Sexuality and sensibility

March 3, 2007 at 1:06 pm (sex)

The truly blessed life involves the proper cultivation of both activity and passivity, working in harmony and mutuality. A horror of passivity lies in the condemnation and hatred towards openness. This will lead to a life impoverished in value and knowledge.

As a consequence we must attempt to seek what I would like to call the spirituality of everyday life. An experiential basis for qualitatively ranking the pleasures seems to be necessary to not let go to waste such openness for the transcendental. For that reason those pleasures like gluttony, which ?fat [us] like hogs? (Richard Hooker), are qualitatively inferior to those which accrue from aesthetic delight or contemplative ecstasy.

I?m not talking here about extremely esoteric matters; one simply needs to recall Abraham Maslow?s expression ?peak experience? to grasp what I suggest. A peak experience may be the result of seeing a sunrise on the desert, or being ?hit? by a line from T.S. Eliot, or of hearing the last movement of Tchaikovsky?s Pathque. And also, the pleasure derived from intimate sexual union with the ascent of the soul to spiritual ecstasy and mania.

This vision is of course not in any way new. The famous simile of the ladder of eros, proceeding from its first rung ? the physical love of a beautiful young body ? to the highest rung, the love of the divine ground, is but an example. However, perhaps it is time that we assess our spiritual freedom to turn from the Nietzsclean nihilism of the ?culture of desire? and recapture a new balance. We have the freedom to find our way through the chaos of competing sexual lifestyles and to take our bearings from a more paradigmatic expression of our humanity (whether gay, lesbian or straight).

The paradigm I think should be sought in a joining of sensibility and sexuality, the passionate sexual union is a metaphor for the soul?s ecstatic spiritual union with the divine. The aesthetic dimension of eros is paramount, for the lover sees in his beloved a reflection of divine beauty. The entire experience is suffused with tenderness. Eros embraces and nourishes the whole soul; it is far from being a merely physical act.

It is clear that today we often confuse sexuality with genital sexual union. Of course we must include genital sexual union in the love relationship, but the love relationship should be above all and primarily a sensibility or state of consciousness. Humour of a particular kind is very much part of that sensibility. Such humour should not repress but affirm and extol sexuality. It is fun and funny to be in love.

We should therefore defend the richness of lovers? play, reminding us that this receptivity expresses itself in jokes, puns and laughter as well as in the shared pursuit of wisdom. The openness in such relations should be an openness to transcendence or to how the being together of lovers encourages them to seek in their consciousness for the immutable ground of human mutable love and for the reality of Beauty in which every beautiful thing in the Between of human life participates, to the extent that it is really real. Surely ordinary experience suggests that the reason two people would be joined over time in such an intimate complete relationship is that their union suggests more than it contains and opens to them the Being in which they live and move.

Another message in this regard that I find important is the one carried by the existential reality of death. Dying to the world?s priorities, including the pursuit of power and money, is the prelude to loving the things that matter. Due to, for instance, Plato?s intense love of the beautiful body (in this case male) he was able to conceive of divine reality in erotic analogy. And what could be more divine in temporal existence than the body of one?s beloved?

Sex without love is empty, anonymous sex violates the very principle of encountering the other as partner in a spiritual quest and sex motivated by violence is a violation of true eros. A long-term, meaningful, relationship is consistent with this view and above all, tenderness must be the norm and beauty the animating spirit.

Of course, not everyone can be a spiritual mystic and attain to the vision of the Good (in Plato?s words) but we can all partake in some measure in the journey from the sensual love that joins true lovers together to Dante?s ?love that moves the sun and the other stars.? Nevertheless, fortunate is he, who finds his life partner and shares with her (or him) a fusion of sexuality and spirituality.

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55 Comments

  1. tobias said,

    Yes, yes….

    An experiential basis for qualitatively ranking the pleasures seems to be necessary to not let go to waste such openness for the transcendental.

    I don’t think we can qualitatively rank pleasure. That would make it an immovable hierarchy and I don’t think that is wanted. Pleasure is a complex, a moment with relations to other moments. for instance I hear little in classical music, because I am not trained in it. But I cna have the same glimpse of beauty in a chess move. Actually that is not the most important point.

