Sex is one of the most basic desires in our lives, and a source of enjoyment and sometimes frustration.
The basic guideline is simple: Have fun, enjoy it fully, and in a way that is kind to you and others.
And yet, it can be helpful to explore it a little further.
With all of these questions, it is good to take one at a time, perhaps even one a day or one every several days. Let the question sink in, let the answers surface on their own, find specific examples, allow time to feel it. Soak in the questions and what surfaces.
So here are some of the questions that can be helpful to explore:
When there is a desire for sex, what’s the desire really for? What do I hope to get out of it?
For myself, I find a desire or longing for intimacy, acceptance, confirmation that I am lovable, physical pleasure, a sense of wholeness and fullness, passion, wildness, and bonding, support, a shared life.
Which of these do I feel I need? Or rather, which of these do I feel I need from or through someone else?
What do I hope to get out of each of these desires? What is the more basic desire – if any – behind each one?
The desire for love and acceptance are pretty basic, also perhaps the desire for wholeness and fullness. The desire for wildness is a desire for freedom. The desire for intimacy is a desire for love, acceptance, honesty and trust. The desire for support is also a desire for trust and safety.
Do I have other ways to fulfill these desires in my life? Can I find more ways to have these desires fulfilled in daily life?
Hm. I can find love, acceptance and intimacy with good friends, and also through my body-centered practice. I can find a sense of wholeness and fullness through meditation, prayer, body-centered practices, being in nature, doing what I enjoy and am passionate about. I can find a sense of wildness and freedom through inquiry, finding what’s more true for me than my initial belief. I can find a sense of trust and safety with good friends, by taking care of my life and needs, in nature, through meditation, prayer and body-centered practices. I can find passion through doing what I am passionate about, engaging in what I enjoy on my own and with others.
After exploring this, I may ask myself:
Is it true I don’t have it already? Is it true it is not already here now?
Again, this is what comes up through contemplation, through staying with the question, looking at each desire at a time, allowing the question to sink in, and allowing what comes up to sink in. Soak in it. Any answer is OK. There are no “right” answers here, apart from what’s most honest for me here now. And it changes. It is new and different each time, even if I could put a similar label on it.
Can I find specific examples from my own life of where I have these desires met? Can I find it in immediate experience?
Is it true that love is not here now? Is it true that acceptance is not here now? Is it true that passion is not here now?
And then, what are my beliefs around all of this? What are my beliefs around sex? What are my beliefs around what I hope to get from sex?
Some beliefs that come up for me: I need sex. I need a partner. I need her to accept me. I need her to love me. I need acceptance from others. I need love from others. I am not lovable. I need others to prove I am lovable. I need to be lovable. I need a sense of wholeness. I need a partner to find a sense of wholeness. I need a partner to flourish. It is not OK to be wild in everyday life. I need to be tame. I need support. I need to share my life with someone.
When I find more clarity around this, the neediness around sex may soften or fall away. Sex then becomes icing on the cake, and it may be every bit as passionate, enjoyable and fulfilling, if not more so.
I notice another set of beliefs: If there is no neediness behind sex, it won’t be as much fun. It will be less enjoyable. It will be less passionate.
It will be less passionate (if there is no neediness behind sex).
Is it true? Hm. I can find where I believe it, yes.
Can I know for certain it is true? No. It’s just an idea.
What happens when I believe that thought? I don’t want to find more clarity around sex. I don’t want to explore my beliefs around it. I don’t want to have the desires behind it met in other ways.
Who would I be without it? Curious. Curious about how it would be. Interested in exploring. Interested in experiencing that part of the terrain.
It won’t be less passionate. Hm. I don’t know. Can I find examples of passion without neediness? Yes, I experience passion around drawing, writing, exploration, all mostly or all free from neediness. I realize I often experience passion free from neediness.
It will be more passionate. Yes, that may well be. Passion is more free without neediness. There is more receptivity, more availability, more freedom to fully allow and experience passion when it’s here.
My thinking will be more passionate. Yes. Without the initial belief, my thoughts around this are more free, more juicy, more passionate. More alive.