We live in a sex-negative society. People suppress sex because they fear its powerful energy. Sex is condemned as sinful, ugly and dangerous. As a result, sexual repression is rampant. But a glimmer of light can be seen in the darkness. Around the world, people are taking steps to transform sexual repression into sexual freedom.
The Sexual Freedom Coalition has published an excellent description of sexual freedom, which can be summarised as the freedom to enjoy sex just like any other human instinct, such as eating, sleeping and soaking up the sun, without apology or attracting stigma.
How can this vision of sexual freedom become reality? How can we create a society in which people are free to live their sex lives to the full; free to experience maximum pleasure and fulfilment? Some advocates of sexual freedom think the answer lies ‘out there’ – in religious institutions, the media, the government, the educational system, the readership of any newspaper.
Yes, attitudes must change if sexual freedom is to prevail. Oppressive laws must be repealed. Positive messages about sex must be spread. Sex education must be of a high quality, and provided much earlier in people’s lives. But if we try to change the world without changing ourselves, sexual freedom will never be a reality.
The greatest barrier to sexual freedom is ignorance – a lack of knowledge, insight and awareness. A great many people mistakenly believe that what they call ‘reality’, an experience of the world that is dualistic in nature (you/me, this/that, right/wrong), is the only reality. They are unaware of the existence of a second reality in which duality does not exist, time does not exist and good and evil do not exist.
But even a brief experience of this other reality has the potential to set them free from the repression that has held them captive. An experience of bliss – of Heaven and Earth united – arrived at through enlightened sex will drive out sexual fear, inhibition and shame, and bring forth sexual freedom and enlightenment.
Having liberated themselves, these people then have the power to be role models, and exemplify a different way of being that others – including religious leaders, newspaper editors, government ministers, teachers and Media readers – may choose to emulate.
That, I believe, is how we create a world in which sexual freedom prevails. Enlightened sex is sexual freedom in practice At this point in the article you may be thinking, “This is all very fine in theory, but how do I put it into practice?”
Sexual freedom is the idea, the theory, the concept. Enlightened sex is the reality, the practice, the experience.
Enlightened sex is the halfway point between ‘ordinary’ sex, with its emphasis on sensual pleasure (kama), and tantra, which is a spiritual practice. Enlightened sex is informed and skilful, uninhibited and in the moment, heart-centred, and a combination of the erotic (kama) and the spiritual (tantra).
"Imagine if that was how we learnt to drive"
Enlightened sex is informed and skilful. In the developed world, most people learn about sex by garnering information from their friends, by watching others do it in porn movies, and through a process of trial and error. Imagine if that was how we learnt to drive. The result would be carnage.
Those who practice enlightened sex are knowledgeable about and skilled in the erotic arts. They understand how their own body works, and that of their partner too. They are free from sexual taboos, inhibitions and hang-ups. They know the many different ways to give and receive pleasure. They are good communicators. And, like good drivers, they are fully present to the experience. They are not worrying about how well they are performing or deciding what their next manoeuvre will be.
A person who has mastered an art is able to practice it without conscious thought. This unconscious competence is the result of intentional knowledge acquisition, skill building and on-the-job application. Mastery cannot be achieved by any other means.
Here is a small selection of sexual activities that you and your partner are unlikely to accomplish by happy accident or by doing what comes naturally:
These are technical skills that must be learned deliberately and practised diligently until they have been mastered. Once mastery has been achieved, the skills can put into practice spontaneously and without thinking.
It is a product of the three aspects of sexual freedom:
These freedoms are acquired through enlightenment, which itself has three aspects: knowledge, insight and awareness, gained through study and experience. The free individual has no constraints limiting his or her behaviour, and is at liberty to do or say anything without fear. Free from inhibition, he or she can be fully present to the other and experience bliss moment by moment, with no concern for past and future.
Ordinary sex is focused on the sexual organs and is mostly governed by the mind.
Enlightened sex is focused on the heart, while enjoying sensations in the body and the machinations of the mind.
The love that is experienced during enlightened sex is not romantic love, but pure cosmic love. Sexual partners open their hearts to each other, connect their chakras and allow heart energy to move between them.
Tantric masturbators open their hearts to the creator and project their energy outwards to the whole of creation. By bridging mundane reality and what I call ‘second reality’ (also known as second attention, ultimate reality, the nagual), practitioners of enlightened sex transcend their fragmented, conflicted minds and experience bliss. This is the case whether enlightened sex is being practiced alone, with a same-sex partner, with an opposite-sex partner, or in a group.
Enlightened sex combines the erotic (kama) with the spiritual (tantra). Practitioners of enlightened sex enjoy sensual pleasure to the full, while simultaneously experiencing a reality that lies beyond their bodies and their ego-minds. They see no conflict between the erotic and the spiritual, and regard them as complementary and equally legitimate aspects of human experience.
Erotic sex occupies the low ground of human sexual experience. The spiritual dimension is often absent . Spiritual sex occupies the high ground. The physical dimension is sometimes dismissed as gross and profane. Enlightened sex occupies the middle ground, and places equal value on the physical and spiritual dimensions.