Welcome the first part of metaphor 6 on my journey through the book "The Hidden Spirituality of Men - Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine" by Matthew Fox. If this is your first time reading my blog you might want to at least read the initial post on the book. You can also check out other posts in the series. Beyond that, read on. Here it is, the metaphor on sexuality. This metaphor was the most confronting to start reading. I put it off both subconsciously and consciously for about 2 weeks. At the same time, masculine sexual energy is a major reason I started looking into the men's studies movement. As a father of two boys, I kept questioning whether or not I would know how to speak powerfully to them about sex when the time comes.
Being raised in an all (powerful) female household I really never had a male figure I trusted to discuss these things with and I was already ashamed about how other men treated women. Initially, the question of masculine sexuality pulled me on this journey through the sacred masculine and I was afraid of this metaphor the most ( my ego was definitely shaking in its boots ). [ad#Google Adsense] When I finally read the chapter, I breezed through it and got a lot of information. I felt much more comfortable and saw the bigger picture of the sacredness of sexuality. When I reread it before writing this article I noticed how much I missed. Realizing that my subconscious probably zoned out on the first pass, I made an effort to take in the information inside this book.
I feel I must say one thing before moving on. This article is about sexuality as it concerns the sacred masculine. It is meant as a serious spiritual discussion. Watch where you find yourself giggling as that is where you are probably missing out sacrament of sex. Read on if you are ready.
Masculine Sexuality, Numinous Sexuality
In order to best stay true to what I got from this metaphor I will be following the sections of the chapter and use those headings. One distinction is very important for this metaphor - the distinction between spirituality and religion in regards to sexuality. Long before the religions of today, people treated sex as a spiritual experience. Many current religions treat sex as a sin.
"Our Western institutional religious tradition has essentially repressed and distorted the sexual instinct and thereby created a variety of personal and social pathologies. In doing so it has also effectively removed sexuality from its religious foundations."
Also keep in mind that
"...for most people the experience of sex is more powerful than their experience of religion."
This must be because during sex we are making a strong connection to the sacred and during religious ceremonies we may be holding some of the spiritual energies back. [ad#Books Banner]
Ancient Sacred Metaphors of Sexuality
There are ancient temples that still exist that obviously worship the male phallus. Because they still exist people get a sense of the awe. In this space of awe one has the ability to experience joy and pleasure through intercourse and other forms of sex. What must it be like to worship masculine sexual energy without shame?
Sexuality and Shame:A Western Inheritance
I've written before how much of being a man can be summed up in one word, shame. When it comes to sex it is felt by the truckload. I've grown up in the Western world where sex is considered dirty ( and that being dirty is a bad thing ). While it is generally considered okay for men to want sex, only the hunt is really accepted. The act itself, the connection to ones partner and to the universe are not given their due. As such men's stories about sex are about quantity and/or domination rather than quality and connectedness. If a man does talk about the spirituality of sex people often don't listen or if they do they believe the man to be boasting about prowess. [ad#Google Adsense] Yes, having fun with sex, enjoying it is even worse in Western culture. Which brings up another issue, roleplaying. In western culture there is some of this that occurs, but even it gets perverted to the point that the roleplaying is not used for connectedness but to create more separation. A separation between the people involved and a separation from the full experience of it. Roleplaying isn't just about wearing costumes, though that can be part of it. Its about having fun with your partner and looking for new experiences together. Its important to switch roles occasionally. Switch who's on top and who's on bottom ( both physically and metaphorically ) to make sure both people get the full experience. Passion equals play, so to keep the spark going have some fun together.
The Many Names of Sexuality
I've used the word sexuality so many times that you may have thought I was only talking about sex. There are many other names used in the book and I would like to share a few that you may not be thinking of.
- The Sacred Masculine
- The Divine Feminine
This list is less extensive than what is in the book. In the book they also add the point that you can most likely add more of your own. So as we discuss sexuality realize that we are discussing so much more than intercourse. [ad#Books Banner]
The Lover's Revelation
Did you know that the Bible devotes and entire book to praising sexual love as divine? I didn't but the author mentioned time and again that Song of Songs does just that. Despite my less than biblical path to spirituality, I'm intrigued to see what it says.
Religions around the world have spent some if not a lot of time discussing divinity of sexual love. Why? What do we get from it? As you look closely you see that we get more than we thought. There is the connected to another person, the connectedness to the universe. I've heard a comic describe how sex is weird because a man (who usually focuses on one thing) has to focus on many things at once and a woman (who usually splits focus between many things ) has to focus on one thing. This is funny because of the truth in it ( and he had much better delivery than my writing ). It shows that through sexual love we also gain perspective.
As one studies the power of numinous sexuality one also sees the importance of mutuality. Sexual energy is shared when used positively. This also lets us see a little of the shadow energies most often associated with (masculine) sexuality. The shadow energy of sexuality comes out as domination instead of mutual physical love. Some of this shadow energy comes because of the repression of sexuality in our culture. It is such a powerful part of our spirits that it will come out. That is why it is important to embrace what it truly is so that it can flow powerfully.
These sacred masculine posts are growing quite long, and in order to give this one enough time I am breaking it up into two parts. Part two of Numinous Masculine Sexuality will cover sperm, male infertility, sexual diversity, what heterosexuals can learn from homesexuals and how to approach sexuality as sacred. Until next week, what sorts of thoughts did this article spark for you in the realm of sacred sexuality? Does any of this ring true for you or do you think I'm barking up the wrong tree? Please leave your comments below or send a private message through this blog's contact page. [ad#Google Adsense] If you liked this post please subscribe to my RSS Feed and/or follow me on Twitter. If you only want to read my Wednesday Warrior posts subscribe to the Wednesday Warrior feed. Until next time, thanks for reading.