May 24, 2017

How to Make Sex Sacred.


“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.”~ Marilyn Monroe


Is there anything better in life then honouring, truly feeling, and giving value to the everyday things that we do?

I don’t think so, and sex is no exception.

Have we forgotten the value in sex? Perhaps many of us have. We have shrouded it behind big advertising and consumerism and packages that tell us it should be this way or that. We assume sex, like many other things in our consumptive culture, is something to grasp after, achieve, and then move onto the next task of our day. Doing this with our sexuality, though, means that we miss out on a whole lot of its richness. It means we miss out on the act itself.

We are so far ahead of ourselves (or behind) in our society, as we have developed these keen planning minds. Thinking about the future and the past is what occupies most of our moments in the day. It has become hard for us to be present—even during sex.

Who has not had the experience of planning our next meal or work project while doing the deed? I am certainly guilty of this one. But the question then can be asked, “Why are we having sex, if we are not actually allowing ourselves to feel it?”

It’s not just sex that we do this with today. We aren’t present for most things. But what if we could change this? For there is enjoyment and pleasure that we are missing out on.

Making sex sacred again is fairly simple; in fact, simple is something we will want to use as a verb when we “do it.” Simple meaning we declutter the act of all the extraneous stuff we have piled onto sex over the years, like our belief systems about what is right and wrong about sex, our rush to get to the next thing after it, and our idea that we are doing it to reach something. What if we were just having sex to enjoy the moment?

How would sex be if we took away any idea of a final goal?

Sacred means sacrament or ritual. It means honouring something through our actions and reverence to it. Sex deserves our respect—not because it is something that needs to be dramatized, or kept to certain times, with certain people, or to be done in certain ways, but because honouring something makes that thing come alive.

To make sex sparkle, it just means we might take a wee bit more time for it. Not a lot, just a pause here or there. It takes feeling the moment—like in meditation or playing music, we arrive fully because the experience of what we are doing consumes us.

When we treat sex as sacred, we also choose to really acknowledge what we are doing; we are joining with another body in space and time. For the period that it lasts, we are choosing to not just be singular any longer. We are choosing to unite.

Unity is a holy act. It is something that mystics have always considered the closest experience to the divine.

In both yoga and meditation, the first thing we do when we practice is arrive back in our bodies. We ground. This means we choose to notice what we are feeling in ourselves. We become aware of our posture, our breathing, and of the more subtle things, like the experience of the temperature of the air on our cheeks. We do this so that we can begin to focus on what is really happening—during this one moment in time. To make sex sacred, we need to do this with it too.

At the next opportunity for things to get hot and heavy with another, why not try a little mindfulness practice of arriving back in our bodies, so we can actually enjoy it and them?

Slow down, just a bit. Feel skin touching skin. Notice breath and temperature. Acknowledge that there is another person(s) here. Honour the privilege of a shared experience and also make an intention to have sex be the task at hand—not what might happen later.

We don’t need to be consumers of sex any longer. Instead, we can be enjoyers of it.

This is what I believe sex was meant for: to bring us greater pleasure, intimacy, and joy. Perhaps the shame that some of us have felt around sex is because we haven’t allowed ourselves to just do it, simply. We make all kinds of mind trips about it.

But really sex is one of the most powerful acts that can bring us back into the present, and the present is the only place where we can feel fully alive—now that’s sacred. Don’t you think?



Author: Sarah Norrad
Image: Bryan Brenneman/Flickr 
Editor: Leah Sugerman

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