The Three Archetypes of Sex
Is there a “right way” to make love to a woman?
This question reminds me of that Friends episode where Monica explains to Chandler how to work a woman’s seven erogenous zones. “Go to one, then two, back to one, two, one-two-three. Five. Four, five. Seven, six, seven, seven,” she suggests in ecstasy. Too funny, but I don’t think there’s a one-size fits all recipe to orgasmic pleasure. However, here’s the thing, after studying and talking about archetypes, in particular the virgin archetype, for seven years now, I think there might be universal meanings to sexuality—three of them, actually.
Sex takes the human need for connection and gives it a physical form in anywhere from five minutes to several hours, depending on how lucky you are. The steps may vary, but I suggest humans grow through their sexuality in three distinct ways.
So here’s the big meaning behind sexuality. There’s sexuality that awakens you to your capacity to know joy and through this to know your authentic self, the virgin archetype. Then there is sex to experience the dance of offering and receiving with another and to cross the space between two people, the mother goddess and the warrior king. And of course, there is sex to experience the mystical union of all things and a transcendent connection, the wise woman and the mentor.
The following lists three ways we can grow through our sexuality based on the three archetypes of sex:
1. Sex That Awakens Self
I still remember my first realization that I had the capacity to feel finger tingling, mind blowingly great. It was so empowering and by that I mean I was opened up to a whole new world of feeling good. Happy, playful, adventurous, curious—I wanted to explore them all, and with different people. I wasn’t ready to connect to a life-mate until I found a connection to who I really was. It was a candy store opportunity to learn so much about myself through my body. Some encounters were simply a flirtatious smile that sent out a beacon of my inside world. At the other end of the spectrum it was a stripped down, car-rocking ride under starlight that absolutely made me glow.
This is when I learned to know what I liked, thought about why I liked it, adjusted my father complex and any misguided beliefs I had about how I deserved to be treated, and then found more things that I liked. I emerged from these experiences with a genuine connection to who I am in my soul.
This is the virgin’s journey to knowing herself and being herself, and all men and women need to go through it—no matter how old they are.
2. Sex That Connects You to Another
Once you know who you are, another type of sexuality becomes available. Life is best experienced through relationships but if you don’t have a strong relationship with yourself, a clear understanding of where you end and others begin, you can’t let anyone else in. They might move the furniture around or add something. They might take something away. You will be forever appeasing another, feeling the need to control another or just plain block their entry if you don’t know yourself as an individual. The key is to hang on to who you know yourself to be while you learn to cross the space between you and another.
Our sexuality gives us the opportunity to be seen and known by another. When that someone is quite different from us, contrast is thrilling. I am most aware of my feminine nature when I am with a man acting out of his masculinity. The dance of offering and receiving is amazing. The stark contrast creates so much clarity and energy. Life becomes fuller through interdependence with someone who thinks differently, is built differently and has a whole other skill-set.
When I allow him to hold my heart in his hands—my metaphoric life, my joy, my thrill—it is a great act of trust. I do this because I trust my intuition. I trust that pull towards what feels right to me. I count on my senses, feel his energy and am curious about and excited by the lust I inspire in him, and even more enthralled by his control, his mastery over his animal self, for me.
When he places the value of me over his quick satisfaction, I see it and I receive the gift. His offer of a gesture of protection, the strength of his self-discipline and his desire to provide me with what I need builds a connection between us. I trust him and open myself to him, becoming completely vulnerable, wanting to try new things, willing to go to new places, because he is there providing the container that keeps me ultimately safe. By receiving him I expand from my world to our world.
Through this dance I believe I see all that he is, have the capacity to mirror his soul back to him and receive all that I am to him. I hold this intuitive knowing all through my day.
This is the journey to cross the boundary between you and another, the journey to form a true partnership.
3. Sex as a Mystical Union
This is the hardest one to write about, mostly because it sounds so cheesy out of context. It’s when our sexual experience becomes a tangible realization of the wholeness, the magnitude and connection of all things. I remember feeling once like I was a musical instrument. A beautiful voice in my head was telling me this and my partner knew how to channel some kind of other worldly energy and play me. I felt the musical notes and was a part of them.
These moments are rare but their effect is lasting and wide reaching. We became more than the sum of our parts through a union that feels so right it crosses all boundaries of space and time. In my case, it shifted my understanding of life and even existence after life.
I think you are getting the cheesy part and I hope you are also recognizing the emotional place I am trying to put into words. In this kind of sexual union, it feels like the two of you have been together before, will continue to exist after your bodies have gone and that now is all that really matters. Like mystical Egyptian snakes, you curl away and face life with more power because of this perspective, with more love to give, more insight and then you curl back to your partner and cross to new heights of cosmic energy. Everything is connected, fear is banished and the mystical is possible.
So there you have it, three archetypal levels of sexual energy. It helps to be conscious of this range of sexual encounter because if you’re always expecting transcendence you might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you never expect transcendence you might be missing out.
Ultimately, our sexual drive teaches us about our “self,” develops our ability to connect with another and sometimes feels like an ultimate connection to the cosmos. It isn’t about what happens in the bedroom with your partner as much as it is about how you make sense of what happens.
So, the next time you have sex you can ask yourself, “Was that about connection to myself, to other or to something beyond either of us?” And trust that whatever happens, it’s exactly what is needed.
Editor: Maja Despot
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.