The Wheel: Sex and Astrology

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The sexual houses. Chart by Eric and Sarah, Blue Studio - New York.

What does astrology tell us about sex and sexuality? Astrology is organized by house — the ‘department of life’ where events occur.

The colored houses in the wheel are the ones that address sexuality directly. That would be about half the houses. For those new to the astrological system, a house is a basic division of the chart. The houses started with the signs, then became a wheel imposed on top of the signs; so that the two wheels make a unique pattern in each chart, and most houses comprise of part of at least two signs.

That aside, the houses have a certain philosophy that accompanies them; how do we divide up the subject matter of life? How do we think of the meaning of each house?

Part of the answer involves how far back the astrologer’s understanding of the houses goes. There are traditions involved in assigning subject matter to houses. In this article, I am assembling everything that I’ve learned both from reading and from working with many, many clients on actual questions. Here is a prior summary of the houses, not designed to answer the question of which houses address sexual subject matter. That page needs an update; the page you’re reading may be it.

It would be easy to find meaningful sexual themes in all the other houses, not colored in. Let’s start with them: the “non-sexual houses.”

I have left out the 1st house. The 1st is a crucial house of sexuality because it’s about identity — we all identify with our sex, our gender and our sexual identity group. Remember Hannah, the Book of Blue model who said, “It’s not about sex, it’s about self“? Wisdom from the mouth of a babe.

Sex and self are closely related. When you say, ‘I am a lesbian’ or ‘I am monogamous’, that is core 1st house material: how you experience yourself, describe yourself and the face you put on. One could write a whole book chapter called ‘Sexual Identity and the 1st House of Astrology’, and people would even read it. The 1st represents the self that does the sexing; the identity that is attractive to others or not; the presence in the world that exists and is noticed or alternately feels invisible and ignored.

We could include the 3rd house because so much of sex and relating involves language and ideas, from talking dirty to love notes to pillow books. Here in the BlackBerry Age, the 3rd is all those communication devices that have become sex toys, from video cameras to the digital keyboard we send those hot, pervy notes with. The 3rd is also the neighbors we flirt with; the roommate (or sibling) we play with. We could include the 4th house because one’s whole sexual reality is balanced on one’s level of security and grounding. So the business of the 4th house is strongly influential in one’s relational and sexual reality.

The 9th house isn’t about sex but it’s about either: religion, which impresses its sexual values onto people like nobody’s business (and for many, co-opts the whole issue); or spirituality/higher self, which is about sex because we have the theme of full integration of the psyche and the honoring of sexuality as a sacred ritual. In the Thema Mundi (the ancient chart of the world — a key teaching example from Hermetic astrology), Pisces is in the 9th house. Pisces is the cosmic source, the most watery water sign, the sign that embraces all, contains every trace element, swallows all differentiation, and provides a great deal in the way of direct knowledge and nourishment: and much that seems like mist and taken for granted rainwater. Pisces to human consciousness represents the headwaters of creation; the mouth of the river of creation; the River of Night and the ocean on which creation floats, and into which it will someday dissolve. That sounds like it could include sex.

The 10th house is the power house, and we all know that the more power and visibility you have, the more people are interested in you. So the 10th is full of sexual dynamics and if an astrologer is doing the chart of a successful or planning-to-be-successful person well, a check-over of those dynamics is vital.

The 11th house is about social groups: who we meet and where we meet them. The 11th would cover themes such as polyamory, because it’s a group activity in many different ways (poly people tend to create group environments in which to get together, their relationships are group environments, and they have different norms within their social groups — an 11th house theme).

But let’s skip that kind of house where a sexuality is implied or exists by extension, and initially cover the houses that specifically address material of a sexual or erotic nature, starting with the 2nd house and going in order.

The 2nd house addresses masturbation, as the house of self-value and self-relating. It is the resources we have that come from ourselves. You might call it the sexual/erotic/amorous bank account. It is the house of “you can only love others as much as you love yourself” and by extension, “your sexual relationship to yourself is the basis of your sexual relationship to others.” Contrast this with the 8th house in a little while. When you apply the Thema Mundi (the ancient chart of the world) this house is associated with Leo and the Sun, which act like a giant battery of resources that we access if we know where to start.

The 5th house is the house of play, pleasure, child-like fun, curiosity and risks. The 5th includes art and artists, and we know that these are among the most sexually interested and interesting creatures; we know how much art involves sexual, erotic or relational themes. For many astrologers, this is THE house of sex; just consider the themes. The ‘child like fun’ also includes children and the activities which lead to their existence. If you apply the Thema Mundi, you find out that this is the house that has Scorpio involved, which is the sign of the genitals, of sexual bonding and of deep surrender. So the superficial appeal of the 5th — fun, risks and pleasure — lead deeper, into the more emotional, karmic region of Scorpio. Isabel Hickey called the 5th the house of esoteric karma. She does not say what she means (and it sounds like she got this from a writer named Alice Bailey, but I cannot find it), but if you study the 5th, that is, if you watch what happens with 5th house events, placements and transits, you figure it out. There is that “other layer” that became evident when Project Hindsight unearthed the Thema Mundi.

The 6th house is the house of healing, service and wellbeing: bienestar. Most astrologers would not say this is a house of sexual or relational themes, unless they have a holistic orientation. First, a healthy sexuality and sex life are key elements in whether one is mentally and physically healthy. Looked at another way, much of the world is walking around with unaddressed sexual injury. Consequently, all healers (6th house role) are working with their clients on those injuries whether they know it or not. All healers, be they massage therapists, astrologers, psychologists or doctors, have to work out a system of sexual boundaries with their clientele and the 6th is the environment in which this is done. Then there are those who work specifically as sexual healers; there are more than you think. Some are working ‘undercover’ as nurses who lock the door and help out someone laying in traction; others are working as erotic massage practitioners. These are people offering sex in service. Anyone who is a conscious lover offers sex in service, and as a gesture of healing and self-integration (again, whether ‘consciously’ or not). The 6th is also the house that covers one’s workplace, and we all know how much sexual energy flies around the office; how many affairs; how many relationships start in the office.

The 7th house is the one that covers lovers and open enemies (the ancients either had a sinister sense of humor or were highly perceptive, or both). The 7th is where we engage with The Other directly, be it lover, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or mistress. The 7th speaks of the inherently polarized nature of relationships, and of sexual relationships in particular. It’s interesting that the 7th covers open enemies: how many of those does sex make?

The 8th house in the words of my astrology mentor David Arner is the sex you want. It’s also the sex you want specifically from others, so carries themes such as jealousy and possessiveness. From the earliest English characterization, it’s the house of death, dowry and the substance of the bride. In more modern terms it’s the house of other people’s resources, which would count for their sex, sexual organs, reproductive capacity, genetic material, genetic lineage/heritage and all matters of legacy that connect with sex (such as your father in law). The sexual psychology of the 8th is the fascinating stuff we usually glaze over. The 8th contains our concept of surrender; what prompts, or induces, or leads, or pushes us into surrender. We tend to keep this secret. It would be interesting to peer into your mind in those last 10 seconds before orgasm and see what, ultimately, allows you to let go. I think that is the 8th house at its most beautiful psychic depth. In some respects the 8th is the power game we play with ourselves (by granting or denying that thing that helps us let go); and at other times it is the leverage we use against others to concentrate power, or try to; but of course there is that point of frustration — dualism. Nothing that we do to others, are we free from. The 8th is also the house that covers specifically where money is exchanged for sex, so all matters of prostitution would be covered by the 8th, even if they have other themes covered by other houses.

The 12th house in Vedic astrology is the pleasures of the bed. In Western astrology it represents the fantasy life and has a close correspondence to both solo sex and partner sex, which can be equally driven by fantasy. It often represents the disowned material which we project onto others. See all those houses on the right side of the chart? They are called the zone of projection (a term that came to me through the Canadian astrologer Ani Black). Most of the houses of relationship and sexuality are covered in the zone of projection and the 12th is like this hidden projection booth from where the light shines. Once we call back the projection and enter the 12th consciously, all the rules change; indeed, they are all suspended, and we are free within the containment of our own minds. Yet if those minds reach out to one another, the 12th may be the most significant meeting place; call it the astral plane, call it the collective unconscious; call it what you will. It is the house where we are all equal before the power of creation.

Any questions?

Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

Planet Waves began in 1998 as the home of the Eric Francis horoscope, a prominent feature in our premium service. Going far beyond what most Sun-sign astrologers even dream is possible, Eric brings in-depth interpretations to his work. He is a pioneer in the newly-discovered planets, including Chiron and the centaurs, and is able to translate their movements into accessible human terms, offering ideas for life, love and work. Discover a whole new world of literary journalism in Planet Waves. We offer free trial subscriptions, discounts for students and seniors, and gift subscriptions for veterans and those on active military duty.
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86 Responses to The Wheel: Sex and Astrology

  1. Lunesoleil says:

    I liked your thinking Eric of the 12 House that changes what it is possible to read by many astrologers

    It is also the mark of a genius or Uranus the planet of non-conventional must inform your conscience

    I have sent this article in my group on Facebook which I invited you

    Good weekend

  2. Vallin says:

    This article is SO important in the face of so much cookie-cutter pop astrology that maintains if you don’t have the Sun and six planets in your natal or composite 5th houes you can never be an artist or have a happy relationship, ignoring that your 5th house ruler is angular in the composite VIIth or directly conjunct your natal ASC. Or that your composite Ist house ruler is in your 11th, and you share two professions and you’re both in six different LGBT support groups together. Sex is one of the fundamental human experiences and a broad enough issue to affect and be affected by the full gamut of houses.

  3. biren says:

    maybe not very important… but just in case there is somebody who goes on a fishing expedition, looking for Eric’s summary of the astrological houses…
    which he mentions in this article as (a dark red, clickable link) “prior summary of the houses”…

    it is not here, where the clickable link takes you mistakenly:
    http://www.planetwavesweekly.com/parallel/charts/astrological_houses_summary.html

    but at:
    http://www.planetwaves.net/charts/parallel_worlds_charts/astrological_houses_summary.html

  4. Carrie says:

    Wow. I walk away from this thread for a few days and wow.

    Eric, in your post you wrote “I think these compatibility type products are directed primarily at women as romance reports, following the longstanding tradition of veiling that which is erotic in that which is supposedly romantic.”

    This is exactly what I was talking about before; women are raised to hide their real lustful passions behind the socially acceptable curtain of “romance.” In other words, where a man might ask “when will I get laid” a woman will hide her desire for sex behind “when will I find Mr. Right.”

    I think it would be a far better and healthier society if women were not only allowed to express their sexual wants openly and without fear of censure; it would be even better if we could teach our daughters to not only express their sexual desire openly but to feel proud and empowered to do so to such a degree that it is no longer notable.

    I got so tired of being villified by others of my gender because I was willing to admit my desires openly. It is time for women to be honest with themselves and say it out loud; “I want to fuck and fuck and fuck and have a mind-blowing orgasm.” If I were giving workshops I would have every woman get up and say that, even shout that out loud to the applause of every other woman in the room. I am pretty sure most men would prefer that kind of honesty over the games and maneuvers women do now. When I used to “pick up” guys I did it directly by telling them “here’s my number, call me.” I didn’t wait for them to ask me, I asked them. I would go to their place and only wait long enough for them to get comfortable and then we would fuck. That was it. I was there to “get laid” and I didn’t bother to hide it or play games. Even so, I still had to hide that I did that from people that I knew because of the social pressure I lived in. I felt like I lived a double life. It was not fun having to hide what I was doing or who I really was.

    You also said: “I recognize that it’s easy to sell romance novels, because they are indeed feeding that need for an imaginary encounter, or for hope — and fantasy is fabulous stuff, for what it’s worth. That could be for fun, it could be habit, it could be to feed a vision for how you want your life to be.”

