughts and emotions, we almost intrinsically ‘elevate’ ourselves above the rest of our energy system (including all other living beings). We also naturally question everything. We wonder about the how and why of our existence. So we have this unconscious, intrinsic urge to be spiritual.

Third, many people on their path of enlightenment say the moment they “landed in their body” was significant. Truly landing in, accepting and rejoicing in our body, and its connection with everything else, seems consistent with the reverse view; that we need to elevate ourselves into a state of higher body consciousness.

Fourth, one of the reasons we use the word “lower” for sexual urges is because we consider our genitals (or root chakra) to be physically below our brain (or crown chakra). But I have no problem considering the reverse. If you think about it, there is no up or down in the universe. We tend to think up is into the sky and out into space. But the Earth, which we are part of, could just as easily be up. Our planet is round, so there is no empirical up or down. We are simply attached to the Earth. Who is to say our genitals don’t actually reside in a physically higher position, in relation to our source?

Fifth, the last phrase, about us becoming “free from the spiritual world”, is for me a truism in the sense that we need to be freed from the notion of transcending the physical.

So, perhaps our way to escape our human Catch 22 is to understand that we have things backwards.

What we call our lower nature is actually our higher nature. Instead of transcending FROM our lower selves to achieve a closer ‘walk with God’, we need to elevate our consciousness INTO our higher, creative, sexually-energized selves—the physical world—where ‘God’ actually resides.

Sexual energy is life energy, after all. There would be no life without it. Sexual energy is creative, generative ‘God’ or ‘Source’ energy, right inside us, and in all living things. Sexual energy is what makes us, and all facets of the beautiful planet we live on, tick.

And once we understand this, an ironic transformation takes place. Elevating ourselves into body and Earth consciousness actually elevates us into spiritual consciousness—the very thing we unconsciously desired in the first place. We don’t need to transcend our lower nature to achieve spirituality. Instead, we need to transcend into it, to embrace our true spiritual connection to the Universe—to God, Mother God, Source, or however you refer to the Creator of all things.

Truly understanding that sexual energy, and the love that it generates, is spiritual, causes us to honor our sexuality, instead of hiding and shaming it. We would honor one another—and our whole planetary system—much more deeply with this perception firmly embedded in our consciousness. In this respect, there would be no need to control or constrain sexual energy or our bodies. We would not be afraid of sharing sexual energy freely as a way of deeply loving and honoring ourselves and others.

What a joy it is to know that we can openly embrace and stoke the furnace of sexual desire inside us, surrendering ourselves to the total bliss of divine, healing, creative, loving sexual energy.

Why Women Are the Catalyst & Foundation for Polyamory

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In the hetero-normative world, you say open relationship and most men think ‘threesome’. You’d have therefore thought that would be a popular option for many. But as it turns out polyamory, a truly egalitarian multi-partner ideology, is strongly vilified in our patriarchal world. Because what is sauce for the goose, is definitely not sauce for the gander. Relationships where women have as much power as men to own and share their sexuality, are dangerous and scary. But what would such a society look like? We don’t have to look far to find out.

The bonobos are arguably our closest genetic- and physiologically-related species. Unlike their chimpanzee ‘cousins’, much of their sexual behavior (including face-to-face mating, oral sex, tongue kissing, having sex for enjoyment, with perhaps the exclusion of their uncensored promiscuity) is similar to ours.

They are extremely egalitarian in nature and behavior. The females join together to nurture a cohesive, bonded community. One could say the females ‘gift’ themselves to the males to diffuse conflict and to encourage equal sharing. Food is often shared after sex. The males, who take their status from the status of their mother, are not competitive or warlike.

Bonobo groups are matriarchal in structure. The women wear the pants (metaphorically speaking…)! But not perhaps in the way we are used to in patriarchy, because there is no hierarchy. There is a sense of gender equality. While the males participate in gathering food, their peaceful lifestyle is possible because the females make sure no one goes without. The males have little to complain about.

Whilst debate continues as to whether early human societies were matriarchal, many of the tribal societies discovered by the Europeans as they spread across the globe were matriarchal in structure. And despite being slowly enveloped by patriarchal religions and culture, matriarchal societies still exist today. Examples include the Mosou of China, the Minangkabau of Indonesia, the Bribri of Costa Rica, the Nagovisi of South Bougainville, the Khasi and Garo of India, and more.

Heide Gottner-Abendroth has made the study of matriarchal societies her life’s work. The economic pattern of matriarchal societies is a gift economy, she says, where the giving of gifts is always intended as an entry into and a way to maintain good relationships and peace. Women usually control food and clan houses, so they facilitate the gift economy, which can extend over a broad geographic area and gift giving economics of matriarchal societies is deeply woven into a spiritual system.

