Sacred Sexuality

Sitting with my friend Roseanne in the darkening twilight, I ask her a question I’ve been asking many people lately: “What does sacred sexuality mean to you?” Roseanne hesitates, searching for the right words. “It’s not something you can force… but once in a while, you pass through into something beyond, something transcendent…. It’s like a great light… Life comes pouring into existence, and for just a second, you get a chance to look at it and see it happening.”

Roseanne, a mother and housewife in her early fifties, is neither a student of Tantra, nor is she versed in New Age thought. In fact, she seems an unlikely source for information on sacred sexuality, raised as she was in a strict Mormon family where sex was equated with sin. Yet the long overlooked truth is that countless “ordinary” men and women feel a natural, intuitive reverence for sex as the place where “life comes pouring into existence.”

At the same time, millions of Americans also carry a heavy legacy of sexual guilt and shame which blocks their ability to appreciate sex as a divine gift. Over and over, people tell me that their parents rarely or never talked about sex, and pretended to be asexual. “In my family,” one woman told me, “there were no words for sexual parts or sexual acts…. When I was eight or nine, I got out a mirror and looked at my vagina and wondered if there was something wrong with me. “Is this okay?’ I thought. ‘Is this how it’s supposed to be?’”

Many of us were raised in religious traditions that considered sex “unspiritual” if not downright sinful. In contrast, most indigenous people revere sex as an encounter with the spirit worlds. Sobonfu Some, a teacher from the African Dagara tribe, says that her language has no words for “having sex.” The equivalent Dagara phrase translates as “going on a journey together”-a journey guided, according to Dagara belief, by the spirits of the ancestors.

Moreover, the Dagara believe that though this journey is taken in private, it benefits the entire community because in the process, the human and the spirit worlds are brought into alignment. Such ideas may seem a far cry from our own. Yet I have heard hundreds of women, as well as many men, describing sex as a mysterious, profoundly sacred power.

Janet, for example, responded without a moment’s hesitation to my question about the nature of sex: “Sex is the light that streams from the body.” “Sex is magic,” said another woman, “it’s a field of magic.” And yet another told me in a tone of awe, “It’s the primal creative force. It moves through you, but it doesn’t belong to you; you can’t possess it.”

Sex is not a genital activity; in fact, it is not an activity at all, but rather an aspect of the creative life force also known as Kundalini, which can enliven and electrify us at every stage of life. For Cindy, a sculptor in her seventies, the moment of her sexual awakening coincided with her birth as an artist. “In that moment, I understood that this vibrant aliveness was me. That’s who I am. All the creative work I have done since then comes out of that state.”

Cindy has had several deeply satisfying relationships, but today, she is happily single. Grinning, she tells me, “I felt so empowered when I realized that I would always be a sexual woman, and that I didn’t have to depend on a partner. The older I get, the more I feel turned on to spirit, to my own creativity, and most of all to the crazy, magical rush of life.”

Naomi, a woman in her forties, made the exhilarating discovery of her own sexual power during a women’s ritual at which each participant took off her clothes and offered a nude dance. Years of childhood abuse had taught Naomi to equate sex with humiliation. And so, she entered into her dance shaking with terror. Soon however, fear gave way to a mounting surge of ecstasy that coursed through her body and intensified until it exploded into orgasm. “This joy started coursing through my body until I was rolling around on the floor like a little animal, kicking my legs and laughing. It wasn’t dignified or beautiful. It was a joyful, ecstatic exuberance exploding through my body.”

Sacred sexuality can be etheric and gentle, or it can be bawdy, raucous, and funny. Cutting through the ego’s pretentiousness, it reconnects us with the innocent joy of our animal bodies and gifts us with the medicine of wild, liberating laughter. Therefore, the ancient Greeks called Aphrodite the “laughter-loving” goddess who was always surrounded by children.

We all need to find our access to ecstasy, for the soul’s hunger for ecstasy is as real and urgent as the body’s hunger for food. When people become obsessed with sex they are in fact starving for ecstasy. Our society will not have a healthy attitude to sex as long as it fails to acknowledge ecstasy as a basic human need which people will try to satisfy by any means, including alcohol, drugs, and self-destructive sex. Modern Western civilization is probably the first that has no ecstatic rituals. Creating our own version of the Sufi Zikrs, the Pagan spring festivals, or the ancient Greek mysteries could address the longing that drug-prevention programs and sex education cannot fulfill.

As an energy that transports the soul back and forth between the unmanifest and the manifest dimensions, sex has always been of special interest to healers, shamans, priests and priestesses who felt called to serve as go-betweens between the worlds. In the past, only very few, select individuals were called to this path. Today however, the urgent evolutionary need of the planet is causing a mass spiritual awakening. Most of the men and women I counsel are as deeply dedicated to the spiritual path as any nun or priest, yet they are also regular people with regular jobs and families.

For some, sexuality has served as a catalyst that forced them to abandon the path of organized religion and find their own way through difficult, uncharted terrain. Richard, now happily partnered with another gay man, was formerly a highly respected Zen Buddhist teacher and monk. “I saw desire as a big no-no,” he told me. “The Buddha taught that attachment to impermanent objects causes suffering. In my order, that was interpreted as meaning that personal attachments were bad, and sex was definitely bad.” Like many religious institutions, Richard’s order considered celibacy a spiritually superior way of life.

In theory, Richard agreed. Yet as the years went by, he became more and more frustrated. “I felt dry and shriveled. I started wondering, ‘Where’s the juice in my life? I need to find that juice.’” Soon after, Richard made the choice to leave his order, a choice he has not regretted. “Now,” he told me, “I believe that the purpose of the spiritual path is not to avoid suffering but to grow in love. And the only way I can walk the path of love is by following my heart’s deepest desire. I still feel that celibacy is a valid choice, but it should be an option, not an ideal. So much hypocrisy and deceit are the direct result of idealizing celibacy.”

As Richard has discovered, the path of sacred relationship is at least as demanding as the monastic path because it forces us to develop and transform the ego in ways monastic life does not. Nonetheless, Richard is not alone in his determination to integrate sexuality and spirituality, human and divine love. For many centuries, the way of the monk or nun has seemed incompatible with the way of the householder.

Yet in the last fifty years, a radical-and still little understood-transformation in the function of our sexual relationships has been occurring. Poised as we are on the brink of global disaster, communion with spirit is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity. Consequently, more and more couples are finding themselves equally committed to one another, to the spiritual journey, and to the process of inner transformation.

“What people like us are trying to do has never been done before,” a married friend told me. “Certainly our parents were not trying to achieve that level honesty and consciousness and intimacy.” Marriage (in which I include any long-term, committed sexual relationship) is perhaps the most radical voyage of personal transformation a spiritual seeker could embark on. But short sexual involvements, too, deserve to be honored as spiritual teachers. Every sexual attraction carries a message from spirit which we will fail to hear if we simply chalk it up to random “chemistry”.

Of course, this does not mean we should act on every impulse. Hannah told me of a night she and a monk spent sharing a small room, both madly in lust with each other. “Neither of us slept a wink,” Hannah remembered. “Every cell in my body was trembling with desire. But I did nothing.” Ironically, she remembers this night as one of her deepest experiences of sexuality, and has never regretted her choice.

“I couldn’t pretend to myself that this was love,” she told me. I don’t believe that sex and love necessarily have to go together, but in this case, they were in conflict, and I chose love.”

Those wanting to improve the quality of their sex life will find no lack of books, workshops and teachers. At the same time, even the most refined sexual techniques cannot unlock the door to the sacred. The key lies elsewhere-not in our actions, but in our perceptions. If we would experience sex as a luminous, light-filled miracle, we must approach it with eyes of reverence and with a mind free of judgment and shame.

Among the many manifestations of divine light, few are more beautiful than sex with its rich amber glow, its red-hot sparks, and its sweet honey flavor. Sex carried us all into life, and every now and then, it affords us a glimpse of paradise and of the radiance that is our true home. Sex is one of the most potent spiritual teachers we will ever encounter. It’s high time to give it credit for the inner growth it triggers and to gratefully acknowledge the vast generosity of a gift that connects us with the ecstasy of creation.

Ten Steps Towards Sexual Wholeness

1. Tell your story in sacred space. Telling your story is a powerful way of coming out of sexual isolation, owning and integrating your experience. Sometimes, it can even be a lifesaver. Words carry power, and naming your truth in the presence of compassionate, attentive witnesses is tremendously empowering. However, this deeply intimate process should always be contained in a sanctuary space of sorts, which might be a therapist’s office or a trusted friend’s living room.

I do not recommend telling your story outside of sacred space, which I define as an environment where your story will be received with attention, compassion and reverence, where you will not be judged or shamed, and where your request for confidentiality will be respected. Like the body, so the psyche too has its “private parts” where a person holds their deepest, most intimate secrets, as well as their most vulnerable feelings, memories, hopes and fears. Your story is sacred, and you would no more want to share it with an inappropriate audience that you would want to have sex with inappropriate partners.

2. Embrace pleasure as a friend. Wilhelm Reich was one of the first to realize how much we fear pleasure. When Joanna had an orgasm that left her, in her own words, “at the center of the universe, totally at one with everything,” she reacted not with elation but with terror. Perversely, we often view pain as safe, even virtuous, while associating pleasure with decadence and sin.

“In Catholic school, I learned that suffering was good,” one man told me. “Jesus suffered, and so did the martyrs. Nobody went to heaven for having a good time.” Provided our pleasure does not harm ourselves or others, we should consider it healthy, healing, and holy. Sacred sexuality honors pleasure as a gift from God, and as nature’s way of letting us know what is good for us. Welcome pleasure into every moment of your life, and embrace it as a friend, guide, and teacher.

3. Find time and space to open to your sexuality by yourself. Masturbation, or self-pleasuring, to use a more positive word, can be a voyage of self-discovery and an experience of truly making love to yourself. It’s just one way, though-remember that there are a million ways to “turn on” to yourself. Get naked, wrap a shawl around your hips, and do an erotic dance. Go out on a warm summer night and lie on the damp grass, letting your body commune with the earth’. A good lover is a priceless gift, but please don’t buy into the belief that without a lover, you can’t be sexual!

3. Take responsibility for the partners you attract. The foundation of sacred sexuality is love, and love begins with self love. If you have a history of choosing inappropriate partners, you can safely assume that in some way, you still feel unworthy or undeserving of the love you want.

4. Learn as much as possible about where and why you go astray. Watch out for patterns of “making do,” condoning abuse, or settling for relationships that are ultimately destructive and undermining. Sacred sex involves not only physical nakedness but also emotional and spiritual nakedness. Take a good hard look at who you are getting naked with.

5. Learn to express your sexual desires and needs. Good sex requires honest communication. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Unfortunately, fear and shame cause many otherwise articulate men and women to become mute in bed. Alexandra spent ten years in a sexually frustrating marriage before she finally found the courage to ask her husband for what she wanted. “As a good, red-blooded American girl, I was brought up to believe that the man had to give you sexual pleasure, and that if he didn’t give it to you, there was no way to get it.” As it turned out, Alexandra’s husband was more than happy to oblige her. Yet one wonders how many relationships fail because partners dare not express their desires.

6. Slow down and relax. We all know that stress is the number one killer in our society. Besides felling thousands of people every year, it also cripples our sexuality. Slowing down-way down-is essential to sacred sexuality. Ecstatic lovemaking occurs only within sacred time, time out of time; it cannot tolerate being cramped into tight schedules. “Quickies” can be wonderful. Still, they are the sexual equivalent of fast food. Give yourself the gift of a gourmet meal now and then!

7. Relax while aroused. As we get aroused, we tend to tense up. Practice doing the opposite. Instead of tensing, relax and allow pleasure to spread throughout your body. This runs against our grain because we generally want to reach orgasm as quickly as possible. To do so, we tense, thereby concentrating our excitement in the genital area. Often, we unconsciously hold our breath at the same time. Try breathing deeply and allowing yourself to relax into increasing levels of sexual arousal, without rushing toward orgasm. If and when orgasm occurs, it will release a healing flood of pleasure throughout your entire body.

8. Be brave. Understand that even with the best partner, sacred sex is bound to be somewhat scary. Why? Because as in any encounter with the divine, you will have to let go of control and surrender to a power greater than your own. Sacred sex is loving sex, and love is not for cowards; it takes courage to plunge into that purifying blaze. The ego may balk, yet our body and soul live for that crazy, exhilarating plunge. There is nothing more noxious to the body than being inhabited by an ego that refuses to let go. Our body yearns to reconnect with the eternal source of its being, and grieves when we becomes so fearful that we refuse the healing medicine of ecstatic pleasure. A body deprived of ecstasy and of the cleansing, purifying stream of bliss is never a happy body.

9. Open to God as your lover. Meditate on a divine Being who blesses your sexuality and desires you with as much passion as you desire Him or Her. Mystics of all spiritual traditions have invoked God as a lover who led them into states of rapture and orgasmic pleasure. By accepting God as our lover, we invite sacredness into our sexual experience. On the other hand, opening to the divine lover will also transform our spiritual practice. In the presence of the God the lover, worship becomes lovemaking, and lovemaking becomes worship.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Common Myths About Child Sexual Abuse and Incest

The first response the majority of people form when hearing of sexual child abuse or incest is denial: “I do not have to be concerned about that in my community.” “That would never happen in my family.”