    This is exactly the reason I have never allowed my daughters to read romance novels. These novels set up an unreal expectation about how romance is and how relationships are and how sexuality is. I didn’t want my daughters programmed that way or with that vision of how their life would be; I preferred that they have their OWN vision, not one prepackaged by romance novels.

    I read romance novels, even the explicit ones, from the time I was 14 and they set up in me an expectation of how I wanted my life to be. Based on these novels, I thought women are passive, men are always sexually ready and that men talk to you after sex. I also thought that men preferred passive women that never asked for sex but were led into sex by the men. Imagine my huge disappointment to find out romance or even sex was nothing like those romance books! I was so young and innocent back then. I decided when I had my daughters that I would not mess them up so I have raised them differently. Romance novels are fine…for adults but not for young girls still forming their view of what life is all about.

  5. Jere says:

    I want to comment on sex and the 9th house. Being Sagg (9th), having Pisces in my 9th,.. having some of the biggest issues in my life revolve around sexuality,.. I’ve got to say, sexuality is an all-pervasive, tangible/conception, THAT, (if it were excluded), would dissolve this life-frame for all of us, AND, throw us back evolutionarily to reset. (Yes, I believe there are other ways to go about life but, within this ensoulment, these are the standards Life has set forth. THIS IS the material interface we are presented with, in order to work out/in the matter-planes our spirits have chosen to engage.)

    Eric, (the compersion articles are the best, ever!),… When you feel the pressure, step back, realize a lot of cats have got your back. (You are well, my friend.)

    Thanks for Being You.

    Your friend, soul tripper, buddy,

    Jeremy Nicholas Loscutoff

  6. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    I am not sure what is so surprising about my comment. Most astrology websites offer a database-generated compatibility service, and provide exceedingly little astrological information for self-study. Most are selling some kind of quick fix or report, where the lurking question is: “When am I gonna get laid?”

    In private consulting, the question often translates to: “When am I going to meet Mr. Right?” I am always relieved to find out that is not the subject of a session.

    The question, “When am I going to meet Ms. Right?” seldom comes up in sessions with men. I think these compatibility type products are directed primarily at women as romance reports, following the longstanding tradition of veiling that which is erotic in that which is supposedly romantic.

    Some of the better reports (meaning, created by more accomplished astrologers, who are also good writers, who have a sense of the ethical use of the craft) offer some psychological insight. Yet it would seem that sales are driven by the same questions.

    I recognize that those questions exist. I am not a big fan of using astrology for compatibility or for predicting the development or outcome of relationships. My main objection is that the questions are usually stated passively.

    Also the questions tend to be disconnected from the rest of existence.

    I take a more exploratory or existential approach to these themes: a good example was the Compersion Series from early 2008, from which I’ll quote a brief excerpt. I recognize that it’s easy to sell romance novels, because they are indeed feeding that need for an imaginary encounter, or for hope — and fantasy is fabulous stuff, for what it’s worth. That could be for fun, it could be habit, it could be to feed a vision for how you want your life to be. It’s also possible to take a more grounded approach, using astrology or not.

    Imagine, then, all the thought and discussion we have about sex and issues that stem from it, and substitute the word “self.”

    Imagine the need, the fear, the anxiety, the desire, the deep craving, the judgments we fear and the ones to which we’ve fallen prey. Imagine everything ever said in a church sermon. Imagine the jealousy and the drama and the secrets. Imagine everyone we’ve ever fucked or wanted to. Imagine sex education, the birds and the bees, masturbation and all of those orgasms. Imagine all those sexual relationships wherein we tried to find our Self.

    Replace the concept “sex” with “self” and see how the world looks through that lens. How would it feel if somebody said to you, “Hi, I really want to have Self with you”?

    Or, translated: “I really want to be myself with you, and have you be yourself with me.”

  7. HazelF says:

    E – Thanks for the clarification on the thread. It was odd (at least I found it so) for it to be left where it was. Best wishes, Hazel.

  8. ginblossom says:

    Hey, uh.

    ” At the same time most astrology websites capitalize on how horny everyone is, and how desperate for companionship. Planet Waves may be the only astrology site not selling compatibility reports or predicting peoples’ romantic prospects.”

    If what you were saying here is that you think that this kind of “service” is an exploitation of the rest of the world’s desperation for a legitimate ( if imaginary) connection, and that’s how you really feel then…

    well.

    I have never heard anybody ever say anything like that before. I’m surprised because I’ve basically heard everything before, even when it sounds like nobody ever said it before.

    That must be why I missed it. I didn’t reduce it, I just missed it. If I hadn’t missed it it’s possible this thread would be shorter anyway.

    So.

    Huh.

    Sorry about that thing I said that one time about the other thing.

  9. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    I would encourage my readers here to take a step back and acknowledge just how much space I dependably hold open for how much open discussion — of so many issues that are off limits other places. If you had a clue the intention and clarity and plain old work that it takes…well…some people here know.

    Name the authors whose writing you have read in this space over the past 10 years: I could name twenty off the top of my head, all of whom take on challenging, relevant issues; all of whom I have personally found and brought here; and worked with to help them develop their voice, find their audience, and refine their talents.

    It is highly unusual for me to step in and attempt to have any influence at all over the flow of the discussion in the comments area. So when you see me do that, you can be sure that I have an actual concern.

  10. mystes says:

    Hey E… my awkward use of the word ‘silence’ –as in ‘silence the discussion’– may have made my comment seem unfriendly. It wasn’t. I know you write to engender discussion :: I should have said, ‘you wrote to answer the discomfort.’

    M

  11. al says:

    Eric, you are asking questions of me, and putting my replies in “moderation”. This is not transparent communication.

  12. mystes says:

    Thanks for restoring the discussion.

    Elsewhere Eric, you opined that this thread did not have a single comment that responded to the article.

    Seems to me that the discussion was a response to your declaration that you wrote it to silence the discomfort some felt about mixing sexuality and astrology.

    Clearly, your writing can’t and shouldn’t silence anything. It was a spirited discussion, and helped clarify for me where several people stand on this issue, as well as your view.

    Thanks,

    M

  13. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Okay and…what are you saying about her ideas?

    This is a discussion forum for ideas; what do you think of what she said? Why do you agree or disagree?

    I suggest that replies be made promptly. It is true that the search system does not recognize quotes as part of what it searches.

  14. al says:

    As requested, here is the specific comment from Betty Dodson:

    “Thank you Brother E,

    As always you pay me a grand tribute, that by the way, I do feel I’ve earned. Once we can agree on a correct name for the female sex organ we will all be better off. Again I repeat myself, the “vagina” is the birth canal and the clitoris in our sex organ for pleasure. It’s sad to think a young woman today would object to a beautiful image of the female sex organ. Even worse is all the uninformed girls who so hate their vulvas they have their inner lips surgically removed. We have NOT come a long way, Baby!”

    I feel obligated to point out that when I did a search on “Betty Dodson” on this site, this comment did not come up–I had to find the *specific entry* in which she made this comment. When you require the quoting you should realize that the search capabilities on this site will significantly restrict the ability of participants to comment on “meta” issues altogether.

  15. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    I have no control over the time stamp. I just edit. I believe the blogging system preserves the original time stamp.

    You have referenced Betty Dodson. Please quote her.

  16. al says:

    …Clarification on my below comment: you did not “disappear” the comment (as in, “delete”), you just revised the content entirely keeping the old time-stamp, which conveniently paved the way for Betty Dodson showing up with a comment a few entries later decrying young women who supposedly did not appreciate the sexuality of their bodies.

  17. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Re: Gin Blossom

    === I will look into it.

    Okay I just did. Here is what happened and this includes an explanation of our blog participation policy, at the end of this reply.

    When GB did not reply to several requests from me or from Chelsea to identify herself, I informed my colleagues that we would suspend her account if we did not hear from her. Over the years we have learned to set a sensitive threshold for potential stalking or trolling. We consider this basic hygiene for running a public forum. We reserve the right to find out who you are, if you publish your words on our website.

    Then she replied.

    The signals between me and Anatoly got crossed in much other communication. I told Anatoly we would not be putting her account into moderation when she replied; checking now, he did not get that message, and put her account into moderation. Note, Anatoly is extremely protective of me and will err on the side of caution.

    I was not aware that she was suspended until reading this comment just now (on Tuesday morning ET). GB and I spoke on Friday and based on that one fact, she is approved to comment.

    Anatoly has restored her account.

    The moral of the story is: when someone from Planet Waves writes to you, please respond. We are the owners of this website and we have one basic security guideline: we are entitled to know who publishes here. We don’t tell everyone (or anyone) who you are, but we most know who you are, if a question arises. Please make sure you use a real email address as your contact address, not one that you check once a year.

    In short: anyone can participate here, and I reserve the right to know who is participating. My colleagues on our core team are solidly in consensus on this issue.

    I strongly discourage the use of alias names because it tends to separate people from taking responsibility for their words. Nobody at Planet Waves writes under a pen name. “Eric Francis” is my well established pen name, with legal standing. It gets a half-exception because it’s based on my legal name and I’ve used it as a byline since 1983. I am fully identified by my legal name repeatedly on this website and in Wikipedia.

    I encourage all commenters to at least use your first name, so you identify yourself with your comments. This will make you a more cautious, considerate and accurate writer here.

    I have also added a new commenting guideline, which is that if you comment about my writing, you must reference my writing. (This is fair to apply all the way around: when you comment on a comment, focus on what you are talking about. When you comment on Len, quote Len.)

    I may moderate any comment that refers to my writing without actually quoting me, or at least posting a link to the article in question. You are entitled to your opinion about my words — if you substantiate that opinion with a direct quotation. Therefore, commenters please note: I reserve the right to moderate or remove any comment about my writing that does not actually reference my writing. You have plenty to choose from.

  18. HazelF says:

    HdW – Indeed. What happened here?

  19. Half De Witte says:

    ??

  20. al says:

    Eric, since you lay great claims to integrity throughout your work, I will call you out on this. You have also gone back and altered your time-stamped comment–at least one time that I noticed (since that comment responded to me)–in your a thread showing dissent about your approach to sex on this site.

    To effectively message integrity, you must live integrity. Trust me, we will know.

  21. mystes says:

    Eric, where did they go? Every last post written by Gin Blossom on this thread has evaporated. I know that several people have access to the commentary stream, so are you saying that someone else did it?

    Whether you or someone else took down all of her posts, they are missing. And the coherency of this thread suffers accordingly.

    Love,

    M

  22. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Note, I did not moderate any posts by GB.

  23. mystes says:

    Whoa… What happened to Gin Blossom’s posts in the March 5 “Sex and Astrology” thread? I understand moderating belligerent commentary, but hers were reasoned, calm, smart, inquisitive. The thread makes no sense without them.

    Please restore the discussion.

    Thanks

    M

  24. Musicman 1 says:

    Out late again!!

    Liminali…you are of course correct……..my apologies!

    Should have read “West Africa”…..which is where I have lived and worked for the better part of the last 5 years.. This is to the West of Morocco….Algeria…Niger and Nigeria; approx 95% Muslim….. and Christian refers to the practice of Catholicism. It is here, where it has been “relatively” peaceful for the last 40 years, that ritual female circumcision is widely practiced quietly in the desert and bush; Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia in particular!! The % falls of rapidly as you reach the coast of the Bay of Guinea; Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Togo and Benin are all much more multi-cultural.

    Let me recommend “Amandla” to you all. Hugh Massakela describes this movie as a revolution in four part harmony!!

    On a broader note…..I can only read the debate and stand here in awe! Awesome…. and some. The honesty, the individual journeys of guilt breaking through to freedom of choice, and perhaps a sense of where this can lead. My favourite expression…..

    “Sex in practice is surely a flow of life force.

    In relational terms, anything which blocks it is surely unhealthy while anything which unblocks it must be considered healthy; that is, when adults are making choices that affirm and celebrate life.

    Sex, at its best, does that. Whatever soils that is surely something to be lamented.”

