In the world of spirituality, sacred sexuality is a huge buzzword. But then the other day I saw this quote about casual sex:
“If we fully understood the power of sexual energy, we would refrain from casual sex. Sex is sacred and to be shared with authentic purity of both partners. Sexual energy is intense and can heal the universe through the vibration when two people join together and share their souls together. DNA is exchanged during sex. You imprint yourself on another. Mindful sex is important.”
When I saw this, I inwardly cringed a little bit because, to be completely honest, I’m on the fence about it. I am a sex coach, and I’m all about being sex positive.
Yes, I believe sex is sacred. Yes, I know that many people jump into bed perhaps not with the most honest intentions, and with hidden agendas. Someone can try to use sex to feel validated, to get commitment, to get revenge or simply to scratch an itch. And no, I don’t believe any of these reasons are a good idea.
But the thing is, I think the above quote is quite sex negative. It creates a shame that comes from patriarchy, where sex is seen as a destructive force and must be controlled at all costs.
I believe that sex is a beautiful, life-giving and bonding experience. I believe that god/the goddess/the universe/source gave us bodies capable of infinite pleasure, so why can we not enjoy it? Sex can expand our energy field, fill us with joy and connect us deeply to ourselves and to the world around us. It’s also good for your health in many, many ways.
I’m going to stay with the religious metaphor and use the example of how Protestants and Catholics view communion. Protestants believe that communion is so sacred that you mustn’t have it very often and only on special occasions, otherwise it loses its sanctity. Catholics believe that communion is so sacred that you must have it as often as possible.
Sex is the most beautiful and sacred communion there is. So guess which camp I’m in?
If you’re worried that you’ll imprint on someone because you’re having sex with them, I have news for you: You imprint on people without having sex with them every single day. You imprint on your parents, your friends, your co-workers, etc. If you’re worried that you’ll form an unhealthy bond with somebody by having sex with them, here’s more news: You can form unhealthy bonds with people without having sex with them, too.
How Do We Define Casual Sex?
Is it the intention? Is it the frequency? Is it the goal? Is it that the person isn’t a partner or potential partner?
The spiritual community is very quick to judge sex and sexual energy. Yes, it’s the most powerful energy. And yes, it can also really hurt people. But if you go through life trying to never hurt or get hurt, you’re in for the most dull and least satisfying life ever. We can never avoid getting hurt. And often despite our best intentions, we cannot avoid hurting others. All we can do is aim to communicate as openly and as honestly as we can.
It’s about being a grown up. It’s about owning your emotional baggage and not projecting it onto somebody else. It’s about being honest with yourself and what you really want. And it’s about forgiving yourself for making mistakes.
Casual sex can be part of your own healing process, part of your growth or part of your life lesson. For me, some of the deepest healing has come from lovers who were not partners. They blasted me open, taught me about my body and helped me burst out of my shell.
I don’t advocate jumping into bed willy nilly, and I do advocate being selective about partners. But at the end of the day, it’s always your choice and what feels right for you. It’s also about your intentions, and being honest. Are you intending to lie to this person? Are you deceiving anyone or breaking any boundaries by jumping into bed? I encourage you to have the following two talks before you jump into bed:
The Safer Sex Talk
This is where you and your partner/s openly discuss what contraception you’re using, when your last STI check was, what the results were and your status.
The Meaning Talk
This is the talk where you ask each other what it will mean to have sex and how will you feel afterwards. So, if your partner wants commitment and you want fun, maybe it isn’t a good idea to have sex.
If I were to give you any advice about whether casual sex is healthy or not, it would be this:
1. Check in with your body and your intuition: Does it feel right?
2. Check in with your partner: Do they want the same things as you?
3. Check in with your fears: Are you comfortable to talk about safer sex practices?
If the answer to all of the above is ‘yes,’ then jump in and enjoy it!
Lucy Rowett is a sex coach in the UK. For more info on Lucy and her sex coaching services, follow her @juiceandjasmine
Published in the Fall 2016 Issue. Read the whole issue for FREE here.