Here’s another example of why attending to emotion during sex is so vitally important. Tom and Melanie’s sex life had been slowly declining over a period of two years after they’d been together happily for several years before that. Melanie complained that Tom didn’t desire her any more and that he’d been avoiding sexual contact with her. When I looked for possible reasons, I learned that Tom had lost his mother to cancer two years earlier and that he felt a lot of sadness over the loss. He didn’t want to bother his wife with his grief, so he kept it inside. Only when he was making love he couldn’t control it, he couldn’t stop his tears from welling up, and this he found unacceptable so to protect Melanie and himself from his sadness he started avoiding sex. This happened quite unconsciously, he just didn’t ever seem to be in the mood any more, or he couldn’t make the time. Their sex life resumed happily once he realized that she had room for his tears while making love, that in fact she loved him more for it.
Next time feelings come up for you while you’re making love, don’t push them down, but – and this is very important – don’t stop making love. You can do both: Hold the love and the pleasure of the connection, and accept and welcome all feelings. If you can hold that much spaciousness you may find that your tears, anger, fear, guilt, or shame will soon transform into beautiful pure innocent sexual love energy, even turning into laughter.
If your partner is experiencing feelings welling up as you are making love, you can be supportive by letting him or her know that it’s ok. Giving and receiving permission is sometimes all that’s needed to relax and let love flow through.
A particularly touching example was the story of Cindy and Thomas. Cindy had been raped when she was 17 and even though she enjoyed sex, sometimes her enjoyment switched rapidly and she got fearful when sex got a little wild and intense and she got close to orgasm. Because she was ashamed of her fear, instead of allowing her fright to show, she unconsciously shut down at that point, stopping her pleasure. This of course frustrated not only her but also Thomas who felt that he could never satisfy her, which he took as personal failure. When we explored a little what Cindy’s natural impulses would be in those situations, if she didn’t totally shut down, we discovered that she felt herself wanting to call for help, but of course she felt that she couldn’t do that. So we negotiated that when this came up next time while they where making love, that she had permission to let herself call for help and that he would just hold her and love her with all his heart and body. They also agreed that he only would stop the lovemaking if she expressly asked him to. When they did this, she ended up crying in her lover’s arms many times, while he soothingly murmured loving words of reassurance to her. Their sexual enjoyment improved immediately and dramatically. She was able to have very beautiful, intense orgasms and she started truly loving sex.
The reason I call this kind of lovemaking a spiritual practice is because, like any practice, it involves developing certain muscles, certain abilities and skills over time. Just like when you’re not in shape and you start working out you don’t become strong overnight, just like in meditation practice it takes a little while to get the hang of it, so it is with sacred lovemaking. It takes regular practice. In this case you are developing the muscles of being able to present in your senses, the skills of being very sensitive and intuitive, the ability to be emotionally transparent, the skill of intimate communication, and the ability to trust and surrender. Your sense of sacred lovemaking will grow with regular practice, and with time you’ll enjoy not only more pleasure, passion, love, and delight, but also you’ll experience the transcendental energies of devotional rapture and ecstasy. Lovemaking in this way opens to you to the sacred in all of life.
excerpted from “Tantra, Sex for the Soul” an audio program on 5 CDs by Niyaso Carter
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