    Half De Witte….applaud your hypothalamus…………!!

    PH

  25. Carrie says:

    ::::waving::::: Hi, it’s me, carecare7 here. Care-Care is the nick-name my mom gave me and 7 is my favorite number. I decided to post under my own name. I also updated my profile in case anyone wants to know a bit more about me. I have been a reader of PW since 1997 and, until now, an infrequent poster here. I just thought, in the spirit of transparency, that I would be a bit more open about myself. It is something I am doing lately; daring to openly be myself so to speak.

    Sorry for the interrupt; back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

  26. nance says:

    This conversation is very appropriate on the verge of spring here in the northern hemisphere. Spring is all about sex, just listen to new birdsong out the window in the morning, and watch the flowers unfurl…

    I’ve been exploring 1st and 2nd chakra material to heal cancer. I love GB’s imagery of wolf sex, and our genetic programming that drives sexual behavior and nurturing of children. It’s all about the kids on this planet. Our biological beingness cannot be denied. Sex is natural, it is important to integrate it, and feel unafraid to express it. Eric’s goal not lofty; sensible to me. There’s so much potential to exploring my own sexual being and how can I integrate it with my whole being. I’m close – I’ve always loved the sensual feel of my own body, and I am not afraid to admit that I am a natural born naked ape.

    I love the explorations deep into the reds and oranges pulsing and throbbing to primal drumbeats. We need this right now, all of us. Doesn’t ever matter to me how you do your sex thing, with whom, how many, what structure. I love my life and look daily now for the joy and the love and the beauty. Sex is part of being fully ALIVE.

  27. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Cheers.

    All forms of relationship are adaptive. People who can slip into the relative simplicity of one partner, one love interest, seem to have less need to adapt, but one’s relationship story involves many other facets of living, influenced by many factors: some are present in awareness, and some are not; some show up eventually.

    What is called “polyamory” is a byword that summarizes a vast diversity of relational modes, including one-on-one partnering. Notice how quickly nearly all relationships triangulate.

    Monogamy is a byword, covering an equally diverse set of potentials, which I make light fun of in this article linked below (that somebody once wanted to make a movie out of) and cover more seriously in The One and The Many (posted on the root page at http://bookofblue.com/ ):

    http://www.planetwaves.net/contents/monogamy.html

    I wonder where this theme finds its home in the astrological system — probably as my initial pass through the houses suggests, everyplace. If you are looking for the sexual/relational vortex in any chart you might find it anywhere, in any form, involving any planets. You might find a relational node and a sexual node, having more or less contact with one another. When you read charts for a while, you see that every person’s potential is actually unique, down to their minute of birth.

  28. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    i guess darwin’s march was all i heard when reading posts this morning, and i wondered about the determinism involved when applying the idea to sexuality or using only one contextual analogy. then again, i tend to cringe when i get lumped into any kind of generalized theory of anything. cc7 summed it up essentially to say that there is no one way only perspective on the notion of survival, and i would add for that matter – on creation as well, no matter how dominant or dogmatic the notion. in that sense to me, it all depends on which story you choose to believe and live by as they are all stories in their own sense. thus, “I offer no comfort to religious fundamentalists or evolutionists,” (“Evolution, Creationism, and other Myths”, Vine Deloria, 2002).

  29. carecare7 says:

    Ginblossom,

    You make a good argument but it doesn’t work because there are as many (or more) species that do NOT control sexuality that have also survived. This means that the scenario of controlling sexuality is but ONE way of survival. Any species choosing that way could change if they chose to, though it is not necessary that they do. That they don’t does say something about their perception of what constitutes survival. Seems to me humans and timberwolves are more concerned with survival of individuals and other animals are concerned with survival of the group or species. These are just different ways of doing the survival game.

    I look at it this way; for a time, slavery was thought by many to be a God-given way of doing things. Religious verses and ideas promoted slavery as right and even natural. Scientists even pointed out that every great civilization in history had some form of slavery so it must be the way to go because it was working for all of these at one time or another. Their consensus about slavery and the historical record seemed to legitimize it to the majority of people over the centuries. Yet we now see slavery as bad and detrimental to the survival of humanity because of the way it demoralized and controlled whole populations. We see it is wrong, plain and simple.

    My point is, history and consensus doesn’t make a thing good for the species, no matter how much the species may think it is. And just because a species does a thing a specific way doesn’t mean it is the only way or the best way. Only time will tell.

    I am not saying monogamy is the best way or polyamory is the best way; I am saying that there is room for many different ways. When we as a society realize that, make room for that, and support that, different people will do things differently and damage will be minimalized. A lot of the damage that happens within the different ways of dealing with sexuality, relationships, and children raising are a result of societal pressures; removing those would help a lot in alleviating some of the strains that cause damage.

    I don’t know why timberwolves control sexuality but I do know a bit about what scientists and anthropologists think about why humans do.

  30. carecare7 says:

    I think a clarification is in order. When I mentioned that I felt that monogamy is a dirty word on PW, I was referring to some of the comments I have read here about it, NOT to the actual articles I have read by Eric or others. I understood the word “culture ” (as in “the culture of PW”) to mean the people that read and post comments here; I didn’t include the writers of the articles because I don’t see them as the culture of PW. To me Eric and the other contributors that write articles at PW are just that, writers. They join the comments but I saw them more as answering questions or moderating the conversation, not as the “culture of PW.” Does that make sense? I think of the “culture of PW” as those people that are reading here and discussing things; they are the culture that has formed around the website and the articles therein.

    I hope this makes things a little clearer so everyone knows what I was getting at. I also think that as we all read and post here, articles that may say one thing get morphed into another by we posters and it is not because the article itself says what we think it does but because it has touched a nerve and we defend our perceptions, correct or erroneous as they may be.

  31. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Storm, would you pitch your theory in a few sentences? I always get a little nervous when I near the name Darwin. Everyone here knows I am a strict creationist, right? Adam and Eve, and the Grand Canyon is just over 5,000 years old.

  32. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    yea i found the same article, but that wasn’t exactly how i was thinking about it. maybe it’s darwinistic sexuality?

  33. Yeshe says:

    Congratulations Eric! You have obviously challenged some beliefs – core belief systems at that, when it comes to sexuality. When someone reads something that challenges a core belief that they have probably never examined, it makes them feel uncomfortable, inching close to those previously unexplored spaces, that threaten the so carefully designed and conceptualized world that the ego has created. And then, their very existence is threatened. If that thread can be followed, it will lead to evolution – growth- wow! Sexuality is probably as deep as one can go into core beliefs. Orgasm is known as “le petit mort” and sexual energy, once unshackled and freed up is the creative life force of the Universe. One can play with it, tease it, ride it, channel or guide it but one cannot control it. Think about it, it is so powerful that the church, among other institutions, has tried to keep it behind lock and key, for thousands of years. During this time of expanding consciousness and evolutionary leaps, that creative life force is bursting at the seams and ready to rock! It is time to honor it, respect it, and allow it to empower us, like the fuel tanks on the space shuttle, and lead us into a new paradigm.
    Thank you for all that you do, with much love and gratitude.

  34. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Storm,

    When I google sexual Darwinsim, I get this article:

    http://dailyuw.com/2005/5/11/sexual-darwinism/

  35. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    e – you got anything on sexual darwinism?

  36. HazelF says:

    GB – Quote – ‘You can’t get mad at people for trying to survive.’ – Who is? What is that in response to?

    ‘Anyway, this was not meant as a criticism of you or anyone else. Just talking about wolfpacks.’ – How is this related to the topic above ‘The Wheel – Sex & Astrology’?

  37. ginblossom says:

    No, you misunderstand me. I’m not wringing my hands over what happens to the children in polyamory situations. I was using it as an example. You are absolutely right that there are just as many fucked up monogamous parental units out there as any other kind.

    What I said was: one can try to improve upon this model of sexual organization that we’ve already got, but: without an evolutionary component it will not survive. It will revert to Grandma’s house. It’s got nowhere else to go.

    Because: there is something in the paradigm that we have now that appears to ensure our survival. The wounds are a consequence of that working paradigm, and they are also one way they are kept in place. The injuries are there for a reason, and collective primal memory thinks it’s good one, or they would not continue to manifest without variation in humanity over and over again. And: people who do wring their hands over sexual behavior that is threatening to them are doing it because they believe they are ensuring their own survival, and *your* survival too.

    You can’t get mad at people for trying to survive.

    Anyway, this was not meant as a criticism of you or anyone else. Just talking about wolfpacks.

  38. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    GB

    You are perpetuating the usual stereotypical impression of polyamory that it’s about sex and orgasm and a form of anarchy. I have never made a reference to anything even vaguely resembling a “vision of free, copious sexual liaison.” I’m not objecting to the idea, but you must be thinking of some other writer.

    I encourage things like the free, copious sharing of one’s personal truth with one’s partner(s) or prospective partner.

    The free, copious thing is also not a reflection of reality as experienced by most people who say they are polyamorous. In fact it is a highly ordered system of relationships and household organization for most people. The term is an umbrella term, representing many different personal viewpoints about how to structure relationships and households (ranging from panfidelity to intimate network). A factual conversation about polyamory would include looking at these models of relationships and listening to the people who practice them.

    One of the issues you bring up is the extremely tired theme of what happens to kids if the parents are polyamorous. It sounds like the same questions asked about gay and lesbian people 20 years ago — are these people fit to be parents? What about their depraved lifestyles?

    In actual practice, what is good for kids is a stable situation, and what is bad is instability. A “monogamous” parent who has a new boyfriend every month or every couple of years can be catastrophic for a child. A stable polyamorous family designed to focus on a child, with grounded adult presence, thought through to create a stable situation for a child, is preferable in every way, whatever one’s moral proclivities suggest. Honest environments in my view are better for children than ones where the adults must constantly lie or are in denial.

    There are many, many articles about this in the polyamorous literature; there have been countless panels at conferences. Much of the focus of polyamory is on families and the sustainability of families and the environments in which children are raised. The conversations about ethics would put a lawyer to sleep. Polyamory as a social and intellectual movement is about honoring the changing family model and the need that humans have to choose environments and family/household models that work for them — and do what is right for everyone involved. There are many poly theories and what they have in common is an emphasis on responsible, sustainable relationships, and emphasis on community.

    I suggest you investigate these discussions, if the topic interests you.

    In this conversation, I keep seeing the supposed referencing my work without actually referencing the text of any article. Someone used the word “metamessage” which is a way of saying, this is what I am saying you are saying, with nothing much to support my view. This opens the door for “rewriting” what I have said based on the distortions, perceptions and theories of the person commenting.

    The articles I publish take a conservative viewpoint, which involves raising consciousness, taking responsibility, honoring one’s truth and making authentic choices. I would call that evolutionary. You don’t need to believe me; the articles are all published and searchable.

    I would ask that when commenters make reference to my work, that my work be quoted. I have done my homework; you do yours. To the extent that Planet Waves is a place for the expression of opinions by readers, in my view as the editor those opinions need to be the informed kind rather than some other kind. The words you write are read with the full interest of readers, and when you write, you represent Planet Waves.

    For new readers to the site, I suggest you be aware of opinions that sound good but lack a factual basis. Please take skeptically what commenters say about my writing that does not at least provide a link and some quotations. Many of the summaries or characterizations of my ideas that I have read in this thread do not resemble my actual views, or what I have actually written, all of which is still published.

    For example, I have had very little to say about sex over the years, and nearly everything to say about communication in relationships. Where I have advocated the free expression of sex, it’s almost always about masturbation and expanding our ideas of sexual expression through sharing masturbation, including in the context of monogamous relationships and with a strong focus on communication.

    Most of my comments about monogamy involve placing no special value judgment on the choice to have one partner, if that works for you, but rather what we choose to say or not say to that partner about what we really feel and do. In other words, I have had exceedingly little to say about monogamy, and have focused on raising awareness about whether any relationship we might have is authentic and sincere — particularly one’s relationship to oneself.

