Today's post is part 2 of my post on Numinous, Masculine Sexuality. These two posts share my journey through the 6th metaphor from the book The Hidden Spirituality of Men - Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine by Matthew Fox. In my last post I talked about how ancient religions ( and some non-western religions ) worshipped sexuality as sacred. I also discussed how western religions have brought shame into the forefront of sexuality in an attempt to control the sacred. Finally, the last post discussed the fact that sacred sexuality is not just about intercourse - but rather intercourse is just one aspect. In revisiting this chapter I found myself starting to learn to play the guitar and it has given me access to a sexual spirit that has been suppressed for some time now. The topics of today's journey through numinous, masculine sexuality are sperm, male infertility, sexual diversity learning from the gifts of homosexuality and wrapping it all up in sexuality as sacred.
In the book, the author had asked a group of mostly men to write down an answer to the question, "What is Sperm?" He shared many of the responses he got and many of them were at or nearing poetic. As someone who had always been uncomfortable with anything sexual in nature it had been very easy for me to never even think about it. Well, in the honor of sharing my journey I am going to attempt to answer that question right here in this blog from my perspective. I only hope I can do it justice.
Why is it so hard to honor sperm? Is it because it has so many names that make us giggle or turn red? Is it because we are afraid of the awesome power that lies within? Sperm is a metaphor for possibility. Each sperm is the possibility of life, and not just any life. The possibility of a new life that we love more than we have ever loved before. I have 2 sons because of sperm. 1 came from planning and one came from a moment of passionate love but they are both a part of my life because of sperm. Of all the fluids that are worshipped in this world - blood, wine, holy water - this seems left out of the sacred mix. So even if it is only a moment before my shame rises again, I take this moment to honor distilled masculine sexuality in sperm.
[ad#Google Adsense] That was tough to write because I felt myself pulled separately by both my reverence and shame that I felt. This chapter, and specifically this section on sperm bring to mind one individual who seems to exude sacred masculine sexual energy more than anyone I can think of - Prince. He has many songs that are clearly about sexuality, including one called Cream. At the end of the movie Purple Rain he has a concert and the finale is him doing an obvious ejaculation from his guitar. Finally, at one point he changed his name to around a legal dispute with Warner Brothers and this is what he had to say about it:
I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name.
To many the symbol seemed random, but to Prince it was the Love Symbol. Love is central to sacred sexuality and he has embodied it in his art.
With all this admiration for sperm and its reproductive power the author was confronted by a member of the group that wrote about sperm. For this man the question brought pain because he was infertile. While I have been blessed with two beautiful boys he was unable to have any by his sperm due to that fact. But if you read his story you find out more. You find out about the way he was initially dismissed when having trouble getting his wife pregnant. You find out the research the two of them did to find out about their options. Their journey led them to choosing to have children by using a sperm donor. The mental and emotional power of sperm is strong in this story. Though this man's sperm were incapable of fulfilling their reproductive duty the spiritual aspect of them still led him to having children to whom he is a father. In fact the story goes deeper and it is worth the read.
It was interesting to notice how male infertility is so casually dismissed as if it takes no psychological or spiritual toll. When you compare this to our current (in)ability to honor sperm as we do the ovum it isn't hard to see why this is. Men want to be parents as well and any inability in this area forces a very rocky mental and spiritual path to be walked.
Continue reading... [ad#Books Banner]
Sexual Diversity and The Lover
I hate to copy too much from the book, so I will try to paraphrase the first paragraph of this section in the book. Scientifically speaking, sexual reproduction was the genesis of greater diversity of life on earth. After species started reproducing sexually you started to see different traits come out at a much greater rate. In present day we see this through not only physical attributes but also in the types of personalities we all have. If sex was an explosion of diversity why do we act like it should only look one way?
