The Metaphysics of Sex

Bruno Bérard

The book is in French – here a translation of key elements in English.

Since the publication in 1958 of Julius Evola’s Metaphysics of Sex, much time has elapsed with in particular gender studies, legal status of homosexual persons, scientific discoveries in terms of sex and sexualities, academic works on sexual esoterisms, and even some changes within the catholic Church.

This metaphysics of sex, modern but founded on the tripartite anthropology: body, psyche, spirit, actualizes the subject under various angles: sex, gender, sexuality, sexual technics (Tantra, Tao, Karezza), religions (Christianism, Judaism, Islam), sexual esoterisms (Böhme, Swedenborg) and remarkable metaphysical elements from Ibn ‘Arabī or Jean Borella.



  1. First part. Sex, Gender, Sexuality; a Brief Inventory

    1. Chap. I. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Seven, Nine Sexes or More?
    2. Chap. II. Good Gender, Bad Gender
    3. Chap. III. Sexualities
    4. Chap. IV. Societies and Sexualities
  2. Second part. Sexual Love

    1. Chap. V. Loves
    2. Chap. VI. The Extreme Differences
    3. Chap. VII. Sexual Techniques
  3. Third part. Metaphysics of Sex

    1. Chap. VIII. Summary Report
    2. Chap. IX. Love and Death
    3. Chap. X. Towards a Doctrine of Sexual Love
    4. Chap. XI. Sexual Magic, Mysticism and Spiritualism
    5. Chap. XII. Symbols of the Sexual Act
    6. Chap. XIII. Prophetic and Mystical Philosophy of Sex
    7. Chap. XIV. Spirituality of Sexual Love Union
    8. Chap. XV. Metaphysics of the Sexes
    9. Chap. XVI. Origin and Eschatological Perspectives of Sex
    10. Chap. XVII. Philosophy of Sexuality


Humanity takes precedence over sex. The human being is first a being, before being man or woman. This is true for those baptized in Christianity (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor freeman and not ‘male and female’”, Ga 3:28). This is also the case in the Koran, which often uses zawj, an Arabic word meaning both man and woman, so that “the use of this term has led certain Muslim theologians to say that the human person is basically indeterminate, but as if clothed in a gendered bodily envelope” (cf. Omero Marongiu-Perria). To put it like Aristotle, the human species has an essence (which the broader “animal genus” does not have), the sex received is an accident.

Having a sex takes precedence over which sex it is. If the human being is a sex, it is because he is of one sex (cf. Henri Boulad, s.j.), and not both, meaning that any sex is only one side of the human. Whichever sex is received (male, female, neither really one or the other, partially both), it refers to the two sides of the human, to the two generic and reciprocally exclusive types of humanity (there is no human hermaphrodite). This sex received marks the human being with his ontic incompleteness: the human being, in his existence, is fundamentally incomplete. The human being, at the crossroads of the world (horizontal) and his Origin (vertical), discovers his ontic incompleteness (horizontal) which sends him back to his ontological dependence (vertical).

The sexual state takes precedence over the sexual function. The sexual state, the fact of being a sexual being, comes first, the sexual function is secondary, and even optional: by will (monks, priests, ascetics) or by birth, even temporarily (asexual people). This means that the sexual being teaches the human being first his ontic incompleteness, only then the sexual option.

This also means that the sex received teaches something other than sexuality. The virtues of femininity and masculinity are modes or ways of recognizing and living one’s dependence on the Origin and one’s own deiformity: that is the formal-material duality of any image. Each of these two virtues, by the simple intimate discovery of the male-female duality, everyone has them in various degrees. [pp. 218-219]

Notice of publication

Leibniz asked: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ Here, the question is: Why is there sex? Where do the sexes come from, what does sexuality refer to? What about lovers after death?

Answering these questions that everyone asks is the object of this metaphysics of sex – scientifically modern, but according to the traditional human tripartition: body, psyche and spirit, and breaking with the trans-psychological and trans-physiological approach of Julius Evola (his 1958 Metaphysics of Sex).

It is an open metaphysics, since it is necessary to account for the variety of sex received, genders and sexualities. This will not prevent from discovering some idealities (of perfections), sexual and spiritual. From then on, practically, everything will participate in these potential perfections, to a greater or lesser degree.

For some time now, the number of sexes has greatly exceeded the two best known: male and female. Likewise, the list of claimed genders and sexualities is growing.

Although 547 paraphilias (the new name for perversion) have been listed and sexual techniques are widely disseminated (Tao, Tantra, Karezza), human beings always seem to prefer a relationship for two, in a loving setting and without particular technique.

Sexual love has therefore retained its full place and the ultimate causes and reasons for this state of affairs well deserved a metaphysical understanding.

The symbolism of the sexual act, the spirituality of the union of sexual love, the mystique of sex are all avenues to follow to discover the potentiality of sex.

From there, we go back to the Principle to find the origin of the sexes and the meaning of the sexual act since, neurobiology confirms it if necessary, there is no reproductive instinct in human beings. The best elements of metaphysical explanations can be found in the great Andalusian Sufi Ibn ‘Arabī (1165-1241) and in Jean Borella (1930-). If Heraclitus, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Nietzsche or Schopenhauer said almost nothing about it, it is probably because they were all single.

This book thus offers, for the first time, a panorama covering received sex, gender and sexuality in the light of religions, philosophies and sexual techniques, with a metaphysical interpretation of the existence of the sexes and of the sexual act.


See video of the interview by Les jardins philosophiques.

Video interview

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