Finding what it takes to go the distance…
Have you ever wondered what is behind the magic of lasting intimate relationships?
We believe it’s the re uniting of Sex and Love.
For this is where we get serious in relationship…seriously powerful at least!
Here we’ll explore how the separation of these two very dynamic, and in many ways very similar forces, sex and love, ultimately limits what we’re capable of in long term relationship. And in life itself, as this includes the relationship we have with ourselves as well.
We are born sensual, sexual, heart open bundles of feeling and love. Babies just beam love and have been seen under xray to self pleasure in the womb. They have no resistance at all to feeling. Over time our social conditioning and our desire to protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable in intimate relationship causes us to separate our hearts from our genitals, whether we’re aware of it or not.
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 a lot of the time. This combination of fully open hearts and awakening desire is why the relating is so effortless and the sex usually the most frequent, as well as the most satisfying.
Over time in relationship little unresolved hurts, disappointments and rejections, that are natural when two unique individuals try to live together, occur that reduce this fully open flow. To keep ourselves safe from further hurt we unconsciously separate love and sex into two different places in order to protect where we now feel most vulnerable.
Men have sex whilst keeping their heart protected. Or they avoid wanting sex at all. Women avoid sex due to feeling a lack of intimacy and connection with their partner. Or they too seek sexual satisfaction purely through the mechanics of pleasure without involving their hearts. This has the twofold effect of making the desire to connect, either intimately or sexually or both, less likely to occur, and less fulfilling when it does happen, leaving couples feeling uncertain, frustrated and isolated.
The first step in reuniting sex and love is to recognize if this is happening for us or not.
The second is understanding the similarities of love and sex and perhaps taking them out of the socially conditioned boxes you currently have them in, freeing yourself up to connect more easily. This understanding can also help reduce the war of the sexes where men and women believe they are wanting different things when actually they’re not…
So what do we actually mean when we talk about sex and love, and isn’t it dangerous to re unite them?
Of course there are times when we need appropriate boundaries in both sex and love, but do we somehow over do it? Do we tie them up in neat little boxes in our minds to keep ourselves safe and in control, not realizing how we’re limiting ourselves in the process?
In intimate adult relationships, with personal boundaries respected, this combination is not dangerous, it’s the vital juice and the biggest gift in truly committed relationship…
In intimate relationship with ourselves uniting sex and love within us keeps us open hearted and empowered…
Defining Love and Sex…
Let’s take a closer look at each of these two powerful forces…
Love is extremely hard to define.
If asked probably each of us would come up with a different definition of love, which says a lot in itself. However love is generally seen to be a positive thing, part of man’s higher self. Ultimately we know love through the feeling experience of it, an experience that can be beyond even the greatest poets’ words.
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. Love is a cocktail of powerful chemicals for creating attraction, action, pleasure, euphoria, attachment and bonding.
Psychologically: Love can be as simple as a shared cup of tea or as complex as that which helps define our innate desire to live. 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 total stranger. It’s most personal in intimate relationship. Love can also be totally impersonal, such as a generalized love for humanity, country or God. We can experience love of the self, not as self centred, but being centred in ourselves, having respect for and taking care of who we are. Although love is healthy it’s inappropriate to put our need for love onto another.
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 subjective, 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. Love is a mystery, it cannot be seen or measured, but it can be felt, and it transforms that which feels it. Love can be the greatest gift and the greatest tragedy.
We know love when we feel it.
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 more to it than just what we see.
Unlike love, and despite the openness we have around sex these days there is still an element of ‘naughtiness’ or ‘being less than love’ about sex. And it happens in that shame based part of us, our genitals.
Biologically: Sex is also about the procreation of the species. Surprisingly it involves many of the same chemical processes as love for creating attraction, action, pleasure, euphoria, attachment and bonding. Sex keeps us physically healthy through decreasing stress, reducing high blood pressure, 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 (though we highly disagree with this!). Sex can be a wonderful antidepressant and de stressor. Sex provides us with opportunities to feel connected, secure, loved and powerful. It can be a boost to our self esteem. Like love, it is inappropriate to put our need for sex onto another. We can invite another into it but not force them. 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 it but the combined biological, physical and emotional results speak for themselves. Sexual repression can create huge psychological torment, suffering and eventual disease. Sex is the juice/energy and passion for life, whether we’re just feeling it in ourselves, or doing it with another. .
Spiritually: The experience of sex is, like love, highly subjective and 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. We can experience it alone or with another. It can offer the deepest form of connection with ourselves or another. Sex and spirituality have long been in a very adversarial position with religion trying to control it and most spiritual traditions trying to suppress or transcend it. Except for Taoism which teaches sexual practices for health and longevity, and Tantra which views sex as spirit rather than something separate from it, to be used for the purposes of reaching enlightenment. Sex involves mystery as it cannot be seen or measured but can be felt, and it transforms that which feels it. Sex too can be the greatest gift or the greatest tragedy.
See where Love and Sex are Similar:
- They’re both subjective, unique to each person, in each moment of experience
- They’re experienced as both 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 with another person with each having identical or completely different experiences at the same time
- Each are a cocktail of the same powerful chemicals for creating attraction, action, pleasure, euphoria, attachment and bonding
- They’re both tools for survival, we will die faster and eventually altogether as a species without them
- They can both benefit our health and longevity
- They are powerful neurological conditions like hunger or thirst that we seem to have little real control over
- They’re both beyond the mind yet we can also consciously choose to create them
- They both work best when aligned with respect
- They both involve mystery, they cannot be seen or measured but can be felt and transforms that which feels it
- Both are very powerful forces and can be the greatest gift (with an open mind and heart) or the greatest tragedy (with a closed mind and heart)
- we can experience them both separately AND at the same time
- Both can be seen as very human AND equally 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 occur at a distance, sex needs to be up close (although technology is helping to change that)
We can love many people at once, no matter their age, sex, race, religion etc. Sex is generally with one person at a time.
Love is a force of good, sex more often a force of something bad, dirty, even immoral
Love is more about another, sex is more about us.
Love can be more subtle, more mysterious, sex tends to be more direct (unless you’re Tantric!)
Sex and Love are still not as separate as we might like to think from our conditioning…
– Sex is the fire that can intensify the love we feel
– Love is the magic we can feel that takes sex to another level
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).
To live a full, vibrant and aware life we need both, whether we act our sexual desire out in sex, in self love or simply in a passion for life.
How does this topic make you feel? What judgments came up for you?
Explore your own reactions and you’ll be sure to learn something.
At Oztantra we can teach you the skills to open more to both. 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.
To learn more check out our Online Relationship Course, specialist relationship support in your own home!