‘La Petit Mort’


Shall I put on some Barry White?

“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.” KAHLIL GIBRAN

I like sex. That doesn’t mean I think i’m good at it by the way. I mean I’ve had my moments, but in general I like it. I want to add ‘who doesn’t’ but I think that would be a general statement with which more than a few might not concur. It doesn’t feel very British to talk about it either, anyway the point is my attitude towards sex has changed a lot over the years. I found a great quote in a book I own which sums it up nicely:

“It has been said before the age of forty men give free reign to their passions., but after suddenly become aware that their strength is declining. As soon as decline sets in, countless illnesses come swarming. If this persists for a long time unchecked it will become incurable. Therefore, P’eng Tsu said ‘To use one human being to cure another, this is the true way” Therefore when a man reaches forty he must become familiar with the art of the bedchamber.”” “For this reason, it is useless to discuss the affairs of the bedchamber with a man who is not yet forty, for his lust is not yet stilled” from Sun Ssu-mio’s Priceless Prescriptions (Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics

I bought this riveting coffee table dweller (joke) from a really great second hand bookshop that I love in Chelsea and have to admit I haven’t actually read it as such, much of the bits I have glanced at are indecipherable but there are bits like the one quoted above which are priceless…especially for a forty plus year old man. Hmmmm.

The link with sex and death is obvious and deeply profound and this is why I like the term ‘La Petit Mort’ (little death) which is the gallic (and my favourite) way of describing a sexual orgasm. The term has been broadly expanded to include specific instances of blacking out after orgasm and other supposed spiritual releases that come with orgasm. I’m a spiritual kind of guy and this release and close spiritual connection has largely been my experience of the act. That’s possibly why I like it…the title…and not just in it’s red blooded lusty sense.

Apparently there are a number of possible sources; The Greek belief that over ‘secretion’ for both men and women would eventually lead to death…(never though of that one)…and an Islamic reference to sleep…oh dear! Okay so I realise that refers to what happens afterwards for both parties rather than to one or more during…(I hope).

Either way it describes neatly a full body orgasm and the semi (or un) -conscious post coital experience as opposed to a lazy/quick one which can of course be very pleasant but not really transcendental…no tears for either party but maybe a good nights sleep…so it really describes the spiritual connection and drive that is going on when we procreate (well). Life and ‘death’ perhaps combined in a single moment…

“Life is nothing but a continuing dance of life and death, a dance of change.” SOGYAL RINPOCHE

Can’t wait to read the next chapter…


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