Questioning the purpose of sexual energy

It’s probable that from puberty until the very last day of our lives on the physical plane, our sexuality will hang around with us like a constant companion. On average, this bottles down to 55-60 years of sexual energy, during which time, potentially each day – depending on the degree of our sex drive – we’ll be either looking for an outlet for our sexuality or trying to repress it. So, do our sex organs really only equate to reproductive organs? This would translate as decades of sex drive to produce a mean of 1.5–2 children per family (average statistic for Western cultures). Doesn’t that seem strange and imbalanced?

In relation to men, Mantak Chia provides another interesting statistic and comes to the same final conclusion: “… an estimated 25% to 40% of our chi energy taken in through food, air, and sunlight just to manufacture this sperm energy and maintain sexual readiness. Why does the body spend so much of its valuable resources to produce billions of sperm cells and regulate them with an accompanying hormonal system? Simply to produce a few children over the course of a lifetime? Nature is not that extravagant.”[1]

Nowadays, in Western societies, sex and sexuality is used to sell everything from music, to cars, to holidays to washing powder! I’ve found it quite nauseating at times. The photos of women in seductive poses on marketing advertisements and the gyrating female pop singers all dressed up in the same leotards and high heels – playing into the hands of some part of the male – and female – psyche, I suppose. In these ways, sexuality is a poor rendition of what I believe, or sense, it actually signifies and what its potential contribution to human existence is.

The result – in the West at least – has been serial marriages; or the suppression of our sexuality in the cradle of an unhappy marital union; or expression of our sex drive through accepted surrogate channels – like taking part in adventure sports, watching violence depicted in films, being a football fan, etc. – and socially non-acceptable mediums – like paying for sex, seeing pornographic movies, having an extra-marital lover, etc. Aren’t those surrogate avenues pretty superficial, anyway, leaving us with a very short-lived sense of satisfaction, before once again we feel the urges of our sex drive? “Most people spend a lifetime performing and dreaming of sexual intercourse for the sake of pleasure and emotional fulfilment. It seems clear that sexuality serves a higher function in humans, but doctors, scientists, psychologists, priests and artists cannot even begin to agree on what this higher function is and how or if it should be regulated to improve human well-being.”[2]

In Tantra, the distinction is often made between the left-hand path, which integrates sexuality into spiritual practice, and the right-hand path, which does not include sexual practice. André van Lysebeth says left-hand path Tantra is for “people who refuse both prudishness and pornographic pseudo-eroticism. […] The Left-Hand Path solves this sex problem via liberation in the highest sense of the word and an access to the sacred.”[3]

Similarly, taoists are “neither prurient nor self-conscious, because they [regard] love-making as necessary to the physical and mental health and well-being of both men and women.”[4] Moreover, for Taoists “sexual harmony put[s] one in communion with the infinite force of nature.”[5]

Excerpt from “Looking for Tantra”, due out October 2015

[1] Chia, M. (1984) Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, p.55.

[2] Chia, M. (1984) Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, p.48.

[3] Van Lysebeth, A. (1995) Tantra – The Cult of the Feminine. Weiser Books: Boston, p.127.

[4] Chang, J. (1977) The Tao of Love and Sex. Wildwood House, London, p.15.

[5] Chang, J. (1977) The Tao of Love and Sex. Wildwood House, London, p.30.

16 thoughts on “Questioning the purpose of sexual energy

  1. Well, one thing I can say, sex sells and is used to manipulate and titillate. Oversexualization and vague knowledge of sex speaks only of procreation. This energy is immense and if channelized, can be useful. Eroticism, highly libidinous behaviour and multiple sexual partners just cause an imbalance in the flow of energy. Thank you for sharing this excerpt from your upcoming book. Very informative passages here. Warm greetings and love, Amitav.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for your feedback, Amitav. I believe the human potential for sexual expression is largely untapped and unacknowledged – imprisoned in the cul-de-sac of erotic and egoic desire. This subject is vast. There’s a lot to be said. As Lily points out in her comment, “taboo” – including cultural, religious and gender constraints – chokes much of the needed social discussion. Moreover, it’s clear that sex and sexuality will be seen from an entirely new perspective if the body and sexual energy are considered to be manifestations of our divinity. Love and warm wishes, Sam 🙂

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      • I want to thank you, Sam, for sharing such valuable and informative excerpts from your books. 🙂 Aberrations and deviations are created by us over a period of time and the original purpose is tweaked to spread misconceptions and fear, which eventually becomes a taboo. When the original purpose and meaning is lost and becomes a source of gratification, it becomes a taboo. Deep down we know something is not right, but instead of questioning it, we continue with popular culture. As you have mentioned we have reached a cul-de-sac and we are so caught up with the fast-paced life, we do not have the scope to look at things from clear and true perspective. The mind is what we have not fathomed and we only use a minuscule portion of the brain power. Love and greetings, Amitav. 🙂