  39. ginblossom says:

    So I want to tell you about wolfpacks.

    Yes. Timberwolves. The ones that dart through the night and howl and eat bunny rabbits.

    In wolfworld, something I appear to know something about; you know that the alpha male and female are the leader wolves. They lead the pack, right.

    You know what their real primary function is?

    To regulate sexual behavior.

    I am serious.

    This is how it goes down in the wolfpack. The rules are that the male and female alpha can have sex anytime they want to, day or night, any season. Their tribe gathers to watch. The pack are not allowed to have any sex of their own, they must wait patiently for the alphas to finish and when they are done wait again to be allowed or forbidden to copulate with their partners. If they get frisky and try to copulate without permission or during the alpha mating; they’re brought down at the command of the alphas or by the sentry wolves who are in charge of keeping order during this proceeding.

    Whether a wolf is allowed to have sex or not depends entirely on the whim of the alpha and this varies from day to day. So one day a wolf may be allowed to have sex with his partner; another day he may not. One day he might be interrupted in the middle of his pleasure by the alpha — just for the hell of it really as far as he can tell, and he’ll have to stop.

    In wolfworld sex is power and power is sex. It’s all about that. These animals are in a deeply tense sexual environment and this power is everything there is to desire, envy, fight and die for. Sound familiar?

    I believe that this behavior must have an evolutionary component, at least in the mind of a timberwolf. I don’t entirely understand it, but I can imagine it has something to do with keeping order, managing offspring…maybe, the truth is I don’t really know. But it must have an evolutionary component or, quite obviously, it would not be there.

    So when I see someone trying to manage my or anyone else’s sexual experience, I flash right back to the wolfpack. I’m real Scorpio anyway, with an outrageous eighth house. All I can think instinctively is that any attempt to manage sex is an alpha maneuver. I don’t think of it in terms of sexual wounding. I think in fact that sexual wounding occurs *because of a larger power and survival game going on*.

    It’s perfectly fine to resent that. But the truth is that the resentment of another’s interest in controlling “you” sexually is going to target right back into that other’s belief that he is somehow, somewhere, ensuring his own survival. He might even believe he is ensuring your survival. There is no way to win that argument.

    So in human society, we have our sexual repressions, our neuroses, our forbidden objects. These objects, these experiences, did not become taboo accidentally. They became taboo because forbidding them served an evolutionary purpose. Deep in our consciousness our own repression represents not wounding: but survival. They are the same, it goes right to the bone. The wounding is the initiation: the survival is the reason we keep it. And in copying our own understanding of what survival is in the subconscious and projecting it on the world is the tiny mad idea that imposing these rules of survival upon others represents our solemn responsibility for the survival of the human race.

    Argue with that, go ahead, but you’re up against some formidable resistance; all of human society past and present not to mention wolfpacks everywhere.

    So ok. I am making two points. Here is the first one:

    Sexual behavioral management and self-management has an evolutionary purpose, otherwise it would not be here. it is here for a reason; a very good reason that no rightminded species would abandon just because of a twenty year old birth control pill.

    We’ve been tricked with this kind of bullshit before.

    I am not saying I like it. I am not saying that it is a marvelous thing. I am saying it is here and this is the reason. Most women have in the back of their subconscious that they are going to have to make sure their species survives even if no one in the whole fucking world is on their side. Even if no one thinks they are cool or sexy; someone has to buy the Frosted Flakes. That is a genetic directive: the source of the wounding is a primal memory of what works to survive, implanted there just in case shit goes down.

    I have this. I don’t know any adult woman who does not. I’m not afraid of it, in fact I like it there, I do not want it removed, or fucked with. Complain all you want about it and then consider the compromises that were made by women in your personal ancestry to get all you boys into your thirties and in any shape at all to make more of you.

    Right. Second point:

    I’ve read a lot of what you have to say about alternative sexual lifestyles, sexual freedom, exploring your psyche through sex and so forth. It sounds really good but here is the problem; and I’m not making you responsible for the problem but I just want to point it out: in order for this vision of free, copious sexual liaision and exploration to work:

    It must have an evolutionary component.

    If it does not, it will not survive.

    When I think about polyamory setups I am not considering the orgasmic opportunities for the adult participants or their “personal growth” or their “healing”. I am thinking about the kids. How the fuck are they doing, anyway? What is really going on there, and * is it an improvement over the oldfashioned fucked up monogamous trap we had before?* Not for the adults. For the kids. Because if it is just so so and everyone is managing and Johnny got a c plus in life science and not a drug addict yet, this is not a successful experiment. nothing in my opinion has been accomplished.

    Nothing that is interesting to me anyway.

    Because I am pretty sure I know the rest of the story. Johnny’s mom will eventually flip out or Polyamory Phil will flip out or somebody will flip out just the same way people flip out in regular families, and all the flipping out will preclude anybody giving shit about Johnny’s grades in life science or what happens to Johnny when Polyamory Phil needs to spend some time in rehab and Johnny’s mom has to go to night school to learn how to be a medical coder to pay for her Prozac, Valium, and botox.

    So where does Johnny go from here?

    Grandma’s house.

    If he’s *lucky*.

  40. carecare7 says:

    What Patti said was excellently written. I could not have said it better myself. I am also one of the “nerds” that doesn’t feel like I belong on PW a lot of the time. While some here seem to have a lot of time to “work on themselves” or do all that cool discovery stuff, I am still homeschooling four kids (two 17 year olds, a 15 year old, and an 8 year old), cooking, doing five online college classes (to live on the student loans because working wouldn’t get me anywhere and would make me have to live on someone else’s time when I prefer being accessible to my kids), doing laundry, keeping everyone’s schedules and classes straight, doing all the household inventory, budgeting, helping other people, writing, being a joy-giver and on and on. I do “work on myself” when I can but my focus is on others for the most part. And though I love sex, I don’t have a whole lot of time for it right now. I do have a lot of sexual experiences and insights to bring to the table.

    I am also 50 and monogamous and I have felt for some time that monogamy is a dirty word on PW. I defend it regularly in order to hopefully help facilitate understanding. I just don’t really want to have sex or relate that deeply with anyone else. Like Patti, I do not think I am deprived if I don’t go have lots of sex with lots of people lots of the time. Some things, like really good chocolate, are best eaten in moderation or even for special occasions so as to retain the intensity of the experience.

    Patti said, “I also wonder about an unspoken sense of entitlement here and whether there is some value in not being able to fuck whomever you want or have whatever sexual experience you fancy, whenever you fancy it? ” I am so glad she wrote that. This seems to me to be a trend; adults these days just don’t want to delay gratification anymore. Delaying gratification is a hallmark of adulthood, though kids are very much able to do it as well. As a society, we have to get past that stage of thinking we are entitled to “have it all” because reality is, we can’t have it all. :::::POP!!:::: There goes that balloon again; I seem to have a knack for popping ideology balloons.

    To the PW folks that think monogamy is a bad thing; call me content but please don’t call me deprived or subjugated or “living a repressed lie” or whatever the latest thing against monogamy is. :::laughing::: I am happy with my husband and he with me. Some people like chocolate and some vanilla and neither are wrong for their preference.

    One thing I have noticed here at PW is that there aren’t a lot of people like me that are interested in the same kinds of things as PW includes but who are not self-focused as much as most New Age people seem to be. I am all for making myself a better, more evolved human being but I really cannot devote as much to that when I have four developing humans that need me more right now. Yet I think my other-focused point of view is necessary because in the rush to improve ourselves, we can often forget those that still need us (children) and who may be damaged if we keep turning to ourselves first. Not to mention that anything out of balance can cause problems (from the Hopi belief of balance). So I come here, post and try to figure out what people here are saying (and sometimes it is difficult because of the obscure language they seem to favor). I never have a problem understanding Eric so that is the main reason I come here; I like what he writes. I just cannot come here every day; sometimes it is only a couple of times a week.

    Nerds who like sex, unite! ::::giggling:::

  41. liminali liminali says:

    I am curious where MusicMan got his figures for the statement “95% of Africa is Muslim”?

    That number seems too high to be accurate, various sources list figures of 30% to 50% totals for Muslims in Africa. The percentages vary vastly from country to country, some countries have very high percentages while others have very low percentages. Africa is a continent with many different countries.

    Saying “95% of Africa is Muslim” is a sweeping generalization that doesn’t ring true. However, your figures being inaccurate does not undermine your basic statement. I have found that accuracy improves clarity. It’s good to see men who are willing to discuss female circumcision. Have you read Alice Walker’s “Possessing the Secret of Joy”? It’s a tough read/must read; but it will make you think.

  42. Half De Witte says:

    Some hairy moments amid some great analysis on this thread.

    I think we are all aware of ‘reification’ – whereby we substitute the theories we espouse for the realities they are intended to describe. We ALL do this – it is human to do so (because we have finite and bounded subjectivity i.e. we are not God).

    So reality is always much greater and more complex than the words we use to describe it. I chose ‘words’ rather than ‘language’ because the latter is broader and more amenable to plurality in principle. Our words are like our concepts/ideas and we reify when using them.

    ‘Sex’ is a reification in natural discourse – but when we use the word in analytical terms of reference the reification is exacerbated further. Here is the catch-22: Everyone is reifying but most are not noticing – it’s like ‘awareness’ which has become a buzz word in Esoteric spirituality and New Age circles – even if a person is generally aware this will not be uniform within experience and its behavioural concomitants. So….

    We analyse ‘sex’ because there is an awareness that, historically, it has been emasculated within human experience and that this has had some catastrophic repressive consequences for culture in many areas – in terms of suppressing and otherwise distorting people’s life force (Freud was at least *seminal* for pointing that out).

    However, ‘sex’ is not an object; it is a label. It is a word that we use as a unifying point of cultural and experiential reference. What we see on this thread is that sophistication breeds nuance. However, our collective reifications have created something through time and that is a kind of ‘sex monolith’ that has culturally normative expression that is reductionist and impoverishing – and this needs addressing.

    It seems to me that we must talk about ‘sex’ but instantly co-opt all the conditioning distortion we’ve collectively inherited as a kind of karma when we do. This is precisely why, although culture has separated sex off as a category (divorced it from everything else) and used it as both a guilt-tripper and selling tool in polarised modalities, WE must reconnect it to its moorings.

    Eric many times speaks of honesty and clarity in commitments and communication – the expressions of ‘I want,’ ‘I need,’ ‘I would like’ etc.

    Sex cannot be separated in real terms from communication – it is intercourse after all (and presumably one communicates or at least connects with oneself when masturbating). So, by looking at sex – focusing upon it, we become aware but we also reify; maybe we distort by looking too closely; we risk losing or missing something by looking at it in restrictive ways and we risk losing something if we refuse to look at it candidly as a real phenomenon both in general terms and in those of our own embodied and direct experience.

    Sex is desire and a basis of a means of production and sex is competitive in its biological roots/drives.

    Sex is political and men and women fight zealously over it; often destroying their relationships because of fundamental tensions around it. Meanwhile religion weighs in and sanitises it. Advertising steps in and glamourises it. Pornography steps in and cleaves it by both giving it a useful focus and stripping it down to physical factors and power-plays – in the raw.

    Sex in practice is surely a flow of life force.

    In relational terms, anything which blocks it is surely unhealthy while anything which unblocks it must be considered healthy; that is, when adults are making choices that affirm and celebrate life.

    Sex, at its best, does that. Whatever soils that is surely something to be lamented.

  43. Sarah Taylor sarah taylor says:

    patti.t16 – you articulated what I would have been unable to express as eloquently. You came closer to my thoughts on the subject than anyone else here. Thank you.

