Yesterday Rachelle and I watched an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise where the crew goes into the Dark Mirror universe. This alternative universe shows up in multiple Star Trek series and novels. All the characters have identical looking mirror versions with different personalities and values. It’s a place of violence, belligerence, war, and conquest. Imagine waking up in a reality with all the same people, but almost everyone is openly evil.
One way to advance in this world is to kill a superior and take their position. Characters frequently plot against each other. Everyone carries a sidearm. Trusting someone can be a fatal mistake, even if it’s someone close to you.
This universe also depicts some characters as being sluttier and more sexual. Sex is frequently weaponized.
This made me ponder how often media conditions us to associate sexuality with something evil or demonic.
What if it were the opposite?
What if angels were the sluts? What if beings of peace and love were depicted as being highly sexual? What if the demonic beings were the sexually repressed ones?
What if being openly sexual was associated with virtuous living?
Sexuality is a form of communication. It can express caring, loving attention, playfulness, pleasure, trust, and more. I don’t think it’s a stretch to associate a healthy and abundant sex life with virtuous living and positive, socially responsible values.
Demonizing sexuality strikes me as an immature and controlling way to frame it. Associating it with war and violence seems especially lame. How often do we see violent characters associated with sexual shallowness or conquest, like James Bond?
I associate sexuality with fun, playfulness, caring, connection, intimacy, trust, closeness, and other positive values. I also associate it with laughter and silliness. I feel lucky to have a wife who has similar positive associations to it. Sexually we may behave like characters from the Dark Mirror universe, although it definitely feels like these behaviors are on the side of peace and love.
One thing that helped me shift away from negative frames here was to look within and determine how I really felt about sexuality. Set aside the unconscious conditioning, and take a conscious look at this part of life. Did I actually believe that sex was somehow wrong or evil? What were the real risks to pay attention to? What kinds of partners would I consider good matches (versus partial matches or mismatches)? What did I want to explore personally? What would I prefer to avoid?
What this unlocked was a lot of fun and connection that was previously suppressed behind some limiting beliefs. When I got clear about my own feelings, I could fully own them. I could use frames that made real sense to me.
You probably grew up with some baggage in this area of life – some associations to sexuality that may not serve you well, either from social conditioning or direct experience. Those can create strong emotional reactions that lead to mixed associations. I encourage you to examine your honest thoughts and feelings about sexuality, such as by journaling about them. How would you actually like to relate to this part of life? Do you feel that your current framing serves you well, or does it need some adjustment?
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