The unbelievable reality is that a person who sexually abuses children may seem very average and ordinary to the world. He/she may be a leader in the church, in the community or in business, a sports coach, scout leader, or celebrity. Sex offenders do not fit a classic stereotype and are not necessarily uneducated, unemployed, impoverished or an alcoholic.

The majority of people find sexual abuse and incest even more difficult to believe or accept when the sex offender is someone they like, admire, love, and/or marry. Tragically, the unwillingness to accept the facts concerning sex offenders leaves children vulnerable to becoming victims and increases the likelihood they will be abused.

Myth: Rape/incest runs in the family–it is in the genes.

Fact: Rape is not in the genes in the family of someone who rapes. Rape is perpetrated by someone who is acting out rage. Physical and sexual child abuse are the majority factor in creating the level of rage that compels anyone to commit rape, domestic violence or murder. We have known for a long time that the one commonality among rapists is physical and/or sexual child abuse. Serial killer, Ted Bundy is a classic example of this phenomenon. Since 80% of sexual child abuse survivors are sexually abused by family members there are usually several generations within a rapist’s family–sometimes both maternal and paternal. Current statistics reveal 70% of children are physically abused once a week. It is believed the number of children who are physically abused has decreased in the past 15 years. However, the current rapists in society would have grown up in the era when physical abuse was more prominent, therefore, we can assume there is a high percentage of people, who are potential rapists when we consider date rape and rape in domestic violence, which is seldom reported or if it is reported, is seldom prosecuted. Therefore, society has no way to access the number of rapes committed per capita.

Myth: Children lie or fantasize about sexual activities with adults.

Fact: Using developmental terms, young children cannot make up explicit sexual information. They must be exposed to it to speak about it. Sometimes a parent will coach a child to report sexual abuse falsely. The key indicators of the falseness in such a report are the child’s inability to describe explicit details, the inability to illustrate the act, or gross inconsistencies within the account.

Myth: Most victims of sexual abuse are teenaged girls.

Fact: While more girls than boys are sexually abused, many are abused before their first birthday.

Myth: Boys can’t be sexually abused.

Fact: Masculine gender socialization instills in boys the belief they are to be strong; they should learn to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children and are as vulnerable as girls. They cannot really fight back against the sex offender. A sex offender generally has greater size, strength, knowledge, or a position of authority, using such resources as money or other bribes, or outright threats–whatever advantage the sex offender can take to get what they want.

Myth: Sexual abuse of a child is usually an isolated, one-time incident.

Fact: Child sexual abuse and incest occurrences develop gradually, over time; often, repeat occurrences are generally the rule rather than the exception.

Myth: Children will naturally outgrow the effects of sexual abuse or incest.

Fact: Sexual abuse or incest affects every aspect of human development. The damage is profound, extensive and pervasive. It is deeper than the physical and emotional level–it is a soul injury that requires multifaceted, multidimensional, therapeutic processing conducted by a professional who specializes in sexual abuse and incest trauma recovery.

Myth: Non-violent sexual behavior between a child and an adult is not emotionally damaging to the child.

Fact: Although child sexual abuse often involves subtle rather than extreme force, all survivors experience confusion, shame, guilt, anger, as well as a lowered sense of self-esteem; these are classic aftereffects, although they may not initially reveal obvious signs.

Myth: Child molesters are all, ‘Dirty old men.’

Fact: In a recent study of convicted child sex offenders, 80% committed their first offense before age 30.

Myth: Children provoke sexual abuse by their seductive behavior.

Fact: Seductive behavior may be the result, but is never the cause of sexual abuse. Amy Fisher, the Long Island teenager who shot her sex offender’s wife in the face and whom the media dubbed, Lolita having an affair with a married man, is a perfect example of this myth. During her trial for attempting to kill Joey Buttafuoco’s wife, Amy Fisher revealed that she had been sexually abused before her abuse by Buttafuoco. Her behavior that many considered seductive and promiscuous was, in fact, a result of prior abuse. However, regardless of the victim’s behavior or reason for such behavior, the responsibility for appropriate behavior always lays with the adult, not the child. A sixteen-year-old girl is no match for the cunning and streetwise tactics of a man twice her age, therefore, the ability to affect adult consent is unreasonable to expect.

Myth: If children wanted to avoid sexual advances of adults, or persons in positions of greater power, they could say, stop or no.

Fact: Children generally do not question the behavior of adults. In addition, bribes, threats, flattery, trickery and use of authority coerce them into cooperation and compliance.

Myth: When a child is sexually abused, it is immediately apparent.

Fact: In cases of incest against children, as much as the sex offender might be hurting the victim, the child loves him or her and needs her family. Therefore, she convinces herself that she is somehow causing him or her to behave this way, and she remains silent. In her confusion of loyalty to her sex offender, she protects him or her by holding the secret. Thus, she carries the shame and guilt. In cases regarding sexual abuse and incest, the victim often believes that she has cooperated with the sex offender in some way and places inappropriate blame on herself. Therefore, although with tremendous suffering, she hides her pain through denial, dissociation, numbing, zoning out, hyperactivity, as well as other distracting behaviors. However, the aware parent would recognize these behaviors as a sign that something is wrong.

Myth: When the sexual abuse victim is male, male homosexuals are the sex offenders.

Fact: Heterosexual men, who do not find sex with other men satisfactory, perpetrate most child sexual abuse. Many child molesters, even though they are heterosexual, abuse both boys and girls.

Myth: Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.

Fact: Whether victimized by males or females, boys or girls, premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about their sexual identity and orientation.

Myth: When a boy and a woman take part in sexual behavior and it is the boy’s idea, he is not being abused.

Fact: Child abuse is an act of power by which an adult uses a child. Abuse is abuse; a woman engaging in sexual behavior with a male child is still sexually abusive, even if she thinks he initiated the contact.

Myth: If the sex offender is female, the boy or adolescent is fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.

Fact: Premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, sister, babysitter or other female causes confusion, at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. Whether male or female, to be used as a sexual object is always abusive and damaging.

Myth: If the child experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, he or she has been a willing participant or enjoyed it.

Fact: Children can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. A sex offender can maintain secrecy by labeling the child’s sexual response as an indication of his or her willingness to participate. You liked it, you wanted it. The survivor is then manipulated with their own guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical, visual or auditory stimulation is likely to occur in a sexual situation. It does not mean the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant.

Myth: Males who were sexually abused as boys all grow up to sexually abuse children.

Fact: Only some sexually abused boys become sex offenders.

Myth: Boys are less traumatized as victims of sexual abuse than girls.

Fact: Studies show that long-term effects are equally damaging for either sex. Ironically, males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their own resultant belief that they must ‘tough it out’ in silence.

Myth: If a child is sexually active with his or her peers, then it is not sexual abuse.

Fact: The act is abusive if the child is induced into sexual activity with anyone who is in a position of greater power, whether that power is derived through the sex offender’s age, size, status, or relationship. A child who cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse, is a child who has been violated.

Unless and until, society focuses on sexual child abuse prevention, before the damage is done, sexual abuse of children will continue to proliferate. Child sexual abuse is the greatest hidden epidemic in the world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Sexual Chemistry – Send and Pick Up Sexual Signals

Have you ever had a friend describe a really “hot’ blind date for you, and you get all excited and eager to meet this wonder person only to come face to face with the person and zero, nothing, no sparks. The person is all that, but you are just not digging him or her.

Or have you ever found yourself so powerfully attracted to someone with whom you have nothing in common, and physically he or she is not even your “type” but he or she makes your libido sit up and howl?

Or may be you’ve been in a passionless and sexually dead relationship with your partner and suddenly you find yourself so attracted to your partner that you can’t keep your hands off him or her?

Two words – sexual chemistry.

Sometimes you instantly feel strong sexual chemistry with someone when you first see him or her and other times sexual chemistry can sneak up on you very slowly. You may like the person, enjoy their company, and you have a lot in common but that spark is missing – that special feeling isn’t there (he or she is just a friend). Then one day you come to the realization that you are very sexually attracted to him or her.

Other times, you feel the chemistry with someone and then when you get to know the person, the sexual chemistry and attraction goes away.

You can’t fake sexual chemistry…

With the tons of books on reading sexual attraction postures, gestures and facial cues, and even with all that “we know” about men-women dynamics, many men and women still can’t figure out if there is sexual chemistry between two people — or not.

We misread and misinterpret sexual signals because there are other energies emitting on the same frequency that tend to interfere with our ability to correctly read someone else’s sexual attraction body language. It’s like when you are trying to tune your radio to 98.1 FM, but your antenna keeps picking up another channel on a higher frequency range. There are sexual attraction signals that your conscious mind could never tell you, because these signals are operating at a higher frequency range (the sub-conscious range).

So what do you do? The answer: Always follow your sexual instincts…

The ability to utilize your intuition is a crucial factor in sexual attraction, since sexual attraction happens at the sub-conscious level. Because your body senses threat or danger before your mind does, your intuitive mind or gut feeling can pick up those aspects of sexual attraction which vibrate at a higher frequency range — and steer you to the right move at the right time.

Intuition not only helps you steer away from potential danger, it also helps you feel confident and wise, knowing that the tools you need to conquer the unknown and unknowable are always at hand. Discounting your own powerful inner feelings and relying on some “expert’s moves” destroys your own ability to think for yourself, and make correct judgments of people and situations.

You need this vital element if you are to be successful with the opposite sex. So trust your intuition/sexual instincts.

Except that there is an alarming exception. If your sexual antenna is weak or faulty or damaged, you will not be able to pick up these signals operating at a higher frequency range and as a result you will not be able to tune into the other person’s sexual wavelength.

Your sexual antenna is weak — when this is the case, you have a problem tuning into a man or woman’s sexual wavelength because your own sexual signals are not strong enough to set off sexual chemistry.

How can you tell that your sexual signals are not strong enough?

Every time you meet someone new conversation is good, you have much in common, you are so sexually attracted to him or her and things seem to be going generally well but the other person doesn’t find you attractive in a sexual way.

If you can’t connect on a sexual level, then there is no sexual chemistry, no sexual attraction.

Your sexual antenna is faulty — when this is the case, you have a problem tuning into a man or woman’s sexual wavelength because even though you are sending strong sexual signals alright, you are sending the wrong ones at the wrong time.

How can you tell that you’re sending the wrong sexual signals at the wrong time?

Every time you meet someone new conversation is good, you have much in common, but when you start getting all “sexual” the opposite sex look at you like “Ugh! Weirdo” if you are a guy. If you are a woman, guys think you are “easy and cheap” because your sexual energy is like all over the place.

Your sexual antenna is damaged — this just means that you are not tuning into the opposite sex’s sexual wavelength because you are not sending any sexual signals at all.

How can you tell that you’re not sending any sexual signals at all?

You are sexually invisible to the opposite sex.

So to pick up these signals operating at a higher frequency range and get sexual chemistry right, you must first make sure you sexual antenna is finely tuned, is sending out the right vibrations — and IS TURNED ON.

With practice, you’ll naturally be able to tune into someone else’s sexual frequencies and set off powerful sexual chemistry. It just becomes part of you, something you do without even trying.

You might also want to read my article “Why Do We Like Some People and Dislike Others?” for a little more insight into those other energies emitting on the same frequency and tend to interfere sexual attraction.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Integrating Sexuality and Spirituality

Take a look at the world around us, and it becomes readily apparent that we are living in a time of simultaneous convergence and deconstruction. As there is a resurging interest in spiritual practices in many circles, there is also a breakdown in the patriarchal, hierarchical church structures. The specter of clergy sexual abuse intermingles with a worldview promulgated by the church about the nature of relationships and sexuality that no longer has meaning for people today – men and women, young and even middle-aged. The gender roles we were raised with have broken down and blurred. The image of nuclear family as mom, dad and 2.4 children has been superseded by a far greater spectrum of family possibilities. Bisexuality, androgyny, gender fluidity and polyamory are more and more common, especially among the twenty something generation.

Erotic energy is far more than sexual energy. It is life energy. As our culture has evolved splits between mind and body, head and heart, heart and pelvis and sexuality and spirituality, we have forgotten what it means to be fully alive.

“Erotic energy is not just about having sex,” continues Suzanne Blackburn, whose participation in sexuality and spirituality work has catapulted her personal and spiritual growth. “It is about living.” As we have become disconnected from our bodies, hearts, souls, spirits, one another and the divine, we have lost touch with many of the most beautiful pleasures and experiences possible in being human. So many people today are searching for meaning and purpose, most often expressed through job dissatisfaction, addictions and broken or troubled relationships. The rise of industrialization, urbanization, the nation-state, global dislocations, war and poverty all contribute to the sex-spirit split for us both individually and collectively.

“Because our culture has repressed sexuality so much, it is repressing everything,” acknowledges Blackburn. “People who have repressed sexuality have also repressed other areas of their lives. If you are not joyful about your sexuality, it is hard to be joyful about watching a sunset or watching kittens play. Hopefully, by breathing life into one, you breathe life into all of it. It’s like giving birth. When the baby comes out of the birth canal and takes a breath, the baby pinks up. When we open up, breathe deeply, have fun, when we dance, we pink up.” This backdrop provides fertile soil for an emerging movement working to integrate sexuality and spirituality.

Living in the Midst of a Paradigm Shift

Bob Francouer, a teacher of graduate and undergraduate classes in Human Sexuality at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the editor of the Encyclopedia of Sexuality notes, “Sexuality and spirituality have always been joined and interwoven from the very beginning of the human race. It is only in the last 2000 to 3000 years of Western civilization that the two have been separated. And they have not just been separated, but have been seen as antagonistic to each other. The split between sex and spirit came out of the Greek philosophy of dualism, and a dichotomous view of humans as matter/evil/female and spirit/good/rational/male.”

