07.11: Might we be devaluing sex by glamorizing it?
Our contemporary culture constantly glamorizes sex through gaudy images permeated with sexual undertones and overtones. Due to this incessant glamorization of sex, most people live perpetually in a state of artificial sexual stimulation; sex tends to be a perennial top-ranker in their wish list.
Paradoxically, the more people glamorize sex in their imagination, the more they devalue it in real life. This devaluation takes two forms:
- An increasingly utilitarian approach to sex: Many people, often unmarried, indulge in sex casually just for getting a temporary high or, more frequently, just for temporarily getting rid of a tormenting urge.
- An increasing feeling of emptiness in the experience of sex: Many people find the actual sexual experience disappointing and even boring because the experienced pleasure always turns out to be pale and stale when contrasted with the fantasized pleasure.
Gita wisdom offers a fascinating take on sex. The Bhagavad-gita (7.11) states that sex, when performed in harmony with natural spiritual principles, is an opportunity to experience the divine. Nature has innately linked copulation with procreation. Therefore, natural sex offers humans not just the biological pleasure of copulation, but also the divine pleasure of becoming co-creators with God in bringing new life into the world.
However, humans are the only species in nature that unnaturally divorces copulation from procreation by artificial means like contraception. This unnatural divorce divests sex of its divine aspect. Consequently, this unnatural form of sex gets reduced to a primarily physical activity and the pleasure in it usually gets reduced to the secretion, ejection and reception of chemicals. This, according to Gita wisdom, is a disastrous devaluation of sex that distracts us from the purpose of sex and the purpose of life itself.
To help us restore sex to its proper dignified place in our life, Gita wisdom gently urges us to seek pleasure not in futile chemical highs but in fulfilling spiritual highs.