Have you ever tried to describe an orgasm? Many poets have tried, but much like the sex they describe, greatness is subjective – the orgasmic experience is wholly unique.
Desire, Langston Hughes
“Desire to us Was like a double death, Swift dying Of our mingled breath, Evaporation Of an unknown strange perfume Between us quickly In a naked Room.”
This particular piece emphasizes a familiar association between the orgasm and death, both-somewhat mysterious.
La Petite Mort or the little death, is a phrase now commonly used to describe the spiritual sensation of the orgasmic and post orgasmic state. A few explanations of the phrase’s (potential) historical origin include:
- Greco-Roman belief that the oversecretion of bodily fluids would “dry out” one of the believed four humors, leading to death
- Islam’s reference to sleep
- Buddhist Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’s quote: “Life is nothing but a continuing dance of birth and death, a dance of change.” (Existence through many changes, “births and deaths”) “
All this to say, I feel we owe this expression more consideration with a wider (and uniquely Sunai) lens. At the intersection of art and sex, we often stumble across spirituality. I’d like to posit that the orgasm itself is our most available, and accessible pathway to the divine- regardless of technical differences of origin.
When examining Western spiritual culture and the influence of religion one might be surprised that sex isn’t more widely celebrated- if not for physical pleasure alone- but for spiritual potential.
Many of the largest organized religions in the Western world are dominated by obsession with death and the afterlife.
That, being the case, it would make a great deal of interesting conversation to ask why these little deaths are not celebrated as a gift from God herself?
It is endlessly amazing how art, religion, and popular culture interweave in countless ways. Through each of these, there is always a hum of sexual possibility- like a current connecting all to all- this continuous cycle of death and rebirth.