Originally I intended to only write two blog entries about sex because I know most folks don't feel comfortable about talking about sex publicly and I don't want to attract the wrong crowd if you know what I mean. But, I decided to add another entry after remembering the excellent book I read on the subject of sex last year called the Soul of Sex by Thomas Moore, the prolific author of such best sellers as Care of the Soul, Soul Mates, and The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life. While Moore's book on sex can get a little deep/esoteric, at times, he does have some interesting and thought provoking things to say about sex,marriage,relationships, and life in general. Following are some of the more interesting observations of Thomas Moore on the subject of sex.
If we are displaying sex with unseemly exaggeration and preoccupation, then we have not found the heart of sex and made it a fully integrated part of the individual and social life. Given our obsession with sex, we need to get more of it, not in quanity but in quality. It's like a person addicted to junk food. He eats as much as he can because there is nothing there. If he eats real food--unprocessed, close to it's earth origins, wonderfully prepared--he might leave the addiction behind. We need more sex, not less, but we need sex with soul.
Lovemaking is a ritual that, like all religious rites of the world, tries to make present the spirit that will make the human activity magically effective. Like all ritual, too, sex requires art, attention to details, and a devoted imagination.
Sex is a kind of gnosis or holy knowing. In sex we get to know a person in a way that is more than special. Sex reveals much that is unconscious to both people, and so the unveiling that goes on at the physical level is mirrored as the soul sheds its protective covering.
At the very heart of sex lies a profound affirmation of life, giving us a reason for living, optimism, and energy. At every step, this process can be wounded and weakened by a fear of vitality and a failure to trust life, in others and in oneself. Everywhere we are told to set limits on eros, to be careful that we are not lost in its' passion. But if we listen to these worried cautions, we may end up with only a modicum of self possession purchased at the cost of life's passion. Eros may go underground as seething, dark desire, and the surface of life turn mechanical and controlled, cheerless and humorless.
Why not extend the idea...that sex can be healing? The display of each other's bodies and especially the private parts, the organs usually veiled, may help heal a marriage or keep each person lively and vibrant as the Greeks would say, in touch with immortality.
It might help many people to allow themselves their sexual shyness, not discounting it as a personal inadequacy but recognizing that indulgence and abandon are not the only kind of sexual liberation.
The rush of vitality we find in sex can make us feel in our bodies that life is meaningful--one reason why sex has such powerful attraction and why, when sex is lacking or unsatisfactory, life seems dull and empty...Sexual vitality also helps keep couples together, because sex can give daily lives the optimism they need to carry on.
Sex eases us away from the intellectualized life and places us in a different position where intuition, emotion, and physical sensation take on special importance.
A married couple may not feel terribly affectionate at times when they make love, but as they make love they may bring each other loyalty to their marriage, to their home, and to their children.
Lovers who are also friends will have something to say to each other before, after, adn during sex. They will be aware of their deeper ties as they make love, and their lovemaking will be tightly woven into other dimensions of their intimacy. Their friendship will give sex a loving context that is more stable than romantic love or physical attraction.
Modern society's combined moralism against and obsession with sex indicates that we have yet discovered the deeper meaning of sexuality...But, like all powerful elements in the soul, sex needs to be manifested. Otherwise we suffer not only from the sudden return of the repressed--sex breaking our repression in negative and uncontrollable ways--but also from diminishment of life and vitality. Sex gives life color and vivacity. When we hide it out of fear, our personal lives and our social life become flat.
If we see the physical world as one of lifeless objects and mechanical functions, a great portion of our time love lives will be lost. We are willing to spend much of our time in a loveless, sexless environment, but if the working hours of our days are not enlivened by the nymphs of sex and spirits of eros, now can we suddenly and without context fall into lovemaking? How can we divorce sex from life and expect it to season our lives?
Your sexual imagination will never grow weak or stop working, no matter how old you are and no matter what the circumstances of life...Sexual desire still goes on when there is little or no chance of contrete satisfaction.
In marriage good sex goes along with a full life, because sex gives to the emotions and to the sense of coupling a sensation of fullness....It's difficult to have good sex on an empty heart or in impoverished home. By impoverished I don't mean a home without money, but rather a home without the spirit of abundant life, a spirit that can be evoked in a poor home as well as in a rich house
Sex can become routine in marriage, especially if all the acouterments remain plain and familiar, but if sex is seen as an art rather than mere self-expression or duty ,then the whole of one's life can prepare for it and at the same time be carried on in the afterglow of sex.
Sex doesn't have to be perfect or done in any particular way. As long as it lies at the heart of marriage, it does the soul task of mediating between worlds, between the daily concerns of living and the eternal concerns of meaning and the heart. Even when people sense a contradiction in their marriage between good sex and bad communication, they can be certain that sexual passion is not meaningless.