  44. patti.t16 patti.t16 says:

    Gosh guys… I always approach submitting a comment to these pages with some trepidation and the thought of adding to these threads makes me a little weak at the knees, but the stuff below has crystallized some things for me especially about why I sometimes feel like an outsider on PW or as if anything I might say would have little value on a site which I genuinely value (like Eric I write first and foremost for myself not for approval, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to draw the words out).

    First of all there was the idea, hinted at early on in the responses, that only the hip and cool to get what Eric is saying. Are we still in high school? Is this the table in the cafeteria where the cool kids sit and those nerds who don’t understand aren’t allowed to sit?

    I was one of those nerds – probably still am – and I Iove sex. So where do I fit in?

    I was grateful for Ginblossom’s thoughts:

    **I don’t agree with this universe you’ve crafted in which sexuality is shutdown, bound, compromised, reviled, condemned, gee how many nasty past tense verbs are there in this language? I don’t agree with you. This is a construct, it’s your whole story, but it is not mine. It is a story about a sex war. I am not in a sex war; for the most part I choose sex peace.**

    Having the space to have this dialogue is priceless. My personal opinion was that this was a really excellent and insightful article. And I do understand that there are folks for whom sex is taboo and/or a thing apart from their lives. But at the same time there does sometimes seem to be a metamessage on PW that if only we could all just loosen up and fuck whoever we want – preferably as an act of defiance against a repressive childhood – that we would all be having great sex, and peace, enlightenment and sustainability would come to the world. I just don’t see how that squares with the fact that sex is part of life and, like life, sometimes sex is great and sometimes it’s not so great – even between people who are hugely sexually compatible. Our sexual experiences, the stories we tell ourselves about them, when and where they fit into our daily lives are surely meant to be as varied as all our other experiences. It’s not the number of people you are ‘allowed’ to sleep with – it’s what you take from the experience of sex and sexuality, your awareness of its many layers of meaning, that seems most important to me.

    I also wonder about an unspoken sense of entitlement here and whether there is some value in not being able to fuck whomever you want or have whatever sexual experience you fancy, whenever you fancy it?

    I always appreciate what is said here about other ways of experiencing/perceiving sex and desire but sometimes it doesn’t resonate with me or my personal needs. I’ve had an active and experimental sex life (which is not to say that I’ve got it all worked out). I love (some, not all forms of) erotica. I love the sight, sound, smell, touch and taste of sex. I enjoy masturbating. But I still actively choose monogamy because I feel there is a psychological journey that an only be properly made one on one. I feel free to have sex with whomever I want to have sex with, but in all honesty I don’t want to have sex with just anyone or everyone. And certainly not just for the hell of it. Not anymore than I would like to eat a meal, or spend a day with or form any kind of partnership with anyone just for the hell of it .

    I don’t particularly feel the need to defend Eric on this one. He’s more than capable. There is no question that he should feel free to express what is important to him, and be acknowledged for who and what he is, as should we all. But for anyone to dismiss those who don’t get it – or want it – as uptight prudes seems a bit childish to me and speaks volumes about the ones throwing those punches.

    And yes people can, and probably do, go elsewhere, but if they don’t get it is it really their ‘problem’? Isn’t that the kind of ‘single party state’ this site stands against. Or is sexual fascism OK?

    As for the mature woman thing – I am one. And from my perspective I can’t help thinking that in the rush to free ourselves from supposed sexual repression we may be missing something about the journey. My attitude to sex at 50 is different than it was a 20. Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? We learn to understand, connect, relax, open up, let go, experiment, refine, love yourself, love others, say yes, say no, discriminate, self pleasure, appreciate both abundance and the inevitable ‘dry spells’ all in our own time. Also we are all on different rung of the ladder, or if you like at different points on our journeys. For some, if they don’t know what they want, it might not be a pathology, or something that needs fixing. It might just be that they haven’t figured it out yet. Or aren’t ready to take the next step just yet.

    Eric you are a fabulous writer and I am grateful for you and constantly in awe of how prolific AND coherent you are. But I suspect that sex like spirituality is such a deeply personal and visceral experience that words sometimes fail or don’t come out right, or aren’t received well. (And whatever you are writing about – no matter how uncontroversial – there will always be someone who doesn’t ‘get it’). But I suspect that writing about sex will always cause a torrent of controversy precisely because it is so personal and individual. Which would just reinforce the point that we are all different and what works for one – in or out of bed – might not work for others.

  45. carecare7 says:

    Eric and others here,

    Let me get some clarification here. Am I correct in thinking that when you say we should talk about sex, you not only mean our experiences of it (which will at times be seen as titillating) but also how our experiences shaped our feelings and attitudes about sexuality in general and how our families and the society in which we live contribute to our overall thoughts and beliefs about it? ::: big run-on sentence there…sorry:::::

    Or do we want to have a debate about whether or not sexuality is an issue at all?

    Or do we want to talk about sexuality in the conmtext of astrology only?

    Or do we want to do all of the above and more? Just checking.

  46. Morgana Silverseale says:

    carecare, thanks for pointing out the problem with my hajj comment. Here’s the source, which I grant might not be reliable. Or else likely a comprehension problem on my part [red-cheeked embarrassment].

    http://sakina.wikidot.com/the-black-stone

  47. pwoodard says:

    Eric et al,

    Forgive me if I am being dense, but I’m still trying to figure out what the problem is. Girlfriend doesn’t want so much sex on a site that she visits, or doesn’t want to see naked women? Fine, she can go to another site. If she wants to read Eric’s words, she has to understand that they come with Eric’s pictures and adjust. And I think we all need to relax and perhaps not take other people’s opinions so personally. Okay, did Eric say that YOU personally were repressed? Does he know you? Has he read your chart? Is he reacting to something you said about him? If not, why do you care? If it hits a nerve, perhaps that’s because it is true. And if it is true, what does that really say about you as a person? Does it mean that you torture kittens? Or did you lose some cool points in your own eyes? Whatever it is, don’t worry about it. We all have issues, and sometimes our issues rub up against someone else’s issues. It gets our attention because it’s generally not very pleasant. but instead of going at said person with a stick (physically, verbally, or in our own imagination), I think it’s more productive to ask ourselves why that particular statement bothered us so much. I think we’ll find that it bothers us because we are afraid that it is true and that we don’t like it either. And on that note, I will stop lecturing and focus on the article.

    Eric, the article is brilliant. I may think so only because I see sex everywhere too. And when I say everywhere, I mean that I see it as permeating the entire life experience. And I think the chart and it’s accompanying article explains that well. Perhaps I think the article is brilliant because I am not currently having the sex I want with the person I want, not in any way, shape, form or fashion. I can and do have sex solo (frequently) but that is not nearly as satisfying. It takes the edge off and keeps the wolf from the door so to speak, but it is not a good substitute. I too have been giving myself orgasms since I was seven, and the methods have gotten more sophisticated over the ensuing 46 years, but I prefer a man to share the experience with. The evidence of the article’s brilliance lies not with those of us who agree and applaud, but rather in those of us whose issues have been dislodged from where ever we’ve been hiding them by the reading of it.

    Keep writing about sex, Eric. Life as we know it would not exist without it. Life as we experience and enjoy it, would not be worth living without the sexual force, the creative force. And take people’s opinions on it lightly. Remember, there are very few of us who are even here under our real names.

  48. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Amanda, I put a number of comments into moderation. They are not germane to the content of the article, and flaming is not part of our culture. For readers unfamiliar with this guideline, we have an open discussion invitation here.

    Per posted guidelines, at any time I can request that participants in this blog tell me who they are; or that we speak personally. As editor I reserve the right to request fact checking on any post.

    Whenever I remind people of this guideline, participation drops — I hope that doesn’t happen again. But we need civilized participation, on the point of the discussion.

    I know Mars stationing direct is a little itchy and scratchy…but let’s be cool.

  49. Amanda Painter apainter26 says:

    weird — did i really just leave & click back to find a bunch comments removed? anyway, i was just coming back to say: i heartily endorse any invitation to pick up the phone and continue the conversation with live voices, especially with eric. he’s really not so scary (and can actually be a lot of fun to talk to). so much nuance really does get lost in typing.

    speaking of which, i have a couple calls to make & some in-person contact to initiate. have fun, everyone…

    :) amanda

  50. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    i’ma little confused. which is good. means i’m learning. but lemme try and explain what’s messin’ with my senses here – it’s the seeming dichotomy (several of them as Miss M noted, but i’ll stick with one) between the “sex is everywhere (absofuckinlutely) and the details don’t matter (in that sex is not “the” problem for the lack of integrated sexuality)” and the need/curiosity to dish about sex which is coming across to me as a kind of “blog your bang baby” by asking for stories (and probably not as trite as it sounds, i’m all for stories, but not just for stories sake – there are other sites for that – it’s the pleasure vs. referent, again noted by Miss M). it just seems to me to hit high and wide, and not so much low and deep, which for me is where the juice hits the glass (so to speak). could be the medium, so much gets lost in textlation. and there’s a huge difference between discussion and deep dialogue. yet with all this talk, what are we really communicating?

  51. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Anyone can say they learned something themselves at 8 years old but the prevailing attitude of the time, or what landed in that generation of a family, will often determine whether a child is to be punished or left alone or rewarded for her curiosity; and this will shape her life. It really can be as simple as: Mom’s friend happened to have been given a copy of Sex for One by her mom when she was a kid growing up in the mid-70s.

    Therefore what we think of the human condition is something that we create for ourselves and for one another; it is the product of what people who have chosen to add something positive to our collective experience have done: write a book or an article, for example. Most of our attitudes toward masturbation in particular are not organic, as they have evolved into the current time; most are programmed by fear, and that fear is the fear of others being free.

    The programming has a documented history; academically documented. You can figure out how it got into high philosophy and low brow religion. Some places children are still punished harshly today, lectured in Bible camp, made to feel less than and/or told they are going to hell. We “may not have to worry about it because it’s not true” but let’s at least acknowledge that this is one of those pressure points where there is an easy line of fracture pretty deep into the earthly version of the psyche. That does not feel good to me. I would shift that in my world, in my perception, and choose something else — because it feels better.

    This says not so much that we need to “fix the world” but rather that there is a value in holding open a space where we feel good about a conversation that exists in the spirit of allowing, in the spirit of granting ourselves the freedom to exist. The actual “reason” I write what I write is because it’s fun. Even if I’m having a lousy week, when I end up in the experience of the writing, it’s fun. Even after a thousand horoscope columns, if I am struggling to write the horoscope, I let go into the pleasure of doing it well.

    I must admit a bias toward being utilitarian that I am learning to let go of as I go deeper into my commitment to art. At a certain point even that drive to be useful becomes a tyrant, in much the same way that worrying about every reader and whether they will be ‘offended’ will (inevitably) be a tyrant.

    Writing about sex is a form of sex. I will tell you that most of the readers I hear from love the way we present things here at Planet Waves. The clients who reach me are, one after the next, are grateful for the opportunities they have had to explore their consciousness unfettered on our pages, free of charge, sometimes following along for years before our first (or only) telephone conversation. The few that get cranky (one recently said she AND her friends were cranky!) have any of a few things going on. As one bright commenter said below, they likely experience what they read as sex and get turned on “by it” (presumably missing the fact that they are turned on by existence, since by the time my words reach the screen or the page they have been surrendered to existence and are part of existence).

    I understand that people sometimes want the astrology without the bother of the things with a sexual topic or political topic (political being less controversial, now that the Internet has made politics cooler than it’s been in a long time). But that is wanting springtime without flowers.

  52. mystes says:

    Beautiful dreamers… There’s a lot going on here, enough to feed a couple of days of response. I am amused and heartened by GB’s resistance to what (I think) she perceives as a bridge too far in the Planetwaves mission. But I am also convinced that people are systematically alienated from what they really want, and the shibboleth for that Lack is (generally) sex.