Just as Western civilization went through a period of major cultural upheaval 2000 to 3000 years ago, we are undergoing a period of major cultural turnover and paradigm shift now. “The institutional churches are losing their credibility in dealing with sexuality and spirituality. They are losing their authority,” continues Francouer. Francouer is well versed in the changing paradigm worldwide. The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality is written by 300 experts in 60 countries on 6 continents. The encyclopedia includes in depth reports of all aspects of sexuality. Each country has a section on religious and ethnic influences. Having collected information from many cultures all over the world, “it becomes very clear the spiritual traditions are undergoing major revolutions in their patterns of thinking. People in many cultures worldwide are thinking now not in terms of marital and procreational values, but in terms of individual self-enrichment and fulfillment. The spiritual is a very important part of the new perspective.”

Significant leadership in the sexuality and spirituality is coming from women. Francouer acknowledges, “As women in developing nations are exposed to Western concepts and experiences of human sexuality, they are linking their religious traditions with the visions of Western sexuality. As women become more empowered in third world nations, they are gaining more control over their bodies and sexuality, turning more to their spiritual heritage.”

“When the human psyche reaches the point of convergence and breakthrough into a new level of consciousness,” reflects Francouer, “diversity is the first thing that happens. The energy spreads out and explores all kinds of possibilities. There is no one ideal paradigm nor five ideal paradigms. All the models we have had in the past have real difficulties being applied in today’s world. So people are creating their own models and patterns.” The new paradigms created need to include and consider the collective as well as the individual.

A Quiet Movement and Its Roots

The emergence of the sexuality and spirituality movement is very quiet. For one, the subjects of sexuality and spirituality are each daunting. Many people are frightened at the thought of delving more deeply into either one. Too, Ani Colt, publisher of Spirituality and Sexuality magazine and founder of the Sexuality and Spirituality Union Network (SUNetwork) points out, “One of the things that energized a lot of movements was the common experience of feeling oppressed. A sense of oppression contributed to the emergence of blacks, women and homosexuals. But the oppression of our sexuality is not even recognized because sex is always in front of us. It’s in ads, on TV, in the movies. It is much more subtle oppression. As a result, it hasn’t given us that organizing energy that has created the feminist movement, the civil rights movement and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans gendered community.”

Sex educator, sex coach and author Loraine Hutchins adds, “Erotophobia/sex-negativity is hard to battle because it is all pervasive and systemic. It doesn’t affect any one group at the expense of another like racism. However, erotophobia, like racism, really hurts everyone and diminishes us all. I think sex-negativity is a function of heterosexism, a system of oppression created by patriarchy, involving male supremacy and mandatory heterosexuality. This oppressive system hurts men as well as women. The parallel is in looking at how whites are made less by racism, in contrast to non-whites. The hurts are different and need different remedies.”

“Organized religion is of little help in the sexuality-spirituality field,” Shalom Mountain Retreat Center founder Gerry Jud acknowledges. “I make a big distinction between religion and spirituality. Religion is about controlling behavior. Spirituality is about development and liberation of consciousness – becoming consciousness itself. Sex permeates all of life. When people are intimate with each other, touch each other, look into each other’s eyes, dance ecstatically with each other, the sexual component is out front. You cannot take an effective spiritual journey without taking into account that we are sexual beings.”

The first nationwide survey on sexuality and spirituality was conducted by Gina Ogden, a sexuality therapist and author of Women Who Love Sex: An Inquiry into the Expanding Spirit of Women’s Erotic Experiences. She is presently writing a book based on her survey results and hopes that the data will provide a baseline for broadening definitions of human sexuality, especially for women. Oggen contends that the field of sexology itself has reinforced the split between sexuality and spirituality. While she was a visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute, she happened upon the earliest sex surveys – conducted by women MDs. “The first survey, a century ago, was filled with hand-written responses about sexuality and spirituality,” notes Ogden. “But since the 1930′s when male scientists took over the surveying of sexual behavior, sex research became focused on what was easy to count and measure – performance by way of intercourse, orgasms and spasms, the mechanical part.” In her 25 years of experience as a clinician and workshop leader, Ogden found these mechanical features to be only a fraction of what women said was important.

“Almost 4000 women and men answered my survey with an outpouring of stories about sexuality and spirituality, about love and empathy and meaning and sex as a direct path to the divine. What is fascinating is that these stories echo the responses from those early surveys, as if they’re filling in almost a hundred years of blanks, the mysterious black holes in the history of the sexuality and spirituality movement. Maybe the scientific arm of the present day movement begins with Celia Mosher, who conducted that first survey in 1892!”

Ogden continues, “There is brain research coming out now because with advanced technology like MRI’s and PET scans we can really look at what is going on in the human brain over a period of time, like stop action. Researchers are finding that during sexual stimulation more than one center of the brain is lighting up. This demonstrates an organic basis for arguing that sexuality and spirituality are connected, that sexual response is multi-dimensional. This is in direct disagreement with all the sex research that focuses on performance, and the medical diagnostics that say if you can’t perform to their standards, it’s called dysfunction. There may be a political and social movement going on, but it’s important to remember that the capacity for connecting sex and spirit is in us. It is in our cells and our brain structure. It is built in. It has taken us 3000 years to remember it, to rediscover it, to validate it.”

A Wide Spectrum of Trainings and Practices

Many trainings, practices and methods have evolved to help people learn to work with sexual, spiritual, and life energies in their bodies, relationships and lives. These methods have been developed by visionaries who have built a community or network of people around them. There is some cross-fertilization between these communities, but more often the right hand doesn’t even know there is a left hand yet, never mind what it is doing.

Existing practices and trainings approach integrating sexuality and spirituality from many different directions. For example, the Human Awareness Institute approaches this work from an emotional and interpersonal direction, giving people skills for deeper intimacy and connection through its Love, Intimacy and Sexuality workshops. Tantric work, on the other hand, approaches the body and its energy field from a rootedness in spiritual philosophy. Sterling community work focuses on distinguishing the differences between male and female energy.

One of the common threads amongst the many approaches is the creation of a safe, sacred community circle. Joining together in holy ritual is a basic human need. We are starving for this kind of sacred circle. Trainings and workshops such as those profiled below provide help meet this need. I have selected a handful of significant programs in the sexuality and spirituality field, all of which have evolved over the past several decades. The purpose is to illustrate a range of what is available.

The Human Awareness Institute: Restoring the Purity of Heart and Soul

Stan Dale, 73, founder of the Human Awareness Institute, that has offered Love, Intimacy and Sexuality workshops worldwide for thirty four years, found himself on a path of integrating sexuality and spirituality while stationed in Japan when he was twenty seven years old. Having had a successful career in radio prior to being drafted, Stan worked at the Armed Forces Korea Network while in the service. He was put on temporary duty in Tokyo for the Far East Network, and was invited to a cast party for a motion picture being filmed there, “Joe Butterfly.” The cast party took place at a geisha house, a stunning 22-acre facility with trees, butterflies and flowers and buildings that looked like palaces. Through a twist of fate, he ended up living there for seven months when an old man who lived there invited him to stay. The old man told everyone at the geisha house to treat Stan like his son. The head geisha, nearly 70, gave Stan a quartz stone.

“She said to me,” remembers Stan, “‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘a stone.’ She said, ‘Yes…but come back and tell me what you see later.’ This went on for three days. I knew it was a trick. I examined it, had a magnifying glass, asked others what they saw…At the end of the three days, she asked me what I saw. Like a bolt of lightning, I saw the beauty of the universe. The words came out of my mouth.”

“At an event that night, the head geisha stood up. She gave me an honorific bow and said, ‘If you can see the beauty of the universe in a stone, you are now a geisha.’ I hadn’t known what geisha meant, but I sensed it was very special. The geishas taught me to look beyond everything I look at, to listen beyond everything I listen to, to go beyond what I touch. I learned an old adage to live by. If God wanted to hide, God would hide in human beings, because that is the last place we would think to look to find God.”

Stan learned to look for and see the spark of God, the magnificence that is every human being which may be camouflaged or obscured as we take the hard knocks of life. “As we walk through life in this world, the garbage keeps getting dumped on spirit,” notes Stan. Sufficient garbage gets dumped that people don’t recognize their own heart and spirit. “When something is in the body that shouldn’t be there, when it is taken out, it heals itself,” acknowledges Stan. “The heart heals itself. The soul heals itself.”

Just as the heart, soul and spirit get obscured by the garbage of life, sexuality has been equally misunderstood. “When we get the craziness and dirtiness out of the word sex, and put it where it belongs in spirit, heal and soul, then we get purity. “My vision is for every human being to be aware that their spirituality and sexuality is who you are, not something you get. My vision is for every person on this planet to see what is available when the garbage is indeed taken out.”

Shalom Mountain Retreat Center: Sustaining Spiritual Growth and Intimacy

Gerry Jud, now 83, is one of the true pioneers in the sexuality and spirituality movement. After getting a Ph.D at Yale, he started his career as a pastor in New Haven, CT. “I became interested in the question of why, in religious groups, the level of intimacy is exquisitely limited. People who get started in the field of a religious path soon level off. The journey comes to a halt. This troubled me as a church person, and so I began to study a way in which intimacy could be found among such people who are seeking a spiritual life, and how it could be sustained.”

He did his research and development work at Kirkridge, a major Protestant retreat center in Bangor, ME. Influenced by leaders in the human potential movement, including the folks at Esalen and in humanistic psychology, Gerry reached a turning point in his work when he worked with primal therapy techniques. “My first wife drowned after seventeen years of marriage. We had three little children. As a religious person, I did the best I could with that tragedy. It wasn’t until I got into primal scream work that I was able to release my anger. That changed everything for me.”

“That led me to see that people on their spiritual journey are not stuck in their conscious minds. They are stuck in the twilight,” a deeper subconscious layer that is often inaccessible to the conscious mind. For people to move forward in their growth work, Gerry recognized they needed to work at this deeper level, which he called the “twilight zone.” He developed a system in which he created an intensely tender, loving group of fifteen people. He would work with each person, one at a time, using deep breathing to put them into an altered state of consciousness.

Gerry initially started working with clergy and their wives, but his work soon grew to include people of all different religions and cultures. He eventually left his church job and founded Shalom Mountain Retreat Center in 1975. He found his work growing to include sexuality as it became apparent that the journey to God needed to include working with sexuality. Gerry’s pioneering work helped give birth to yet another body of work, the Body Sacred.

Suzanne Blackburn describes the Shalom experience as “a beautiful blend of all that we know in modern psychology and all that we know about love. It’s community at its best – a community that holds people to their truths and never withdraws love regardless of that truth.”

Body Electric School: Learning About Erotic Energies

The Body Electric School for Erotic Massage was founded by Joseph Kramer in the early 1980′s. Suzanne Blackburn speaks to the essential contribution of this work. “Kramer realized that men were compartmentalizing orgasm. For most people, initially men, if they were orgasmic, their experience happens within a five inch radius around the genitals. Kramer was interested in developing a body of knowledge to make orgasm a lot more – a full body, full person, full spiritual experience. He went on a quest to find out how to do this and created an experiential school for teaching about erotic energies.”

As we live with breakdown and deconstruction at so many levels of life, one thread that emerges is a hunger and longing, both spiritual and erotic. Suzanne Blackburn, reflects, “We are in a culture of dis-remembering in a lot of ways including the natural flow of erotic energies through and around us. Alex Jade of the Body Electric School uses the term ‘erotic amnesia.’ A lot of work is now available to help us re-member.”

Kramer drew upon ancient traditions and modern wisdom, and blended this knowledge in a new way that is accessible to men and women today. Body Electric work teaches people to wake up to their own bodies through breath, movement and touch, including Taoist erotic massage.

“Body Electric work translates ancient wisdom into practical exercises people can do in the here and now. We carry these ancient teachings in our bodies. It doesn’t take a whole lot of teaching for our bodies to wake up and remember. Our bodies hold the wisdom,” comments Blackburn. “In our culture it is generally not okay to take your clothes off with strangers, to talk about your genitals and erotic experience. The facilitators of Body Electric workshops are able to create a very safe space that allows people looking to be more alive in their bodies, to heal shame, open to more intimacy, celebrate living, and most importantly, to reconnect genitals and heart.”

Growing out of the AIDS devastation, the sudden linking of sex with death and attempting to recover from this, the school was exclusively for men until twelve years ago. “In response to women’s interests in this work, Joseph sought out women teachers,” chronicles Blackburn. The school currently offers a women’s program and a small mixed gender curriculum.

Sterling Men’s and Women’s Weekends: Distinguishing Between Masculine and Feminine Energy

An outgrowth of the human potential movement that offered us an opportunity to explore what it means to be human, Sterling men’s and women’s weekends provided a forum to explore what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

Joe Boyer, who is involved in leadership in the Northeast region for this work, speaks to the evolution of the men’s and women’s weekends. “Throughout the history of the world, masculine and feminine roles were established that worked for many years. In more recent years of civilization, these roles have unraveled with politics, the industrial age, wars and all the conditions that called for the women’s movement. The women’s movement pushed us towards equality, but this posed new problems. The divorce rate went up. As a society, and as men and women, we had lost touch with the essence of the male and female roles that had worked for millions of years.”

