Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sex as Symbolic Worship and Tapping the Wellsprings of Life

Why do we enjoy sex so much? It's not just because of the physical pleasure. It's because sex becomes a living, symbolic demonstration of the fecundity of the universe. It is a reaffirmation of flow, abundance, hale, and goodness in the midst of a world where things often go wrong. It is proof that there are wellsprings of good that one can tap into, no matter what else is going wrong in the world. It is a palpable physical reminder that there are still joys to be had, that some needs can be answered, that life is not a completely dry, barren landscape. We may know intellectually that life is not a dry, barren landscape, but emotionally, it is very easy to get bogged down in all the ill that happens in the world and the people around us. Sex recharges our batteries by bringing back wholeness in a tangible way, and reminding us that sometimes the solution to our ills is, literally, reaching out and touching somebody. It is a working of the soil in which love grows, and through this exploration of the earthy side of love, a reminder of how much love binds us and keeps us and heals us when we go astray.

Our first moments in life are all about the healing power of love expressed physically. We are surrounded by arms, held close to the chest, learn of literal wellsprings of milk that nourish us and make us feel good. Sex is in part a recreation of this landscape. Of course, it's not "just" physical. As infants, it's existential : everything is compressed into the sheer power of those moments, that tell us so much about how our life in this earth world are going to be. Sex re-explores the same terrain on new levels, and likewise, when it is true and real, it is happening at an existential level, one far divorced from the purely physical or from performance considerations.

Many people put up a wall between themselves and sex, so that they feel the physical pleasures, but do not allow those pleasures and sensations to penetrate them and permeate them, nor do they allow their essence and spirit to merge with the physical sensations so that one is brought into close, genuine contact with the other. I have talked to people, especially those who do a lot of bed-hopping, who seem to have less contact with another through sex than they might with a good friend just talking in person. This seems odd to me. I fail to understand the point of joining one's body that close with another and yet holding back one's full expression of self and self-meeting-other. I understand the dynamic. There is fear, and there is blockage, and yet still, the desire to reach out and tap the wellsprings of life are there, as urges if blocked rather than as positive guidance if given freedom. But the problem is that a walled experience of sexuality is so superficial that it allows for little existential satisfaction, and so it doesn't really feed what it is intended to feed.

I'm not saying that in the midst of a meaningful, loving, playful relationship there is no place for fun quickies and so forth. It's the purity and depth of the fun that are at issue here, the ability to open up to all that Freyr has to give through the experience. Truly, sex is an altar, an altar where genuine worship takes place, where one has the potential to tap down into source and touch the deep springs of the world, and through that, the cosmos, and engage in an exchange that is refreshing for everyone, and that actually effects real change, however subtle, in the world. I truly believe that. I cannot prove it scientifically. But I believe that when real contact happens in a sexual experience, and one opens oneself up to that level of expression and channeling, and the free energy tapped into is freely radiated with subtle but real exhuberance, that there is, as Wilhelm Reich suggested, a kind of "orgone" or life-energy that is shared out and can help the plants to grow and animals to regenerate themselves.

We have turned sex in our culture into a performance-sport, in which athletics and gymnastics are expected, and the all-important "goal" is "getting someone off". To me, this really cheapens what this is all about, and destroys the fun of the event when everything is geared around performance. Sex should be a sacred space of frith where you put aside the strife and performance-expectations of the world and create a truly liberated zone, where nothing matters but this moment and flowing with it.

The Gods created us, bless them, so that each of us is capable, on our own, of getting ourselves off. Wonderful! So, knowing that, in sex, one can just relax and let go, and worry not about oneself getting off, or whether the other gets off, because the point is enjoying each other, and each person can take responsibility for their own pleasure, and that frees up the space for some genuine spontaneity. The point should be enjoyment, not getting a high-five or a standing ovation for how well you did. Yes, I believe in sexual courtesy, and within moderation being willing, depending on the moment and where one is, to attend to the pleasure of the other, when the flow and rhythm of the dance make that natural.

So many people are concerned about whether they are "good" in bed. It's like they're imagining the gossip on the gossip-mill the next week, and what kind of headlines they're going to get. (If you're seriously worried about this, maybe you oughtn't to be having sex at all, because you're clearly not having it with someone you trust enough to keep the experience sacred and discreet.) Worrying about your performance-rating is the best way to sabotage the experience itself, and disallow you from "surfing the orgone waves" as it were, and truly enjoy yourself.

It's a subtle balance in this dance. Some people get so selfish, and so focused upon their own pleasure, that they ignore the mutuality of the event, and fail to make adequate contact, and end up using the other as a means to an end. Other people, on the other hand, become so concerned about the others' pleasure that, suspending their own enjoyment, they lose the mutuality as well.

Stop for a moment. Think. Retune. Feel. This is a sacred arena you are creating. And when I say "sacred", I don't mean Catholic Church high holidays sacred, I don't mean ceremonious pompousness, and I certainly don't mean that everything has to be serious. Laughter, playfulness, weeping from genuine mirth, open and vulnerable expression of spontaneous and emotive sounds, gentleness, aggressiveness ... the entire mix is sacred. This is literally an opportunity to tap into wellsprings of being and life, a holy form the Gods have given us to recharge who we are, and affirm our spirituality through our animality, in which physical and spiritual are united in one essential whole.

Now, again, sometimes it's very mundane, which is fine, and good even, because we don't expect sex to be some kind of cosmic production every time, and it would get tedious if we expected it to do so, or if we had the expectation that we had to make it so. Again, it's the freedom which one can give oneself and the other (s) which allows the experience to take on the depth that it will. And it truly is a wilderness in the sense of having a will of its own which we can dance with but never control. When we allow this wilderness to be what it will, letting go and moving with great gusto and freedom, the potential for touching this experience of wholemaking is very real indeed. And it may be "cosmic", or it may simply be, "That was exactly what I needed."

And that feeling of satisfaction, of being able to feel good again, of experiencing enoughness, is a deeply healing power in this world. Praise Frey and Freya!!


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