Love Without Limits

Reports from the relationship frontier

Why Sex and Spirit Belong Together

The synergy of the erotic and the spiritual potentiate both.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the hijacked sexual revolution of the 1970s is that women have been shamed, ridiculed and aggressively persuaded that their desire to link love and sex is unliberated, old-fashioned and inconvenient. If we are talking about linking romance and sex, or infatuation and sex, I can see the value in questioning this linkage. But if it's really love we are talking about, as defined in my book The Seven Natural Laws of Love and my previous blog "What is Love?" destroying this connection is akin to separating sexuality and spirituality. And separating sex and spirit, or the physical body from the energy that animates it, is a prescription for decreasing arousal and limiting the whole sexual experience to a rather mundane release of tension. 

The mysterious connection between sex and spirit is one that some intuitively sense and appreciate while others find it anathema. The duality prone mind finds it at once difficult to comprehend and intrigued by the puzzle of their relationship. Yes, there are other polarities or seeming opposites, but at the core of it all is the quest to merge the often separated worlds of spirituality and sexuality, not to mention love and sex. Coining the term sexualove in the original Love Without Limits back in 1992, was my first intellectual effort to bridge this gap. Some immediately resonated and others are still hostile to this heretical attempt. We could call the whole endeavor embodied spirituality or  erotic spirituality or sacred sexuality. All of these concepts point to the same reality, and all of them are often empty words, hopeless mired in the duality of  thought from which they arise.

To distill these abstractions into practical realities, let me put it this way. The feminine - which exists potentially in both men and women but is more often identified with women - becomes sexually aroused primarily through the activation of breath and energy flow, which is grounded by full presence and relaxation in the physical body. When the feminine is not included in sexual exchange, both men and women are short changed. Even if a woman manages to become comfortable with a masculine sexuality, which emphasizes genital stimulation and ignores the rest of the body along with energetic (or spiritual) stimulation, her experience, as well as the experience of her partner, is inevitably limited.  

A further challenge is that in today's sacred sexuality subculture the starting point is usually healing the legacy of sexual guilt, shame and abuse so prevalent in our modern, or even post-modern, world. Healing is necessary, but it's only the beginning. 

There is much, much more that may never be revealed to those who get sidetracked by sexual greed, selfishness or obsession.  

The continued growth of the sacred sexuality movement worldwide shows the widespread longing for wholeness, but once repression and ignorance are remedied, there is little guidance or even awareness of the necessity of next steps to be found in most neo-Tantric circles. 

Many of my discoveries about the mysteries of re-uniting sex and spirit have been serendipitous or coincidental, while others have come to me from a wide variety of traditions. For example, my own embodied meditation practice has shown me over the years how much more intensely I can feel the energy moving in my body when my identity was not centered in my body. This seems so paradoxical - to experience being fully embodied and at the same time not identified with the body. 

While the cultivation of awareness and identity beyond the body may require some practice, maintaining this state while receiving - or giving - erotic touch is one reliable gateway to a synergy of sex and spirit that few can access except by grace.

To put it another way, when partners are focused on cultivating receptivity, both giving and receiving leave one vibrating with aliveness. The synergy of erotic touch (sex) and meditation (spirit) potentiate both. When mindfulness is put in service of awakening kundalini, consciousness (love) naturally expands. This is the kind of sex many women - and some men - have always dreamed about and not finding it come to question its existence and ultimately lose interest altogether. 

 

Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D., is the author of Polyamory in the 21st Century and other books.

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