Posted by: scintillatingspeck | July 13, 2013

Doomer Sex.

It’s interesting; having written about my current attitude towards Doom, I saw a considerable increase in the number of people reading my blog.  Having noted on Facebook the popularity of the topic of Doom, a friend weighed in and suggested that Sex might be even more popular.  I mused, in jest, how many more people might be reading if I wrote about doomer sex?  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea.

In contemplating this blog post, I also wanted to address a few comments that cropped up in response to the last one.  And somehow it seemed my serious/playful thoughts about doomer sex were not all that disconnected from my other thoughts.

Emilee on Pinterest, who pinned my previous Doom post, commented: “A great enlightening post. Where do we go with all this knowledge and fear of impending doom? Do we let it bring us down or can we carry on knowing and yet live a fruitful happy life NOW?”

Jamey Hecht, who wrote an eloquent and fascinating essay about collapse awareness, commented on my post: “I’m very glad that you somehow feel so good even amid your awareness of our dire predicament. I don’t understand how that’s managed but I was moved by your feelings about it.”

I’m compelled by Emilee’s questions.  I don’t know her, but I want to sit down with her, over a cup of tea, and say this:

Where do we go with the knowledge and fear?  Nowhere.  Everywhere.  Is there anywhere to go?  I know that impulse to do, to fix, and a seemingly-related impulse to run far, far away.  That question, where now?  What the heck do we do NOW?  I would suggest holding that frantic, demanding energy like a small child who needs soothing.  We’re doing the best we can, right?  And if we know there’s more we should be doing, then we should be doing it, right?  What if we’re already doing it?  What then? How about lying on the ground, watching the stars and fireflies, dumbfounded, receptive, acknowledging our tininess?

Do we let it bring us down?  Yes.  That’s what I’ve done, anyway.  I let it bring me down, let it break me and grind me up into itty bitty pieces.  Can I say if this is the right thing to do for everyone?  Who am I to presume such a thing?  I don’t especially want people to let it bring them down and then kill themselves, for example.  Is that the fear associated with letting it bring us down?  I don’t think suicide is an inevitable conclusion if one allows Doom to have its say.  Maybe I’m too familiar with sitting with utter bleakness and surviving it.  Can we carry on knowing and yet have a happy, fruitful life, now?  I think my own travels through landscapes of despair were critical to reaching the landscape of joy in which I currently find myself.  Still, I think part of that is giving up the notion of “happiness” as we currently understand it.

Which leads me to Jamey’s comment, in which he acknowledges that he doesn’t understand how I’ve managed to feel so good.  How have I done it?  Have I stumbled across some magical elixir?  Can I share the recipe?  I’ll confess, there’s been no “managing” involved.  What I did was lay myself wide open, vulnerable, reaching tendrils of love-vines out in all directions, reaching blindly for hands that were not guaranteed to be there.  I had to allow myself to be a madwoman.  I had to disassemble my concept of Self, of Identity, and start realizing that there is no separation between any of us.  I had to delve into the willingness to bear witness, and be witnessed.  None of this was with an eye toward feeling “good.”  There were times that felt unendurable.

What buoys me up, now, what provides insane amounts of joy, is love.  Love!  Love for its own sake, love for the sheer pleasure of it, love that, once it’s unleashed, finds its desiderata unerringly, enthusiastically, without reservation, with loosened tresses and smiling, trembling lips.  Hey, that sounds like it could involve sex.  It doesn’t have to, of course; there are many kinds of rapturous love, but if most of us are honest with ourselves, that immersion into sensual delight is something we very much want.

At first, when I started turning the phrase “doomer sex” over in my mind, I wondered, is this oxymoronic?  An inner voice declared, oh, no no no, not oxymoronic at all– surely anyone could see that the flip side of witnessing destruction would be the witnessing of beauty and fecundity.  Is that so, though, that anyone could see it?

My mind drifts back to the days immediately following 9/11.  Only a few weeks prior to 9/11, my beloved grandfather, Luigi Foschi, died.  I was grieving, distraught.  Then 9/11 happened, and like so many other people worldwide, I felt traumatized and bewildered.  Is it strange to acknowledge that during that time, I was irresistibly drawn to making love to my boyfriend (who later became my husband) with particular intensity?  Would it have been more proper to dwell in a sad, cerebral space, eschewing that physical thirst for loving connection and sensual pleasure?

There are so many cultural elements bearing down upon us, insisting that any focus on the corporeal, the sensual, the world of animal instincts, that which defies intellectualization, that which resists commodification, is somehow inferior, or evil, or not productive enough.  Sexuality is such an intensely charged topic, on so many levels, and yet we’re captivated; we’re still animals, see.  I don’t think it makes sense to attempt to override our basic, bodily needs.  Haven’t we been punished enough, by others and ourselves?  There’s one narrative in doomer circles that if we just work really hard, if we sacrifice more and more and more, if we nobly suffer through the discomfort of awakening the masses, practicing our various sorts of activism, then, THEN there will be at least a chance at redemption.  Does this strike anyone else as having self-sacrificing, punitive, religious tones?  How much credence do we want to give to that particular narrative?  What if, furthermore, the whole idea of “redemption” is suspect?  What happens when we relinquish the belief that we can “save” anyone or anything?  Could we still do the good work, with joy, knowing that nothing we do or say is permanent?  Could we consider that play is as valuable as work, even while we perceive that terrible destruction is taking place?  Could we uphold the generativity, the riot of life in the natural world, as a model?  Could we even contemplate augmenting our joy, consciously building it, through practices as varied as sitting still, walking through a forest, preparing a delicious meal, not working so damned hard, not turning away from our essential selves and our beloveds, making love with unfettered enthusiasm?  Could we allow that emotional openness to infuse our consciousness, our actions, such that every moment is made sacred?  Could we commit to making love, in every sense that can be construed, sexual and otherwise, rather than arranging our own numbness, or waiting for death to arrive?

We could.





  1. I very much enjoyed your post – keep ’em coming! My husband and I have been through a similar process — awareness, depression, helplessness, futility. We have come through to the other side which seems to be a realization and a basic acceptance of our separation from the mainstream culture and all its empty promises. As you say, we can only do what we can do when faced with doom. However, there is a discovery waiting, once you shed all the trappings of consumer culture; get rid of all the shiny things and the delay of living for some promised future, and you find that — there’s now. And the enjoyment of now. And really, that’s all there ever is. I think…once we realize all there is now, we can let go of what may come and get down to the important and immediate process of living in the now. I’m not saying we shouldn’t think about the future – we just needn’t exclude the present while we do.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! I find it’s often lonely on the other side of doom.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Samara. Right there with you, right here, right now. It feels less lonely all the time.

  2. Absolutely your best yet, though I’m not a full time regular reader.

    • Made we weep

      • Michael- I’m giving you a big hug. Feel it? For real.

  3. ‘me’

  4. hey barbie! good work. and, samara, i like what you had to say as well. it is good to meet here on the other side.

    • Mar, I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with the nickname “Barbie” for very long… just sayin’. It’s Barbarella or nothing. 🙂

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