Real Talk – A Case Against Superficial Sex

Taken from the comments of this Reddit post. We get into a truly interesting and deep discussion and you may enjoy reading it if you have the time.

[Anonymous]: 

Surprisingly insightful.

I have to ask, tho I mean no disrespect: Did you figure this out yourself or there are sources to check upon?

[Me]:

A lot of it is mine, but there is also a synthesis of other ideas in there. For example, I have heard that sex is like tape, the first time you use it it sticks you together strong. But if it is repeatedly ripped off and used with another person, it looses its stickiness. So you could relate that idea to my concept of concrete.

The polarity stuff has been talked about at length, especially within the Hindu and Daoist traditions.

David Deida’s book Way of the Superior Man hits on some of these concepts (which he might have picked up from the aforementioned religious soruces), but it has been a while since I’ve read it so I don’t remember exactly how much he says. I do however feel as if I have originally tied it together within the tri-planar model as well as with the top down vs bottom up approach.

[Anonymous]

You did it really well, I have to say. I did not know about the tri-planar model, as you called it, but it makes so much sense.

The analogy of concrete and mating in several levels took something I already held clear (Superficial sex has tons of responsabilities and mind sets to it, it’s so much harder than it seems) and gave it a new layer of perception I did not see before.

Being honest here: I AM someone who believe sex (Intercourse) is something healthy enough to have to pursue the capability of having it superficially. As I said, tho, I believe it’s harder (for some) than simply “doing it”.

Thanks for sharing, I appreciate it.

[Me]:

I’m sorry, I’m having trouble following that one sentence. Are you saying that you believe it is possible to healthily pursue superficial intercourse?

Either way, I appreciate the thoughtful and honest feedback!

[Anonymous]:

Yes, I do, but at the cost of preparing your inner self for it, and being honest with yourself.

If you choose to have intercourse with someone – and you really want to avoid any issues for both parties – you should be able to express and want physical and intellectual contact, while keeping the emotional controlled. Things like “I’m only in for the sex” should not only be said, but also embodied.

And sadly, as much as you may want to help your partner with this, it is single player here. If the other is not ready for it and you ignore it, or he/she is not honest to him/herself about it, they may end up hurt.

[Me]:

Yeah I understand where you are coming from. I respect your stance on this and I feel it is a popular approach these days, but I personally still have worries about it. I’m sure it is possible to have such a relationship where no one ends up immediately hurt. But I wonder, if this is practiced regularly how it might affect your ability to totally connect when youdo want love and emotions involved? You tend to get good at what you practice, and if you practice keeping emotions out then what kinds of internal reflexes are you building?

I do not feel that a person has voluntary control over their emotions. They have voluntary control over how they express them, but not whether they exist or not. I wonder if a danger of practicing the kind of relationship you describe would be in the illusion that you are controlling your emotions when you are really just repressing them.

Also, if you are truly capable of taking all the emotional out (and let’s face it, the amount that the intellectual is involved in sex is minimal), then it is just straight physical. At that point it almost seems to holistically be the same as PMO. Sure it feels better and probably is nice on the ego, but emotionally and mentally it is the same exercise.

I want to stress that I’m not trying to argue with you. I’m still working out the angles of this perspective and I appreciate you being willing to discuss these things.

[Anonymous]:

It’s fine, I’m not feeling confronted or anything.

Eckhart Tolle (Disclaimer: I’m a newbie at this, still learning the ropes of learning the one self and stuff) talks about feelings on his book The Power of Now in a way that got me by surprise. He makes comparisons on both thoughts and feelings, and teaches a few ways – which are actually both surprisingly easy and powerful – to master them and separate them from decisions and opinions. You don’t need supress them or change them if you can separate them from your ways.

If you let me make an example of what I am going on about: I am, and always were, a very, veryvery jealous boyfriend. I had really big issues about this on the past, to the point were I completelly crushed my first real love under this heel and destroyed whatever relationships we had. It took me about what… five or six years to get where I stand right now – completelly ridden of jealousy. Then you’ll go “Hey, you said you still are jealous…” and I’ll go “Yeah, I am. But it doesn’t control me anymore.”

Those feelings of anxiety and rage when I see a SO amidst tons of friends of having conversation with a person I particularly dislike? Give me a single reason for it and they’ll rush back. The problem is finding one. I went through a process – therapy and alone – to go over it and I understood my reasons to feel that way. Not only I managed to do that, but I accepted them, learned that not only they harmed other people but harmed myself as well.

So nowadays I just keep that shadow at bay, and if for some reason it starts to grumble I just give it a flip. The process is a lot deeper than this but I actually envision the feeling (Jealousy, rage, whatever) as an entity, separate it from my “self” (Bigger concept than this), and just proceed to act without letting it interfere.

