Marina Krleža: Libido Sets the Rules of the Game

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The world is very interesting if seen through the prism of libido. More or less, everything is about the libido. But, is it having it a blessing or a curse?

Let us start from the beginning. God gave libido to Adam and Eve. Yes, it is the same God whose name is written with big capital letter by more than 2/3 of humankind, although it is not his personal name. It is also the “God” who began to contest that very same libido when people did not play by his rules.

Imagine that you give your children the most interesting toy and then allow them to play with it only by your own rules. Should something like play have strict rules? Should not that kind of play be freestyling? Why is it that the very same God had not been able to predict that he created imperfect beings, susceptible to anything, sin included? Moreover, why would he call harmless game and exploration of your own body a sin? Maybe because he was jealous of people for doing something that he was not able to do himself?

Having played it for centuries by God’s rules, people have learned that the problem is not always in libido, as such, but in its (lack of) control. Attempts at control of our sex drive are everywhere around us – from church altars to confessions booths in which they try to drum into children’s heads that sex before marriage is a sin. School biology classes in which masturbation, particularly female, is hardly ever worth a sentence or two in textbooks. Lack of information about important sexuality details in Croatian professional literature that could be of great help to teenagers and adolescents before they become sexually active. For example, male ejaculation during sleeping or nocturnal emissions are often mentioned, while practically there is no term existent for uncontrolled female orgasms during sleeping that happen to women all over the world on monthly, even weekly basis.

Instead of organizing lectures about benefits and positive advantages of sex, in many Croatian primary and secondary schools, the Croatian Institute of Public Health has lectures about, among other things, sexually transmitted diseases by which they scare children and youth providing information about sexual health conditions that majority of them will never find themselves in. Young people are shown photographs of people infected with gonorrhoea, chlamydia, AIDS, genital herpes, etc. Of course that they need to be informed about sexually transmitted diseases, but who teaches them how to put condom, types of sex, getting orgasms, masturbation and sex positions? I am afraid nobody does. In addition, I have first-hand information that some students do not attend those lectures, which are not mandatory and are held before or after regular classes, because local priests advise them to. I am not writing this from the point of view of the outsider, but as somebody who was working inside the education system for years.

Although sexual prohibitions are widespread, from the moment people start their independent interaction with the outside world, and in spite of them, but thanks to libido we have managed to survive for thousands of years. By engaging our sex drive we create generations that improve human original DNA structure, thus making us the most intelligent primates in the planet Earth evolution chain.

Healthy libido keeps us physically young and mentally agile. If we are not able to express it as we wish, we get depressed; if it is too expressed, we get manias. Rape, arguments between partners and adulteries are committed because of libido, but also wonderful orgasms, quiet or loud. Because of it we are ruthless consumers in consumeristic society and (un)skilled actors when elaborating our own seductive (in)capabilities. Because of libido we lead lifestyles of hedonists and erotophiles, and without it we become ascetic and misogynous. Libido is credited for turning love into hate and hate into love. Beautiful friendships and quality business relations grow because of it, but it can also cause the death of old friendships and termination of existing business relations.

Restrained libido sometimes makes people enter into politics, which serves them as a substitute for unconsumed sexual energy. History has taught us that lack of healthy libido created rules of dictatorships, tyrannies, fascisms and despotisms, which have left a mark on certain peoples and civilizations for centuries. On the other hand, some people try to justify their lack of libido by material things, and sometimes they do it by extreme craving for attention and constant presence in the public eye. Uncontrolled attention they need from other people is very often expressed by overemphasized libidoization of their own relationships with people, which leads to other kinds of problems in their lives.

When libido is (under)emphasized, it causes great distinction among people and jealousy occurs: men compete with other men in their original role of alpha male, and when women play their alpha role, they look into other women’s eyes with defiance. We are all conquerors when libido is at stake, just as rulers were in the history of territorial fights. The ultimate goal? Human flesh. When we get it, we go for the soul. But it all starts with the body.

Therefore, when people tell me that libido does not determine us, they lie. Not to me, but to themselves. It is time to call spade a spade and to break existing sexual taboos. It is very important, as I already pointed out several times in public, that our sex drive does not determine us as more or less quality people since its level is predefined, just like hair and eye colour. When libido, as phenomenon, is placed in context (because it cannot be restrained), just like all other human phenomena that are not clinical, it will be a sign that we are moving into a good direction.

My libido is a little bit higher than the average one. If you think that it is something totally positive, you are wrong. It would be appreciated only if you communicated with people whose sex drive was identical to yours, but things do not function that way. That is why sometimes there are problems. What kind of problems? Here is an example. If you are a woman and accidentally drop in a group of people that you had been horny today and pleased yourselve several times, some people can judge you harshly because of that. It can be a problem for your partners if they cannot give you pleasure as many times as you need, and your household members (whether family or flatmates, depending on who you live with) are embarrassed if they catch you doing it (been there, done that). I appeal to you not to see it as a problem because masturbation produces pleasure, just like feeding or doing things that make us happy and relax us, such as singing, playing an instrument, painting, shopping. Nobody tell us not to do those things and nobody is surprised when we do them. Therefore, let us stop behaving as if masturbation is something abnormal, undesirable and out of ordinary.

However, individual level of sex drive is very important in a situation, such as love relationship between partners. Let us generalize and simplify by considering that there are three levels of sex drive – low, normal and strong.

In a relationship, it is of the utmost importance that both partners are on the same level. If one of the partners has a low-level sex drive, and the other partner a strong one, then long-term, emotionally stable relationship is practically impossible. If, on the other hand, one partner has low sex drive, the other one normal, or one partner has normal sex drive, and the other partner has the strong one, even in these cases, the relationship will suffer from some deficiencies in couple’s sexual life. If the levels are not compatible, the compromises arising from it demand a lot of time dedicated to understanding of each other and mutual toleration of behaviours. In the long-term, there will from time to time appear some feelings, such as sadness, loneliness, feeling distanced from the partner.

That is why it is very important for marriage and long-term relationship to find a partner with the equal sex drive. You only live once and it is sad if you pass your moments in constant sexuality compromises with your partner. In that case, love, friendship and all other pleasant feelings unnecessarily go out of focus.

If we were to become fully aware of how irrelevant is everything we do and the way we live, if we understood that having children and perpetuation of species is but a millisecond in duration and spaciousness of the space, we would probably become fierce hedonists that have time for nothing else, except for eating good food, drinking the best wines and achieving orgasms whenever possible.

Laws are there to limit you. Schools are there to teach you that irrelevant things are relevant. Most religions are there to fill you up with complexes and make you bear children, that will finance the existence of the Church fathers, and raise you to be the servants of human procreation by reproduction so that the capitalists of the world’s largest corporations and institutions can have a nice life, thanks to you. Yes, I know this sounds cruel and painful, but it is good to be aware of this standpoint as well.

Nobody teaches you to stop. Take a breath. Get to know yourself. To love and respect yourself deeply. To drink in all the beauty of spiritual and physical freedom. Most of all, nobody teaches you to relax. To enjoy, by yourself or with others. Because enjoyment is not legal. Enjoyment is not legitimate or welcome. That is why only few people enjoy.

I ask you to change it. At least a little. Up to the extent that your health and opportunities allow you. Because you are entitled to pleasure. And enjoyment.

Yours, in sexual sincerity,

Marina 🙂