Sterling work explores the essence of what it means to be male and what it means to be female, and what each gender’s roles and responsibilities can be. The goal is for men and women to be able to come together and have relationships that work. What is being distinguished here is energy – what is true masculine energy and what is true feminine energy. “The more unisexed a couple gets,” reflects Boyer, “the more it loses its vitality.” Rather than becoming androgynous, which implies a melding of gender energies, we need to become more clearly rooted in our masculine and female energies. “We need the distinction of masculine and feminine energies to understand who we are and what our inner selves are trying to tell us. This is not to say a man should shun his feminine energy. The key is learning to distinguish it.”

An example of the difference between male and female energy is the way each gender feels a sense of essential expression. Men feel a sense of essential expression when they provide and act. Through acting, men connect with the resources of the world, helping do what needs to be done to move things forward. Women feel a sense of essential expression when they nurture and foster connections. To nurture, you have to fully connect with another human being, to be able to plug into another, experience what they are feeling and empathize with them. In this way, women keep the relational fabric of society together.

When we look at the symbols for male and female, the male symbol is like an arrow, pointing or directing, and the female symbol includes a circle, bringing together and including. Men may take women’s nurturing efforts for granted. Unfortunately, women may not recognize the expression of emotional energy by men. When women nurture and when men work, each gender comes from their heart. This expresses an intention to emotionally be there for another. It is their way of trying to emotionally connect. For men and women to relate and get along, being able to recognize and appreciate these essential energies and their expression is fundamental.

A big piece of Sterling work is empowering people to become the men and women they always wanted to be. Our culture delivers lots of messages about what a man or women is supposed to be, but these messages may not ring true within an individual man or woman. “The Sterling Men’s Weekend is promoted as a modern initiation into manhood. This culture lacks this kind of initiation. The closest thing we have is the military. The military, however, makes you into the man they or we want you to be. The Sterling weekend is about making you into the man you always wanted to be.”

In order to serve the world at large, we need to have a clear strong sense of self, including a clear sense of gender identity. In this light, Sterling work helps men and women get rooted in that sense of self, so they can then come together to help shape a better world.

Conscious Relating: The New Paradigm for Love

While we have made progress in accepting same sex relationships between men and men and women and women, the culture as whole still offers a pretty narrow view of what constitutes an acceptable loving relationship. Our high divorce rate illustrates that even straight heterosexual men and women struggle in the most accepted form of relationship called marriage. Sexuality, intimacy and emotional needs are often difficult to talk about in relationships, and as a result it is hard for many people to be truthful in their expression of their sexuality.

Deborah Taj Anapol, a pioneer in the field of exploring conscious relating and integrating sexuality and spirituality, speaks of the new paradigm for love. “Right now what is occurring in consciousness is a marriage or blending between the masculine and feminine. With this shift comes an understanding of love as consciousness, rather than feelings for an object or love as something finite. The new paradigm for love is one of partnership, rather than a dominance/submissive form of relating.”

Relationships are based on honesty when they come from a climate of mutual respect and emotional safety. In the old paradigm, when relationships fail, partners often distance from themselves and each other with lies of omission and commission. When intimate relationships are formed from a utilitarian base, responding to social expectations, economic necessity, or gender role expectations, it is hard for men and women alike to find an authentic way of relating. When relationships are formed from a more spiritually integrated place, one comes to a partner freely, from a place of unconditional love and choice.

When people are ashamed or afraid to admit their needs to themselves, never mind their partners, it is hard to have a paradigm for love. Learning to know ones emotional, sexual and intimate needs becomes a spiritual journey. For many people, alternative lifestyle options are needed for authentic and vital relating and expression. As we move through a paradigm shift, forms of relationship may need to adjust to accommodate our individual and collective growth and change. Committed relationships may range from marriage to God with a celibate lifestyle to polyamorous relationships where people are both emotionally committed and sexual with more than one partner. Some people commit emotionally to a primary relationship with a person of one gender, yet engage sexually with another person or other persons of the other gender. Some individuals and couples choose to study and practice sacred sexuality to increase both their sense of connection and pleasure.

Bob Francouer comments about the shifting paradigm, “I think the outcome is going to be a much greater, more open, tolerant diversity. Once premarital sex was taboo. Today, in many circles, including mainstream circles and even churches, premarital sexual relationships are taken for granted. We will see different lifestyles that are socially responsible and fulfilling for the individuals. As we live into our seventies, eighties, nineties and beyond, some people will change their pattern of relationships.”

Where we will evolve to will be an interesting question. Women are taking a leading role in bringing an sex-spirit integration into the culture. More and more men are realizing they need to heal their wounded hearts to bring themselves more fully into their own lives and relationships. I am excited about the healing potential this emerging movement has for life on Earth. Perhaps, as we reconnect with our bodies, our hearts, our souls and one another we will indeed create a world that can live in greater harmony and peace.

The Boston Area Sexuality And Spirituality Network

In response to a groundswell of interest, the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network was founded in May 2002. The group exists to create a forum for people interested in integrating sexuality and spirituality to meet, dialogue and exchange resources. At the first meeting of BASSN, one of the themes was the need for an umbrella organization that embraced ALL forms of sexual, spiritual and gender expression. One member stated, “I can find a group of bisexual women pagans, but that group may not dialogue with transgendered Christians or hard-wired straight monogamous people.” BASSN offers an umbrella, welcoming people who identify with the many dimensions of gender identity, orientation, sexual expression and spiritual identity.

What BASSN members have in common is the desire to create a community or tribe where INTEGRATION is possible, creating a safe space where people can explore and learn from both differences and common threads. The group sponsors monthly meetings, which are like mini-workshops. Topics the group has addressed so far include: integrating sexuality and spirituality: what does it mean?, the essence of gender, safe touch, ways of loving: forms of relationship, and sexual energy.

The group will be organizing a Sexuality and Spirituality Leadership Forum, gathering together pioneers in the S and S field to share their visions and work, and to see how everyone can work together to support one another and this emerging field.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Pan and Aphrodite for Humanity’s Sexual Healing

Sexuality has been a rather dysfunctional area of the human experience, in the past and today also. Even though, in the western world, we may appear as ‘liberated’, ‘uninhibited’, ‘progressed’ and ‘advanced’ in sexual matters, with free pornography and prostitution, Internet sex, promiscuous sex with strangers, countless sex advice on popular magazines, huge expenses on improving our sex-appeal and appearance, sexuality is not much more balanced today than at other times. Neither is its connection to spirituality widely recognized. Sexual energies, when cleared of any excessively ‘positive’ (obsession) or ‘negative’ (judgment) attributes, can be used for the return and re-anchoring of higher frequencies in our lives and the world around us.

Hardly do we realize the importance of sexual health to spiritual health. We mostly regard sexuality as an isolated part, cut-off from the rest of our lives. Yet, sexuality is an inseparable part of one’s expression of life force. A couple with a healthy sex life, based on love, respect, inspiration and creativity, exudes such delightful energy, which helps, not only themselves, but also the world and the people around them in invisible ways. The same applies to a person who may be single, yet at peace, comfort and acceptance of his/her sexuality, while expressing his/her creative force in different ways. Despite the media’s brainwashing, sexual health (in the spiritual sense) is NOT determined by the frequency of our sexual contacts. Sexual health means acceptance, means the release of any guilt or shame about sexuality, the recognition of sexuality as a channel for powers of creativity, joy, spontaneity, honor and vitality. These qualities can be expressed in many different ways, not just through sex. Problems arise when these qualities get blocked due to trauma, guilt, shame, insecurity, low self-esteem, idolizing sex, sex addiction etc.

Human sexuality can be seen as a means to channel Universal energy into matter, so that physical matter is ultimately infused with life energy and soul energy. The most obvious creation of this infusion is, of course, a baby! But it is not the only one. Through appropriate channeling of sexual energy, one can create a work of art, a book, a project, or just a joyous day, during which we laugh and love and sing and rejoice. Sexual energy, when properly channeled (according to ancient methods of yoga, for example) can help towards spiritual enlightenment. Seeing sexuality as a package of physical techniques on biological reflexes, in order to create some momentary euphoria, is a very limited view. It is like seeing sex, as a little ‘fix’ to produce a ‘high’ and this view hides the spiritual truth of sexuality.

As other areas of the human experience, sexuality can be a wonderful tool, but it can be used in different ways. It can be used for ill and darkness, or it can be used for love and truth. Ways, not contributing to the light, are when sex is used for hurting, humiliating, using, or exploiting another, or for escaping boredom and the sense of vacuum and emptiness we may feel. Yet, the vacuum inside cannot be filled by sex. Many people today try to fill what is, essentially, a spiritual vacuum with sex and end up feeling more empty than ever (especially if they have used other people for their own perceived ‘need’). Both partners tend to feel cut off from the source of life force, depleted rather than energized, end up seeing each other and themselves as worthless and unattractive. We are bombarded by the media with messages of sexual obsession and sexual using (“how to get him/her to meet your needs” etc), but no one tells us that what we do to another, we do, first and foremost, to ourselves. If, through sex, we humiliate or use another, this is how we will feel about ourselves: used and humiliated. If, on the other hand, sex is the way of expression of love and appreciation of another, then this feeling will multiply for ourselves also. Sex can be the tool to give love or pain. The choice is ours and this choice will affect (just like every choice we make) every aspect of our life, as well as life around us.

Sexual healing is not about spicy advice on achieving greater physical pleasure. Sexual healing is about who we feel we are, in the deepest recesses of our soul. Sexual healing is about clearing the guilt that comes from abuse we received from others or we inflicted upon others, in this or in past lives. It is about de-idolizing sex and shedding all fears around it, fear of rejection, of not being liked, of being without, of being inadequate. It is about seeing its true purpose: union, joy, co-creation. Many spiritually evolved individuals choose the celibate life of the monk or nun, not because sex is ‘bad’, ‘dirty’ or anti-spiritual, but because they use their sexual energy for spiritual ascension. This may not be for everyone, if they feel that this is not their path. Spiritual progress does not exclude sexual activity, but the latter has to rely on love and respect to assist the former.

Sexual healing is very important today for the progress of humanity, since this area gathers some of the most repressed and dark negative thoughts and acts. Think about women in abusive relationships or women stoned for ‘hypothetical’ (or even real) infidelity. Think of the pain in many relationships (which is always linked to sexual pain, directly or indirectly), which often leads to substance abuse, depression, even suicide. Think of those, sometimes advertised, sexual practices, which humiliate human beings, with the use of physical violence. Many forms of negativity charge sexuality today, especially when it is disconnected from the spiritual self and is used to channel lower energies.

Some examples of distorted use of sexuality are the following:

1) The degrading of women, has been going on for so long, in such a wide scale, that the accumulated memory leads many women (along with men) to depreciate themselves. Men and women often fail to see the connection of female sexuality to the qualities of beauty, tenderness, sweetness and the Divine Feminine, but only see it as a vehicle for physical pleasure. Many women, who dimly remember this connection with the Divine Feminine, try to reclaim it, but sometimes do not know how. They expect approval from a man, in order to feel this connection again and to feel good about themselves. They idolize outer appearance, as the measure of the erotic inspiration they emit. But, attractiveness stems from the flame of vivacity, of our spiritual essence, which is unique, exists in all of us and which, when embraced, can shine outwards to all. This is the real attractiveness and beauty. A woman feels good in herself for who she is and this ease makes others feel attracted, while feeling good also. Everyone wins. Even without sex, the recognition of one’s own light and of the light of another, can be the most sublime, etheric erotic interchange, which can even diminish the biological need for sex. Sex can come about, but it only unfolds as another step in the manifestation of a positive energetic connection, it does not create, or replace the connection.

Many women can be blocked sexually by the emotional wounds of the past. Betrayals, rejection, lack of affection, abuse from the past, may make them doubt themselves and obstruct the flow of life force, in all areas of their lives. In this case, it is helpful to visualise clearing the heart charka with the white light of the Goddess. Even if a woman did not have any negative emotional experiences, it is likely that she feels the universal wound of rejection and abuse of women, coming from the collective unconscious of millions of women who have been abused and still are, in the world today. Healing the heart charka in this way, she helps not only herself, but heals the global thought-form (“women are abused by men”), she sends the healing energetic matrix to be used elsewhere by other consciousnesses too. Since we are all connected, healing does not only heal us, but goes beyond us.

Women can also ask Goddess Aphrodite to help them heal and accept their sexuality, to help life force flow again as a creative and vital power in their lives. The Aphrodite energy is very helpful in healing female sexuality and the Divine Feminine for humanity. A woman can thus feel the strength, the joy and vivacity which the Aphrodite energy brings… Even though Aphrodite’s name has been long stained and mis-used for all sorts of prostitution or pornography related material, Her purity cannot be changed, neither could She ever die…

There is another issue which links female sexuality to the channeling and the energy of the Goddess on Earth. The Goddess was worshipped very actively in many ancient temples in many parts of the world, mainly through female priestesses, who were virgins or practiced chastity. This was very powerful, since there were a big number of priestesses indeed! In those times, celibacy did not have the meaning that it has had in many religions since, i.e. it was not about being ‘clean’, while condemning sex as ‘dirty’. It was about reserving the female sexual energy for channeling the Goddess, and it was a very powerful anchoring method for the Goddess’s energy. Until a time came when, even in spirituality, masculinity dominated (sometimes through violence by male priests). These male priests or other males may have been of the dark or not, but (in ancient Greece at least, but I presume in other parts of the world too), they destroyed the temples of the Goddess and, on some occasions, converted the temples for male deities. They also forbade the priestesses from practicing the worship, forced them to marry, sometimes raped them or trained them and corrupted them with sex, so that the temples of the Goddesses became more or less prostitution houses. Prostitution was NOT one of the methods of the Goddess! But it was a powerful way for male domination to divert female sexual energy from anchoring the Goddess on Earth. It was not so much that they corrupted or raped the priestesses for their own personal gratification (even though this was a side gain!), but their main aim was to close down the channel for the Goddess through the priestesses.