    Whta you seem to be talking about is an aesthetic experience and than aesthetic in sexuality. I think you are basically correct. I would just like to make a few sidenotes…. An aesthetic experience has always something of a reflection. It is beautiful because it moves you and by moving you alters the poerception a little by which you find it more beautiful.

    This can never be done I think without a sense of danger. A peak experience brings you of balance, there is some contradiction in it. Like the sunset in the desert, an area of death witnesses the birth of life. The sadness and beauty of apiece of music, a slight disturbance by a poem. Any aesthetic brings of balance, by a mxture of beauty an danger, making oneself vulnerable.

    Benkei is referring to the beautiful aspect of the sexual act, but for it to be the event that it is, is I think also its dark side necessary. Does sexuality have a dark side? Most certainly. We undress, we make ourselves vulnerable, we approach the other with a mixture of reference and desire. We don’t speak of ‘taking’ for nothing. The sexual act itslef is quite violent and leads toı all kind of bodily raptures. In orgasm we temporarily loose control of ourselves, the French call it, ‘small death’. It is usually a game of domination, of seduction with violence (though playful and enjoyable) is a part. Are all the words you whisper in your lovers ears equally tender?

    Sex without love is empty you say…. I don’t know if that is true. The experience of adultry might be equally aesthetic, though maybe afterwards seen in light of guilt. What I do agree with is that the experience of sex should be reserved for someone with with whom you havea certain ‘raport’, someone that can play the game with a certain like-mindedness. I agree with your talkk of openness Benkei, there must be an openness for eachother, but there must at the same time also be a sense of closure, a sense of division between you and the other which keeps him or her always slightly threatening or at least elusive too.

    you see the sexual act as a metaphor for the union between the mortal soul and the divine…. I agree with this view, but the relationship is a very complex one. Because this union is at the same time the union of two different substances, two different ireconcilable entities. A holy union which is at the same time an unholy loss of self and of everything that makes us human. We are just bodies at such a moment. Sex is such a spiritual thing, because it is in every respect a union of opposites, whores in the temple and nuns with orgastic experiences seeing a figurine of the saviour. The saint and the voluptuary are one.

    regards

    Tobi

  2. ecspose said,

    So a rapture of pleasure, or deep emotion will somehow become a pinnacle of a person’s experience, and add some crucial strongpoint to their psychology. I don’t disagree, and I don’t disagree that sex, sexuality, or sexual relations of any kind could accomplish this for some people. It could be sex, it could be music, it could be tripping balls and comprehending the unfathomable in a brief spasm of enlightenment. I say it could also be severe trauma like war would bring, torture, suffering, the severity of these moments can cause you to slip through to the very depths of your soul.

    I don’t think there is any ‘falseness’ to any experience. It is what it is, and is as true as the places it takes you. As an aside, in all my experiences sex does not rate near the top.

  3. zolk seth said,

    Tobias wrote:
    Yes, yes….

    ‘An experiential basis for qualitatively ranking the pleasures seems to be necessary to not let go to waste such openness for the transcendental’.

    I don’t think we can qualitatively rank pleasure. That would make it an immovable hierarchy and I don’t think that is wanted. Pleasure is a complex, a moment with relations to other moments. for instance I hear little in classical music, because I am not trained in it. But I cna have the same glimpse of beauty in a chess move. Actually that is not the most important point.

    ‘That’s why I called it an experiential basis… it’s a very personal hierarchy but it requires openess to allow new experiences into that hierarchy and it requires self-knowledge to realise what is truly a pleasure and what is simple gratification but it is not an imposed, “this should work for everybody”, hierarchy’.

    Whta you seem to be talking about is an aesthetic experience and than aesthetic in sexuality. I think you are basically correct. I would just like to make a few sidenotes…. An aesthetic experience has always something of a reflection. It is beautiful because it moves you and by moving you alters the poerception a little by which you find it more beautiful.

    This can never be done I think without a sense of danger. A peak experience brings you of balance, there is some contradiction in it. Like the sunset in the desert, an area of death witnesses the birth of life. The sadness and beauty of apiece of music, a slight disturbance by a poem. Any aesthetic brings of balance, by a mxture of beauty an danger, making oneself vulnerable.

