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 also actively encourage them to freely play with their genitals, meanwhile wisely guiding them to not use their body for consolation?
Parents don’t seem to mind kids engaging in mock-battle, or playing violent video-games to the noise of gunshots and explosions. Yet generally they squeak and squirm at the “risk” of the little darlings being exposed to sounds of enjoyment from sexual interactions, or catching a glimpse of pornographic material. God forbid they witness pleasure and play, and think bodily sex is okay.
New Zealand is staunchly conservative, and while it has decriminalised prostitution, it stopped short of legalising same-sex marriages. There is an undercurrent of conservative morals, judgements and laws. As a result, the fervent movement venerating the “family-unit” is thriving, and modern-day witch hunts are just around the corner, to punish anyone who sidesteps societal conventions or at least seems to be doing so in the eyes of others.
On the other side of the conventional spectrum, equally extreme outlets are found, in the form of swinging, kinky fetishes, sexting, incest, porn, sex tourism, sexual abuse and teen pregnancies. Sex as we know it is always fraught with problems, drama, abuse, scandal and heartache. By striving to fit my culture’s template, I have manipulated or cut off my life-energy to suit my need for self-fulfilment. This leads me to either favouring some dogmatic ideal, or magic method for sexual gratification. This is the real meaning of sexual betrayal.
Fundamentally there is no difference between the nun and the prostitute. Whether I declare myself celibate or libertine, I am simply moving up and down a scale that signifies my loss of fluidity with life. We all know that sexual lust can suddenly surprise you out of nowhere, like bird-poo on your head. But for the sake of maintaining and growing our consumerist empire, your sexuality has been organised and regulated for you, so that the human species may be orderly perpetuated, work, consume and pay tax. In no way are the powers that be interested in a population that lives as truly free beings, in a freely creative way. The standard western monogamy narrative suits our economy-driven society so well, that governments, religions and other authoritative institutions defensively nurture and hold on to it.
Like most western countries, New Zealand passionately upholds the “standard-narrative” in regards to sexuality. The standard narrative is the false notion that men and women have naturally evolved in family units, in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity, and that monogamous sex and love are somehow linked. This is passed on to our growing generations, mainly through the examples of how adults around them live their lives. Sanctifying “the family unit” relies on our self-suppression. How far removed from human nature this is, becomes evident in, for instance, research on adultery worldwide: adultery has been documented in every single human culture studied – including those in which fornicators are routinely stoned to death.
Often, suppression rises to the surface in the national media, usually when someone in the spotlight is seen to be somehow breaking out of the societal template – which doesn’t take much at all. Recently, for instance, former MP Pam Corkery explained how she’d had to endure “a year of a 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 sufficient 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 made up of animal instinct and animal behaviour. 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 christian scriptures and their exoteric interpretations. This clashes with our instinctive animal behaviour and talent for true freedom. So, while our bodies hiss and roar with a whole range of feelings and urges, our emotional weakness – due to a lack of self-responsibility- keeps us meek and adhering to marriage.
There is a societal template, and due to our human nature we either try to fit it, or we rebel against it. My parents tried to mould my sexuality and I know I’m not unique in this. I adopted their input and that of the near-subliminal messages conveyed by school and church and governed my sexuality based on that, not on my own intuition.
As a young woman, it never occurred to me that I could “mix it all up” and nothing needed to be left out. In fact, that notion would have scared me. I already felt deep under the skin that conforming to the norm was something to strive for if I wanted to stay comfortable – not understanding 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 of my feet by a female acquaintance when I already “knew” I was “perfectly straight”. I restricted and suppressed myself. My parents enforced all the mixed messages by allowing me on the contraceptive pill when I had just turned 16, while they were dead against my sexual escapades at such a tender age.
Despite my seemingly libertarian explorations as a teenager, it was relative to that societal template. There was no guidance relative to the true nature of my human sexuality and its effects on energy. I was given the basic health facts about sex, but nothing to do with explorative play to find out more about my body and energy. Alas, I had not been taught, exampled, demonstrated, that I was already okay, thereby growing into a balanced human creature. Who is? For instance, as a female version of the species, I did not know I hold great sexual power. I might not have wanted to put labels on myself and then try to keep my feelings (and actions) under those labels. I went on to use sex as one of the many arrows on my bow for targetting self-fulfilment.
A funny side of 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 in my own case, 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, instead of already being emotionally and physically pleasurable. I used sex for self-worth fulfilment and identified my happiness with whether I had sex or not.
Now I understand nothing is sexier than being already fulfilled, no matter what position you’re in. Sexual fulfilment has nothing to do with your sex-life as you know it. No one fits one singular template. We generally don’t encourage each other, to discover and explore the pleasurableness of our bodies. We do not rejoice when we reach the stage in childhood where we have mastered playing with our genitals and discovered that, oh boy, it feels good. We are not helped by our elders to discover that True Sexuality is all there is and that it is not confined to a bodily act. That would be a most wonderful gift. A gift that comes only from the understanding that true sexual betrayal is the betrayal of True Sexuality, the free flow of our life-energy in all situations.
© Sitara Morgenster