01/18/2013 11:32 am ET Updated Mar 20, 2013

Weekly Meditations for Healthy Sex (Jan. 18-24)

It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, Center for Healthy Sex has created daily meditations to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free here.)

Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of domination, shadow, and sexual heat for you to ponder and practice this week.

Meditation 1: Domination

"Care and responsibility are constituent elements of love, but without respect for and knowledge of the beloved person, love deteriorates into domination and possessiveness." -- Erich Fromm

Sexual relationships are complex. Humans bring a lot of personal issues into any relationship, and sadly, many times people are playing out patterns and projections. It might be difficult to glimpse where you and your partner are overly controlling or compliant. While much of your relational style is the result of your experience growing up, the perception that allows the imprint of this programming will always bear the mark of your psychological makeup -- the ways you're innately oriented through the domination of certain inner traits over their polar counterparts (e.g., thinking/feeling). Domination begins within.

Ancient Egyptians believed in the "weighing of the heart," where the heart of feeling and experience must be balanced with the feather of intelligence and truth, or the soul is destroyed. No one wants to be dominated by uncontrolled thoughts or feelings. "Acting out" (whether with food, sex, overspending, or drug usage) is a natural result when one's internal system has been compromised. Health strives for inner balance and outer reciprocity, also known as co-regulation, which is not a stasis of equality but a constant striving and calibration toward mutual intimacy.

Some people use domination sex play as a tool to help explore and measure personal boundaries around these issues. Such relationships are a consensual choice and require a "safe word" for when either the "sub" or "dom" feels triggered so to cease all domination activity immediately. However, all relationships have aspects of control and compliance, and we all have safe words but not always the prior understanding to halt when you or your lover are in pain. Not just physical pain, but the pain of confusion, abandonment, overthinking... the pain of honesty and empathy. Together, we can develop conscious safe words for such circumstances ("I need space" or "let's talk") so sexual love may move forward with trust, safety and informed consent.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Do you dominate others? Do you need to one-up them? Or are you dominated and held hostage? Notice your relational attitude today with others and make adjustments where needed. Does this mean you need to assert your personal truth and set a healthy boundary? Or should you apologize for trying to force your way and practice attentive listening as an alternative? Find your balance.
  • Make an attempt to liberate your underdog traits and try to compensate by practicing the opposite quality. If you're more of the thinking type, feel your way today, and vice versa.

Meditation 2: Shadow

"To honor and accept one's own shadow costs nothing and is immediately -- and embarrassingly -- ever present. To honor and accept one's own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime." -- Robert A. Johnson

Sunlight shines on a person, and this casts a shadow on the earth. Psychologically speaking, there's a similar inner light shining in each of us. It's the light of consciousness, of awareness, and it comes from within. Depending on where we're blocked or where we're not transparent channels for this light; it creates a shadow on our reality. Anything we perceive as "not right," this is our shadow. It's been said that if "you spot it, you got it." There is never an exception to this rule. This is the reason why "pulling a geographic" is ineffective -- we can't run away from problems or situations because we're the source. Most of us are blind to our own psychological shadow, which we project onto others -- our partners, our parents, strangers on the street, and personalities in the media. We all project our most negative and positive traits, which to others are usually "as plain as the nose on your face," but have you tried to see your nose lately? Not really possible without a good mirror. Life is that mirror. This is how we develop personal and relational consciousness.

Look at the character defects in others that frustrate you the most. The shadow tends to amplify the results of your unseen hand pulling the strings of personal drama. This is the proverbial butterfly's wings whose fluttering creates a hurricane on the other side of the world. If you deceive, rage or manipulate a little, your shadow will allow you to hide out among people who deceive, rage or manipulate a lot. Is your partner sexually or emotionally unresponsive? You can bet that you habitually dismiss your own unresponsiveness in another area at decisive moments. Recalibrate your outward expression, receive a proportioned response. Change yourself, change this world. No other way.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • The shadow is a gift for those who know how to shadow play. If you want a clear idea where you have work to do, notice the ways others work your nerves and locate the feeling of this shadow in your own actions. (If you want to see where you secretly excel, then discern the behavior qualities you most admire in others.)
  • Integrity or wholeness is not achieved by escaping, running away or getting rid of one's nature, only by embracing, accepting, and integrating all aspects of livingness -- good and bad. Today, whenever blame or judgment toward another overshadows your thoughts, tell yourself in truth, "I've done that," and remember a time when you've committed a similar offense. Forgive both of you.

Meditation 3: Sexual Heat

"Love is like a friendship caught on fire: In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable." -- Bruce Lee

Sexual love is a sensual fire that heats or scorches. Just as the flames of any fire may induce a mesmerized state because of their graceful dance that is so unpredictable, the experience of sex and love sparks similar feelings as staring into the flames. Shared sexuality can be many things, but particularly it is alive! Life is described as a living heat, the absence of life a cold death. When sex is good it's hot, while withholding sex is frigid. Human thermodynamics mark an actual transfer of energy between lovers as heat is exchanged, absorbed and released in a chemical reaction. Contributing factors to the temperature of any individual, their temperament, might be measured by personality, background, and culture. We've all met people who radiated such sexual charisma that lava may as well have been flowing from them. You may have been burned up by the heat of a lover, and felt like you were left out in the cold when it was over. At what point does anyone's capacity for sexual heat turn into a tool for manipulation, an amorous arsonist, where perhaps cooler minds should prevail?

The Greek philosopher Aristotle theorized that the "vital heat" of an animal determines it's reproductive style. Indeed, female animals at their most fertile peak of sexual excitability are said to be "in heat." We all have momentary times in our lives, where our capacity for intimacy with others becomes unbound. This may feel like an engine purring inside our hearts that moves us into a deeply connective state with the world, all defenses dropped. When this happens with our sexuality, all we touch turns to gold. The back easily arches, we receive and project sexual energy, which builds on itself into a highly eroticized state on the brink of going supernova.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Heightened sexual heat is almost always the result of individual breakthroughs. What are you doing to create warm feelings in your own life, and how do you bring these feelings to the bedroom?
  • Telling the truth can be hot. Exploring fantasies can be hot. Take the temperature of your turn-ons and ask your partner to share theirs. See the information you receive in terms of energy, and let the magnifying glass of your awareness turn up the heat where you may be feeling cold.

For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.

For more on conscious relationships, click here.