    More specifically, we are systematically alienated from *knowing* what we want. But Ignorance has to go somewhere, has to have an object. In our little corner of the universe, we have chosen (or we are taught) to entrain our ignorance upon where we come from. Sex is very tied in to the question of perceiving, marking, measuring time, and ourselves as temporal productions, so Imma hazard a guess that if we could screw up the courage to peer into the Lack itself, we would know where we come from *right now.* And ->poof<- Ma Kali would be filing for unemployment.

    (I know, I know that doesn't reconcile a damn thing… but I'm not feeling very Hegelian tonight. But where I am going doesn't fit neatly into the body/antibody dialectic either.)

    ***
    And uh, Belle: Oink. It was a joke, but really, who in their right mind would turn down 200K for simply doing what they love?

  53. carecare7 says:

    Ginblossom,

    Of course you can request. I do wonder though; would a person go to a fig tree and request oranges? Anyone that has been reading PW for a length of time knows Eric’s issues that he focuses on and it is usually supposed that readers come here because they like what he (and those that contribute) writes. Of course some may come because they hate what he writes but there would be less of these based on the comments posted day after day. Why then would you wish to request something different? It is just a question asked out of genuine curiosity.

    I come here because I like what I read here, sexuality and all. In the very beginning, I wrote Eric about something he wrote and I disagreed with it strongly. I told him he should be more careful what he tells people. I remember he wrote me back and said something to the effect that (paraphrased) :::writers cannot worry about every person they may offend or lead astray because to do that would completely stifle the writing process. Much like artists should not worry about offending people when they paint or draw. No one is making anyone read this by force. People don’t write for others, they write because they feel compelled to write::: At least that is the general meaning I got off of what he replied. I have to agree. When I feel the desire to write, if I worry about what people think I cannot write at all.

    I do beg to differ about Eric’s demographic. Though I am also a “mature [woman] who [has] had children, had sexual adventures, have gazed into [my] own vulva and realize there is something even more and the act, the drama, the exchange is obviously everywhere, but it is not *everything,* ” I do not yearn to evolve beyond the body because that sounds too much like the dichotomous religious denigration of the body in order to elevate the so called spirit or soul. For me they are equals and as such, sacred and I don’t agree that every mature woman that reads this blog feels the same as you do; I certainly don’t. You are not necessarily an accurate representation of the demographic here. At least not based on what Eric has said in the past about the women he hears from on PW. Just saying.

  54. ginblossom says:

    Honey, are you not like them? Not like them? Not what?

    I love you you know. And this is what I want: I want to be truly helpful. You can check that, go on, I’ll wait.

    So now. I don’t agree with this universe you’ve crafted in which sexuality is shutdown, bound, compromised, reviled, condemned, gee how many nasty past tense verbs are there in this language? I don’t agree with you. This is a construct, it’s your whole story, but it is not mine. It is a story about a sex war. I am not in a sex war; for the most part I choose sex peace.

    I think sex is everywhere. I would call it a neutral thing if there were not so much of it. I trip on it on the way to the bathroom. It’s in my fingers, in my hair, in the mirror, on the sink, in the fridge, on the tv nonstop no matter what they’re talking about from the recent dead in Afghanistan to Colgate toothpaste to Lives of the Rich and Famous — it is *not* — to *me* — segregated from anything ever. It’s like starlings, fire ants, rabbits. My own attempts to compartmentalize have nothing to do with being wounded or subjugated: it’s mostly about getting some work done. Compartmentalization is the wonder of Virgoan sensibility. It is the only way anyone could possibly get to the bank fer chrissakes.

    Or try to read their horoscope.

    For example.

    I do not see sexuality as fragmented from any part of my existence. My present is the result of my past sexual life. My profession, no matter what I call it, is basically the maintenance and result of my past sexual choices. In terms of real physical activity, sex is basically all we as human beings ever do.

    What I believe I am expressing is an echo of your demographic: mature women who have had children, had their sexual adventures, have gazed into their own vulvas and realize there is something even more and the act, the drama, the exchange is obviously everywhere, but it is not *everything*. In fact, we ( I) yearn to evolve *beyond the body*, beyond the story and definitely beyond our girlhood woundings. I don’t need to be saved from those, I’ve transcended them and it took a very long fucking time, thanks for asking.

    I figured out how to have an orgasm when I was seven years old, without the help of any Chirotic Guru; I gave birth in a foreign language in a foreign country under gunfire. This did not feel theoretical at all, but if we are being honest, it was. When I finally fell in love I disappeared completely. It’s my story, I’m sticking to it. I don’t need rescuing: what else ya got?

    Now you can buy my story or not, there is no authority here. My only point is that there is a viewpoint besides your own; there are wounds and concerns that have nothing to do with you just as most of what you write and project here has nothing to do with me. When people tell you what they want, it’s not an attack. It is a request. And an engagement. Assimilate that or not: but let your own motivation be: truly helpful.

    Okay, end transmission.

  55. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Gin Blossom,

    At the risk of defending myself — it’s a slippery slope, when one pleads the 135th — you’re the one who suggested I divide and conquer sexuality and put it in a ghetto somewhere. To make it more acceptable to someone. And not for nothin’. Fine way to suggest: be like them. http://romance.planetwaves.net/

    I think you live in a theoretical world. Sexuality is integrated into society just like astrology is. In theory; behind the scenes at best. It is still in a “special place of questionable credibility.” But not in my mind, or my body, or my studio, or my astrology, or anyplace I hold the distinguished rank of editor.

    We are not talking about the “actual integration” as our pheromones and DNA take care of that for us. We are talking about the integration of our minds from the fragmentation that has been foisted on us, such as various mind/body god/human splits that are always used to sell what was taken from us back to us in the form of Pepsi. These may be an illusion but I’m careful about using that word, because the experiences of people are real inasmuch as we experience them as real.

    I have not noticed what your line of work is; how exactly you choose to give of yourself. We could hear from the practitioners here about what it’s like to move with people as they work through the injuries and the barbed wire and self-hatred inducing beliefs. It’s possible to do this “defenselessly” by allowing, and if anyone is going to shine the light from one mind into the other it is not you with a concept, it’s your Inner Teacher who comes through as you allow and hold space.

    How safe are you really?

    Are you ready to tell us something genuinely personal about your sexuality and then tell us how you feel about having said it? What did you fantasize about the last time you got yourself off? Why was it meaningful to you?

    Or simply, what do you want?

    I am listening.

  56. ginblossom says:

    :) Mysti, the eighth house Chiron I referred to belongs to Hugh Hefner, the editor of another magazine that says that its nekkid pictures have a Higher Purpose. I don’t believe I was shouted *at*– it was more a barbaric yawp of a statement, but let’s examine it now that we have the time, shall we?

    Okay.

    NO. THE PURPOSE OF PLANET WAVES IS TO INTEGRATE SEXUALITY INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL THOUGHT, NOT SET IT LOCKED AWAY, OR SEGREGATED, JUST LIKE THE CHURCH DOES.

    Sexuality is already integrated into the mainstream of intellectual and spiritual thought — *especially* intellectual and spiritual thought. Evidence of this is in almost every philosophical or spiritual piece of literature that I can personally name. In fact we just saw a picture nine inches of copy ago that *illustrates this integration* in the human psyche; this is a mandala of the self as well as a mandala of the world. Yes?

    Sexuality has no need for integration. It is naturally integrated, so a blog on the internet that offers this service to humanity is really unnecessary. Please don’t kill any goats on my account.

    if sex is integrated, you don’t need to go to foreign cities to proselytize about it. If sex is integrated, no one needs to come onto a blog and say hear hear, we need more of this sex stuff! Fantastic stuff! We need more of this sexual content! If sex is integrated, no one needs to challenge anyone about their thinking on the matter. If sex is integrated, no shouting is necessary. And the only place it can be integrated: is in *you*. Not in *me*. If it is integrated in you, guess what, the problem goes entirely away.

    If I have a sexual injury: this is my sexuality. If my sexuality is repressed: this is my sexuality. If I feel cheated, ashamed, wounded around sexual content: this is my sexuality. It’s all fine; it does not need any help; sex is not the source of suffering any more than any other material experience. People who think this is so, however — are *not sexually integrated*. This must be true, it can’t be otherwise.

    I am confident that if I viewed content that was clearly labeled or identified by a content divider or a bit of white space or a chapter heading, I would not explode into flames of sexual disempowerment. I would be just fine. If I had a blog and someone asked me to do that in order to be of better service to *them*, I would do it. I am not a blog. I am not even my birthchart. I’m not even important. If I owned such content, it would not *stand* for anything; we don’t need to prove to God that we are whole.

    It’s okay to be who you are, wounds and all. I’m a fan of that. But trying to float all this is as some kind of service to humanity, some *urgent*, *revolutionary* endeavor — something the poor oppressed commonfolk who have never seen their vulvas are *too pedestrian and fragmented to understand* — is an awfully nasty indictment of your audience.

    It’s projection. A very clear example.

    Or I can put this another way: Lesson 135.

    Come on home, Norma Jean.

  57. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    ‘Straight’ people of today are in approximately the same place that lesbian and gay people were in 1970; perhaps 1960. It depends on how you measure. What we have yet to learn is that out of the closet is the safest place, and that the more of us there are speaking clearly of natural feelings and experiences, the more freedom and safety for ourselves and for others we establish in the world.

    Onece established, this will build momentum fast — particularly as the cosmos shifts through the gears on the way to 2012. It’s a little like one of those 14-gear tractor-trailers. In May and June we shift through gears three through nine.

    Sim, what happened to you last year could only have happened if you were in a veiled state, doing something secret. And I am sure you remember my reaction: on my goddess, she’s set herself free. Those were some of the most beautiful, blunt, authentic and somehow elegant photos I have seen in years and they deserve to be in an exhibition with the reputation of Arles or the Seattle Erotic Photo Festival thing.

    It is true that there is only so much one might want to flaunt one’s experience, but there is plenty of territory between being a closet case and letting it all hang loose with no boundaries.

    There is another seeming reality gap, between total boundless promiscuity and parched sucked-in prudery. There is this mirage that if you’re not one, you’re the other. The moment you admit a desire or say something honest, there’s sometimes that pre-installed thoughtform that says you are a total raunchy slut whore whatever and your mama’s gonna find out and all of that. At first, this is the thing to flirt with, to dance with, to make friends with.

    We don’t really have much in the way of framework for dancing in those spaces, because we’ve been so conditioned into keeping everything mum, and acting as if even healthy, friendly erotic desire is a kind of a crime: and the crime of the mind is answered with guilt. There are old, worn out tricks for doing this to people, and there are equally old, ready-to-use methods of response, which we do alone and together.

    An article about the sexual/relational meanings of the astrological houses is about as safe as it gets for posting to a public audience. It’s pure intellectual exercise, though granted, there is the admission that certain people, things and experiences exist.

    =

    I was finally able to get out to the Grandmother Land for the first time since October today. It was warm and sunny in this part of New York and after finally sleeping for hours, I drove down there, and sat on the old wood steps of my friend’s house soaking in that early Pisces sunshine, nobody was home except the dogs. My friend Christopher McGregor (Cap Sun, Cap Moon, Cap the rest of it, he’s psychic like an old palm reader) caught my vibe and came driving by on the way from someplace to someplace else.

  58. sim1972 says:

    Loved this post!!!
    E, of course, please continue your great contribution to a wholer, mellower world. i know you make my world more kind, accepting and mellow, exactly because you integrate sexuality as a natural piece of life, so i feel relaxed, at home reading you.

