I’m a sex therapist and a tantric sexuality educator. People who come to me with sexual problems are often asking that I help them make some symptom – like premature ejaculation or low desire or difficulty with having an orgasm — “go away.”
While focusing on the symptom is important, for a more integral sense of sexual health I want to help them have a larger vision of what is sexually possible. As they begin to see some initial progress in dealing with the presenting symptom I may share the chart below, which describes the continuum of sexual experience:
no sex — bad sex — good sex — great sex — transcendent sex
The point here is to begin to understand the magnitude of what is possible. Humans are certainly capable of living without sex. Millions participate in bad, marginal, or otherwise disappointing sex. Millions more enjoy good sex and the occasional great sex. Some few claim to experience transcendent sex.
So what is this “transcendent sex?” This is the end of the continuum that often interests my now wide-eyed clients. “No sex” they understand; certainly “bad sex” and “good sex.” They’ve heard of and perhaps experienced occasional “great sex.”
I start by saying that it’s difficult to describe transcendent sex.
“Try,” they say.
“The key is the word transcendent,” I begin. “Transcendent means that, whatever we may think sex is — it’s bigger than that. During a transcendent experience of sex, one may lose conscious awareness of oneself as a separate entity, feeling joined in unity with one’s lover, or with the cosmos. But even these are thoughts, and words, which come after the fact.”
They appear to be listening deeply.
“There’s a sense of timelessness, of transcending the body. Sex is no longer primarily about the genitals; pulses of energy vibrate throughout the body. Arousal and orgasm and ejaculation are left far behind, in this highly energized yet floating, goalless state. The mind is not engaged in its usual busy and meddling way, and the whole experience can seem dreamlike.”
“Sex of this intensity and depth can change you, opening you to the fullest kind of authentic experience.”
“Wow,” they say.
It’s quiet for a few moments. Then we talk about the path ahead, from wherever they are on the continuum of sexual experience, to however far they wish to move. There’s no expectation that everyone should choose to begin a journey towards transcendent sexual experience. It’s entirely up to everyone to be where they wish to be.
Our sexuality is part of our birthright as human beings. Just as we may choose to develop any of our manifold human potentials as far as we wish, so too we may learn and grow and develop our erotic potential so that transcendent experience becomes a possibility.
Making love is learned behavior in humans, not instinctual as in most animals. Making love is an acquired skill. In Western culture there aren’t many good ways to learn how to make love, beyond trial and error. Many families provide little or no sexuality education for their children; and our sex-negative culture passes on many beliefs about sexuality that are demeaning and dispiriting. Our culture is simultaneously sexually repressed and sexually obsessed: we are unable to talk openly and calmly about sexuality as a part of life, while at the same time we are inundated with sexual images and themes in marketing and advertising.
I just want people to know they have choices. It’s possible to choose to explore the sensual and erotic aspects of your nature. There are many thoughtful and creative people who have led the way, and their writing, their teaching and their art can shed much light for those who are also on the path of erotic exploration.
That’s where Joy of Making Love comes in. We’ve collected many of these thought-provoking, heart-opening and enlightening resources to provide you with information and support for your continuing journey.