Before I woke up, I was sexually identified. By that I mean I saw myself as loveable depending on my sex life–namely did I have one and was it pleasing to my partner? And in addition to those basic psychological hooks for well-being was a sexual rebel persona determined to anti-script my frigid family system. This looked like me exploring life as a tantrica, polyamorist and lipstick lesbian, though I barely scratched the surfaces of those identities. Yet the free-spirited sex fiend role was one I worked hard at mastering, even if at my core I was closer to sexually curious than sexually driven.
Now that I am awake to true nature, this vast-still-ground-of-being, I am finding sex has a whole new spin. I’m about to be candid here because when people have written about their post-enlightenment experiences, I have always wondered about their sex life, especially if they were married (Adyashanti, Ganga-gi) when the free-fall to no-self happened.
As I sit here, ready to write what amounts to the taboo territory of sexual confession, wisdom says that a cautionary note would perhaps be helpful to my readers. Warning: sexually explicit content ahead. On that note of forshadowing (you are likely now intrigued or uneasy), get ready for five things I’ve discovered about post enlightenment sex. This of course is with one caveat: This is my experience so far, with a knowing that this too will likely change and is also not necessarily the experience of other awakened folk. But a deep truth is that even though the ground of being remains unchanging, the surface flowerings of day to day living are in continual non-static movement. Change happens. Truth is unchanging. (Swallow that paradox without spitting!).
1. Desire dissappeared. After the event of October 25, 2011, the first thing that changed in my experience of sex was that I did not desire it. This was not good news to my partner Fergus, who had already been struggling with my limpid perimenopausal libido. It would not have been good news to Lori Ann either (had she still been around) who believed she was loveable because she was sexual. Now, suddenly, zero sexual craving was here. It’s as if God had hit the off-switch for lust. And guess what. The no-self that was here could care less.
2. Sexual equanimity appeared. I had explored the idea of celibacy as a viable life path at a September weekend retreat with Ganga-gi, when I realized that I had so deeply identified myself as a sexual being, that to entertain no sex was sheer liberation. After thirty sexually active years I was fully willing to embrace a deactivated sex life. Post-awakening, this see-saw question of sex or celibacy simply stopped. There existed in the place of mental aversion or grasping, nothing. No thought-based preference and no particular physical desire.
3. Sexual response changed. My sense of boundaries in the first month after waking up were pretty well non-existent, and locating a “self” that is experiencing pleasure turned out to be tricky. Not that I tried to be other than what was arising anyway. Sexual pleasure when the body is but a finite spec in the eternity of being is almost a distraction. There is this spaciousness and then there is this small corner of that infinity called my body. Oh yeah, there’s pleasure over there. Hmmm. Resting in the vastness, noticing the pleasure, resting in the vastness. Suddenly the all-consuming nature of orgasm was just a ripple in the pond, not the huge tidal wave it used to be. The body shuddered and responded, but the mind was gone from the picture, and so the pure physiology of orgasmic release was more like a sneeze, than the huge letting go it used to be. I can only imagine this is because the little death, the mini no-mind of orgasmic climax, is already here, all the time.
4. Eroticism is dead. The mind that would occasionally create erotic fantasy scenarios or that could create a wet-and-ready response just by thinking, “fuck me baby” had disappeared. You have to fathom living without the chatter of thought or imaginings of mind to see how their absence can impact sexual response. Someone once said sexual turn-on is mostly in the mind. Yes it is. And when the mind is gone, the turn on becomes the moment arising, with the help sometimes of K-Y Jelly in the place of erotic thought lubrication.
5. Intensity Happens. Remember that diffuse endless vastness that at first kept pleasure over there in a tiny finite corner? Two months after waking up, that too has changed. This beloved body, this companion of flesh and bones, has begun (for lack of a better term) to bond with Awareness. In the last while, sexual pleasure is more intense than ever. Now the pleasure has the ferocity and immediacy of being eaten alive by a tiger. Or say, tortured to death. Or tied up and tickled. These are just conjured images to in an attempt to convey the full engulfment of pleasure that happens now. Yet the still vastness, the diffuse emptiness is still here. Empty of mind. Full of pleasure. Here.
Funny how that happens, that when the middle-man is cut out (pink slip to mind, time to retire your thoughts and emotions) that body becomes a superconducter to heaven. The finite meets the infinite and you have those states of ecstasy that mystics have hinted at in their poetry. As fourteenth century Hindu poet Mira writes, “I tried controlling myself but it did no good. My senses are aflame. I heard you singing. That started all my madness. I openly made love with everything in sight.”
And a last note about pleasure. About a week before I woke up I had a dream in which a voice said to me, “The honey of truth is far sweeter than any pleasure.” What is being discovered here is that pleasure has become bliss, and this bliss does not depend on the body. Bliss is here already. It is true nature. This true nature simply moves through the body at times of profound merger–such as when an eagle flies over head, the tree stands tall, the child cries in a mother’s arms. This is bliss. This is no-self, all-selves.
So, here’s a new sales pitch for enlightenment (well, you can’t blame Awareness for trying). Wake up now and enjoy the best sex you’ll ever have (and paradoxically never need) with your body as a high-speed broad-band connection to the infinite.
Bliss is here,