(This is a paper I hope to present at the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics in Ghent, Belgium this August.)
The Sexual Paradigm and Love
In 1974, Robert C. Solomon noted, “It is one of the dangers of conceptual analysis that the philosopher’s choice of paradigms betrays a personal bias, but it is an exceptional danger of sexual conceptual analysis that one’s choice of paradigms also betrays one’s private fantasies and obsessions” What Solomon did not recognize is the sexual paradigm under which we in Western civilization currently operate: pleasure and/or procreation: a political construct. The paradigms to which he referred were but sub-sets of this one. Further, it would seem that most researchers and others in the “sexual industry,” today look at sex with the blinders of this paradigm. This paper suggests expanding the paradigm by including love and looking at both sex and love with a more objective view based on energy. Energy divided by time is power.
It is further suggested the power obtained by the individual through love is genetic in nature, however there is suffiecient anecdotal evidence to validate its existance regardless of its nature.
In Hindu mythology, the entire universe was created on the first orgasm of Shiva and Shakti, indicating this is a powerful experience. In our current view of sex, we live with the paradigm sexual activity is only for pleasure and/or procreation. The power of creation is ignored. Eros, the god of love was originally “a primeval deity who embodied not only the force of erotic love but also the creative urge of ever-flowing nature, the firstborn Light for the coming into being and ordering of all things in the cosmos.” Plato’s symposium changed that.
Today, our grand sexual paradigm is that sex is either about pleasure or procreation or both. Good scientists everywhere discuss, and even argue, over what brings the most pleasure to the greatest number of people, particularly women. Since a lot of us are men, that is rather humorous on its face. My research indicates women have much greater capacity for sexual pleasure than men, and we men are incapable of being in their bodies at a perceptive level. All we can do is observe. Further, most men limit orgasmic experience to the rush of endorphins accompanying ejaculation, believing, “that’s it.”
Were I reading this, the first question I would ask, is what do 8000 year-old stories have to do with modern sexual politics? The answer is, everything! So, let us start with today’s paradigm, and then return to our history to see how we got here.
There are many still suffering from Victorian prudery who would argue sexual pleasure is sinful… for everybody but themselves. Throughout history, we oscillate on the pleasure question: pleasure is good or pleasure is bad. This diverts us from looking at love as a part of the sex act. Further, in the minds of the general public, and some scientists, the word “love” is specifically associated with the sex act, from which pleasure is derived.
To understand how we might have arrived at this sexual paradigm, I first would like to paraphrase three people. First, Dr. Christopher Ryan who said, “Our cultivated ignorance (of sexuality) is devastating,” and “civilizations are based in greed.” Next, the founder of pseudo-psycho-sexual science, Dr. Sigmund Freud who exclaimed, “ Most of our neuroses are based in sex.” I don’t fully agree with much else they say, but they hit the mark with these statements. Lastly, Napoleon Hill who said, “The combination of love, sex and romance can raise a man from mediocrity to the altitude of genius.” Hill goes on to talk about “access to infinite intelligence,” which I have discovered to be on an individual need to know basis.
During the hunter-gatherer phase of human development, before the advent of civilization, what did early man need to know? Primarily where the food was and whether or not it was good to eat. Where is the water? Where can we find shelter? How can we stay safe from animals that want to eat us? If many had not answered these questions, we would not be here today. I am less amazed by Australian aborigines ability to find water on their walkabouts than I once was. They had a need to know and were directed to water. Just before the Tsunami of 2004, native villagers were heading for high ground while American and European tourists lolled on the beaches. They, too, had a need to know. Humans are fantastic creatures once we get out of our own way.
To arrive at the conclusion that power, or “access to infinite intelligence” belongs in the paradigm, requires looking at both love and sex with a different set of glasses. For the most part today we look at love as a feeling generated by brain chemistry. This is a very narrow and anthropormorphic view of love. There are many forms of love, mother love, brotherly love, etc., perhaps each generating their own version of brain chemistry. Only erotic love has been studied by Fisher, et al. Dr. Jenny Wade relates an example of this power in Transcendent Sex due to brotherly love.
To understand how love can give us “access to infinite intelligence,” it is necessary to view love as energy. It is suggested this energy has the power to modify our genetic code thereby creating the brain chemistry. Where sexual desire is a function of the PVN in the hypothalamus, the effects of erotic love are more readily observed in the caudate nucleus and tegmentum. Further, orgasms based solely on sexual desire are observed to increase bloodflow in the right half of the brain, whereas orgasms including love are observed in both halves of the brain.
