August 24th, 2015

Redefining the Oxymoron: Sex and Marriage

philip-lorca-dicorcia

The revelations related to the vicious hack of the Ashley Madison website (the cheating spouses’ watering hole you’ve read about everyday for the past week) have — once again — shocked puritanical America. In the way puritanical America is always shocked whenever it discovers that people are having sex outside the confines of the missionary position (and sanctity of marriage).

Recently, several of the Scarlet-Lettered individuals — publicly exposed victims of the hack —  have committed suicide. I’m very sad about the suicides (I’ve experienced that shock first hand to understand the impact). These extreme reactions point to a gigantic schism within the culture’s attitudes about sex. Judeo-Christian prohibitions that inextricably link sex and shame, forever and ever, until the end of time.

To sustain porn star-like passion within a monogamous relationship is sorta oxymoronic. It’s not impossible (there is now Viagra and Addyi — female Viagra), but the misconceptions people project onto monogamy — the levels of romantic passion they expect to be constant, over time, aren’t germane to the natural arc of a relationship.

Those sustainablility dreams are borrowed from the realms of fairy tales and online porn. Symbolic idylls meant to instruct or entertain. But people being people, we literalize what shouldn’t be made literal.

This delusion hasn’t been helped by New Age, Oprah-esque goofiness: If you dream it — goddamnit you’re entitled to it.  Think hard enough about a new car and you’ll either win the lottery or the death of your spouse will free up his life insurance policy so you can buy one.

The Ashley Madison hack is throwing the epidemic of romo-sexual magical thinking into high relief.

Astrologically the events surrounding the Madison hack mirror the slow-building Saturn/Neptune square, to be exacerbated when Saturn finally moves into Sagittarius next month. This is an astrological wake-up call for each of us, but especially for the Neptune in Libra (1942 to 1956) and the Neptune in Scorpio (1956-1970) generations. They will feel the harsh light of reality the hardest. Why?

Both of those groups tend to project otherworldly expectations onto their interpersonal relationships. Dreams that flesh and blood people can’t realistically fulfil.

The Saturn Neptune square will highlight the psychological phenomenon of splitting. Splitting occurs when seemingly disparate parts of our nature come close to meeting or merging.

You have an image of yourself as being an easygoing, helpful fellow, but you also house a tyrannical control freak. These two parts of your nature are split apart, distanced from meeting. Gurdjieff called this ‘buffering.’

The Ashley Madison hack exposed the unrealistic hope and dreams that accompany matrimony.  On one hand, there’s the impulse to merge for the sake of secure companionship; but then, on the other, there’s the unfettered instinct for raw, lusty roaming.

Familiarity usually dents the libido and then the marriage goes missing in the forest of subterfuge … you can follow the breadcrumbs: Ashley Madison’s numbers? Over 39 million members.

For heterosexual men, this dilemma is also known as the Madonna/Whore syndrome. For straight women, I’m not sure what it’s called. Maybe something like: Protector/Gigolo? But you get the idea.

With the square planetary aspects in astrology, there’s the promise that after the shock of a revelation there might come the application of newfound wisdom. Regarding the Madison hack, I think it’s time for men and women to confront what the impact of pornography has had on the ‘sanctity’ of relationships. As online porn has fueled a new level of intensity for the erotic-exotic. Acts that would have been the (mental) craftsmanship of the Marquis de Sade.

Pornography as pagan art, has always been with us — will always be with us — but never to the degree that the human brain is now steeped in it. Kids as young as five are Googling ‘pearls’ and landing on images of nude women with their face and neck drenched in semen. How does a child’s brain process this sort of image?

Or never mind Google, perhaps the kids caught the Grammys on network TV. Porn creep is ubiquitous.

These are discussions the Saturn Neptune transit might broach. A reality check, a truth-telling about security and sex. Not an inquiry based on shame, but one of curiosity with, perhaps, the definition of marriage redefined — made realistic: Its limitations highlighted, its benefits celebrated.

And hopefully soon, before more people kill themselves because they were horny but also married.
 
 

 
 

Photograph: The Hamptons by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, 2008.


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January 01st, 2009

Kabir…Tangled Up in Others

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I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
birds and animals and the ants —
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you
in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely
orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
what you once knew,
and that’s why everything you do has some weird
failure in it.

– Kabir

Painting: René Magritte. The Lovers. 1928.



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