Sexual Desire and the Play of Opposites
Sex is so mysterious. What makes sexual desire? Why are we attracted to one person and not another? How do we stay in love, year after year?
What a luscious mystery.
We have all heard the saying, opposites attract. There is a kind of electricity that flows between the polarities of male and female, active and submissive, yang and yin.
It is a good thing that opposites attract, because relationships are so challenging. There are so many obstacles to happily living with someone.
This is why I question whether there really is much of an Art of Sex or Tantra that is in any way separate from the day-to-day. To be a good lover you have to learn about loving life with every breath. That's the only way to build up a charge of delicious energy to share.
So it is useful to work at staying tuned for sex, just realize that this is no different from staying tuned for a rich life.
Let's look at some of the opposing opposites that you need to keep harmonized.
The Marriage of Opposites
To give love, you need to feel full of love, and to do that you need to know what love is, and know how to access it.
This is where a daily meditation practice can be so useful. In meditation, you can sit there and be and receive love from life, be healed by life's flow, and be rejuvenated. In that flow of healing, you go through the process of being healed of love's hurts.
Everyone is better at one thing than the other – giving or receiving love, and it is scary to switch. It's terrifying and can feel like dying, to switch from one to the other. To be in relationship, you need to learn both giving and receiving, or else you will make your lover's heart ache.
You need to be aware of your own needs and to have massaged them, paid attention to them. Learning how to hold yourself teaches you how to hold another.
In love, you want to be needy but not desperate. Meditation helps because being with yourself, paying attention during meditation, will disperse the desperation, so you have just clean need. Need is the basis of relationship. People who love you love to help fulfill your needs.
Loving awakens needs. Needs you did not know you have. So each stage of a love relationship puts you at the beginning again. Having to invent your next step.
Longing is hard to tolerate, yet we must, for it is the name we give to the heart opening. Longing is a little death, and it prepares us to accept life.
To love, you need to be able to savor tiny glances, just a second, and also stay there, gazing into her/his eyes, forever. If you haven't done this recently, go do it now – find someone to look at, a dog, cat, friend, partner, and just gaze at them. Why would you look away after 15 seconds or 3 seconds? Notice how quickly everyone looks away from each other, in ordinary life.
The need of the universe is there in a breast, a spine, a belly, a penis. After being with someone we love, we develop a craving to be touched by them. Here, or here, or here, now very lightly, then a pause, now more firmly. The life force condenses in an amazing way and starts to sparkle somewhere in the body, and that is what we call a craving to be touched. "If you would just touch me or kiss me there, in the right way, then the universe will seem like a great place."
Mind wandering is unavoidable. You need to have PREVIOUSLY let your mind wander wherever it needs to go, so that it is fulfilled and can focus almost endlessly on one spot, effortlessly. In my experience, only meditation can give you that effortless focus, so that you can stay there in a long moment of lovemaking.
Effortlessness is important. You need to be able to focus without any effort at all, and to do so, you need to have been practicing this every day.
Rest. To be able to linger in the afterglow and not just fall asleep, you need to be rested. Really rested, because there is no way to not fall asleep if you have a sleep debt.
To really enjoy sex, you have to be working, doing what for you is fulfilling expression of your talents.
Play. You need to have spent time playing otherwise you will be too serious about everything during sex.
Healing. You need to be able to recover from the most devastating hurt. No one can hurt you like the one you are most open to, most in love with. All they need to do to hurt you is blink, or wait one heartbeat before returning the love. When you are really open to someone, your life hangs in the balance often, and whatever hurts they have suffered in life clobber you. You have to be able to heal from all love's hurts so totally that you are almost enthuasistic about your capacity to heal and fearless about loving again.
An intimate love relationship brings into play a dozen sets of polarities. For example, it is the differences in electricity that attract – opposites attract – and yet we move toward union. And then, having merged, we want to differentiate again.
Here is a mention of other polarities:
Tenderness & delicacy . . . . .ravish me
Infinite patience and leisure . . . . demandingness
Touch me here and here . . . tease
Fall into something like sleep . . . . intensely awake
Always surprising. Unpredictable. And at the same time, safe somehow.
Touching those sacred places that crave to be touched . . . but in surprising ways.
Familiar and surprising.
Intimate and yet dangerous.
Safe and risky.
To feel a desire intensely on your skin – localized passion, and be able to shift to globalized feeling, overall satisfaction.
Attachment . . . detachment
Involvement . . . distance
Intimacy self . . . sufficiency
Circle unto yourself . . . . ability to merge
Individuality . . . communality
Individuality . . . universality
These have to be well-worked conjunctions. Your inner marriage has to be thriving.
All this is what a daily meditation practice is good for.
We all need to permeate every cell with love every day, and allow ourselves to be deeply healed, so that we have extra love and healing to give away freely.