Sex can be so much more than a time-limited physical event that unfolds under the covers and concludes with an orgasm. Your mind and spirit need sex just as much as your body does. By connecting solely through your physical body, you’re missing two thirds of the sexual experience.
The big O really isn’t the-end-all-be-all. Connecting sex and spirit can nourish you way beyond a “Was it good for you?” model of physical satisfaction, says Gina Ogden, Ph.D, who is a sex therapist and the author of The Heart and Soul of Sex: Making the ISIS Connection. When you’re on the spiritual path, the standards for sexual fulfillment don’t depend on how you perform.
To feel bliss, it’s much better to combine spirituality with sexuality. “To connect the mind, body, and spirit in one moment allows us to transcend the ordinary, physical life and move to a higher, more fulfilling plane,” says Ogden.
The reason we often have sexual experiences without the spiritual aspect is because we are not aware we can have both, adds Scott Kudia, Ph.D, who is author of If This is Love, Why Am I Unhappy? The 3 Keys to Getting the Relationship You Want. “We’re too caught up in our ego and/or fixated on fulfilling short-term gratification.”
In truth, adds Kudia, sexuality and spirituality are dependent upon each other. We need our five senses to experience spirituality and we need our spiritual awareness to enjoy life in our physical body. “If your spirituality is weak, your sexuality will not be strong. And if you don’t accept your sexuality, your spirituality will be weak.”
Alas, many of us experience only the physical (and often negative) aspects of sex such as lust; sexual addiction, and infidelity. The more positive aspects of our sexuality, however, open our hearts to love and our higher selves. In the words of a 50-year-old holistic health practitioner from Los Angeles, “we are closest to God/universe when we are sexual.”
So how do you become a divine lover? And how do you connect with your partner on a spiritual sexual plane? No worries, there are numerous ways you can open yourself up. Be prepared to venture into some unknown terrain which may perhaps be beyond your comfort zone, says Ogden.
Broaden Your Horizons
Start by broadening your definition of sex, says Ogden. “Allow your sexual discourse to include more than biology and performance. Let every thought, feeling, and conversation you have about sex include emotional, spiritual, and cultural elements.”
Also consider how you view sex – is it tied in to guilt, shame and fear? Were beliefs instilled in you at a young age, which caused sexual paralysis? Do you consider the orgasm standard a measure of sexual satisfaction?
Meanwhile, explore the meaning to your existence; consider your personal laws and needs. What is your calling and are you living by that? For instance, mine is to lead an examined life. The deeper you know yourself, the deeper your union with someone else can be.
Your home and career should also be aligned and fulfilling. Give your life stability. Create a personal philosophy that will guide you through your everyday concerns such as, “this too shall pass.”
“When you’ve got these things in congruence, then you are ready to learn how to make love,” says Kudia. Incidentally, the Kama Sutra is not only about sexual positions. In fact, it advises us how to prepare for sexual experiences by reviewing our lives.
Practice safety as erotic foreplay
Safety is important on the spiritual path. It’s especially crucial if you have a history of hurt or abuse, says Ogden. “Wounds of the body are also wounds of the spirit. All the internal armor you had to develop in order to survive the past may be preventing you from feeling a full range of pleasure now.”
You may need to hear soft words and feel soft hands. You may need reassurance, tenderness, prayer and meditation, says Ogden. “You may need to re-connect with rebellious parts of yourself-like the little kid who’s kicking and screaming at the idea of any sex at all. Give her a fun job, like playing with the massage oil. She may make a mess but she’ll keep herself entertained so the rest of you can focus deeply on connecting with your self and your partner.”
Speak your heart
Sharing deep feelings is essential on the spiritual path. You may need to laugh, cry, and bare your soul. Let your partner (and yourself) know all about your ravenous desire for meaning and connection.
Ogden says it’s also important to be clear about how you communicate, even when messages come directly from your soul. In her book, she offers these ground rules to make sure your deep sharing leads you where you want to go. Some specifics:
Use “I” statements: “I feel.” “I want.” “I am…”
Keep it positive. Offer liberal amounts of appreciation and praise-to yourself, to your partner, to the cosmos.
Accept all appreciation and praise that comes to you (this can be tough for women who’ve been taught to put themselves down routinely, but get used to it. It’s time to learn to tough it out).
Keep it simple. Too much talk gets in the way of feeling and being. Remember that useful phrase,”talk does not boil rice.”
Listen to your partner. Erotic connection is always a two-way street.
Spiritual sex relies more on hugging, holding, and caressing than it does on actual penetration. Physical sex may last for only minutes, while spiritual sex can last for hours, says Kudia.
He offers some tips:
1. Assume a comfortable position such as lying side by side, facing each other and embracing. Or sit and face each other; sit between him and wrap your legs around him.
2. Caress, hug, and stroke your partner in slow, controlled movements…even when having intercourse.
3. Focus on the sensation of being stroked, hugged, and caressed and how it feels to you.
4. Remember, the emphasis is not on sexual stimulation. The emphasis should be on expressing your affection.
5. Make lots of eye contact. The eyes are the window to the soul (or as Fabio once said on national television, ‘the soul is the window to the eyes’). Gazing deepens the connection.
6. Breathe together. This is one of the most powerful things you can do to create more intimacy.
7. Focus on your own inner feelings and imagine those feelings migrating to your heart and flowing from your heart to your partner’s heart. In a more active fashion, you can channel your sexual energies from your genitals upward to your heart and send it out to your partner. Developing your chakras will help make this more fulfilling.
According to Kudia, the overall message of Spiritual Sex is about taking your ego out of your sexual experience, focusing on your partner, and taking your time. “To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, ask not what your partner can do for you, ask what you can do for your partner!”