Purpose of pleasure

The bench was made of wood and by the greyish cracked texture, had been there for a time. It was placed on top of a small hill, overlooking the sea its waters shadowy from a cloudy day. A mild wind was scraping at the water surface, creating a rippling effect. As I took my seat on the bench, a pair of gulls flew by and shrieked at me. Probably a greeting.

Someone sat down next to me, to my right. I could’t look at their direction, but I could feel them. A large friendly figure. A promise of answers.

For the past few days, I’d been perusing some spiritual texts from China and Ancient Egypt and all so-called roads to mastery pointed at the same thing:

You must give up your sexual desires if you wish to get enlightened / become immortal / find god. You must.

Reading that made me feel iffy. I could agree that mindless desire is a path to the dark side, but sex is not all about brainless banging and getting it over with. It’s about pleasure and beauty and poetry as well. What’s the point of earthly delights if one must refrain from them to find the Light in the center of the Universe? (That one I made up.)

Is sex only supposed to serve as a distracting way to breed?

That question had brought me here… to this hilltop of nowhere, looking at something that manifested as the sea. That’s the reason I had the wooden bench and, I assumed, it was the reason why someone was on that bench with me.

‘Are we supposed to give up sexual pleasures in our path to the spiritual?’ I asked, carefully keeping my gaze on the shimmering water. I really didn’t want to look at it. ‘Our bodies are wonders, full of tingling nerves and expansive sensations. We’re pleasure power-houses. Why should we not use it?’

I felt my side get warmer as the figure emitted warm light before responding in any words. It liked this place. This water, this grass and the reeds that were flipping around in the wind. 

‘You are right,’ it finally said. ‘Human bodies are built for pleasure. Women’s especially.’ 

A huge weight lifted off me. Instant validation of myself as a woman, with my woman needs and desires. At the same time, I felt the gender-equality-police raise a spiky head. Why should only women have that pleasure? Shouldn’t men also…

‘Because you build children,’ it answered the question from my mind.

I felt the figure shift and saw it placing a hand-like part of it on the wooden bench beside me. Instinctively, wanted to touch it, to feel how it feels. I did, I tried. All I could feel was a tingling warmth and the cracked wood. My hand passed right through my answers, as if I was talking to a hologram. I felt a moment of shame for trying, but pulled myself back on the subject, back to the water.

‘The feeling of pleasure raises your vibration complex,’ the figure continued without comment, ‘Human females can bring new life. The more pleasure you may feel during conception, gestation and birthing, the more stable will be the mind/body/spirit of your offspring. You will bring more light and beauty to the planet.’

Oh my… I snapped to focus, feeling as if a door had opened in my mind.

‘Pleasure has an evolutionary purpose?’

It wasn’t a question, more of an affirmation of what I had heard.

‘But why then are we taught to avoid and want and…’ I couldn’t finish the thought in a coherent manner as the images flooded in. The shaming, the longing, the rushing. Within the 10 seconds, my mind entertained a feast of bad sex with a side of why. Why?

I could feel the figure pondering on how to respond to that incoherent mind-dump. The why.

‘The peak of orgasm itself is not a pleasure state,’ it finally began. ‘Orgasm serves as a release of potential which can – if directed with purpose – strengthen the conception. The purpose of the woman is to gain continuous pleasure from the sensation of life itself. All life.’

The purpose of a woman…as a sexual-spiritual animal?

The vision ended abruptly. My focus had drifted too much to what had been said and what it means to my own pleasure, to my own body and path. I came back to my bedroom and took a deep breath, feeling disoriented for a moment.

Something was still there, tugging at the edge of my mind. I grabbed my bedside notepad and wrote:

Take joy and pleasure in everything, especially baby-making.
Don’t get consumed by the desire, don’t wish for or rush towards the release of orgasm. 
The valleys are as valuable as the peaks. 

As I finished writing those instructions, my mind shifted through memories, looking for anything even remotely similar to what the figure in my vision had told me. I recalled stories about ancient temples where priestesses had been… well sort of like hookers, dedicated to dance and beauty, joy and sex.

Guess who wrote that narrative? Who wrote most of those older teachings or ancient texts anyway? I didn’t want to point fingers, but in the safety of my bed, I pointed them at patriarchy.

Perhaps most of the written word that passed down to us had been written without understanding of our spiritual-evolutionary need for the women to be joyful, the need for our bodies to be worshipped as the life-creating wonders they are. 

Also by ourselves, naturally. This is an inside job first.

I think that instinctively we know this and so do our men. I’ve met so many men who’d love to please a woman and take their own pleasure in hers. Who’d swim with the currents of pleasure, not rushing to use her, but to honour her body.

Then I’ve also seen men who are self-important, entitled, angry, frustrated and lashing. Men who think a woman’s job is to serve as their release, or should be. The feeling of softness and the invitation to relax in the soft feminine glow of pleasure feels alien to them. Feels dangerous.

When done right, the heightened rush of pleasure can make us feel like we touch the heavens and dance with angels. Our small-selves dissolve and we can touch it. We can touch the light and the love that breathes life into all things. If the desire to conquer the peak stops leading the dance, the valleys become wonders and the journey becomes holy.

That’s what the books didn’t say or perhaps once did, but it got lost in translation. Who knows.

I want children one day. Healthy, happy and wiser-than-me children. I bet I’m not alone wanting that.

We should keep dancing. We should keep feeling.

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