It's important for conscious acts of emotional and sexual intimacy to develop as a daily practice for healthy sex.
What is healthy sex?
- Healthy sex is consensual sex between adults and yields pleasure and personal growth. It does not include trauma, lies, secrets, crimes, shame, guilt, or regrets.
- Healthy sex comes from being relational and operates on the premise that only through an intimate connection with another can highly erotic, spiritual sex occur.
- Healthy sex, intimate sex, erotic sex, and sex as a spiritual act develop from honest conversations about difficult topics that grow and strengthen a relationship.
At the Center for Healthy Sex, we find inspiration from many sources to treat sex addiction, love addiction, and sexual dysfunction. Attachment theory is a component of our philosophy -- behavioral patterns imparted in infancy affect the way we grow up to live our lives. Because this early programming becomes so ingrained, it takes consistent and sustained effort to rewire the neural pathways.
For this reason we've created daily meditations for you to reach your potential for sexual health. (You can subscribe for free here.) Here are three meditations on the themes of arousal, values, and open-heartedness for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Arousal
"Arousal leaves us mind-blind." -- Malcolm Gladwell
When our sexual arousal owns us, indeed we become "mind-blind." Thinking that the object of our arousal is the answer to our loneliness, pain, and fears, we're blindly led by our sexual organs to people and places we'd not otherwise consider when operating from our "mind-sight," meaning our ability to "see" from a place of clarity. Intrusive sexual thoughts are often the result of a triggered state of hyperarousal -- the lower brain's fight/flight/freeze response to stress. What casual thought patterns precede any sexual arousal you experience throughout the day? We tend to think of arousal as solely the domain of the genitals, missing the magic of full-body and sensory arousal. What a joy to leave the collapsed state of compulsively seeking relief through sex and celebrate the full-body, heart-centered arousal that comes from genuine joy states!
Today, make the word "arousal" synonymous with "happiness." Arouse your senses by taking a deep breath of morning air, seeing the beauty and abundance that surrounds you, tasting the sweet and savory on your tongue as you eat your first meal of the day, and feeling the skin of your lover's hand or lips as they wish you a "good morning."
Daily healthy sex acts:
- Do one thing to arouse your senses in celebration of your sexuality as a source of joy, wholeness, and all that's good about you.
- Eat a piece of delicious fruit, smile at your neighbor, or give your partner a hand massage.
Meditation 2: Values
"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You've got to find the treasure so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense." -- Paulo Coelho
What does it mean to have values? It's one of the most misunderstood concepts, probably because values are so often programmed, lectured, and preached, their meaning forced on us. As children we discover the magic of play, the delights of taste, the warm glow of love, but we are rarely afforded the same organic opportunity to unearth the sacred vitality of our personal values.
Truthfully, values derive from being able to assign personal importance to aspects of our life. It's the art of valuation. The word implies worth, the ability to assess the meaning of our choices and desires. That's why it's important to live in harmony with our values, because this is what we actually treasure in life.
If we're not living up to our values, maybe they're not ours to begin with, or, just as likely, there is conflict within our value system, our functional ability to qualify experiences. The power to reclaim personal values is one of the great joys of life. Let true values ring throughout life and guide your every action -- especially behind closed doors where no one's watching, whether in the secret privacy of your bedroom or in your own value-able heart.
Daily healthy sex acts:
- Take a few minutes today and write out any of your values that come to mind. Are these truly your values, and what you are doing to live up to them?
- Share your values. This feels vulnerable, and it's common for many people to share their values chiefly through doling out advice. Realize that your values are about you and not about anyone else. Let those you trust know what's important to you.
Meditation 3: Open-heartedness
"Open your heart and take us in,
Love -- love and me." -- William Ernest Henley
Every person possesses the quality of open-heartedness. The real test is to stretch into open-heartedness whenever you feel like isolating and shutting down. It's so easy to close a heart, especially against a partner, if not all humankind at times. Withholding love is called "cold," open-heartedness is called "warm," and it's possible that there is actual vital energy being shared.
Open your heart to yourself. Show yourself love even when you fall short or fail to be open, because certainly your shame, disappointment, regret, and expectation are not going to open that heart.
There's a saying that anger is like picking up a burning ember to throw at someone: You get burned in the process. It's the same with closed-heartedness. You might close your heart to protect yourself from intimidating or hostile forces, and yet closing your heart is one of the most detrimental things you can do. Closing your heart as a form of protection is a contradiction. The only protection in any challenging situation is to open your heart, to keep life alive and vital energy flowing inside you.
Daily healthy sex acts:
- Share with a partner or friend what opens your heart and what closes your heart.
- Feel the vibration of your own opening heart. Let the vibration expand, basking everyone you encounter today with its warmth.