I had to smirk at this month’s prompt. I was even almost dreading it. Actually, since no one else has tackled the topic I’m still a little nervous to write about it. Sexual spirituality. I thought something dirty at first. It’s hard not to, especially with S. Connolly mentioning how she felt this topic could make one require the AC!
I hope I’m not letting anyone down, but didn’t want to take it to a carnal place. I gave myself a massive headache thinking about it. What does sexual spirituality really mean to me?
I decided to tackle the prompt in pieces. The first step would be to find a meaning for “sexual” that didn’t make me blush and chortle like a school girl. A pretty loose interpretation could be gender identity and gender stereotypes. An essay called Mascaras mexicanas– Mexican Masks– by Octavio Paz came to mind.
Mascaras mexicanas describes the gender roles, or “masks”, that are used by men and women. Specifically, it describes machismo and marianismo, and what happens when the two roles are combined.
Before I begin, I would like to point out that those specific gender roles are becoming slightly obsolete in the world we live in, because of concepts like “Rosie the Riveter” and “herbivore men”, but if you look at it theoretically, they’re very useful as basic guidelines for traditional gender roles.
Machismo is the masculine role. Paz explains that the mask of a Mexican man is fierce, brave, and emotionally closed. Your typical “macho” guy, but it also has undertones of male chauvinism.
Marianismo is the feminine role. She is the opposite of man. She is passive, divine, and according to Paz, she “embodies the elements of the universe.” It seems important to point out that it has Catholic undertones. Maria is the Spanish name for the Virgin Mary.
From there, strip the roles of their undertones and apply the ideas to spirituality. Men can look inside themselves that strength and emotional reserve that is opposed by a woman’s intuition and grace. The two together can create equilibrium. Apart, they can create a sense of self-empowerment.
Finding someone who can balance your qualities out can be beneficial. I’m not necessarily talking about finding a “significant other”. Just finding someone to confide in when you have a problem can open your eyes to ways of thinking you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. The best ideas are often inspired by the most unlikely of things, so it’s always worth your time to take chances on something new.
There’s also nothing wrong with a little self-empowerment. It’s the difference between feeling like you can’t do anything and being able to tackle any obstacle thrown your way. There’s no right or wrong, nor limitations on what path you “should” take. The ability to make rational decisions for oneself is something that takes some people years to master. Some people never master it at all.
This idea of sexual spirituality is a great philosophical chicken nugget to munch on. I know I for one feel like meditating on the subject. I feel like I’m treading down a new path and am excited about where my wandering will lead me.