38. How Can Sex Make Us Smarter?

Here at Hot Blooded Studies, no matter what setbacks befall us (or how far backwards in time we may be thrust by the United States Supreme Court), we keep plugging away trying to make sense of the insanity. It’s the smart thing to do. The good news is that getting smarter is a lot sexier than you can possibly think (quite literally).

It’s no coincidence that “sense” and “sensibility” share the same root as “sensuality.” And so it’s no surprise that unleashing the full capacity of our sound intelligence requires whole-body sensual engagement and awareness. (Yet another reason why puritan-based ethics cannot ever be progressive.)

The fascinating conundrum in technological times is that the most useful (and user friendly) information we can access is far from the information highway on the worldwide web. And the best thing we can do for ourselves to nourish our noodle, is unplug from the flat screen (the phone, the pad, the TV, whatever), and plug ourselves into the circuit of our living sensuality. That’s because the data that comes through on our digital media is already highly distilled information, stripped of the rich complexity and nuance of life upon which our highly developed nervous systems thrive. The realm in which we spend increasingly more of our (sedentary) lives is a realm of sensual poverty. This realm literally starves our sense organs of the vital materials that feed into the organic database of our living intelligence.

What this means, ironically, is that in this very Age of Information, we are bereft of the most meaningful bits of information. All day long we are bombarded by this pre-processed digital data, our brains on overload, our systems fried, and we are apt to forget that our brains sit on top of a body of immense subliminal intelligence.

The body, sensitive and sensuous, is capable of harvesting a huge wealth of information beneath the radar of our thinking minds. This information is far more integral to our lives than we usually admit, as well as vastly more organically nourishing than the comparatively narrow bandwidth of our conscious attention. (Why do you think the generation of digital natives are suffering such high rates of depression, anxiety, and despair?) And this — maybe surprisingly, or maybe not — means that we can get smarter (and of course more psychologically stable) by not necessarily thinking harder, but rather by tuning into other things beyond the frontal lobes.

Did you know that by the time we become aware of anything whatsoever that our brains have already filtered out billions of data bytes gathered, inside and out, from our living bodies? (The ratio of what our bodies sense to what our minds perceive is about a million to one.) Our brains, as it turns out, are late to the show, ignorant of the details, and inordinately slow on the uptake. That filtration process takes fully half a second, which means that by the time we “think” we know about anything, it’s already over. Ever felt like life was passing you by? Here’s the proof!

But this is clearly not the last word. To get in on the goodies of the genuine Here-and-Now adventure, to nourish our capacities for superior wisdom, to make more use of our own bandwidth as living entities, to experience life as happier, livelier participants…we need to remember who we are as sensuous beings.

Sex is the perfect activity for finding ourselves in sensuality, for remembering who we are as living, throbbing organisms. Sexuality, like the breath, is one of the bridges between the purely automatic organic processes of the body and those within the reach of our voluntary control. Therefore, it invites us to access the depths of our body’s direct, unfiltered knowledge of ourselves and the world. A limitless reservoir of innate, instinctive intelligence…what more could you ask for?

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