Sex: A Cheap Imitation of Eros
Sex is cheap.
There, I said it. And, I’ll say it again: Sex. Is. Cheap. We see so many images of the feminine everywhere. Magazines. Commercials. Holiday parties… and it’s all cheap, cheap, cheap. A cheap imitation. Of what, you ask?
I used to see women walking around in their form-fitting clothing, and it led me to one thought. (It wasn’t eros.)
Eros ~ from the Greek, meaning love or desire. Let’s go with desire. But what kind of desire? It’s not the watered-down version of sex. Eros goes beyond the base desire of our root chakra and calls us–no, demands us–into a living, breathing experience of life.
Of being alive.
I’ve had experiences of eros way before I knew what it was; an experience that my whole being was turned on. Zzzzzzzing! Like a light switch. Like a new current of energy was suddenly flowing through me.
Years ago, I worked at a health food store in Athens, Georgia. There was a barista making a cup of coffee for a customer, and I just watched her—in complete awe. Every action was like a work of art: the way she frothed the milk canister, how she moved her arm in elegant circular motions, causing the machine to make its hot, rhythmic, steamy noises. There was something powerful about the beauty of that moment that sent a shiver through my whole body.
I was—literally—turned on.
Eros. Such a small, yet powerful word. The Rabbis of old told a story about the people in a village who tried to eliminate the sitra achra, the evil inclination. The next morning they woke up and discovered that none of their chickens had laid any eggs!
What happened? In trying to destroy the passion that could lead some to do wrong, the rabbis had accidentally also gotten rid of the fundamental power of creation: the life force. Eros. Not that it’s evil (though some religious leaders expound otherwise), but it’s a force that has historically been used both for good and more nefarious purposes.
Think about it: when you’re feeling alive, you can do some crazy things—like quit your job in a single moment, tell your relationship partner it’s over or jump in your car and move to the other side of the country. I’ve done all three!
People might even think you’ve become possessed. And in a sense, you have—by eros. It’s just that we’re living in such a dead world that passionless living has become the norm. We’re like a nation of zombies who go through the motions as if we’re living.
And though technically we are living, we’re not alive.
How does this relate to sex?
When we connect with another human being on a truly intimate level, it can take us to uncharted lands; feelings that we’ve never felt before; experiences that we’ve never experienced. When we are just “having sex,” we might as well be using the other person to masturbate. Nothing soul-shattering is occurring. Though part of us, indeed, is “turned on,” our whole being isn’t.
But we’re so accustomed to the cheap imitation—i.e., sex—that we don’t even realize the real thing anymore. Just glimpses. Elusive moments.
Truth be told, we’re all more than a little eros depraved. Our souls need eros like our bodies need oxygen. It’s what makes us feel like human beings and not robots. Sex is our attempt to feel alive in the world. But without being connected to something deeper, while it may fill us, it never fulfills us.