My doctoral research focused on the pivotal or transcendent moments that inspire writers to pen their memoirs. Experiencing transcendent moments can be a stepping-stone to writing a good memoir, but it can also be pathway to creative or life-changing events.
There are a variety of moments or ways in which transcendent experiences can occur, and sex is one of them. In case you’re not sure what a transcendent experience is, it’s a particular state of being where you transcend or go beyond all that is ordinary or all that meets the eye. From a creative standpoint, the experience may prompt an individual to produce original, imaginative, and compelling works, whether in the form of poems, fiction, memoirs, or other works of artistic expression.
Jenny Wade, a transpersonal psychologist who taught at The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now known as Sophia University), where I received my Ph.D., did extensive research on this subject, which resulted in her book Transcendent Sex, where she interviewed 91 individuals who shared their stories of transcendence during sex. Some people had the experience only once, while others were blessed to encounter it multiple times. One woman claimed that when she had sex, she felt a deep sense of peace, as if the world were reassuring her that everything was right and all was comfortable. This deep sense of peace can, in some individuals, lead to shapeshifting, channeling of spirits, being totally present in the moment, cosmic awareness, out-of-body experiences, and past-life recall. It can also lead to deep dreaming, and profound realizations and healing.
During sex with someone you love or care deeply about, you might feel as if you enter a realm where your ordinary mind chatter disappears, and is replaced with feelings of euphoria and a sense of bliss. Deep stillness and silence may also ensue.
When sex triggers this altered state of consciousness, sense of awe, or being swept into new and different realities, it’s sometimes difficult to explain because it’s so esoteric. However, those who have experienced it say that it feels as if they’ve been transported to a place they’ve never been before. If this has happened to you, then surely you’ll never forget it.
Recently, I attended a dance opera in Los Angeles called “Anaïs Nin: A Dance Opera,” which I found to be a perfect example of how sex can be the driving force for creativity. During the course of her life, Nin had multiple lovers and affairs, including one with author Henry Miller, whose work she inspired. In other words, sex was her life force, which led her down a path of immense self-discovery and creativity. Although there’s no documentation that she had experienced an altered state of consciousness during every encounter, it was clear that sex was imperative to her survival and transcendence, which she refers to often in her writing. Through Nin’s actions, words, and journal entries, we learned about the spiritual power of intimacy. We also got the sense that sex was her spiritual practice, just like yoga, reading, or exercise might be for others. It transported her to a higher world.
Most likely, you’ve experienced the ecstatic feeling of bliss during and/or after sex. It results in a sense of well-being that goes way beyond the physical realm. At times I’ve noted in my own experiences that the best dreams, or the ones I recall most vividly, are those I have in that deep sleep that occurs after lovemaking.
It’s important to remember in the discussion of transcendence during sex to allow situations or feelings to unfold, and not to think about what you’ve felt in the past or what feelings or things you should be doing at that moment in time. Being present during your experience is also very important, because only then can you move beyond just the physical sensations, and, instead, be transported to the spiritual side of intimacy, which can lead to profound transformation.
Grof, S. (2000). Psychology of the Future. Binghamton, NY: SUNY Press.
Wade, J. (2004). Transcendent Sex: When Lovemaking Opens the Veil. New York, NY: Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.