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THE METASEXUAL MANIFESTO

by Marco Vassi
from The Erotic Comedies

I

Metasexuality, as a concept, was first used to describe the condition of a person who had subsumed the fragmentary aspects of the erotic manifestation into a unitary appreciation. Since coining the term, however, I have come to view it rather as a category of behavior, to delineate erotic activity as such, regardless of consciousness of those involved. Metasexuality, properly understood, is the shadow of sexuality, a distinct modality of being not to be confused with sex per se.

Sex is, as the traditionalists have it, a vehicle for making babies, and nothing else. Sex, qua sex, is for the propagation of the species, and for no other reason. I hold this definition to be correct. However, there is a vast realm of erotic behavior which falls outside this stricture, and for that I have designated the term metasex.

This bifurcation in terminology, which reflects a real split in the use of our energy, requires a third term to connote the matrix which embraces both sex and metasex, and for this I employ the word eroticum. The eroticum is divided into two categories, sex and metasex, the distinction between which is crucial to a sane understanding of our erotic deportment. Sex is biological; metasex is psychophysical. Sex, the biological eroticum, is for procreation and for no other reason; metasex, the psychophysical eroticum, is for any other reason whatsoever. Sex involves the continuation of the species, and is a relatively rare activity; it has to do with the entire problem of culture and civilization, and might be labeled "work eroticum." Metasex is for pleasure, for expressing affection, for exchanging energy, for money, for communication and exploitation, for meditation, etc., and it might be labeled "play eroticum."

The conditions of sex are imposed by the requirements of biology; it involves a male and a female, penetration by penis into vagina, and ejaculation at the period of fertility. The conditions of metasex, on the other hand, are widely variegated, and are not concerned with the details of the act, whether it be among men and women, among men, or among women; whether it be among people who have known one another for some time or among strangers; whether it is a function of mutual caring or done dispassionately; whether it involves more or less than two people; and whether it is physically conventional or partakes of extreme forms.

Sex and metasex also each have a different quality of tone or texture. With sex, reverence and responsibility are the guiding attitudes, for not only the act itself is relevant, but one must be aware of the full dimension of the consequences. To create another human being is the highest act we are capable of and to engage in it rightly is, unfortunately, a malpractice of epidemic proportions. Also, through sex, one's vision extends to questions of survival, relationship, culture, education; for these are the legacies we bequeath to our children. With metasex, the necessary quality is compassion. Since the circumstances of metasex are so flexible and range over the full spectrum of human behavior, it is all the more essential that the participants do not lose sight of one another's humanity. This means that there be no exploitation, no lying, no damage.

Making proper distinctions has been called the first step in wisdom, and Confucius has stressed the importance of "rectifying the names." It soon became obvious to me that the failure to distinguish between sex and metasex lay at the very core of all our erotic difficulties, and by extension, into the trenchant problems of our civilization. The basic error in all erotic thinking lies in muddying the aesthetic of metasex with the moral contingencies of sex, and of subverting the mystery and grandeur of sex with the relativistic values of metasex.

Using this method of differentiation, we come upon an immediate difficulty. How are we to think and talk about the eroticum if our entire vocabulary is based on the failure to make the distinction between sex and metasex? Our terms are based on outmoded models, and we are burdened with concepts such as homosexual, bisexual, perversion, and all the lists of anatomical details. This is the result of viewing metasex from the standpoint of sexual requirements. Sexually, of course, there is only one way to do it: male and female in genital intercourse; and from that perspective the index of Kraft-Ebbing makes sense. But once we see that within the metasexual purview these subcategories are meaningless, we must find a new way to articulate our erotic experiences. One may ask: Why talk about the eroticum at all? And from an ideal aspect, we ought not talk at all. Yet, until the time when we arc all so enlightened that there is nothing more to say sex and metasex will form a part of our discourse. To provide a vehicle for grasping and communicating erotic behavior and feeling, then, I came to the concept of mode, which is the paradigmatic mood within which the activity takes place. It is intended to displace all questions of detail, number, and gender, and put sex and metasex in a more fluid context.

