Let’s be real. Despite of many sexual liberation movements, sex and sexuality (and unaltered raw truth) have remained taboo topics in the West (and many other cultures for that matter).
When I say taboo, I mean that it is not the kind of thing we honestly speak about without thinking twice. I’m not referring to those heroic “day after” stories nor to some light coffee table referencing often accompanied with a giggle or a awkward twitch or two.
How often do you find yourself discussing what it feels like if your cervix is touched? Or which insecurities might arise between bedroom walls? Or how deeply (dis)connected you felt during the last time you mixed and mingled your naked bodies?
I often wonder: If it was sex that brought each and every one of us on this planet to begin with, why do we find it so difficult to lay it all out and share our true experiences about it? Why is it so hard to even share that with the one we love?
It is only about a year ago I actively started exploring my own relationship with (tantric) sexuality in depth and this exploration keeps unfolding; it does not happen over night and there is no fast-track lane. I decided to dive deep (no oxygen masks provided) after making love with my current partner for the first time.
We knew each other only for a few weeks but bonded strongly and whirling energy spirals of chemistry and curiosity wrapped themselves around us. Despite the strong connection I could never have dreamed of the night that followed. I’d like to share a fragment straight from my dairy:
‘[..]“Keep on focusing on your heart” he tells me “send it there, let it expand there”. The energetic body that seems to wrap itself around my physical one curls and twists and strokes my every inch. His hands work me like a potter his clay, with preciseness and utter care whilst I lay still, very still. This is thrilling, deliciously thrilling. More than once I laugh out loud, I fill the room with laughter that pours from my heart, followed by tears. I let them pour too, I let it happen, I let… Drifting in and out of consciousness I surrender to the ever-coming waves of climaxes. This is far out. We’re high and keep on going up, up, up. Up till the point where silver stars shoot out of my chest and garlands of golden butterflies leave from either side of my head. I am surrendering into unknown worlds. I keep clarity of mind but simultaneously I am fully overwhelmed, electrified. I no longer know where my body ends and his begins. Every touch comes with fireworks. Frequently a little devilish voice inside me wonders if he drugged me. How else can this lovemaking take place on such an overwhelming peak for six (!) hours in a row?’
When I sat down with this experience the next day, I asked myself: What the heck happened last night? What made this possible? Why did it take me 26 years to discover love making like this? Why is this not normal? Why is this not the cultural standard? Why could I surrender so fully?
Inevitably insecurities arose as well: How did he feel? Did I lay too still? Was this mind-blowingly magical for him too, or just another Saturday night?
Casually leaning against his motorcycle, taking my sunglasses off, I decided to ask him about it. Even though that felt scary (behold, the demons of rejection are in sight!), honesty has never ever let me down.
Honesty teaches to be with all the sides of the self and those of our loved ones: the light and the dark, the polished and the raw, the fragrant and the get-down-dirty, the desires and the fears. When we have the guts to open up in all vulnerable fragility, in all likelihood we’ll be met with a similar attitude, right? (And if this does not happen, we might want to reconsider whom we are choosing to hang out with in the first place.)
Luckily for my heart and ego, his answer was yes; this was mind-blowingly magical for him too. And now, almost a year later, we are still journeying together, diving deeper every day.
On this journey a labyrinth of true lovemaking has opened up. She welcomes all; the brave ones who dare to seek, stumble and love whole-heartedly. This beautiful labyrinth, full of hidden creeks and lakes, nostalgic weeping willow trees, blossoming cherry orchards, vibrating golden butterflies and exponentially growing light, may sound tempting but can be easy to get lost in. But it is in her we learn that to step out of our comfort zone does not equal to die but rather invites us to feel, to share, to listen and to be genuinely compassionate.
Surely, after a year the magic is still there but needs to be taken by the hand sometimes. I discovered that talking unedited about my most intimate sexual experiences brought quite some stuttering and stumbling blocks, more than once resulting in me falling flat on my (insecure) face.
Having a spiritual background and a liberal (even tantric) upbringing I was embracing my angels, but found myself naively surprised by the demons I had to face on this trip. I also found myself holding back as not to hurt the feelings of my lover (i.e. feel hurt by and responsible for his pain myself). But nevertheless I think we can draw the conclusion that it is always better to share. Even if it is a simple as the desire to be teased on a specific freckle during foreplay, having a bruised pubic bone, not being able to orgasm, feeling tired or insecure about the smell or taste of my lady-parts or feeling pure bliss buzzing through every fiber… If I am not going to communicate this to my lover he will not know.
Honesty is a gift, the gift of love and trust, given without having to receive in return, given from pure intention; an undoing of layers, peeling away all distractions from the source. And it is during lovemaking that we can tap into this source easily and let it ripple throughout every aspects of our lives.
Honesty requires the guts to surrender, letting go of expectations, judgments, control, fear and self-image. When we are in the most vulnerable intimate act of making love we don’t want to be bothered by all those shouting politicians that more often than not occupy the stage of our minds, right? Wouldn’t we instead prefer to feel the ancient depths of existence, to recognize the divine in our lover, to feel the roaring of tigers in India? When I stroke my fingers along my lover’s spine, do I feel his every shiver? Do I taste his pleasure and his pain? Do we make love for the sake of Love?
Learning how to trust, how to give and receive, how to speak and how to listen, can be scary for our egos. To cultivate these qualities during sexual explorations, my loved one and I often take turns being active versus being actively passive. Playing with these roles (in extremes) can bring out strong forces: as that first time we made body dissolving sizzling love till the light of dawn and I did not move an inch. This Shiva (God of consciousness, stillness) and Shakti (Goddess of manifestation, energy) role-play allows for a full focus on both the other’s and our own experience and a thorough insight in each others desires, fears and comfort zones. We usually free up our agendas for these explorations and create a sacred lovemaking space; candles, incense, a ritual. All the while sharing highs and lows straight from the (burning) heart.
To end this writing I’d like to share a more dry but equally beautiful communication technique (for all situations): a heart to heart conversation or shared self-inquiry.
This technique can be done in many ways, but the most straightforward one is to sit opposite of each other (preferably with a straight spine to, you know, keep those energy centers flowing) and simply take turns speaking from the heart.
I highly recommend using a timer during this practice and agree on five, 10 or 15 minutes each. The aim of the game is to be able to speak from the gut in without censorship. You can choose a specific topic to self-inquire into or just feel this moment in its purity.
The listening party attempts to be fully neutral, non-judgmental, non-reactive and yet engaged. There is no need for commenting on the other’s experience, pleasing or problem solving. All is allowed and everything is valid. Even if we all we want to do is scream “It feels like my brain is exploding and I am transforming into an angry wounded wolf that wants to rip your head into pieces!” that is perfectly okay.
From what might start as an awkwardly shaped encounter stuffed with fears and projections can easily transform into a pure shared honest inquiry.
Author: Chris van der Weide
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: you me/Flickr