How Can You Be Spiritual and Sexual?

Even spiritual people receive mixed messages that complicate becoming sexually mindful.

This was previously published on elephant journal.

For some, spirituality is all fluffy and dream-catchery; our day‘s intention is to live with an open-heart and make smiley differences in the lives of others.

For others, spirituality is all about surrender to unfolding Source, personality annihilation and manifesting stillness.

But what about sex?

We live in a world with billions of sexually repressed women, billions of sexually damaged men and millions of people addicted to pornography. Many of those people would describe themselves as spiritual.

Something has gone wrong. The repression of sex can be held accountable for so many of our world’s ills. It is time to take a good look at the assumptions that we make about our sexuality, time to embrace some kick-ass spirituality.

For many people journeying a spiritual path, there’s much confusion about how to handle sex impulses that naturally arise. What does a student do when he has lusty thoughts about his gorgeous yoga teacher as she demonstrates downward facing dog?

What does a meditator do when she has the urge to masturbate (about the young muscular man at the ashram)? What does an internationally renowned teacher do when he no longer finds his gorgeous wife sexually attractive, preferring to indulge in his friends with benefits?

Sex is a mother load of work for every one of us.

People, the good news is we are all wonderfully sexual beings, for all is sex. Sex brings this all into being. The bad news, thus far, is that our patriarchal culture and a myriad of flesh-denying religious teachings have left us all with a sexual shadow.

How can we be spiritual and not sexual? Not possible.

I would describe myself as a sexual creature. I am also in touch with an inner yearning to understand what this experience called life is all about. I am a sexual mystic. Over the years, I have encountered many mixed messages from the spiritual scene as to what to do with all the sexual energy that flows through me.

Abstain? No. Embrace and share? No. Hide it? No. Tell everyone about it? No! Beyond the spiritual scene, in the world that I grew up in, there were even more mixed messages. Isn’t it extraordinary how sex is so out in the open, blatantly used in all media, and yet, it is so hidden; nobody talks freely about it. No wonder I was confused.

As a spiritual evolutionary, I was determined to find my way through the confusion. The essence of what I discovered is that this isn’t the time to pretend that our sex is bad or isn’t there. It’s no time to be guilty about something that is so beautiful.

It’s no time to bear shameful wounds that stand in the way of our wholeness. This is a time to embrace our every sexual feeling, every nuanced energy that moves within and to see it all as nature; a flow from divinity itself. Sexual mindfulness if you will. Sexquanimity.

I have peered deeply into the origins of sexual energy and seen that sex is the life force that brings everything into being. It is the most austere of energies that moves within us. Fellow seekers, let’s not deny that energy—let’s embrace it, talk about it, love it and celebrate it.

That surely is the way that we can return to wholeness. It is only when sexual energy is embraced and celebrated that our shadows will enlighten. Celebration of our sex has to be an integral part of any spiritual journey.

Wholeness is ours to be experienced when we indulge in all of life with awareness. Even those sexy, naughty, juicy parts of us that we would rather pretend weren’t there.

Om Mani Padme Hum

 

Read more on Sex & Relationships.

Image credit: Tomas Sobek/Flickr

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About Ben Belenus

Ben Belenus is a truth seeker, worshipper of women and Author. His juicy new book “the sex god---No Mud No Lotus” is a thorough and sacred investigation into sex, love and authenticity. It’s a sexually explicit and passionate love story that follows one man’s evolution towards spiritual freedom. The story follows Ben from innocence into sexual cockiness, painful infidelities, porn addiction and then onwards into deepest Tantric Love.  www.benbelenus.com  www.facebook.com/benbelenus

Comments

  1. Destin Gerek is a powerful advocate and educator of this kind of work.Check out his viewpoint, powerful stuff:

    http://vimeo.com/eroticrockstar/invest

  2. How Can You Be Spiritual and Sexual? How can you not? But then, that’s your point……

  3. It’s true sexuality is spiritual, but as with all aspects of life, it can be abused and destructive. Appalling how such a beautiful thing can become a prominent weapon of violence, hate and shame.

  4. Can someone please define what is meant by the term “spiritual” – hopefully avoiding other terms that also require further definition.

    • Well, I assume you are asking for a personal definition since you could just as easily look up a general description online. So, here’s my personal definition of spiritiuality:

      The pursuit to experience wholeness. That is to say, a state of being in which all aspects of life are appreciated.

    • wellokaythen says:

      And how is spiritual not just another word for psychological?

      • psyche and spirit are two complimentary expressions of the complexity of people; they are separate but related parts of the mind/body/spirit that set us apart from the rest of creation.

    • To me, “spirituality” is that longing for meaningful connection that is uniquely human.

      • Not clear on what you mean by the above. Is “meaningful” a qualitative or quantitative measure? How do we know it is indeed meaningful, and how do we correct/adjust against delusions of meaningfulness?

        We know that belief often bridges the gap between facts and values. These beliefs usually make claims of right and wrong, and how we “should” be.

        Is spirituality a belief? And if so, are you ascribing a value judgment of “good” to the belief?