Love has two attributes in common with energy: transmittal and transformation. We may think of “transferring” love from one to the other, implying one’s feelings generated within the individual are for another. However, we may be transmitting love through us to another.
The origin of this view comes from the story of Shiva, Parvatti and Kama. Kama, god of love, was implored by the people of the Indus Valley, under attack by evil demons and spirits, to do something to get Shiva and Parvatti to have a son who would save them. Kama shot Shiva with a arrow made from a flower as parvatti was walking by, and one result was Karttikeya, who save the people from the evil spirits and demons attacking them. The other result was Shiva was angered at having his meditation interrupted so he hunted Kama, found him and focused the energy from his third eye on Kama. Kama burst into flame leaving only a pile of ashes and this conditionless, boundryless, borderless love all about the world. It is called ApAaga in Sanskrit, Agape in Greek and we call it unconditional love.
The next problem was how to model this, with the many forms of love. I chose the visible light spectrum with Agapeas the light source. This provides for the spectrum of the forms of love, our minds being the prism through which the light of love refracts.
"Love's Prism" in Our Mind
Since prisms blocked in various areas do not let all the light through, we are left with only a partial rainbow of colors. I chose “chewing gum” to represent the memes and other blocks to this light. They may also be thought of as the conditions we put on love.
Love's Prism With "Chewing Gum" Blocking Energy
As I was working with this, I noted the rainbow from this prism, in the position of the ancient symbol for man—the blade, was inverse to the position of the colors in the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. If I inverted it to represent the early symbol for woman—the chalice, what would happen? Do women see love differently than men?
Female View of Love?
The last part of this assumption is the energy of love has the power to impact and modify our genetic code. We know in the fetal stage of development mutation (alteration of base pair) occurs, along with genes jumping from one chromosome to another and recombination also occurs. Genetic restructuring is now being performed on adults. Why can not love be a genetic modifying agent? This, of course, is simply speculation. Anecdotal evidence form Enkidu’s transformation in The Epic of Gilgamesh, through the “Divine Enlightenment” of Tantra, to Napoleon Hill’s observations in 1937 would indicate the existence of this phenomenon. It makes no difference if it is genetic modification or not. It happens.
Now we can look at adultery and other relationship forms with a different eye. Did it occur during the hunter-gatherer age? Probably, but not to the extent it did when women were diminished to economic commodities, belonging to their father. Through out history thereafter women “belonged” to either father or husband having the status of chattel. In many cultures today, women are still sold into marriage, or simply sold.
What did the hunter-gatherer have that we don’t? First, they were not laden with all the garbage ideas we have about sex, and were probably a lot happier with it than we are today. Secondly, they did not have the barriers to love that we have today. Thirdly, they probably had a lot more respect for everything, including their women. We can see this respect today in indigenous peoples around the world. But we call them “savages.” They have nowhere near the desire we have for material things, although Western culture has tipped many toward greed. Many cultures now practice polyandry, polygamy, omni-gamy, and possibly even circular monogamy. I don’t know if the latter exists yet, but we humans are inventive.
Stephanie Coontz traced the history of marriage back to the beginnings of civilization and found it to be an economic institution. In the agrarian age, adjacent farmers could merge their fields through the marriage of the son of one to the daughter of the other. These arranged marriages neglected the wishes of the children, as they have throughout history. “Wishes” is a very weak word when primal forces are at work. We know today women have the ability to smell a man’s MHC and it is believed they can determine at least immuno-compatibility for the offspring. We know not what other forces may be working as well. We can certainly presume it would be very difficult for a woman to copulate with a man whose smell was offensive to her, even when he was freshly bathed. Bathing itself, an unusual circumstance in those days.
As villages grew into towns, and towns into cities, we had war. Somebody had something somebody else wanted, so they amassed a force of men and took it. “To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy” is said to be coined by New York Senator William J. Marcey, referring to the victory of the Jackson Democrats in the election of 1828. However, many tribal nations also live by this. If we searched history for this phrase, we could probably find it, or something comprable, dating back thousands of years.
Men with “access to infinite intelligence” have a drawback for leaders. They don’t believe the spin. Spin is nothing new. Brainwashing is nothing new. Since not all marriages were arranged, men had a better opportunity of falling in love with a woman as their economic value was in its infancy. This led to men applying the combination of love, sex and romance with amazing results for them. They were not as likely to believe the exortations of the leaders of the day and resist military service. Defense was one thing, but stealing from a nearby village was another. This resistance had to be stopped! Enter misogyny.
