“If you are using the power of sex for egoic purposes, no matter how refined and pure your ego, sex will reinforce the consciousness you’re coming from. Every act of sex will drive you deeper into separation. Partner, solo, ritual, group, loving, healing, using: doesn’t matter what kind of sex.
“If you start from ego, you will end at ego. If you start with God, you’ll end with God.”
This is how David Cates, a mentor and relationship coach, talks to readers on his blog, Deep Masculine. What I find most seductive about Cates’ work is the direct, heart- and mind-centered approach. He pushes through language and thought barriers that can get in the way of genuine musings about God, sex and spirituality. For those of us enthralled with sacred intimacy, such openness makes our work that much easier.
From a spiritual perspective, sexual intimacy is more than just opening our bedroom to a variety of experiences, partners and practices. As I understand it (as a student and not an expert), sacred sexuality comes with certain responsibilities and goals that require us to make conscious choices about who we love and how we love them. There’s a difference, for example, between sexual freedom and promiscuity, pleasure and ecstasy, and garden-variety versus cosmic orgasms. When we make love with real awareness, we choose lovers and experiences that reflect our most authentic selves, and challenge us to grow sexually and otherwise.
Consider sexual freedom as the idea that we can love and be loved in ways that don’t fit neatly in a normative box—and contrast this with the notion of living a life of sexual recklessness. From the outside looking in, the two might seem similar, but only if we view sex as merely a physical union. Whereas promiscuity feeds into and manifests fears, limitations and restrictions, sexual freedom is all about courage and bringing something or someone new into your intimate space because your soul lusts for the experience.
Sure, your genitals are often in on the encounter, but what you ultimately experience involves the exchange of more than body heat and fluids.
The first time I “eye-gazed” with a lover, for example, I was brought to soft tears. It felt very unnatural at first, staring into his left eye for several minutes and noticing as my visual field morphed and his face grew indistinct. All the while my ego protested in the form of rational thoughts convincing me to stop. My logical brain wasn’t nearly as keen on the moment as that part of me that sought something transcendent in my partner’s gaze.
Accepting both those parts that doubted and those parts that opened, what transpired for me was a blurring of boundaries. In that very intimate experience, energy and love unfettered my body from fear, doubt, social constructs, prejudice and shame.
One natural outcome of sacred sexual practices is that we accept that no type of relationship or act is more enlightened than another, and that ecstatic sexuality matters as much as a really good fuck. Like spokes on a wheel, we are bumping and grinding and moaning and sighing towards the same center—reconnection with something divine—through sexuality. We begin to reject the fallacious efforts that have for a millennium attempted to rip sex and spirituality apart from one another in an effort to control what and whom we do.
Make no mistake: As Cates implied, sex is a powerful, creative force. But given our current culture and its schizophrenic messages about sex (e.g., God created everything good about us, but the Devil slapped on the genitals. Sex is a sin, and only to be reserved for marriage, blah, blah, blah), we are often hindered from actualizing its fullest and highest spiritual potential.
That doesn’t have to be our final answer. Sexuality is what we make it to be. For some, the idea that physical satisfaction, orgasm or libidinous behaviors are anything more than bodies scratching primal needs boggles the mind. It is utterly radical to contemplate that sex is a doorway to more than physical pleasure. Orgasm and pleasure stop at their genitalia, lips and breasts.
Others are aware of the connection between spirit and sex, and are eager to throw off cultural and societal shackles to reclaim an understanding of deep masculinity divine femininity, and ecstatic sexuality. Seekers of bliss literally yearn for experiences that render them speechless as they push past barriers in search of awakening. The first step may simply be: Become conscious.
Know that each intimate contact is also an opportunity to connect energetically with something celestial, and satisfy our soul’s desire to know ecstasy vis-à-vis our body’s desire to feel pleasure. To be certain, the latter is a useful and wonderful function of our bodies and nervous systems, and in it’s own delicious ways can elevate, rejuvenate, and gratify. Ecstasy fulfills us as well, but it does so in both bodiless and boundary-less ways, delighting us from the soul on out. It’s the vehicle for that great big cosmic orgasm that is felt during those rare moments when we fully disappear, initiated into the “nothingness” that is really everything our soul desires.
But whatever your comfort zone with God and Sex, humanity is wired to want and need connections at primal and soulful levels. We can manifest and create intimacy in the moment of sexual union that does more than satisfy desire. When we kiss one another, something godly kisses us back, whether or not we are aware of it. Every act of making love is a sanctified ménage à trois, if you will.
And is it possible that the yearning for this sort of connection goes to the root of our hungers and yearnings? The more I delve into the study of ecstatic sexuality, the more I believe the answer to that question is, “Yes!” I’m convinced that when we are conscious about our intimate choices, we become more sexually free and receptive to rapturous and passionate experiences that defy the ego’s limited view of things, and fill an emptiness of which we are often only remotely aware.
As another teacher of this path, Barbara Carrellas writes, “Ecstatic bliss is the joy experienced by the soul when it reconnects to the Sacred Unity, to God/dess, to All That Is. Ecstatic bliss … is a metaphysical experience that occurs when all feelings, thoughts and sensations are eclipsed by boundaryless beingness in a vast ocean of energy where everything is connected to everything else.”
Sacred sexuality is a pathway that guides us to be present and fully sentient beings, to experience soulful delights in the presence of our lovers, or all alone, if that is how it must be at times. It’s both pleasurable and ecstatic, a merger of minds, hearts and bodies, and, in my understanding, an antidote to a world gone a little bit obsessed with sex for the sake of everything else but soul.
Obviously, this dialogue is predicated on the belief that we have a soul. I’m fully aware that God-talk as part of pillow talk may make some folks queasy, and that is not my intent. You do not necessarily need to believe that there is “something bigger” out there. For me, orgasm alone is proof enough that, when God created sex, she had a smile on her face…