From Sexual Ethics to Sexual Eros Part 2
In sexuality we are all vulnerable. To be a great lover in the sexual, technique is woefully insufficient. Genuine sexual Tantra has nothing to do with circulating the energy up your spine through practiced breathing. Genuinesexual Tantra is about making love with an unguarded heart. This requires radical vulnerability. Authentic sexual Tantra is about merging your heart with your yoni and phallus. Yoni and phallus are not merely exterior forms of genitalia. They are qualities of being that live in every man and woman. It is only from that place that you can be vulnerable enough to risk being ultimately fierce and ultimately tender. It is only from that place that you can risk sexing your partner open to God or letting your partner sex you open to God.
Both of these wonders require your total surrender. The ethics of the sexual is the ethics of vulnerability. You have to be willing to let your partner witness both the surrender of your power and your surrender to your power. Your small self and contracted ego disappear in erotic sex. In sex Eros, we bypass ego and access our most sacred, scared, and secret selves.
A new vision of human possibility emerges from our vulnerability. “Sex is ethics” means that we are radically loyal to the vulnerability aroused by our sexing. We are loyal even after the ego rushes back in, eager to reassert its dominion. Loyalty means that we do not—years later—tell a different story in which we negatively revise our experience of the sexual. Sex that was beautiful, mutual, and vulnerable cannot ethically be recast as predatory or abusive. Regret is not rape, just as arousal is not consent. That is a violation of the Holy of Holies. Remember the two teachings of Akiva: “All the [biblical] books are holy” and “The Song of Solomon is the Holy of Holies.” The sexual love song is the Holy of Holies. To falsely narrate a sexual experience or to break sexual boundaries without invitation is to violate the Holy of Holies.
“Sex is ethics” is also what Akiva meant in his second statement, cited above. “If the Torah would not have been given, then all of the Torah could have been learned from the Song of Solomon,” he said. Torah is the book of ethics. Ethics can be learned from the Song of Solomon, the song of the sexual. This is not because the Song of Solomon directly engages any ethical issues. It does not. Rather, what Akiva is saying is that sex in its pure erotic form is naturally ethical. This is the vision of the Secret of the Cherubs, which forms the heart of the Wisdom of Solomon. We might call this teaching by the term “sexual humanism.” Just like all ethics live in the rapture of the sexual, evil and pathology result from the collapse of the sexual.
The ethics of the sexual emerge from the moral body. Sexual ethics are not transgressive at all: quite the opposite. Sex is subversive. Sex subverts and elevates ordinary ethics. Sex subverts conventional ethics and holds out for a higher ethical vision. This is true in myriad ways. In sex we are aroused to an ethics of devotion. The great lover is the devotee. Delight births devotion, and devotion demands delight. This need not be written in any legal code. This is the law inscribed in the text of the body.
Our bodies are afraid to surrender. We associate surrender with submission, which we reject, rightly being unwilling to suspend the appropriate boundaries of our personal integrity. The body, however, knows a distinction that the legal codes do not. The body speaks the language of devotional surrender. For sex is nothing if it is not devotion of the body to the body. It is from a place of devotional surrender that our hearts unguard and we begin to be lived as love.
We are used to thinking of the body as the temple of the soul. The soul is the source of ethics, which are needed to overcome the narcissism of the body. But sex is ethics points to a more utopian possibility, in which the naked eroticized body is not the temple of the soul but the soul itself. This is the reason why every Hebrew utopian movement, from the mystical messianism of Shabtai Tzvi in the seventeenth century to the twentieth-century Israeli kibbutz movement, tried to articulate a new sexual vision and a new ethics of embodiment.
To be continued…
A Return to Eros: On Sex, Love, and Eroticism in Every Dimension of Life, from Drs. Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid, reveals the radical secret tenets of relationship between the sexual, the erotic, and the holy. They reveal what Eros actually means and share the ten core qualities of the Erotic, which are modeled by the sexual. These include being on the inside, fullness of presence, yearning, allurement, fantasy, surrender, creativity, pleasure, and more.
A Return to Eros shows why these qualities of the erotic modeled by the sexual are actually the same core qualities of the sacred. The relationship between the sexual and the erotic becomes clear, teaching you how to live an erotically suffused existence charged with purpose, potency and power.
To be an Outrageous Lover—not just in sex but also in all facets of your life–you must listen deeply to the simple yet elegant whisperings of the sexual. This book will forever transform your understanding and experience of love, sex, and Eros.
with Dr. Marc Gafni
Imagine being fully expressed with an unstoppable life force that aligned you with the will, the desire, the knowledge and the creative impulse to engage ALL areas of your life full-on; without fear or shame stopping you from moving forward. Imagine the transformative power and positive impact you’d have on your personal relationships and potentially be a major influence in the world.
This is the ideal companion to our think tank book A Return to Eros by Dr. Marc Gafni and Dr. Kristina Kincaid.