One of the first things to get is: Free Love is not just about sex anymore. Just like sex is not always about love. Sure, sex and love are two tastes that taste great together, but if Free Love was always about sex, we would have titled this book Free Sex, Can You Really Afford It?, (Book titles with ‘sex’ in them sell more copies, right?) We invite you to think of Free Love as an open field where you can run and explore, it’s not just this tiny little plot of land riiiiiiiight here. No this fertile field runs the gamut from being single to having deep intimate friendships to multiple co-parenting situations to just loving your fellow human being (and off at the edges you might find some group sex.) And it’s rich lands offer many fruit such as freedom, variety, excitement, jealousy, fear of abandonment, independence, honesty, integrity, disappointment, self enquiry and even enlightenment. Clearly, free love is about soooooo much more than sex.
Thus it follows that you don’t have to be having sex to practice free love. Celibacy is a totally valid relationship love style. With all the cultural hypnosis about falling in love and being in partnership, celibacy is quite a radical alternative path. And believe it or not, many people chose not to. Celibacy is an attractive option for a variety of reasons. Of course, there are various religious traditions that require clergy, monastics and nuns to lead a celibate life, but did you know that Free Lovers can also chose not to have sex? Celibacy is often practiced within a specific time frame that someone sets aside to work on themself. It can be anything from a month to ten years. Many free lovers decide to take a break from physical relationships for the purpose of personal growth or sexual healing. Some people do it just to finding their center. It’s an especially powerful practice for women with co-dependent tendencies ho have had a hard time saying “no.” In Tantra celibacy is called bramacharia and it is a spiritual practice of sublimating sexual energy. Giving it over to god (or gods.) bramacharia is revered because it is a path towards freedom from sexual thoughts and liberation from desire. Celibates can choose their own degree of celibacy. The strictest practices don’t engage in masturbation and/or sexual fantasy. While some people roll around in the hot and heavy sexual foreplay but just stop short of penetrative sex. Sometimes even the most active sluts will abstain from sexual activity for up to 3 months while they are waiting for their STD test results. Fundamentalists might argue this is not real celibacy, but who are we to judge?
On Being Single
In this society, being single is considered code for “not married—yet.” In general the mainstream culture has matured beyond the outdated expectation that virginity be saved until marriage, but not by much. The unspoken social agreement now is that sometime around puberty you become interested in the opposite sex and the male gender starts to ask the female gender out on dates. In the locker room he gets a lot of pressure about how far he goes and with whom. Meanwhile the girls are on the telephone talking in extreme details about their every fantasy. And if they don’t get asked out by some immature jock, they can turn their attention to the older guys who can’t seem to resist. At some point they start car dating…which means that they may decide park somewhere and make out…and one thing leads to another. And it’s generally considered OK to do this with as many dates as you like, as long as they don’t find out about each other, but if at some point they decide mutually go all the way…it is an unspoken understanding that they are not sleeping with anyone else because that would make them two timers… Or if she went all the way before she was in an actual relationship, that might make her a slut (and him a stud.) This entire mating charade is all a big audition for the other half. The one person who is supposed to solve everything. Society’s stressful script that single people are incomplete and that dating people and relationships aren’t productive unless they’re moving toward the end game of marriage sets people up to always look at the future and not be happy with the now. What if dating and playing the field were celebrated as a respectable love stlye? What if dating and having relationships was more about the quality of the connection and intimacy and purposed for growth rather than purposed for marriage? What if being single was a valid life choice so that people didn’t have an agenda of trying to find Mr. or Miss Right to be happy? What if dating was meant to be enjoyed for the sake of meeting people and getting to know them as a human being and not as a series of interviews for “the One?”
For more excerpts from Free Love: Can You Really Afford it by Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko bookmark: http://www.uninhibitedbliss.blogspot.com