    So messed up is everything. I wanted to pin this post to my facebook wall but then tough, wait, do i really want to do this? How many of you talkbackers did that? and should you, should i?

    like, there is this theme of secrecy around one’s sexuality, e you mentioned it lately. i don’t know. i want to contribute to a more accepting and softer attitude about sex but at what personal cost? or should i just have one persona here and another at f where my family and friends are? that’s not exactly possible either, as i was bruttaly “outed” last year, as you know! hahaha talk about “how many enemies does sex make”…

    just some questions i’m asking myself, wondering if it sounds familiar…

  59. carecare7 says:

    Morgana,

    ::::in a non-confrontational voice:::: I am not sure where you got your information but sex during the hajj is not ok. Per three authors that I am reading, (Rippin, Esposito, and Mernissi), my instructor for the class, my Lebanese Shia friend and my Palestinian Sunni friend, men and women are separate during the hajj and no sex is allowed while doing the various activities at the hajj. Also, these same sources explain that only the Shia sect believes in and practices temporary marriage; this practice is one of many bones of contention between the Sunni and Shia factions. It isn’t the greatest difference between them but one contributing factor. Just thought I should set the record straight because in this country, Islam is a very misunderstood and often maligned religion; I try to give correct information on it (if I know it from reputable sources) as often as I can. I am not Muslim myself but have some friends that are (online buddies and IRL buddies) and I don’t like the way they are treated because of their faith. I mean this in a gentle way, not a nasty way so please take it as that. :)

    The discussion about temporary marriage is a good one for you to bring up because within Islam many (Sunnis especially) see it as legalized prostitution in that it benefits men more than women because it leaves the woman in question worse off afterward (with less choices in life).

  60. nance says:

    Awesome! Keep it coming (so to speak)!

  61. mystes says:

    Amanda… I reckon I was leaving out the Book of Blue when I mumbled ‘you call this hot?’

    But then again, *I* am aroused by argument, so really, this is *just* fine… *8D

    Belle, I was a professional art critic before I decided to walk off of this short plank into the Sea of Tantra. Nom de plume was Alana Keres. My dearest friend curated the “Because the Earth is One/Third Dirt” exhibition, which was all things scatalogical. So yeah, shit qualifies. It wasn’t the medium, it was the motivation that I was watching so carefully.

    Eric’s motivation is what brung me here. If he overreaches, even better.

    As an aside… One of my favorite bios from that period reads: Alana Keres, who has not yet won the Nobel Prize in Literature, is currently at work on three books, two of which stake all sorts of outrageous claims for art. The other one is fiction.

  62. Musicman 1 says:

    OK so now we are talking….nice one. Here is an article in todays UK press about why we need to do this.

    The porn industry is ruining the lives of millions. Our kids need to be educated within the loving influence of our parameters. The sex industry for profit is going to have serious long term effects. The internet has brought us a whole new set of issues that perhaps may finally kick start the process of recovery!! This really is make your mind up time!!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255856/Teenage-boys-watching-hours-internet-pornography-week-treating-girlfriends-like-sex-objects.html

    Lets get a grip of this once and for all!! So to speak!!

    PH

  63. Morgana Silverseale says:

    Oops, here’s another link I wanted to share about Islam’s “temporary marriages.”

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2007/01/22/mutaa/index.html

  64. Morgana Silverseale says:

    PW is great just as it is, and because of yours and your writers’ commitment to impeccability, it will only get better over time.

    I’ve learned so many things about myself here that I would never have had access to, otherwise. Such as, how to work with my 6th house Moon and Venus in Scorpio, 5th house Neptune in Scorpio, and 8th house Saturn in Aquarius. Broadly speaking, I think the sex I want is the sex I fear – and that awareness has had me pushing my boundaries for several years now… all for the better. LOL, nobody I grew up with (as a Christian girl going to Christian school for 14 years) would recognize me now as a collectivist-anarchist, kinky witch. Hell, I don’t recognize myself occasionally… and when I don’t, I make it a point these days to find out, instead of deny. That is a truly great gift I have received from PW.

    Musicman’s comment about 95% of Africa being Muslim got me thinking about the hajj (at which time temporary sexual freedom is embraced), the Kaaba (a sacred stone which is said to be indented reminiscent of a vulva) and the Beni Shaybah (“Sons of the Old Woman,” the male priesthood who tend this vulva-shaped stone). Sex is about self even for Muslims, though they seem to war against it mightily (and look what that has wrought on the world). Though in contrast, I was reading this week that Islam has a tradition of “temporary marriage,” and some wondering if it’s de facto prostitution. Lots of food for thought there.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-29/islams-sex-licenses/

    It would be a happier world if *everyone* would just talk about sex as if it’s relevant to everything else. Because it is.

    Keep up the amazing work, Eric.

  65. Patty says:

    This is a great article. That 6th house explanation was interesting too. My husband was shot down in Viet Nam and hospitalized for months. He still mentions the ‘free blow jobs’ from the nurses very fondly.

    This website has been a fantastic resource. There are people who don’t have abuse issues to work out , but for others – well it is a new day. Identifying feelings for what they are, and forgiving, is a big key. You’ve unlocked a lot of secrets sir. Thank you.

  66. ficklestickle says:

    I’m a little late on the this, but I have to say that I really like the way you presented this issue. And I am really happy with the image you used to illustrate your point. It’s really straight forward and nice.

  67. carecare7 says:

    Eric,

    Forget those unaware folks that give you grief. As you once said at one time, you write for yourself because if you start writing for other people you are not being true to yourself. I have been reading what you write since 1997; I don’t care what other people think of what you write because sometimes, the muse must speak where none will and say what none will say.

    Our society doesn’t talk about sex or money. These two subjects are taboo it seems. Oh close girlfriends will tell each other all about their sex lives (men that find this out often cannot understand why women will do this) but for the most part, people just won’t talk about sex. Sometimes there’s a voice in the silence that calls out the truth and it becomes a light everyone can see; you are that voice. Please don’t stop…don’t stop…don’t stop….oh God don’t stop!

    One of the reasons I didn’t want to tell anyone about my own blog is because I am also writing about sex. From the exerpts about my life (and yes, that one that I put up yesterday really happened) to the things I think about men, women and sex, all will be on there and I was afraid to let people I know see that I am that daring.

    Back in my twenties, I was having one night stands with total strangers and I would then talk about these to people. They recoiled from me and I realized people just didn’t want to hear that I was fucking like a rabbit and having pleasure with no consequences. Women are not supposed to just go out and fuck men for pleasure. Women told me I was ruining it for other women because I “gave it away” without dinner or a movie or flowers.

    The most eye opening time was when I was hanging around some Pagans that also were part of the Society for Creative Anachronism. They talked about sleeping around, trading partners, having sex in groups and so on. I was naive enough to believe them. Then, one night at a local SCA war, I was drinking, dancing and kissing men and women in the “tavern” they had set up. One particular guy kissed better than the rest so I followed him to his tent and had some sweaty, sticky, fantastic sex. I staggered back to my tent, which I shared with another woman and fell asleep. The next morning I was fresh, awake and feeling great. The same Pagans glared at me and said it was a sin that I was looking so fresh and unjaded after the debauchery of the night before. They said I was wanton and openly crude for dancing, drinking and kissing both genders. That I could just go sleep with some guy and look so contented the next morning (meaning not embarrassed or ashamed or contrite) was just not tolerable to them. I was shocked but not deterred in my carefree day. However, I realized that to be open about sex was just not “allowed” and to talk about it as though I were relating a recent shopping trip was even worse.

    We all need to keep talking about sex.

    I learned of a landmark study that showed a link between physical cuddling of infants, free sexuality for teens and violence. The study began by assuming that societies with an open attitude about teen sex would be more violent. Instead the opposite was found; societies that hold their infants a lot and allow their teens to have sex had the LOWEST violence of all other groups. Societies that held their infants but restricted teen sex were also low violence as were societies that didn’t hold their infants but that permitted teen sex. Societies in which infants were separated into their own rooms at birth and not held much and where teen sexuality is repressed had the highest violence rates of all. The latter is our society.

    I held my babies; every one of them…..a lot. Let’s keep talking about sex.

  68. amy says:

    Wow….. good times…..

    ….the people who have the nerve to bitch about sexual content in a web site they go to for mental stimulation are truly just a sad sort. Granted even reading the word SEX gets everyone’s attention. The problem I feel these grumpy readers have with the sexual content seems quite simple my dear Watson.

    They become sexually stimulated by reading the content and are then faced with an issue they had not planned on, Oh my what to do? Have SEX ,of some form to release the sexual frustration they are dealing with on a regular basis. They are also reminded of this flaw in their lives which they then resent and blame e for.

    So actually, I would take it as a compliment. You are turning them on. And I betcha most still hit up P. W. on the qt.

    Oh, one more thing, Chiron, conjunct Mars, conjunct Mercury all in Pisces in the 9th (no less) looks A LOT like a very driven, compassionate, educator. Of which we should all be thankful for. Or we’d all be on some(no offence) very boring sun sign web site. And searching the WWW for just what we have here.

    night folks, a

  69. Amanda Painter apainter26 says:

    “If there is a sexual injury ***or the perception of one,*** it can block much of our creative energy, potential and happiness.”

    yup.

    for years i was an actress who couldn’t really act and a lover who couldn’t really fuck. guess which half of that equation had to get worked out first?
    and guess how quickly the other half followed suit?

  70. Amanda Painter apainter26 says:

    “I, on the other hand, find myself sort of intrigued by how third-party some of these discussions become, where pleasure becomes a referent, but barely present as an experience.

    In other words, the discussion is not holy/dirty/sexy/funny *enough*.”

    you know, i think i tried that once, but eric put the comment in moderation. 😉

    but yes, you’re right — we get a heck of a lot of social theory & not many people ‘fessing up as to whether their ceremonial beltane vibrator hits that special spot in their 8th house better with their partner present or without…

    but perhaps i misunderstand you. 😉

    — amanda

  71. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    What she had observed, mainly through observing herself, is that when you follow sexual awareness into yourself, you’re taken to the core of self-awareness. The psyche on its deepest layers is so closely intertwined with sexual consciousness as to be one and the same with it. Because it accounts for how we come into the world, which is the only world we know, sex is cosmic. Yet discussion of sex is a kind of ruse for the real discussion, below the surface, and that is about one’s sense of identity and existence.

    This makes sense. Assuming they are not cloning people yet, we all come into existence through sex or at least sex cells. Half of us start as a sperm cell that experiences an orgasm and then takes a big ride on an ejaculation, carried along in an ocean of whatever feelings are present. The sperm cell who became us personally went up to that enormous egg (our other half) and kissed it, surrendering its prior form and identity into a new entity. That is how our existence begins, and that memory is, I would imagine, directly in our DNA, along with the instructions for how to do it again.

    Sex is what creates us, so it’s sensible that eroticism (that is, all the feelings we have about sex) will have the potential to carry our creative impulse into life, and throughout our lives.

    It also works the other way. When someone is conditioned to either not think or experience sexuality with full awareness (or any awareness), or if they are programmed to respond with guilt and fear, self-awareness becomes blocked. If there is a sexual injury or the perception of one, it can block much of our creative energy, potential and happiness.

    Our relationship to sex and sexuality is our relationship to existence. If we feel good about our erotic experiences, needs and feelings, we tend to feel good about life. If we are bitter, if we don’t get what we need, if we feel guilty or ashamed of our sexual feelings and experiences, that is most likely how we’re going to feel about life. This can manifest some strange ways, such as violence and manipulation, just like feeling good about sex can manifest as a passionate, creative person who creates their existence consciously every day.

  72. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    I am not here to serve a demographic.

    I serve, shall we say, a higher authority, and at the least I am committed to authentically being myself.

    I don’t think my purpose is lofty; I think it’s a purpose. A simple one, at that.

    Maybe I need to learn how not to let ignorance bother me, but it does. There are a good few people who “like my astrology but don’t want the sex writing.” My first response is always: why do they think there’s a difference? It’s the same writer with the same ideas and the same values and the same ethics writing the articles. My horoscopes are just a little more subversive.

    I am aware of the people who not only respect but personally benefit from my sexuality and relationship writing. I hear the same thing a lot: “I used to hate it, but then I figured out what you’re getting at.”

