Today I saw two young boys “shooting” each other. They had a machine gun each, made out of white plastic tubes, pieces of wood and duct tape. I wondered, do their parents equally encourage them to play with each others genitals? A great way of discovering and experimenting with pleasurable bodily feelings while growing up. I know most parents care and do the best they can rearing children. But it is obvious our society mainly encourages competitive and agressive experimentation. We don’t mind kids engaging in mock- battle but get embarrassed at the slightest exposure to sounds of enjoyment from sexual interactions. Sex is very pleasurable, but most of us never learn how to use it in a way that will grow us, into a balanced body/mind. Not the parents, and therefore not the children. This is the beginning of sexual betrayal.
New Zealand is staunchly conservative. It has decriminalised prostitution, but stopped short of legalising same-sex marriages and is a fervent promoter of the “family unit”. There is an undercurrent of conservative morals, judgements and laws. Modern day witch hunts are just around the corner, to sideline those sidestepping societal conventions.
However, I am not advocating that we all swing the other way. After all, equally extreme outlets are found on the other side of the conventional spectrum: wife swapping, kinky fetishes, sexting, incest, porn, sex tourism, abuse, you name it. And they are all the results of our rebound against the status quo. Sex as we know it is always fraught with problems, drama, abuse, scandal and heartache, no matter how liberal we think we are. By living within the limits of our culture’s template, we manipulate and suppress our sexuality, to conform.
Fundamentally there is no difference between the nun and the prostitute. Whether I declare myself celibate or libertine, I am simply placing myself on a scale that signifies my loss of fluidity with natural bodily feelings. We all know that sexual lust can suddenly surprise you out of nowhere, like bird-poo on your head. Meanwhile, collective national consciousness strives to maintain and grow the consumerist empire. Sexuality has been organised and regulated for the sake of meek and orderly generations that will work, consume and pay tax. Our interest in life as a free human-being is doused. The powers-that-be cannot create order from a population of free feeling humans.
Like most western countries, New Zealand passionately upholds the “standard-narrative” in regards to sexuality. The standard narrative suits both an economy-driven society and conventional religious morals superbly, and therefore governments defensively nurture it via tax schemes, work conditions, inheritance laws and other regulations. They prevent life moving in its chaotically unpredictable, wonderful ways. Because chaos and unpredictability are (very) inconvenient for profit- making and consumerism.
The standard narrative encompasses the false notion that men and women have naturally evolved in monogamous family units, in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity. Monogamous sex and love are somehow linked in the propagation of the “family unit”. This is passed on psychically from generation to generation.
Sanctifying “the family unit” also relies on our self-suppression. How far removed from human nature this is, becomes evident in what we have strategically labelled “adultery”. Adultery has been documented in every single human culture studied – including those in which fornicators are routinely stoned to death.
Often, our suppression rises to the surface in stories in the national media. Recently, for instance, former MP Pam Corkery explained how she’d had to endure “a year of hard slog against the male establishment” while planning a spa bar and bordello for female clients. She consequently felt forced to drop the idea, amongst others, because a number of legal and accounting firms were unwilling to represent her new business. Yet from her potential clientele she received nothing but support, and around 1100 men applied to work for her.
Meanwhile, the established, traditional sex industry in New Zealand is “ignored, spat on and judged by the very people who seek its service,” says Rachel Francis, who worked in the New Zealand sex industry for nearly a quarter of a century. This illustrates a consistent disdain that follows the historical blueprint of a country with a collective consciousness steeped in moralistic fear. Earlier this year, a promising New Zealand politician, Darren Hughes, felt forced to resign after a “sexual complaint” from a young male, even though it turned out later that there was no insufficient evidence to charge him. There was Helen Clark, who, during her reign as New Zealand prime minister, was often vilified for not using her married name and choosing a child-free life. New in parliament, she remembers one of her own party’s senior members calling her a barren lesbian. “If I hadn’t gone into politics, I would not have married,” Clark would later remark.
Below the eyebrow, we are instinctively animal. But with New Zealand’s politics and laws largely based on the new testament, we are indoctrinated to think and even feel along the lines of inherited religious values (in our culture the christian ones). Religion-based, puritanical laws condemn our instinctive nature, making us believe some feelings are wrong and some are right. So, while our bodies hiss and roar with a whole range of feelings and urges, our emotional weakness (due to a lack of true self-responsibility and reliance on parental authorities) keeps us meek, either adhering to the societal template – or rebelling against it.
As a young woman, it never ocurred to me that i could “mix it all up” and that nothing needed to be left out. In fact, that notion would have scared me. Just under the skin I felt that conforming to the norm was something to strive for if I wanted to stay comfortable. I did not understand that doing so was a total denial of my inherent psycho-physical-emotional creativity. I felt threatened by my own feelings. For instance, the time I developed a crush on a man 35 years my senior, or the time I felt swept off my feet by a female acquaintance.
In hindsight, I can see that despite my seemingly libertarian explorations as a teenager, it was still relative to the societal template. I received no guidance about the real nature of my human sexuality and its effects on my life energy and that of those I was involved with. Yes, I was given the basic health facts about sex. I was not given, taught, demonstrated by example, that I was already okay, which would have enabled me to grow into a balanced human- being in full command of her great sexual power. Instead, I went on to use sex as one of the many arrows in my bow for targeting self- fullfilment.
A funny side of the suppression and exploitation of ordinary sexuality, is that you end up taking sex way too seriously. As if your life depends on it! I vividly experienced this during a recent, self- imposed period of abstinence. This period made it painfully clear to me that I used sex as the main means of feeling emotional and physical pleasure; I was not already emotionally and physically pleasurable. I used sex for self-worth and identified my happiness with whether I had sex or not.
True Sexuality is when you are already fulfilled, no matter what position you’re in! Sexual fulfilment has nothing to do with my satisfied genitals. True Sexuality is balanced life-energy that is not confined to a bodily act. To have received that from my elders would have been a most wonderful gift. A gift that comes only from the understanding that Sexuality is the free flow of our life-energy in all situations.