HEALING WITH SEXUAL ENERGY

Sex for Health, Relationships and Spirituality

By Walter Last

Sex, or rather sexual energy, is a potent force in regard to our health, intimate relationships and spirituality, but the extent of this is rarely realized. Fortunately we can now understand much of the prevailing dynamics due to recent advances in the neurochemistry of the brain. The observed effects can partly be explained with biochemistry and partly with bioenergetics.

THE NEUROCHEMISTRY OF SEX

Orgasm is generally regarded as the ultimate goal of recreational sex. Wilhelm Reich was the first scientist to describe the nature and purpose of the orgasm as a discharge of excess bio-energy with the additional liberation of feeling energy, and he also recognized the negative consequences of blocked sexual energies.

Unfortunately, in addition to exciting peaks, orgasms tend to produce powerful negative side-effects that are only now becoming better understood. This is due to predictable trends in hormonal activity which seem to be similar in all mammals to ensure certain evolutionary objectives, especially the wide mixing of gene pools and the safe raising of offspring. This is achieved with the following neurochemical changes.

The main players are dopamine, the reward hormone; prolactin, the hormone of satiation; oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, and levels of androgen receptors, which all powerfully affect our mood, our desire for intimacy, our perception of our mate, as well as our susceptibility to addictive activities and substances. These hormones can also have different but generally related functions.

Additionally the stimulant phenylethylamine (PEA) is involved, which is also present in cocoa and chocolate and elevates energy, mood and attention. PEA is produced in greater amounts when one is in love; conversely a deficiency (common in manic-depressives) causes unhappy feelings.

When we first fall in love we become bonded by rising PEA, oxytocin and dopamine levels When we are sexually aroused by close contact our dopamine level rises further and at the time of orgasm we have a dopamine brainstorm which one researcher compared to the effects of heroin on the brain. Dopamine is active in all addictions, even in people who have forgotten what sex is. Most of this activity is in the limbic system, the oldest part of the brain.

Dopamine Levels

Excess

Deficient

"Normal"

Addictions

Addictions

Motivated

Anxiety

Depression

Feelings of well-being, satisfaction

Compulsions

Anhedonia - no pleasure, world looks colorless

Pleasure, reward in accomplishing tasks

Sexual fetishes

Lack of ambition and drive

Healthy libido

Sexual addiction

Inability to "love”

Good feelings toward others

Unhealthy risk-taking

Low libido

Healthy bonding

Gambling

Erectile dysfunction

Healthy risk taking

Compulsive activities

No remorse about personal behavior

Sound choices

Aggression

ADD/ADHD

Realistic expectations

Psychosis

Social anxiety disorder

Maternal/Paternal love

Schizophrenia

Antisocial behavior

 

(From http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_and_addiction)

 

After orgasm dopamine levels fall sharply with the usual withdrawal symptoms. This reaction tends to be immediate in males and delayed in females. Also prolactin levels rise, and androgen receptors fall after orgasm. Low testosterone is associated with irritability and anger. In sexually-satiated rats it has been shown that serotonin and endorphin levels also rise, and this also decreases dopamine and raises prolactin levels. Oxytocin levels fall after conventional orgasm but remaining in close contact may help to counter this drop and sustain oxytocin levels.

Behavioral changes from this disturbed hormone equilibrium have been noticed for up to two weeks. During this time we may be more irritable, dissatisfied, anxious or depressed, and instead of seeing the good side of our mate, we are now painfully aware of his or her shortcomings. This is exactly the same process and length of time prolactin levels need to recover during withdrawal from cocaine.

Symptoms associated with excess Prolactin

Women

Men

Loss of libido

Loss of libido

Mood changes / depression

Mood changes / depression

Hostility, anxiety

Impotence

Headache

Headache

Menopausal symptoms,
even when estrogen is sufficient

Infertility

Signs of increased testosterone levels

Decreased testosterone levels

Weight gain

Weight gain

Intercourse may become painful because of vaginal dryness

 

(From http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_and_addiction)

 

Initially, during the honeymoon period of our relationship, we remain strongly bonded by high oxytocin levels, and quickly overcome our hormonal blues by having more sex. Initially sex stimulates us to crave for more sex. This leads to rapid rises and falls in dopamine levels and corresponding rapid emotional fluctuations in our relationship. Later we become less and less interested in sex with our partner (perhaps because we subconsciously begin to associate him or her with the “lows” of the cycle, or perhaps because we grow tired of being used as a fix, and therefore feel less attraction), and now we try to prop up our dopamine level by becoming addicted to some kind of food or drug, or by becoming interested in a new sexual partner. Basically this type of behavior is the same for humans, primates, mammals and reptiles because it originates from the primitive part of our brain.

Further evidence of a lasting post-orgasm hangover comes from sexually exhausted male rats. The number of androgen receptors in the hypothalamus declines, reducing the effectiveness of testosterone and changing sexual behavior. These changes last for about seven days, corresponding to a lack of libido of the rats.

