Let's Talk about Sex, Maybe
Whatever Happened to "Making Love?"
At the risk of making myself sound like quite the prude, I want to take a more holistic and spiritual view of sex. I feel like sexual expression is in need of a dramatic transformation within our society and I want to relate some of my experience in talking to clients and friends about what makes us tick in the lovemaking department.
To say that sex is purely a procreative act immediately excludes and vilifies countless people, and becomes religious fundamentalist rhetoric that is thankfully being questioned and deconstructed more and more. However, to treat sex as simply a means for indulging in pleasure and gratification may also be missing the mark of what integrated sexuality can offer us.
I included this simple drawing to focus on the inclusive nature of sexual expression that goes beyond gender identity, and indeed our genitals altogether. Of course, genitals and erogenous zones play an important part in enjoying sex. However, I look at them more like the gateways into a higher dimension of communion that can take place between people.
A common biological view is that sex takes place between human bodies. I want to make the case that sex takes place between human beings. Our being includes far more than flesh, genitals, hormones and other chemicals. Having sex or making love with someone can take us into an ecstatic state of conscious union that transcends our physical bodies, gender identities and sexual orientation. This type of experience can remind us of our souls, and deepen the soul connection with our partners.
Cultivating and sharing sexual experiences like this enables us to integrate and transcend the negative things we associate with sexuality. Healing our own sexual shame is of paramount importance when it comes to being able to share these transcendent full-being experiences with others. That is why making love with ourselves in the form of healing our sexual nature cannot be overemphasized. Cultivating a loving relationship with all aspects of who we are will enable us to bring more love into our sex lives as well. I've spoken to many people who have had sexual dysfunctions because of the energy and beliefs they carry with them about their own sexuality and who they are as a whole. Often, sexual trauma can linger within us and may require professional help to heal at the deepest level.
Many people treat sex as a way of exchanging pleasure between bodies. More people are starting to experience it as a sharing of emotional and mental energy as well. The next step is to also include the spiritual or consciousness aspect into our sex lives. This concept has been referenced in many esoteric spiritual traditions and is starting to gain traction in the modern world as well. As we awaken to our individual spiritual identities we can share this expanded sense of self with sexual partners as well.
In the absence of doing this inner work, sex can become an opiate for the pain we still carry within. I've worked with clients who have created a lot of suffering due to acting out sexually in unhealthy ways. People will often abstain from sex for a time in order to work through their own feelings and then learn to develop healthy sexual relationships again once they have done some inner work.
Don't get me wrong, sex is meant to be pleasurable, enjoyable and a positive experience for all concerned. Like many things in life, the issue is what we bring to the activity and our intentions around it. The idea is to go beyond any restrictive ideas of what sex is, just as we are meant to go beyond limitations about who we are as a whole. Having sex cannot heal our wounds, but healing our wounds will enable us to go from merely 'having sex' to truly making love.