Mod+ Sex & The Sacred



I don't usually make things mod-plus but I figure this might deter some joking that would disrupt the thread. Don't me wrong - I don't mind a bit of off-color humor but that's best saved for Other Stuff.

On Dabbling in the Cult of Orgasm

For those not yet hip to the casual stroking craze that equates orgasm with meditation, and mindfulness with turn-on, Orgasmic Meditation (OM) is a practice focused on female orgasm.
This wasn't the best article, but I found it interesting to look at this cynical view. The writing also came off as a bit narcissistic, but I think both the cynicism and seeming narcissism were due to the discomfort in addressing sexuality.

Will try to find more details on this movement later.



On the second one:

“I chose [this song]. With no intention to provoke or scandalize. Reading the text, without being influenced by previous interpretations, you discover that it is a song about the power of love to renew people. To rescue them from their past. And this is the way that I wanted to interpret it. For this reason we have transformed this song from the pop-dance piece which it was, into a romantic ballad, a bit like the ones by Amos Lee. Something more similar to a lay prayer than to a pop piece.”

-Sister Cristina


Sex Work and Sexual Healing: Modern Day Sexual Healers Speak

...A legitimized role for sexual healers is not that far of a leap from what we already have as (almost) socially acceptable in society today: sexual surrogates who are sometimes recommended by psychotherapists as an adjunct to talking therapy. Still controversial, they are gaining acceptance. The International Professional Surrogates Association has a training program that you can go through if you wish to work within the realms of traditional medicine and therapy. The men and women featured in this article mostly work outside of those worlds, with only a couple of them doing official “surrogacy” work.

Two prominent and important aspects of all the featured healers’ stories is their ability to offer acceptance and presence...


By Adriana Tosun

Come to me, girl,
in deltaic procession—
I will cleanse you first in bone-white salt;
fall with me to the loam,
and together we will lose what
history knows nothing of.

I will kiss you
on the mouth, and then with
a sweet-fingered caress
play a scherzo along your spine.

We dovetail.


A Conversation with Chef Tiberio Simone

When it come to sex the story changes – pornography is everywhere on the internet, and millions of video are free. Because people like free and cheap, they tend to spend time on the computer, and get their needs satisfied by masturbation. Because it is such easy access, they get too lazy to actually seduce someone, or find excitement in somebody they are already with.

Sex is wonderful, if it is done in the right context for both partner’s enjoyment. Of course it feels good in the moment, but when it is done only to feel good in the moment (cheap sex) without consideration of the quality of the mutual touch, it can become addicting. In other words, just like cheap food, larger quantities of cheap sex are needed to fulfill the bodies cravings. I personally think the only way we can scale back the quantity of food we consume is to simply pay attention to the quality of what we eat. And when it comes to sex, do it with the right person and the right intention.
The one thing I really wish I had in the book though, is an essay explaining that La Figa is a great visual book to show to kids or teenagers as an introduction to the human form. With our models of different shapes, ages, and sizes – and especially with my food art – kids find a fun playful exploration of the human body, in a non-sexual context. Young people in this country go straight from puberty to pornography, because they have nothing in between to show the human form.


What I see here is the common and inaccurate conflating of scared with one's preferred moral code. Sex can be a great method for transcendent experience but that doesn't make it "right" or "wrong." My personal code is - as long as it's between consenting adults.
That's fair. I felt like the interview fit more here than in the Visionary Art thread as Simone seemed to regard sex as something more than just a physically pleasurable act. That said, I would agree that such a conservative position is not the only way to consider sex as sacred.


(Admittedly, the following description of Tantra seems to lean on the conservative side as well.)


"These texts describe the esoteric teachings of Tantra, a belief system which originated in India, praticed by a small number of Hindus and Buddhists. Tantra has become a synonym in the West for unbridled sexuality; however sexuality per se is only one facet of this elaborate spiritual practice, as a representation of the union of the soul with the Goddess. Rather, this attitude reflects the spiritual vacuum of mainstream Western religions when it comes to sacred sexuality. A deep study of Tantra can take a lifetime, and is not for the undisciplined or the thrill-seeker.

Tantra does not advocate an epicurian or libertine philosophy. Quite the contrary, the practices which involve behavior which is regarded by conventional Hinduism as 'sinful' (such as eating meat, drinking alcohol, and having sexual union), normally requiring expatiatory behavior, are supposed to only be engaged in by spiritually advanced practicioners in the appropriate ritual context. A set of alternative practices are recommended by Tantra for general use (substituting sweets for meat, and praying and chanting for sexual union). (It should also be noted the Hindu concept which we describe here as sin is somewhat different than the Christian version).

