Several years ago I read something, somewhere, that said sexuality and creativity are closely linked. That made sense to me, in my gut, so I filed that info away, and added other related pieces of information (try Googling ‘sexuality and creativity’ if you want to see what’s current. – it’s pretty interesting), and didn’t really think about explaining it until someone asked me the other day what that meant. Creativity and sexuality aren’t in close brain spaces, since sex, in its basic stage, is a very back-brain, ‘survival of the species’ sort of behaviour, and creativity is a very front brain, ‘I have enough survival needs met to spend energy on self-actualization’ sort of behaviour. You don’t have to be sexually active or sexually inactive to create, and you don’t have to be creating or think you’re a creative person to have sex. So Allie, what’s up with this?
I’ll admit, I floundered a bit… or a lot. It’s been a part of the way I’ve understood things and it’s come up in so many articles and discussions over the years, that it sort of settled into the place in my brain that contains other universal truths like ‘peppermint flavoured things should be available year ‘round, not just in December’ or ‘watering the houseplants is an important step in getting them to grow. It was just something I believe.
Then I got a great idea and Googled ‘sexuality and creativity’, and sure enough, got a nice spread of articles and websites. So I presented a selection of those to the person asking me. They read through them. And they asked questions. And a lot of the questions boiled down to ‘okay, other people agree with you, or you agree with them, but what’s up with this?’
Well… darn & phooey and insert some stronger language here if you prefer it. I tried to answer the question, but it kept bouncing about in my head for a while. I’m that sort of person; the one who comes up with the perfect thing to say or do a week late. Fortunately, the person who asked me is still living and aware and interested – as far as I know. So here’s my answer, at least today.
Real creativity requires passion. (Not passion as in satin lingerie & interesting oils, although if that’s your thing, no problem.) I mean passion as in a deep down feeling that this matters, that is needs to be expressed, that it’s worth expending a lot of energy. Creativity requires passion, interest, feeling to really be creativity. It doesn’t require being good at whatever you do, although people who are good at their creative expression tend to sell more sculpture or get more recording contracts or whatever the outlet for their creative work entails. But a kindergarten drawing of a tree and a spaceship and a butterfly can still have passion, interest, and feeling from its creator. It communicates something of the creator to the observer.
Now to consider the sex. It’s certainly possible to have sex with a minimum of interest, or passion, or feeling. If you don’t believe me, go find a handy doctor’s waiting room and read through the selection of women’s magazines. Chances are, at least one in five has something about putting the passion, romance, or interest into, or back into, sex.
(If your doctor is more the type to have architectural and bird-watching magazines, you may have to offer to take a friend to the doctor to try this.)
If you want to have meaningful sex, though; the kind where you feel your own sexuality, and reach out to a partner, and really enjoy what’s going on, you need passion, and interest, and feeling. Perhaps that’s the difference between ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality’. For sex (the verb, not the noun referring to someone’s set of chromosomes) all you really need is to be physically functional enough to get the job done. Be advised that different people have different ideas of what, exactly, constitutes ‘getting the job done’, but you can Google that, too. Sexuality just might refer to sexual activity or understanding that involves feelings, and communication, and interest, and passion.
So if you believe those definitions (you certainly aren’t required to), both creativity and sexuality involve many of the same ingredients. They tend to be the ingredients that people use in anything that matters a lot to them. Quite a few of the things people do with interest, feeling, and passion are referred to as creative, even if they aren’t strictly in a ‘creative’ field. Other times, people feel strongly and are interested and have passion for something they get to use or own in some way, such as my interest, feelings, and passion for finding peppermint-flavoured chocolate and ice-cream and such in months other than December. This is often referred to as ‘interest’, ‘weird’, or ‘thank goodness, I know what to get Ms. X for her birthday’. And when people are involved on a physical and romantic level with each other and involve passion and interest and feeling, it’s using their sexuality.
For the person who asked, that’s the best answer I have right now. For anyone else who didn’t ask me, but maybe has been wondering, it’s still the best answer I have. I hope it helps. For those who might have been asked some version of this question, now you have my answer. Maybe it can add to your own.