How does this relate to us today? The Goddess is coming back… And it happens that many women around the world, especially sensitive, educated, strong women, find themselves, for long periods of time, without a partner. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so. Rather than complaining, or longing for partner, or even worse, consume themselves with inappropriate relationships, it is important for these women to recognize that any period of celibacy has its purpose. To question themselves, as to whether they feel drawn to working with the Goddess, since the Goddess energy may be trying to get through to them. It does not have to be forever, nor do women have to become nuns. The Goddess may need to work with them in chastity for only a certain period of time. When this time is over, the right partner will appear without effort. Neither does it mean that married or sexually active women cannot be the Goddess’s channels (though ANY relationship or sex that is not mutually loving, kind and respectful would block the Goddess energy). In effect, the large number of women without a partner today reflects a spiritual calling from the Goddess, one to be grateful for and used well, rather than wasted in obsessing about finding a partner (in ways that some modern movies or books almost make fun of…) This is something new in our spiritual era and something to be honored. So, I feel it is quite important that single women are aware of this perspective, since for many of them, their cooperation is needed by the Goddess AND working with Her will make their lives much more fulfilling and sweet than they can ever imagine. It happened on so many occasions in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, during the attack on the Goddess, that the priestesses were made to believe that they were good only for sex or that they could not make it without a man…The reversal, the healing of this distortion is taking place now…

On the other hand, many men can also feel blocked (even apathetic) towards sex, or they can be obsessed and addicted to sex. For men, the deity Pan can help in clearing the channel of sexual flow, in reconnecting with the current of life force through sexuality, regardless of the presence of a partner. Pan is the guardian of the life force energy source (which in the inner planes looks like a little like a waterfall), for the human and animal kingdom and I believe for Nature also. Since it is the same life force, the energetic interaction which occurs when we are in nature, breathing it and appreciating it, helps us open up the sexual channel and helps with sexual healing too. It is of no coincidence that in Greek mythology, humans were said to join erotically with nymphs, ethereal and elemental energies. The channels of life flow in humans were so clear and open, their frequency so high, that they could unite with the entities of Nature, showing that Man and Nature are one. It was not of course any form of the biological sex that we know of today, but it was an energetic union and interaction of the highest and purest level and beauty, which created more Light on Earth. Unfortunately, as the general energies spiraled down with the passage of time, this capacity was lost, and the once pure ceremonies of Nature in ancient Greece (and elsewhere) got replaced by drunken orgies.

Yet, as humanity and Nature evolve towards ascension, the two worlds with come close together once again. It is no coincidence that Pan, Who symbolizes the purest and highest triangle joining Nature, Man and the Divine, was brutally slandered, for many centuries, making Him appear as a satyr, a nymphomaniac, ugly, with horns etc. At times, His image was even taken to represent evil. None of this is true. Pan is one of the highest Masters of Light, the king of the Nature and of the Elemental Kingdom and He protects Nature and Man.He does NOT have horns, He has a very beautiful innocent loving face and lots of thick curly long hair. When He was in body on Earth, He could sometimes appear with goat’s legs (although He could also appear as fully human), but this was deliberately planned by Spirit, as a dramatic lesson of utmost importance to humanity about the equality of Man and Nature. A lesson, we are still struggling with today…

2) Sexual abuse, particularly of children, is one of the darkest distortions of human sexuality. What could lead someone to such behavior? There is never just one single reason, but it has been found that the many offenders in child sexual abuse have themselves been abused as children. What is very common in cases of child sexual abuse is memory repression, so that the adult bears no conscious awareness of what happened to him, even though he may have irksome feelings that something inside is deeply wrong. Unless they heal their original trauma, so that they reclaim their own wounded inner child, there is some likelihood for a few of them (though certainly not the majority of adult survivors) to repeat the trauma they endured and behave in a similar way to other innocent and vulnerable ones. In some cases, there may even be the element of revenge, power and control, humiliation, malevolent intent to destroy the innocence of the child victim, especially when the offender is also influenced by lower energies and entities. The more the offender passes his own shame and worthlessness onto the victim, the more ashamed and worthless he feels himself. Both lose, in an ever-deepening vicious circle of abuse and humiliation (which is always the sole responsibility of the offender). After each re-enactment, the offender feels more and more depraved, helpless, and worthless, so that he feels his only choice really is to do one more of the same.

If an offender wishes to heal (some do), it is very important first to be cleared of any negative energies or entities that may have been attached to him, either by those who abused him as a child (if this is the case), or during his own acts of offending. I believe that addictions, such as offending children sexually, practicing violent sex, or using heroin (among others), attract many negative entities to those involved, this is why it is so hard for many individuals to break away from them. This does not mean that the offender bears no responsibility, or in fact karma, for it is always he, who chooses what to do. But it is an important factor to consider and I believe that many therapy programs today for offenders and addicts, would be much more successful, if they included negative energy clearing. It is important for the offender to ask clearing and protection from the Beings of Light, like Archangel Michael, in order to keep away any dark energies, who may be trying to manipulate him. The offender can ask to be helped to act, think and feel only in pure and kind intent. He/She can ask from Pan to withdraw his/her energy from any destructive channels of expression and re-channel them to healthy ways of light and creativity. It is important to ask for help from the Highest Beings of Light, since the darkness involved in these cases can be quite persistent. I believe that 12 step programs for addicts are excellent in this regard (and child sexual offending is always an addiction), since their basis is fundamentally spiritual: the addict/offender needs to admit the destructive nature of his behaviour, to take responsibility for his actions and thoughts, to realize that, with help, he can change, to admit that he needs help in therapy and to take all necessary practical steps to commit to his therapy. All of this, of course, requires that he is wishful and ready to change. Many are not. But there are some, who can no longer bear the pain of the depravity their acts bring and wish to change.

What we, lightworkers can do, if we feel this is the right thing, is to pray, wherever it is permitted by God and does not interfere with karma and with God’s Plan, for child sexual abuse to come to an end and for child offenders and victims to heal, if and when they are ready. If we ask without judgement and with genuine caring for all involved, we are helping, not just the offender, but the many possible child victims that each offender could harm during the course of his life, if left untreated. Of course, we can pray for the protection and caring of all children involved.

As for the victimized child, he/she does not need to remain a helpless victim forever. He/she can heal and clear away the stain of shame that has been put on their soul by the offender. The sexual offence on children almost always aims to destroy the innocence in the child. But innocence cannot be destroyed. Children may think that they lost their innocence, but in reality, it has only been ‘frozen’ at a certain corner of their heart, only waiting to be warmed and reclaimed again. The survivor, when ready to heal, can get rid off the feeling of shame and wrongness, which was not theirs in the first place, can reclaim their power and self-love and feel safe with their power. Praying to the Mother Mary (or any feminine deity of white clearing pure light) to clear with the white light of innocence all remnants of memories of shame and pain can be very helpful, as well as praying to Pan and Aphrodite for sexual healing.

3) AIDS. It is of no coincidence that, at a time when sex is so often burdened with shame and darkness, to appear a disease, which is transmitted through sex, but which also is related with acute stigma, shame and in some environments, even repulsion. There are many negative psychological interactions around AIDS. There are places in the world, where virgins are raped, because the rapist believes that he will get rid of the ‘dirty’ virus by passing it on to a ‘pure’ other (the same dynamic with child sexual abuse: the offender abuses the child in a failed attempt to find a momentary relief from the burden of the ‘dirty’ shame, by passing it on to the innocent victim). HIV carriers are stigmatized (perhaps not so much in the developed world, but in many other parts of the world), as if there is something wrong with them. The virus has become a symbol of all the negativity we have projected upon sex, and has, in turn, been used as a tool to spread the shame and the negativity further, by stigmatizing and condemning people. We can visualize a white light clearing humanity and all those who wish to receive this, of all the shame, guilt, stigma, judgment, revenge, abuse, isolation, that relate to AIDS and HIV. We can send the white light of love and compassion and acceptance to all those who have died so far (20 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, often died in secrecy and isolation), as well as those who are affected now. The more people refuse to judge and turn away from those infected, but see them in light, love and equality, the more the virus (which represents shame, rejection and ‘dirtiness’ about sex) will lose its power. The white light of innocence, embracing the Earth, will help loosen the grip of the disease upon humanity.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Fulfilling Your Sexual Potential in the Second Half of Life

Sexual desire and pleasure is our birthright. After all, we were created naked and with different genitals. There must have been a plan in mind. We are sexual beings from the day we’re born until the day we die. Sex is fundamental to our lives and seems to be the area of life that most deeply touches our most personal issues. Our sexuality is a core expression of who we are. We can hide with sex, we can hide from sex, but we cannot be fully ourselves sexually and hide.

Why have sex? Well, it is well known that sex enhances our lives in multiple ways, both psychologically and physically.

Health benefits include lower blood pressure, overall stress reduction, higher levels of antibodies so fewer colds and flews, burns calories, good exercise, improves cardiovascular health, boosts self-esteem, releases endorphins which makes physical pain decline and helps lift depression; reduces risk of prostate cancer; promotes sleep.

Interpersonally, good sex may be only 20% of a good relationship (80% when it’s bad), but it’s a crucial 20%. Orgasm increases the level of oxytocin, a hormone that allows us to nurture and to bond. Hence, sex increases love and connection even on a purely biological basis. Sex is an arena that is particular and special to a couple. We let ourselves be known to our sexual partner in a way that we don’t share with anyone else.

A couple who has a satisfying sex life is more able to create and sustain a long-term loving relationship. It is well known that people in stable relationships are thought to be more productive in their jobs, have better health and live longer.

The most rewarding sexual experiences are much more rich, diverse, and creative than the “get it up, get it in” approach. And sexual responsiveness has absolutely nothing to do with being able to meet the culture’s prototype of sexual attractiveness. Rather, it grows from connections of hearts, minds, and bodies. Truly good sex begins with a willingness to be open and vulnerable and to give and receive pleasure and nurturing freely. The psychological ability to share intimacy, both physical and emotional, is essential for good sex, but being intimate (as we’ll discuss later) is an art that confuses and even terrifies many individuals.

Good sex, then, is a complex concoction of openness and secrecy, risk and control, personal satisfaction and mutual fulfillment. Good sex requires an ability to be totally immersed in the moment (which is difficult for most people), ever-present to the sensuality of ourselves, our partner and our lives.

Sustaining a healthy, balanced sex life requires mindful attention to our senses, to the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions of ourselves, as well as our relationship with our partners. We must KNOW OURSELVES (“KNOW THYSELF”) to know what we want and need sexually. Then we need to have the courage and self-assurance to communicate these desires to our partner, even in the face of possible rejection. Also, we need to have relinquished some of the layers of narcissistic self-consciousness that, when young, may have prevented us from being truly attuned to another person’s reality and needs.

What I’m saying is: good sex requires PSYCHOLOGICAL MATURITY (which we all have because we’ve lived for a while now and have learned some things along the way.)

Mature lovers are more likely to experience not just satisfying sex, but are more likely to experience sexual ecstasy. Certain states may occur in sex where the boundaries of self are suspended in merger with the “other”. This kind of, well, self-transcendence, can open the channels to experiencing a sense of a broader, more universal connection.

Let’s see what the dictionary says about “ecstasy”: rapturous delight; intense joy; mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things; displacement; trance; a shared sense of being taken or moved out of one’s self or one’s normal state, and entering a state of intensified feelings so powerful as to produce a trance-like dissociation from all but the single powerful emotion; this trance or rapture is associated with mystical exaltation.

Eastern societies routinely equate sexual ecstasy with spiritual enlightenment. Only in Western civilizations is there a chasm between sex and God.

So, it’s all good, right? Everything from lowering your blood pressure to experiencing mystical exaltation points to the fact that sex is a good thing.

But if it’s such a good thing, why are so many people not having sex?..or are subject to various sexual dysfunctions, compulsions or perversions?

The fact is that few of us will ever seize the opportunity to explore the full range of our sexual possibilities. One writer I read referred to those who achieve the heights of sexual fulfillment as “the blessed few”.

Why so few? According to a recent survey, one in five Americans is not interested in sex. According to recent estimates, more than one-third of the women in the United States have problems with low sexual desire. Even this statistic may be low, as people may be embarrassed to respond to the interviewer honestly. “Diminished sexual desire” in women, considered by some to be an epidemic, is the diagnosis “du jour” for many sex researchers and therapists.

The loss of sexual desire can undermine a person’s perception of herself, her relationship to her body and may cause an irreparable strain in her relationship. Chances are if her excitement for sex is diminished, her excitement for life in general is somehow compromised.

So why are there only the “blessed few”? One in five is “not interested”???? A third to a half of American women has no desire for sex???? What’s wrong with this picture? Why are so few people actually interested in having sex, exploring it, heightening it?

There are many, many reasons that people eschew sexual pleasure.

