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Is Sex the Most Important Thing?


I’ve always felt that connection to sexual expression is critical to one’s healthy sense of self, but it’s only been recently that I have come to consider that it might just be THE most important thing in our development, our understanding of life and our communication with it.

I have been blown away by a brand new book called “Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart” by Julie McIntyre. Here is a profound insight from Julie:

“Any energy or inspiration we may have to influence our own lives, communities, schools and government is diminished while we insist on feeling shame, guilt, and unworthiness about ourselves and while we keep ourselves repressed in the bedroom. As long as we persist in letting others think for us and tell us what appropriate behavior is and acquiesce to scare tactics that threaten to withhold love or money if we don’t behave, we will remain utterly powerless in the face of any real or imagined power outside ourselves. If we don’t own and take charge of our sexuality, someone else will. (Oh wait, they already have.) It’s time to bring it all back to its rightful owners, to each of us as autonomous individuals.”

She goes on to say:

“Nature is sexual, sensual, and highly erotic. Nature is having sex all the time; that’s one of the reasons why it feels so alive, and it’s one of the reasons why, when we are immersed in nature, we feel alive. Birds and bees are pollinating flowers every day. And flowers? They are the reproductive organs of plants. Trees, heavy and dripping pollen, rub their branches against each other in sexual friction. Plants have gone through countless metamorphoses in their sexual organs since before the beginning of time, developing ingenious and innovative ways to spread their pollen and propagate their species. Every flower we put on our dining table is the sex organ of a plant. Each time we eat corn on the cob, wrapped in pubic corn silk, we are ingesting corn ovules, which hold the ovary that becomes a seed when fertilized by corn pollen. Flowers exude a seductive order when ready for mating, causing birds, bees, and butterflies to join in ritual dances of reproduction. Some male plants exude an odor that remarkably resembles the seminal emissions of men and animals. The ailanthus species of tree will produce flower clusters that are either female, male, or both. Only the male and male/female flowers produce the odor that fills the air with the unmistakable scent of a man’s ejaculate.

Slugs, hermaphroditic and slow moving, make love for hours. Each slug inserts a penis into the other and are then simultaneously impregnated. Bonobos chimps are the most peaceful groups of mammals on the planet (and among our closest genetic relatives). They have evolved a unique system of peacekeeping and bartering: exchanging sex for food. Bonobos engage in tongue kissing, mutual masturbation, face-to-face sex, homosexuality, anal sex, and oral sex. And instead of fighting, they have sex, lots of sex.

Sex is a basic drive in all living organisms. Without sacred sex, how can we imagine the sacredness in land and ecosystems? Indigenous peoples around the world have an ongoing concept of sacred sex that is incorporated into their seasonal and yearly ceremonies to increase abundance. West African tribes have elaborate sex ceremonies that may last for weeks at a time.”

So, with all this sexual expression going on around us all time, what happened to us? Yeah, yeah, we got civilized. Julie says, “Perhaps our deepest fear is not that we would be uncivilized and out of control but that we would be free to rediscover the sacredness of being alive. Do we fear the power that is there in our deep sexual selves would be too great? It would seem that we are more afraid of sex , of our sexuality, than we are of drugs, prescription medicines, corporations, or governments.”

What Julie has to say makes profound sense to me. I will leave you with one more of her provocative tidbits of insight: “How can we ever expect to change anything if we are unable to shape our own sexual and core experiences? If we continue to feel oppressed, repressed, and victimized by something that happened chapters ago in our life, by the rules of behavior fed to us by the religious right, neoconservatives, our parents, our culture, and the media, how can we imagine ever changing or having an influence on anything? When will we get our priorities in order and start saying no to political and religious meddling that is mucking up the sanctity of relationships, pleasure, and our spiritual destinies?”

Wow. That is an earth-shattering question I will be considering for a good long while.

(Julie and her book so impressed me that I have invited her to speak at my conference this year and she is excited and totally on board… yay!)

I also interviewed Julie recently on…. sex. Listen to it here.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I feel my mother didn’t do the greatest job of mothering me in so many ways and I’ve been living with the consequences but she did get sexuality right. I always knew that. She passed on the message, mainly implicitly, that sex is normal, empowering and that nudity is a natural expression of being. I think I now realize why I ended up pretty OK despite so many other not OK messages – because this aspect of my childhood was done right and it was way more important than I gave it credit for. Very interesting. I will always be grateful to her for that and I am so pleased to be able to bring my children up the same way, to feel proud and comfortable about their bodies and that sexuality is an important part of loving and that it connects you to nature in a wonderful way. Thank you!

    June 21, 2012
  2. I love your insight here! Thanks for sharing it.

    June 21, 2012
  3. Bianca #

    Dear Barb, thank you for sharing your findings and helping others to expand along with you. I have looked into David Deida’s work as per your recommendation in your previous post, and this book looks very helpful as well. As opposed to the earlier commenter, I feel the opposite way…that I never came to a healthy understanding about sexuality and I am looking for that now. Your posts have been an important resource for me. As for Julie’s book, would you suggest it for people who are working toward sexual harmony with one partner? In other words, does the book suggest that monogamy is a valid choice or does it point readers to something else?

    June 26, 2012
    • Julie’s book does not lean toward any preconceived ideas about monogamy or non-monogomy. I found it a deeply thoughtful book on healing one’s conditioned and limiting ideas on sexuality.

      June 26, 2012
  4. Kevin #

    As I read this article (sent to me by someone who understands this about me) my heart lept at each sentence and paragraph.
    YES! my heart shouted.
    If someone controls your food and your water, you will find a new source. If someone controls your sexuality, they control your core. A place you can never leave. But once abandoned, you feel the loss where it once stood.
    My first time was with my absolute best friend. During the night there were moments when, wrapped in one another’s arms we would burst out laughing at the tops of our lungs, rather uncontrollably.
    I have felt most connected to the world when sexually at peace. (it being fed in a loving, fulfilling and very frequent way)
    And I have never felt my worst then when it’s the opposite.
    Sex…..lovemaking….bonding.
    It’s akin to breathing, laughing…..living.

    November 2, 2012

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