Neurotic and non-neurotic sexuality

Below is a short extract from an FWBO study seminar on the Sutta-Nipata, in which Sangharakshita defines a non-neurotic sexual relationship as one in which neither partner would be upset if the relationship were to break up.

'I sometimes say that there are two kinds of sexuality: neurotic and non-neurotic. The non-neurotic is when there is sexual activity, not through any need for security, - for example, through sex, or through the "relationship", - but just because you are young and healthy.

'Neurotic sexuality is where there is not only the actual sexual urge, but also an infantile craving for security, contact, warmth, and so on, through sexual relationship or activity. It may be, in the case of some people, that they do experience higher states of consciousness . . . yet at the same time a certain amount of sexual activity may go on, but this will certainly be non-neurotic.

'However . . . the great test is how you feel if the relationship breaks up. If your partner, or lover, or whatever, says, "Bye-bye! I've found someone else", if you can say, "That's great! See you some time," and just accept it happily, then you had no neurotic craving along with your sexual relationship and activity. But if you are cut up, upset and disturbed, and can't meditate for months, well, obviously there has been a strong neurotic element. So that is the criterion . . . whether one can remain happy whatever happens, whatever storms may come.'

Published in 'Peace is a Fire', Windhorse 1979, p 66 and also in Mitrata 2, p 19