My last SO is a physicist. Male dominant field. The ratio of her friends was something like 15:1 (Man/girl). If you told me that I’d be dating her ten years ago I’d go in a berseker rage calling her names and whatnot.

Anyway I totally understand your concern, and I say that I am mainly concerned that this is a popular approach because most people aren’t exactly ready for them – the damage will only be seen years later when they actually have to connect, such as you discribed. But if you actually understand what you feel, and the reasons for you to feel that way, and – in more ways than one – you are trully happy with yourself (This is actually very very important) you can find ways for anything work.

At last, maybe I said it all wrong (I was on my phone until now) but I don’t mean to take all the emotion out of the equation. I’m not willing to have intercourse with a girl I don’t “connect”, for example. What I mean is this:

Thoughts are like single soldiers, armed with arguments and defended by reasons. Not all of them fight well in groups – for example you can’t really study for a math test while trying to make a cake and organizing a surprise party.

But emotions? They are marauding hordes of goblins. Pull a hair out of your head and it will hurt. Pull a hand of them and you’ll scream. Pull a hand of them while sitting on boiled water and you’ll go berserk. Do this while your mom kills a kitten and you see your sister being smacked on the face and Hulk will bust through the room holding the Mjolnir and riding a Harley.

What I’m trying to learn, and what I believe is the key here, is to learn how to transform every single marauding horde of goblin into a single unit. Then it becomes easy to deal with it – keep the possessive part away, retain the pleasure of having found a good company and it’s all good. Really simply put, that’s my goal.

[Me]:

Tell me if I understand you: It seems that you are trying to find a way to reduce emotions (marauding horde) into a thought (single soldier). Essentially you are looking for conceptual abstractions that you can wrap your emotions in for easy handling. So for example, a bunch of marbles represents your emotions. It is difficult to manage them, so you want to wrap them up in a single plastic bag (a thought) and then you have a hold on them.

If I’m understanding you correctly then that is really just a fancy way of talking about emotional awareness. Here’s an analogy that I use. Emotions are like big current of water. Your awareness is like a little eyeball submerged in that water. When your awareness is in the water, it is controlled by the currents. This is where you were at when your jealousy controlled you. Your awareness was caught in the current of the emotion and everything else had to go along for the ride.

Now, your awareness isn’t just stuck in the water. In fact, it’s very easy for your awareness to get out. All it needs to do is simply look at the water. By the very nature of looking at it, the awareness is elevated above the water. The simple act of stepping back and recognizing/labeling of an emotion gives you space from it. So through that awareness you gain freedom from the control of the current.

I’ve briefly looked at Ekhart Tolle’s work and something about it didn’t sit right with me. I know that he has helped a lot of people and so I admire him from that angle, but he doesn’t have an energy that I envy. Watch the Dalai Lama speak, and then watch Tolle. The energetic difference in them is like night and day to me. Tolle has been accused of promoting a philosophy that produces almost robotic energy which I may be inclined to agree with.

If I’m correct in my understanding of what you were saying, then I think I’ve found what has bothered me about Tolle’s work. He has a very mind centered approach to living. By this, I mean that you modify your emotions and actions dependent upon what you think is right and what you think you want. Also this approach a heavy emphasis on the techniques described above (mind overcoming emotion). While this sounds completely sensible on the surface, I believe that there are troubles to this approach. The biggest problem I see arising is in the case where you have a “faulty idea”.

So for example, let’s say that someone has the idea in their head that making money is the most important thing (which is clearly wrong). If their mind is the locus of their self-development system (as I perceive Tolle to recommend) and they learn the techniques of emotional awareness, they can become quite skilled at detaching from the negative emotions that are the result of this mentality. Because of this, they can successfully hold on to that faulty ideal that money is the most important thing because they become skilled at handling the negative emotional consequences.

Instead, I believe that one should practice a heart centered approach to self development. When you have a negative emotion, that means that something is internally misaligned. All negative emotion can traced back to some sort of desire. This desire is essentially a rejection of reality. So when you are sad, jealous, angry, etc. it is because you reject the way that you are perceiving your reality (aka wishing things were different). The heart centered approach is based around healing those internal wounds so that you can constantly embrace reality instead of simply detaching from it.

It sounds like you did this to some extent with your jealousy issue but I can’t tell to what extent. I had the exact same problem and I’ve managed to completely overcome it through this heart centered approach. I don’t need to detach from jealousy anymore, it just doesn’t come up to begin with. So the mark of a faulty idea is that you get stuck in a state of perpetual detachment and you aren’t making moves towards a completely healed state.

