Oestrus 1

Easter, Astarte, and Oestrus all come from the same base – the rising ‘heat’ of spring. In the ground, in the sap of plants, in the sexual urge of animals, and in the hearts of humankind, the vernal equinox is a time of renewal – and specifically a renewal of the energetic heat of lust (using the word deliberately, but in its German sense of passion, interest, energy, or the Greek ‘kefi’.)

‘In spring, a young man’s fancy turns to love’ – certainly true for the animals, and mostly true for the newly potent of all stripes. In fact, however, one of the defining characteristics of humans is their lack of an oestrus cycle. Our horses (along with other ungulates) are pawing the earth (three boys, too bad) and most birds, like the mated-for-life pair of greedy Canadian geese that just joined the throng of about 40 mallards indignantly waiting for grain in our small farm pond, are eager to mate on a yearly cycle that insures sexual interest at this time of year for their one annual shot at reproduction. The mating happens now, and we see the foals and ducklings and apples later in the spring and summer as the consequence.

In fact, we humans are on a monthly rather than yearly cycle (lots of animals, like rabbits and chickens, show similar periodicity), in terms of our ability to connect sperm to egg. As a man, I have never been able to detect any waxing or waning of my sexual urge connected to the cycle of the moon – and I’m a Cancer, supposedly ruled by her whims! Like most men, I am ready any time, thanks. But I have noticed such a waxing and waning in my partners – though women vary greatly in their interest in sex through the monthly cycle: Some have increased appetite during their period, for most it slackens. We would expect a rise in hormones halfway through the cycle at ovulation, as this would promote the likelihood of conception, but few women I have asked can detect this suspected surge in interest.

Evolutionists have traced this lack of a definite heat cycle to a change in purpose for sex among humans – procreation is allowed to be haphazard, as it seems to be happening often enough in any case – what’s important is the social and family bonding provided by sexual relations. Though it could be that we are just too out of contact with the natural cycles – artificial light has replaced moonlight, shoes keep us from contact with the electrical currents of the earth, and estrogen-imitating additives to the food keep us hormonally off-kilter – to feel the natural surge and ebb of a natural cycle of interest in coupling.

Nine months after any electrical blackout, there is a surge in maternity, suggesting an inverse relation between the desire to be hypnotically ‘hooked up’ with the social network of the larger world, vs. hooking up in its venal sense.

Personally, being not very tied to my gender, I long for the world created by Ursula Le Guin in her wonderful old book The Left Hand of Darkness, in which humans have no particular gender for most of the month; they hover between man and woman. But once a month they come into heat for a few days, and then manifest secondary sexual chracteristics – sometimes as a man, and sometimes as a woman, depending on whom they are with and the circumstances. (The children of the king that he has as a woman are closer to the throne than those children he sires as a man – love it.)

The ability to act as a man some months and as a woman others would be ideal to me, and to Quan too, I think, which is one reason why we fit together so well. In that book an ‘ambassador’ from our planet creates embarrassment for himself and others by always – every day, all month, how gauche – manifesting as a man. I find myself similarly embarrassed and wish I could manifest sometimes as a woman, or at least of neutral gender.

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One Response to “Oestrus 1”

  1. Jakob Says:

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Oestrus 1. Thanks for informative article

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