I can’t think of a word quite as overloaded with conflicting meanings and emotions as is sex. More than anything else, it is what keeps therapists and clergy in business, and with little wonder. While our bodies deeply need it, conflict surrounds it because in both social and religious contexts these impulses are funneled through the bottleneck of marriage. Standing guard at those sacred gates are the flame throwing guilt mongers haunting those who dare to transgress.
It has been a few months since I was last in Berlin, and always when I am back I am amused by the differences in attitudes towards sex here from those in the US or the UK. Of course, these are part of the differences in notions about the body and nudity. Just last week, I was in London visiting family and got to thinking about these things from a question my nephew asked. His question focused on the issue of sex and procreation. In short, isn’t that why we exist.
Well, not for me, and not by a long shot. Maybe we just are, and that is meaning enough. Much too much has been made about orgasm and the spilling of seed. Yet, it is this and the guilt surrounding it that continues to exert a powerful influence over most of humanity. There have been times in my Sacred Intimacy practice when I have been with other guys who enjoy erotic massage but only if it stops short of an orgasm, the argument being that is the point at which it becomes sex.
We are erotic creatures by nature, and we need to connect with each other erotically just as much as we need other types of connections. The fulfillment of connecting erotically is in an orgasm, whether it be an internalized one or spewing forth. One is not superior to the other, both are the culminations of building up erotic energy and allowing it to reach its full expression, which includes the dissipation of energy through the body after its initial release. And, it is important to allow the erotic experience to run its course completely.
It cannot be denied that procreation is an important aspect of being erotic, but it is only one part. Like all other creatures, we are part of a planet charged with erotic energy. There is meaning enough in savoring it, getting into its rhythm, and feeling its glow as we venture into its mysteries with others. Intimacy is a sacred ground where we can bare ourselves completely with others so that we can experience what it means to be alive. When we leave our clothes behind to enter the world of touch with another person, we are being about as honest and alive as is possible. That’s meaning enough for me.