My dinner companion this evening is a picture of me when I was four. With these eyes I look at those eyes and say “Please pass the innocence.”
And I am tingling, warm inside and grateful.
I reach for steamed broccoli, bright green and slightly undercooked.
I remember how I used to eat. Before health and age conspired to excommunicate Doritos and Jell-O from my kingdom.
Maybe this really is a pleasure planet, if only we would forgive ourselves for who we have been, are now, and will be.
When I was four my eyes were round with wonder, pleasure was everywhere. It was in the wild field behind our house, in the dark dusty basement where the ancient furnace blazed, and anywhere the kids who lived on my street were playing.
I have traded all that for busy.
When he was 11 my son said to me, “What do you do for fun?”
I seriously replied, “I don’t understand the question.”
My innocence is still here, but it is under a pile of thoughts and stacks of to-do lists.
As a kid I watched ants working, and now I seem to have become part ant myself.
When I was four I lived on the frontier, learning all the time and not knowing anything for sure. I’ve found that frontier again, discovered a secret that has changed my life forever.
While my mind is busy knowing, there is a part of me still youthful, curious, and open.
It’s my sense of touch.
It leads me to new sensations, new worlds and ways of being. It reminds me this is one fine tactile planet.
My sense of touch has grown up, become more nuanced and is better than ever.
Like a kid I derive pleasure from the wind in my face, the sun on my back, and an extended full body stretch in the morning.
Like an adult, I love touching other bodies: cuddling, making love, lips meeting lips and tracing the curves of my lover with finger tips.
I feel so lucky to feel, thrilled to greet each moment.
What a Body Wants
When my mind gets what it wants, it wants something else.
When my body gets what it wants it swoons, coos, relaxes and offers a deep sense of well-being.
When my mind gets curious about what my body wants, these two finally show up on the same page and the universe seems friendly.
Most people perceive their mind to be in charge, navigating their more or less robotic body from soccer practice, to work and home again.
And sure, the ants I watched as a kid lived like that but we simply don’t have to.
So let’s not.
Let’s feel the sheets in the morning, take luxurious stretches like dogs and cats do, find something especially tasty and healthy for breakfast that makes us feel special.
Let’s take naps, and take a dip in cold water, and wrap our arms around each other.
More Sex Please
My body wants sensation and delivers. No matter how great a thinker you are, you think far fewer thoughts than there are sensations to feel.
So nurturing, courting and paying attention to your feelings just makes good sense. And a favorite place to do just that is with a lover, in the bedroom, and with wide-eyed curiosity and innocence anywhere.
Because when you get too far from sex you you get tense, stressed and fearful. You feel lonely, and your thoughts drive you to distraction.
Because skin knows best. And when your dermis is delighted world peace is within reach.
Because this is a pleasure planet, and you can pack a lot of pleasure in that body of yours.
Sex offers skin on skin time. It pacifies a deep inner-longing and quiets your mind. It submerges you in ecstasy. It reminds you that you are perfect as you are, and that is sweet relief from trying to prove or improve yourself.
You are a peaceful animal when you have had enough sex. You spread pleasure instead of seeking it.
You don’t have to be tall, smart, rich, or even employed to have sex. Sex is an equal opportunity liberator. We were made for it and orgasms too. Our neurology depends upon it.
But What is Enough Sex?
You could google, talk to a friend, or consult your parents morality, but none of these will confirm what “enough” sex is.
But your skin, flesh and bones know when you are getting enough sex. They lead you along a winding path of sensations to well-being.
Enough sex is not measured in minutes, hours, or orgasms. It is measured in your loving, peaceful disposition.
When you are getting enough sex you aren’t prone to argue. You aren’t moved to give somebody who cuts you off in traffic the finger. Instead you feel compassion for them. Things that used to bother you simply won’t anymore.
Having Enough Sex
If I studied physics every time I thought about sex, I would probably have won a Nobel prize for my ground breaking research in neutrino oscillations.
Instead, one day I carefully put a pencil mark on a piece of paper each time I thought about sex.
On my third or fourth pencil and fifth piece of paper it was time for lunch.
I ate an egg sandwich, thinking about: you guessed it…
Sex wasn’t required when I went to high school like it is now. Even in college it was an elective.
Enough sex looks a lot like enlightenment—the satiated grin, the peaceful expression, the easy laughter and embrace of change. This is no coincidence. When you get enough sex your body is happy. When your body is happy, your mind will follow. And when your mind and body are synchronized and dancing, gleefully, to the same tune, enlightenment will come.
If you feel energized and curious as a kid greeting a new playground, then you are breaking free, and returning to innocence.
If, when faced with fear you tingle, excitement washes over you, your heart opens and your mind hums the theme from Rocky, then your liberation is well under way.
If you feel like a cat and the world is your mouse then touch a little more, have some more sex and surrender to well-being having its way with you.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Gabriel S. Delgado