Still from the film Casa De Lava via Lost in Persona
I hear it all the time:
“My religious upbringing is a major inhibiting force in my sexuality.”
And. . .
“I was taught against my sexuality by my [pastor, priest, rabbi] for so long that even though I no longer practice or believe in [religion], I can still hear their voices loudly in my head while trying to have sex.”
And. . .
“They [pastors, priests, rabbis] were so adamant in sex only being experienced between husband and wife that it’s hard for me to make love to my long-term committed partner—even though we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together.”
And. . .
“I can’t masturbate without thinking that what I am doing is wrong in the eyes of God.”
Even after all of these years, even in the practice of the work I do. . . the feelings of sinfulness, of depravity, of being impure, implanted by passionate sermons and dogmatic beliefs, still rise up inside of my mind and body.
And it hurts. And it’s stupid. And it kills my libido.
But when it happens, I take in a deep breath and exhale. And while I am letting air spill from my lungs, I envision that those ugly thoughts and ancient, misguided beliefs are being expelled from me, like hot steam from a whistling tea kettle.
And then, I say a prayer—to God, to Aphrodite, to Source, or to Whomever it is that is listening Here—one that acknowledges, honors, and recenters my sexual beingness.
It changes nearly every time I conjure the words, but it often sounds a little like this. . .
My sexuality is good.
My sexuality is pure.
My sexuality is Holy.
Because it was created by You.
The juicy things I’m feeling in my body—they were created by You, for Your pleasure, with Your Great Love.
The juicy things I’m feeling in my body—they were created by You, for my Pleasure, with your Great Love.
And through these juicy feelings, through my arousal and my eager search for pleasure, I worship You;
I worship this Body that You have created;
I worship the richness of feeling and being;
I worship the gorgeousness of erotic energy.
For my Glory. For Yours.
I know with my whole heart that You would not create such impulses, such desires, such layers of feeling as a morbid test that proves my devotion to You. I know with all my heart you are kinder, graceful, more sensual than that.
I know with my whole heart that sexual energy is just one other way to commune with you.
And so I do. With all of my might, with all of my heart, with all of my body and soul.
Sometimes, this prayer works. Sometimes it wards off those heavy, dark ideas of sin and impurity, leaving absolutely no trace of their slimy, unwelcome sensations.
Sometimes, the prayer, even when said with sincerity, isn’t enough. Sometimes I need a shower to cleanse myself back to a place of sexual liberation, and then I can come back to conjuring sex magic.
And sometimes. . . I need to say “Not today” to my sexual urges; sometimes I need to cease and desist and give space for those harsh feelings to dissipate—allowing however much time is needed: hours, days, weeks, as hard as it is.
The point for the prayer (aside from wanting to get my groove on without those libido-killing thoughts in the back of my head) is that I am consciously rewriting my own spiritual history; that I am making beautiful space for my spirituality to form in a holy, accepting, sex-celebrating container; that I am honoring the holiness of erotic energy in a way that I’ve never been taught to before.
It helps. It’s not a permanent fix, but it helps.
My prayer for you. . .
May you know peace in your sexuality.
May you find a spiritual practice that celebrates its sacredness.
May you celebrate the beauty of erotic energy as a form of worship.
May you feel always at ease that your sexuality is good, holy, and pure.
(Important Note: That’s the way it’s supposed to be.)