First, there are societal/cultural/religious influences. We live in a sex-negative culture. For instance, most Western societies do not support sexual education and development. Parents are still battling to eliminate whatever beleaguered sex education courses are offered in the schools (which, by the way, focus on procreation exclusively), stating that educating children about sex is the purview of the home. Yet, in the homes, silence is the order of the day and kids are still left to figure it out for themselves.

When children are left to their own devices, they are subjected to misinformation from peers and their own fantasies about what sex is. If they become fixated at these levels, there’s more of a chance that they’ll grow up with certain sexual problems. (perversions, dysfunctions and compulsions)

Western culture has historically done much to harm sexuality. Vestiges of the Victorian and Puritan eras, with their emphasis on exclusively procreative sex and discomfort with the idea of sexual pleasure, still resonate with many people, at least on an unconscious level. Sex is evil; sex is sin and eternal damnation.

(which has been a big problem in the Christian community throughout history, and still can resonate down from our own parents’ generation).

Today, we have the “free love” of the 70′s behind us, a growing understanding of sexuality in the mental health field, the significance of the women’s movement and the impact of the communications industry which have combined to break down some barriers to sexual understanding. But we STILL live in a sex-negative culture. The sexual terrain of our times, especially after AIDS, is filled with fear, uncertainty and reactivity – for “normal” people, never mind neurotics, homosexuals, alternative sexualities (BDSM), cross-dressers, people who embrace polyamory rather than monogamy,– AND for the baby-boomers who are trying to forge a new paradigm for sexy aging.

We still get mixed messages from the culture about sex. We’re still confused. “Sex is dirty, save it for someone you love.” Does sex have to be illicit for it to be good? Sex belongs as part of a committed relationship, which connotes high values but low passion. Honor and virtue do not seem to combine well with hot, trembling, lusty sex. Men in this culture still suffer from the “Madonna/Whore Complex”. Some men choose both but will have to be dishonest about it, thus making a tear in the fabric of the integrity of their primary relationship.

Then there’s the societal influence of new technology. The permeating influence of cybersex/pornography on men’s ability to attach and bond to a real, vital woman is a significant barrier to sexual intimacy. Divorce attorneys from the American Bar Association report that a whopping 50% of all divorces are the result of the husband’s addiction to cybersex – that is — pornography, chat rooms, webcam sex, ads for prostitutes, dominatrixes, female bondage and humiliation, the fetish of your choice.

Women, for their part, are encouraged to adorn themselves to be sexually desirable, but not to be sexual. In their historical roles as the guardians of morality, they fail as women if they “succumb” to their (base) sexual natures and allow for the experience of sexual pleasure. Religious traditions have, in fact, been part of this split way of understanding sexuality. The idea of sex as sin outside of marriage and sex as duty inside of marriage is still alive in the collective unconscious and has gone far to undermine the acceptance of sexual pleasure as normal and healthy. These antiquated ideas that there is something morally perverse about a woman who enjoys sex are cultural imprints that unconsciously paralyze many women when they try to experience their sexual selves.

It seems to me that the media, as the messenger of cultural values, promotes the image of an anorexic teenager as representing the height of sexual desirability. Can’t be too thin or too young (within legal limits) to have sex appeal. People are then obsessed with living up to this unrealistic standard for physical beauty being piped through the media. Women compare themselves to the unattainable, develop poor body images, and lose interest in sex.

(Ironically, physical beauty and sexual responsiveness are not interrelated. The fact is that superficial variables such as weight, age, height, facial structure OR the size of a penis make very little difference when it comes to a person’s ability to be sexually responsive and experience sexual passion.)

Our society also buys into the notion that good sex always involves intercourse and orgasm by both partners, preferably at the same time. This approach to sexuality is restrictive and unrealistic, especially as we get older. As I’ve mentioned, sexuality is a much broader arena than getting it up, keeping it up and getting it in. An emphasis on intercourse and orgasm strengthens the misconception men have that women need to be desirable and men need to perform. Performance anxiety and sexual dysfunction are the usual results of an exclusively intercourse/orgasm approach to sex. Furthermore, the focus on genital sex exclusively limits the full range of sexual/sensual dimensions that can be experienced in addition to, or instead of, intercourse.

Some people have “intrapsychic” conflicts about sexuality from having grown up with dysfunctional family dynamics. I don’t even want to think about the rampant sexual abuse of young females where the perpetrator is the father or other close family member. It doesn’t get reported, the rest of the family denies it, and the girl suffers in agonizing isolation, thinking it was her fault, until adulthood when she may get some treatment. Certain young boys are covertly incested by their mothers: there may not have been actual sex, but the mother may have been needy, narcissistic, enmeshed, over-involved, controlling and unable to let her son “differentiate” to become the individual that he should become. These boys may grow to be men with sexual problems.

However, the vast majority of sexual “shut-downs” comes from interpersonal conflicts between the partners. Anger, resentment guilt, hurt feelings, being shut-down and non-communicative are not the stuff upon which sexual fulfillment is built.

I think relationships go bad (and sex shuts down) (cite divorce rates) because the vast majority of people have misconceptions about love and intimacy. Yet, understanding intimacy is crucial to our understanding of hot and sweaty, yet warm and tender lovemaking. Sex is, by definition, an intimate act that is enhanced by the lovers knowing themselves and the other. If lovers are not able to know and disclose their deepest needs and wants to each other, sex becomes mechanical. This kind of knowing and communicating about wants, needs and fantasies requires a foundation of trust and safety that can be found in a loving relationship.

(A caveat – I have no problem with casual sex, booty calls, friends with benefits, or even “kinky” sex that’s not part of a primary relationship. This kind of sex can be fun and satisfying (depending on whether you respect each other), but it’s something altogether different than sex in a loving, monogamous relationship.)

Many people think of intimacy in terms of sentimentality or romanticism. To do so is to falsify it. “Being in love” is also a falsification of intimacy.

“Being in love” is a really a temporary state of insanity. Each person projects his/her own personal relationship agenda (established in childhood) on the other without having any real, knowledge of the other. Inevitably, the honeymoon is over, or people fall “out of love”, and disillusionment sets in. We do not want to give up our fantasy and grow into the reality of actually loving the person “as is”. At this point, either the relationship breaks off or the couple starts to work on building a relationship based in knowing the reality of each other.

People have all sorts of misconceptions about what “love” means. Love can mean sundry, ambiguous, neurotic and even evil things to some: Caring for, rescuing, infatuation with, dependence on, feeling close to, sacrificing for, being a martyr to, being sexually excited by, having a “trophy partner”, having control over another, being controlled by another, marrying someone who’s somewhat like you’re abusive mother in order to finally get her to change, the need for validation and admiration from the other, or the vilely self-destructive idea that love means pain – either from physical or emotional abuse.

These kinds of ill-conceived notions about love create plastic, destructive relationships in which intimacy cannot exist. These relationships can be used to manipulate others, to get our own narcissistic needs met at the expense of the other, and are in the service of other nefarious, unconscious, neurotic conflicts. Celebratory sex can’t exist in a plastic, alienated relationship because sex at it’s fullest requires us to authentic and connected with our lover.

So what is love? “I love you” means something very concrete. It means that I surround you with a feeling that allows you, even requires you, to be everything you really are as a human being at that moment. When my love is full, you are your fullest self. I experience you not as what I expect, not what I want, not as a mannequin upon which I cloche my unconscious, infantile, needs to have a parent and remain a child. You don’t need to reflect well on me. You are not my status symbol. You are, to me…your authentic self.

We love when we not only allow, but enable, enhance and enjoy the “otherness” of our partner.

Being loved, being moved by another’s acceptance into knowing ourselves as we really are may bring trouble, actually. The result of knowing what issues you have that impair productivity and intimacy may be painful, but it can be worked through. We grow with it. It is in human-to-human relationships that we learn, make mistakes and relearn. And the primary intimate/sexual relationship is where we can relearn most profoundly.

Love shatters roles and facades and is illuminative. The confirmation that you are loved lies in your increasing experience of being who you are. Love is unilateral…self as the one who loves actively, not so much the self who is in need of love passively. Real love requires no particular response from the other, so there is freedom of self expression without fear of disapproval or rejection. It is the fear of being alone (or being abandoned) that makes us dependent on the response of others, keeping us from experiencing authentic, real loving.

Let’s look at the word “intimacy”. Again, from the dictionary: the word is derived from the Latin intima, meaning “inner” or “inner-most.” Here again, it suggests that to be intimate, you need to know your real self. (KNOW THYSELF!!!) This ability to be in touch with our inner core is a requisite to being intimate.

Our intima holds the innermost part of ourselves, our most profound feelings, our enduring motivations, our values, our sense of right and wrong and our most embedded convictions about life. Importantly, our intima also includes that which enables us to express these innermost aspects of our person to “the other”.

So, to be in relationship, and to know yourself/your partner sexually, you need to know and respect your intima. The intima is also the way in which we value and esteem ourselves and determines how we are with being with others. To put it simply, if don’t value yourself, you can’t value another. If you’re not aware of needs and wants, or are shamed by them, then sex becomes no more than a fuck.

I think every person I’ve ever seen in my consulting room for sexual compulsions suffers from estrangement from his intimus. We can survive the disapproval of others. The feeling can be painful, but it’s nothing compared to the disapproval of ourselves. Your personal well being and your ability to love another cannot survive your dislike or disrespect of yourself. If you dislike yourself, you’ll never be comfortable with your sexuality.

It bears repeating… the outstanding quality of intimacy is the sense of being in touch with our real selves. When “the other” also knows and is able to express his real self, intimacy happens. Sexuality is both an expression of that intimacy and a bond that enhances intimacy. With this kind of personal/sexual intimacy, our growth experience as humans is energized, enhanced, and fueled. Intimacy is the most meaningful and courageous of human experiences. It’s why people long for it so.

However, despite this universal longing, the fear and avoidance of intimacy is a reality for many people. People fear and even dread that which they most long for. No wonder there’s such a demand for psychotherapists!

So why would people fear, avoid or sabotage this wonderful thing called intimacy and, in the process, avoid sex.

Our capacity for intimacy is formed in the crucible of the first two years of life. Mothers that are needy, narcissistic, depressed, enmeshed (over-involved), distant, too protective, controlling, chronically angry, addicted to substances, frustrated with their husbands and displace their needs onto their children… raise children who have the psychic imprint of closeness as being dangerous. They also raise children who will carry self-hatred into their adult lives unless they get good treatment.

As children, they developed a rigid defense system (boundaries, walls, turning inward to not need others) in order to psychologically survive. But what worked for them as children doesn’t work for them as adults. For these people, the vulnerability of intimacy harkens back to a time when they were vulnerable as children and they fear re-traumatization in their current relationship.

When a person like this is loved – seen in an affirmative light and encouraged to grow and change – this rigid defensive structure is threatened, so their psychological equilibrium is disrupted. Being loved is not congruent with the negative tapes they run about themselves. They can’t allow the reality of being loved to affect their basic defensive structure. Being vulnerable and open to change feels so threatening that they eschew close relationships and mature sexuality.

Entering into a relationship without having some resolution of childhood wounds results in various kinds of fear of intimacy: fear of being found inadequate, fear of engulfment, fear of the loss of control, fear of losing autonomy, fear of attack, fear of disappointment and betrayal, fear of guilt and fear of rejection and abandonment.

This panoply of fears and anxieties about being close and vulnerable definitely is not sexy. We are most open and vulnerable when we express ourselves sexually and we need to have a secure base in ourselves and our relationship to expose ourselves in this way.

Alright. Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Sex and aging.

Some of those “not interested” in sex may very well be the middle-aged and the elderly. They’ve bought into the myth that we’re supposed to stop being sexual after a certain age. The fact is, as we mature emotionally and psychologically throughout the lifespan, we mature sexually as well. We can look forward to the best years of our sexual lives because of that maturity. People under the age of 35 may look hot, but they rarely have the psychological maturity to achieve the kind of self-knowledge, intimacy skills, communication skills and willingness to be vulnerability that underlies intense sexuality.

In order to achieve sexual fulfillment as we grow older, we have to nullify – negate – disown and disbelieve — the sex-negative cultural myths about sexuality and aging. Let’s look at some of those myths now.

· The quality of sex declines for both men and women as they age.

· If a woman does not lubricate sufficiently or a man does not become erect immediately, it’s over for them.

· Erection problems are inevitable and incurable without medical intervention

· Female desire declines dramatically after menopause

· Men peek in their teens…then it’s all downhill.

· Women peak in their 30′s and lose interest in sex by 45-50.

· Men and women with heart disease or other medical problems should avoid sexual activity

· Sex has to end in orgasm

· Intercourse is the only kind of sex that counts; everything else isn’t sex

Those are the myths. But here’s what I think: older loves are more sophisticated about their own/their partners needs, have an increased ability to communicate sexual and emotional needs; there is improved sexual responsiveness in women and a corresponding improved ability to control ejaculation in men; a greater willingness to experiment with sexual variations; far greater technical proficiency as lovers with fewer inhibitions and an increased ability to have fun during lovemaking.

Sex need never disappear and orgasm in both men and women has been observed in the 9th decade.

Sex is different as we age and those who are able to retain a sense of sexual vitality are those who are able to integrate their altered and somewhat diminished, but by no means vanished, sexuality comfortably into their lives. Men, especially, tend to leave the sexual arena because these differences create frustration and anxiety. They compare themselves to their adolescent selves and feel defeated. The vast majority of sexual complaints of the elderly are a product of the person’s aversive psychological reaction to the normal age-related biological changes in sexual response.