So my final point is to hold your perspective up to the “faulty idea” concept. In your final paragraph you said that your goal is:

“keep the possessive part away, retain the pleasure of having found a good company and it’s all good”

Now, if you were one of my clients (I’m a life coach) I’d have you unpack that statement and find the core ideals and values that this goal is based upon. Obviously there’s much more to this perspective than this one sentence that I’ve quoted, but my suspicion is that there might be a faulty idea buried somewhere in there. The reason I think that this is the case is because it seems you have created a relationship ideal that requires perpetual detachment (keeping the possessive at bay). If you were functioning on an integrated truth then you would be constantly embracing your reality than having to detach from parts of it.

Anyway, I thank you greatly for sharing. I never thought of the faulty idea concept before hearing your situation and have been looking for a way to put my finger on what bugs me about Tolle forever. And again, no judgement towards him or his followers, just one emotional philosopher attempting a good natured critique on the other.

[Anonymous]:

Almost right.

I don’t think you said it meaning what I wish you meant, but I’ll work on your analogy: If my emotions were represented by a bunch of marbles, I want to be capable of removing single marbles from that package if that marble doesn’t work for me, and lay it out somewhere. She is still there, I can still see it or feel it if I want, but it doesn’t rule me. Discipline has a concept similar to this: You do whatever you have to it regardless of low energy of negative emotions. Samurais come to mind, with their ability to overcome fear no matter the situation, and trully live life fully.

You see, I too have a problem with Tolle’s innaction – his work is incredible on some part, and yet is lacking on others. What you talked about energy is true, he really seems like a low energy individual, however, your concept of “mind overcoming emotion” is were you stop being right.

Tolle talks about a “new level of conscience”, where mind is literally split apart from your “self” and nowhere to be found sometimes. He explains how mind and self have misguidedly turned into a single being on human society and how thats terrible. It’s a little hard for me to put into words, but I’ll try using an example: You know what white noise is? The idea of a sound on the background that is so repetitive that can keep playing and you don’t realize it is until it stops? Same goes with the mind.

We’re so used to thinking about stuff all the time we lost the ability not to think – and that derails us when we need to access high level energy – or simply take a step back, look away fro a single moment, and come back into whatever we were doing. Cutting the chatter is basically what Tolle’s preach.

Pomodoro’s way of studying works similar to this – do whatever you have to do for some time, take a break of 3~5 minutes, do anything TOTALLY DIFFERENT, go back to it again, break, repeat. And this is really, really powerful. It’s a way of meditation that you can fit inside a daily routine that really works – well, I can say from personal experience at least.

So, coming back to the “healthy sex before marriage” idea:

The main problem of having sex with someone before marriage, as you put, is that if someone has intercourse before solid, strong intellectual and emotional ties are made, this someone essentially blocks the possibility of creating those same ties without having to go through a hard period – breaking the concrete, as you said.

My intent as a person is to be able to know this – and not just the “Yeah, I know“, know – from the start, and literally be able to do it without any kind of expectations of having anything further with this person besides sex – which can still be great without them. And on the possibility, on the “what if” that I discover that I started having feelings for them – which I shouldn’t have if I were trully prepared for this – I should be honest enough with my own self to say it “Ok, I’m breaking the rules. This is going bad. Let’s stop this.” and do it, go back to my own self, and work on it.

Now what you said about my ideal of perpertual detachment – you were right to an extend. Again, I’m going further, I’m splitting apart what already is split apart. There is a bad side for atachment, the way I see it: jelousy. I’m still able to have a SO, respect her more than anything, have emotional ties, “connect”. I simply don’t hate her from being with male friends – and on the off chance something feels weird, I’m obviously not blind and will let her know, without judgment, that I don’t feel comfortable with the idea.

Anyway, I may be starting to fumble here, so I beg your pardon. You’re clearly an experienced goodfella on the subject, and I have barely tested the waters. I wish you good luck on your job, you really seem to do it very well.

[Me]

I think I understand what you are saying now. You seem to be very aware of the ramifications of what you are trying to do. If you agree with Tolle’s idea about a new level of consciousness where the mind is split from the self, then it sounds like you are well on your way to pursuing that.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of “removing single marbles” except as a temporary fix as you search to heal the need to remove the marble in the first place. Also I believe that the low energy of Tolle may be directly correlated to the schism that he has created in his psyche by separating the mind from the self.

I agree that it is extremely necessary to learn how to not think and be “empty” (for I believe this is the prerequisite for any kind of spiritual “filling”), but I do not think that it mandates a removal of the mind from the self. So for me,integration is the goal, finding how the mind and the self and exist in harmony.

Either way, I really appreciate the awesome discussion! Best of luck with everything my friend and feel free to hit me up anytime if you want to bounce some ideas off someone. I love this kind of stuff :)

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