10. THE WINE OF SEX
The sexual elixir, essence, magnetism, whatever it is, in the human blood, is the true natural stimulant and joy-giver of life. It is this that gives the "illusion," the "glamour," the romance," the "blindness," the "madness," the "thrill," and all the rest of which the lore of love tells us. All other stimulants are artificial - this one is absolutely natural; all other stimulants are poisons - this one is food; all others have reactions, are finally narcotics and depressants - this one has no reactions; reaction only appears in its absence, when it is lost or wasted.
It is courage, wit, sparkle, radiance, imagination, high spirits, enthusiasm, creative-passion, religious fervor - everything that lifts life above the clod and the monotonous levels. It is the inspiration, directly or indirectly, of almost every poem, song, painting, or other work of art. It has led more men to battle than any bugle note or national peril. It is the great kindler and sustainer of ideals.
Very few understand this or realize it sufficiently. It is commonly observed how lovers glow and radiate and move in an enchanted world; but this is all attributed to love itself. On the contrary, it is the wine of sex that gives love its enchantment and divine dreams. This is easily proven by giving lovers unrestricted license to express their transports. No sooner have they wasted the wine of sex by reckless embraces - often a single orgasm will thus temporarily demagnetize the man - though they love each other just the same, as they will each stoutly assert - the irresistible attraction and radiance and magnetic thrills are gone, and there is a strange drop into cool, critical intellection or indifference, or perhaps dislike. But as the wine of sex reaccumulates and lifts again in the glass, the old magic and charm reappear.
And in this is a clear natural lesson as to the inestimable value of this elixir in human life and in the ethics of the love-life itself. The one thing that makes life worth living is not its cold facts, but the romantic glow and glamour with which a vivid and kindled imagination invests them, and any manner of conducting the love-life which can create and maintain this zest and charm at its highest is clearly the ethical one. Ascetics, perceiving only that the sex forces give inspiration and that orgasms waste them, and wrongly arguing that in sex life sexual waste is inevitable, teach that the sexes should avoid each other and turn all sex forces into channels of ambition, public service, religion, etc. This is like telling a man that he should give all his money for the public good, but should avoid earning any; fails to recognize that it takes sexual consciousness, sexual association to develop sexual force. Others, going a step further, getting a glimmer of this last, urge that the sexes associate, but Platonically only. These fail to see that to hold a delicious cup constantly to the lips of a thirsty man and yet forbid him to drink, is to waste his force in needless cravings and foolish battles to subdue them and finally usually ends in failure and a sickening sense of guilt.
On the other hand, to have frequent orgasmal embraces, as most married lovers do, is to keep the wine in the sexual lovers low by constant spilling, to thus kill all romance and delight and finally starve and tire out love itself.
Here comes in the application and immense value of Karezza. It is perfect self-control, and yet, once understood and rightly practiced, it is such a perfect and complete satisfaction to all the nerves and appetites concerned that all sense of denial or restriction is lost in one of higher, larger, sweeter expression. It brews and fills every vessel with the sexual wine of ambition, charm, enchantment, as nothing else can, and maintains it steadily at a high tide, preventing all losses by preventing all reaction, thus making life continuous romance, genius and joy.
It avoids alike the waste of starvation and the waste of excess, the wastefulness of self-torture and self-battle to overcome a perfectly natural and wholesome hunger for sexual contact and closeness - it not only avoids all these wastes, it cultivates the grape and presses the wine into the cup of life which is alone capable of giving man normal inspiration and poetic happiness.