It’s about six weeks before the overnight spontaneous awakening of October 23, 2011. I am sitting cross-legged on the floor next to my husband among several rows of seekers here to see a female spiritual teacher named Ganga-gi. He has put up his hand for a question and she is listening quietly as he speaks.
“I’m trying to understand the connection between sex and intimacy,” he says.
It’s not so much a question as it is a set of interconnected themes that interest and confuse him. You see, our sex life has been a challenge lately—he wants sex more often than I seem to desire and he is looking for some kind of intimacy factor that baffles me. This conflict has been eroding the ease and playfulness that we had shared for two years.
Gangaji’s answer was something along the lines of “intimacy is not sex dependent” but for the most part, her reply left more questions than it answered.
On the drive home from that three-day retreat, we argued about sex, again—I even came up with a schematic drawing of the three motivations for sex (intimacy, pleasure and power) and tried to explain our difficulty as a matter of motivation. This “connection” or intimacy drive that he described was not what inspired me to sexual union but rather a simple desire for pleasure and play. I did not feel loved or unloved depending on frequency of our sex life, while for him, any frequency slow downs became problematic and seemed to trigger feelings of unworthiness and distance.
Fast forward six weeks, when the overnight awakening washed through my reality like a tidal wave—taking with it the sense of dutiful wife, worried partner or any concept of who I was or should be. This vast boundless deeply peaceful new me suddenly saw the real issue about sex and intimacy. Post-awakening, I saw at last what this contention between us had been about and finally understood what Gangaji had been trying to say.
This didn’t mean that I did not over the next few years still attempt to ease the tension, but I no longer felt attached to creating a solution. Because I knew at once the truth about sex and intimacy, and just why the drive for intimacy through sex can be both a distraction and a portal to awakening.
Yes, it’s a double edged sword.
If you are curious, I posted this video yesterday on my Awakened Dreamer FB page. It’s about 7 minutes long and in it, I get to the heart of the sex, intimacy and awakening storyline.
I hope you enjoy it — and I’d love to hear your experiences in this awakening journey when it comes to sex and intimacy.
your’s in awareness, Lori Ann.