I would like to think of this blog as a medley of sexual themes. Sexuality and eroticism are things that have always fascinated me. For instance, I often post photos of nude women; I might write some erotic pieces myself (although I do less of that now than before); I might post more explicit types of erotic photos; I like to explore the societal hypocrisy that often surrounds sexual issues. The relationship between religion, spirituality and sexuality also fascinates me. I like to link to sites that also explore sexuality. These are just a few of the various avenues of sexual discourse that I enjoy exploring on this blog. Of course my love for beauty is an overarching theme as well. To me, erotic beauty is a wonderful thing, worth pursuing and celebrating in various ways. I believe it is something that God gave us to enjoy.
But perhaps what is most important, what I strive for the most on this blog, is to ask and explore the question: what is a healthy sexuality. What I find most interesting about this question is that there is really no definitive answer. What is healthy for one person may be unhealthy for another. Unlike other health issues, such as diet, smoking or exercise, the same principles do not apply equally for everyone. Sexuality is by its nature extremely fluid, not only among individuals, but also among cultures, societies and throughout history. This makes sexuality a fascinating study for me. Not only is sexuality something deeply personal, but the broader, social implications of sex are endlessly intriguing.
So what is a healthy sexuality? The answer for me is, I really do not know. I can only answer for myself, and then perhaps come to a few conclusions in general about other people I know or have heard about or listened to. What I have also read and studied about sexuality adds to my knowledge, but not a whole lot. For myself, a healthy sexuality is being aware of your own sexual desires, understanding how they may be stronger or lesser than others (for me it is always the former), and what is the best way to incorporate those in your life. Because of my religious background and my spiritual longings, I have gone through periods where sex and sexual desires and practices were a bad thing. I tried to suppress them, control them, think of them as something evil to be kept in strong chains, as if they were dangerous beasts shackled in my basement. Given my deeply sexual nature, this only led to neurosis on my part. When I finally accepted my true self, when I finally recognized that my own sexuality was stronger and more powerful than most, and when I finally embraced it, my life improved and I gained a greater happiness. I also found my spiritual life improved as well. Health extended beyond the physical and into the spiritual
Others may chose to live less sexual lives. That is fine. Celibacy is certainly healthy for some. There are simply people whose sex drives are not all that great, who do not desire the pleasures of sexuality, or who possess little eroticism, if any at all. We find this particularly among the religious types. Androgyny is more vibrant in religious circles. At least that has been my experience. Unfortunately it is usually these types who tend to try to tell the rest of us that our sexual lives are bad and sinful. It is almost as if, feeling resentful about the enjoyment that others take in sex, they cannot stomach their own lack of sex and sexual desire, and try to project that upon others. That they have entire religious systems and traditions behind them only makes their arrogance all the worse. I believe this to be unhealthy.
Then there is the argument that all sex is reserved solely for marriage. I suppose this works for many, but not all. It is true that most of society needs the structure of monogamous marriage in order to propagate itself. But for me it was never appealing. For whatever reasons, I enjoy sexual variety, I need different experiences, and I have always understood that. Monogamy may be the norm for most people, but for those of us who have unusually strong sexual desires or who don’t fit into the paradigm of the traditional nuclear family, monogamous relationships are little more than an oppressive prison of desire. I also deeply desire my personal freedom. As one married woman I had an affair with once said, “You should understand how lucky you are to be able to come and go without having to answer to anyone. I wish I still had that.” Yes, she loved her husband, she said, but she still desired freedom and sexual exploration with others. One of the great pleasures of my life has been sharing that with various women who also felt the same way. A man can easily and with societal approval avoid the married life and enjoy sexual freedom and variety; it is more difficult for a woman. But what I know is that there are lots of women who also feel constrained by the married life, who desire to experience different sexual partners and pleasures outside the traditional bonds of marriage or even a monogamous relationship. And yet so many fear to do so…
Life is fascinating indeed.
Of course then you have those who, tortured by their own strong sexual desires but still disgusted at who they are, are always attempting to crusade against sex and eroticism, usually in the name of religion. They tend to be the most ferocious of the puritan types. They also tend to be the most self loathing. In addition, they tend to be the ones who are in secret engaging in some form of sexual behavior, despite their public, puritanical personas. In due time their own hypocrisy is usually exposed. If listened to, they can do a lot of harm to others. If left unchecked, they can do even more harm to those who trust in them and do not expect them to act out sexually. The Catholic Church is filled with such people, not only clergy but laity. The child sex abuse scandal is proof of that. I believe these types, with their public denouncement of all sexual practice outside of marriage as wrong, harmful and evil, are a particularly virulent form of unhealthy sexuality.
There was a time when younger that I was influenced by such types and their notions of extreme, ascetic self control and demonization of all sexual behavior. Fortunately for me I no longer listen to them. Again, my life is better because of that. It is healthier.
So for me a healthy sexuality is understanding who you are, being comfortable in that, and exploring it in a safe way. Being extremely sexual does not necessarily mean unbridled explorations of sexual pleasure, although it can mean that at times. The deeply sexual person always need to be safe and careful, since there will always be the physical and psychological consequences of hyper sexuality. We know that all too well in this age of HIV. Rather, being extremely sexual is just that, being an extremely sexual person, and nothing more. What is healthy, at least for me, is embracing that, even celebrating that in whatever way you choose. Such celebrations of healthy sexuality are part of what this blog is all about.