‘Which bit goes in which hole,’ was all the sex education that a young carpenter told me he had received. He raised his eyebrows as if to say, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ Most of our preparations for sexual encounters seem to rely heavily on instinct or inspiration. I’ve often thought it would be good to have a National Proficiency Test to establish competence before letting anyone loose with such a powerful force. Not dissimilar to what carpenters have to get before being let loose on your precious house and furniture.
Sex is essentially about connection which is why it has come to have so much meaning. As social animals we depend on connection and when we put sex into the intimate category it gets loaded with meaning. On its own it has none. It is just an act … for pleasure or purpose.
There are basically three areas of connection:
- someone else or others
- life, the universe, and everything.
It has been said that you can only love another to the extent that you love yourself. Self-pleasure then seems such a logical and natural way of learning how to love someone else. Connecting with yourself and knowing how you get turned on is a fabulous gift to offer another person. In contrast we sometimes offer ourselves up more like a booby-trapped obstacle course that leaves both parties confused and frustrated.
Meeting our own needs first is essential in making healthy connections for another reason. Neediness is a passion killer. The process of dealing with our neediness is also about learning to be present. Creating the time-and-place space to listen to our bodies … and being brave enough to be present for both pain and pleasure.
Shame is another big passion killer, along with guilt. We use a lot of energy hiding our guilt and shame and in making sure that people don’t stray too near it. The biggest aspect of ourselves that gets shamed is our animal side. Lovingly bringing it into our persona can release us from shedloads of shame.
The scientific name for our animal side is the reptilian brain. It not only gives us the primal grunt to reproduce but also the spark of attraction, the sexual chemistry that sometimes scandalises our civilised minds. Untamed it expresses itself in our basest sex acts such as rape and abuse. Accepted and valued for what it offers it can continue to heat up the connection between two people for a lifetime.
Getting disconnected from ourselves starts early on in life. An upbringing where shame is used to control behaviour distorts our idea of ourselves and our bodies. Having predefined ways of behaving as male or female without room for creative uniqueness can force people to conform to please others. We end up dancing in other people’s shoes to keep others safe and not for the pleasure of just being ourselves.
Trauma is also about disconnection. We instinctively dissociate to survive the overload of emotion. Single events such as separation from mother at birth, abuse, or surgery can be traumatic. Less obvious are the negative remarks about genitals and sexual behaviour that can incrementally build towards a traumatic tipping point.
We are all trying to find the way home to where we can relax with who we are and simply find our own way of being. Sex is a way to connect deeply with ourselves, sinking down into our bodies, allowing the unconscious to become conscious.
Learning to be at home with ourselves is also the safest place to be and builds resilience into all aspects of our lives.
Relationship is the ultimate reality. Without someone to listen we have no voice … individuality is ultimately a myth. Co-operation is how our species succeeds, like all our nearest primate relatives, we are social animals.
Our evolutionary path can be traced in our bodies, and specifically in our brains. The instinctive selfishness is probably more representative of our reptilian brain stem. Reptiles are born independent whereas mammals need to nurture their young to independence outside the womb. For this to work there needs to be pair bonding between the parents – the longer the time the stronger the bond. Humans are unique in the animal kingdom with independence taking anything from 15 to 30 years depending on the society.
The potent sexual chemistry of the reptilian brain can’t compete with the endless repetition of life’s chores and the drudgery of providing for all the needs of house and home. Sexless marriages are becoming more common due to the pressures of our modern lifestyle. Lovers slowly drift apart and end up as just mates, or more like siblings.
Restoring polarity is the key. This is often in stereotypical roles where the primal urge to merge awakens in the mind of the body and offends our politically correct egos. However, once the positive and negative poles have been discovered again then the energy can start to flow and the spark return. Allowing a space for that erotic charge can reignite a relationship. Learning to play with it expands our repertoire of erotic connection and our overall creativity.
Our attachment style in childhood will affect our adult relationships due to different experiences of intimacy and love. Providing the nurture our childhood often didn’t give us allows the natural child in us to emerge. As both children and adults, we all need the arena of unconditional love in which to open up and change. ‘Are you there for me?’ is the question we have to answer to our inner child as well as our adult partners. It is then that we feel safe to be naked both physically and emotionally with each other.
Life, the Universe and Everything
Quantum physics is bringing science and spirituality together. We know the universe is made up of energy in different states of form and flow. We, ourselves, are body and spirit with a consciousness that encompasses both. We live in an energetically interconnected system where butterflies cause hurricanes across the globe.
Connecting with the energy of life that flows through our body forms is an art. It takes application to develop the specific awareness of what is already there but not conscious. Deliberately arousing it through Tantric massage of the physical body allows a consciousness of the ‘energy body’ to be developed. This exists beyond the limitations of the physical form and blends with the flow of life all around us.
Through learning to ride this erotic wave we can experience oneness not just with ourselves, nor even just with others but with the whole of creation. By connecting with the flow of life in ourselves we can connect with its flow everywhere. The real happy ending is not in a climax so much as an ongoing state of ecstasy that is orgasmic … connecting us to the background state of the conscious universe.
The things that stop this journey have already been mentioned because this path starts with our own self, gets refined and expanded in connecting with others, and then finally takes us into life and the universe as we connect with the One universal consciousness and everything that resonates with energy.