What is Free Love ?
Free Sexuality and Partnership
by Dieter Duhm, February 2014 (Translated from German by Dara Silverman and Martin Winiecki)
The drama of the world is a drama of love. Humankind suffers from love sickness. This applies to all love relationships, no matter whether they are hetero- or homosexual. In our project we have concentrated our work on the relationship between men and women. However, I believe that most of the insights offered in this essay apply to all forms of relationship.
Both halves of the human being, man and woman, have searched for one another for generations and always missed one another. When we founded the Tamera project, almost all my former friends’ love relationships had been broken. It is mostly due to the issues of sex and love that so many political and alternative groups failed. We cannot generate peace in the world so long as this issue remains unresolved. It is, above all, about finding an authentic answer to the question of how the wild sexual desire of human beings can be compatible with the longing for the one big love. Is there a solution for the apparent contradiction between free sexuality and marriage?
I write as a spokesman for the Tamera project. The work on the issue of sex-love-partnership is at the center of the project. Since the beginning we wanted to create a societal environment in which a solution for this issue could arise. The principle of free sexuality is part of the ethical and social foundation of Tamera. This is why many people come to Tamera; they want to get out of the old bondages and make up for what they have missed out on so far. Some also do not come to Tamera particularly for this reason. They are afraid to lose their partner if they open up for the experiment of free sexuality. In reality some have lost their partner and sometimes return to them in a new way. It is very obvious that we are facing a key issue of our lives here. Introducing free sexuality is not about an ideological preliminary decision for monogamy or polygamy, but about enabling a new experience.
To start with, I want to clarify what is meant by free sexuality. It is about truth and trust in the relation of the genders; above all, it is about truth in the realm of our sexual desire. It is not about random promiscuity and unreliable relationships. The point is that a love partner who has dared an “escapade” does not lie to their partner! This is an ethical imperative. We cannot realize free sexuality if somebody has to be lied to. There are ethical guidelines that do not permit this. The culture of free sexuality is firmly bound to these guidelines. We know the agony in the soul of a partner who needs to conceal their sexual relationship to another lover. It is cruel for everybody involved; and it is cruel for the children. This misery often has fatal consequences. We are not dealing with a private conflict here, but with a societal issue. How many tragedies are accounted to a hypocritical sexual moral! More people die because of failed love than because of any other reason. Here, a new concept for healing needs to be integrated into the cultural development of human society. This was, and is, the thought that we brought to the world some years ago under the title “Sexpeace.” Sexpeace – peace between the genders!
Free sexuality is no mandate, but an offer. People may experience free sexuality and then decide whether they want to live in monogamy, polygamy… or any other “gamy.” The crucial point is that the experience happens in a social and ethical milieu of trust. So don’t just rush into it with your mind switched off, but the other way around – engage your mind and then act. In this sense we humorously called our project the “Monastic Academy for Free Sexuality.” With the word monastic, we mean the holy spirit of truth and not gray devotion.
Free sexuality is bound to three principles, without which it can never function: contact, trust and solidarity. So that man and woman can again become truthful in their mutual desire and no longer need to secretly swindle, they need contact, trust and solidarity. That is a lot. Contact means that we see the soul of the other and not only their body. Trust means that we no longer lie to each other, not even secretly. Solidarity means that man and woman encounter each other in sincere friendship and cooperation, without condemnation and irony. These requirements are mostly not given in the existing world. This is why we have no choice but to develop new systems where it becomes possible to orient our lives around basic humane values again. We need a system of co-existence where human beings can trust each other again. A system where lying and betrayal no longer carry any evolutionary advantage. A system where the sexual relationship of one to another no longer causes any fear or hatred in a third. These were some of the core thoughts that moved us to found this project. In combination with the ecological thoughts, they form the core of our education internally, and externally by way of the Terra Nova School.