Taken with these caveats, the assertion of Tantra that sexual energy can be harnessed to achieve union with the divine is fairly unique among world religions. The encounter with this school of thought by western occultists had a profound impact on the development of modern Neo-paganism."
(Admittedly, the following description of Tantra seems to lean on the conservative side as well.)
Yep. That approach, as I mentioned, is common. And to some extent understandable. However there are at least two very differing meanings to "sex is sacred." For some the primary meaning is a specific moral code applied to sex. For others the primary meaning is sex as one method of transcendental experience. For the latter, there may still be a code but the guidelines have their origination in what is thought will best set the stage for that sort of experience. Of course those who think of the physical as a "lower" form of existence have an agenda that in some ways sees sex as something to be detached from.
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Dare I be remotely serious in such a thread?

I think sex is perhaps the ultimate nightmare for AI enthusiasts. I mean, if consciousness is just a computation, then it should be possible to handle it on a computer!
Imagine the Turing test involving a sexual discussion - I think this is the point where you can't replace qualia with real numbers.



One thing to note that deserves greater examination is how the physically transcendent world seems to have a lot of beautiful people?

Where are all the unattractive angels?
One thing to note that deserves greater examination is how the physically transcendent world seems to have a lot of beautiful people?

Where are all the unattractive angels?
I think that as you get into a relationship with someone, they seem beautiful, whether they are or not. Likewise we can always think of physically beautiful people who don't seem beautiful to us because we know they are not very nice in other ways. I always feel that NDE's reveal senses that are roughly equivalent to normal senses but better - as though the corresponding ordinary sense is an approximation. So for example, speech is often replaced by powerful telepathy. Thus maybe physical beauty is somehow an approximation to beauty in the transcendent world.

I would agree that such a conservative position is not the only way to consider sex as sacred.
When Is Sex a Spiritual Practice?
by Deborah Taj Anapol

Recognizing that our bodies and our sexuality are sacred is a good way to begin undoing the split between sex and spirit that’s plagued our dualistic culture for millennia. But much more is necessary for erotic activity to take its rightful place as a spiritual practice.
The sex negative conditioning so pervasive in both secular and spiritual communities has long served to distort our natural desire for Union. While there are certainly gifts to be found in celibacy, both the shadow side of abstaining and the loss of the gifts of a fully expressed sexuality, take their toll on bodymind.

The reality is that consciously opening to the natural sensuality of the body supports presence, relaxation, and consciousness as long as we’re not driven by addictive desperation in the pursuit of pleasure. Addictions arise in response to a combination of repressed desire, unmet needs and lack of connection to Source. Consequently, grounding sexuality in genuine spiritual practice, that is, a practice that supports awareness of “who we really are” and opens the heart can serve to inoculate us from addiction.

I’m going to use the term Erotic Spirituality here to refer to body-based sensual and sexual practices that function to support spiritual evolution. Erotic Spirituality offers a wonderfully expansive ground for embracing life exactly as it is and releasing the egoic contraction, which drives us to escape into mental masturbation. Sadly, Erotic Spirituality is often confused with the many varieties of Spiritual Materialism beautifully articulated by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Any exotic type of sexual activity, whether it be Tantric sex, sexual healing, conscious sex, Erotic Meditation, Orgasmic Meditation, BDSM or polyamorous sex, can easily become more fuel for an ego dressed up in spiritual clothing who has now found yet another way to be special with yet another obsession or identity.

This tendency toward creating a spiritual ego is perfectly human and is certainly not limited to the realm of sacred sexuality. It’s a phenomenon well known to most spiritual seekers, but often overlooked by those searching for God in the sexual realms, and perhaps partly responsible for the cautious disdain with which sexuality is sometimes viewed in spiritual circles.

Erotic Spirituality is far too potent and valuable to let spiritual materialism deter us from discovering how erotic activation can directly serve awakening. Just to be sure we’re on the same page here, let me be clear that what I mean by spiritual awakening or liberation is shifting the center of gravity from the personal self, or the individual bodymind to The One, the Self, God/Goddess, The Divine, The Beloved, All and Everything, Existence, the Peace that Passeth Understanding, the Space with a Capacity to Know, or whatever language you want to use which implies the awareness of something beyond a separate self.

