Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Sexuality

"Uncertainty means the future is not yet written. Anything is possible."
It's stating the obvious, but a big part of personal development is coming to terms with (and enjoying) sexuality. This has very little to do with how often you have sex. As a general rule, if you're uncomfortable with someone else's sexuality it's a sign that you haven't fully come to terms with your own. You should be able to admire and appreciate someone else's sexuality (of whatever gender or orientation) without discomfort or a compulsion to take or to control. This is the difference between desire and lust. Desire enjoys without needing to possess (emotionally and physically), lust wants to consume.

Desire everyone, lust after no-one...

(However, as an adjunct, never go - emotionally - where you're not invited. Don't make people feel uncomfortable. However you have a right to exist and be you. If your mere existence makes people uncomfortable that's their problem.)

Lust, infatuation and sexual compulsion are actually symptoms of unmet emotional need. They *can* be resolved in a relationship, but are not a good basis for a relationship (mutual respect and determination to love is the best basis). Sex is best as the culmination and celebration of shared lives rather than the quenching of need. Sex can be a literally, and figuratively, creative act when it is giving and loving.

Sexuality, like aggression, is dangerous and capable of causing great harm both to ourselves and to others. Because they're dangerous culture teaches us to repress them (not true of everyone obviously, but often true). Because we repress them we never learn to deal with them, and so when they do come out it can be in an uncontrolled way. This further reinforces the danger and the need for repression.

Male dominated culture is particularly afraid of female sexuality. Because men can't control themselves female sexuality gives women power over men, which is obviously unacceptable. This is why female sexuality is particularly oppressed, except in very male controlled ways. The threat and fear of sexual violence is one way that society systemically represses female sexuality ("don't wear that short skirt, you put yourself at risk" for example). Shame and disapproval are another.

The trouble is that repression doesn't work, it just makes things worse. Sexuality and aggression are both core parts of who you are, your creative life and your strength. If you won't express them consciously they will find unconscious expression. Uncontrolled anger, spite, neuroses, inappropriate relationships and emotional attachments (etc) are all symptoms of repressed character aspects.

The solution is to learn to deal with these aspects of who you are without being afraid of yourself and your feelings. Learn to control yourself without repressing yourself. The journey of a lifetime. Express your sexuality, express your anger, but under your control and without harming others.

One of my favourite scriptures is Ephesians 4:26 which, depending on your translation, says something like "be angry but do not sin". It doesn't say don't be angry, often anger is the right and appropriate reaction to a situation - but let it be something productive rather than destructive. Let anger be a motivator for change. And if you're looking for an expression of sexuality, including strong female sexuality, in the bible then I suggest you read "Song of Songs".

As an interesting aside, another symptom of sexual repression is over-sexualisation. The un-met need for a freed sexuality can be expressed in an over obsession with sex and the sexual. This is how our culture can be both sexually repressed and sexually obsessed simultaneously. Porn addiction and sex addiction are clear examples of how a genuinely released sexuality, free of fear and shame, is very different from an uncontrolled sexuality.

Inside every person resides a great beast. Repress it and forever live in fear of yourself, or tame it and rule yourself.

This article is a follow on to my other articles on sexuality: Sexual Purity in Marriage and Tainted Love?.


"A huge part of personal growth is stopping blaming other people for how you feel and who you are. No matter how hard that is."

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