Men change with age in that the frequency and intensity of orgasm diminishes. It takes a much longer time to up for “round two”. Older men no longer experience simultaneous erection, unlike much younger men who seem to be able to get it up just by…exposure to the air. By contrast, the older man needs to receive effective stimulation by his partner and then is perfectly able to attain erections.

Women, after menopause, may be less able to lubricate as freely as they once did. That doesn’t mean they’re no longer sexually responsive. All that is required is a sexual lubricate (I recommend Astrogel), and they remain capable of multiple orgasmic response throughout life.

Here’s a list of Hot Sex Tips, according to Dorothy.

* Don’t wait to be moved by desire or interest – allow yourself to be aroused and the desire will follow.

* Do consider some systematic way to relax and calm yourself before a sexual encounter. Anxiety is a killer of “in the moment” eroticism.

* Speaking of “in the moment”, do consider taking up some form of meditation that trains the mind to be focused on the present moment. The mind that is continually wandering to mundane life issues during sex will not be able to experience full sexual potential. (cite books) Being fully in the moment also reduces “spectering”, which is watching and evaluating your performance, which reducing the intensity of sexual experience.

* Do continue to cultivate your sexual skills and techniques. (Cite certain readings from the list).

* People, as they age, do experience fewer sexual fantasies, thoughts and interest. So it’s important to experiment with alternative (external) ways to become aroused. Different postures, sexual techniques, erotic films and videos, the use of sex toys, all result in a more imaginative and creative sex life..

* Do eat nutritionally and exercise – feeling vigorous helps your sex life immeasurably.

* Do not smoke or drink alcohol excessively. A minimum amount of booze (no more than two drinks a day) can be an aphrodisiac: too much makes you loose (or placid and soft) and can ruin your erectile functioning. Smoking also effects erectile functioning in later years.

In conclusion, I invite you to meet the challenge of mature sexual intimacy, and to be and remain…the erotic, celebratory, courageous and connected person that you’re meant to be.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Sexual Behaviour in Humans

Sexual behaviour has been a subject of interest since time immemorial by the researchers. It is no longer a new term to be discovered. Many aspects of sexual behaviour still require attention by the researchers. It can be defined as a process which requires a number of sequential steps which ultimately lead to the expression of sexuality. The steps may include mate finding, attracting a partner, physical, emotional and sexual contact and finally sexual contact. Sexual activity also encompasses sexual intercourse, oral sex and masturbation. In some cultures sexual activity is accepted only after marriage but premarital and extramarital sex is not uncommon today. Some sexual activities are under the criminal act like the sexual activity is a person below sexual age and sexual assault. Most individuals participate in the sexual activity because of the sexual pleasure they experience from the orgasm. The successful, pleasant sexual activities include the sexual intercourse and masturbation.

Most people engage themselves in the sexual activity just because they feel sexually attracted towards the partner and some indulge in sexual act just a matter of pity or sympathy. The major criterion that a man and a woman indulge in sexual activity is to give birth to a child which is helpful in the continuation of the population. Some individuals also participate in the hate sex as they do not like each other and they heighten the sexual tension.

Prerequisites of Human Sexual Behaviour

How Females Get sexually Excited?

The first level which makes the female feel sexually excited is the foreplay. Foreplay is the step by which a feel is prepared to feel that she has been loved and she is prepared for the sexual intercourse. The next level of sexual activity in females is orgasm but females require greater stimulation in comparison to the males for getting excited. The two parts of the female body that help her to reach orgasm are the clitoris and vagina. The clitoris possesses about 8,000 nerve fibers and forms the part of the body which is richest in nerve supply. The stimulation of the clitoris helps the female to reach orgasm. The clitoris gets engorged with blood when a female is aroused during sexual activity. Grafenberg has discovered an area near the vagina of the female designated as g-spot which has some role in providing sexual pleasure to the excited female. The duration and intensity of orgasm is variable among women. Women are capable of experiencing sequential orgasms one after the other with a break of only few minutes. Although multiple orgasms are never experienced as they are impossible. Orgasm is later on followed by climax.

There are erogenous zones in the body of the female which are richly supplied by nerve fibers and whose stimulation results in enjoying the sexual activity by the female. The ultimate aim of the erogenous zones is to prepare the female for sexual intercourse and helping her in reaching orgasm. The erogenous zones are different in every woman. It is also possible that one female may feel sexually excited by the stimulation of erogenous zones while the other may not. There are certain areas in the body of female which when touched or kissed help in exciting the female. One such area is the ear. If the ears are kissed or touch gently the erogenous zones get excited and the female feels excited. Another sensitive area is that of lips and many females love being kissed on lips and they feel excited. Kissing of either of the lips or the ears is the beginning of the first act of the sexual activity which is the foreplay. Many females enjoy French kissing also.

Another sensitive area of the woman’s body is the neck. Many females get stimulated simply by the warmth of the breath of the partner, simple touch of the fingertips and kiss. Biting of the neck also stimulates the sensitive nerves. The undersides of the breasts and the nipples are also the sensitive areas and few females can get excited by a gentle touch of the breasts. Touching or kissing of these areas also help in exciting a female. The inner sides of thighs are also the erogenous areas of the female’s body. Touching or kissing of thighs and legs increases the degree of woman arousal. Feet are also the sensitive areas of the female’s body.

Edifying Angle

As concerned with other human behaviours the sexual behaviour is rather very much complicated. Many individuals enjoy same sexual activities throughout their lives while others try different types of sexual activities to enjoy their lives. Many people avoid sexual activities due to certain religious beliefs. Many humans stay monogamous which means they enjoy their sex life with a single partners while some wish to change their partners throughout their life.

Sexual behaviour in humans is governed by certain rules and norms and they are called as sexual morality and sexual norms. Sexual norms and rules consider legality, honesty and fidelity. Sexual crime in humans is not a new term. Many individuals are also indulged in prostitution and rape which comprise the category of sexual assault. The frequency of the sexual intercourse may range from zero to 15-20 a week. According to a report the frequency of sexual intercourse for a married couple is 2-3 times a week. It is clear that the frequency of sexual intercourse declines in the postmenopausal women. According to a report Kinsey Institute the frequency of sexual intercourse was 112 times a year in the people of the age group 18-29, 86 times per year in the people of age group 30-39 and 69 times per year in the people of the age group of 40-49 in USA.

Safety Slant
Sexual activity is not free of risks. There are three major risks that are associated with sexual activity and these are sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy and physical injury. During sexual intercourse the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted disease is very high as the body fluids are exchanged. The chances of pregnancy are also increased during the sexual intercourse as even the contact of the semen with the vagina or the vulva may lead to possibility of pregnancy. The risk of pregnancy can be reduced by the use of contraceptive pills, condoms, spermicides, hormonal contraception and sterilization. During the sexual activity the physical and mental state of the partner should be kept in mind and one must avoid the use of alcohol, drugs etc. the laws have set up a minimum age for an individual to engage in the sexual activity. According to laws of India a female must be of 18 years and a male must be of 21 years of age. Most jurisdictions also prohibit sexual activity between very close relatives.

Child Sexuality
Children have been naturally thought to be curious about their bodies they wonder how babies come, difference in the physical appearance of girl and boy. They also indulge themselves in the sexual play which basically comprise of playing with the genitals. Children often engage themselves in the sex play either with their siblings or with their friends. Children are supposed to be symbol of purity unless and until they undergo further development. The first researcher who took child sexuality seriously was Sigmund Freud but his ideas were discarded at that time. Later on Alfred Kinsey also reported child sexuality in his Kinsey reports he suggested that the tendency of sex play decreases in children as they start going to school and indulge in studies. Curiosity still prevails but it comes into play when they reach maturity where sexual interest develops.

Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which a child is abused forcefully for the sexual gratification of an adult or an older person. The side effects of child sexual abuse are depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and physical injury to the body of the child. Child sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest and may lead to serious mental disorder, trauma and depression. According to a report about 15-25% of the women and 5-15% of the men are abused sexually when they were child. The persons involved in such child sexual abuses are 30% the family members including fathers, cousins, uncles and 60% are friends, neighbours and strangers. However, strangers form a very small percentage of child sexual abuse and they form only 10%. Most sexual abuse of children is performed by men, females form a small proportion about 14% only.

The sexual behaviour varies with age and generally the people of old age show less sexual activity. In case of males orgasm requires more direct stimulation for erection of penis. The problem is very much intense in the age group of 65-80 as the males find it very difficult to get stimulated for erection. Although drugs are available for this purpose but complete guarantee is not present. Researches have proven that health in the old age plays a significant role in the sexual activity. Women become sexually inactive with advancing age.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Causes of Sexual Dysfunction and Women With Diabetes

Studies have shown that 90% of diabetics are type 2 and less than 10% are diagnosed with type 1. The patients diagnosed with either type are under an increased threat of vascular and neurological complication and psychological issues. The women who suffer from this may have many complications. In most cases the risk of diabetes diagnoses especially type 2. An increased amount of cases of sexual dysfunction correlated with the diagnosis. The research had to account for the use of contraception, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy. Sexual dysfunction is a common problem, albeit a problem that has not been studied in women with type 2 diabetes in depth.

Diabetes type 2 diagnoses is the leading cause of sexual dysfunction. There will be an increased amount of women diagnosed with this considered a larger proportion of the population in increasingly growing older and becoming more and more physically inactive. Thus, the rate of sexual dysfunction in women will also increase. It was not until this study that the direct correlation could be substantiated. The effect of sexual dysfunction was correlated to neurological, psychological and vascular affects and a combination of such. However, despite the common knowledge that there is an association in their measurements of such is hard to create. It is difficult to measure sexual function in women. In many cases the spouses sexual performance, quality of sexual intercourse, patients educational culture, and socioeconomic status was also a large part of the problem. They also have a decreased sexual desire, decreased stimulus, reduced lubrication and orgasm disorder. Thus, diabetes females are more at risk than others. In this study several surveyors were sued to evaluate sexual function disorders.

Sex is defined by the study as an ability to experience masculine or feminine emotions, physical stimulation and/or mental feelings. It is also a perception that is expressed by the sexual organs of another. The sexuality of a human being is determined by social norms, values and taboos. This is also determined by psychological and social norms and aspects. The nature of the disease was also defined in the study. It had to be, in order to evaluate the nature of sexual dysfunction with patients who are diabetic. Responses to sexual stimulation in the subjects was divided into four phases. These included the arousal, plateau, orgasm and resolution phase. These phases were identified as the most detrimental and prevalent issues that affected women during sexual satisfaction.

In the first phase, the libido is accessed. This is the appearance of erotic feelings and thoughts. Real female sexual desires begins with the first phase. Also at this point sexual thoughts or feelings or past experiences help to create either a natural or unnatural arousal stage in patients. There second phase identified by searchers here was the arousal phase. In this phase the parasympathetic nervous system is involved. With that, the phase is then characterized by erotic feelings and the formation of a natural vaginal lubrication. The first sexual response begins with vaginal lubrication which follows within 10-30 seconds and then follows from there. What follows is typically a rapid breathing session or rather tachycardia that causes women to have an increased blood pressure and a general feeling of warmth, breast tenderness, coupled with erected nipples and a coloration of the skin. Most women experience this arousal phase.The third phase is defined as the orgasm phase or rather the time with increased muscular and vascular tension by sexual stimulation occurs. This is the most imperious of the cycles and is albeit the most satisfying for women. During this period women experience orgasmic responses from the sympathetic nervous system. Changes also occur in the entire genital region these include a change in heart rate, and blood pressure. The final phase of normal sexual stimulation is the resolution phase. During this period women have genital changes. Basically the withdrawal of blood from the genital region and the discharge of sexual tension as occurs after the orgasm will bring the entire body to a period of rest.

The basis of sexual responses cycle depends on normally functioning of the endocrine, vascular, neurological and psychological factors. Considering the brain is the center for sexual stimulation, sexual behaviors are directly correlated to the sense of being aroused. The study has defined sexual stimulation and peripheral stimulation. Central stimulation is defined as the act of being aroused and sexual desire is phenomena mainly mediated by the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Dopamine is the most important known neurotransmitter system responsible for the arousal. The process breaks down to the fact that testosterone is responsible for both female and male desire and it increases blood flow either directly and indirectly through estrogen.

Sexual dysfunction has been classified and defined by the inability to experience anticipated sexual intercourse. This is a psychosocial change that complicates interpersonal relationships and creates significant problems. Orgasm disorder usually occurs with a recurrent delay or difficulty in achieving an orgasm after sexual stimulation.

Several sexual disorders have been affected by diabetes, many others are blanketed under the sexual dysfunction term. Sexual Aversion Disorder is the avoidance of all genital contact with ones partners. The difference between the phobia and the feelings of disgust and hatred are part of the phobia. Sexual Arousal Disorder is the inability to establish adequate lubrication stimuli in a persistent manner. Orgasmic disorder is defined as a persistent or recurrent delay in or lack of normal phases. Orgasm is the sudden temporary peek feeling.

According to the data from the U.S National Healthy and Social life survey women who are at risk for SD. In the study it was found that women with healthy problems have an increased risk for pain during intercourse. Also women with urinary tract problems or symptoms are at risk for problems during intercourse. The socio-economic status of women is another risk factor as well as women who have been the victim of harassment. Menopause has a negative impact on sexual function in women.

