Monday, August 11, 2014

The Worth of Your Sex

Prostitution has always baffled me. It's not a question of morals. As my friend Darrin once said, "Giiiiirl, you gotta get it any way you can!" No judgement here.

What's confusing for me is how it's possible to put a value on sexual contact. It is something I consider to be priceless and (potentially) sacred. It is also something that I consider to be less valuable than other things like loyalty and honesty. Sex is powerful and can be a wonderful exchange of energy, but aren't we worth more than that? Aren't we worth more than our sex?

As you may know, I recently relocated to New York City and have been stumbling about like a giddy, newborn fawn trying to find my feet. In an effort to plant myself in a quiet place for a moment, I threw an ad up on Craigslist offering my services as a house and pet sitter. Although I should have expected this, I got a surprisingly large amount of dubious replies from men offering me lodging in their home in exchange for my "open mindedness"...read: my services not as a house sitter but as a live in friend with benefits. What is my sex worth? My own bedroom in a midtown penthouse, apparently.

And ultimately I can't help but think how silly this is because my sex is not my most valuable, important or interesting offering by a long shot. It obviously is to some, but had they eyes to see and ears to hear, they would know that it's not what's between my thighs but what's behind my eyes and in my heart that is the real treasure.

If you pay attention to pretty much any media form, you might've noticed that sex is the hottest commodity on the market, though. It seems to be the motivation behind much of human behavior, particularly among human men. I ain't hating on men or their sex drives, just pointing out a truth already widely acknowledged. Men go to sometimes outlandish lengths to get laid. One of my girlfriends once had a guy ride his bike a hundred miles to catch her on the side of a wild patch of California highway. According to Greek mythology, the Trojan War was started because of a fight over a girl. In the ancient Greek play, Lysistrata, the women of Greece end the Peloponnesian War by refusing to put out until their husbands put a stop to the endless fighting. Greek comedy and myth aside, sex is and seems to always have been a powerfully inspiring force.

We are not animals, living from the groin on instinct, though. We are human beings in possession of prefrontal cortexes which grant us the unprecedented ability for a profound awareness of self and others. Don't tell me you're "only human"! Do you even know what that means and how much rich potential lies within our humanity? And here we are, obsessed with our genitals. What a waste of talent.

Of course, sex is an integral part of the human journey. It is our genesis as beings. Aside from its necessity for the continuation of our species, it's also a pleasurable flavor of experience. But it is not the only experience. There is so much more to life and there is so much more to us as people than our sex. Women are particularly subject to having our bodies sexualized and commodified, but I see the ways in which the intense focus placed on sexuality does a disservice to men. There are men in my life who have so much of their sense of self tied to their sex that rejection wrecks them. They don't know who they are without sexual attention and they chase that feeling like junkies. Women do the same thing. None of us are totally immune to the ache for a good ego stroke.

What I see happening here, though, is that our sexuality becomes a burdensome trap rather than an enjoyable piece of a much larger puzzle. If it is the only aspect of ourselves with which we identify, we miss out on attaining a broader and ultimately less ephemeral understanding of ourselves.

We are intricately constructed, wildly complex machines vibrating with timeless, divine consciousness.
We cannot be bought or sold for our worth is beyond any unit of measurement.

When someone offers you something in exchange for your precious time and sexual attention, make sure they are offering you the totality of their infinite being because that's what you're worth...
everything that they are.

My everything in exchange for yours.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SurThriving New York

New York City is the most electric place I've ever been. A month ago I plugged into the grid with all the other millions upon millions that call this place home and it lit me UP. I was so immediately electrified that I buzzed hard for about 10 days, fast talking, fast walking, fast living. So. Damn. Alive.

...until I blew a circuit, unaccustomed as I am to running such a high voltage through my heart and nerves. During my subsequent recovery, I began to grasp at a more subtle understanding of the current that moves this place and its people. Every time I stepped out of the house and into the flow, I could feel the urgent pull to move at lightening speed even if I wasn't in a hurry. It's a compelling force. I find it's giving my body and mind immense power and a sharp clarity that I've never experienced anywhere else at any other time in my life. Something different is happening here.

My friends and I declared 2014 "The Year of the Upgrade" and my move to New York has been no exception. New York is rapidly expanding my ability to receive. Evolution is triggered by crisis, so one might say that this expansion was evolutionarily necessary for my survival, and perhaps they would be right. With all the intense sensations that make this place what it is, there is so much to take in. In order to find this stimulating instead of overwhelming, I have had to continue to create the inner spaciousness that allows me to contain all this madness. I can be fed and nourished by the current without burning out.

But how? How am I able to do this?

Exquisite self care.

There's no way around it. Where I could skimp before, I will not gracefully or joyfully survive this upgrade of my body's electrical system without activating every healthy habit I've ever cultivated. I was already pretty good at taking care of myself, but it has become an essential part of my life. The question at hand is always, "What time am I going to yoga?" or "How much water have I had today?" or "When do I need to go to bed to get 9 hours of sleep?"

Are you moving to New York? Are you already living here and having a hard time? Get on my level, son. You can't live here with sustainable heath and enjoyment without learning to take the best care of yourself that you ever have in your life. New York will slowly crush you and devour your humanity if you don't consciously choose to fight for it every day...and it is a fight, as is so much of living here.

Upon rereading this I think to myself, "My God, what a terrible sounding place! What am I doing here?"

Then I remember that New York City is the best place in the whole world. You can allow the current to sweep you up and  blow you out, or you can learn to ride it like a boss. The current is really a teacher in excellence. It will push you harder than you've ever been pushed. It will test your resolve. It will chisel away at your bullshit, and show you who are and what makes you up.

New York is not for everyone. For the intrepid dreamers, though, this place holds the key to unlock our destinies. If we allow it, it will make us better, stronger and smarter than we dreamed we could be. It will make us great.

But first, we have to go to sleep.

Good night, urban lotuses. Tomorrow we rise again from the mud for another day of hustle.