        • Elissa, I’m speaking for myself here. Spirituality, for m e, is not about belief, it’s about “attaching meaning” to the events and relationships of our lives. Religion tends to be structured around beliefs and right and wrong ang value judgment. As for how we know what is meaningful, again, it’s not about value judgment. It’s about meaning – purpose. This has drifted a long way away from “spirituality and sex” but to the degree that sex is meaningful connection with a partner, it can be an expression of our spiritual selves. Does that make any sense?

  5. wellokaythen says:

    Let’s start with looking at sexual attraction as more than just an “impulse.” Then, let’s try to think beyond the Pauline/Cartesian dualism that says that the spirit/mind is one thing totally separate from the flesh/body. While we’re at it, stop thinking of spiritual things as pure and clean, in contrast to bodily things that are dirty and naughty. Level the playing field when it comes to desires, instead of organizing them into some sort of rigid hierarchy from most good to most evil.

    Meanwhile, don’t go overboard and assume that every sexual encounter has to provide some sort of transcendent experience or else you’re not doing it right. Don’t expect every orgasm to bring you into a sense of oneness with all things. Totally physical vs. totally spiritual is a false dichotomy.

    • To me, the distinciton between “having sex” and “making love” is that one satisfies the body and one satisfies the spirit.

    • ….not in a dualistic way – but in the way of completeness. Some people enjoy sex, and to that extent “do it right”, with no intent of having a “transcendent” experience. But for those seeking a meaningful connection with their partner, it is spiritual, even if not transcendent.

  6. Ben,

    I think I’m grokin what yer stockin here, but I wanna make sure of one point in particular. When you said:

    “This is a time to embrace our every sexual feeling, every nuanced energy that moves within and to see it all as nature; a flow from divinity itself. Sexual mindfulness if you will.”

    I don’t believe you meant that all sexual feelings are healthy, or should be practiced, or expected from one’s partner. Mindfulness in this case simply means noticing what is naturally arising in one’s thoughts and withholding shameful judgements around them, right? For example, if I fantasize about strangling children in sexual acts, mindfulness would suggest I notice these thoughts and use them as a means to trace back to whatever emotional wounds may be at the source of them.

  7. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    I’ve always had a tantrist’s philosophy about this. I have a Scorpio Moon in House Eight, which is probably why sex has always seemed completely natural, and never, ever divorced from spirit. But what a shock it was to discover the ways other people had split the two up. The less alienated seemed to be people who didn’t necessary find sex bad, they just though it was low and the opposite of spirit. So, to be really, really cool, you should avoid hanging out on the sexual playground too much. The other type was the ones who essentially think sex is bad. As kids, we tend to encounter those people first, of course, because people are always trying to teach children values, and for very good reasons. But boy, do many people not want children getting mixed up in sex. In our enlightened republic, I think we often posit this as an issue of dangerousness, not badness exactly. If we have to do with sex, it could bring dangerous people to us. Sometimes this is true, but it’s probably way exaggerated, as are most dangers nowadays.

    My first encounter with the sex is bad prople is when our group of kids were actually investigated for “playing doctor” by the police. I admit we were probably a little too sophisticated for 1950s Americans because one kid had taught us anal sex and fellatio. The one girl in our group remained a stranger to cunnilingus because we did not know it existed. A mother who was out to get another mother invloved the police, thinking that the other mother’s son had had the most to do with getting this rolling. Actually it was me. Sex, at that point, was incredibly matter-of-fact to me. I had no idea the police could even be called. My parents had great anxiety about sex, I could tell, but tended never to talk about it. I did recieve a book about where babies come from when I was about 9. I knew then that it wasn’t something to be anxious about really– but I didn’t know that each of them had been molested by their dads.

    The police being brought in left me quite paranoid about others’ perceptions about sex, properly so, I think. For years I was anxious about being investigated, but not about sex itself.

    Later in the hippy/radical movement of the 1960s-1970s, I had sex with a number of women. If I had to choose one thing that I think was the universe’s gift to sexuality in those days, I’d say marijuana. Weed slowed us way down, sort of decentering the idea that intercourse was the main event. Sex could go on for hours, not following a linear pattern, but instead returning to previous energies and modes of lovemaking. Intercourse, itself, could stay stock still with tantric energies pulsing through both parties, the sensations off the scale. I only had group events about eight times, only one of which was wonderful because of the energy between me and a female partner. We might as well have been alone, actually.

    But I did meet many of the people who move away from sex for spiritual reasons in that movement. Sometimes I get why they do it a little. Sex might have been too complicated, or there were issues of abuse. They might have a low sex drive. They might have strong other interests. Or issues with people in general. Or, because sex always requires intimacy, and, for me, feelings of love, they may not have been willing to open themselves up to these things. I have no issue with these people. I just don’t think like they do, at all. People making love seem to me to be drawing very close to godliness or whatever you want to call it.

    I have a big issue with the sex is bad people. I think that they are carriers for authoritarianism, which is a disease. And we should stop deferring to the anti-sex. Note that I’m not calling for general promiscuity. That wouldn’t let the grounds for intimacy develop. But I do favor a diffuse eroticism. More hugging, in spite of sexual harrassment fears. Things lime that.

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