Once and again I have to think philosophically about sex.
I am 62 years old and have hardly any sexual desire anymore. I would say that I have enjoyed a bit of good sex and good sex is good, one of the utmost pleasures in life. For many years it seems to be THE DRUG. It is the motor of your actions or it sure was the motor of many of mine. Who looks at me, how does he look at me? Am I sexy? Am I worthwhile? (Basically the two last questions fused into one).
Sex also was a suffering: whenever I felt horny, but I did not have a lover. How to find one? Then I found one, but it was just sex and not love and hurtful because of that.
Often I was concentrated on whatever project seemed important to me and suddenly my body felt anxious for sex and I could not concentrate on anything anymore, I had to cope with the hungry ghost of sex…
During menopause I observed that often after good sex and a fine orgasm I still did not feel satisfied. It was not my body that complained, but it was something deeper. My soul? (Whatever that thing might be!) There was a very deep desire of another kind of ecstasy. Maybe a mystical experience? I still wonder.
I have been shy to express this, because it seems you are not just old with 62 years on your back, but especially when you say you do not feel very sexual anymore. Our culture in one way treats sex as a kind of taboo and in another way sexualizes everything.
Why I have the courage now to write this down? Maybe because my new friend whom I introduced to you this morning talking about the end of World War II in Berlin and Near – Death – Experiences was so free to tell me that he feels a deep love for the world but no sexual desire whatsoever anymore.
What is LOVE? Can you tell me?
Mostly we think it is romantic love. Then that turns mostly out to be a mix of sexual desire and the yearning to feel safe in this very unsafe world. Maybe sometimes LOVE mingles in, at least I hope so, also for my own sake.
I guess we make LOVE very small by confining it to sex and romantic love. To a big degree that is just hormones going berserk and evolution pushing ahead. Always it seems to involve a ton of anxiety.
I do believe today that once we can let go of so much sexual desire we are freer to love in many different ways. That is what monks and priests have always aimed at, but as long as hormones go wild inside you it is all so easy to say and extremely hard to do and invites a lot of terrible things in, dark secrets and filthy abuse and eternal hiding of the truth.
Maybe we are lucky if we can grow old and really feel freed to open our hearts to any person at any age of any sex or any political or religious belief?
Sometimes I feel emptiness. I fear that. How the heck can I fill emptiness? Once I felt this in the lobby of a fine hotel in Santiago de Chile. A kind of actress or famous glamorous woman was sitting in front of me; she was interviewed by two men. I saw her vanity and happiness to be interviewed. She was not very young anymore and I saw also her anxiety. But maybe I just imagined that and it was my own anxiety. Suddenly a voice in my mind told me: If you can just look at and deeply love any person in this lobby right now, Kiki, everything will be fine; you will never ever fear emptiness again!
I tried hard. I have tried very hard to do this many times since then, but I do not think that I have succeeded. Still, I do believe deeply that that voice in my mind back in that hotel lobby in Chile a few years ago was right.
Art by Kiki