As with most things in life, sexuality is a complex creature with multiple layers of experience, and that complexity is mirrored in the variety of sexual expressions that we see in the astrological chart. The sexual experience encompasses a wide variety of motivations and feelings and the astrological signatures for these feelings help us to understand more about how we approach sexuality in our own life.
Typically, astrologers look to Mars for the expression of the sexual drive. Mars rules our drive and desire, and therefore it rules sexual desire along with our desire for ice cream or a new car. Any desire is fueled by the energy of Mars to activate something in the individual, and sexuality is no exception.
Mars also describes the way we pursue what we want; it shows what kind of sexuality we prefer and how we go about attracting a partner. The placement and aspects of Mars describe the sexual techniques and feelings that are most comfortable to us. For example, an airy Mars is more likely to be stimulated by the energy of sex, or to be drawn to sexual fantasies and ideas. An earthy Mars will require lots of physical contact. Watery Mars prefers a powerful emotional content to the sexual experience, and fiery Mars is all about desire and the scratching of an itch. The aspects that other planets make to Mars help to color the sexual experience as well. Saturn conjunct Mars may inhibit our sexuality; Jupiter square Mars could signify a large number of sexual conquests.
Mars is the ancient ruler of Scorpio, and Scorpio is well-known for its sexy qualities. To the ancients, Scorpio embodied the drive of Mars and the fire that burns deep within the soul to achieve release and ecstasy. Scorpio’s modern ruler Pluto opens the door to a new understanding of sexuality that was well known to the ancient Tantric sages of Eastern mysticism; that sexuality is interwoven with power and magic and holds within it the seeds of spiritual transformation. So with Pluto and Scorpio, as well as the Eighth House, we have another level of sexuality: the intimacy of soul connection and the power of passion.
The Fifth House is often associated with love affairs, but these affairs and romantic experiences have more to do with the expression of the self and the Ego than a true experience of sexuality. Fifth House affairs are purely for fun and for feeling good about ourselves rather than for deep emotional bonding that would take place in the Eighth House.
And finally Venus, that delicious goddess of love, is typically less concerned with sex than with the connection of the lives that two people share. Venus Aphrodite used the power of her sexuality to attract but appeared to have little interest in the sexual act itself. In fact, she rejected all of her suitors and it wasn’t until she fell into a relationship with Mars/Ares, the god of war and desire, that she appears to have lost some of the control for which she was famous.
When we are looking for sexual compatibility, it is Mars and Pluto that will reveal the secrets!