It takes decades to climb the many stepping stones to full sexual maturity. Great effort is required. Aging without effort guarantees only old age. Deep sexual union may, in fact, be the opus of a lifetime with the failures of the first half of life actually being the necessary preparatory steps for true fulfillment beyond midlife.
Those failures include the fertile years where nature, in a most impersonal way, secretly dominates the sexual drive, masking its demands for recreation in the inappropriate attractions that spellbind us into sexual union. Many of those unions, though they may achieve nature’s aim of procreation, lack compatibility, sustenance and duration.
Nature fully takes advantage of the naiveté of youth to romantically do its bidding. Beyond copulation, nature provides little to support relationship. Yes, it does provide bonding and nesting urges, on an instinctual level, but that doesn’t stop nature’s compulsion; it will not be limited. That’s its survival strategy: quantity of children over quality of relationship. And true commitment, true containment, is hard to submit to in the fertile years. All humans must reckon with this debt to their animal natures, with its exorbitant interest toll evident in relationship casualties. If we truly grasped the power of nature to commandeer even our minds during the fertile years, we wouldn’t take so personally our failures. We didn’t stand a chance against nature’s imperative.
Coexistent with nature’s biological dominance in the fertile years is the ego’s growing control over sexual life. These include encounters with adequacy, self-esteem, performance, power, and the ability to connect.
Some of the ego challenges that men may encounter as they attempt to firmly establish their potency and power are questions such as:
Am I attractive enough?
Am I virile enough?
Am I worthy of this person?
Can I approach and hold my own in interaction?
Do I know how to seduce?
Is my penis adequate, large enough?
Can it get the job done?
How do I turn her on, what’s the best method?
What’s the deal with oral sex? Can I handle it?
How are you supposed to do it?
Where’s the clitoris?
Can I handle a real life encounter?
Can I stop shaking?
Can I get an erection?
Can I maintain an erection?
Can I handle the responsiveness of her body?
Will I ejaculate too soon?
How will I know if she’s satisfied?
Can I share my fantasies?
How did I measure up?
Why doesn’t she ever approach me?
How can I get more?
Women are challenged by many of the same ego and self-esteem questions, but their are others specifically female related, such as:
Am I pretty enough?
Am I smart enough?
Am I desirable enough?
Do I have an attractive body?
Are my breasts too little, too big?
Do I smell good?
Does he really like me?
Can I tell him my dreams?
Will it hurt?
Where is my clitoris?
Will I orgasm?
How do I tell him he’s not doing it right without hurting his feelings?
Is this love?
Will he come back or is this just a one time thing?
What if I just want to cuddle, will he be okay with that?
What if he comes first?
Do I have to fake an orgasm so his ego isn’t hurt?
How do I stop him, say no, if it doesn’t feel right?
Why do we have to do it so often?
What if I get pregnant?
These questions and thousands more, including a readiness and willingness to commit, pervade men’s and women’s thoughts during the fertile years. Concerns are largely self-centered, only marginally relational. True readiness to be with, take in, and merge with another person, in mature union, transcends the ego’s preoccupations during the fertile years.
Biological aims and ego insecurities dominate the fertile years and must be experienced and burned through to prepare the ground for the depth of spiritual union inherent in sexual maturity at midlife and beyond. Midlife crisis is actually the spirit’s call to recapitulate and complete the learnings of the first half of life’s lessons to prepare for deep union in later years, what the alchemists called: conjunctio.
A major component of recapitulation is reliving our complete sexual history, facing the full truth, releasing the myths as well as the myriad of feelings combusted and stored around all sexual encounters. In recapitulation, we retrieve our freed energy; we enter our bodies deeply; we accompany the free flow of libido with calm presence and openness, as we prepare for union without barrier.
Recapitulation itself is an arduous process. As we climb the stepping stones to full maturity we learn that it takes time, patience, and a deep yearning for, and commitment to, the truth and fulfillment of this life. During recapitulation, ego issues and traumatic underpinnings that once froze the free flow of sexual energy are discovered for what they truly are, dismantled and released. Recapitulation is conjunctio within the self, as energy previously separated is reclaimed and merged into a unified whole within the self. From this recapitulated place of wholeness, extraverted conjunctio, matured sexuality, is possible with an “other.” If the residual sexual issues from the fertile years are not resolved through recapitulation, these issues will be carried forward, interfering with conjunctio, both within and without.
After recapitulation, the physical changes of midlife, and beyond, matter little. With ego relativized through recapitulation, full spiritual, sexual union—at the deepest energetic level—is completely possible! After recapitulation conjunctio is no longer thwarted by such issues as body image or mechanics, for no physical limitations or ego limitations can stop true sexual, energetic union. There simply are no limitations! Two fingers alone can touch in ecstatic orgasmic union!
For those still in the midst of the necessary challenges of the fertile years, stay patient. Full sexual maturity awaits if you allow yourself to have your own necessary experiences and acquiesce to recapitulation when it beckons. For those with limited or deeply compromised sexual experience during the fertile years, recapitulation provides the necessary process of integration of self that will lead to openness to union in later years, when true union is really possible, offering the ability to fully actualize the sexually mature self, in true relationship!
The full realization of sexual maturity ultimately includes the biological, ego, and energetic or spiritual dimensions of our beings. It’s far more than nature just taking its course. It requires us, as conscious beings, to evolve as individuals to really meet each other.
From the nest,
Chuck and Jan