Using this model, we will more closely approximate the reality of the erotic condition. For with the rubric of mode, sex finds its proper tone, and metasex is given its full freedom of expression. Metasexually, there is no real difference between what two men do in bed, from what three women might do in bed, or from what a man and a woman do in bed. To label the action homosexual or bisexual or heterosexual is divisive, alienating us from one another as human beings first and foremost. The old criteria, seen in the light of the new paradigm, are primitive and wasteful. We should be adult enough to discard false standards of categorization, no matter how historically hallowed they are. Before going into a description of the modes and of the specific quality of sexual and metasexual dynamics, I would like to put all the information constituting the model into schematic form, to use as a diagram to refer to.

THE EROTICUM

SEX
Biological, "work"

METASEX
Pyschophysical, "Play"

A Function of Responsibility

A Function of Compassion

Reverential Mode

Procreative Mode
Theatrical Mode
Therapeutic Mode
Romantic Mode
Masturbatory Mode
Zen Mode


Number: Two
Type: Male and Female
Activity: Penetration by penis
into vagina followed by ejaculation,
during a period of fertility.

Number: Any
Type: Any Mixture of Genders
Activity: Anything desired by
the participants.

This covers any possible erotic activity for any reason whatsoever, clearly distinguishes between sex and metasex, provides a new means with which to discover and think about the erotic, and makes obsolete practically our entire "sexual" vocabulary. Through this paradigm, it is possible to arrive at a place through linguistics means which the liberation groups are attempting to reach through political means. For if we change the way we think and speak about the eroticum, the social manifestations of confusion and hostility will more easily disappear.

II

The modes of sex and metasex are my own rationalizations. I offer them as private considerations which may have universal application. I feel that if this paradigm is accepted, others will add new modes to the list, and a new erotic language be born, one which includes the mathematics of metasex.

1. The Procreative Mode: derives, or borrows, from the conditions of sex. Through it one appropriates the ambience of baby-making-sex to a form of metasexual interaction. The feelings and attitudes of sex can take place where reproduction is not an issue, between two men, for example, or between a man and a woman where birth control measures have been taken. To operate in this mode it is only necessary not to throw out the bath water with the baby. In our era of general superficiality, and under the specter of overpopulation, the experience of procreative fucking has diminished drastically.

The most distinctive quality of this mode is a kind of urgency. By which I don't mean frenzy. There is, in the black culture, a term which captures its texture perfectly: It is called "rooting." It refers to lodging the penis deep inside the vagina and then "rooting around" as though a stick were being dug into the earth. If we remember that the word fuck derives from the idea of planting, and cunt means to hollow out, then it is clear that rooting is simply preparing the ground for the implantation of the seed. With this mode there is a quality of silence which has nothing to do with whether the participants make sounds or not. There is an almost holy intimacy which is unmistakable, an in-folding, a profound taking-in that does not appear elsewhere. Although there is no plan to produce a flesh-and-blood child, the procreative mode does allow a birth to take place, for it involves a peculiar energy bond that is highly vitalizing. Those using it give birth to an awareness which strengthens the body and exalts the soul. What is born is a vibration of goodness that is a real force in the overall evolution of the species. Those who fuck in this mode are simply made better by the experience, and to the degree that it fecundates their lives, they have brought virtue into being. It is obvious that two men having anal intercourse, and a man and a woman in oral intercourse can experience the vibration of the procreative mode. Sexually, this is a heretical notion; but metasexually, it is part of understanding that the mythic structures through which we apprehend reality are within our power to formulate, once we know what it is that we are doing.

2. The Theatrical Mode: is a function of psychic distance, and entails the notion of performance. In this mode, there is always an audience, which may consist of actual onlookers, or may be the projected awareness of the participants viewing the act as though from the outside.

The theatrical mode requires a lightness of touch, a deftness. This refers not to the activity but to a quality of mind. The participants may be involved in something as "heavy" as flagellation, but the psychological set within which they amuse themselves