We are living in very interesting times for relationships, where many of the old constraints supporting fidelity do not work and committed partners feel the pressure for better sex. There has been an active debate in my field about the causes and cures of boredom in the bedroom and the media publishes countless articles about how to rekindle the spark. The pharmaceutical companies are in a race to find the female Viagra but haven't succeeded because long-term sexual loving is too complex for a chemical solution. The essence of the dilemma is captured in the following:
"When you fall in love, it erupts like a volcano and then it subsides.
And when it subsides you have to work out whether your roots
have become so intertwined that it is inconceivable that you could
separate. Love is like that. Love is what is left when being in love
has burned away."
--From the film "Captain Correlli's Mandolin"
Intertwined roots do not always make for exciting sexual encounters; volcanic sex is what we long for even while the prospects for it lasting in committed relationships seem dim. It is much easier to have intensely exciting sex at the start of a new romance; the neurotransmitters of falling in love (the "reward system" of nor-epinephrine and dopamine) combine with lust to create an unforgettable euphoria. A common solution for lack of sexual interest in long-term relationships is to engage in sex with your mate for the sake of peace, thinking that merely pleasing your partner will buy happiness. But it often engenders a feeling of emptiness.
All long-term relationships have their ebbs and flows; sometimes you feel more connected and sometimes more distant. It is crucial is to stay in a dialogue about your experience without blaming your partner when you feel disconnected. It may usher in a period of painful growth because the needs of one appear to be in conflict with the other. But this is how change occurs in relationships -- through representing yourselves fully, rather than giving in to the partner's insecurities, you change the dance.
The greatest gift of sexual intimacy is self-disclosure. I find this new style of partnership exciting because it calls for relishing our differences as co-creators of the dance. Although appreciating each other's unique qualities is an important part of loving, the true leading edge is becoming fascinated about each other's inner worlds. Intimacy is nourished by the contact itself, enhanced through cooperative self-discovery.
This model of growth is especially important for sexuality. When both stay committed to the process and do not rush for artificial closure, what happens next is very interesting. If you are honest with yourselves and each other, it becomes an exciting creative exploration. Who are you? Who is showing up tonight and what can I learn from you? The fluidity of connecting from who you are in the moment can be very erotic. When you are transparent to each other in the moment, sexual pleasure is ever expanding. Discovering each other anew offers a sexual connection that is both bigger and deeper than ever before. This is very good news for long-term couples.
The alchemical process does lead to great sex but when I speak of this I am aware that many readers may view their courtship days or the single scene as their gold standard. This is a false track -- the assumption that sex in new relationships is as good as it gets. It leaves us looking back to the good old days rather than discovering new pathways beyond the adrenaline rush of novelty. The search for lifelong satisfying sex is the reason I've chosen to explore the practice of spiritual sex, which is the cultivation of sexual energy to attain ecstatic states of consciousness and the ultimate experience of orgasm through multiple energy centers. You can begin with creating a sacred space using soft music, candles and beautiful surroundings. Then breathe together while touching hearts and gazing into one another's eyes until you sense you are merging. Slow sensual erotic play begins only when you are that deeply connected.
Once you are comfortable with this practice, you can also create a profound connection when you are physically apart. If you understand the principle of distant healing, the same is possible with sexual encounters. Enter into deep meditation at the same time as your partner, visualizing the joining of your energies. Imagine a sphere of light until feel your beloved's essence and merge your light bodies into a unified energy field, joining completely at a cellular level. The experience of cosmic orgasm is pure pleasure; it is timeless and boundless bliss. The expanding waves of ecstasy fill you with joy that can last for days.
When sexuality is expressed through your awakened heart, it becomes a powerful spiritual path. Spiritual sex between loving partners also motivates us to enhance our connection to universal consciousness. It is a sacred marriage of two souls where sexual love is the ultimate transformer.