Spiritual vs. Mechanical Sex

November 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

The differences between spiritual and mechanical sex have been addressed in several recent relationship studies, and the same questions usually arise. Where do most people sit on the spectrum, how does it effect them and what can be done about it? In order to address these questions, let’s draw some comparisons.

By definition, spiritual sex is the sacred bond between body and soul, expressed by an awareness of the self, your partner, and the “life force” created within that sacred union. Sex in this realm is considered to be the most gratifying by far. In contrast, mechanical sex focuses on the body, the orgasm, conception, and only a very minimum of intimacy, inspiration, and meditation. Less appealing, but possibly more common. Has this always been the case? If so, why?

We’re doing our duty
Mechanical sex (aka duty sex) can best be described as going through the motions, usually out of the desire to satisfy any cultural and/or spousal expectations and to keep peace within the relationship. The soul isn’t even brought into the picture. The act is a simple release. How many of us have had duty sex? According to studies conducted by Cindy Meston and David Boss (authors of Why Women Have Sex), approximately 84 percent of women are guilty, along with 64 percent of men. The numbers are high on both sides (albeit admittedly higher for women), but the explanations couldn’t be more different — or more intrinsincally linked.

Gender divide
Of course plenty of women have engaging sex and duty isn’t the only reason they do it. In fact, Meston and Boss have documented over 200 others, but some of them (like to cure a headache or cramps, to relax or sleep better, or to make their partner jealous) are still a far cry from spiritual connection. Trouble is, men — or modern demands — aren’t making it any easier.

According to research conducted by The Kinsey Institute, we’re all too busy for sex. Americans are having less of it than we did in the 50s! Add to this the fact that men, while certainly capable of enjoying true intimacy, are generally grounded on the mechanical side of things and things get even more complicated. Some research even suggests that equating sexuality with spirituality is a detraction for men rather than a draw. Deeply connected sex was never biologically pertinent for male survival. On the other hand, a spiritually caring man historically provided the support necessary for a woman to give birth and raise a family. And they do exist. Today, women no longer need to rely on a successful breadwinner, but they do miss that spiritual connection. And as male roles evolve, so do men.

Here’s some advice on how to put the enjoyment back into sex:

Open hearts, open minds, open schedules
The first thing we need to do to increase sexual satisfaction and connection is to create more time for sex. Most therapists say that if you are waiting for romance and “that loving feeling” to sweep you off your feet, you might as well be waiting until doomsday. It may seem counterintuitive, but you have to be progressive! Set a schedule for your together time. Put the kids to bed early, order take-out; do whatever it takes.

Another thought is to introduce more spirituality into your life. According to studies at the University of Kentucky, women who classify themselves as spiritual, have more sex. Another study found that those who regularly engage in the spiritual meditation of yoga, experienced increased levels of both sexual arousal and desire. Don’t let the mechanics of sex ruin an otherwise beautiful spiritual relationship. Take the time to do it right!

Tired of just doing your duty? Want something deeper? You’re not alone. Join the conversation!

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