Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Sex and Ayahuasca: My Perspective

So someone from a board I sometimes write on asked me what I thought about the general dictum that you shouldn't have sex before or after ayahuasca. I was thinking the person was imaging a day or two, which is often proscribed by curanderos. But not all curanderos. So I thought about it and then wrote this as a response. Here it is:

Dear X: Well, I can't say I've always lived by that code. When I was with my wife and we were in love, it was hard to keep us apart. BUTTTTT...I will say that if someone is trying to be alone and doing dieta, it's difficult to get quiet if your libido is raging all day.
So I guess my gut feeling is to say I feel both ways: I think healthy abstinence is good; I think painful abstinence, where you are constantly thinking of what you are not getting (the love, affection, etc) is not good. I think sex is okay but shouldn't interfere with your ability to get silent so that you can hear the spirits whisper. Does that make sense and clarify things or make them muddier. In a sense, I think it's like food. Yes, you should abstain from food/liquids for 10-12 hours before drinking Ayahuasca--so that your stomach is empty and your purge is of foul things in your life, rather than a purge of the food you just ate--but at the same time I recognize that someone going into ceremony nearly feinting from hunger or dehydration doesn't do anyone any good either. And if you are one of those people who is going to be sugar-depleted if you don't have a cup of tea before ceremony, then I think you ought to have it. If you are someone who is going to spend the entire ceremony thinking about the sex you didn't have, then have it and get it over with. On the other hand, if you're going to be dreaming of the sex you did have, well, that's going to interfere. So people need to assess and appreciate their personal situations, rather than living someone else's expectations. Remember this, and it's important: While gringos nearly universally talk about the blandness of the boiled plantains and fish they are served while on a dieta, for the riberinos I know, the Peruvians who live on the river, boiled plantains and fish is their favorite comfort meal--equal to a hot fudge sundae or a prime rib with onions and garlic and a side of baked potato with cheese to a lot of gringos. It is important to recognize that nothing is what is seems with the medicine. There is trickster every step of the way. And that's good because it keeps us on our toes and separates the willing workers from those who want a quick fix. I hope that helps.

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