The guiding image for the economy is Mother Earth herself, and as with earth, sharing and giving away out of an abundance are its supreme values. The gift is the lynchpin of the economy, patterned after the continuous gift giving of earth and sky.

This sharing aspect of spiritual, matriarchal gift giving extends to sexuality. Sexuality is valued highly, with satisfied sexuality regarded as a key to health, peace and culture. A form of open sexuality is often practiced, with the females engaging in multi-partner relationships. Jealousy, as with the bonobos, is almost non-existent. And not surprisingly, these societies are all very peaceful in nature.

In her book “For-Giving: A Feminist Criticism of Exchange“, Genevieve Vaughan, contrasts the patriarchal ‘exchange’ economy with the matriarchal ‘giftgiving’ economy. Regarding sex, she speculates that women may be practicing a natural urge for “co-municative giftgiving” in their love relationships, including their ‘promiscuous’ ones.

Giving ourselves sexually allows us to feel the emotions of giving and receiving ‘on our own skin’. It allows us to do something for somebody else, satisfy a need without actually transferring goods from one to the other.

It is clear that gift-giving, sharing and nurturing are part of female human ‘wiring’. If given the primary ‘leadership’ role in community, women create an inherently peaceful egalitarian existence. This intrinsic and valuable nature, however, has been repressed by centuries of patriarchal culture.

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Thankfully there is change in the wind. Embraced by increasing numbers of men and women, polyamory (a word coined in the 90s, that only got listed in the Oxford Dictionary in 2006) has brought multi-partner, egalitarian relationships back into the spotlight.

Based on the tenets of what makes polyamory work, it is clearly a matriarchal structure. Here are some of the keys to the ideology:

  •     Authenticity, transparency and honesty.
  •     Trust and open communication.
  •     Consent and compersion (the opposite of jealousy)
  •     Non-possessive gifting of each other to each other
  •     Gender equality and a spirit of sharing equally (egalitarianism)
  •     Sex-positivity (modern, patriarchal society is sex negative)
  •     Agreement by consensus.
  •     Spiritual fulfillment.

This is definitely not a patriarchal construct.

Women will continue to become aware of how their role in multi-partner relationships is so key. Like the bonobos, the communication and bonding between the females in particular, form the ‘glue’ of such arrangements. Their nurturing wisdom can diffuse any conflict that arises in the males. Women also seem to better sense the spiritual connection that is critical to such open, egalitarian sharing.

As multi-partner relationships continue to seed the world with matriarchal wisdom and leadership it is time to recognize the “feminine power” of polyamory and other egalitarian multi-partner communities. Let’s embrace and encourage their matriarchal principles and make our world a better place.

Originally published on Multiple Match, found HERE.

God is Sex: The Divine Connection

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If you haven’t noticed, we live in a world full of sex. It requires no specific belief system or path of enlightenment to understand—to really understand—this one simple principle: life could not have been created, and would not exist, without sexual energy.

Whether or not you see and acknowledge the constant flow of sexual energy in the world around you, you know what it feels like. The sexual energy we all experience within ourselves, the desire and arousal, is congruent with the power or force that created life, indeed, created all things.

Does that make it divine? Well, at the very least it tells us that sexual energy is essentially Source or God energy. In other words, at its essence, sexual energy is incredibly powerful, creative and good.

Doesn’t the beauty of our world, our universe, amaze and astound you? Haven’t we all felt that moment of breathtaking exhilaration when viewing the wonders of nature? For most of us, that is where we most commonly experience a sense of the Divine.

Every living thing you see is a sexual being, from flowering plants and trees and insects, to birds and plankton and the largest of animals. Human beings as well. Without sexual energy, life does not exist. The powers of attraction, union and reproduction are in full flow around us at every moment. Even at the level of the base particles of matter the same principles of attraction and union are at play.

Yet somehow, over the centuries of human existence we have managed to develop ways of thinking and behaving that diminish our view of sexual energy. For many people it is scary. Sexual energy must be something to fear, because we have created laws and beliefs, often completely unfounded, which constrain and contain our experience of it. That is, our ‘allowed’ experience of sexual energy is very narrow. In almost all modern patriarchal cultures this has led to an underbelly of life-limiting shame and guilt. We see sexual energy as only part of our experience, not as a reason for being—a root connection to the power that created everything. We have little concept of its honoring, healing, creative and connecting power.

So, my friends, I challenge you to contemplate the statement “God is sex”— or to state that in a different way, “our connection to Source, to the Creator, to the Divine, lies within the creative power of sexual energy, inside us and all around us”— with an open mind, listening to what your body, and soul, has to say as well.

This blog will continue to examine ways to enable this. Such contemplation and discovery enlarges us from a narrow spectrum experience of sexual desire and sexual activity into a full spectrum experience of unlimited, affirming loving sexual energy.