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  2. This was so informative. I really enjoyed reading. I have always been intrigued by sexual energy and how it plays into society. How it has evolved and how it continues to be such a taboo topic in many cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lily. From my viewpoint, unless sex is framed in a sacred context, it remains imprisoned in the clutches of the ego and people skim the surface of their sexuality. However, sexual energy and sexual exchanges can only be considered sacred if we are able to perceive the innate divinity of our being. Love and warm wishes, Sam 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful article! An important topic that should be addressed by every adult woman and man. Sexuality plays such a huge role in our lives and yet most of us will die never understanding anything about it. I look forward to your book release!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your kind feedback. I very much agree with your perspective. I dedicate a lengthy chapter to the topic of sexuality in “Looking for Tantra”, which is just now available on amazon.com, although it will take a few more days to get onto amazon.co.uk. Warm greetings, Sam 🙂

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  4. Thank you for another wonderful and deeply fascinating article Sam. There is much to consider here for I too am intrigued that despite nature affording men and women many eggs and available sperm we inexplicably create so few children. Thank you for highlighting this occurrence as I had not considered reproduction from this view of human sexuality before.

    I love your description of how the left-hand path brings sexuality into a person’s spiritual practice, recognising that it took me 20 years of sexual practice to integrate spirituality into mine. Meeting with Jung thereafter has been vital in understanding the joy of both.

    Your second book is due to arrive tomorrow, really can’t wait! I have planned a day of gardening and reading, perfect! What I also love reading on your posts are the comments and I was particularly struck by this one … ‘I believe the human potential for sexual expression is largely untapped and unacknowledged’ … hmm, I thought, sounds like book four! Blessings, Deborah.

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    • Thanks so much, Deborah, for your kind words and for sharing your perspectives. I cover the issue of sexuality quite extensively in one of the chapters in “Looking for Tantra”. Although not everybody’s cup of tea, Osho nevertheless shared some amazing insights with the world. I use him as one of my sources in the book, and in relation to the suggestion that the human potential for sexual expression is largely untapped, I would agree with his view that: “Sex must not remain sex. It must be transformed into love. And love also must not remain love. It must be transformed into light, into meditative experience, into the last, ultimate mystic peak.” (Osho. (2010) The Book of the Secrets. St Martin’s Press: New York, p.114.) Thanks so much for ordering “She Who Is Unto Herself”. I really appreciate your support and interest. This end, I am much enjoying your poetry. As I mentioned previously, I wish to take my time to savour the pieces I read as I feel also that it does them justice since some of these excellently written poems relate some extremely painful episodes. After reading one of them yesterday (“The Beginning”), I was so touched that I just had to sit quietly for a while without doing anything. Some of them are incredibly sensual and a delight to ponder upon. One of my favourites from those I’ve read so far is “The First Rose of Spring”. I have read that one a number of times. It’s truly beautiful and I resonate a lot with it. Love & blessings, Sam 🙂

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      • I am truly heartened by your wondrous reply, that you will be covering more of this subject in your third book. I’m already looking forward to holding it in my hands. I love your Osho quote … speaking of how sex and love hold the potential to become transformative experiences. Hmm, I feel another book order coming on!

        Sam the knowledge that you read my words in the true, time-honoured fashion fills my heart with ecstatic joy. The contrasting landscapes and lives I record acknowledge (as you rightly put it) all aspects of ourselves. The work of the alchemist is life-long for changing base metal into gold takes us deep into the realm of the ancient gods and goddesses. Namaste

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  5. The one thing I would say needed to be added to an excellent essay on a very difficult topic is around the statement: “Aren’t those surrogate avenues pretty superficial, anyway, leaving us with a very short-lived sense of satisfaction, before once again we feel the urges of our sex drive?” This is true with the person with whom one is in a committed loving relationship even without the impulse for surrogates. Just a personal opinion, while “sex” can be healthy expression of genuine intimacy, is just that: an expression of the intimacy. To equate sex as the pinnacle of intimacy, since it is in the end “short-lived” (transitory), will only lead to dissatisfaction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for adding these important perspectives 🙂 The subject is vast, with many critical nuances – which will likely be different according to each person’s individual social, cultural and religious/spiritual perspectives. This excerpt is from a lengthy discussion on sexuality in my new book “Looking for Tantra”, which is naturally tinged with my own personal experience and viewpoint. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts. It’s much appreciated. Warmest wishes, Sam 🙂

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    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, reproduction is clearly one of the main purposes of our sex drives. However, some spiritual perspectives propose there is another more subtle purpose. I touch on this in this excerpt and go into more detail on the subject in the book from which this extract was taken. Greetings, Sam 🙂

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