Monday, February 9, 2015

Spirituality and Making Love

sexual flow, sexual strength, spiritual awakening, point reyes
Reclaiming our bodies in the context of Western Culture obviously includes how we eat, sleep, and exercise. But it also includes how we appreciate and own our sexuality. Too many religions have marginalized or shamed sexuality, and that inherently isn't spiritual. I say this because spirituality embraces all things. Strangely enough in Western Culture, people are more okay with watching various levels of extreme violence, but if you show a penis or a vagina, people immediately get upset or embarrassed.

But there's nothing to be uncomfortable with concerning our sexuality. Our sexuality and our genitalia are innate aspects of us. It is ridiculous that I even have to emphasize it, but because of the level of shame people have been taught around sexuality, I have to. Furthermore, sexuality can go beyond simply continuing the species, which is its primary function. There is wonderful creative and enlivening energy in orgasm, and it can fuel many aspects of your life (as well as be extremely grounding and nourishing if you are awakening).

Normally, I focus on spiritual sexuality in terms of the individual because there is so much deep connection that can happen in our own spaces. If you haven't read the following blog post, I really encourage you to check that out before reading on:

Understanding Spiritual Sexuality

However, when you have a dedicated partner or lover, there is an opportunity to really drop into amazing spaces of love. It can often require a lot of heart work because of the emotions that come up the deeper you go, but with a lot of love, communication, and space, you can transform your sexual unions with your partner into a profound place of abiding love.

Love Is Always Here

Love is always here. The emotions and orgasmic energy that people often crave are already within you. This is the first step to learning how to make love to your partner from the spiritual perspective. That's why I emphasize owning your sexuality in a personal spiritual sexual practice. That practice is where you can find out just how deep and expansive your sexual space can be. There can be no confusion around whose issue it is in that space. If there is shame, it's your shame. If it's frustration with the outcome, it's your frustration. Conversely, if there is profound deep union, then that's all you too. You won't be confusing the space of union as necessitating a partner, which is a big realization for most of you.

Since you are learning that love is always here, you can enter into a sacred sexual space with a partner and not need anything from them. This is the natural evolution of owning all aspects of your love, including your orgasm. The other person is not in charge of you feeling anything. The other person simply is a lovely partner in the given moment and the closeness you're about to have.

Furthermore, when you are in love with yourself and need nothing from your partner, you can more fully see and appreciate whatever your partner does have to share and how they prefer to receive. If s/he can't offer much emotional connection or can offer a lot, it's okay. If it's a short romp in the bedroom or an extended love-making session, it's okay. If it's fireworks in multiple orgasms or no orgasm at all, it's okay. This is the power of owning your love. In doing so, you make space for all of you and your partner and whatever divine experience wants to arise in your sexual connection.

Deepening in Sexual Connection Through Disappointment

However, most people aren't so deeply in love. This immediately brings additional partners into the bedroom and none of the ones you probably would have wanted to have invited. Desire, craving, expectation, and attachment to an outcome all wander in with you (and with your partner if they haven't addressed these issues). Since this describes most couples, it should be addressed, and it should become a practice to be with sexual disappointment.

For instance, you were ready for a raging all-nighter, but your partner is flat out exhausted from work. All the fun ends way before any fireworks could be set into the ground much less ignited. You are thoroughly disappointed. Rather than try to hide this disappointment with a dishonest response or a dismissal of your partner (which would only make him/her feel bad about something that is not his/her issue), say what you were hoping for. Talk about the connection you'd like to have, and talk about making time for it. Even more importantly, appreciate what your partner did have to give and let them know that your disappointment is your own issue and that you'll work on it.

And you should. That is the nature of the spiritual path. The above example is simply illustrating the need for honesty in your sexual space. Any dishonesty or holding back creates a divide between you and your partner. These little schisms build up over time, and then pretty soon one or both of you doesn't want to have sex anymore. It may seem like a small thing, but most things in life are small things that build up into major issues over time. Regardless of how well your partner can hear your honesty (which is their issue), truthful communication is just as important in your sex life as in any other part of your life. And if disappointment is what is present for you, then it should be acknowledged, but not blamed on your partner.

Honesty and Communication: Sex and Love-Making Basics

Look, I know what I'm say is Sex 101, but it bears repeating. As with many things on the spiritual path, a lot of the wisdom of life is very simple. Spirituality shows us the path to the deep union inside of us. From that space, it gets clearer and clearer when we or our partners are holding back, being dishonest, feeling uncomfortable, and a lot of other things. Love-making is super powerful magic. To really unlock that magic with a partner means to open as deeply and fully as you can. With that opening tends to come a lot of upset emotions at first. In "Sexual Healing With a Partner," I talk about using this space of love to hold someone while they process out old pain. The deeper you go together, the more likely you are to trigger different wounds even if they are unrelated to your partner or your sexual space. Issues such as lack of self-worth and self-hatred are prime targets to get churned up in the depths of loving connection you can share.

