Today’s post is part 2 of my post on Numinous, Masculine Sexuality. These two posts share my journey through the 6th metaphor from the book The Hidden Spirituality of Men – Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine by Matthew Fox. In my last post I talked about how ancient religions ( and some non-western religions ) worshipped sexuality as sacred. I also discussed how western religions have brought shame into the forefront of sexuality in an attempt to control the sacred. Finally, the last post discussed the fact that sacred sexuality is not just about intercourse – but rather intercourse is just one aspect. In revisiting this chapter I found myself starting to learn to play the guitar and it has given me access to a sexual spirit that has been suppressed for some time now.
The topics of today’s journey through numinous, masculine sexuality are sperm, male infertility, sexual diversity learning from the gifts of homosexuality and wrapping it all up in sexuality as sacred.
In the book, the author had asked a group of mostly men to write down an answer to the question, “What is Sperm?” He shared many of the responses he got and many of them were at or nearing poetic. As someone who had always been uncomfortable with anything sexual in nature it had been very easy for me to never even think about it. Well, in the honor of sharing my journey I am going to attempt to answer that question right here in this blog from my perspective. I only hope I can do it justice.
Why is it so hard to honor sperm? Is it because it has so many names that make us giggle or turn red? Is it because we are afraid of the awesome power that lies within? Sperm is a metaphor for possibility. Each sperm is the possibility of life, and not just any life. The possibility of a new life that we love more than we have ever loved before. I have 2 sons because of sperm. 1 came from planning and one came from a moment of passionate love but they are both a part of my life because of sperm. Of all the fluids that are worshipped in this world – blood, wine, holy water – this seems left out of the sacred mix. So even if it is only a moment before my shame rises again, I take this moment to honor distilled masculine sexuality in sperm.
That was tough to write because I felt myself pulled separately by both my reverence and shame that I felt. This chapter, and specifically this section on sperm bring to mind one individual who seems to exude sacred masculine sexual energy more than anyone I can think of – Prince. He has many songs that are clearly about sexuality, including one called Cream. At the end of the movie Purple Rain he has a concert and the finale is him doing an obvious ejaculation from his guitar. Finally, at one point he changed his name to around a legal dispute with Warner Brothers and this is what he had to say about it:
I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name.
To many the symbol seemed random, but to Prince it was the Love Symbol. Love is central to sacred sexuality and he has embodied it in his art.
With all this admiration for sperm and its reproductive power the author was confronted by a member of the group that wrote about sperm. For this man the question brought pain because he was infertile. While I have been blessed with two beautiful boys he was unable to have any by his sperm due to that fact. But if you read his story you find out more. You find out about the way he was initially dismissed when having trouble getting his wife pregnant. You find out the research the two of them did to find out about their options. Their journey led them to choosing to have children by using a sperm donor. The mental and emotional power of sperm is strong in this story. Though this man’s sperm were incapable of fulfilling their reproductive duty the spiritual aspect of them still led him to having children to whom he is a father. In fact the story goes deeper and it is worth the read.
It was interesting to notice how male infertility is so casually dismissed as if it takes no psychological or spiritual toll. When you compare this to our current (in)ability to honor sperm as we do the ovum it isn’t hard to see why this is. Men want to be parents as well and any inability in this area forces a very rocky mental and spiritual path to be walked.