    Benkei is referring to the beautiful aspect of the sexual act, but for it to be the event that it is, is I think also its dark side necessary. Does sexuality have a dark side? Most certainly. We undress, we make ourselves vulnerable, we approach the other with a mixture of reference and desire. We don’t speak of ‘taking’ for nothing. The sexual act itslef is quite violent and leads toı all kind of bodily raptures. In orgasm we temporarily loose control of ourselves, the French call it, ‘small death’. It is usually a game of domination, of seduction with violence (though playful and enjoyable) is a part. Are all the words you whisper in your lovers ears equally tender?

    So far, yes.

    Although I understand your approach highlighting the opposite (very Hegelian of you!). Problem about this subject is that I really can only refer to my personal experiences and I’ll see how much I’m willing to share about that.

    First of all, during the truly erotic and sensual encounters this never played a role with me. Maybe afterwards, where I thought, “wow, can’t believe I did that!” but not at that time. The last time I was with a girl she told me she felt 15 around me AND completely at ease. Whatever insecurity could exist is completely overshadowed to the point that it is annihilated by Eros. The dead certainty at that time that the other wants you and only way exactly as you are.

    They are, in a sense, perfect moments. Like the rose that is most beautiful at a specific day… certainly, its growth is interesting and beautiful too but it culminates in a single perfect moment. A good wine has an ideal time for consumption as well. This is dependent on taste and perception but in general I think where two people meet in a mutual sensual sacrifice to the other this perception will be purely positive.
    Sex without love is empty you say…. I don’t know if that is true. The experience of adultry might be equally aesthetic, though maybe afterwards seen in light of guilt. What I do agree with is that the experience of sex should be reserved for someone with with whom you havea certain ‘raport’, someone that can play the game with a certain like-mindedness. I agree with your talkk of openness Benkei, there must be an openness for eachother, but there must at the same time also be a sense of closure, a sense of division between you and the other which keeps him or her always slightly threatening or at least elusive too.

    Adultery can be performed with love as well. I don’t think it is an encounter that is by definition without love.

    But here is also the reason why it took long for me to reply. I find your suggestion of the sense of closure where the other is elusive important. Perhaps I could consider it under my idea of lover’s play but you seem to give it a more fundamental position.

    And in this I think you’re right. This tension creates excitement, where the other is just out of reach (but not continually) or I place myself just out of reach, is very effective to make a relationship more fun. Almost a form of posturing in which you shift another aspect of your personality forward that requires a different approach but also makes your approach different. And in a sense it will let you come closer as you understand more and more about each other.
    you see the sexual act as a metaphor for the union between the mortal soul and the divine…. I agree with this view, but the relationship is a very complex one. Because this union is at the same time the union of two different substances, two different ireconcilable entities. A holy union which is at the same time an unholy loss of self and of everything that makes us human. We are just bodies at such a moment. Sex is such a spiritual thing, because it is in every respect a union of opposites, whores in the temple and nuns with orgastic experiences seeing a figurine of the saviour. The saint and the voluptuary are one.

    Don’t tell your local priest about those nuns… I”m not sure he can handle it.

  4. the boss said,

    Giving yourself is, I think such a violent moment, not in the sense of physical violence per se, though sex can be a quite harsh activity, but it involves an act of unmasking yourself and judging yourself wothy to give to another and yourself worthy to receive another.

  5. snoopy44 said,

    too much philosophy around here. for me it’s much simpler. it’s all about what i like and don’t like. and I love basking in the love, warmth, comfort and spirit of someone who has become part of my heart and life.

  6. the wand said,

    I love a delicious kiss, tracing her curves with my finger tips, her thighs in my hands, the way she barely arches her back, my tongue inside of her. … when she comes.

  7. choccandi said,

    I love when my hubby kisses my neck and tweaks my tits.

  8. reverend said,

    I love love

  9. reverend said,

    oh and eating pussy as well…

  10. the bell said,

    I love swallowing.

  11. tx said,

    I Love it when she is loud and verbal…

  12. craddlle said,

    i just love it when he hugs me from behind…

  13. craddlle said,

    I love it when he’s hard when he hugs me.