From style to position, from gender roles to gender preference, diversity is a part of sexuality and sexuality is a part of the sacred. One thing that this chapter mentions is that the sacred can not be held back and nature is proof of this in regards to libido. The animal kingdom ( this includes humans ) is pretty consistent in this diversity. I read an article a few weeks ago that talked about the mating rituals of bats that includes oral sex. In regards to homosexuality 464 other species have been observed with homosexual populations. Nature has so much to teach us about many sacred things, so what does it have to teach us about sexuality?
In regards to our acceptance of homosexuality as natural, humankind still has a ways to go but we are on the path. Some countries and states allow same sex marriages. While some recent votes in some states have disheartened me this chapter made me realize something. The very fact that there are votes to vote down means we are on the path right now. If you compare the current movement for gay and lesbian rights to the movements for the rights of women or of different races you'll see a similarity. It's not as if Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have a dream..." and everyone said ,"you know, you're right. I'm sorry. I've been treating you different all this time." No, instead they had to keep working to change people's minds through education. Just like today's relationship between religion and homophobia there are examples of people using their religion to support their racism. So for those warriors who are fighting this fight, be heartened. The path may be murky but we are moving forward along it. [ad#Google Adsense]
Honoring, and Learning from, the Gifts of Homosexuality
This section of the chapter was mind blowing and, to be honest, a lot easier to be present to than other sections. In a society that has had news stories about metrosexuals, guys who have typically homosexual traits ( style, tastes, a sense of culture ), it can be hard for some to admit that we have anything to learn from homosexuality. I find this is especially true with gay men who actually have quite a lot to offer their hetero-masculine brethren and neither side may realize it. Because out gay men have already had to do the work to feel comfortable with their own sexuality they can access more of their sacred energies.
- Creativity. The style and tastes of gay men are not limited by anything that might seem feminine. In fact the divine feminine is an equal part of creativity as the sacred masculine.
- Being a bridge between men and women. The very fact that gay men can access both energies without shame allows them the ability see outside of normal gender roles that can get in the way of individuals being truly powerful.
- Humor. What is it about gay men that makes hetero men uncomfortable? It might be that they have so much fun with their sexuality. If they are out, they have gotten past the shame and can truly enjoy role playing with their partners.
- Spirituality. Before reading this section I didn't realize that homosexual men used to be the spiritual directors for the great chiefs of Native Americans. They were called berdache or winkte.
The whole concept of winkte makes me wonder if the scandals of homosexuality (with under age boys) in the catholic church comes out of this spiritual connection that has been warped by an attempt to control the sacred (sexuality). My tangent aside there was another statement about winkte that I found interesting. One native woman whose Uncle is homosexual talked about how it is unfortunate that native youth don't know their history and criticize gays. Not only because they don't know their own cultures true history but it also has young winkte not fulfilling their spiritual role in the community.
One last thing hetero men can learn from gay men is how to love other men. I've talked about sex a lot and people often collapse sex and love but they are distinct ( though love is a part of the sacred sexual ). The best definition of love I have ever heard is,"accepting someone for who they are and for who they are not." There are some great examples of non-romantic man to man love, sometimes referred to as a bromance. The example that best comes to mind for me is Turk and JD on the TV show Scrubs. The great thing about their love for each other is that the writers just have fun with it. Along the way a hetero guy like myself starts to feel jealous if he doesn't have a best friend like that in his life.
Sexuality as Sacred
Between last week's post and this I hope that you saw as I did that sexuality is more than just intercourse and erogenous zones. It is a sacred energy that we can tap into for great pleasure and joy in life. Sexuality can not be confined to a single thing because as a mystical energy it can not be confined. It will find a way out but could be distorted in the process. By embracing the sacred sensual we have an opportunity to enjoy life and that which is truly alive. By suppressing it we end up a little dead inside and dead sexual energy= necrophilia. [ad#Books Banner]
Next week's Wednesday Warrior post is a great follow up to sacred sexuality. The next metaphor is titled,"Our Cosmic And Animal Bodies." More posting without the net of comfort there. 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.