The Stigmata of Sexuality
19 September 2015
I was recently warned about the sexual content of my poetry and the accompanying images insofar as it was published together with my profile on a professional website and might hurt my professional image.
The person was a very good friend of mine and I knew her not to be really bothered by such matters but more concerned about its impact on my image from an external standpoint as this was a conservative region – unlike the western regions. Therefore I just exchanged with her banal thoughts on the fact that I write poetry and this is who I also am, which I am not willing to suppress to please the rampant hypocrisy of the region. Besides, needless to say that this region knows a flourish of sexuality, albeit in a very hidden and sometimes distorted way if you take Saudi for example.
This incident got me thinking however about Sexuality and its connotations and manifestations on a more global level. Needless to say and there are profuse sayings about this matter that money and sex are what really seem to rule this world. It is fascinating to notice though how these elements are transformed, darkened, soiled and then returned to the world with a negative emphasis of their essence.
Money, which started out as a symbolic energy exchange is now mainly used to corrupt, to buy something that ethics and basic decency would not allow for. It is exchanged under the table, between conniving looks and slithering fingers so that a deed, that would otherwise not be carried out finds some sanctity in the eyes of the person having to commit it for this price.
Sexuality is used in a certain way to corrupt too. Many business transactions have been consolidated on the basis of a hooker or a few hookers who are left with the person making the decision to facilitate the business transaction or with the person deciding himself. It is also used to obtain power whether direct or indirect and to trap unwary people into the web of blackmail depending on situation, gender, position and nature and extent of the sexual happening.
In both cases, the bait is given and everybody looks the other way because these items represent the final boundaries of decency and morality. Thus, sexuality like money has earned an increased social stigmata. Expressing sexuality has become the epitome of expressing the desire to be a whore because today, sexuality has finally become totally associated with “whoredom”.
We don’t even need to step into the earlier stages of how religion transformed sexuality from its original healing intent into something dark and foreboding to be shunned, thereby sweepingly relegating women as a gender into the role of the gate to a purgatory leading to hell. Even without this terrible legacy, modern day antics would have anyway succeeded in transforming sexuality into something lurid and to be totally associated with only what should be kept in the dark.
Even sexuality within marriage is still somewhat akin to the forbidden. I know of one woman whose religious conservative husband wanted to divorce her because she was expressing too much pleasure during their lovemaking. Apparently he expected her to lie down and live through it without a word as if she were some dutiful wife just stitching a button on his shirt or cooking without his presence beside her. He thought that expressing pleasure was a sign of her being more like a whore than a wife. I remember one incident involving myself when an earlier boyfriend refused to even think about the earlier stages of a sexual relationship saying that he respected me too much and did not consider me a whore – thank you very much!
Those who seek spirituality in the eastern world are the other ones aside from religion who have given sexuality its stigmata as they consider that sexuality must be taken out of the equation of attaining higher realms because it would bring them down from their endeavours into a carnal world. They believe that sexuality is a directly limiting factor of accessing higher realms because of the lust associated with it. They seem to forget that all the temples throughout Asia showcase to some extent or the other sexualised representations of the Gods that they themselves pray to. It would therefore seem in all fairness that sexuality was a means of attaining higher realms or at least was associated with the higher realms as the Gods themselves practised it. Today, only those who practise Tantra still think of it as a way to attain higher realms although they do it in a more concentrated way focusing mainly on the sexual happening and less on the other items associated with spirituality (here too the various masters differ in their way of interpreting Tantra).
Personally, I have always seen sexuality as a healing source and a means to transcendence if used in the right way and therefore fail to see in it something that could soil despite the various incidents I have witnessed or any I have been subject to. There was a time when sexuality was regularly practised as a means to heal people and women who would now be called whores were then hailed as remarkable healers. In fact, the legend has it that Mary Magdalene herself was one such healer while today’s history books list her simply down as the whore who got redeemed by Jesus’s Love and compassion.
It is about time to remove the stigma associated with sexuality and finally allow it to reintegrate its role in healing and nurturing instead of leaving it distorted and creating negative energy throughout our beings and throughout the world. This would also finally allow women to lose their ill-fated designation as the gates to a hellish purgatory and reinstate their roles as nurturers and healers.