In Hugs for Heroes we looked at what women can do to make it easier for men to practice sexual continence over the long haul. In this article we'll look at how eager partners can help their more unenthusiastic partners lower their resistance to intimacy.
In recent years scientists discovered that oxytocin – best known for its role in labor contractions1 - was also the neurochemical behind apparent monogamy (in prairie voles) and emotional bonding between parents and children, friends and lovers. An experiment showed that it increases the attraction between familiar mates (in hamsters), but not between unfamiliar potential mates. 2
Carl Jung recounted the following story, told to him by Richard Wilhelm, who lived in China for many years:
There was a great drought where Wilhelm lived; for months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result.
Finally the Chinese said, 'We will fetch the rain-maker.' And from another province a dried up old man appeared. The only thing he asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow-storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumours about the wonderful rain-maker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it.
In true European fashion he said: 'They call you the rain-maker; will you tell me how you made the snow?' And the little Chinese said: 'I did not make the snow; I am not responsible.' 'But what have you done these three days?' 'Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order; they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came.'”
I'm creating this forum in response to gustavo andradne's comment: "Vasectomy could also be something unnecessary if one is in a relationship where it is OK to be inside her only during non-fertile days.. Maybe rhythm/'standard days' in combination with non-orgasmic copulation should lower the probabilities of pregnancy enough to be considered 'safe sex.'"
In this context I assume he's meaning safe sex in the sense of protection from pregnancy, not STD's.
Sex as Sacrament, or Siren Song?
The Cayce material makes clear that there are two fundamental ways to employ our sexual energy. One is to use it instinctually and impulsively, as animals do. The biological result is procreation, planned or unplanned. To achieve this result we simply yield to the neurochemical commands of the reward circuit in the brain’s limbic system. As Cayce says, we let sex control us.
It is satisfying to see academics begin to acknowledge the apparent integrity of the early so-called gnostics, and consider the possibility that the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber calls for some type of desire-free union of man and woman.1 I’d like to share an insight about the possible nature of this mysterious union, in case it may have merit.
- 1. Rethinking "Gnosticism", Michael A. Williams, Princeton University Press, 1999
These classics about controlled intercourse are available here. You can read them online by following the links, or, in some cases, download and print them out:
The Karezza Method (entire text) by J. William Lloyd (1931)*
For those who enjoy historical tidbits about others who wrestled with how to channel their sexual energy upward, "Right Marital Living" is a colorful piece with an aura of tragedy. Its author, Ida Craddock, was a Philadelphian born in 1857, heavily influenced by Theosophical Society works and other mystical writings, some of which were just appearing from the Far East in translation.
Her essays on sacred sexuality and natural birth control drew fire from a man named Anthony Comstock and his self-appointed "Society for the Suppression of Vice," who had her writings declared pornographic. She was arrested twice. In 1902, on the day she was to be sentenced the second time, she committed suicide leaving behind an outraged letter to the public. Her death brought disgrace to the "Society for the Suppression of Vice," which disbanded not long afterward.