  14. craddlle said,

    I love it when he doesn’t have to ask.

  15. george red said,

    I love it when she gives me the choice front door or back door?

  16. george red said,

    I love it when she says Harder, Faster!

  17. keira said,

    I love it when he can last a long time doing FASTER and HARDER… LOSER!

  18. grabber said,

    I love to tie her up.

  19. jhonny said,

    would love to fuck for the first time.

  20. jhonny said,

    just wondering… sonia, what do you love?

  21. rigg said,

    You know the smell of the intermingling juices, kind of fishy? Sometimes I will not clean down their for a day so the smell reminds me of the wonderful time I had….but then I do shower everday..

  22. game said,

    uhm, thats kinda gross if you ask me

  23. meister said,

    That’s pretty nasty man

  24. tobias said,

    the fact that you mentioned the word “fishy” makes that statement gross. if you didn’t explain the smell as a disgusting scent it might have been okay. but that’s ousnds nasty. and all i know is me and my dude like to get washed up down below and then lay together. still smelling of ‘sex’ but not…genitals.

  25. tobias said,

    yeah, yeah…i’m gay

  26. tx said,

    I usally shower after the wet, sticky sex is over! tho I have been known to just spoon right in close and go to sleep without a shower, but not very often…

  27. sharon said,

    i little cuddle or spooning is nice straight after but i like to get cleaned up pretty quickly otherwise if you leave it too long its like ripping 2 bits of velcro apart

  28. grabber said,

    i like leaving the scent of eachother on. i like knowing that my cock and pubes are drenched in the juices of her desire, and it is a nice surprising reminder if i catch a whiff of my fingers later for some reason, and i can smell her pussy on them. i will put deoderant or aftershave on after. if we are going out i will have a shower though.

  29. grabber said,

    What is the most freakish thing you have done in the bedroom and would you do it again?

  30. grabber said,

    I’ve done some pretty freaky shit, so let’s see……
    I’ve been in several threesomes with other men and their wives.
    Last weekend I tied my gf up and fucked her in the ass after spanking her with a variety of items. Kinda fun, but a bit over the top for me. I’m just too nice a guy to really enjoy hitting women. Putting clothespins on her nipples was pretty cool, though. We will be doing more of that type stuff, I’m sure.
    When eating pussy, I often have my gf lean over and spit gobs of her saliva onto her pussy for me to lick off and I allways eat her pussy again after I cum in her. We both love that.
    I’m a pretty sick fucker, huh?

  31. owl said,

    i think the most fucked up thing ive ever done in the bed room was blood and knife play..
    it was a good idea when stoned, but no i dont think ill ever go down that path again

  32. sharan said,

    Watched my then gf take on a number of men at the same time. I ”helped” keep them nice and hard.

  33. muse said,

    once she handcuffed me to the bed and rode me till i spurted in her.

    another time she was making me watch porn while she gave me head, not that i wascomplaining.lol

    also i love it when she gives me road head on the freeway. doin 100 and getting blown. awesome.

    another time we both watched debbie does dallas and i was inside her the whole time, moving her up and down. that was great as we were drinking a good bottle of wine at the time.

    i suppose theyre not freakish, just more far-out.

  34. geronimo said,

    I came in my girlfriends’s mouth and then she kissed me and put all of my cum into my mouth and made me swallow it, i would not do it again.

  35. geronimo said,

    Anal is as bad as I’ve gone.

  36. karra said,

    Help me out here. I always wondered what the penis feels when it’s in the pussy or mouth. Don’t say tight, I need MENtal stimulation Describe it to me.

  37. south said,

    warm, paralyzing, wonderful

  38. game said,

    well, its hard to to describe but, i would say WET. thats all i got. but i prefer to get sucked off then fuk most the time. it feels so good when i cum in her mouth.

  39. karra said,

    The last time he came in my mouth I tried to keep sucking, but he pushed me away and begged me to stop. I chased him…….caught him…..and….it made me wonder how did it feel to his dick.