Let’s get back to the problem. How do we solve the apparent contradiction between free love and couple love, between free sexuality and partnership? There is a real problem as a matter of fact because we human beings do not only want free sexuality, we often also want a stable and lasting partnership – “until death do we part.” Suddenly we face a seemingly insoluble conflict – the conflict between the new image of free sexuality and the old archetype of marriage. The archetypal image of marriage, of the eternal relationship between one man and one woman, is deeply anchored in the human soul. We all know it, and within all of us is a longing in this direction. Every longing waits for its fulfillment. The longing would not even exist if there were not also a fulfillment, for our longings are not arbitrary. A community will very surely fail if it fully relies on free sexuality while ignoring this deep longing. Here we can apply the dialectic theory of Hegel: thesis – antithesis – synthesis. Marriage was the thesis; free sexuality was the antithesis; the synthesis consists of a new system in which thesis and antithesis are dissolved or united on a higher level. We’ve been working on finding this synthesis for some decades.
Many people who have gone through thick and thin in this project, and have stayed with it, now feel the “third way” and the real possibility to gain the one without losing the other. They slowly understand the sentence, which has been essential to the project since its very foundation and, which we repeatedly wrote in all our publications: Free sexuality and partnership do not exclude each other; they complement one another. One who lives in a solid relationship does not need to be afraid of losing their partner due to other sexual contacts; and one who lives in free sexuality does not need to be afraid of missing out on the happiness of a stable partnership. All these conflicts only exist in our head, not in the logic of the matter. For the two things, marriage and free sexuality, complete each other, they belong together, and together they form the essence of a new erotic culture. However they can only be compatible under certain social and ethical preconditions. The apparent contradiction between free sexuality and couple sexuality can only be solved on a higher level of order.
What is the higher level of order? To put it in one word; it is the level of trust. As long as there is mistrust amongst the genders, the contradiction cannot be solved. As soon as real trust arises the contradiction is already dissolved, for it is self-evident that both partners again and again have lust for others, and it is also self-evident that a genuine love relationship does not break apart because of this. I wish all couples that come to Tamera from afar can find and understand this self-evidence. Jealousy does not belong to love. We need some time to rid ourselves of the old conditioning and yet this has happened surprisingly quickly for most co-workers in Tamera. If the two genders can fully, freely confess their joys of polygamy, then they can establish their partnership just as freely, for they have extinguished the secret mistrust. If they no longer react to their partner’s occasional escapades with jealousy then their sexual love to each other begins to grow in a new way. When one of them gets into a conflict we can only tell him or her: follow love!
With the principle of free sexuality, a new climate arose amongst the women. As they could reveal their secrets with new openness, a new form of women’s solidarity came into being. A woman falls in love with her friend’s boyfriend. The girlfriend recognizes this and offers her own room to her so that the two can spend a night together. Such and similar stories are not fairytales in Tamera; two women that love the same man is no reason for hostility under the conditions of truth and solidarity. The new women’s field liberates the woman to a certain extent from her fixation to the man and through this offers her the possibility to connect anew with her feminine source.
Love emerges when two partners start innerly seeing each other. It does not happen very often that man and woman “see” each other because their encounter is shaped by convention and projection from the very beginning. The man mainly reacts to the sexual signals of the woman without seeing who this woman really is and what she needs. When encountering the “right” woman, the man often reacts with a subconscious mystification. He is no longer in control of his passions when he is close to her. She is everything to him. She is the beloved, mother, whore and saint all at once. There is an almost unbelievable adoration of woman in man’s subconscious treasure of the soul, one that is not compatible with “ordinary” sexual desire. The saint and the whore at the same time – how should the man be able to cope with this? In the patriarchal era he has solved this problem by lowering and humiliating woman in real life and by elevating her to the holy Madonna in the ecclesiastical life. The gothic cathedrals were called “Notre Dame.” On one hand, they prayed “Ave Maria;” on the other hand they burned women. The trauma has been deeply inscribed into the souls. To this day, the laws of subconscious, psychological projections that originated from a long, vile history reign in both men and women. Human society was unable to solve the issue of the genders in a humane way.
Society is a product of human beings, not of gods. Its valid laws were made by human beings and can therefore also be corrected by human beings. Such a law for example is prescribed monogamy, which means the duty of a married couple to renounce other sexual contacts. An infinite amount of suffering has been produced through this vow, for this prohibition mostly contradicts human nature. Both genders have the tendency to be inclined toward polygamy. As soon as they need to hide this from one another the lies, mistrust and a slow transformation of love into hatred begins. We often see the same pattern when love couples or married couples come to us. The man first begins to step out of the bounds of the marriage. The woman follows in step after some time, and starts enjoying the sexual freedom. The initially quite courageous man often reacts to this with a jealous fear of loss, which he reluctantly admits. After some time the two come to terms with the situation. Now they face the possibility to stay together on a completely new level.
