Take Me to Church
I’ve been wrestling with the notion and practice of casual sex, figuring what I can and can’t handle emotionally. In a social era that praises men and women for being “savage,” heartless, and detached I feel a bizarre pressure to be ok with no-strings-attached hook-ups. The truth is I’m not down at all. I’ve learned this the hard way more than once.
Immediately after sex I feel like a million bucks. I’m utterly high. I’m relaxed, I feel lighter and inspired. The act of sex, for me, is like therapy. It’s an ice-breaker. It relieves anxiety and tension in me. But it only lasts for a stretch of time before I’m coming down, needing more attention and affection, awaiting the next dick appointment. And that just doesn’t feel like an effective coping mechanism.
Someone recently said to me that he believes sex is the closest thing to god. I thought about it for a moment. There are definitely times when sex is so transcendent that it brings me to tears. Could that be extreme enlightenment or godliness? It doesn’t sound far-fetched. In pondering this ideology I did some research to see if other people had the same idea. I found people discussing god and sex on internet forums, and I also found extensive decades-old lectures and books by the spiritual guru Osho.
As I read Osho’s lectures some gaps started to fill in. One quote that spoke to me (from Yoga: The Mystery Beyond Mind) was: “When you make [love] to a person you think it unites you. For a moment it gives you the illusion of unity, and then a vast division suddenly comes in. That's why after every sex act, a frustration, a depression sets in. One feels that one is so far away from the beloved.” Reading that felt like being called out on my bullshit. When I was younger I wanted to be the kind of woman who was ok with casual sex, and for awhile I was. But that’s not me anymore, so I need to stop pretending it is.
Another Osho quote reads, “Love can give a new soul to sex. Then the sex is transfigured. It becomes beautiful. It is no longer sex. It has something of the beyond in it. It has become a bridge.” Sex is spiritual, no doubt. It’s moving meditation. It’s the closest thing we have to creation, next to childbirth. The idea isn’t to seek sex in order to elevate, but rather to resist lust in order to have more selective, quality intercourse.
I love sex but I’m not so obsessed with it that I’ll share it with anyone, especially someone I can’t call and discuss my day with after he was face-planted in my ass the night before. It’s strange to share bodily fluids with someone and then not be able to lean on him or her when shit hits the fan in life.
Every day I try to be conscious, kind, and self-aware so I’m sort of on a continuous spiritual journey, but I’m not religious; I think god exists at the root of our best selves. I believe in the universe and love. In order to preserve my wholeness and my peace of mind I’ll need to stop engaging in sex with men who are emotionally unavailable. I’ve tried this before and it’s not easy, but I think it’s worth it to get closer to my truest, best self. Pray for me.