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Unrequited Love and Sex

Unrequited Love and Sex.

Sex lies at the root of life; we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex.

– Henry Havelock Ellis

Sex is our primal drive in life and we are a sex obsessed culture. Look around you, the sex saturated multi-media portraying orgasmic shampoos, arousing soft drinks and phallic cars, all of these are an indication of what the advertising companies are aiming to target- our basic instinct.

It has been studied that romantic love, is a stronger craving than sex. As discussed in my blog The Brain Function in Unrequited Love, people don’t kill themselves if they do not get sex when they want it, but it is not adaptive to be without love, and hence, a love deprived unrequited lover needs more attention in terms of getting over the situation, than, probably, a sex deprived husband/wife.

According to a research, the average American teenager views sexual encounters on TV 14,000 times a year. Despite how much sex sells, not everyone is buying the assumption that sex is the supreme goal of life. It is clearly understood that the increased quantity of exposure to sex is matched by the declining understanding of quality loving sex and it’s implications. Sex rules the lives of singles, married, committed and unrequited lovers, however, quality loving sex forms a part of a small percentage of our population today.

With reference to unrequited love, sex remains a dissatisfying and loveless encounter, sadly devoid of true love, intimacy and pleasure and often motivated by lust or loneliness. A recent Oprah Winfrey show on libido cited statistics that 40 million American women suffer from low libido. The audience was full of angst ridden women who couldn’t match their partners desire for sex. Resorting to testosterone creams, it was an unspoken assumption that low libido was a disease that required treatment. Everyone had bought the multimedia lie that we are less than human if we don’t have a voracious and insatiable sex desire. Does that mean Mother Teresa had a less fulfilling and meaningful life than the rest of us?


Ayurveda helps us put sex in perspective through the ancient Indian scriptures. Emphasising our faculty of discrimination concerning quality and quantity, it advises judicious indulgence in sex. More profound implications than just physical pleasure have been portrayed in a sexual union experience. It opens up our heart to love ourselves and all beings with increased passion and instructs us about making sexual union a sacred consciousness expanding experience. It also teaches that sex is a spiritual connection that will satiate all our desires. It is ultimately a yearning for an unconditional loving relationship between ourselves and the divine.


The frenetic preoccupation with sex that characterises western culture is borne out of a need to feel loved unconditionally, as a baby is loved completely, and is often unrelated to sexual needs. It is more an expression of a thirst for intimacy, touch and tenderness. This is reflected in lover’s use of ‘baby-talk’ and seemingly immature interactions. It is important to note that all of these actions are missing in unrequited love, and the lover is only left longing for this kind of love and belonging. Even when there are instances of sexual encounter, they are not fulfilling and soul stirring for the unrequited lover, because his heart, ultimately wants to his object of desire in the place that is currently being occupied by his temporary sexual partner.

You can have loveless sex and you can express sexless love. Obviously love and sex are not mutually exclusive. Unloving sex is not just available but socially acceptable – brothels, inflatable lovers and promiscuity lead us away from intimacy and sensitivity, towards a dehumanised, impersonal sexuality of perversity. The negative practice of loveless sex is having a dramatic impact on our society today. Soaring incidences of rape, necrophilia, sadism, masochism, pedophilia and incest reflect the incredibly destructive influence of the promotion of loveless sex. Sex is often used as a tool of domination and power by men whereas women may use sex as a means to manipulate a man or as a love substitute. We have under-valued and under-estimated both the destructive potential of loveless sex and the creative force of loving sex. The choice to remain celibate or a virgin until an opportunity to have a meaningful union with a loving partner is often judged as naive or a sign of mental illness. It is for this reason that many spiritual philosophies share the advice given by Ayurveda, that sex should only be shared by a loving couple as true satiation only arises from the union of emotions, body and soul.

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