Recently I received a request to write about sexual addiction from a man whose good friend was struggling to break the lascivious grip of online pornography. He wondered what would cause an otherwise extremely sensible and good person to act so self-destructively that his marriage and job were risked. However, I put writing the column off from week to week, finding other topics more relevant to pursue.
When I saw the news recently, I knew that the time had come for me to address the subject of sexual addiction, because Mark Foley, the Republican representative from southern Florida, was reported as having sent sexually-oriented email messages to a succession of House pages.
Maddy Sauer, an ABC reporter, broke the story about the email to one page a week ago, and within twenty four hours, two additional former pages had come forward. As of yesterday, she said, due to her posting Foley's email messages on the internet, ten more former pages had come forward and spoken to her in confidence, of their own disquieting experiences with Foley.
It is illegal to use the internet to solicit sex with a minor. It is ironic that representative Foley was a member, before he abruptly resigned his office, of the House Caucus for Missing and Exploited Children and undoubtedly had a hand in making the laws under which he will be tried for his misbehavior, if it comes to that.
Let's look at this tangle from the standpoint of the pages. Their job is to run messages from here to there for the House and Senate. They are selected from all over the country and live in a dormitory in Washington, DC with the other pages for the year of their service. These young people are very keen on the political process. They are usually hopeful of securing a lasting connection with as many of the representatives and senators as possible during their term of service, since their ambitions for a career after their schooling is finished focus on becoming a politician or on working for the government in some other way.
Imagine one of these young men's feelings when someone like Foley, who can help them in their career, initiates conversations that include a request for the page to measure his penis.
Politics is a tough game. We all know that. Those who may wonder why no page ever blew the whistle on Foley can look to the results of such a revelation. If the page were believed, an investigation would ensue and the page's face and name would be all over the papers. That is not a good start to a political career. Foley could be fairly certain that none of his victims would talk.
Psychologists tend to look at sexual misconduct such as this from the standpoint of childhood influences and sure enough, Foley reports being sexually abused as a child by a staff member of his family's church.
The Ra Group, one of the spiritual sources I channel, when asked about the deeper reason for such sexual addiction, suggested that such addiction stems from energy blockages in the chakra or energy body. A person's energy body consists of seven energy centers which run from the base of the spine to the top of the head.
The red-ray center is the seat of sexuality and issues of survival. The next energy center is the orange ray, which deals with personal relationships. Then comes the yellow ray, which handles relationships with legal groups such as the birth family, the marriage family and the workplace. These three chakras are the arena for human beings to organize and bring discipline to the everyday things of life, as they clear the way for the opening of their hearts in the next chakra, which is the green ray. The blue ray deals with open communication and deep-seated support and encouragement, while the indigo ray is the seat of work in consciousness, the development of faith and the ability to see all things as sacred.
When my associate Don Elkins asked the Ra Group about sexual blockages, the Ra Group said,
"The first energy transfer is red ray. It is a random transfer having to do only with your reproductive system. The orange and the yellow ray attempts to have sexual intercourse create, first, a blockage if only one entity vibrates in this area, thus causing the entity vibrating sexually in this area to have a never-ending appetite for this activity. What these vibratory levels are seeking is green ray activity. There is the possibility of orange or yellow ray energy transfer; this being polarizing towards the negative: one being seen as object rather than otherself; the other seeing itself as plunderer or master of the situation."
Energetically speaking, then, if we see sexual addiction, we can surmise that the person exhibiting this behavior has gotten blocked in either orange ray or yellow ray. We really cannot be blocked in red-ray sexually unless our instincts for survival have gone awry and we wish to die. That will block the natural expression of sexuality. For the most part, however, we humans are not blocked in red ray. When the opportunity arises, so does our lust.
However, it is far easier to be blocked sexually in either orange or yellow ray. Say you are with a mate — if unmarried, you will be working with the orange ray; if you are married, you will be working with the yellow ray — and there arises between you and your mate a feeling of dissatisfaction. This discontent can be a simple matter of wanting more experience than can be had with one woman. The instinct to mate unselectively with as many females as possible is native to the males of the great ape family, of which we are a part.
The natural flow of sexual expression takes in all of the chakras through the indigo ray. It starts, in the archetypal way, with boy meets girl. Attraction brings them together at the red-ray level. They form a relationship, which brings their sexual relationship to orange-ray. Eventually they make a commitment of fidelity and become mated, and the sexual energy has now risen to the yellow ray.
One fine day, this mated pair discovers that they actually love each other, not just a little; not just for a while; but now and forever. Their sexual energy rises to the green ray of the open heart. They begin exchanging energy, one to the other, in true mutuality. As their relationship matures, that sexual energy can rise to blue ray, with its tremendous power to comfort and heal emotions, and to indigo ray, the seat of sacred sexuality.
However this natural rise of sexual energy to sacredness will never happen to the person whose hunger for sex is such that he is not satisfied with one sexual mate, or if he is unmated, with abstinence. Since he is not exchanging energy during sex, his hunger only increases with sexual expression. Such a person is caught in a never-ending cycle of sexual need.
And the tendency of a person whose energy is thusly blocked, as the Ra group says, is to polarize toward the negative and become a sexual predator, as did Foley.
How can such behavior be healed? Love is the only real healer of this condition. No matter how many people involved in a sex addict's struggle express such love, the love which the addict needs the most can come only from himself. He shall need to do the work involved in coming to understand his behavior, finding compassion for himself and forgiving himself. If he can get that far, he can begin to heal. It is fortunate that there are good twelve-step programs out there to help the addict in his recovery.
If I had to finger the underlying culprit in such sexual addiction, I would target our modern society. In days of old, when most people lived in the country and lived simpler lives, a man and woman could expect that a marriage would last a lifetime. Mates needed each other back then. Trust and understanding comes easier to people who know they are pulling together for life. And women generally stayed home and put all their quality time into making a home. It took all that time, too, when one cooked with wood, washed outdoors over a fire-heated cauldron and so forth.
These days, both mates in a pair generally must work outside the home in order to pay their bills. No one is keeping the home fires burning. So much goes on when raising children that chaos seems to threaten on a daily basis. Where is the time for the development of a deep and trusting relationship?
Another feature of our culture that must take some blame is the constant bombardment of all of us with sexually provocative images by advertisers and by TV and the movies.
The final influence which I see as deserving to take some blame is the way our culture shies away from depth of thinking. It takes a deeper view of sexuality to see the virtues of monogamy or — for a single person — abstinence. It takes that respect for the self that sees the body as a temple. There is little of that energy in the culture in which we live.
I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May you find great respect and admiration for your own temple; your own body. In the expression of your own sexuality, may it be all about love, laughter and sacred play.