Finding what it takes to go the distance!
Have you ever wondered what is behind the magic of lasting relationships?
We believe it’s the re uniting of Sex & Love.
This is where we get serious about relationship…seriously powerful at least! For separating these two very powerful, magical and in many ways very similar forces seriously limit what we are capable of in long term relationship. This includes relationship with ourselves as well as with others.
In the beginning of relationship it seems that sex and love are somehow effortlessly entwined. Love is flowing between partners and this desire flows easily into sex, we’re totally into each other, seeing heaven in each other’s eyes and wanting to touch and connect all the time. This combination of fully open hearts and awakening desire is why the relating is so effortless and the sex is usually the most frequent, and the most satisfying.
We separate them to protect ourselves
Over time unresolved little hurts, disappointments and rejections happen that stop this open flow. To keep ourselves safe from further hurt we unconsciously start to separate love and sex into two different places in order to protect where we are most vulnerable.
This is especially true between men and women. Men start to want sex whilst keeping their heart protected (or don’t want sex at all). Women avoid sex due to feeling a lack of connection and love, or seek satisfaction through the mechanics of pleasure. This has the twofold effect of making the desire to connect less likely to occur and the sex less fulfilling when it does happen, leaving couples feeling uncertain, frustrated and isolated…and less alive. This lack of aliveness is the biggest driver for people having affairs in otherwise healthy relationships. We’re trying to recover that openness, vitality and specialness that the loss of united sex and love offer us.
So what do we actually mean when we talk about sex and love, and isn’t it dangerous to link them? In intimate adult relationships this combination is not dangerous, it is the vital juice and the biggest gift in truly committed relationship…
Whilst we don’t pretend to know all about these two powerful forces for they’re full of life’s mystery (this is their power) and it would be a foolish claim, however we don’t back away from working within them as their gifts are so large.
Love is extremely hard to define.
If asked about love probably each of us would come up with something different. Ultimately we know love through our experience of it, an experience that lies beyond even the greatest poets’ words. Love is generally seen to be a positive thing, part of man’s higher self.
Biologically: Love is a survival tool- a mechanism we’ve evolved as a species to promote long term relationships through a sense of safety and security, for our mutual defence and the safe raising of children. It’s a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst that we often seem to have no control over. It’s a cocktail of powerful chemicals for creating attraction, action, pleasure, euphoria, attachment and bonding.
Psychologically: Love comes in many different forms, such as playful affection or romance, a desire to understand and support, or a deep bonding commitment. We can nurture love through acts of kindness, gratitude, goodwill and passion; we can receive it through the same. It can be highly personal as with friends and family, or in a moment of unique connection with a stranger, and it’s most personal in intimate relationship. Love can also be totally impersonal, such as our generalized love for humanity, country or God. We can also experience love of the self, not self centred, but being centred in ourselves, taking care of and having respect for who we are. Love can be as simple as a shared cup of tea or as complex as that which helps define our innate desire to live.
Spiritually: Love is full of paradoxes. There is nothing love cannot face and there are things we cannot face at all without it. The experience of love is unique to each person, in each moment, as we experience it within us. It can be felt as warmth, fullness, a pleasant heaviness in the heart. It can equally be a feeling of unlimited freedom and expansion. We can experience it alone or with another, or unconditionally from God/Spirit. It is completely free yet is powerful enough to create bonds that extend beyond death. As infants we can literally die without loving touch, as adults we also die, at least on the inside without it. It cannot be seen, but it can be felt, and it transforms that which feels it. It can be the greatest gift and the greatest tragedy.
Sex on the other hand is very easy to describe because we can see it.
Sex can refer to any activity in which sexual arousal occurs for the purpose of sexual gratification ie. the satisfaction of a sexual desire. Yet ultimately we know sex as a feeling and an experience too, for there is much, much more to it than what we see.
Like love it can tamper with the very Unlike love, and despite the openness we have around it these days there is still an element of ‘naughtiness’ or ‘being less than love’ about sex.
Biologically: Sex is about the procreation of the species. Surprisingly it involves many of the same chemical processes as love. It keeps us physically healthy through decreasing stress, increasing our immune function and much more. Pleasure also releases nitric oxide thought to be a powerful anti inflammatory agent and preventer of chronic disease.
Psychologically: Sex is Eros, passion and desire or erotic love, and is generally thought to be unsustainable over the long run (we highly disagree though!). Sex can be a wonderful antidepressant and de stressor. It provides us with opportunities to feel connected, secure, loved and powerful. It can be a boost to their self esteem. Sex isn’t the only way to feel loved, connected, secure and powerful whilst getting a boost to our self esteem, so psychologically we don’t need sex but the combined biological, physical and emotional results speak for themselves. Sex is the juice/energy and passion for life, whether we’re just feeling it, or doing it. Sexual repression however can create huge psychological torment and suffering.
Spiritually: The experience of sex, like love, is unique to each person, in each moment as we experience it within us. It evokes a physical feeling of heat and tingling, aliveness, desire and expansion. It cannot be seen but it can be felt and it transforms that which feels it. We can experience it alone or with another. It can offer the deepest form of connection with another. Sex and spirituality have been seen in a very adversarial position with religion trying to control sex and most spiritual traditions suppressing or transcending it. This is except for Taoism which teaches sexual practices for health and longevity and Tantra which uses sex for the purposes of reaching enlightenment. Sex too can be the greatest gift or the greatest tragedy.
Where Love and Sex are Similar:
They’re mysterious forces beyond our complete understanding and control.
They’re unique to each person, in each moment as we experience them within us
They’re experienced both as an internal feeling and an external action
We can experience them alone or with another
They come with a strong desire to share with another
We can be experiencing exactly the same experience with another or each something different
They cannot be seen or measured but they each transform that which feels it
They’re both survival tools, we will die faster, and eventually altogether as a species without them
They can both be good for our health and longevity
They are powerful neurological conditions like hunger or thirst over which we seem to have no control
They’re both beyond the mind yet we can consciously choose to create them
Each are a cocktail of the same powerful chemicals for creating attraction, action, pleasure, euphoria, attachment and bonding
They work best when aligned with trust and respect
They can be the greatest gift (with an open heart) or the greatest tragedy (with a closed mind)
Both can be seen as a very human AND part of the Divine in life (we say divinely human…)
Of course there are differences as well.
Love occurs in the upper part of the body, sex in the lower
Love can be more subtle, more mysterious, sex tends to be more direct
Sex is the fire that can intensify the love we feel
Love is seen as unlimited (although in its shadow used to manipulate it is not), we can love more than one person and any person no matter age, sex, race, religion etc. Sex needs to have more boundaries and mutual consent
Love is more about another, sex is more about us
The main point here is Sex and Love are not as separate as we might like to think.
So we see many similarities between the powerful forces of love and sex, especially for people in an intimate relationship.
When we close down one, we limit the other.
When we build on one, we build on the other.
To go the distance in long term, committed relationship we benefit from bringing them together and enhancing each (no small thing).
How does this topic make you feel? Explore your own reaction.
At Oztantra we can teach you the skills to do so. Skills that involve understanding, feeling, breathing, mindfulness, presence, awareness, clarity, honesty, vulnerability, allowing, pleasure, acceptance, gratitude and surrender of the mind to the opening of the heart.
This is learning that never ends (for us too) and will keep you living and loving for a lifetime.