In addition to serving as a sexual brake, prolactin also affects our moods and behavior somewhat like a hormone of resignation. For example caged wild monkeys initially had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol but gradually prolactin levels rose as they became resigned to their fate. Prolactin levels were highest after seven months. With raised prolactin levels they do not mate, which looks like the same effect that we see in long-term relationships without close oxytocin-producing bonding.

The Coolidge-Effect

In experiments with rats it has been observed that after vigorous copulation with a new partner, male rats soon completely ignore this partner, but when a new female is introduced, they immediately are revitalized - at least sufficiently to become sexually active once more. This can be repeated again and again until the male rat is completely exhausted.

This phenomenon has been called the “Coolidge Effect” after an American president. On a visit to a farm his wife had been shown a rooster who could copulate with his hens all day-long day after day. She liked that idea and asked the farmer to let the president know about this. After hearing it, President Coolidge thought for a moment and asked: ”Does he do that with the same hen?”  “No, sir” answered the farmer. “Please tell that to Mrs. Coolidge” said the president (http://www.reuniting.info/science/coolidge_effect). 

Not only has the Coolidge effect been observed in all tested male animals, but also in females. Female rodents for instance flirt more and present themselves more attractively when observed by new males than in the presence of males with whom they had already sex.

Another experiment indicates that the cause of this effect may be a rush of dopamine. When rats were taught to pull a lever to stimulate their own reward center, they would forgo eating and copulating, and just continue to stimulate themselves until they were totally exhausted. 

The Cuddle Hormone

The dopamine system is obviously designed to produce genetic variety by inducing us to mate with as many different partners as possible. There is, however, a hormone that counteracts the emotional rollercoaster effects of dopamine, and that is oxytocin, the cuddle-hormone. Oxytocin also counteracts fear, which is associated with high cortisol levels and stress, see chart below.

Oxytocin leads to strong pair-bonding. In pair-bonded animals mating, and with this the dopamine rollercoaster, stops with the rise of prolactin after successful fertilization, and now oxytocin ensures that both parents cooperate for the survival of their offspring. Humans could do the same, mate only to produce offspring and then abstain from sex. This might produce an emotionally stable relationship for life, but most of us would also find it utterly boring. Paramahansa Yogananda wrote this is exactly what his parents did (Autobiography of a Yogi).

The Benefits of Oxytocin

 

Fear - Cortisol

Love - Oxytocin

Aggression

Anti-stress hormone

Arousal, Anxiety, Feeling stressed-out

Feeling calm and connected, Increased curiosity

Activates addictions

Lessens cravings & addictions

Suppresses libido

Increases sexual receptivity

Associated with depression

Positive feelings

Can be toxic to brain cells

Facilitates learning

Breaks down muscles, bones and joints

Repairs, heals and restores

Weakens immune system

Faster wound healing

Increases pain

Diminishes sense of pain

Clogs arteries, Promotes heart disease and high blood pressure

Lowers blood pressure, Protects against heart disease

Obesity, Diabetes, Osteoporosis

 

(From http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_and_addiction)

The time-honored solution to this problem is loving sex without orgasm. This greatly helps to sustain oxytocin levels without producing emotionally disruptive high-low neurochemical cycles of orgasm, and it has been practiced in Indian Tantra, by the Chinese Taoists, and apparently by early Christians. In modern times it has been resurrected as Karezza, White Tantra and various forms of spiritual sex. It heals and holds relationships together rather than driving them apart as frequent orgasmic sex seems to do although, as we will see later, it is also possible to have bonding orgasmic sex. For a wealth of articles on the hormonal aspects of our sexuality see http://www.reuniting.info/science.         

SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS

Presently a large number of marriages ends in divorce, often already after a very short time. Informal relationships are even more fragile. While this is a rather recent phenomenon, the underlying reason has always been there. In previous centuries marriages simply were held together by social pressure and an inability to get a divorce.

The underlying reasons that drive relationships apart are rooted in the hormonal characteristics of our sexual relationships. In evolutionary terms we are conditioned to spread our genes as widely as possible, and provide a safe environment for raising our offspring. This means we are programmed to meet, fall in love, mate to conceive a child, and after some time to meet another lover and repeat this procedure.

Females are attracted sexually to handsome men, but often choose mates based on resources and parenting potential, and males try to spread their genes by being strongly attracted to any (fertile) female with genetically desirable features.

This evolutionary pattern comes to a head after pregnancy when the woman maintains high prolactin levels during breastfeeding, and instead of maintaining a loving oxytocin connection with her partner, she now has switched her oxytocin bonding to the baby. In this situation sex is hormonally undesirable, and any orgasmic sex leads to further hormonal and emotional instability.

Therefore, what happens presently in our society is perfectly normal in evolutionary terms. The main problem is just the unacceptable amount of emotional distress and social upheaval that it causes. Other casualties are our health and wellbeing, which are greatly enhanced by harmonious long-term relationships. 

Initially we were bonded together by falling in love through a generous release of oxytocin and enjoyed the exciting peaks of dopamine release during our sexual encounters. Gradually the oxytocin glow faded and we began to fall out of love, and it also became more difficult to maintain an exciting sex life.

