Spirituality and Sexuality: Bridging Energies for Ecstatic Sex

“What is spiritual is physical. What is physical is spiritual. If consciousness exists in my mind, it exists in my body. If energy exists in my body, it exists in my mind.” Barbara Carrellas, Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century.


In our culture, sexuality and spirituality are often disconnected. Sex is base. Dirty. Messy. Animalistic. It happens in the dark. Sexual conversation is hushed if it occurs at all. Jokes fly. In contrast, spirituality is pure. Elevated. Moral. Clean and beyond reproach. It happens in sacred space. It is solemn.

Can spirituality and sexuality ever merge? Can sexual connectivity ever be sacred? Absolutely—and the result is deeper intimacy, better sex for both partners, ecstasy, and a sense of being part of something larger than ourselves.

For many, the blending of spirituality and sexuality adds profound depth and meaning to sexual encounters while deepening connection to spirit. Spirituality means different things to different people. Here, I’m proposing that spirituality means a direct and personal connection with the Divine (however one defines this) in which the person feels expansive, connected to something larger than oneself, ecstasy, energized and a deep sense of personal contentment.

Before I had done my sexual healing work, I never could have imagined the power of sexuality and spirituality merging—such was an unthinkable concept. Cultural messaging, my Catholic upbringing, history of sex abuse and date rape all showed me the darker side of sex, with no room to comprehend that sex could be so different when infused with spiritual meaning. And now? I can envision spirituality without sexuality but cannot imagine experiencing sexuality without spirituality.

How is it possible to create a deeper meaning for sex—to tap into spiritual energy? One starting point: recognize that sex for procreation and sex for connectivity and pleasure are two very different things. On the one hand, sex for procreation is natural and basic: we don’t need much help figuring out how to fit Slot A into Tab B.

On the other hand, sex for connectivity and pleasure is something altogether different and our sex-negative culture has few effective ways for us to learn this.

In addition, understand how cultural myths prevent us from forming deeper connections: men believe they have to perform, be the studs, to impress women with a firm erection and extensive prowess. Women believe they have to be pleasing and accept what the male has to offer, with no mind to what may actually feel good to her. Please understand: none of us purposefully take on these roles. It’s what our culture pedals. This mindset leaves absolutely no room for a vision of creating vibrant energy together through which both partners are present and aware of bodily sensations, share their hearts, ecstasy and exquisite pleasure.

How do we find our way to more meaningful sexual encounters that leave both partners feeling whole, revered, ecstatic and deeply connected? Consider exploring Tantric sex together. For an accessible source, read Barbara Carrellas’ Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century. Margo Anand is another well-known Tantra teacher whose work may inspire you. And, as I’ve written about recently, add mindfulness to your sexual practices.

Here are a few beginning practices that can help you on a path towards bringing mindfulness and spirit into your sexual encounters. I use these with client couples with great success!

Hand/Heart Connection with Coordinated Breathing:

Sit facing your partner close enough so you can put your right hand on one another’s hearts. Look into one another’s eyes. Inhale together, envisioning that your breath is connecting you. Exhale together, releasing beliefs, past hurts, limitations—anything that your relationship no longer needs. This can be intense at first, so if the eye contact is too much, close your eyes or try this adaptation:

Hold each other close laying down facing one another—full body contact, either dressed or undressed. Inhale and exhale together. There is no agenda to move to sexual expression at this time—simply connect outside our narrow cultural scripts and feel the energy exchange. Melt and be present in this embrace.

Eye Gazing:

As you become more comfortable, return to eye gazing. Sit close enough to see deeply into one another’s eyes. Fall into your lover’s pupils. See the infinite being that is your partner. Hold for up to three minutes. Emotion can arise. You may feel awkward at first. Let whatever comes up be there. *If you do not have a separate partner, use a mirror to eye-gaze with YOU, your first and last partner and beloved. This can be a life-altering exercise and can help you deepen your self-pleasure with spiritual connection.

Lap Sit:

One partner will climb into the other partner’s lap, facing one another, and the partner on top will wrap his/her legs around the other. Press together from genitals, to belly, to heart and sit face-to-face. Again, no agenda. Sit closely and breathe together. If this is too difficult due to leg or hip issues, try spooning, both face-to-face or one behind the other.

If you want more meaning to your sexual encounters, consider exploring the dynamic intersection where sexuality and spirituality blend. You may find yourself completely amazed, ecstatic, and enjoying sexual connectivity far beyond you ever could where sex is simply a quick release. At least consider altering your sexual practices, so that slower, more mindful, deeply connective sex is part of your repertoire. Enjoy!

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Jane Steckbeck

315 W. Broadway, Ste. 100

Eugene, OR 97401

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Intimacy Coach

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