[Huffington Post] Eleven minutes: that’s the estimated time most couples spend making love and sometimes its not even much fun. Between one quarter and one half of long term relationships are beset with low desire and it is common for spouses to find other sexual outlets. We are living in a time when all the marital roles and rules have changed and old solutions don’t seem to be working.
Even with these facts, I’m not at all pessimistic about the possibilities of lasting sexual love, but I do believe we are looking in all the wrong places. We cannot mandate thrilling, connected sexual encounters and just because one is married and “should” be having lots of fulfilling sex, doesn’t make it so. The fact is we do not have any idea just how deep and all encompassing sex can be because we are stuck with a model of sex that I call, “The Performance Model: Sex equals intercourse”: the goal of sex is orgasm, and great sex is a virtuoso performance.
As recent as one hundred years ago, women were thought to be incapable of orgasm and sex was intended purely for procreation. Not that everyone accepted this view, but everything in our Western culture supported women’s sexual ignorance and encouraged men to use sex in very limited ways. Now, women are supposed to have orgasms every time and men are supposed to last all night as perfect sexual athletes. It’s a recipe for disaster which the invention of Viagra has not averted.
So imagine living in a culture where sex was sacred and not a sin and sexuality was seen as a positive expression of the life force. This perspective was the norm in many cultures pre-dating Greek and Roman times and these societies date back 30,000 years. Even as late as 3,500 years ago those who lived on the island of Crete recognized sexual pleasure as a wonderful way to connect with spirit, renew the abundance of the land, and unite deeply with one another. In this culture sexuality was widely understood as a pathway to spiritual ecstasy.
The fact is that sexuality and spirituality were never split until well into the first millennium of the Common Era when denial of the body became the popular theology of the day. It may seem outrageous to view sexuality in such lofty terms. Yet, it no longer makes sense to deny the spiritual dimension of our sexuality, as if we had “lower,” physical urges and “higher,” spiritual functions, disconnected from the body.
Before you read on, let me define what I mean by spiritual sex: it is sexual energy that goes beyond physical sensations of pleasure and genital orgasms. It is not limited to genital stimulation and the release of tension through a quick and simple orgasm. When spiritual sex is consciously practiced, there is a quality of “mindfulness,” which is heightened awareness and expanded consciousness. The more cosmic experiences utilizing sexual energy create ecstatic states. The essence of spiritual sex is enhanced awareness, extraordinary inspiration, and a sense of merging with the life force.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ve divided spiritual sex into two levels: the first is conscious loving which is sexual energy that generates intense, loving feelings for the partner. The result is greater partner connection, reinforcing commitment in a long-term relationship through loving communion, enhancing the bond. The second level is spiritual union which is the ultimate expression of sexuality. Often one receives inspiration and illumination that can be translated into divine guidance or simply experienced as pure bliss. These transcendental sexual experiences produce a sense of merging with the source of energy and losing physical boundaries during orgasm. It is often described as “being in the moment of boundless bliss.” Many ancient and modern visionary experiences are described as feelings of being “bathed in pure light.” It is cosmic orgasm, the direct experience of the self as pure energy, in union with a divine source. This level of spiritual sex may occur without a partner and even without any physical stimulation.
Many of you intuitively know the link between spirituality and sexuality through direct experience. One woman, I’ll call Carrie, related the following; “At the moment of orgasm I knew that I was in a great, golden light and I experienced myself as transparent, luminous energy. I saw seven star-like, golden, swirling points that lined up in my body. I did not know about the chakras at the time but later I discovered that that’s what I saw. My energy centers looked like radiant golden lights in my body.” What she had visualized was the life force freely flowing through all seven energy centers that were illuminated and energized by her orgasm. Many people who become interested in spiritual sex have had initial spontaneous ecstatic experiences such as Carrie’s.
Since sexual energy is the source of our connection to the life force, the benefits to physical, emotional, and mental health are obvious. Developing conscious rituals and techniques allow you to become more open to such transcendent experiences. It prepares you to be receptive to the possibility of connecting in higher states of awareness from peak sexual moments. The teachings of ancient sacred sexuality traditions are a veritable garden of suggestions that I will be offering in this blog which I plan to use as a way to inspire you to practice a deeper connection with sexuality.