Monday, April 8, 2013

Spiritual Sexuality 101

When I talk about spiritual sexuality, I often feel like I'm speaking a whole other language to people. Most of the way people discuss sexuality tends to be very crude and lost in desire and attachment. For others, it's just a form of pleasure-seeking that has gotten out of hand, and yet still others are so shut down that they can't even hear words like "penis" or "vagina." It's insane. Sexuality is one of the most fundamental aspects of being a human being, yet it's been degraded, ignored, and turned into a second-class citizen.

Some time ago, I wrote a post to compile my thoughts on spiritual sexuality, but I've realized I haven't build enough awareness around the terms I'm using or the different roles of sexuality. I encourage most of you to have humility and assume that we aren't using the same definitions. Then enjoy a potentially new way of seeing sexuality in your life.


More Than Just Masturbation


As many of you know, I like to make up definitions or at least make clear delineations from others. Today, I'm going to define masturbation as simply self-pleasuring to climax/orgasm. There's nothing wrong with this. It's perfectly natural and healthy. It's definitely important to know what feels good and turns you on. This is the most basic space of sexuality within the individual space. But in some ways, many couples are simply using each other for masturbation. There is no great depth or intimacy, and when it's over, the two people part ways until the next foray. Obviously, where I'm going with this topic is towards much greater depth of intimacy and union. But at least you're clear about how I'm using this term.


Spiritual Sexuality: For Pleasure

Bringing mindful awareness and love into your personal practice changes it from masturbation into the space of spiritual sexuality. Spiritual sexuality can have many roles and functions, but the one most commonly expected and understood is that of pleasure. And why not? Pleasure is fun. It feels good all over. Along with mindful awareness, breathwork and energy visualization can amp up the feelings, intensity, and the power and expansiveness of the orgasm. All kinds of fun stuff can be brought into this space, but you know that already.


Spiritual Sexuality: Intentionally Creating Space for a Child

There's a whole other depth of spiritual sexuality that can be cultivated when two people want to create a child. All kinds of individual and combined practices can be done to generate focused love and energy, and of course, the orgasmic connection of creating in that space can be phenomenal. I bring this up because a lot of people simply come to this space with a kind "let's have a baby" mentality. This is fine, but there are deeper levels of intention through spiritual sexuality that can be brought here even in the act of love-making.


Spiritual Sexuality: For Spiritual Growth

So, I've pretty much covered the ones you know about, and you're like, "There's more?" Yes, there's more. A spiritual sexual practice can be another amazing element to your spiritual practices. Orgasmic energy is nothing but your energy. A lot of you know how to do visualization and to move energy in you. That's a great practice to have, but spiritual growth can be a whole other level of energy work to cultivate through your orgasm. The big thing for men tends to be learning to separate orgasm from ejaculation, and that's a whole other topic, which is a lot about timing your relaxation as you near climax. But there's plenty to explore and play with here to see how your orgasmic energy flows and where it gets stuck. What thoughts come up? Is your body and heart and mind all aligned? Or are they triggered by different things in the space of your sexuality? Find out.

There is a whole other world of learning, and it's already right in your body.


Spiritual Sexuality: For Healing

Yes, I'm not done yet. There is still more. Healing is critical for many people on the spiritual path, and many people have suffered sexual abuses from extreme self-denial (which I consider a kind of self-abuse) to rape and molestation. The latter can cause the denial or lead to perpetuation of such pain on others, on oneself, or lots of promiscuity. The point is that if sexuality was hurt that it too can be healed, and there are different types of ways to cultivate your sexual energy for healing. You can do it on your own, with a facilitator, with a mindful partner, and with various combinations of all of the above. The importance is lovingly reclaiming your sexuality from whatever pain, shame, or hurt has happened to it. And it can also be a great way of healing other smaller wounds. Spiritual sexual energy is your loving energy incarnate, and it can be directed to whatever healing you may need with a little bit of intention and practice.


Spiritual Sexuality: For Creativity

Some of you may have heard of famous artists having a "muse" to keep them inspired. What was this muse? Or rather who was this muse? The person was a sexual partner. There is nothing that keeps the flows of creative ideas, inspirations, and energy going inside of you than regularly having sex. Once again, intention makes a big difference, so this is more than just getting yours. The more the energy of love and mindfulness is shared between you and partner (although it certainly works just fine in your own space), the more energy can be opened up. In this world where we are constantly asked to react to new things, being in touch with our creative energy can be immensely powerful and rewarding for everyday living and peace of mind.


Spiritual Sexuality: For Enlightenment

Finally, this energy can also lead to enlightenment. Built up from an intention for spiritual growth, your energy may one day simply take over. The kundalini can wake up, and if that happens, it can feel like tons of energy just shot up your spine. Some people can go into body convulsions, spasms, laughter, crying and other reactions. Or maybe there isn't much of a reaction. As your system opens I simply encourage you to allow whatever is arising for you. The energy will go as far as it's allowed, so do your best to relax into it. Awakening in this way is profoundly physical. For other people, their doorway into awakening can feel cerebral, but this type of awakening is nothing if not profoundly embodied energy. It will dissolve anything that stands in the way of you being you. It really does take the whole space of "no-mind" to a new level beyond what the typical orgasm might do.


The Many Possibilities of Spiritual Sexuality

I hope this post is helpful to you in understanding some of the basics of spiritual sexuality. I think this gives you a foundation to a broader understanding of yourself. As always, I encourage you to look at yourself as a whole system and to start getting to know yourself in a deep way before joining with a partner. It can help you to understand what is in your energy and what you are bringing into the bedroom with a partner. Many bedrooms have become warzones for couples, but in your own space, you know who is holding the gun. It sounds harsh, but we live in a harsh world. So learning how to love yourself becomes paramount to truly loving another. And there are so many wonderful ways we can love ourselves and others through the beautiful space of spiritual sexuality.

The picture of the tender buds waiting to burst into bloom on this page is a gift from Becky Stiller. You can see more of her work on her Flickr account.
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