  40. game said,

    thats wierd. my girl kept sucking while i came, and didnt leave a drop behind. i would never push her away while i came. maybe he has a sensitive penis

  41. sharan said,

    I imagine it feels much like you feel when a tongue is in your vagina.
    And right after we come….. well, imagine if someone kept licking your clit after you orgasm. The head of our dick has somewhere around a third the nerve endings that a clit has, but that is still a LOT.

  42. grabber said,

    well…i enjoy it very much when she had my cums in her mouth… she takes evry single drop of it… she even clean my dick after that by sucking it while having full of poland spring water in her mouth….

  43. 25 said,

    very warm and very nice. alot better when it is warmed and lubbed. I love helping my wife prepare that secret place to unload

  44. 25 said,

    what the hell? is this turning into a sex forum or am i having halucinations?

  45. key said,

    Ok, so i’m 15 and my boyfriend and i are really serious. we ahve never done anything past makeing out. he’s tryed but i’ve been too nervous. but now he’s talking about sex, and i’ve really been considering it. im very nervous about it hurting or not. i know it will but how bad? and i’m very little in size. so will that affect it? also, im really NERVOUS about it fitting or not. HELP!! i need advice soon! thank you!

  46. shay said,

    my first time hurt. not crippling agony, it just hurt a little

    i found that being on top helped. you can slowly ease yourself down && stop if it hurts too much or if you change your mind

  47. laura said,

    i had sex ofr the first time 2 years ago and i was thinking the same as you are now.
    i told my self not to be drunk to make this speacial as mine was with someone i thought i loved but were not together anymore. but andway when it came to us having sex i was so scared i was shaking. just make sure your clam relaxed. he might be thinkinhg the same if your his first sexual partner. make sure you use a condom it will make it easier as you say your not very big and lubracant might be a thing to consideras it will help his penis enter easier and this will have it more comfortable for you aswell. it might hurt after because you have just had sex for the first time and your body isnt use to it. take you time and dont worry about it and just make sure you enjoy it. if you dont use a condom make sure you have some type of protection wether it is the pill ect you can ask your doctor about that i find it much easier being on the pill.

  48. karra said,

    Don’t drink booze before you have sex. You want it to be special as its your first time. Don’t worry about it not fitting or doing you some damage as it won’t. A woman can push a baby out of there no matter what size she is.
    You need to be relaxed. Don’t just jump into bed and do it straight away. He needs to pleasure you alot with foreplay to get you wet. Once you feel wet down there then take it from there.

  49. ruize said,

    being nervous is very natural. Just be calm and let things unfold themselves. invest in a lot of foreplay. a little bleeding initially and then with time all will be fine. tell ur mind- there’s nothing to worry about! once ur mind understands it, everything will fall into place. infact whatever ur size or ur bf’s penis’s size, anything will fit into ur vagina. it looks small, but it can fit in anything big or small.

  50. karra said,

    I dont know about you ladies but after I reach orgasm I find it extremely difficult to move (almost a feeling of paralysis), this is not due to pain might I add as it is very pleasurable and can last upto half an hour or so!! lucky me eh lol.

    I was just wondering whether this happens to anyone else as i’m finding it hard to find anywhere online that describes how I feel.

  51. raji said,

    cant really explain how i feel.it is heavenly.want to have it again n again.orgasm by oral sex is more intense.multiple orgasm is like fainting n the only requirement is a very loving partner who can handle u well in those glorious moments.

  52. raji said,

    I GO THROUGH THE SAME THING.IF IT’S AN INTENSE ORGASM,I CAN’T MOVE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES,THEN WHEN I DO,MY LEGS ARE WEAK AND FEEL LIKE RUBBER….

  53. rosewood said,

    Mines not as enjoyable. I feel my hands fall asleep, then my face falls asleep. for a climax my hands clinch up and my jaw locks. I then cant move my hands out of the clinched possition, nor can I move my mouth or face to talk. so for me, orgasims are no fun. and I cant find any research on the topic out on the web.

  54. gerri caldron said,

    I find my fingers and toes numb after an intense orgasm, but not always. I found this mostly when I began to be able to get off with other people like it was getting easier to cum. Then I began to get another urge to cum after cumming, sometimes while fingers and toes are numb just kept going and came again.

  55. rahasya said,

    Could you see my post and comment on it?

    http://rahasya.wordpress.com/

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