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It’s Never “Just” Sex – How To (Re-)Claim Your Sexual Power

Whether it’s in a casual or committed relationship, there’s nothing shameful about consensual sex but it sure can be “a shame.” To what extent are we aware, though, of our own sexual needs and desires? And do we act accordingly?
I believe it’s never “just” sex.

Let me start off by making a statement: sex is a big deal. Even if you approach your encounters mostly transactional (“I give and receive bodily pleasure, and so does the other”), they’re still significant. We’re offering and we’re being offered. We’re opening up and we’re being received. If that’s not huge, what is?

Sex is sacred. But do we, culturally and individually, also consistently treat it that way?

Why do we have sex, anyway?

Have you ever asked yourself the simple question: “why do I have sex?” and took more than a second to answer what’s really true for you here?

Apart from the obvious biological reasons and hormonal urges, I bet all of us can come up with more than one answer, that may not be as clear-cut.

I was asked this question only a couple of months ago for the very first time in my life. At age 33.

A shocker.

Not that the inquiry happened but the fact it never occurred to me before to ask myself this seemingly straightforward question. And even more striking, I realized, I could have gone through my entire adult life without ever pondering this in depth.

The question was raised in what turned out to be one of the most life-altering workshops in my life thus far. The workshop was about learning how to reach all sorts of orgasmic bliss as a woman but was approached in such a holistic way that it was much more than a course in pleasure.

It was physical, psychological, sexual, and spiritual, and it made me realize how much sex is exactly that.

All in one.

More than pleasure

In my case: the question of why I have sex, resulted in me defining who I am as a woman in a whole new way.

How much am I able and willing to give but moreover and especially relevant for us women*: how much am I able and willing to receive?

Sex is so much more than pleasure. It’s a merging of bodies, minds, and souls. It’s a deep experience of oneness. Of intimacy.

It’s the sensation of true closeness, connection, sensuality, and tenderness;  a mutual ending of the illusion of separation. An act of creation without effort. Being together as one, with flow and ease. It’s simultaneously forgetting and remembering who and what we are. And it’s the most vulnerable and honest expression of that.

It’s the surrendering of oneself to another, to the moment, and to life as a whole. It’s the ecstasy of mutual adornment, the letting go of the mind, and the entering of the spirit all at once.

It’s the sweet and subtle transcendence of time and space. And the bliss and honor of meeting, seeing, feeling, and experiencing another human being that way.

Sacred sexuality

But it’s “just” sex

Throughout my adult life, the amount of times I heard people say: “no, we’re not seeing each other, we’re just having sex,” is countless. And yes, I’ve said it too to describe certain relationships I’ve had in the past. But it’s an interesting choice of words, don’t you think? For apparently, we don’t even have to “see” one another to get intimate.

And anyone who’s ever tried to see someone via a dating app like Tinder will have experienced a match or two that would rather cut the chase and get straight to it.

Has it really become normal to meet up for sex instantaneously after “It’s A Match!” now? Is that an accurate reflection of the effort we’re willing to put in? And if so, what does that say about the way we look at our sexual encounters and our own bodies, minds, and souls?

What kind of experience do you seek?

Many men and women who are sexually active would likely argue that they’d never be willing to pay for sex or have sex for money. ‘Cause that is often considered soulless, right? Yet, being picked up of a (Tinder) shelf for little to no effort seems just fine to many. Just like having sex with a complex set of rules in order to avoid catching feelings is seen as completely normal by many of my generation.

Is catching feelings the new sin?

I know that sex out of mere lust can be a pleasurable experience but when done unconsciously it could come at high costs.

Sex is hardly ever just an exchange of touch and bodily fluids. There’s a strong psychological component in it, which when denied can turn into something harmful. Either to the self or the partner involved, often resulting in (personal) drama and arguments.

This article, however, is not a plea for abstinence but it sure is one for self awareness. As I’ve come to realize that we’re potentially withholding ourselves miracles by mindlessly entering sexual experiences. Whether they’re casual or not.

For it’s not the shape of the relationship that matters, it’s how much of yourself you’re bringing into it, and how much of that is understood and acknowledged by both yourself and the one you’re engaging with.

The art of allowing, giving and receiving

Sex will always be an experience of the body, the mind, and the soul. But we can easily deny ourselves the fullness and depth of it.

How much of your emotional self are you willing to feel, show, and share? How much of your mind do you allow to be present for the experience when you’re having it? And how much can you truly enjoy that what’s being offered or received?

Whatever stands in between you and a full, joyful, and capitulating experience of the erotic, will probably stand between you and yourself in other areas of your life just the same.

In conscious, consensual sexual encounters, all chakras partake. And be it intentional or not if you’re blocking any part of yourself during the experience, you deny yourself the sacredness of the act.

Every relationship is a reflection

You are just as responsible for your sex life as you are for every other part of your life. It reflects exactly where you are. Not just in relationship to the one who has the honor of spending time with your naked body but even more perhaps, it shows how you relate to yourself.

No room for complacency in the bedroom

Our sex lives can tell a lot about what we consider ourselves worthy and capable of. How much power and strength do we allow ourselves to own for instance, and how much vulnerability and softness? How much yin and how much yang?

That what you suppress cannot be expressed. And that what you deny (yourself of) you cannot give or receive.

To what extent are you able to open up to the experience, and where – if anywhere – may you be holding back? What parts of yourself do you leave behind – if any – and why? And what do you think would happen if you wouldn’t?

The answers may point to a place inside of yourself that you’ve been neglecting or perhaps merely complacent towards.

Honoring and empowering

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, understanding what sex means to you, why you’re having it, and exactly how you like it, can take it to a whole other level. But it requires honesty.

Erotic experiences carried out with full awareness, mutual consent and respect are both honoring and empowering. They can even be transformative in the most positive sense of the word and in the most powerful way.

But to get there, you must listen to yourself first and hear what you truly want. Without judgment.

Be gentle with yourself but radically honest. For wherever you are lying to yourself, you deny yourself some magical experiences and you may end up in a perpetual cycle of disappointment and frustration.

Pleasure as the by-effect

Just as I believe happiness is the by-effect of living a life you’re truly present in and show up for without attachment to the results of whatever it is you’re undertaking, I believe pleasure may very well be the by-effect of a sacred approach to sex.

Pleasure follows suit from mutual, respectful adornment, and from touching intending to honor and appreciate one another.

When did you last communicate your desires honestly and without constraint?

Whatever your reasons for having sex are, live up to them and share them with your bed partner(s). Same goes for your preferences. Whether you’re seeking quick gotta-have-you-here-and-now-experiences filled with lust and passion, or crave to have sex all night long with a man or a woman who wants to wake up with you as much as they want to undress you, or anything in between and beyond, it all starts with being receptive to and honest about your desires.

And remember: just because you haven’t experienced something or haven’t learned how to do it (or ask for it) yet, doesn’t mean it’s not available.

If now is not the time to (re-)claim your sexual power, then when?

Whatever form or shape you craft your relationships in, by all means, shape them consciously and deliberately. Consider the reasons why you’re sexually engaging with anyone and be radically honest about it.

By taking full responsibility for yourself and your own experience you allow others to do the same. And that’s a gift. A sacred one. Just as you are. And especially the latter should never be forgotten. Not before, not during, and not after sex.


*Note: Mind you, men, this stipulation is not meant to be read as a judgment on you for being seemingly more easy takers. This is merely because the act of penetration from the perspective of a woman is literally to receive. Same is true for the receiver in any same-sex sexual encounter, of course.

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