Making Sex Sacred

purpleflowerOur sexuality is one of the most important aspects of being human. It is a driving force and according to some, it is the primary focus upon which we channel our libido. If you stop to think about it, how many times each day do you think about some aspect of your sexuality? If we were to scrutinize the various activities in which we engage, we’ll find that much of our behaviors are centered on making ourselves sexually appealing to others. We brush our teeth each morning, shower and clean our bodies so as to not “offend” others with our natural odors. We purchase hundreds of dollars of products to enhance our natural features; we buy clothes that go beyond mere functional purposes. Even if we are not overtly aware that we are driven by our sexual nature as human beings, our behaviors tell another story.

Perhaps it has something to do with our being social animals. Few of us would prefer to be totally isolated from others. We need one another in order to gain a sense of who we are and who we can become. If we are alone, we are not challenged nor given the opportunity to reach down into our deeper selves in order to express or actualize the many facets that make up our individuality. In fact, it has been suggested that we do not truly know ourselves unless we are in relationship with others because we gain a different view of who we are through the eyes of others. Others challenge us to behaviors that we wouldn’t need to discover or express if we were not relating with them. Sometimes these reflections of ourselves that we discover are positive attributes, and at other times, we find aspects of our personality that we are not so proud of.

The challenge in relationships is that we are called to awaken our consciousness about who we are and what we are all about. If we don’t like what another person evokes in us, we either avoid that person or we stand back and try to determine where our emotions are coming from. As John Welwood writes in his book, “JOURNEY OF THE HEART,” being in a relationship gives us the chance to form a conscious path to intimacy. The challenges call forth the unfinished and undeveloped aspects of our personality. When another person evokes emotions in us that we are not comfortable with we can see that person as a catalyst rather than as the problem. They serve to awaken us to become more conscious of how our past might be causing us to react to others instead of responding to them.


When we react, we are acting from habit. We get a “button” pushed and we react by lashing out or drawing back in hurt. Unless we step back from ourselves and simply observe our reactions, noting that, “Hmmm. I sure am angry over this, aren’t I?” we simply get caught up in the moment and then the emotion takes over. However, if we can take that conscious step and step back and become the observer to our emotions, we can loosen the neural nets that keep our emotions on the surface. Each time we repeat a reactionary emotion, whether it is anger, fear, or sadness, we are strengthening the neural connections that feed our emotions. Each time this is reinforced, we are more likely to have a repeat performance of that negative emotion.

So consciousness is the path to growth and evolution. If we can evolve our consciousness and seek to awaken from our “waking sleep,” we have the opportunity to change our outdated, unworkable behaviors and trade them for updated workable solutions that increase our happiness and well being.

When we are in an intimate sexual relationship, we are our most vulnerable. The darker aspects of sexuality as well as the problems that arise in our sexual interactions are misguided actions borne from urges in the psyche and body. Not too long ago, there was a shooting at an Amish school where a man bound, shot, and killed a number of young girls before he killed himself. He left a suicide note claiming that he had molested some female relatives some 20 years ago and that he was being haunted by the desire to repeat these molestation behaviors again. Stalking on the internet is another theme that has also been in the news. These types of behaviors continue to show us how powerful our sexuality can be in the shaping of our lives, our behaviors, our fears, and our feelings. How do past experiences shape how we see ourselves in the present? This is an important area to explore when working with sexual disorders.

tigerThere are many theories regarding how to address sexual problems that arise in intimate relationships that are not as severe as the incidences I just mentioned. How does a couple maintain passion and creativity in their relationship? Is it possible? The various problems that emerge in the course of being a sexual human being are numerous, but the solutions to help couples gain more satisfaction in their relationship to one another are also available. I believe that the most important ingredient to a fulfilling sexual relationship is that each person in a couple is the best of friends with each other. This opens up the door to honesty, vulnerability and trust. We learn to own our own “stuff” and we come to understand that what irritates us in our partners is simply something unfinished within our “Self.” The Self emerges (capital “S”) as we embark upon a path of heart, when we learn to love rather than expect, when we have compassion for others for we know that the human condition is a long journey to awaken. To Awaken, our consciousness needs to be aware and awake. We recognize when we are projecting the stuff of our “uncooked seeds” and we reown what is ours…it is ours to evolve and transcend. Our partners help to remind us of those aspects of self that need more nurturing.

I encourage you to read John Welwood’s book, JOURNEY OF THE HEART. He provides much wisdom regarding the psychological challenges we face when we are in a relationship with another person. Satisfaction in the bedroom is contingent upon the psychological wellness of each individual.