I recently got reacquainted with Mantak Chia famed works as translated by one Michael Winn. Master Chia is a renowned teacher of human sexuality, who popularized the idea of sex as a healing force and mainstreamed esoteric traditions of the East.
So, there I was reading this book and everyone around me, staring in disbelief. It had the kind of title that demanded a comment. ‘Taoist Secrets of Love – Cultivating the male sexual energy’. It has been years since I read Mantak Chia’s works and I was pleased to discover his work is now ready available online.
As an adventurous anthropologist, I was merely trying to get to the bottom of the one issue that Kenyans have continued to avoid like garlic breath – the ticking time bomb of our raging sexual energy.
In Kenya, we approach sex through the channel of repression, in total contradiction to its overt manifestation in our daily lives. Our views on human sexuality are informed by the fads, popular culture, cultural conditioning and fear. Our self-knowledge is derived from the world of dodgy experts, erotic lit, sappy movies and free porn.
What passes for sexual knowledge is regurgitated information, drawn from suspect sources and all limited to how to make sex last longer and leave your partner quivering in bed.
Where did you acquire your sexual knowledge?
Where are your kids getting their schooling from in this crucial function of their lives?
How many fathers ever tried to explain the beauty of a holistic sexual experience to their sons?
Are mothers teaching their daughters anything about sex beyond not getting knocked up or exploited by perverts?
The self-appointed custodians of morality, parents, religious leaders and Ezekiel Mutua are entirely focused on treating the symptoms and not the disease. The monster in this case is popular media using sex to sell everything, from sports to politics to soap. The result of the persistent attempts at prohibiting sexual expression through legislation has made crimes of things that are not crimes.
Prohibition only drives sex underground, where it continues to thrive and consolidates as a movement of rebellion against freedom of expression. Lashing out at youth for reckless promiscuity is the typical kneejerk reaction of a society that is blind to its own excesses.
Young people do not know much about the function of sex beyond pregnancy and orgasms. Our understanding of sex is limited to ‘getting off and getting some’. At best our blind aping of sex as packaged in media only encourages cravings that have to be hidden because they are total odds with what we are socialized to consider acceptable. We are a society that is ruled by repression and distortion of natural sexual instincts and thereby creating a variety of personal and social pathologies.
In so doing we have also effectively removed sexuality from its spiritual foundations.
Coming from me, this may sound strange, but sex is holy and powerful. The overlords of world religions know this. Perpetual stoking of fear is how sex fidelity and control is achieved. The simple pleasure of a physical act is associated with evil and guilt. Preaching abstinence without cultivating a deeper understanding of sex only creates closeted perverts.
The sexual experience has become more powerful than the spiritual experience offered by religion. People don’t want heaven, they crave orgasms, in the exact format described in the books they read or as depicted in the media they consume.
The effect of the tight lipped policy has led to our society’s fascination with sex and massive confusion of attitudes towards it. We crave the pleasure of sex but can’t deal with the emotional pain and complexity that often accompanies it. Instead of confronting issues, we start passing the buck.
Take one look at the outcomes of repression and the fruits of perversion as seen in America, to get a sense of where we are headed.
A new form of sexual education has to be introduced
I am not talking about teachers leading classroom demonstrations on “This is how you wear a condom”. Tell them why the phallus is worshipped. Make them understand their natural instincts as opposed to being afraid of them. We need to recognize that the sexual instinct is bound to find its expression in rather banal and predictable ways no matter what the official spiritual dogma may condone or prohibit.
Since we live in a society where more often than not, men initiate the first move, brothers have to be made aware of consequences. At heart most men are terrified of women’s infinite sexual capacity as they are fascinated by it. Sexual insecurity is actually the primary reason men have sought physical, political, financial, intellectual and religious advantage over the woman.
According to the Taoist view, man is constitutionally inferior to woman with respect to his sexual capacities. Our energies are easily spent with advancement of years and our energetic capacity becomes severely diminished. We need to teach our boys to cultivate their male sexual energy.
We need a fresh start, a new beginning. By re-examining individually and as a people, the meaning of our sexuality and the deeper purposes served by our loving relationships we might identify what works today.
The tradition of Taoism embedded deep in ancient esoteric Eastern tradition presents an interesting and practical perspective to this question. I hope the relevant government minister is reading this.
Sexual balance is a very important foundation for building a physical and emotional life. The Taoists teach that it is the responsibility of man and woman to balance the powers of heaven and earth harmoniously within themselves and that harmony in other spheres of life will follow thereafter.
Can we establish relationships that transcend romantic egotism?
Can we avoid the pitfalls of both repressive and liberated sexual morality, which we are now all too familiar with?
If we can radically transform our approach, de-emphasizing this obsession with genital orgasm, which preoccupies our youth and tie up sex with non-sectarian spiritualism, sex would finally get the credit it deserves.
Anyway, let’s go back to Mantak Chia for a different perspective on a old problem….( here are some links for bedtime reading)
Cultivating Male Vitality and Sustainable sex
Sex is Natural- Not Sinful
The Tao of Sexology