Let's face it; sex fascinates us. Though religious institutions routinely condemn the pleasures of sexuality and educational institutions seem to ignore sex almost altogether, nothing deters humankind from our preoccupation with sex. 25% of search engine requests are related to sex, 35% of downloads on the internet are pornography, and 40 million Americans say they regularly visit porn sights. You may hear 'pornography' and think only of men. Think again. One-third of all internet porn users are women. Both sexes have sex on the mind.
Yet, in a time where the saturation of technology allows us immediate access to titillating video and visual content, is it truly satisfying? Can we find what we are looking for in a strip club, a magazine, or a one night stand? The quest for pleasure is natural and compelling. While it is easy to find the physical outlet of orgasm through mechanical devices or as a pornography spectator, and even during sex, we might be missing something here.
The tantric master Osho shares, "Those traditions which are against sex will be against the body. Those traditions which are not against sex can only be friendly toward the body. Tantra is absolutely friendly, and tantra says that the body is sacred, holy. For tantra, to condemn the body is a sacrilege. To say that the body is impure, or to say that the body is sin, is nonsense for tantra- a very poisonous teaching. Tantra accepts the body- not only accepts it, but says that the body is holy, pure, innocent. You can use it and you can make it a vehicle, a medium, to go beyond! It helps even in going beyond."
Above, Osho expresses a truth that many people fail to benefit from: sex and physical pleasure coexist with our divinity. The Ecstatic Experience by Belinda Gore reveals, "The human need for ecstasy--the ability to be free of the limitations of ordinary consciousness--is as imperative as the need for food." Indeed we are beings of flesh and blood, and we are also beings of spirit and energy. When we merge with another person sexually, more than physical reality is shared.
So how can we upgrade our sexual realities to reflect our spiritual desire for wholeness, oneness, and real intimacy? Sacred sex is the practice of honoring our sexuality as a pathway to the divine, honoring ourselves as divine, and honoring our partner (if we have one) as a divine being. Impersonal sex may fill us up temporarily, but like junk food, leave us lacking essential soul nourishment. How can we cultivate and experience sacred sexuality? Read on for ten pointers to get you started.
See yourself as a Spark from the Flame of God: Before you can connect to anyone else with the intention of spiritual union, you must realize that you are a spiritual being. We are spirit and essence, having experience in our human forms. While we have this experience, we need to commune with God or the universal energy regularly, and sacred sex is one way to make this connection.
Embrace your Partner's Divinity: It is without fail our most intimate relationships which challenge us the most. Your journey with your partner can be intense, full of ups and downs. Yet, just as you must be willing to accept the divinity in your humanity, you must do the same for your beloved as well.
Cultivate a Sacred Relationship: Sacred sex doesn't begin the moment the bedroom door closes. It starts the moment your man walks in the door for work, when you are cleaning the house together, how you handle disagreements, and the way you treat each other on a day-to-day basis. Developing a divine sexual connection is impossible if your relationship is dysfunctional, full of disrespect, or lacking attention. If life has gotten in the way of prioritizing your relationship, you must water the garden before the flowers can blossom. In other words, experiencing spiritual sex must begin with a healthy relationship.
Create a Conducive Environment: Before you can relax and experience intimacy fully, you will need to create the proper container. You may have exclusive articles reserved only for intimate connection, such as fragrant oils, candles, music, or special linens and blankets for the bed. Ambient music or tones can help dismiss the cares of the world as well as distractions. See to it that the temperature and lighting are soothing and comfortable.
Groom your Body: Setting the physical space for the mood is essential, yet preparing the body is even more so. Body preparation entails immediate as well as long term practices for self-care. Regularly exercising, dancing, practicing yoga, or participating in sports keeps the physical vessel healthy, vigorous, and supple. A well-stretched body reaches a state of ease and sensuality more easily. In preparation, clean and cleanse yourself. In anticipation of meeting the divine, bathe, or shower to refresh your body. Unique clothing pieces and jewelry can magnify the energy as well as taking time to style your hair and appearance to feel confident and beautiful.
Begin with Breathwork: Begin by touching your foreheads together to join the third eye centers. Follow with six breaths in and out in unison. A brief practice of breathing together sets the tone, centers each of your energy, and calms the nervous system. Breathing together also allows you to get on the same page.
Anoint your Lover: Anointing is traditionally performed using specially formulated oils. You may wish to keep on hand a gem- or flower-infused oil for this purpose. Holding the intention of love and union in your heart, touch a drop of the special oil on your partner's crown, third eye, heart, and genital areas.
Maintain Presence as Intimacy Develops: As you begin to explore your partner's body, and to receive your partner's touch, remain aware of the sensations you experience. Fill your lovemaking with exploration, joy, and eroticism. Each experience will be unique and will reveal discoveries about yourself and your lover. Try holding eye contact or expressing your thoughts and feelings verbally.
Bring Your Orgasm into your Heart: Tantric and sacred sexual practices often encourage practitioners to retain the charge created during orgasm. You can redirect this tremendous energy to your heart chakra by breathing, intending, and visualizing. You may also try putting your hand on top one another's crown chakras (the top of the head) to prevent the orgasmic energy from being quickly released. Not only can you expand and prolong the experience of orgasm but, with practice, can utilize orgasmic power to activate and heal your heart.
Bask in the Matrix of Pleasure: The moments after sex can send us scrambling to clean up or dozing off to sleep in satisfaction. Yet in the after-flow of sacred sex, remaining together, awake, and relaxed yields even more magic. Take this time to hold one another, to breathe deeply, and to reflect together on the experience. Fresh fruits, dark chocolate, or other aphrodisiacs can be excellent refreshments to prolong the joy of communion.