The earth has been rollin’ for 4.54 billion years. Homo sapiens came around and procreated – big time. Then we evolved, and besides procreation we developed the desire to have sex without wanting to make babies. This by the way distinguishes us from the animal kingdom. Though there are a few Primates whose sexual behavior is mainly for self satisfaction. Anyways we have continued to evolve, because there is no way of stopping evolution and that desire has turned into the need for making love, and for emotional and spiritual connection.
Civilizations both large and small existed in the past that held sex positive views. In some instances sex positive practices were supported by tradition and even by law. In this post I want to look into the interesting cultural ideas that those civilizations have to offer.
1. Acknowledging the Magic Powers of Feminine Energy (Taoists)
The Chinese Taoist tradition goes back to around 6000 year B.C. In those days sexuality was not thought of as being anything shameful or dirty, in fact quite the opposite. Sex was seen as necessary for the spiritual evolution of the self, and pretty much as independent from the urge or necessity to procreate.
By the age of 40 a man had to have acquired the skill of satisfying a woman fully. Even Art at that time was inspired by sexuality, with erotic literature and juicy drawings. Certain pieces of furniture were even designed to support Taoist love play.
Around 500 B.C Confucius confirmed that Chinese women had the official right to be satisfied by their husbands. But don’t be too impressed; it was still a patriarchal society, where women were at service to men.
Men actually cared so much about the sexual satisfaction of women because they knew that they would benefit. Not exactly a matter of being unconditional lovers. The woman was seen as an abundant vessel of Yin or Feminine Energy that contributed to the harmony and longevity of the man. Through love play the man replenished his Yin Energy while he made sure that his woman had many orgasms.
Cunnilingus was a big trend at that time, as it made the women feel great, and the men could drink from the inexhaustible source of Yin Energy. The so-called Fountain of Youth.
What we can learn?
Let’s start studying this ancient wisdom on feminine, Yin energies, and acknowledging them as a gift of the universe. But this time without greedy strings attached, of course.
2. Seeing the Divine in Everything, including Sex (Tantrics)
Tantric societies were another big movement that happened around 2000 years ago in India and Tibet. In Tantra sexuality was deeply rooted and linked with religious views. And the search for orgasm was part of the spiritual search.
People from Harappa worshipped a vulva statue that symbolized the Goddess Shakti. This was one of the rarest cults where the genitals where worshipped. It actually still continues nowadays with the God Shiva and its symbolic cult of revering the phallus.
One central attitude within Tantra is that we are all Divine. Every woman is a Goddess and every man a God.
In some monasteries sex was used as a religious ritual for becoming closer to the Divine. The common phrase in India is Namaste, and one interpretation of that phrase is “The Divine in me sees the Divine in you”.
Sexual activities were generally initiated by the woman, and the man remained sexually continent (not ejaculating) to make sure the woman had one or more orgasms. Quite the gentleman! One reason for this was that he wanted to keep his life force, or ojas.
What we can learn?
Tantra is a spiritual path, it can show us absolute oneness with the Divine, with Everything, allowing us to be free, strong, independent, having power over our lives, by breaking through our own self-imposed barriers. Trying to see the divine in each other is a beautiful practice that doesn’t even require a belief in God.
3. Worship of the Genitals Instead of Vaginoplasty (Hawai’i)
Hawai’i was one of the first South Pacific societies to be visited and written about by Westerners. In traditional Hawai’i, nudity was not seen primarily as sexual. Warm climate often dictates less clothing. Only the genitals were covered for protection, but hey, not shame.
The genitals were considered holy. They were treated with respect and worshipped. Also, it was believed that they possessed mana (spiritual power), and this belief was clearly demonstrated in the traditional woodcarvings of the powerful gods, whose genitals were depicted as prominent.
Among the Marquesas Islanders, the young female’s labia minor were stretched to make them longer, as a sign of beauty and strength. Pretty much a completely different angle to the plastic porn pussy which has become the pussy ideal nowadays. In pornographic magazines every inch of too long labia will be photo-shopped out. They may even be cut by a cosmetic surgeon.
What we can learn?
Instead of cutting around beautiful vulvas to make them fit into the mold, we could learn to worship them as they are.
4. Empowerment of Unashamed Masturbation (Hopi)
We don’t talk about it much. And if we did we would probably blush with embarrassment, and feel kind of small. Guys learn from an early age how to release their frustration with efficient porn influenced masturbation. Women tend to have their ups and downs.
Anyways depending on your upbringing, you’ve either developed some strong shame and guilt issues because your parents punished you when they caught you playing with your genitals, or you are one of the lucky ones, with a hippyish anti-authoritarian background, where you had a pretty relaxed childhood, without sexual boundary punishment.
The Hopis in Arizona were a tribe that actually encouraged young folks to masturbate in order to get in tune with their desires and grow into confident and skillful lovers.
What can we learn?
Re-educating ourselves about the importance of unashamed masturbation. It’s a great tool to develop your orgasmic abilities and skills as a lover. Especially if it’s done consciously.
5. Orgasm or get ill (!Kung)
There is a shamanic tribe in Namibia, Botswana and Angola that are called !Kung. They are famous for their extensive number of click consonants in their language. Pretty cool, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcE-BdgCW2A
Anyways, they are even more famous for their openness when it comes to female sexuality. The women of the !Kung tribe are very exited about discussing their sexual relationships with their lovers. Not only because they are very interested in having harmonious relationships, but also because they believe that those who do not have orgasms risk falling ill.
This belief system leads very often to infidelity, as polyamory is not allowed, so the extra lovers are generally kept secret. So some real opportunities for cultural explosiveness here!
Besides the potential drama, it shows that the !Kung society makes satisfying sexual desires and maintaining a fulfilling sexual life a huge priority.
Quite extreme, but there is a pinch of truth there.
What can we learn?
One orgasm a day keeps the doctor (pretty much) away. Orgasms are full of healing and nourishing hormones. So keep them coming.