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.”
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.”
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.”
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.” Moreover, for Taoists “sexual harmony put[s] one in communion with the infinite force of nature.”
Excerpt from “Looking for Tantra”, due out October 2015
 Chia, M. (1984) Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, p.55.
 Chia, M. (1984) Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Aurora Press: Santa Fe, p.48.
 Van Lysebeth, A. (1995) Tantra – The Cult of the Feminine. Weiser Books: Boston, p.127.
 Chang, J. (1977) The Tao of Love and Sex. Wildwood House, London, p.15.
 Chang, J. (1977) The Tao of Love and Sex. Wildwood House, London, p.30.