The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, December 04, 2009

Second Chakra stuff

Over the last days I've gotten bunches of comments back about the whole sexual transmutation thing. I'm out of town, in Quincy, Florida for a family vacation, but wanted to say something.

Looking at things from the perspective of Human Adulthood, and the comment Steve Muhammad made that a male doesn't become a Man until he is married, I thought that a direction can be suggested. If Adulthood means taking responsibility for your own life, then clearly a powerful maturation factor is any responsibility we cannot walk away from. Marching up the chakras, survival comes first. This would be putting a roof over your own head, food on your table, and both within the rules and laws of society. Without this first step, it is quite easy to remain a child indefinitely. But sex complicates the situation. Satisfying your sexual needs in an ethical adult fashion demands several different things.

1) The ability to attract partners who are attractive to you. There is nothing worse, or sadder, than people who are sexual with people they don't respect, or admire. They lose much of their sense of personal integrity, at the very least.

2) The ability to seduce ethically. Without lying, cheating, or relying on intoxicants to induce people to behaviors they would not otherwise tolerate. This means finding the part of you that is attractive, and learning to project it. To be honest and philosophical about our own failings, still seeing the beauty within us, gives us the ability to look beyond the superficial in others...and be genuinely attracted to them even if they are not "perfect." No one is.

3) To have resources sufficient to build a nest. This is critical for men, especially. Women have reported that a man who owns a house is about three times as attractive as the same man without one. (They never mention this when complaining about how men like slinky, sexy young women. Imagine that!) The trick here is that you need to be able to support yourself, AND a woman and child. A man who has these resources is playing a completely different game. He is prime mating material (in the material sense) and will find his options far more interesting. And if he is physically attractive as well? The sky is the limit. The trick here is that whenever you engage in vaginal intercourse, the hind-brain says "we're making a baby!" and everything in the relationship is re-evaluated. Even if both people are on birth control, have been "fixed" and have no urge to reproduce or pair-bond, thousands of generations of hard-won reproductive rights can't be overturned with a little social conditioning. I mean...if she does get pregnant, there are limited options:

a) abortion. You should both be adult enough to discuss the option, if necessary fund it, and support each other through the trial.

b) Have the baby and adopt it out. Again, support and finances enter in, even if the child is put up for adoption.

c) Have the baby, and keep it. Single mother? Both financial and social resources are critical. Will the father be involved in the raising? I would say that if you are talking about two mature adults, yes. I hear a lot of "he's crazy!" or "she's crazy!" as an explanation for why there is no drive to provide a two-parent family. Perhaps a bit more choosiness in sexual partners is called for.

d) Get married and have the baby. Well, now you are right into the main line of social conditioning; a relationship between two adults exists to provide a safe channel for the nurturance and raising of a child. Any society that does not provide sufficient protection for children to allow the basic social memes to be passed forward...will die. Even a couple with no intention of having a child will find themselves dealing with rule designed for couples who do.

And this is where the line of energy passes from survival to power and ultimately to emotion--the passing of the genetic torch takes precedence over individual ego needs, and forms of relationships other than reproductive heterosexual find themselves fighting for scraps of validation.

The question of non-reproductive relationships isn't the core here. The core is looking at how the sex drive can be used, perverted, scrambled, poisoned, or amplified for good. It is insanely powerful, and harnessed properly can produce something close to genius. After all...if one definition of genius is simply "focus until the job is done" if you can use your sex drive to remind you to think of your goals, that is powerful juju.

What is really sad is the splintered emotional/sexual drives found in men and women who have been abused. I don't have time to go into it now, but it just breaks my heart. The inability to see oneself as beautiful and desirable, to believe it is safe and right to express that power in an ethical way, the ability to create through discipline and focused balance a safe harbor for any children who might be created through its expression...tragic. Women who carry 100 extra pounds of flesh to obscure their afraid to express their power through command or accomplishment...I see these things as equivalent tragedies, often resulting from pain and fear associated with sex and marriage. What we saw our parents doing, we will either do, or struggle against. If sex was a trap and a snare rather than an ecstatic union between equals...that is horrendously destructive.

Truly, our sexual needs can be one of the most powerful maturing forces in our lives...if we take responsibility, care about our partners, build our nests (whether or not we choose to have children or be married) and are both honest and compassionate about our attractions an desires. And...learn to channel our yearnings into the actions that can bring those dreams into reality.


Nancy Lebovitz said...

What is really sad is the splintered emotional/sexual drives found in men and women who have been abused. I don't have time to go into it now, but it just breaks my heart.

I'm one of those people who in effect gave up on relationships without getting started. The way you write on the subject reliably leaves me feeling as though I'm so defective that I might as well kill myself.

This isn't an actual intention on my part and I'm sure you don't mean any ill, but it's quite an energy drain.

Mike said...

Hey Nancy,

First always remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are ever thinking about suicide seriously, please call the suicide hot line;

But it doesn't sound like you are actually contemplating it, so let me say that when I first started reading some of Steve's posts, when he talked about the importance of having a fit healthy body I had a lot of resistance to it. At that time, I fit the medical definition of obese then, never got exercise, and ate to make myself feel better. When he talked about how important it was to have a good healthy body, how this would make life easier, how members of the opposite sex would find me more attractive, how I would have more energy, how I would live a better life, essentially, it made me feel bad. Why was was what he was posting things that made me feel bad?

Well, as I read post after post, little cracks were formed in my wall that I had built, a wall that told myself I didn't want a healthy fit attractive body.

Finally, and this was a _crucial_ step, I admitted that I was lying to myself. That despite telling myself, and others, that that I didn't care about my body, I really would have liked to have a healthy body and I was just afraid of the work and effort that it would take to get one.

So eventually, the desire to have a healthy body was more powerful than the fear of the work and effort it would take to get one, and I worked, and I strove, and I got one. Statistically speaking, I'm now in the top 10% of body fat in America. I now have a fit active body, and I love it and am proud of building it, and I revel in it. And yet, as little as a few years ago, I had effectively given up on having a good body.

To answer my earlier question, the REASON why Steve's posts made me feel bad was because some part of me knew that he was right. Some part knew that the lies I was telling myself were _LIES_. Lies that were stopping me from living a better life.

If Steve were making posts about how everyone needed to wear designer clothes to be happy, would that have any effect on you? Any whatsoever? My guess is no, you'd blow it off as BS because every part of you would know it wasn't true.

So ask yourself, WHY do the posts about relationships effect you? Why do you care about them? Why do you allow them to impact how you think about yourself? Is it because, like me, you fear that he might be right? That you might have to do work and effort that you are afraid of doing to have what you truly want?

If the answer to that last question is yes, then, congratulations, you are HUMAN! Everyone is afraid of various work and effort. The duty you have, as someone gifted with the unbelievably rare and precious jewel of consciousness, is to face that fear as best you are able and go through your Dark Night of the Soul. It's not easy, and it takes courage, but on the other side is everything you truly want.

Steven Barnes said...

What's happening is that you always have that "defective" tape going on, but when you read my posts, it plays more loudly. Remember: YOU ARE NOT THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD. I ask seriously: whose voice IS that? Get quiet. Listen carefully. Who is that? To me, you are precious. So you have problems. We all do. All of us. None of us are more perfect than you, trust me. When and if you commit to moving beyond those voices, the resources exist. But I take your comment seriously, and suggest that it may be useful to speak about it with a counselor.

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