What Is "Sex"?
The LiveReal Quiz. Can you take it?
"For the most mature of men -- that's the short line over there --
sexuality is often as much a puzzle
as it is a test."
- Eugene Kennedy
article by LiveReal Agent Courtney
There's "real sex," and then there's other stuff.
That's the idea. So..."sex": we think about it, hear about it, read about it, talk about it, maybe every so often, even do it ourselves...
- but to ask a really basic question . . .
. . . what is it?
"What Is Sex"?
(multiple choice format)
A) A physical manifestation of love, or a physical act where two humans share the deepest and most intimate parts of themselves - emotionally, spiritually, and physically - with another human being.
B) A physical act that is supposed to be this wonderful, deep, mystifying and profoundly intimate spiritual experience . . . but most of the time, is actually just a messy, awkward bodily spasm that basically releases tension, surrounded by a tornado of anticipation and hype.
C) John Barrymore: "The thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble."
D) Something that is, in two words, "n a t u r a l" and "c a s u a l" . . . and so, there's no need to think about it. It's a casual sport - like a fun, harmless, thoughtless, athletic romp in the hay - similar to dancing, jogging, jazzercising, and eating lollipops - that is a real drag to take seriously, much less think about.
E) Something that is neither "natural" nor "casual," and is actually a pretty complex, serious, and mysterious part of life. After all, if it's so "natural," why do so many people have problems with it? - and why are so there so many books about it, and taboos against it? And if it's really so "casual," why are so many people so completely obsessed with it? In other words, it's something that is very much worth, at the very least, thinking seriously about.
F) A physical act in which one person uses another person as a means of experiencing physical pleasure . . . leading to a somewhat bizarre situation involving two people using and trying to merge with each other in order for each of them to be relieved of themselves. (?)
G) A physical expression of love.
H) A physical expression of power.
I) An act of spiritual communion which is also practiced by aardvarks, geese, mongooses, hippopotomi, llamas, yaks, whales, and various other sentient beings.
J) A means to occasionally achieve the goal of a heightened sensation of temporary ecstasy, produced by the friction between two rubbing body parts.
K) W. Somerset Maugham: "...only a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species."
L) An act of creation which brings forth new life.
M) A fundamental human drive which advertising executives exploit in order to sell magazines, makeup, cars, clothes, shampoo, houses, shoes, various ointments, pills, underwear, nose-hair clippers, socks, thighmasters, belly-wraps, and any number of otherwise ridiculous and useless things.
N) A pure source of pleasure, happiness, and fun that we feel proud of and happy about.
O) Probably the largest single source of stress that exists on the planet. (also, something shameful and guilt-ridden, like a dirty secret we should keep private.)
P) Evolution theory: How nature uses us to pass genes on the the next generation.
Q) Stress-Management Theory: It's a physical activity used to "blow off steam," similar in essential function to jogging, swimming, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, yelling at other people, watching television, and taking naps.
R) Something that - like drugs, alcohol, work, and bad television - we can get "addicted" to.
S) The reason why men work jobs, earn money, dress well, develop manners, buy fancy cars, go to church, work out, and treat people decently.
T) The reason why women buy clothes, buy shoes, wear makeup, work jobs, diet, go to bars, read magazines, and watch television.
U) Something that gives us ten minutes of pleasure in exchange for fifty years of pain, or vice versa.
V) A transfer of energy between two individuals.
W) What women give men in order to get babies.
X) What men want from beautiful women, and what women want from high-status men.
Y) Freud: one of the primal drives deep in our being, held in check by a civilizing forces of repression, and the ultimate root of everything but psychoanalysis.
Z) A physical expression of love, which sometimes gives one venereal disease. Or, also known as an act when two individuals, in a cataclysmic act of fusion, merge bodies, emotions, minds, and souls ( . . . but under most conditions, only bodies)
AA) The most intimate and vulnerable type of contact available to humans.
BB) An act that makes women stronger and man weaker; makes men stronger and women weaker; makes men and women stronger; or makes both men and women weaker.
CC) Andy Warhol: "The biggest nothing of all time."
DD) A topic that, according to various degrees, individuals are either bored with, neutral about, interested in, passionate about, or completely obsessed with.
EE) What happens when you "give in to temptation."
FF) The act of taking the deepest, most tender and vulnerable physical and emotional parts of ourselves and sharing them with another person.
GG) Evidence of our "original sin" or "fallen nature."
HH) A natural human need, similar to hunger, thirst, and the need to go to the bathroom.
II) What wives give husbands, in hopes of getting love in return, or to keep them from getting angry.
JJ) What husbands give wives to stop them from nagging.
KK) The driving force behind: artistic masterpieces; scientific breakthroughs; great enterprises; mediocre and bad art, science, and achievements; war; compromise; illness; molestation; and rape.
LL) Something that is neutral in itself, but can become either be a doorway to heaven or a doorway to hell, depending on how we use it.
MM) The most reliable method to momentarily interrupt and escape the innate drudgery and mundane dullness in life; (also, "The closest thing most people have to a spiritual experience.")
NN) A tempting, juicy, nearly irresistible"bait" that Nature uses to ensnare and trap us humans in the prison (or "Matrix") of space and time.
OO) What happens when our "lower nature" overpowers and dominates our "higher nature."
PP) The purpose, meaning, and fulfillment of human life.
