If you’re reading this, you probably already know that sex is amazing. But what if it could be more than pleasure? What if we could harness our sexual energy to improve ourselves, our relationships, even the world? Spiritual sexuality is based on the belief that sex has the potential to take us beyond our everyday, ego-driven existence to connect with something greater.
Even if you’re not ready to sign on for something as lofty as communing with the eternal, spiritual sex is worth trying. Dr. Janet Brito, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist with the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health says spiritual masturbation is “… about slowing down and getting to know yourself more erotically. It’s about having a pleasure-based mindset, full of curiosity and self-discovery.” In other words, it’s a form of sexual self-care. And while it’s a great way to get closer to a partner, you don’t need a partner to do it.
Why Solo Spiritual Sex Is Amazing
Masturbation gets a bad rap. Some religions consider it morally wrong. There are myths designed to frighten people from doing it. (No, you will not go blind or get hairy palms from jerking off.) Masturbation is associated with desperation and being undesirable. But it’s actually one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves, even if we’re in a relationship. Sharing sex is beautiful but so is taking the time to explore yourself without the responsibility of pleasing a partner.
The shame assigned to self-love is rooted in negative attitudes about sex. If you think of sex with a partner as dirty or bad, you will likely think even worse of solo sex. However, if you think of sex as a healthy part of life, your attitude toward adult alone time will be better. So consider that when we fragment ourselves into pieces – sex, intellect, morality, love of pizza, etc. – we cannot be whole. By embracing our sexuality as a valuable part of ourselves, we become more integrated and complete.
Sacred sexual traditions such as Tantra and Kundalini teach that each of us is a manifestation of sexual energy, which is a kind of life force. We exist because of this universal flow and our every breath connects us with it. Our orgasms have the power to take us outside ourselves, moving our consciousness up the astral realm to merge with the infinite. Put more simply – we are each a tiny piece of the universe. Spirituality, and spiritual sex, is a way of connecting our tiny self with all of existence.
Ready to practice pleasure with a purpose? There is no single way to pursue spiritual masturbation. Following are some helpful suggestions for beginners but as with any practice, the ultimate goal is to know yourself. Since each of us is unique, our practice will be, too. Enjoy the journey.
1. Set the Scene
Be your own ideal lover and ask yourself what you need to feel good. Lots of people like candles and smooth jazz but is that what you like? Be personal and specific. Red pillows? Dried cranberries? A hot bath? This is a ritual celebration of you, so pamper yourself and engage as many of your senses as possible.
2. Set an Intention
What do you hope to achieve? It can be as simple as learning something new about yourself or as grandiose as achieving world peace. It just has to be honest. Your intention will help to focus your practice and connect it to the rest of your life. Remember, though, that an intention is not an agenda. You don’t have to accomplish anything to give masturbation purpose. You are the purpose.
3. Take Your Time
If you’re usually quick to rub it out and get to sleep, commit to at least 20 minutes of personal time. This is about exploration, not rushing to climax. When your timer dings, you can always continue if you want more!
4. Practice Self Love
Self love is more than self pleasure. The aim is not only to make yourself feel good but to accept, value, and revere yourself. So take a minute to affirm that you and your body are a team. Then compliment your teammate. Acknowledge the miracle of having a heart that beats or legs that walk. Focus on what is wonderful about your body.
5. Caress Yourself
Stick to the PG zones at first – face, arms, feet. Then move to the more receptive areas like the neck or stomach. You’re not trying to stimulate yourself yet, just releasing tension and awakening pleasure.
6. Practice Cyclical Belly Breathing
Inhale so that your abdomen expands. Once you’re fully inflated, exhale, drawing your belly button toward your spine. Continue this for a few cycles. Imagine your breath as light or energy flowing down the front of your body as you inhale and up your back as you exhale, circling over your head and down the front again with each breath. If you want to learn more breath techniques, read our article on Tantric Breathing.
7. Touch Yourself
Place a hand on your heart and the other on your genital area. Continue your cyclical breathing and contract your pelvic floor muscles as you exhale. This may arouse you. Which is good. Massage yourself, starting at the outside of your erogenous zones and working your way in until you find the perfect spot. Experiment with levels of arousal. When you get to a 9 out of 10, try to bring it back down to a 7 and build again.
8. Let It Go
When you’re ready, allow yourself to fully and freely release. Try to picture your sexual flow as a white light bursting up and out of you. Bathe in that light. Let it linger. Savor it. Recover slowly.
Solo spiritual sex can benefit you whether you do it regularly or occasionally. So find a rhythm that works for you and commit to it for a few months. Look out for small changes in your outlook. Are you more positive, energized, creative? Maybe just less on edge? Changes don’t have to be huge to be worth pursuing. “This feels good” is all the reason you need.