Often thought of as separate sentiments, sex and spirituality have become divided by a vast array of misconceptions. Unwilling to accept human nature fully or determined to restrict human liberty, some belief systems have regulated sex by attributing a wide host of stigmas, implications and judgments around it. Sexual repression is a fundamental feature of highly misogynistic societies that desire to control women’s sexuality for the continuation of their own status quo. However, sexuality is something very internal and can never be totally stolen from the individual whose birth was a consequence of sexual intercourse. Consequently, conflicts inevitably ignite between those wishing to explore their sexuality with those desiring for it to be utilised for insidious, conventional or culturally biased agendas.
Sexuality will always be under scrutiny as many harbour stringent views around its parameters due to a wide plethora of differing religious, cultural, political and social interpretations. However, for the most part, consensual sex remains a sublime and enthralling activity, which illustrates the unparalleled wonder of two people becoming united in blissful union for a moment in time. Unfortunately, the modern era of vicarious and insatiable hedonism has gradually transmuted sex into a breeding ground for empty sexual experiences that only serve as conduits of temporary escapism through meaningless acts of superficial pleasure.
Once revered and idealised as a magnificent symbol of human connection, sex has now transformed into a commodity as a way of forgetting ourselves in the ravenous pursuit of hedonistic pleasure when it could mean so much more. Although there are many beliefs regarding sex, there was always a pervasive understanding that two people would enhance their experience if they shared a true meaningful connection during sexual intimacy. This does not necessitate that they had to be married or even in a relationship, but only that they had a connection, which transcended the purely physical connection to symbolise something greater than the thin skin covering our bodies.
However, in contemporary times we can observe promiscuity and impulsive hedonism taking charge in the sexual domain of human life. Mainstream media systematically objectifies women to promote a brand of sexual freedom that fails to appreciate the depths and value of each human beyond the pure physical depictions. Women’s bodies are salaciously paraded around a vast network of advertising techniques, cinematic productions and music videos to entice those who seek sensory stimuli to feast upon. Pornography is a virulent global contagion that deprives humans of their ability to fully appreciate the mind and heart of a person when all is shown and measured are the physical features in their capacity to induce arousal and fulfill primal urges. Numerous pieces of research have indicated that pornography has a deleterious effect on relationships, self worth, ability to interact with other people, transparent sexuality and empathy. There is even research which suggests that watching pornography compulsively, which many do, has the same neurological equivalence to a cocaine addict being strapped to a bed and watching others take cocaine. This is the cost of voraciously vicarious living; the systematic erosion of our own neurological, emotional and psychological harmony. The main deficiency is the minute emphasis on holistic connections, which have been replaced by extremely carnal instincts that only serve to release impulses as opposed to deepening the appreciation of human experience and connectivity.
Although there is nothing inherently wrong with expressing sexual freedom, the tendency to enter into repeated intimate encounters without emotional intimacy can be self destructive, as it degrades a person’s sense of self worth and dignity. The beautiful and wondrous depth once associated with sexual joy has been forsaken for avaricious pleasure principles that show little interest in looking past the physical dimensions of people. Loneliness is an affliction that is on the rise along with mental health instability and many sociologists believe that this has been caused through living vicariously, in desperate search of the next pleasurable stimuli without holistic connection to its intrinsic value. Sex is the ultimate example of how something anciently precious and sacred could be reduced to a series of one off encounters that only deepen the inner voids of those hoping that pleasure will free them from their insatiable yearnings.
In an age where materialistic ideals and possessions are idealised like gods, humans have begun to view each other in a materialistic and superficial manner, measuring each other’s value by societal conventions, status, wealth and physical appearance in line with media portrayals of attractiveness. Unfortunately, all of these qualities are temporal and have minimal association with the perception, values, morals and depth of the individual. As a result of this, relationships are premised on factors which do not enhance psycho-emotional cohesion and harmony, culminating in continued disappointment and sense of alienation. In eastern and western philosophy, desire is defined as an attainment that, once achieved, will only perpetuate and proliferate its objects, causing the individual to continuously seek more of the same. We can apply this definition to any form of desire, but sex continues to be a dominant one in all aspects of life.
Living in a time where materialistic accumulations are used as the standard to measure each other’s worth, sex has become a hedonistic transaction in a corporatised marketplace where people’s spiritual energies are depleted and nullified through excessive focus on the shallow and hollow aspects of intimacy. Undoubtedly, physical attractiveness is important to sexuality, but it should be assimilated with an emotional and psychological intimacy that will consolidate the attraction as opposed to being measured by materialistic ideals that offer no real depth or meaning.
There are children in schools who are so obsessed with their physical appearance that they are suffering from body dysmorphia, refusing to go into school. The media portrayals of these ‘perfect’ beauty archetypes is convincing young people that they are unworthy of being loved, enjoying connection and intimacy, because they don’t look the same. This is a tragic set of circumstances, induced by an insatiable conformity to materialistic depictions of human beings. However, there is an abundance of beauty within each soul, and to unveil this inner wonder we must recognise that there is a superfluous and excessively poisonous focus on the exterior parts of humanity. We must look within once again, for the truth, balance and majesty of each human emerges from deep within the resonating beats of our hearts.