A common step in this direction is the cultivation of what is sometimes called the Observer or Witness Consciousness. If we never look beyond the “I” who seems to be who we are, the one who’s been conditioned from birth to sense, speak, and react (or not) in socially approved ways, then we have little possibility of waking up.

In terms of sexuality, our conditioning tells us with whom, when, and how it’s appropriate to experience sexuality. If we don’t happen to resonate with or are unable to conform to whatever cultural expectations we’ve internalized, suffering happens. Some simply rebel against this conditioning and do the opposite, others struggle to free themselves from sexual shame and guilt, but until we realize that the one watching the conditioned self can not itself be the conditioned self, we’re really not engaged in anything more than a self improvement project called sexual liberation.

There’s something to be said for self improvement, especially when it frees us from the pressure of believing that only the young, chic, and slim are sexually desirable and that no matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough or deserving enough or free enough to be loved and sexually satisfied. But true liberation implies far more than this.

My observation is that the need for a partner who fits the social definition of desirable is equal to the level of internalized repulsion and fear of physical reality –bodies, sex, death and Nature, held by the mind.

In order to place sex in service of spirit, we must first reclaim our innocent joy in sensory experience, and get over the idea that physical desires are not spiritual, and that sex is sinful or shameful, but this is just the beginning of accessing the spiritual potential of the erotic.

When erotic activation occurs within a shared meditative container where there is no agenda, no goal, no knowing what’s going to happen next, we can practice being present and connecting in a uniquely pleasurable way. This practice can present an appropriate challenge for those who’ve mastered sitting meditation and want to take their practice off the cushion. As a bonus, sensitivity to both physical sensation and the energetic flow are enhanced, as the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system leads to a relaxing of the usual egoic concerns. Then a letting go of one pointed focus so that a sense of Oneness and expansion naturally arises. Truly this is a very feminine form of spiritual expression, and it requires a real mastery in anchoring conscious presence.

When we stop depending upon and identifying with visual stimulation, fantasy, conditioning, emotional desires, acquired information, or hormones to shape our erotic experience, and stay present and embodied while strongly activated, we are available for direct contact with the Divine. Now the erotic energy – whose function is connecting heaven and earth – is truly serving our spiritual evolution!

If instead we find our attention trapped in a maze of thoughts, emotions, desires, and unfinished business, we can see what needs to be taken care of in order to relax into awareness. This is also an occasion where the erotic is serving spiritual development. If you’re trying to avoid seeing yourself, and seeing through your story, this is, of course, the last thing you want. The same is true for other forms of meditation, of course, but perhaps this type of meditation, which involves movement and interaction with another, is a little closer to ordinary life than sitting on a cushion.

Many people use traditional meditation as medication or as a spiritual bypass in an attempt to get around making the effort of becoming more transparent. Authentic spirituality, whether erotic or not, always involves a seeing through of illusions, the aspects of life that seem glamorous, or satisfying, but are actually transitory or misleading.

My experience is that there is far more willingness to release these illusory phenomenon when the body feels open, pleasurable, relaxed, and energized.

It’s easy to get distracted from presence by the power of sexual attraction or arousal and to move into conditioned patterns of release. If instead we can remain neutral toward the outcome, we simultaneously increase our capacity for presence and pleasure in an upward spiral of awakening to our true nature!
I wonder - if the sexual act, and the "orgasm", would have been a extremely horrid and painful act - that might cause long lasting injuries on both parts, and maybe even fatal - would life and mankind developed and multiplied like it now have? I mean, on the female part, being pregnant and give birth is surely not a picnic, and has always meant a big risk for the life of females (women). And yet women and female mammal and women has gone through this in all their existence.
I have heard some women, explain to us men, the pain of giving birth is like crapping out a corner sofa. And after seeing birth - and hearing it - I tend to agree on the comparison.

But I mean, if the whole act of procreation would have been a painful horror story with long lasting pain and injury, would life still have flourished like it have? Are we compelled to procreate no matter what?
When we stop depending upon and identifying with visual stimulation, fantasy, conditioning, emotional desires, acquired information, or hormones...
I wonder what remains after you remove all that :D
Especially hormones, emotional desires and conditioning... not to sound too mechanistic but, alter somebody's hormonal equilibrium and you'll see what happens. (think Alan Turing)