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Sex & Singularity: Sex in the 21st Century - Julian Powell

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This is an entry in The Future We Deserve - a collaborative book project about the future. See all the entries or talk about this entry.



Face it: Sex is a very, very big deal. Sexuality permeates every corner of our lives. Within the biosphere alone, sex is the very act responsible for forming our bodies, and thus producing all human life. For this reason alone, sex is a major factor in the development of human culture and society. But of course, there's more. Much more.

Sexual energies and its many forms are nothing short of the life-blood that nourishes the entire world. Everything from creating and realizing goals, the historical conquest and pillaging of land, war, love, to the loftiest of meditative states, and of course down to literal sex are different expressions of the same Erotic force.

On the archetypal level, you see sexual metaphor in everything we do. As any 6-year old can point out, most of our architectural design, our weapons, and technology take on some kind of phallic, yonic, or breast-like shape. Sex is obviously on our minds most of the time, at least on a far deeper, subconscious level. The sex act (or what it may represent) seems to form the archetypal template for much of our human experience.

Our current models and attitudes towards sexuality and gender are very immature, and this is a far, far bigger deal than we've previously realized. If we are to evolve a happy, healthy, sustainable and mature humanity for the 21st century and beyond, re-thinking our cultural approaches to sex and gender are a must.

In both the microcosm of the individual human life, and the macrocosm of human society, a great deal of what would be classified as neurotic behavior stems from sexual dis-ease on one level or another. Reductionism aside, Freud was right here. Wilhelm Reich took it one step further, explaining that sexual energy, or orgone, was the fundamental life-force present in all life forms. Orgasm, Reich argued, did more than aid procreation. An orgasm regulated the body's emotional energy. Poor orgiastic potency meant poor emotional release, creating excess energy available to fuel neurotic states.

Even more deeply, sexual repression, guilt, and homophobia, and sexism in the West partly arise out of two prominent historical legacies. The first is the sexual repression and guilt which we inherited from the Orthodox Catholico-Christian power structures which dominated mythological-level cultural thinking for centuries (and which has yet to be fully transcended on a cultural level, and materializes in many forms). Secondly, a profound misunderstanding of gender, which likewise has deep mytho-hermeneutic roots.

The call of the day is to, as a culture, evolve into sexual maturity. Sexual maturity encompasses gender dynamics and perceived identity, sexual expression, psychic and physical health, as well as our relationship to the natural environment and other species on this planet. If we truly wish to fully evolve environmentally sustainable, sane global cultures then reassessing our models on sex and sexuality is a must. What would a sexually mature culture look like? And how can we make steps towards realizing the beauty and ecstasy of mature sexuality within the sphere of our personal lives, and with each other in our cultures? To find out, read on...