    What is interesting and at times funny is that what I post here is my most milquetoast, sex educationish writing; basic and straightforward stuff, which is the most meaningful to the most people. Still there are people who think I am going over the top. With what? An honest conversation about sex, among adults, at an herbal conference? How sweet. A article about how to negotiate a threesome, and have it not bungle up communication between you and your partner?! How useful.

    An article about relationship ethics, focusing on communication? Or that I cover a relationships conference — the same one Newsweek is covering? Ok I was there 14 years before Newsweek.

    Or I write articles that read like this:

    What she had observed, mainly through observing herself, is that when you follow sexual awareness into yourself, you’re taken to the core of self-awareness. The psyche on its deepest layers is so closely intertwined with sexual consciousness as to be one and the same with it. Because it accounts for how we come into the world, which is the only world we know, sex is cosmic. Yet discussion of sex is a kind of ruse for the real discussion, below the surface, and that is about one’s sense of identity and existence.

    Oh my gawd! All the hookers of Amsterdam are blushing at once. The streetlights are flickering.

    We’re not talking exotic here.

    And we’re not talking about a profit motive, either. It’s not like I tease with this content, and lure you into the juicy stuff; I am giving it all away! In US culture the risk of talking openly about sex is perceived as so great that few people will do it — and the reason involves fear of alienating customers. At the same time most astrology websites capitalize on how horny everyone is, and how desperate for companionship. Planet Waves may be the only astrology site not selling compatibility reports or predicting peoples’ romantic prospects.

  73. mystes says:

    GB ” This issue is basically neutral…unless you have an eighth house chiron or, you know, something like that. ”

    Pretty close, but keep counting (Think Pooh, think!… Eric’s Chiron is everywhere in this space).

    ***

    Eric needn’t’ve yelled at you. But I sort of twitched sympathetically with the ‘tad lofty’ remark . I used to get a certain amount of flak for expecting art to actually provide and demonstrate some excellence. (This was very bad form in the 90s and early aughts.) “You’re expecting too much from mere art” was the refrain of my cohort. Well, yeah.

    We *are* rolling out a Big Idea around here. While E plays (sometimes with a lighter touch) the Principal, PW has potential for much more engagement on many levels, sexuality inclusive. I, on the other hand, find myself sort of intrigued by how third-party some of these discussions become, where pleasure becomes a referent, but barely present as an experience.

    In other words, the discussion is not holy/dirty/sexy/funny *enough*.

  74. shape says:

    jeez, that’s sad about the negative emails about your sexual content. i thought for the people out there open enough to read astrology, the sexual content here would be very acceptable. i mean compared to what really interests me, the content here seems pretty vanilla and normal…lol. but i’m a scorpio moon (leo sun/libra rising) and from what i’ve read, and certainly what i feel and know about myself, scorpio moons are very extreme when it comes to taboo sexual interests :)

  75. ginblossom says:

    Lol.

    That’s the purpose of planet waves? A *tad lofty* I must say.

    For heavens sake, it’s not politics, it’s business. The internet divides your content anyway. If I want sexual content, I ask Google for it. If I want astrology content, I ask for that. I can get thousands of pages, millions, tagged either or both. I bet there are already a couple thousand keyword searches a day on “sex and astrology” and I bet this page is going to spike your numbers for the week as soon as its indexed.

    People who have your website bookmarked are a special breed. They’re not googling, they want to see what you have to say. They come here specifically to hear what you have to say. If you’re getting emails from pissed off women you can take it personally or you can take it as free market research. The idea is to *provide relevant content to your demographic*; not *wage war on it*. This issue is basically neutral…unless you have an eighth house chiron or, you know, something like that.

    Anyway if they don’t like it, sure, I guess they can fuck off. I guess they can be replaced with cooler people, in a cooler world, who don’t harsh your mellow.

    Here’s hoping :)

  76. Louise Luna says:

    There is no doubt that many, many people are repressed sexually. For me, the mind is the the most sexually enticing morsel, and meeting on that wavelength can be the highest form of intimacy. I relish the days of making love, not war, and that’s what we did, and alot. I’ve observed that many Ariens can be asexual. Re: forced female circumcision – with all respect to Allah, it’s just another form of male ludicrous, ignorant, selfish, misguided efforts to disavow a woman this act, that results in the birth of a human being, yet she cannot know the pleasure, just the pain. No one wants me to go there, believe me. Don’t forget the chastitiy belt either. Males rule the world, both past and present. These are barbaric practises on any level.

    It’s much ado about nothing, if one is attracted to someone, and wants to connect on the sexual/spiritual level – so be it. The more the merrier.

    Frankly, I’m bored with someone else’s repressions, I just walk away. I don’t have time for baby games.

    On a higher note, I’d like to recommend ‘ASTROLOGY KARMA & TRANSFORMATION’ by
    Stephen Arroyo,1978 copyright, who on page 36 explores the trans-Saturnian planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, and includes passages by Dane Rudhyar who clarifies their impact. Very good read. That is if you want to know about these things. May the mallakim be with us all.

  77. lissam says:

    Anyway the naysayers
    are just overfed
    consumer-queens
    sucking bones
    in their lazy-boy

  78. astrodem says:

    Great post. I’m glad you wrote it because I was looking for precisely this information. This is really helpful.

  79. Jere says:

    I’ll be the vulgar one. “Fuck off!” (Feel better?)

    Sexuality is so beyond here, that one would have to have some serious issues (which would need talking about) to be opposed to discussion regarding sexuality.

    Eric, smoke a bowl, take a breather, whatever.. Your shit’s good. I’ve appreciated your input regarding sexuality. Don’t stop.

    Look man, you know your shit’s important,.. you know the world holds all kinds,.. fuck ’em! You are altering this mundane B.S. a thousand words at a time.

    Please continue.

    J

  80. chrys says:

    I must admit I love this post… really great –
    Your posts of the last few days has reminded not just of sex but how when
    we can really integrate the male and female inside ourselves – a union usually beyond our worldly perceptions we get someone like Amma – who is on a spiritual high – this is what I think- maybe I am wrong – real tantra can take you. A bliss beyond.

    I am also reminded here of Patti Canova – of the Tarot Sutra- An Intimate Guide to the Secret Language of Sex…

    There are so many ways to look at things…

  81. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Allow me to shout, Ginblossom.

    Ahem.

    NO. THE PURPOSE OF PLANET WAVES IS TO INTEGRATE SEXUALITY INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL THOUGHT, NOT SET IT LOCKED AWAY, OR SEGREGATED, JUST LIKE THE CHURCH DOES.

    To divide is to divide and conquer: us.

    Sex is normal and healthy. Art is normal and healthy. There are tens of millions of websites that split apart sexuality from astrology or more to the point, exploit people’s needs, desires and injuries. Planet Waves exists to celebrate life, in total, as a holistic experience in the spirit of awareness, responsibility and freedom.

  82. ginblossom says:

    Yo, this was a good post. You should write when you’re pissed off more often; as a fellow mars/mercurite I know it always works for me.

    Ever thought about rolling out another companion site that was specifically Sexual Astrology?

    pros: No more complaint emails: ” I wanted to read about my rising sign and I got a picture of a naked girl instead”.

    Cons: Loonies coming out of the woodwork at all angles.

    Could be fun:)

  83. Musicman 1 says:

    Funnily enough..I was thinking this today…!!

    Upon reflection, since beginning to study with Planet Waves in 2004, I have probably doubled and possibly trebled the number of celestial bodies that I can fully grasp. A quick glance at http://www.serennu.com reveals the 9 classical planets, the dwarfs pluto ceres and eris, a couple of TNOs, the fixed stars, the asteroids pallas, juno and vesta, and the first four centaurs. At any given time, I could probably offer up an insight into their placement and relationship to the holistic view of a chart. But the job and the studies is a journey; it will never end! And our place in the world is a psycho-sexual drama

    What seems to me to be underpinning my feelings about where this is all going is back to that Inipi; the grandmother land; an integration of the masculine and feminine. A typical male(if there is such an animal) will live in a world where he is conditioned to get a result, score the goal, deliver the goods, earn the wages and respond to his alpha male peer group. The female energy however is typically to enjoy the journey; all the way to heaven is indeed heaven. Retail therapy is as much about the chat and the experience of viewing the goods as it is about crashing the plastic. I stress that these are stereotypical archetypal views, and most definitely not my own!!

    The realisation that there is no end to this journey of working with new energies is enchanting. It is an embrace of a female archetypal principle. For the male astrologer it becomes an imperative to work with the female energy. Perhaps it was forever thus, but most definitely now.

    This then begs the question. I would pose this question to all of you women as students of the round art. Where do you put your embrace of the male energy principle? Lets start with the obvious one Mars. Is it he God of War only because of psycho-sexual dysfunction? It is most certainly a fundamental principle of our male sexuality. Can we rise to the challenge of visioning a medium that can contribute to the peaceful co-existence of humans being?

    The roots of this debate MUST embrace sex and sexuality. For instance 95% of Africa is Muslim. Astrology and the New Moon is used to confirm the beginning of celebrations such as Ramadan and Tabaski. Yet those same Astrologers then profoundly worship a religion that systematically abuses women in the form of female circumcision. “Leave a little bit for her pleasure” are the words that routinely ring out as 13/14 year old girls are held down in the bush and then forced to heal for weeks at a time with absolutely no health checks, anaesthetics or medicines. I have no idea how many times every day that this is happening, but it is thousands, if not hundreds of thousands!!

    I would have thought that a woman who embraces the male Mars principle would stand up, empower herself and her sisters, and get on up! Lets get some results! But somehow, we seem to be moving more and more into a world where we turn a blind eye to both the world and ourselves! This is most definitely an observation; not a personal attack, or indeed an attack on anybody.

    Where do our responsibilities lie? How do we define them? How do we develop the strategies? The answers will all evolve. These issues will pass! But we need to keep focussed. Redefine and Refine that focus. Oprah Winfrey has put $50 million dollars into a girls school in South Africa. 66% of the Politicians in Rwanda are women. Africa is marching on, with extraordinary help from China.

    Forgive me for making this simplistic but it sure does make the point! I watched Clint Eastwood in Hang ‘em High last night! It is the fourth film in the Good Bad and Ugly series by Sergio Leone! The judge, the hangings, the religions, the prayers, the torment; finally we get to see the hero touch on the wisdoms and the passions as Dr Mystes so eloquently puts it. There is a deep rooted psycho-sexual undercurrent of the attractiveness of sado-masochism throughout the film, and its legacy still haunts the modern world! Yet this is mild compared to what is generally on offer at this time!

    Finally Eric has talked about the synchronicity of the timing of emerging celestial bodies, their names and their astrological function! It is your time ladies. Define those male principles at work in your lives! The centaurs can help us reach that holistic view; Vesta, Ceres, Sedna, Quaoar, Pallas Athene and Eris may well shake us all up, but that may well equip you all to “shake em down”

    We then end up with the male enjoying the embrace of the feminine, coupling with the female who is positively rocking with masculine empowerment. In fact any combination of the new principles as conjoined here(gay, lesbian,poly) would be enlightening, as opposed to current trends to that usually default to bondage.

    Now that would be something!!

    PH

  84. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    anger is a gift, eh? thank you for this, it really helps. and what the fuck is “proper” anyway? it’s your party, you can have sex if you want to.

    Be who you are and say what you feel,
    because those who mind don’t matter,
    and those who matter don’t mind.
    -Dr. Seuss

  85. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Len, I wrote this because I’m pissed off — or was, anyway. One too many readers told me to fuck off of Planet Waves on sexual content and I thought I would, you know, make it easy for everyone to see what is really going on. This one was fun to write. I think it’s been brewing for a while and I reached the boiling point today. As we can see, every single house covers sexuality in an important way (I’ve just added a mention of the 9th, 10th and 11th houses).

  86. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Eric – Dude. You are on a roll lately. This is a masterpiece. A keeper. A bulletin board tacker-upper. i want some of what you’re drinkin’. Thank you.

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