The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#187: Sex as Spiritual Practice

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, January 21, 2017

I'm often asked about spiritual sex, and terms like 'Tantric Sex' are commonly googled requests that link to my website. I believe that to reach your sexual potential you've got to be open to the spiritual elements. So let's talk sex and spirituality.

'Bliss', 'ecstasy', 'connection', 'union', 'transcendence', losing self', 'merging with the universe.

What do you suppose I’m describing here?
a) A spiritual experience
b) A sexual experience
c) Both

The answer is (c). Not all sexual experiences are spiritual and not all spiritual experiences are sexual, but there is a strong connection, and when the two merge the sex is truly awesome.

For many of us in western culture this seems at odds, because we’re often brought up to believe that sexuality and spirituality are opposites, that one is base and ‘bad’ and the other is lofty and ‘good’, that to get to the spiritual we have to overcome the sexual.

So instead of embracing our sexuality, which is an intrinsic part of being human, we at best trivialise it and at worse deny it. Which means that instead of a whole healthy society we have one that is obsessed with superficial sexuality and full of people with dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours around sex.

Sex is not meant to be like this. Sexual energy is our basic life energy. We all come from orgasm. Denying or corrupting it damages our selves. It’s far better to embrace our sexuality and experience life-affirming and life-enhancing sex.

You see, sex has three purposes. The first is reproduction. That’s a wonderful thing, but it’s not the essence of human sex, all animals have sex to reproduce. The second is pleasure. Our bodies are sexual pleasure machines, we are designed to experience exquisitely delicious sex. The third is personal transformation. By deepening the intimacy and heightening the erotic, we are capable of having sex that is far more than a physical joining of the genitals. We can have sex that takes us far above the physical rutting of animals, way up into the realm of the angels.

This type of sex can be called ‘high sex’, I think of it as ‘deep sex’, it’s definitely spiritual sex. Whatever you call it, you have to realise that it doesn’t just ‘happen’ (although plenty of people have experienced a glimpse of this possibility), just as blissful transcendent spiritual experiences rarely occur spontaneously. You have to cultivate deep sex.

For a start, you have to be truly present in the experience. For a society that increasingly views sex as a performance activity, this can be hard to achieve, because to be present you have to be out of your head and into your body, you have to turn off the incessant monkey chatter. Spiritual sex does not happen if you’re constantly thinking about whether you’re doing it ‘right’ or if you’re worried about your bits jiggling or whether you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be doing a particular act.

By being present you become more intuitively attuned to your partner, so the sex flows. You also become more sensually aware, so the sensual aspects of sex are heightened. You’re also more likely to take it slow, delighting in every exquisite morsel of the experience. Our society tends to focus on the peaks of sex, the harder-faster-louder side of sex, which of course is good, but it’s only half the story. The valleys of sex, the slow, sensual, deep aspects are at least as glorious and often more ecstatic, and the sensations linger longer….

When you practice sex like this, it can go on for hours, and the sensations go beyond our normal concept of orgasmic. Too many of us see orgasm as the point of sex, believing that all the preliminaries just lead up to the grand finale of the big O. In spiritual sex orgasm is an outcome of sex (often many times over) not the point, and certainly not necessarily the end. The heightened states of arousal reached can transcend the usual experience of orgasm, so the feeling extends way past the genitals into the body and beyond, and potentially for a very long time. In fact, experiencing sex like this means you carry the bliss into the rest of your life, so that the whole of life becomes an extended experience of sexual and orgasmic energy.

I’m not advocating some hippie herbal version of sex here where it’s all about worshipping the god/dess in each other and dancing around in sarongs to Indian sacred chants (although that can be good too). This sex can occur anywhere - in a bondage parlour, for instance, or in a back alley up against a wall, or even a simple late-night cuddle under the sheets - if it’s part of a life lived in a heightened state of spiritual and sexual awareness.

You see, high sex incorporates the intimate and erotic, in fact you can’t really have erotic without the intimate. True intimacy is about showing your real self and surrendering to the experience. If you’re playing a role, or if you hold yourself back out of fear of your partner’s reaction, or a belief that certain acts are ‘bad’ (some are, I’m assuming consenting acts between living adult humans here), then you won’t be able to open yourself, to surrender yourself, to experience the sublime.

Spiritual growth involves an ever deeper knowing of oneself. A centre, a presence, a union with wholeness of the universe, an experience of self as selfless, of loss of self. There are many paths to this awareness, sex is one of the most accessible and beautiful paths to spiritual awareness and growth.



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