Cardinal Sin 3—Lust (Sex / Making Love / Pornography)
“Pornography is the attempt to insult sex, to do dirt on it.”—D.H. Lawrence. Body image continues as a theme, in the realm of sex, sexuality and pornography. An act that is imbued with love has become a place of degradation—misogyny and self-hatred. In Tantric tradition sex is seen as a holy act between two people irrespective of body shape or age. Images of humans and the gods show the divine nature of this communion. If our bodies are created such that sex is part of its functioning and making love is vital for life, then why is there a sense of secrecy and judgment surrounding people enjoy ing the diverse range of their sexuality? Is there a connection between this disgust and hatred for something as natural as our bodies and their functioning, and the disrespect we show to our planet, Earth?
This is the quote from the piece of art in the “Psyche Pollution” installation that dealt with sex/ pornography/ making love. In it I used images from pornography magazines and images from Tantric sex manual.
My point, as I hope i explained clearly, is the urge to see beyond our conditioned eyes of seeing pornography as bad, which in its essence is merely observing the act of sex between consenting adults.
I bring this up (excuse the innuendo) because yesterday I was asked my opinion about pornography.
I used to be a self confessed feminist. And as any self confessed feminist understands I was, of course, against pornography!
And isnt it great being young and a self confessed feminist, because really you know so little about LIFE. So along my road, I reached a time when I sat eventually down and watched some pornography. It did turn me on, but I felt somewhat justified in looking in the eyes of the women and seeing that they were, in my opinion, plainly acting. But a male friend challenged my smug assertions, and after watching more pornography I can see that there is not one definition.
It suits us as a society to believe in victim and perpetrator and good and bad. And so often the conversations about pornography flutter around these topics. Including objectification, body image, obsession, misogynist etc.
Also there is the added spice of ‘taboo’. We seem insidiously wired to particularly enjoy the thrill of anything illicit or taboo.
but again, at the end of the day, what is all the fuss about? We are talking about watching an act that lets face it, caused us to exist in the first place….how did that end up being taboo?
Even violence in porn, in the controlled setting of a studio….may not be what it seems. I have studied certain psychology that explores sexual fantasy world. And how it is such an incredible tool for a very direct access to issues and therefore healing. Freud (i believe) pinpointed Oedipal issues and rape fantasies however he didnt seem to accept it as a sign post to healing.
Dont get me wrong – I oppose vehemently objectification of woman (or any race or creed ) which I believe is a direct cause of violence against women (or said race or creed) in society, including emotional violence.
But I dont believe that pretending sex doesnt exist or believing that watching porn is bad, is going to heal the negative beliefs that seem to bloom around pornography. What we need is consciousness around sex.
I believe if porn was embraced it could be a profound tool to heal society and inform society about sex and sexuality.
I think about it, where is my daughter going to learn about her femininity, her woman essence? How to please herself, or how to please a partner with deep and loving respect of herself and her body and her partner’s even while being wild and unconstrained in her response. Where is my son going to learn how to find his deeper masculinity and how to please his own sexuality and his partners even whilst enjoying his robust strength and virility?
The education my daughter was given at school. I felt was sadly lacking any depth of perspective. Why is she not taught to pleasure herself before imagining that a man will do it for her? Why would I want her to not claim her sexuality and her right to explore it. And truthfully and realistically pornography is currently the portal used for kids to learn about sex. And until we look at pornography and sex and sexuality with consciousness the subliminal messages learned will continue to skew their budding sexuality.
I dont believe the solution is turning away from this part of ourselves or this aspect of society, but embracing it, looking at it, seeing where it is lacking seeing what it provides……for example other than ‘squirting’ how many genuine female orgasms happen in heterosexual pornography….why is this implicit attitude that the male orgasm more important than the female still prevalent ? Why is an erect penis – the ultimate symbol of a mans virility considered ‘pornographic’ therefore taboo, yet violence, guns and murder are so common place we barely flinch.
Why do we not have empathy for people that are so removed from their sexuality (which is an inner vibrant energy that has a movement and life that needs its outlet – else we will get sick), that they have to use pornography obsessively to find relief. why do we revile porn addicts? Yet abstaining from something so natural is any better?
Sex in many religions is used as a portal to the divine and to ecstasy, why is this information not publicly accessible. why are my children not taught about a clitoris in Biology and its function??
I believe that when we consider all these issues and many more it is very clear that its time to embrace porn. The reasons that we have in society, about why porn is wrong, is similar to the reasons why prostitution is wrong, but like wise I believe that it is only by embracing these parts of the human psyche, which could equally be viewed as the need for love, for companionship, touching, existing, that we will find a way to shift the distortion and find the true essence of our sexuality.
Personally I love that sex is such a powerful tool for transformation. If you are interested in this philosophy or way of living, the book “the Shadow Self” (?) by Susan Thsenga (?) is excellent.
So to me, pornography if looked at consciously and with wisdom and deep understanding, will move us towards a place where it becomes an intrinsic and holistic part of ourselves, our humanity and our society. But this will only happen when we are prepared to lift up the covers and accept all our dark fantasies and all our perversions and hold them in light and love and be willing to go there and see it for what it truly is. Because sex in its purist form is love, its only our interpretations of it that defile it.
yes yes I know the words are off putting but I feel it in my soul, the deep and wonderful juicy, wild and gentle and ferocious capacity for sex to move us. I wish that richness for everyone. ANd Im sad that opinions about porn and prostitution have somehow belittled and defiled this most wonderful of all activities, the very thing that brings life to this world and continues the human race.
I just watched this TED talk, which Susan Jensen Sweeting shared on Facebook – and it reminded me of this post which I had read a while ago. You may want to have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU