The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sexuality #2

Over the years I've had the honor and pleasure of studying many arcane disciplines. None of them were more interesting, or ultimately useful, as the Quodoshka, a blend of shamanic teachings concerning spiritual sexuality. In this rendition, the native American medicine wheel contains four aspects : Body, Mind, Spirit, Emotion, and at the center, sexuality. It is the core, catalyst energy. In the chakras, the same energy manefests on manydifferent levels. Level #2, very close to the base, is sex. When I look at the degree to which sex intertwines with the other aspects of life, I believe it whole-heartedly.
I see nothing that lifts us up or casts us down as much as sex, nothing that reveals as much about us. After all,in a good, sweaty sexual encounter, all of thesenses are engaged simulteneously. Our sexuality reveals more about us than almost any other single aspect. Because it is tied so stringently to reproduction and survival of the species, it has been controlled by almost every civilization on the planet. In Judeo-Christian teachings, massive guilt is often associated with this arena, and my observation is that this guilt causes almost as much damage as the irresponsible behavior it was intended to curb.
Taking control of, or finding a responsible outlet for, our sexuality is one of the core challenges for an adult, and a fine, fine source of subject matter for our writing. Guilt. Wow, it is staggering how many negative references to sex creep into the language: "nasty", "bad", "filthy" "dirty" etc. are all common references for the sexually active male or female, or books and films with this subject matter. Is there any doubt why we have so many problems? One of the first signs of dysfunction in any relationship is a reduction in the sexual energy between partners. Distorted body image is often related to sexual abuse issues, which is one of the reasons that losing weight MUST be accompanied by therapy, meditation or some other form of introspection and release.
Philosophers who have spoken on this subject suggest that the intensity of an orgasm is in direct proportion to the amount of ego released: the more you are here, the less intense the experience. This means that sex can be used as training to enter the flow zone, that magical realm where artistic expression reaches its highest limits. It is, in other words, inextricably intertwined with the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. In week #4, I welcome you to write a short story dealing with sexuality as it affects your character. Take a controversial position, and run it out. Be absurd, or fantastic.
One subject that I simply must write a story on one day has to do with the question of male or female sexual superiority. A "war" between a man and a woman on this level could be choreographed hysterically. I know of a few bets that took place on this issue, and I promise you that the competition was heroic in nature. There are endless positive and negative approaches to this area of life, and I would love to hear your thoughts!

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