Which only makes communication more critical. If you don't acknowledge it, now there is something unsaid between you. You've created a small schism, as I mentioned earlier. If you do acknowledge it, you can let it go. Your partner's job in this instance is simply to be present and holding you in someway that feels right for that moment. It's not usually a time to step out of love-making or deep physical connection. This space has created the right moment for deeper healing, and typically after something heals, the level of connection and love you both feel can intensify because now there is even greater space.

The Love Hold

Finding the way you both enjoy being held best is a wonderful exploration. It can be a first and last stop in your love-making. What's spiritual about it is that it is meant to be a place of simply seeing your partner. The yab-yum position is a time-honored position where one partner is seated more or less cross-legged (depending on comfort) while the other partner is seated facing them in their lap with their legs around their partner. There are other ways to find your initial love hold, and I encourage you to use it with your partner to stop for a moment. Just as meditation is a means to stop and pay attention to yourself, this love hold that you and your partner figure out together is a way to stop and pay attention to each other. It can be a lovely way to check in about each other's days, what they're feeling, and what they're feeling in the relationship. Relationship check-ins in this way make it difficult to hide. The body has too many obvious ways that it may try to run away, and to be this close to your partner makes those ways even more obvious. The more a partner does try to run away from this space suggests that many problems are brewing in your relationship. It's something to consider.

Your love hold with your partner doesn't have to be moving towards sex. Once again, spiritual sexuality isn't about going anywhere. It's about being fully connected and present with whatever person or situation is in your sex life. You can be fully closed or naked. In the instance of a heterosexual couple, the man can be erect and inside his partner. This is a particularly powerful connection, and I like to remind ladies that in this position you are holding a man's most vulnerable physical attribute. Bringing more attention and intention to how you hold his penis with your vagina can be a subtle (or not so subtle) level of honoring and connecting to him and how he is offering himself to you.

Melting Into Deeper Sexual Union

Before any of the usual fun stuff begins, breathing together is another nice way to continue to see your partner and to connect to them. This may also be as far as a session goes together. So much can happen on the energetic and emotional plane without much physical action. This can seem counter-intuitive to a lot of sexual ideas and certainly to the nonsense mucking up our media (Consider the ridiculous romance movies as well as porn videos that are partially defining how a lot of people think about sex). In a space of seeming non-action, a lot of connection can go on.

And isn't that what a lot of you are really seeking in your sex life? Connection?

In no other place, can people find so much disappointment as sex when they are seeking connection and don't get it. Orgasms feel great, but without connection, it's kinda like eating frosting without cake. It was good. It gave you a nice rush, but then you may find yourself hungering for more. Obviously, this kind of craving shows you more issues in yourself to work on, but I am simply making the point that a lot of the best kinds of sex arise from connection. The deeper you are already in emotional and energetic union together, the deeper you can go into physical union, which further spurs the other two. You create a positive cycle that builds upon itself so that you are both fully enjoying a whole lot of cake and frosting together.

Making Space for Distance

Then your time together is done. Whatever arose, arose. Whatever didn't arise, didn't. It doesn't matter. But how we step out of this space is important, and this will very from partner to partner. The deeper you go into connection together, the more important a simple letting go ritual can be. Perhaps you return to that basic love hold you've determined together to look at each other one last time. Perhaps you share one last intentional parting kiss--the kiss good-bye. Then after that, you may even want to meditate on your own or do some simple activity to release your partner's energy and any thing that may have churned up inside of you. These simple rituals are ways to keep us from absorbing our partner's issues as well as finding that inner solidity within us in case things really got opened up and we felt a little lost, confused, or something else. This isn't a distancing thing to run away from your partner. It is a re-establishing of energetic boundaries, which is particularly important for my empathetic/highly sensitive readers and students.

Making Spiritual Love

There's no spiritual position or perfect connection to achieve. Spirituality embraces all your love-making, as I mentioned earlier. Don't try to achieve union. It's not achievable. It can only be allowed and melted into because its already here within you. If you try pushing yourself or your partner too hard, then there's work to be done to understand what you are pushing for. Spiritual love-making encourages a ton of communication because the more you can own your own issues and ask for what you want, the more clearly you can open up as well as learn to not project your issues onto your partner.

The space of spiritual love-making can be rare because so many people are too focused on getting theirs or, conversely, on pleasing their partner. This is a space of love where giving and receiving swap back and forth as you melt deeper and deeper together until hopefully who is giving and who is receiving is forgotten. And you are simply in the bliss of union with your beautiful partner.
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