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Spiritually Free or Sexually Promiscuous?

Spiritually Free or Sexually Promiscuous?
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Sexual freedom is at the core of sacred sexuality. From the outside looking in, it might be confused with promiscuity, so understanding the difference is essential to our journey.

  Follow the Fear

Sexual freedom is at the core of sacred sexuality. From the outside looking in, it might be confused with promiscuity (no slut-shaming implied here), so understanding the difference is essential to our journey.

“Humans crave erotic love and ecstatic sexuality, but we also fear them knowing how powerless we are in their path,” writes Deborah Anapol, PhD, a long time educator and founder of lovewithoutlimits.com. “Isn’t it safer to create rigid social institutions to contain them, even if we end up strangling the life out of them in the process?”

Indeed, following fear was the only way I found to understand one subtle nuance of true sexual freedom. What we fear most about love and sexuality (or anything in life) is where we must grow. Fear that isn’t dealt with can wreck havoc on love of self and love of other. It also interferes with our ability to be conscious in our ‘lovemaking.” The more we face our fears about love and sexuality and the more we push unnatural and harmful boundaries, the more we paradoxically have less to be afraid of. Our sexual choices become more authentic, unfettered by useless social constructs, prejudices or shame.

That is why I believe that spiritually speaking, sex is more than just opening our bedroom to a variety of experiences, partners and practices. Specifically, total sexual freedom — the idea that we can love and be loved in ways that don’t fit neatly in a normative box — is different from wholesale sexual contacts. Again, all judgment aside, we can now differentiate ‘promiscuity’ — which often feeds into and manifests fears, limitations and restrictions – from ‘sexual freedom’ – which is a choice rooted in courage.

“Very few people have given themselves complete sexual freedom so they continue to make agreements that cause repression, dishonesty and distance,” writes Robert Silber of link. To have total sexual freedom means to accept responsibility for oneself. When we take full responsibility for our lives, we won’t seek to control others, because we won’t be living in a state of repression and denial.”

Nor are we frightened by conventional beliefs to limit our love, or make agreements that reflect unrealized desires or are driven to control ourselves or others in ways incongruous with true selves. Silber calls this the conspiracy of fear, and points out that this power-ploy is often masked as altruism, the I’m giving you rules for your own good, kind of envy and power-play, or as Anapol reminded us above, only a wisp of original meaning in the words we use remind us of the sacred in sexualove play.

  Purposeful Boundaries

The natural outcrop according to Silber is that we come to accept that one “form of relationship is [not] necessarily more enlightened than the other, because ultimately it is how we grow from our experiences that determines transcendence.” When we make love from a conscious place, we choose lovers and experiences that reflect our most authentic selves, and challenge us to grow sexually and otherwise.

For example, someone who is serially monogamous might explore the edges of true polyamory. Someone raised in a conservative home will discover sex-positive erotic films as the antidote to their world gone dry. Others may grabble with pelvic pain, anorgasmia or bi-curiosity, or extended female orgasms. Sexual freedom may also require someone chose abstinence or seek the help of a sacred intimate to better understand the transcendent side of sex.

The point is that we all have many and good boundaries — the key is to differentiate between those that serve a good purpose, and those that don’t — and they need to be explored if we want to become more enlightened lovers, heal sexual wounds, or tune in to our deepest needs. This process requires total sexual freedom, yet few people give themselves the sexual freedom they need to, “so they continue to make agreements that cause repression, dishonesty and distance,” says Silber.

And then we endure the consequences: promiscuity, infidelity, sexual dysfunction and abuse, etc.

  Intimate Renaissance

On the other hand, since total sexual freedom it is rooted in courage, our sexual experiences can be extraordinarily blissful, honest, and dynamic. Silber points out that such an approach means we also have to allow, “that no one will be your lover or that many people will judge you because they envy your power and courage.”

Courage isn’t the absence of fear — it’s simply doing what you must despite any panic you might feel. Men, women and everyone in between on the erotic spirituality path explore their personal edges most profoundly as they open up to the idea of creating relationships that are more conscious. “While all genders contain both masculine and feminine elements, women tend to be more naturally tantric,” says Anapol. “As women overcome their residual fears and get back in touch with their natural, loving, feminine spirit, they pave the way for a renaissance of sexualove. As men release their fear-based need to control, and learn to surrender, they can join with women to create genuine partnership.”

Erotic spirituality implies a “shift to a more intuitive, mutually supportive, life affirming way of expressing our sexuality and structuring our loving relationships,” she explains further. This paradigm for sexualoving connections pushes us gently towards all our uncertainties, requires us to be fully present and alive in the moment, and asks us to see the grand design, purpose and ecstasy in all our intimate encounters.

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Comments

input  

sexual freedom is when it isn't compulsive.

07/29/2011
Lynn Paterson  

Great article - thank you! And thank you for sticking your head above the parapet and writing about sexual issues... takes courage indeed.

10/11/2011

Cool

11/21/2012
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