The Friday Sex Blog [Sexual Revolution]

Hola mi gente,
The Holidays are almost upon us and, instead of spending some time around Fifth Avenue, taking in the sights and taking photos, I’m stuck on the obscenity of it all.

Then, there’s the “madness” — people rushing around, on the edge, ready for aggression — or what we now call “Christmas shopping.” My only wish is that can work on the holidays, so that I don’t have to engage in the pantomime of forced cheerfulness. Yeah, Bah-fuckin-Humbug, motherfuckers.

Let’s talk about sex…

What Sexual Revolution?

11-18-16_-sex-blog-sexual-revolution_-002

We emerged rowdy with contempt for all those timid animals 
who still make noiseless love the darkened chambers of their shame.

 

According to Judeo-Christian ideology, the world of sexual love (Eros), the body, and human sexuality is essentially framed as the domain of the devil. From this perspective, the realm of the physical is unholy, an animalistic distraction from spirituality — the high, cerebral, sacred pursuit of God, and the good, ethical life. From infancy we are conditioned to fear and loathe the influence of Eros. We are told that the more we open and respond to the erotic impulse, the more we get in touch with our bodies, the more we enjoy and pursue our sexual natures, the farther we stray from “godliness” and emotional well-being.

When I write about human sexuality, I am submitting the exact opposite. I argue that the erotic impulse, honored and freed from the stigma of guilt and the forces of repression, can be and is a powerful path toward a psycho-spiritual transcendence and actualization. It demands of 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.

The so-called sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s supposedly freed us to explore the heady carnal pleasures of the erotic world, when it was relatively safe and there was reliable birth control. Combined with freedom movements, we were at once liberated from some of our heritage of sexual suppression and fear. But I submit that it is the failure of recognize the depth and complexity of the erotic impulse that doomed this mythical revolution and is the foundation of much of the current sexual dissatisfaction.

During the euphoric time of “free love,” when sex and sensuality broke and overflowed the dams of previous restrictions and became available to those who chose to immerse themselves in those waters, we seemed to collectively want nothing more than to consume as much erotic experience as we could. We were, after all, very much like starved ghosts emerging from literally thousands of years in the desert into a world of lush, green jungles bursting with ripe erotic fruit. While my point is that the moment was not as revolutionary as we like to think it was, it was a tantalizing moment in the cultural history of American sexuality, and important first step in freeing ourselves from the yoke of Puritanism.

But even as we feasted on the wider range of erotic delights we discovered at every turn, even as we gloried in our power to go beyond political, cultural, and sexual conventions long considered untouchable, we began to push up against the limits of the path we were on. In some ways, we were mindlessly recreating the very same power structures (i.e., patriarchy) we sought to dismantle. “Free love,” for example, often led to sexual coercion, as women were subtly pressured to engage sexually while still having to follow rules dictated by men. Or as Yasmin Nair puts it: “… the sad truth that many of us learn after years in sexual playing fields (literally and figuratively) is that how many people you fuck has nothing to do with the extent to which you fuck up capitalism.”

I am even going to throw Hegel in the mix: the new synthesis (sexual freedom) started to generate its own antithesis (repression). The crest of the wave, it seems, was moving faster than the foundation and there were rocks up ahead. The mythos of the three days of peace and love of Woodstock gave way to the mindless violence of Altamont; the use of mind expanding drugs morphed to addictive behavior; the delight of freely pursuing sexual pleasure turned into feelings of sexual emptiness and dissatisfaction, even before AIDS and other STDs came along.

We had achieved the release of the pressure of decades of sexual inhibition, but there was more to the picture than simply having more sex, having sex with more partners, having sex with less guilt and more information, having sex with less pregnancy and disease, or having sex in previously prohibited ways: with your mouth, with your ass, with a vibrator, or with people of your own gender. Jumping into the sexual rabbit-hole as naïve as Alice, we found ourselves facing sexual territories we could not have expected and did not know how to interpret.

As much as we would like to believe that we can jump in and out of erotic and sexual encounters as easily as we can jump in and out of a shower, a movie, or a subway ride, the experience of being fully sexual in rich, powerful ways almost always engages an entire range of complex issues, psychologically and emotionally. This can be problematic, because many people now want to be sexual more often and with more partners than they want to engage intimately, let alone relationally.

But we cannot simply go back — we cannot put the lid back on the sexual Pandora’s Box — and I don’t think it would be helpful. These deeper energies are essential aspects of the erotic experience, no matter how carefully we try to repress sex or reduce it to a simplistic pursuit of physical pleasure. Whenever we play with erotic energy, we engage the totality of our experience and tap into primal forces that have their roots in the very heart of who we are as human beings, in how we define ourselves and relate to the world around us

Entering fully into the erotic world raises issues and feelings, for example around our (often unsatisfied) infantile desires to be nurtured and held, our prenatal memories of being as one with another human being, around ego-disintegration and the softening of ego defenses, and around surrendering control of our behavior. the erotic impulse inevitably raises all issues related to intimacy — the desire to be close to someone else, the fear of being smothered, and all the past yearnings, fulfillments, wounds, and disappointments we have experienced in this regard.

Going deeper still, erotic experiences brings us face-to-face with the essential questions of existence and the meaning of life (and death) itself, even to a quality of experience that many describe as direct contact with the divine.

This is what awaits us as we decide (or not) to engage the next wave of sexual actualization. There are repressive forces, waging a cultural war, that want to put the lid back on the erotic impulse, looking to a repressive past (i.e., “make America great again”) as a viable model for sexual behavior/ guidelines. I have news for you: they didn’t work in the past and they will fail us now. In my book, that’s called entropy. But then again that’s what conservatism is really all about. No, we either engage the erotic impulse honorably, fearlessly, creatively, and joyfully, or we die.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

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