The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Second Chakra: Sexuality

The second chakra, located at the genitals, causes more debate and emotional trauma and dishonest waffling than all the others combined.  Sex, while not THE most powerful human drive, is so intertwined with morality and social convention and warped emotional perspective that it is very difficult to view in its "is-ness", as the thing itself.  No one, myself most certainly included, can claim to speak of it void of the emotional baggage that we pick up along the way in life.  So I will speak of it as honestly as possible, with the prestated caveat that I know I cannot avoid my own prejudices.
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biologically, sex is a route to reproduction among the mammals (and others).  It is also a powerful pair-bond trigger, important since human beings take so long to mature.  It is also considered a token of love, a spiritual connection, a good healthy romp, a tension-reliever. 
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On the down side it is by some considered the door to hell. More relationships have been ruined by inappropriate use of sexual energy than by anything except bad finances.  It is a door to abuse--the misuse of sexual energy, especially toward children, is devastating for a lifetime.  It is a trigger for unwed pregnancy, disease, emotional desperation.  Men and women both use it and seek it and lie about it for their own reasons, and it is devastating.  I would dare suggest that men are more easily manipulated by sex than women. 
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There are powerful spiritual components.  Those cultures who have examined sex without leering or recoiling have often said something to the effect that the intensity of an orgasm is in direct proportion to the amount of your ego that is released in that moment.  It is, in other words, the thinning of the ego-wall, the fusionary response as two become one, and the ego-energy released is the intensity of the experience.  People who have trouble achieving orgasm tend to be quite rigid and frightened.  Most of the women I've known who have this difficulty don't masturbate, and cling to their concepts of self for dear life--the "small death" of orgasm demands letting go, and this they cannot do.  I know  no men who have this difficulty--I suspect the same psychological tendency tends to manefest more in other, equally damaging ways.
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In the western world, society has learned to place a "toll-gate" on sexuality, demanding that people fulfill certain social expectations before engaging: finishing school, having financial resoruces, being presentable enough to meet the parents, etc.  Of course, post-60's a lot of that has broken down.  Women in the inner-cities glory in being as sexually agressive as men, with the expected break-down in family structures.  CLEARLY MARKED AS OPINION:  Women are not men.  The difference is not primarily social roles, dress, or history. The difference is that women are the ones who get pregnant.  Therefore, it is reasonable that women be choosier about their sexual partners than men.  In other words, in that wonderful phrase from "EdTV":  "Men are the gas, women are the brakes."  If not, women are likely to entertain worthless men in their beds.
They get pregnant without a supportive father.  The women blame the men, without the maturity to admit that they lacked judgement and maturity themselves. The children are raised without the full complement of parental involvement necessary to pass along social principles, perpetuating a cycle of mis-information about the realities of relationships, maturity, and life itself.  You can see this spiral in inner-cities and trailer parks all over America.
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But the above are just a few of MY thoughts on the matter.  What are  yours?  What theories and ideas do you have about sex?  At what age is it appropriate for young people to begin having sex?  (In my mind: when you can, and do, support yourself legally--when  you earn enough money to put a roof over your own head, and food on your table.  Then you can be fairly certain you have basic maturity.  Better still--when you can support  yourself, and one other person)
But again, those are MY thoughts.  What are yours?  What in your mind are the appropriate and inappropriate uses of sexual energy?  What happens when emotional damage creeps into the picture?  What are sexual ethics?  You must have clear thoughts on these things, and should be prepared to explore them in your writing, and apply them in your life.
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remember--the "Hero's Journey" is the road from one level of maturity to another.  Between survival (a roof over your head) and sex (union with another, for pleasure or procreation) there lies a world of experience.  What happens when people don't follow this syntax?  What do YOU think the appropriate age is?  You must dig into questions such as these over and over again.  Present your opinions fearlessly to the world.  Do you accept Christian dogma on these matters (to my knowledge, Christ never made a direct comment about sex, so to me, it's all opinion).  Dr. Laura's attitude?  Hugh Hefner's?  You should have an opinion--believe me, your characters will!

4 comments:

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