(A post written initially for elephant journal, later published at Good Men Project.)
Sex is the lover’s tango of the masculine and feminine within us, regardless of our gender or that of our partner.
In the soft purple haze of summer twilight, miniscule bats twirl and zoom erratically in the air. Through the large bedroom window, I watch their evening dance as I lie naked on the bed, quiet and placid at last. The waves of erotic energy rising up from the sacrum — a force that lifts my spine from the mattress, washing through my body like the rolling ocean — have finally subsided.
My entire being feels fully enlivened and quietly glowing like sunset, while my energetic field is a crackling ball of nearly luminous energy extending several feet in every direction. I am light as air, a shroud woven of silver blue silk. After a full-body orgasm, I’m floating in an altered state of consciousness, drifting out with expanding galaxies in a dreamy state.
My beloved has slipped away to the bathroom for a steaming, post-coital, aromatherapy bath, leaving me space and silence to integrate the energetic expansion that ripples through every fiber of my being. I could easily transcend my body right now — instead I remain savoring the subtle sensation, still cascading up my spinal column while watching the twirling bats outside in the fading, violet sky.
Our sex has been a full-spectrum event this evening: building from exquisitely tender to highly animated and aggressively rough, a thrusting dance of power and surrender. The wild soul fully unleashed.
Yet I’ve remained deeply embodied in sensation and breath, fully present with my mate, saturated in the moment and the body with its shifting energies unleashed by the fire of erotic energy. Steeped in sensation, when we engage in movement, breath, sound — a willingness to be open rather than restricted in any way — a current of sexual/creative/spiritual energy flows freely as a river.
Most men have no idea that orgasm exceeds ejaculation, that it holds potential for an experience far beyond the sharp and pleasurable rush of seminal fluid outwards. Or that we can enjoy a full-body orgasm without ejaculating. In an energetic, full-body orgasm an individual is flooded with waves of sensation and power that can last several minutes, completely rearranging his inner landscape. Cultivated through breath and embodiment, it is a profoundly expansive experience, one that facilitates dilating from emotional somatic patterns in the most pleasurable way.
Observing the zooming bats, I’m supremely aware of the openness and expansion in my being. I am energized but hushed, every sense highly attuned to the slightest vibration. I feel as if I have just emerged from a deep and blissful meditation, not entirely certain which reality or dimension I inhabit. Every restrictive pattern or thought has exploded in a starburst, and my heart is wide enough to hold the world in loving, golden arms.
While my beloved silently soaks in the tub, the night outside descends like a velvet curtain. Naked and quiet, my senses and heart wide open from full-body orgasm, I watch the nightly dance of the bats. What if we all embraced our senses and our power — including our sexual energy — so freely as every other living being on Earth? What if we apprenticed to our sensual being, becoming ‘pleasure scouts’ as we nurture our own personal power and ‘life force’?
In our quest for authentic passion and soulful meaning in life, pleasure and power prove curious stumbling blocks for most men. Yet this is also the arena where we stand to be significantly transformed if we deepen into embodiment and awareness.
Sex is the embodied dance of power and surrender, of action and receptivity, the song of eros. It is the lover’s tango of the masculine and feminine within us, regardless of gender or that of our partner.
My bodymind expansive as a fiery star, the small and subtle waves still ripple up my spinal cord to sequence out through my extremities. I reflect for a moment on my own sexual journey in life, considering my evolution from a young man who was so insecure about his body, so vulnerable at being naked, I could only have sex with the lights off. How tightly shame keeps us bound … and how good it is to be free.
My sexual journey is as important to my self esteem and personal transformation as any other work I’ve done on the path to becoming an authentic, conscious man and embodying the Sacred Masculine. Exploring both the light and shadows of sex, learning to be deeply ensouled and connected to the heart while naked with another, has been essential in learning to be free and integrate self expression.
Gabrielle Roth, the renowned movement teacher and author, said that in order to come fully into our power, one of the most essential tasks in our lives is to learn how to make love. Roth asked, “How many of us know how to have a total, full-body, cathartic, shaking-all-over sexual experience?” Not many of us, especially men. Yet when we finally discover soulful sex, we realize that it is healing, powerful, and consciousness-raising.
If we loosen our restrictive patterns, sex holds the power to free the soul, unleash our authentic energies, and offers a gateway to transformation.
Brother, what is your shame at being a sensual, erotic being? What barriers and patterns of containment do you place around your sexuality? And what might it be like to be free, to discover the soul of sex as a man?
[This post was adapted from The Bones and Breath: A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul by L.R. Heartsong (White Cloud Press, 2014). Used with permission. All rights reserved.]