QQ) To young people, it's what holds the promise of fulfillment, perfection, and lifelong happiness; to old people . . . they just wonder what all the fuss was about.
RR) The method through which something known as "love" can be literally created.
SS) An activity whereby individuals dissipate their vitality.
TT) A significant factor in many mental and emotional illnesses.
UU) Adi Da: Sex is, among other things, "the physical dramatization of emotion."
VV) Something that, in spite of endless centuries of worry, study, and thinking about, we still do not fully understand.
WW) "Sex is a momentary itch, love never lets you go." -Unknown
XX) Something which, if understood and used properly, leads to great happiness; if not understood and misused, leads to great suffering. (Also, a topic that nearly every human is secretly or openly fascinated with and simultaneously knows very little about.)
YY) An activity that takes place in every realm of nature, when spirit condenses and forms matter and so creates a polarity, or tension and attraction between the two poles. The act of the two poles or principles uniting results in the creation of life, energy, and matter.
ZZ) An act by which two animals breed.
AAA) "...the ultimate purpose of sexual life is for awakening the mooladhara chakra. The momentary pleasure derived from the sexual act is just a window through which you can see beyond...sexual life is a preparation for this awakening." - Yogi Satyananda Saraswati
BBB) A source of powerful and precious energy that, in general, can be either repressed, wasted, or sublimated.
CCC) Woody Allen: "Love creates tension; sex relieves it."
DDD) Henry Miller: "Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation - the other eight are unimportant."
EEE) Freud: Something that, when repressed, results in various forms of spirituality.
FFF) Something that, when truly not repressed, is spirituality (i.e. when true spirituality is repressed, it becomes sexuality)
GGG) "Sex can be a time of total dissolution in love. Sex can bathe every cell in your body with light, bliss, and life force. Sex can be an ecstatic practice of open-hearted communion and surrender to infinity. Or, sex can be 10 or 20 minutes of genital stimulation ending in a spasm of biological relief." - David Deida
HHH) D. H. Lawrence: "Sex is the balance of male and female in the universe, the attraction, the repulsion, the transit of neutrality, the new attraction, the new repulsion, always different, always new."
III) "Sex is a flame which uncontrolled may scorch; properly guided, it will light the torch of eternity." -Joseph Fetterman
( - or in other words, sex is something that is essentially "ambiguous")
JJJ) "But why of procreation? Because to the mortal creature, generation is a sort of eternity and immortality, she replied; and if...love is of the everlasting possession of the good, all men will necessarily desire immortality . . ." - Plato
KKK) "The orgasm, also known as the "petite morte" or "little death," is a forerunner of the "big death" of "enlightenment" where let go of our ego and experience divine oblivion." - unknown
LLL) "Sex is the ersatz or substitute religion of the 20th Century." - Malcolm Muggeridge
MMM) David Deida: "The entire realm of manifestation is sexual, in a certain way . . . Consciousness is "masculine," and everything that appears is "feminine." So right now, your consciousness is having sex with everything you see and taste and smell and feel . . . it's merging with it, "doing" it. That's why sex is such an interesting thing for most people, because it's re-enacting the masculine-feminine union of consciousness and light, which is this moment, through the body."
NNN) Barry Long: "Sex is God blind in existence. Man's job is to make that God conscious - which will turn what was devilish into love."
OOO) Plato "...There is a certain age at which human nature is desirous of procreation - procreation which must be in beauty and not in deformity; and this procreation is the union of man and woman, and is a divine thing; for conception and generation are an immortal principle in the mortal creature..." (Plato, quoting Socrates, quoting Diotima)
OOOH) "Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex." - Havelock Ellis
Your Answer: ________.
When you finish your quiz, please pass your papers to the front.
(Just kidding. There is no front. We just always wanted to say that.)
(Note: This is a quiz that, in a way,
you're already kind of taking, we're just putting it into words;
you may be graded, but may not be;
we're not sure when, how, or if you'll find out what your grade is;
and we might know who will or won't be grading your papers,
but then again, we may be wrong.)
"...a culture where sex is supposedly all around us
and yet true, intense sexuality
is in desperately short supply..."
- Stephanie Zachaerk
Appendix I: Does anyone tell the whole truth about sex?
Appendix II: "What is Sexuality?" by Elizabeth Haich
Appendix III: Sex as "The Search for IT" that gets us into The Typical Cycle...
Appendix V: What is the relationship between sexuality and spirituality?
When it comes to sex, us humans often tend to go to one extreme or the other: either, on the one hand, total permissiveness and promiscuity; on the other hand, puritanical repression.
It seems clear in this regard that the ideal solution to the above apparently lies somewhere in between - as if there is a kind of "betweenness" in regards to sexuality as there is with everything else.
Maybe that's what D. H. Lawrence was saying...
"Sex is neutral"
- Andrew Cohen
What if sex is essentially like fire?
- meaning, it can be used to cook food, keep you warm, roast some marshmallows - OR it can be used to burn down your house, torch a whole forest, reduce an entire city to a heap of ashes . . .
Meaning, it can be a very negative thing, or a very positive thing, depending on your awareness of it and your approach to it?
So in itself, it's neither good nor bad, but it all depends on how you use it?
In other words, what if sex is essentially ambiguous...
- and then, the question becomes...how do you "use" it?
To be continued...
"The way in which people make love
may tell us more about them
than any searching analysis could."
- Maurice Nadeau