Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.
Mention the word sex and eyes widen and ears perk up. The strong reaction the subject arouses reflects the spicy nature of sexual energy. Say you’re at the gym feeling tired and depleted. And say someone we find attractive starts working out next to us. Our energy level is suddenly boosted and as it sizzle through our body it becomes a combination of spiritual and sexual energy. All your favorite body parts come into play.
Pure sexual energy is as like dynamite: unstable and explosive. It can transport us to sublime states of bliss and delight (just as spiritual energy can), or cast us into the darkest pits of anguish, terror, and depravity. The volatile and wild nature of sexual energy convinced some religious traditions to view it as an impediment to spiritual development, and to some degree this belief still exists because of the confusion, heartache, and pain that sexual intimacy can cause.
But how do we redeem sexuality and elevate it to the spiritual status it deserves? How do we reconcile the square of sex with the circle of spirit when sexual pleasure is often responsible for so much shame, trauma, and pain?
Obviously, we can’t alter our sexual instincts. What we can do, however, is use spiritual practice to overcome the limitations imposed by nature on our sexuality. In fact, we can transform the inherent mismatch between male and female sexuality into an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth.
We can't have a healthy spirituality and healthy relationships without a healthy sexuality. Sexuality is about our relationship to ourselves and how we relate to one another as men and women both physically and emotionally. It doesn’t matter whether the relationship is short term or long term. Combining both aspects creates a richness to the relationship that blends body, mind and spirit.
I look at the books I write, full out erotic. I always begin with my characters, and as they develop the story unfolds. If there is not a richness to the relationship, the story doesn’t work for me. Why? Because to me any act of sex is as much spiritual as it is physical. To me, that’s the secret to a good—no, great—relationship.