A couple of weeks ago I attended a retreat on Evolutionary Enlightenment with Andrew Cohen. A woman raised the topic of women’s liberation. She described, how many of us women are still concerned, first and foremost, with finding a – or the right kind of – man.

Andrew was impressed with her honesty and asked her, why that would be the case. “Do men make you that happy?” he asked. Every woman in the room burst into laughter, proof for how deeply we know that this is not the case.

Why do we live in such a contradiction?

The longing for and the desire for a man emerges from parts of ourselves buried deep within our biology and the history of our gender.

For one, and this is nothing new, the survival of our species depended on us being drawn to men, and them to us. In fact, this is, dare I say it, the prime reason we are drawn to each other, whether we intend to produce babies or not.

And related to that is the fact that for thousands of years, men acted as guarantors for the physical survival and security for women –even if they enslaved, abused or traded them, their power meant they were the source of any protection and safety.

It is sobering –to put it mildly – but also clarifying to look at these roots of our longing and ask the question anew: why are we still spending so much time and energy attracting Mr. Right, while knowing perfectly well, that our needs have changed and that we will not find lasting, profound happiness in any sexual relationship or romance?  (That does not mean that they cannot be beautiful or significant, but the fundamental approach to them would be different.) The current conclusion is that men should adapt to our changing needs – but does that make sense? Is that fair? And even possible?

I think it is a lot more exciting to look at exactly what it is at this point in our history and development that truly gives us fulfillment. In my experience this has to do with a higher creativity, self-realization in the biggest sense and deeper spiritual development – none of which men have the power to bestow upon us in the context of a sexual relationship. What is possible though is that our independence in these matters enables us to meet and come together in new, more satisfying and deeper ways.

Then our lives do no longer run contrary to our intelligence.

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Simply Sex? Part 1

March 22, 2010

For the first while of being newly back  in relationship, our bodies could not get enough of making love. R had been abstinent for eight years, and me for thirteen, so there was a lot to catch up on and we were literally on a non-stop high from the experience for several months. I later read that this is what does indeed happen, that there is some kind on internally introduced drugged-out-like state. Of course, it feels great, and it passes and that can be a pretty insecure time and also a fertile one for looking closely at how intricately sexuality is linked to our sense of self-worth, our need for affirmation, our sense of being alive and a whole lot more. It’s no suprise then, that everyone is concerned with extending their sexual activities way past the point at which it has any procreative relevance. We want to keep it up and I am actually beginning to wonder why.

Speaking about this with a friend the other day, we both felt that there is something in sex, the pure pleasure and single-pointed focus on sensations, that is a big relief from the complexity and often futile rumifications of our restless minds. It’s a mini-holiday all right. Everything becomes simple. And so it was no surprise to read, that the part of the brain that is most active before an orgasm is the one, that  is also called the ‘reptilian’ brain, a part that developed in much earlier stages of evolution than, say, reason. Surprise! But the implications are pretty big and I don’t think we, as very sophisticated and developed humans have really begun to grapple with them. I am including myself entirely – the reason for this blog in the first place.

Sex and Letting Go

March 17, 2010

When I first started having sex again, after thirteen years of both formal and informal celibacy, I was very struck by how challenging it is to actually really be in the body. I noticed how I was constantly thinking, evaluating, worrying and controlling what was going on during sex, rather than feel. I thought a lot about it and had some very powerful conversations with girl-friends, who recognized the same thing. We felt it had to do with the layers of self-image and also violation and distrust that has formed in our psyches and seemingly even in our bodies around this subject. We tend to be self-protected to a degree and depth I have to say I was not aware of.

Maybe this is why letting go in sex, letting a man in and trusting him almost feels like a spiritual experience – the relief is so great to not have to hold on to self-protection. I don’t think it is truly spiritual – even though, as one friend said, there are different ways to define that word – but psychic or psychological in a way that seems to go beyond individual history. It seems to be embedded in the make-up of our gender, maybe even in our genes or hormones, to stay in control, always and forever.

Because I am with a man who has the same philosophical and spiritual leaning, and there is a deep trust in each others willingness to question ourselves and grow, I am given the opportunity to go beyond that and am constantly surprised and moved by how deeply connected and alive I can be – and not just with him – when I let go of controlling constantly. It’s a challenging practice, with a lot of subtlety, and one there is a lot further to go with – definitely not just in bed. I would never have done it, were it not for the larger context we share.

Maybe it is because sexuality is so much at the root of our relations and way of looking at the world, that it can be a window into the ways we work on many more levels.