Osho on Repressed Sexuality
Question: Beloved Master, I am seventy years old, and it feels embarrassing to be still longing for sex. What should I do?
Osho : Jagat Narayan, the first thing is to accept your longing. Don't reject it, don't deny it, don't repress it. It is because of repression that it continues; in your youth you must have repressed it too much.
Once it happened: I was in New Delhi and a young monk was brought to me; he must have been not more than thirty-five. He was living a life of absolute celibacy. He told me, "It is only a question of a few more years that I have to fight with my sexual desire. Can you tell me," he asked me, "exactly how many more years it will take? I am thirty-five. I am getting a little bit tired of fighting, fighting. Up to now I have succeeded -- now how many more years?"
I said, "It is better if you don't ask me, because the real problem is still ahead of you. The real problem has not happened yet; it happens at the age of forty-two."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Right now you are young, full of energy, strength -- you can repress your sexual desire. But after forty-two you will become weak; slowly slowly, every day you will become weaker. YOU will become weak, but the repressed sexual desire, accumulated for years, will be very strong. The energy that is repressing it will be weaker and the energy that is repressed will become stronger every day. The real problem starts after forty-two."
He said, "Nobody has ever said that to me. People say that by the time you reach forty-five, if you can manage to keep yourself celibate, the problem disappears."
I said, "They don't know at all, they don't know the ways of energy. The repressor will become weak, but the repressed never becomes weak, because the repressed accumulates."
After ten years, when he must have been forty-five, he came to see me again. I was in Amritsar. He touched my feet, cried, and he said, "You are right. Now I am on the verge of breaking down. Now the urge is so intense, as it has never been, and I am not in a situation to fight. I am tired, defeated, weak. You were right, but I didn't listen to you. And all the people who have been telling me that after forty-five the problem disappears, either were deceiving me or they were deceiving themselves or they were utterly ignorant, unaware of how energies function."
Jagat Narayan, you must have repressed. That's how people are brought up, particularly in India: the religious person is one who represses all his natural desires. Now you are seventy and it really looks embarrassing to still be so childish. The older you grow, the more embarrassing it will become, but the more persistent it will be. Twenty-four hours of your day will become obsessed with sex. And this is what has been done to you by your society: the society has created a kind of split in you, you have become divided from your own nature.
Even now it is not too late. Don't be worried and don't feel embarrassed. Why? If God has given you sex and the longing for it then it is perfectly right, it is divine. YOU have not created it -- why do YOU feel embarrassed? It is instinctive.
If you really want to feel embarrassed, feel embarrassed because you are a Hindu and for seventy years you allowed foolish people to dominate you, stupid priests to dominate you. Feel embarrassed that you were not intelligent enough to get out of the prison in which you were accidentally born. But don't feel embarrassed about sex and the longing for it -- that is natural. Being Hindu is not natural, being Mohammedan is not natural. Feel embarrassed that for seventy years you have been doing such harm to your own nature.
Accept your sexuality, say yes to it -- because only by saying yes to it is there a possibility of going beyond it. Yes is the stepping-stone. Without yes you cannot reach the other shore; the yes becomes the boat. But my feeling is that you are still saying no. Be less of a Hindu, be less of a fanatic, be less of an idealist. Be a little more realistic.
Tony's wife passed away and he was almost inconsolable. At the cemetery he collapsed with grief. In the car riding back home, his whole frame shook with wild sobs.
"Now, now, Tony, my boy," soothed his friend. "It's really not so bad. I know it is tough now, but in six months maybe you find another beautiful bambina and before you know, you get married again."
Tony turned to him in rage. "Six months!" he shouted. "What I gonna do tonight?"
You laugh at Tony, but he is more natural. He is not embarrassed about it, he accepts it.
Jagat Narayan, even though you are seventy years old, your sex, because it has remained somehow unfulfilled, is not seventy years old but seventy years young! Now there is going to be difficulty: you are seventy years old and your sex is seventy years young. But if you accept it, if you embrace it, if you take it naturally, still it is not too late. In the East we have a saying: Even if you come back home when the sun is setting, it is not too late....
