Sex is a term that has a broad base of meaning. Most commonly referring to fornication or copulation, it is a more versatile term, and should not be confined to genital or pituitary functions. Modern psychology frames sexuality in terms of object relation, in practical terms WANT, ATTAIN, USE, SATISFY. This demonstrates the nature of “sexual” more accurately. Sex operates the pleasure pathway in the brain and triggers the same neurochemicals in the brain that food, water, breathing and exercise do. You know that phrase “it’s better than” of “it’s as good as sex”?  Relative to the human experience, “sex” could be used in our everyday language for behaviours or events that include actions taken towards or achieving the fulfillment of desire.

Sex is a process. Once we divorce sex in terminology from subjective emotion (ie making love) you are able to view it as an act, with a procedure motivated from libido. Libido also refers to a larger subject base then the want for anal, vaginal, or oral consummation. Libido, much like lust, can refer to any strong desire for anything. For example, you can lust after a car. You can then go out and test drive the car, and be satisfied by its purchase- therefor it could be considered a sexual act. Desire leads to action, which leads to climax (or the moment where action no longer needed or desired) and the end.  Yes, you could say that I am equivocating on the term sexual, or that this is a very reductionist view, but  your brain interprets these non-coital acts and the coital ones in the same manner.  The neurochemicals with which your brain produces happiness, elation, pleasure and satisfaction are the same regardless of the methods employed to trigger them. Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, and Adrenaline (to name a few) are major chemicals associated with the above states.

-Dopamine, among its other functions, is what makes drugs so appealing (hence the term “dope”). Dopamine is released through orgasm, triggers manufacture of dopamine and the synaptic response of deposit and uptake allowing that dopamine to interact with other neurochemicals and improve your overall energy/mood. Food similarly triggers dopamine, although sometimes to a lesser extent. -Serotonin is most commonly associated with either depression and mania. In fact, the term depression may specifically refer to a depressed level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin has been directly linked to sex drive; serotonin also increases in the brain post-orgasm. Runner’s high is also associated with serotonin (as well as dopamine) and much like sex it is a function of occupational success. -Endorphins are very sexually linked for the reason that the easiest way to release them is by dermal, or tactile stimulation. Domestic animals like to be petted because their hair follicles are embedded in their skin, and the stimulation releases endorphins. Endorphins are also an emotional intoxicant. Sexual encounters, for this reason, involving seductive, even minor touching, or light touching in foreplay etc. will cause a major release of endorphins, which actually increase or decrease in correlation to your emotional involvement.  This touch-sensitive neurochemical is connected to our view of skin as inherently sexual, just visualize someone in the shower and see if you agree 🙂  -Adrenaline is a very interesting chemical, it being produced by its own gland and typically concerning rage, anger, and fear. Extreme sports, risk taking, near death experiences, heavy physical activity etc are all things which trigger adrenaline. Adrenaline is also associated with the fight or flight fear response. Pain and fear both demand adrenaline, and are both naturally associated with sexual intercourse. Pain, being a form of dermal stimulation, can demand adrenaline and thus “pump you up” for an upcoming activity. Athletes demonstrate adrenaline uses when they smack themselves, pound their chest, yell at one another, or do high impact warm ups.
There are multiple levels to human existence; mind, body, spirit. It is ridiculous to assume that human experiences are not likewise multi-tiered. Physical sex, genital and consummated are just one level: BODY. Psychologically speaking, other things can react sexually or trigger sexual desire. Spiritually, it is the same. Anything that can be romanticized is sexual in nature, so why can’t the activity of romanticizing be considered sex? Receiving the Eucharist is a good example. Here, you are taking the body and blood of one you ‘love’ and who ‘loves’ you, into your body, and are transformed by this transubstantiation, made to feel as though you belong and are special. There is a reported feeling of euphoria associated with believers. Could this be a more concrete non-coital example of glorified sex?
The fact is, there are a whole lotta people out there and each of them can get off doing different things. Anything stimulating to you mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally etc.can be “sexually” arousing. Additionally sex as we know it, is just our way of defining a template for the procedure in our actions towards gratification. Sex need not be narrowed to copulation and fornication alone, because sex is a process that we utilize in every area of our lives. Sex is an adverb, adjective, noun, and verb so why not allow it to expand into those general terms? Want, Seek, Act, Acquire, Satisfy; the basis of almost all human activity, sexual intercourse included. I say all things we do can be broken down to desire, and any action motivated by that desire to achieve a certain end are sex. Successful ends in our life are orgasms when we accept our innately Sex-U-All nature.
This does not mean that we are or have to be sex obsessed. Simply, it means that sex is a classification for desire based activity, genital or otherwise. We are all romantics, and this view is modern romanticism. When we develop a new way to exist, then our “sex” may become obsolete. Until  our attachments, the rituals we undertake in our life, and to those we assign higher value are all connected by one thing: desire. Desire can uplift us and it can degrade us, it’s all in the perception and interpretation.

~ by Klawdya Rothschild on November 9, 2008.

One Response to “Sex-U-All-ity”

  1. […] Sex-U-All-ity […]

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