Sexual dysfunction was not limited to affective disorders, in fact socio-cultural and social demographic causes effected demographic and sociological characters were investigated. In the studies conducted sociodemographic characteristics like age, education level and income levels. Also the use of an effective method of family planning was related to the BMI and marriage were also factors in this decisions. The use of alcohol and drugs was also linked to a woman’s sexual response and leads to SD. The most prevalent use came from antidepressants received for the treatment of depression were reported with the use of the prescription drugs. The affects included a lack of lubrication, vaginal anesthesia, and delay in or lack of orgasm. Other drugs that have were found to affect female SD included anthypertensives, lipid-lowering agents and chemotheraputic agents. The study also took into account that chronic diseases like systemic diabetes and hypertension causes psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, and psychoses are attributed to chronic disease states.

Diabetes is a common chronic disease with more than 90% of diabetics having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Diabetic patients have been found to have an elevated risk of vascular and neurological complications and psychological problem.Thus, because of this it has been found that diabetics are prone to having female sexual dysfunction. Thus, the subject of female diabetic SD was largely unrecognized until 1971. Even at that time in an article the study was the first to evaluate limited cases of sexual dysfunction in women. Studies with females who have been diagnosed with SD. Diabetic females with sexual problem are explained with biological, social and psychological factors.

Hyperglycemia had been found in many diabetic women who have been diagnosed with SD. It reduces the hydration of the mucus membranes of the vagina. It in turn reduces the lubrication levels, leading to painful sexual intercourse. The risk of vaginal infections increases because of that and so too does vaginal discomfort and painful intercourse. It is clinically hard to measure sexual function in women. In many cases medical history, physical examination, pelvic examination and hormonal profile were reviewed. The subjects were questioned in detail regarding spouse’s sexual performance, quality of the sexual intercourse, the patients educational level and socioeconomic status. The several questionnaires which were used to evaluate sexual function disorders were a substantial methodology. Sexual inventories were then classified in two groups. The information obtained through a structured incentive allowing the discloser of terms. There was fact to face interview and also many sexual inventories which were based on the human sexual cycle.

There were 400 female patients that applied to the hospital or diabetes center. The test was conducted between June 2009 and June 2013. There were first non-voluntaries or those who met the exclusion criteria and type 1 diabetics were excluded from the study. This study also included 329 married women, there were 213 diabetic and 116 non-datebooks. All of the women in this study were sexually active and had a spouse. Also the survey questions were asked questions in a face to face attack. The subjects were given questionnaires and the volunteers who were inactive or had an illness were excluded from the study.

It was also important in the study to take into account demographics. These included the age of the participants, their weight, and their height. Their weight circumference, BMI and education level were also part of this study. With diabetic patients the plasma glucose level was also reviewed. In this study the reliability of the female sexual function index and the test-retest reliability was a.82 and a.79. The version of the validity and reliability of the scale was performed.

Another form of measurement was the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale, again another form of questions used to measures the experiences that women have and how they were able to deal with them. Patients that were treated with psychotropic drugs were the main focus of this experiment. This is a set of five questions created to show a minimal disturbance with patients. The scale aimed to assess sexual functions by excluding sexual orientation and relationships with a partner. The format that was used for most women in this study included several questions regarding sexual drive and arousal.

Still other tests were utilized. These included the Golombuk-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS). The utilization of this test was yet another set of questions that were given to males and females (28 males, 28 females) and were aimed at objectively evaluating the heterosexual relationship of the individuals and to identify the level of dysfunction of the subject. The results again found that women with diabetes are more prone to suffering from dysfunctional disorders.

Of course researchers looked into the subjects BMI and found that 23 of only 7% of the patients were in the normal range of the BMI which at the time was 18.5-24.9 kg. The mean BMI was also only 33.11 in patients with diabetes. The majority of patients that had higher BMI issues were smokers. So not only was it diabetes that attributed to SD but smoking and drug use caused additional complications. Also, 193 were premenopausal and 136 were postmenopausal. The average number of patients who were diagnosed were also on oral antibiotic medications in combination with insulin and in some cases antilipedemic medications. Many patients were not using medications at all which may result in the reference that they were suffering from the disease because they were unable to move through their diabetes diagnoses.

The study conducted found that there was no correlation between the age of a patient a their FSFI. Plus, there did not seem to be a correlation between the BMI and FSFI and the sub structures like desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual success, and pain with diabetic women. Some of the volunteers had children, one to three children in fact. There again was no direct correlation with diabetic women with children or without. However there was a correlation with women who had a more children and their ability to reach an orgasm. Perhaps due to the multiple births and the destruction that it could have caused neurologically.

Specifically when addressing diabetes, researchers wanted to understand the extent of the SD disturbance. The attributes of a imbalanced hormonal system, vascular constrictions and increased sexual problems cause the physiological and psychological responses that were found. The differences in the mechanisms of the neurotransmitters during sexual responses in women with diabetes and without diabetes was the leading contributor to a decreased sexual appetite.

Women have many dimensions that lead to their diagnoses. Sexual function is affected therefore when a woman is diagnosed with diabetes. The research also found that female lubrication occurred only during the arousal phase. But the dysfunction was largely affective, meaning that women were unable to become lubricated during the arousal phase. Women who were insulin dependent had little or no evidence of dysfunction while non-insulin dependent patient status had a negative effect on sexual disorders. This included the ability to orgasm, lubrication during arousal, sexual satisfaction, and sexual activity. This suggests a more comprehensive explanation that SD might be related to the age at which the diabetes develops.

Also women who have a genital disease will also have be unable to achieve ideal sexual arousal. Other factors besides diabetic mediations include other medications. For instance, antibiotics used to treat urinary infections and oral contraceptives have been attributed to an adverse sexual function in women. These medication will also heighten a woman’s ability to reach normal sexual functioning. Again the psychological effects of diabetes will also cause women to be unable to reach an adequate amount of sexual ability. Typical feelings from diabetic patients that have been reported to researchers include a feeling of isolation, feeling of being unattractive, loneliness and isolation. These are mainly caused from the diagnoses and a lifestyle change. Women who have these symptoms or feelings are advised to seek treatment with their medical doctor and to seek a therapist. They should advise them of the feelings, to seek a holistic treatment plan.

Researchers advise that there are holistic treatments available for women who are suffering from these diseases and including the inability to organism which can be remedied with vibrating tools or psychosomatic techniques. Also a reduced libido may be a form of depression and therapists will address the patients self image during the scores of holistic treatment. This may in fact lead to a better self image and an increased libido. The loss of genital sensations can also be attributed to diabetes. Many patients have been advised to use entertaining vibrating tools in order to treat

Sexual dysfunction is mainly caused by a blanket of issues but according to recent studies by Paul Enzlzin, MA, Chantal Mathie, MD, PHD and others the direct correlation between medications in 90% of patients diagnosed with diabetes medication and disease state causes sexual definition. The effects are a common problem, 20% to 80% of women are reported as having a sexual dysfunction. The disease Diabetes Mellitis is the leading systemic disease of sexual dysfunction. Research has found that the cause largely forms because of psychological and physical issues. Thus leading to the inability to stimulate during sexual intercourse.

For many researchers configuring how to asses a woman’s sexual dysfunction was challenging. Talking about it presented a taboo and in many cases this would not lead to a very honest or comfortable conversation for the participant. That is why researchers utilized questionnaires and face to face interviews. This included the Female Sexual Function Index which was created in 2000. At that time Cronbach’s coefficient test-retest reliably was found to be about.82-.79. It is in essence a questionnaire that is composed of six sections that measure desire, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, pleasure, and pain. The topic is also given a score system between 0-6. The 1st, 2nd and 15th questions are then also scored between 1 and 5. The other questions are scored between 1 and 5. This was only one of the measurements that researchers utilized to gain a better understanding on the role of sexual dysfunction and women with diabetes.

Patients or subjects are encouraged to speak with their health care provider regarding any issues they may begin to feel with a lack of sexual desire. There will be minor episodes of this feeling or it may progress into something less attractive. Episodes of depression will periodically affect the already progressing SD these too will be a point that many should discuss with their physicians.

Patients who are diagnosed with diabetes and then depression should seek therapy. In many cases the treatment may include antidepressants and holistic approaches. Lifestyle changes such as the implementation of a healthy and balanced lifestyle may help patients to improve significantly.However, that was found only in patients that made positive lifestyle changes accordingly. The medications that affect depression however will and may cause more complexities with SD. Moreover, only further testing will provide conclusive evidence.

SD is a chronic and persistent problem in women diagnosed with diabetes. Until this recent study the appearance of sexual dysfunction had not been studied enough. The impact if studied properly will largely affect most of the population diagnosed with diabetes. In recent years this the diagnoses has grown because the population has increased. Research with women and sexual dysfunction is scarce and also filled with flaws in the methodology of the research. The presence of the diabetes complications, the adjustment that patients have to the disease, and the psychological factors surrounding the disease affect it. The relations that they have with their partners are all part of the complications that arise with diabetic sexual dysfunction diagnoses in women. The study or research attempted to examine the prevalence of the dysfunction in women, the problems that occurred with an age matched group and the influence that diabetes had on female sexuality. The psychological factors that inhibited adequate sexual functioning were also measured in the most recent study.

Again in these studies women reported having less satisfaction during sex, avoided it as well. Researchers believe that these women who in particular were suffering from type 2 diabetes felt that they were less sexually attractive because of their body image. Researchers also examined psychological aspects of older type 2 diabetes in women who reported that they felt their bodies were less attractive then non-diabetic women. 60% or more of women in this study did not have a dysfunction, other than physiological symptoms or diabetes.

Much research has stated that if the patient is having difficulties it is important to have a talk with a physician about the probable side effects they will be suffering from. Women with diabetes who were suffering form the onset of menopausal symptoms could not be correlated to SD. In fact women who reported sexual problems were not significantly different in age though to the women who had an onset of menopause. The overwhelming evidence however suggested that psychological dysfunction and its accordance with diabetes was a crucial deciding factor to a rise in SD cases. The majority of research findings have concurred with it, stating that they in fact are able to correlate within the study.

A poor self image in women with diabetes leads to a loss of self esteem, feelings of unattractiveness, concern about weight gain and negative body images. The occur largely around the issue of weight gain, which follows with anxiety. There is evidence that these problems are common in older women who have been diagnosed according to several questionnaires that were used to evaluate women in the studies from 2009-2010. Research could suggest that it is because older women may be without a sexual partner and their diabetes could add to feelings of inadequacy. Younger women tend to worry about the effects that the disease and what it will have on their physical appearance especially with insulin therapy. If women begin healthy eating patterns then the main cause will have not issue on the physical appearance on women with proper nutrition. A woman has to be able to communicate with her partner and others around her in order to make sure that everyone understand the problems she is facing. However diabetes coupled with poor self images will lead a woman to become and introvert and therefore keep her feelings to herself. Thereby causing SD and a loss of social experiences by the woman in fact who has been battling these disease states.

A woman’s sexual desire has been found to be low, painful and absent. Thus, of this issue women will not be able to have healthy relationship. Unfortunately there has not been much research conducted with women because the variables have been to hard to control. But recently in this recent study conducted in 2009-2010 the questionnaire gave insight into the mind of women suffering form this disease. The limited study has prevented women from seeking out help and having a renewed interest in the problem. Limited studies have found that this problem affects largely about 50 % or more of women diagnosed with the disease. Most women who have type 2 and 1 diabetes are statistically going to stop having sex as much as their male counterparts because of their lack of a valued self image. In fact there are many sociological risks to not having adequate support systems to help minimize the impact the diabetes has on a lifestyle.

The changes that take place in a woman’s body who has been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 have largely been ignored. There are a plethora of issues at play here including detrimental issues affecting the central nervous system.Therefore, a woman’s sexual desire is largely affected by not only the CNS, but many other factors. In some cases these may include a hormonal imbalance caused by pre-menopause. Regardless there is a correlation between female diabetics and the changes in estrogen and sexual arousal stimulation. In the study the decreased sexual function and diabetes was also found to have a direct correlation in women who were overweight. This correlation was diminished in women who were average.

However of all of the contributors that will and do cause dysfunctions with women in sexual dysfunctions a poor self image was the leading cause. Depression was established in many women with a poor self image. Studies have shown that there is a direct link with diabetes and SD which is linked to a psychological disorder within women. Also diabetic women with this dysfunction were at least two times more likely to have sexual dysfunction than women without diabetes. In many cases depression caused a lack of sexual arousal or desire and a lack of physical performance when initiating the act. Therefore, a woman who is diagnosed with diabetes is at a higher risk of complications that harm her self confidence, her physiological health and her social interactions. Her daily routine will even be affected due or her lack of sexual arousal.

Specifically when addressing diabetes, researchers wanted to understand the extent of the SD disturbance. The attributes of a imbalanced hormonal system, vascular constrictions and increased sexual problems cause the physiological and psychological responses that were found. The differences in the mechanisms of the neurotransmitters during sexual responses in women with diabetes and without diabetes was the leading contributor to a decreased sexual appetite. Several risk factors were associated with sexual dysfunction including health problems which affected sexual intercourse, mainly in the form of pain associated with penetration. There are also several other causes that can be attributed to sexual dysfunction including urinary tract symptoms and arousal issues. However not necessarily in direct correlation to diabetes, but it becomes a symptom of the sexual dysfunction that may be attributed to diabetes as an after effects. Women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had a direct correlation with sexual dysfunction. It was only with this research that many methodologies were proven useful in capturing the information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off