If we put negative ideas about women in the heads of men, they will be more malleable and we can have more soldiers. I use the word “soldier” loosely. This also refers to “soldiers” of the fields, factories and other industries throughout history. The myths about women began, and today, some women and a lot of men still believe them. These are essentially conditions we put on love.
Economics is about the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services from scarce resources. Politics is about the control of those resources and the distribution of wealth created from those resources. So, when we talk about the politics of sex, we should be looking at women as a resource, a valuable resource! That is, a valuable resource to the individual man. This is a resource that needs to be protected, rather than controlled. By “protection” I do not mean legislated onto some pedestal, rather treated with far more respect than has been afforded them throughout the history of civilization. However, with the power of love in a group of individuals, other resources are not as easily “controlled” by politics. We now see this paradigm as a political construct.
In order to “control” production of these resources: to have early farms and later industries grow larger, it was necessary to “control” the relationship between men and women. As patriarchy grew, rules were laid down for women. Daughters being chattel was but one of many. Sexual myths were promulgated to divide us. Women became “less than.” Workers and soldiers were needed for farms and war. Sons were valued over daughters to not only extend the patriarchy, but we are more easily manipulated into becoming soldiers and workers. The war between the sexes began.
A basic strategy of war is divide and conquer. The current “war on women” is simply another battle in the war between the sexes, beginning at the dawn of civilization. Most who wage this war today have no idea what they are doing or why. After 10,000 years, it is just the way it is. The tactics of this war are demonization, dismissal, denigration and deification.
The early temples of Ishtar, Inanna and other goddesses were created to set some women apart as priestesses, implying they only, should be worshipped by men, while wives sat at home alone. Divide and conquer. This deification was carried over into the concept of motherhood to the extent during the Victorian era, wives were for procreation and mistresses were for pleasure. An extreme result of this is the whore/Madonna complex underlying many relationships today in both genders. It should be noted all women have essentially the same anatomical structures, but it appears cultural conditioning prevents both men and women from their full usage through love or pleasure. The mind is both powerful and malleable.
The myth of Lilith I knew nothing about until I started my research in this field a few years ago. Yet, the “missionary position” was all I knew for most of my sexually active life. It seems the purpose of that myth was to keep the male superior. And Lilith, for wanting to get on top, was heavily demonized. She was demonized in early Sumerian literature as a baby killer, but the Hebrew myth of the 13th Century had her consorting with demons, sleeping with men in their dreams to create more demons, and making Adam out to be a dummy. He should have known the one on top does all the work. Myths, like sea stories grow with the telling. The most modern, Robert Graves’ version is probably the worst.
We have dismissed women for centuries with, “Oh. She’s just a woman. What does she know?” In the 19th Century, women who wished to enter the professional world were deemed hysterical and were given hysterectomies. This of course removed anatomical structures that could be quite valuable to men. But men have not considered women as a valuable resource for eons, except in rare cases.
We continue to denigrate women, as is being done in the American Congress today with the media carrying the battle cry. We neither recognize women as a resource nor the power of love to refine that resource for our benefit. The paradigm of pleasure/procreation is still in gross operation to the detriment of men around the globe.
We now can also see how the ancient stories of love, without the political construct of pleasure/procreation, can yield this power to men rendering the construct to a sick joke. Neither procreation nor pleasure are “sick jokes.” Rather it is the removal of love from the paradigm as a consideration. Further, this removal may retard our evolutionary future. It is the purpose of this paper for Sexologists everywhere to consider bringing love into the paradigm, showing the power of love to both genders. “How ethical is this,” is a question only you may answer.
 Solomon, Robert C., Sexual Paradigms, J. Phil (11)336-345, 1974
 Ryan, C., Jetha, C, Sex at Dawn, Harper Perennial, New York, NY, 2009
 The Freud Reader, ed. Peter Gay, W.W. Norton & Co., New York 1989
 Hill, N., Think and Grow Rich, Wilder Publications, LLC, Radford VA, 1937
 Why We Love, Fisher, H., Henry Holt & Co. (An Owl Book) New York, 2004
 Wade, J., Transcendent Sex, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2004
 Arnow, B.A., J.E. Desmond, L.L. Banner, G.H. Glover, A. Solomon, M.L. Polan, and S.W. Atlas. Brain activation and sexual arousal in healthy, heterosexual males, Brain 125:1014-23, 2002
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 Coontz, S., Marriage, a History, Penguin Group (USA), 2006
 Meston, Cindy M., Buss, David M., Why Women Have Sex, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY, 2009