There were times on this earth when people went to temples to have sex and offer their pleasure to God. Women were celebrated and worshipped. Priestesses were revered as vessels of life. Blame it on colonialism, white supremacy or the patriarchy, but things have changed drastically.
If I tried to start a temple for people to worship and pray with their bodies we would have to spend years reprogramming and calming down our nervous systems to remove the shame that so many of us have metabolized throughout our lifetimes. In ancient times, only the most experienced initiates partook in these tantric ceremonies, it was never instant and took lots of work to get to this place of guiltlessness and surrender.
That’s why it’s so important for us to begin our sexual healing with ourselves. We have to treat our bodies as temples, to learn to reclaim our sexuality, our innocence, and our power. The programming that ‘sex is a sin’ and that ‘a man’s pleasure is more important’ run deep within us. These are only two examples of what our unconscious beliefs can look like.
Tantra is a path of enlightenment where you awaken through your senses. You see your body and the material as not separate from Spirit/The Divine. This includes sex. I will add a disclaimer that tantra is not all about sex. In the West we tend to focus on the sexual practices because it’s a medicine we’ve been deprived of. This 5,000 year old path is one of liberation, equality, and radical acceptance.
Orgasm is pure energy. In this moment of surrender we can heal our bodies, our past hurts and release old belief systems as we practice tantric techniques of guiding this energy and paying attention.
The most powerful energy source in our body is one that creates new life – sexual energy. When I speak in terms of energetics, it’s not just a spike of pleasure and release. The principles of tantra are about our life force energy, or our Chi. When we learn to cultivate and harness this energy and stay present with it, we gain information about our desires and who we are without any outside influence. We are able to tap into our shadow, or the beliefs that we act upon that are hidden from conscious thought.
Observing why we engage in sex can give us so much insight into our lives and what may be blocking us and what can liberate us. Our sexuality is much more than who we have sex with. It’s how we relate to our body, perceive pleasure, harness creativity, communicate and express ourselves. Pushing down a piece of us and repressing our sexual desire and energy can wreak havoc on not just our bodies, but our minds and energy levels.
Chakras refer to seven energy centers throughout the body. Each chakra rules over a different aspect of our life. When our chakras are functioning at full capacity, we are in tune with ourselves and the world around us. When our chakras are overactive or underactive, we may feel cut off from certain needs or desires. Understanding how sexuality is expressed through the chakras can provide insight into our sexual personas and the motivations behind our desires.
Root Chakra: Do we have sex to feel safe?
We can have sex to feel grounded, to let our primal body move and calm down our overstimulated mind.
The shadow side: Are we having sex to tie someone to us? Is it an exchange for means of survival?
Sacral Chakra: Do we have sex to feel?
Orgasm and physical touch can be an incredible tool to release emotions and to move stuck energy. We can also spark our creativity through sex.
The shadow side: Do we have sex to get high, to block out our minds, and numb out?
Solar Plexus: Do we have sex to feel powerful?
Pleasure is one way to harness our power and claim our desires. It can be a much needed recharging and boost to our systems.
The shadow side: Are we having sex to manipulate or control someone? Are we being greedy with our pleasure or denying someone else’s experience in pursuit of our own?
Heart: Do we have sex to love and to bond?
Sex and touch can keep our heart open and soft. This shows up as compassion, empathy, and courage. Love is the energy that trumps all others. To keep our heart’s open and pure we have to learn to accept who is in front of us. Love will not heal people the way we think they should be. It just allows us to move through the world with our soul at the wheel.
The shadow side: Are we try to demand a certain form of intimacy from our partners/loved ones? Are we trying to force them to open or be vulnerable? Are we giving too much and exhausting ourselves?
Throat: Do we have sex to communicate and express?
The body has its own language that we don’t always have words for. Sex can be a way of exploring another side of ourselves, expressing creativity and power, and even releasing stagnant energy through voice and sounds.
The shadow side: Are we using sex or pleasure to validate ourselves? Are we using sex to avoid judgement, ridicule or cover up a lack of confidence?
Third Eye: Do we have sex to meditate?
Meditation can be anything that slows your thoughts down and allow us to be fully present. Sex as a meditation can be incredibly powerful. We can connect deeply to our intuition, to a space in between the physical and spiritual. We can receive powerful insights, messages, and spiritual wisdom.
The shadow side: Are we entering sexual encounters with expectations or goals? We cannot guarantee this space everytime, we can only prepare for it and let go.
Crown Chakra: Union
Expressing sex through our crown chakra is beyond space and time. Tantric sex can last for hours simply because you lose time. There is no separation between yourself, your partner, the ground, the air – all the molecules merge and dance together. Fully human, fully divine.
This is beyond thought and does not have a shadow side, it’s just an experience of union.
The only reason to practice tantra is to answer the question “Who am I?” That’s it. It’s a journey to understanding who we really are and honoring that.
Exploring these questions relating to sex and the chakras can help us deepen our personal awareness. The goal is not to “fix” ourselves. When asking these questions, notice your response without judgement. Instead, meet yourself with radical acceptance. Our imperfection is not a sin, it’s a blessing to walk a journey of meeting ourselves and seeing that everything is connected, sacred, and animated with the energy of desire.
Feature Image by Cece Di Paolo