We see sexual encounters as lying on a spectrum from two people having separate sexual experiences together to a full union. The former is about self-pleasure, a form of masturbation where your partner is a sex aid. The latter enters the realm of the mystical, the spiritual.
To write about union, I need to first discuss the issue of identity. That’s usually thought of as the question of “Who am I?”, but the sibling question of “What am I?” is also relevant because it includes the answer “I am human.” (As an aside, I want to say that the answers to these questions are by their nature non-verbal, but let’s stick with words for now.)
So if I am human at the same time as I am my individual self, I can also be the union with Maude at the same time as being just Phil. And this is the heart of our sexual experience: merging as well as retaining our own identities. There are a number of things to say about this:
- I am not talking about sexual ecstasy; that exists, too, but it is only the means; it is like a step-ladder that allows access to a higher place. Its role is as an instrument to its music.
- This is indubitably a shared experience. Not only is this manifest at the time, but afterwards, when one of us attempts to describe it, the other will go “Uh huh, uh huh” in agreement. Every time. Without fail. We may not use the same words, but we are unmistakably speaking about the same thing.
- For this to occur, there must be full openness, full acceptance. There can be no holding back, no distrust. This is so easy for us because we practice full acceptance in our relationship (and we’ve written extensively about this elsewhere.)
- There is no special process to bring about this state of union; in fact, quite the opposite. Sexual arousal is a feedback loop: I am turned on by Maude’s arousal, and she is turned on by mine, and so it escalates. (It must be this way for all couples, else sex would only occur when both people happened to feel sexual at the same time. I also suspect that much sexual dysfunction occurs because this feedback loop does not take place.) It works best when I simply hang out and let this intensification happen, rather than bringing in ideas of what Maude or I would like.
- This is not some qualitatively different state from the rest of our relationship; it varies only in its intensity. I think that for many couples, the transition from a disconnected daily life to a connection via sex is difficult to make, and constrains their sex life. We find that we can flow easily between the two.
So in conclusion, I would say drop expectations and be open to the transcendent gateway that is in all of us.In sexual union you can experience both an intact individuality and a merged self #relationships Click To Tweet
And the two shall become one flesh. Mark 10:8
Maude: Our blogs are written from our experience and the desire to share the treasure of what a relationship can be like when it is founded in peace and mutuality. An important part of this is our shared sexuality, although we haven’t blogged much about it (we are working on a book from this perspective.)
There are few areas within our lives that can give us a perspective on the connection between the physical, mind and spirit aspects of ourselves more than sexuality.
In order to have an experience of true union through sexual intimacy, a number of elements must be in place. This can happen when:
- Each partner has spent time getting to know themselves
- Power is not an issue between the partners
- There is no need to defend as there is total acceptance of each other
- The desire for mutuality is paramount
- Partners rest secure in the knowledge of being on the same side
The drive toward union is very strong and we all have a natural propensity to come together. This has developed beyond the instinct to procreate, as the mind has evolved beyond the survival level to an ability to connect with spirit.
Through the exercise of love we are able to combine our expanded nature and experience both an intact individuality and a merged self. When Phil and I come together in this union, it is both well known and totally surprising! It is transportive. I am both there as a separate person observing the experience, and completely immersed in the joining.
To reach this place of union where the two of us become one, it is necessary to move beyond my own pleasure, even the experience of pleasure giving, to the experience of Our Presence. One of the unique aspects of this Presence is that it exists on and requires the participation and integration of physical, mind and spirit. Once such a unified connection is established, it usually carries over into all aspects of partnership. We never feel separated from this union. It expresses itself in all the aspects of how we live together and how we are together.
This master pattern is critical to achieving true peace. We can move toward our relationship to the whole more easily when we understand that it does not take anything away from our individuality. What appears as a paradox is actually the answer. It is through this understanding that we can actively spread peace one relationship a time.