The Last Fall of Adam
~ on male sexual phantasies, aggression and erectile dysfunction
BY CAROLE SAWO [19/2/23]
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light”, writes Jung, “but by making the darkness conscious”. So what hidden fear really motivates some male behaviour; sexual preoccupations and diverted libido aggressive outbursts, that lurk unaddressed, or undressed in the subconscious mind? And why must this now be brought forth into the conscious light?
When I write about the instincts and impulses that motivate shadowy behaviours in the female mind, I’m wrongly accused of being misogynist. When I write about similar motivators in the shadows in the male mind, the accusation changes to sexist. But one cannot have it both ways, and perhaps that is the real problem. Adam, symbolising the conscious mind of man, has pursued what he thought he wanted, but now he’s got it, discovers he didn’t want that at all. In everyday behaviour, the realised pretence is displayed in sudden shifts and about turns in male behaviour (online ghosting and cop-outs), when his true fears threaten to surface into reality. Man wants *it* but he cannot keep *it* up.
Secretly, all men phantasise about being the one to impregnate all the women. I call it the hareem complex. It comes with a smirk that should his phantasy transpire, he would then have the impossible task of keeping not just one, but twenty women happy. And any person on earth can assess the unlikeliness of those odds. In the absence of a hareem, he must then pursue just one woman, or if parts of him are unsatiated in her, one woman and ‘a bit on the side’. But what bit? And what side?
Man is not released but seduced into the embittered downward spiral of orgasmic addiction, and hormones follow suit to thoughts of burning hunger. A hunger too ancestral (or incestral if one can bear the analytical inspection) for most to consciously comprehend. But as Freud spake, “the persecutor is always someone who was once loved”. I’m going to suggest that erectile dysfunction is an indication of weaning too soon or too abruptly. The withholding mother creating a lasting tension in the mind of the infant, that re-emerges in adult life. Only now it’s not mummy or a surrogate’s breast that man is hungry for, it’s her womb. The sacred tomb of all life.
As Eve wakes, as the collective unconscious rises, modern man can understandably feel as though his power, his potency, is being taken away. The collective Madonna has woken, but as with most newly unveiled archetypes, it presents first in its shadow as the Prostitute Archetype. Man loves his mother and sometimes her surrogate, his wife, but can often not bear the anxiety of his sexual phantasies toward either. He pursues instead, anonymous erotic sex devoid of the proverbial apron strings of attachment, and suddenly, his libido remembers its primary vicissitude. And if he cannot find an object of submission, he must either seek release through sublimation, or voyeurism, or expend a release in more uncontrolled aggressive outbursts.
When one is not given, they take. Man wants sex to feel love, but a woman wants love to feel sex. Man seeks acceptance at the breast of a woman but equally fears her rejection should he not be able to perform (sexually or otherwise). Early castration anxiety towards the father, turns later in life to anxieties and tensions toward a partner. He is neither omnipotent, or even, potent. However, in cloistered truth, most long-term marriages are sexless, though some evolve into deep and committed friendships for life, that surpass the hormonal throws.
As we age, all physical bodies begin to lose the function and full flush of youth. But accepting all of our stages of life is what enables a fuller education. ‘Abstinence’, after all, ‘satiates the soul’. And what one might lose in the throws of lust, they may gain in the tranquillity of understanding, that real intimacy is not found in between the bedsheets, but between the eyes. In the gaze of the other, where we are known. Where we might blossom again without judgement, in a garden where neither snake nor forbidden fruit really existed, in the paradisical imagination.
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