How we view sex depends a great deal on our upbringing: some parents view the act as harmful, unsavory, or unsafe. Other parents rejoice in its existence and pleasure. While the idea of sacred sex is currently gaining attention, few of our parents’ generation gave any thought to the role of one’s spirituality in the expression of sexuality.
The concept of sacred sex is broad and deep. For now, we can begin with the idea that, through sacred sex, individuals experience a more perfect union and communion. This is a deep longing that many of us carry. Understanding how we bring together our sexuality and spirituality is one of life's incredible journeys, if we choose to travel that path.
Christiane Northrup, MD, writes about sexuality in her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: “We are hardwired from birth for sexual pleasure. It is our birthright." Have you claimed this birthright, or do you find yourself feeling that something is missing from your sexual connections? The fact that our brains are hardwired doesn’t necessarily translate into fulfilling sexual experiences.
Ruth Barnhouse, psychiatrist and author of books on sexuality, describes five levels of sexuality: spiritual; emotional; mental; psychological (or instinctual); and physical. How many of these are you conscious of in your sexual encounters? Now consider how these levels express themselves in various types of sexual interaction:
· Eye to body
· Eye to eye (face to face)
· Voice to voice
· Emotion to emotion
· Skin to skin/genitals to genitals
These are interactions anyone can explore on the journey to more fulfilling sex and, ultimately, sacred sex. It all begins with oneself. But many people need realistic instruction—often not provided to children or adolescents. In reading these words, you may be remembering to what degree you received instruction, if any, and how that affected your perspective and experience of sexuality. If you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts about this, your comments are most welcome. Consider it a first step toward better, more connected sex!
Thank you, Jeannette, for reminding us to think about sex in more inclusive ways. Your guiding wisdom in schools and pediatrician, other medical offices would be very helpful.
Thinking of Sex as Sacred is especially wise in this age of easy access to
"quick hookups." Your writings help us to deepen our relationships.
Joyce--thank you for your comment. Hopefully offices of pediatricians and family practice physicians will provide educational sexual information. Also of relevance would be schools providing students with such instruction.