By the time we reach adulthood, we likely have had negative sexual experiences, or at least have heard stories about negative sexual encounters.
Because of these stories and experiences, we may have acquired shyness, shame, guilt, and anxiety around sex—a sense of sexuality that does not serve us anymore.
Here’s what three leading sexperts have to say about why a healthy sex life requires healing:
“Sexuality is absolutely core to our identity, so the more connected we are to this part of ourselves, the more we are connected to everything and everyone around us. Connection is a core need and longing for every human, and shame is the emotion that stops us from truly being able to connect with and love ourselves and others. So, when we work on healing shame and raising our sexual self-esteem, it raises all our self-esteem and gives us greater confidence in who we are and our ability to shine our light in the world. When we heal the shame around our sexuality, we liberate our whole lives.”
EJ Love suggests engaging in safe sexual healing allows people to “connect fully to their bodies, allowing themselves to receive and feel touch and surrender to pleasure without a focus on an outcome or goal. It is often in the softness, subtlety, and vulnerability of being seen that we can heal our shame and truly embrace ourselves as the sexual beings we are.”
David Bruce Leonard:
David Bruce Leonard, L.Ac., is an acupuncturist, plant medicine specialist, martial artist, author, and Daoist practitioner at Rivers of Love. Leonard does not think our sexuality needs “fixing,” although it can be used as a powerful tool for healing. He elaborates:
“Our sexuality is so penetrating and pervasive that it is often invisible. It is intimately interwoven with our scripting and unconscious mind. Many of our “shadows” (the things we deny, avoid, and repress) reside in the bedroom. Because sexuality is such a treasure trove of our deepest impulses, it can be the perfect vehicle for integration and healing.”
According to Leonard, many traditional cultures have neuro-hacked sexuality and created healing systems based on the erotic. China, India, Tibet, Hawaii, the ancient Americas, and the Hermetic Magick traditions of medieval Europe all had esoteric sexual traditions. These traditions understood the physiology and psychology of arousal and used specific techniques for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Leonard shares, “We cannot experience this integration when we only peek at sex from under our covers of shame or deny its importance. Only when we embody emotional integrity and embrace sexuality as a vital life force and our birth right can we use it as a potent tool for healing on all levels.”
August McLaughlin, an award-winning, nationally-recognized health and sexuality writer and creator of Girl Boner, shares that while pleasurable sex can be powerfully healing, those who have experienced trauma can find themselves not desiring or enjoying sex anymore. She says:
“It’s important to see regaining desire and pleasure as our own right and something for ourselves primarily—versus as something we “give” or pressure ourselves into engaging in with or for another. Sometimes it’s best to take sex off the table temporarily and dig deeper. The more internal work we do, whether on our own, with a therapist, or with loved ones, the more healing we’ll cultivate and the more likely we are to feel sexy again.”
“Many people have pleasurable sex throughout the healing process, which is great, too! What’s important is working within our own needs and desires, keeping in mind that the more healing work we do throughout our lives, and in all facets of our lives, the more our sensual lives will benefit.”
I hope these insights open up the importance of our sexuality, and doing what we can to heal all aspects of ourselves—including our sexuality.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Be open to what is good and what is healing in sex.
Author: Martha Lee
Image: Flickr/Ariel Quiroz
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Sara Karpanan