Sex is such a pervasive element of our adulthood, of our existence, and we accept it as a characteristic of human existence. That one will grow up, and have sexual feelings is a given. But we never explore how these sexual feelings came into being within the human psyche. And what if it were a derived need, a derivative, a transformation of, or morphing of innocence? Lets trace the roots of the myth of innocence lost by Adam and Eve.
Every child is born pure, and exists in blissful union with the mother. Along the way it acquires a sexual sensitivity and awareness. As long as it is in symbiotic union with the mother, the duo is complete in itself and requires no “other” for completion. The need for the other arises as a consequence of separation – a growing awareness of self being different, and disconnected, from the mother. To cut a long story short, the more the perceived separation, the more the sexual sensitivity. And the earlier such separation is completed, the earlier that sexual sensitivity occurs. This is consistent with the difference in relative sexual maturation ages in the Eastern and Western children, as children separate from their mothers earlier in the West than they do in the East.
Children exist in blissful union with the mother, and at some point in time, the mother cannot maintain that union. When those tender feelings of love and bliss cannot find a container, the symbiotic connection is disrupted and the need for connection accumulated and becomes intense, eventually morphing into sexual feelings which are then discharged elsewhere. This is the essence of growing up and acquiring our own sexual identity.
Whereas the essence of these needs remains the same – the need to form a deep, fulfilling connection – the severity of how it is manifest in life depends on the severity of the felt need and how the mother child dyad had been able to hold those sacred feelings. Where the child finds it easy to be vulnerable to the mother, and has enjoyed being protected and shielded, it will form healthy sexual relationships in life. In instances where vulnerability has not been adequately rewarded, and feelings of insecurity abound, the child will try to repress, or disavow the vulnerability by enviously denigrating the *need* for connection, the connection itself, as well as the other, the level of this denigration being a continuum. Sex loses it sacredness and symbolic significance, and becomes meaningless and mundane for such a person. Instead of being used as a means of forming these connections, sex is then used to defend against the need for deeper connections. It is just like when the hunger for nourishment transforms into an addiction for junk food. Such a person may lose interest in sex, or become sexually addicted, depending on the environment, stimulants, and his own sense of self.
The regression can be brought on at any stage of life by environmental trauma. Such an adult regression seeks TLC, but settles for sexual addiction.
So those of you who experience the compulsion to engage in sexual acts to the point of obsession, next time you feel the familiar upswing of that addictive sexual excitement, take a step back and explore by asking “what is the psyche trying to accomplish?” or “what am I really looking for?” Perhaps you may realize you are lonely, frightened, sad, seeking the warmth of a mother’s presence, the safety and protection, a humane connection which is being denied by the environment. Hopefully, whatever action you take from this place of insight, will be meaningful and fruitful because that which was latent – the need – has now become manifest.