Eighty-five-year-old Will Jones hobbled down to the local bar to have a cold one and shoot the breeze with his friends. Mr. Jones was the talk of the town, as he had recently married a beautiful nineteen-year-old girl. Several of the boys bought the old man a drink in an effort to get him to tell about his wedding night. Sure enough, the old rascal fell right into their plans.
"My youngest son carried me in and lifted me on the bed with my young bride. We spent the night together and then my three other sons carried me off the bed."
The men scratched their heads and asked the old boy why it took his three sons to take him off when it only took his youngest boy to put him on.
Proudly he replied, "I fought them!"
Jagat Narayan, gather courage! Don't feel embarrassed. At least deep down accept it, even though you may not be able to move into a sexual relationship. The very acceptance -- total, I mean, less than that won't do -- if you accept totally, even that very acceptance will heal the wound. There may be no need to actually move into a sexual relationship. That may be even dangerous; that may create more problems for you than it will solve.
I have heard : One Friday afternoon a couple appeared before a justice of the peace in a small town and had a marriage ceremony performed. The man must have been near about eighty and the girl was only twenty-two. They then drove to a motel and checked in for their honeymoon. They had a lively evening together.
The next morning the groom raised the window shade just to take a look outside, pulled it down again and went back to bed. The next morning, Sunday, this performance was repeated. The groom raised the shade, looked out for a moment, then pulled it down and went back to his bride. On the third morning, as he raised the shade, he flew up with it.
So it can be dangerous! Don't blame me that I am telling you to find a bambina, no! You may be too old for it. But nobody is too old to accept something that he has been denying. Drop condemning it -- respect your nature.
And my own observation is, the moment you accept something totally, the very acceptance brings a revolution, a radical change. It is your energy -- accept it. It will make you stronger. Reject it, it keeps you weak. Fighting with your own energy is dissipating it. And fighting with your sex will take so much of your time and so much of your energy -- then when are you going to look at God who is knocking on your door?
Stop fighting, stop fighting absolutely. Start respecting. Drop condemnation. Nothing is sin -- not sex at least. It is a natural phenomenon. If people are allowed to live it naturally, then at the age of fourteen they will become flooded with it. But in an unnatural society they will be flooded before their time.
Do you know? In America the boys and girls are becoming sexually mature earlier than anywhere else. In every other country the boys become sexually mature at fourteen; in America, at thirteen or twelve they become sexually mature. There is too much sex around in the movies, on the TV, everywhere.
A small boy -- must have been six or seven -- was sitting on the steps of his house and crying big tears. An old man came by and he asked, "My son, why are you crying?" He wanted to help the boy. He sat by his side, wiped his tears with his handkerchief and asked, "Why are you crying? What has happened?"
The little boy said, "I am crying because I can't do what other boys are doing."
And the old man started crying!
The little boy was surprised. He said, "Pop, why are YOU crying?"
He said, "I can't do what the other boys are doing either. Our problems are the same."
In America people are becoming sexually obsessed before their age. That is ugly, that is ill, that is premature. In India the opposite happens: people remain sexually interested even when they are seventy, eighty, ninety. They may not say so -- Jagat Narayan, you are at least authentic, courageous, to say it is so -- but they remain obsessed with it.
In a natural society, children will become sexually overflooded at fourteen -- a beautiful energy -- and by the time they are forty-two the energy will disappear suddenly, as it appeared at the age of fourteen. If a person lives naturally, without the interference of the priests.... Priests who are against sex or priests who are for sex -- avoid both! If a man lives naturally, then between fourteen and forty-two his sex energy will give him tremendous joy, great experience of ecstasy, first glimpses of God and samadhi. And by the time it disappears it will leave you ripe, mature, centered, rooted.
Right now you can do only one thing: accept it totally, absorb it. It is not too late, although the sun is setting. If you can come home, if you can become natural and spontaneous about yourself, authentic, true, at least to yourself, you will be able to face God with a smile on your face. You will be able to enter death dancing, singing.
And a death that can be welcomed with dance and song is not death at all. It becomes the door to the deathless, it leads you into immortality.
Enough for today.
Source: from book “The Dhammapada, Volume 5“ by Osho