Once the sexual prohibitions are lifted, women react with shyness in the beginning, then ever stronger with unreserved joy. Many women love sex. And they love it far more than the high laws of human dignity allow. This is a fact that we need to accept. Actually, why shouldn’t it be accepted? Sexuality is a natural function of the human organism and generates one of the greatest pleasures that are given to us in this earthly life. Sexuality sometimes ambushes us with such an irresistible power that it would come close to insanity to moralistically strike back. We have lost this fight from the outset; for “Sexus” is a superpower. Instead of fighting this power, we should accept it gratefully. Only then will we be able to liberate ourselves from its tyranny. And this is what it is about in a humane society – humanizing its explosive sexual powers by accepting and integrating them into our cultural life.
So long as an essential part of our sexual drive needs to be suppressed there will consequentially be sadistic excesses, child pornography, psychosomatic diseases, violence and war. Violence against women belongs to daily life in the patriarchal world. A secret war between the genders has already been looming behind the scenes of modern society for a long time. It always has to do with the issue of unfulfilled sexuality. Both genders suffer from a sexual hunger that they cannot admit in front of each other. Facing the dramas of jealousy in our time, facing the horrible consequences for the children and facing the ethical truth, we lift free sexuality to become the foundation for a new culture.
What will happen then with marriage, with partnership and with this deeper form of love that moves us to vow eternal faithfulness to one another? This is a mysterious question, because in fact this deeper form of love and the eternal faithfulness between two people exists. But what has prompted us to connect this faithfulness with prohibiting “extramarital relationships”? What kind of love is it that has to be protected through such prohibitions? Of course the couple relationship between man and woman is exposed to a greater strain if both partners are allowed to stray, but in return both are also alleviated from a great inner burden if they no longer need to hide anything from each other. Even more, it is mostly an enrichment for both because they find new lust for each other, as they no longer take one another for granted. Nothing is more detrimental to a vivid love relationship than a daily routine in sexuality. Variety, surprise, discovery and conquest belong to erotic life. “You can only be faithful when you are also allowed to love others.” This is how it is written in our books.
There is also for sure an authentic form of monogamous marriage. The sacrament of marriage contains a profound essence. If two lovers come to a point in their love where they decide, in deepest agreement, to exclusively reserve their sexuality for one another, then they should do it. There is no law here. There is only the inner truth. In our community we again and again recommend that new couples stay monogamous for a while so as not to lose their young love in the temptations of free sexuality. We do not work against, but in favor of, partnership wherever it authentically arises. We do not believe however that the happiness of human life is mainly dependent on a fulfilled partnership.
At what point is a human being actually able to live in a partnership? Isn’t it good if he or she has gathered enough sexual experiences before they say “I do”? In most cases, it is the totality of sexuality's first stirrings that prompts two young human beings to vow eternal faithfulness to each other in their happiness. Usually this is the beginning of the end because it is not sexuality, but the cohesiveness of the souls, that is the basis for a lasting relationship. We need to create life conditions where people are able to make such distinctions. These are life conditions of trust. In free sexuality, as well as in partner love, we need absolute trust. We need communities that restore the lost trust of humankind. Where there is trust, there are no lies and no meanness. A new erotic culture can thus arise as it is laid out in the entelechy of the human being – a wonderful connection of free sexuality and partnership. If creating peace in love has succeeded, then peace arises all over the world; and all of evolution, with all its children and animals, leap forward jubilantly.
A historical note to conclude. The drama of the genders permeates our entire civilization. The male world needed to humiliate the woman in order to be able to cope with her sexual radiance. The female gender needed to endure unspeakable atrocities. Three hundred years ago women were still burned alive because they were attractive and were therefore demonized by the powerlessness of the man. In spite of this all, the female gender has not lost their love towards men. As a man, I can only be grateful for this female faithfulness. We are working on a project where both genders can liberate themselves from the horrors of the past forever.
In the name of our children.
In the name of all creatures.
Thank you and Amen.