Sex: suppression / celebration

I feel like I haven’t been able to write about sex, love and relationships for a long, long time. In recent times, in the place I was at, talking about, enjoying or wanting relationships, sex and love seemed to become something to be frowned upon – a sign of unhealthy physical attachment, a symptom of base behaviour and wants, and an indication that you were placing your own selfish wants above the Greater Good of All.

To be a sensual person, to enjoy sex, or to be sexually active and exploratory is sometimes seen as something “lesser” and “lower”, like you can’t control your mind, body and spirit effectively. It is sometimes somehow an indication of how little you are growing and progressing, emotionally and mentally, that you are still indulgent, immature, selfish and headed straight for a future life as a horny rhino. I’ve been in a place where I was reminded frequently  that every time we had sex (or intercourse, more specifically), we were deepening our attachments, pushing ourselves further away from spiritual ascension and binding ourselves for an even longer eternity of suffering on these mortal plains.

I used to write quite a lot about sex and relationships in a previous blog, from a long, long time ago. Then somehow, over the years, I started to feel embarrassed about it, silly and almost ashamed for talking about such frivolous “things”. Instead of just being myself and working with / writing about my thoughts, desires, love, sex and life in a balanced, healthy way, I just didn’t talk about it anymore except with really, really close friends. Like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I just began to deny the whole subject of sex completely.

This felt strange to me actually. I’ve always been around people who are expressive, frank and open, who were able to talk about sex as normally and positively as they do about any other aspect of their life – their health, interests, careers, families and life in general. It wasn’t that sex and relationships became something taboo or bad or embarrassing; it became something to be looked down upon because it suggested a kind of spiritual and emotional immaturity, a backwardness, a signed deal for a longer period here as a suffering mortal away from enlightenment.

I couldn’t write about sex on my blog  – quite possibly one of the most important personal ‘spaces’ for me – or on any social media platforms because I suddenly felt uncomfortable about it. I felt like I wouldn’t ‘reflect’ well on the things, people and places I was representing. I felt like I had to put on a cardigan, button it up and Just Be Proper. Understandably, if you’re in a corporate situation this might make sense. But when you’re in the ‘business’ of things like personal growth, developing self-confidence and self-love, I now think that being able to talk about something as intimate as sex – or whatever else you deem ‘intimate’, like your emotions, family, body, health & illness – should be all the more encouraged.

In just the last few weeks, I’ve started thinking about this again and I feel more and more that it doesn’t have to be this way. We should talk about sex if we want to talk about it. The Victorians have shown us clearly enough that repressing and denying your sexuality / sensuality (not interchangeable words, by the way!) just doesn’t work. It can erupt into other kinds of madness because you aren’t working with something that is so much a part of you, physiologically and psychologically.

I posit that feeling free and open about sex can be healing – from exploring and enjoying it to wanting and talking about it. Far from becoming even more ‘base’ or ‘promiscuous’ or whatever the hell else they say about being sexually active, I believe you can actually develop a healthier, more open and balanced attitude towards it. Take the Dutch for example: they’re known the world over for maintaining one of the most liberal and open attitudes to sex, so much so that young children walk round the red light district and past prostitutes in windows without even batting an eyelid. Because of this, Holland boasts the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies and STDs in Europe; their sex workers are also among the healthiest and best looked-after in the world. The Dutch grow up with healthy, responsible, even-tempered attitudes towards sex. The more open the avenue to express something as intrinsic and defining as our sexuality, the more comfortable you become about it.

(This isn’t, by the way, a tract about going out there and humping any and everything that moves. I’m not advocating we all go out and overdose on uncontrolled, unadulterated orgies, or start championing that everyone should have sex. Whatever you do choose to do, please, please always be safe, responsible and above all, kind to whoever you’re doing whatever with).

This isn’t a post promoting promiscuity. It’s simply saying that we shouldn’t have to feel less or guilty about being a sexual being, having sexual desires and heck, even enjoying a fulfilling sex life. It is a post to say that posits the thought that no, you are not lesser for enjoying or wanting sex. It doesn’t have to mean that you’re attached, animalistic or bound straight for a rebirth as a randy dog.

I’m saying – and posing myself (and you, if you like) a challenge  – that by being open, okay and comfortable about our sexuality and sensuality, we can possibly overcome that big awful Attachment they keep scaring/ threatening us with. We can learn to enjoy it without being bound by it, develop a calm okay-if-I-have-it-okay-if-I-don’t attitude towards it.

I’m also questioning why it absolutely has to be that liking, wanting and having sex necessarily means a prolonged suffering. Couldn’t the opposite also be possible? Couldn’t it be instead that having/enjoying sex and learning to foster a calmer, more balanced view towards it in fact helps us to transcend our attachment to it – and hence our ‘prolonged suffering’? Applying a kind of ‘hair of the dog’ situation to sex, perhaps? Thoughts, please!

3 thoughts on “Sex: suppression / celebration

  1. As you well know by now, I write a fair bit about sex and our attitude towards sex. I have even interviewed a very vocal advocate for open discussion on sex such as Cindy Gallop. She is amazingly frank and honest about human sexuality. In my humble opinion, as long as sex (and anything sexual) is suppressed and that suppression comes from a place of negativity, it does not end well. Nor will it bring about positive, beneficial results. Here, I am not suggesting that we should all be reckless and abandon our values or morals. We need to develop a richer and deeper understanding towards what sex means to us, as individuals first. Without a real understanding of intimacy for ourselves, how do we expect to share the very same intimacy with someone else? 🙂

  2. Sex like all things in life is about balance and moderation. Too much of anything is bad. Chocolate is yummy but too much of it will lead to fat which is bad for our health. Not to mention cavities and cellulite.

    The fact that so much can be said about sex can show that there is an “attachment” and in many ways in between the lines a longing and thus a pain. So if sex is so liberating why is there this sentiment of longing. I may be wrong of course… Why is there a need to explain sex is fine. Sex IS fine but is there something much deeper…. something which perhaps needed to be addressed in a way which was not palatable to our psyche?

    Whenever I was “obsessed” with something and reasoning seemed not to connect with me, I remembered that my parents would teach me the hard way i.e. ban me from it completely. I rebelled then but today I am grateful that I was “surpressed” because I am more balanced today and have no hang-ups of needing to prove anything or having a need to be fulfilled.

    I love chocolate… in fact I have eaten way too much Kit Kat today.

    • I don’t think you got the point of my post!

      I’m not saying there ISN’T attachment. Of course there is. Just like there is to everything else – chocolate, handbags, cars, money etc.

      My point is saying that suppressing/banning it or telling someone over and over how bad they are for it isn’t necessarily the best or only way of helping someone overcome the attachment. I’m positing that perhaps having the space to talk about and explore it could help us to find a healthier, more balanced attitude towards it in the long term. Your parents banned you from things as you were growing up – that might have worked for you, but other kids might have ended up rebelling, going completely the other extreme; they may have gone after those things in an even more aggressive way the first chance they got.

      I say this because I have been in a position (as have you) where I’ve been told what a bad, selfish, irresponsible, disgusting, stupid whore you’ve been because I wanted sex and relationships. That didn’t help me overcome my attachment at all – it made me want it more, deepened my longing. So I’m suggesting, might it have been better if I had been given some space to figure things out on my own, talk about it, explore it, have it, get hurt and sad and disillusioned by it? Perhaps I could have arrived at the same truth in my own way instead of constantly being made to feel guilty and bad for it.

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