Instead of enjoying dopamine peaks, increasingly we now have to cope with the dopamine lows after our routine sexual encounters. We begin to see all the faults in our partner that were previously covered by high oxytocin levels (from frequent physical contact without unpleasant subconscious associations). As these dopamine lows may last for up to two weeks this causes considerable strain on a relationship.

During this time we tend towards increasing irritability, nagging, resentment, frustration, blaming each other and similar negative emotions as an expression of a biological hangover. Depending on our emotional makeup we may now develop a subconscious desire to separate, and many couples do just that. Over time couples start losing interest in sex and withdraw emotionally, or they may try to shift their emotional involvement to other common interests and in this way may be able to maintain a satisfying relationship. 

Still others try maintaining peak dopamine experiences by exploring all the different sexual positions, or start swapping partners, or becoming interested in a new partner. Dopamine peaks can also be maintained by becoming addicted to something, it does not really matter to what. This may be legal or illegal drugs, games, racing and betting, chocolate, or frequently finding a different sexual partner. Apart from causing long-term stress-related and other health problems, addictions also have a host of unpleasant side effects on our capacity for intimacy.

Beyond Orgasm

With the present structure of our society it is obviously an advantage to form stable cooperative sexual relationships for the benefit of the children and also for the emotional wellbeing of the parents. As this objective is contrary to our evolutionary neurochemical conditioning, we need to find ways to outsmart the hormonal changes that drive us apart.

In hormonal terms we need to maximize oxytocin production and avoid the dopamine rollercoaster. Apart from occasional procreating activities, all of this could be done within a loving platonic relationship. However, there is a biological catch: To maintain a strong and healthy body we also need to maintain a strong production of sex hormones. This hormone production is best maintained by sexual feelings. As with muscle activity, it is best to use it or we may lose it.

This leads us to two remaining questions: “Can sexual activity without orgasm be satisfying?” and “Is orgasm needed to stimulate our sexual glands and maintain the health of our sexual organs?” These questions cannot be confidently answered from theoretical considerations, but fortunately we have already a wealth of practical experience in this regard.

KAREZZA

Karezza and the related practice of White Tantra are one answer to non-orgasmic sex. "White Tantra" was promoted by Samael Aun Weor in his book The Perfect Matrimony (1950), Thelema Press, also see http://www.gnosticteachings.org/. These non-orgasmic methods shift the focus of love-making from the sexual organs to the heart. There have been three basic ideas in the evolution of Karezza: increasing health and wellbeing, avoiding unwanted pregnancy, and increasing close bonding and sensual pleasure.

From time to time some health-minded individuals, generally males, felt from their own experience that non-ejaculatory sex gave them more energy and improved their health, while at the same time preventing unwanted pregnancies. Their female partners were uniformly enthusiastic about the close emotional bonding that it provided. However, this not necessarily the case at present as many women still prefer orgasms and men are even more strongly orgasm oriented.

The Oneida Community

One early pioneer was John Noyes from the Yale Divinity School. Noyes came up with the concept of Male Continence as a consequence of his wife losing four premature children in the first six years of their marriage. After struggling with self-imposed celibacy, he eventually found that he as well as his wife greatly enjoyed non-ejaculatory sex. He told friends about it, and in 1848 they founded the Oneida community in upstate New York, which eventually grew to 250 men and women.

Intercourse without ejaculation was a cornerstone of the Oneida Community. Young men learned self-control from post-menopausal women. Noyes also realized some spiritual implications for Male Continence. In order to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth we must not only strive for reconciliation with God, but also bring about a true union of the sexes.  He even suggested that the frequent unease after ejaculatory intercourse lies at the heart of the Judeo-Christian association between sex and guilt.

Because of statements from some medical authorities that non-orgasmic sex is harmful a large number of members of this community were examined by a medical practitioner and found to be “in perfect health, happy and in complete harmony.”

Karezza Classics

In 1872, after more than 25 years of practice John Humphrey Noyes published his experiences and theories in Male Continence. Two other Karezza Classics are The Karezza Method by J. William Lloyd (1931), and Karezza: Ethics of Marriage by Alice Bunker Stockham, MD (1903). All of these are available as free downloads from www.reuniting.info.

Stockham developed her method mainly to help her patients, and promoted it as producing better health, greater harmony and spiritual attainment.

 after more than 25 years of experience wil a large number of members of this community were examined by a medical practioner She believed that sexual energy may be directed into building bodily tissue and permeating every cell with health and vigor. For Stockham, Karezza was a form of spiritual companionship. Partners seek union and mutual soul development rather than fleeting passionate gratification, but the emphasis is on loving closeness, rather than denial of pleasure. At the appointed time and after joint meditation the couple calmly engages in physical contact and expressions of endearment and affection, followed by the complete, quiet union of the sexual organs.

Only the book by Dr Lloyd has still some practical value in regard to details of the technique, while the other two books are mainly of historical interest. But all of them relate the great health and emotional benefits derived from this method. By the middle of the twentieth century the practice of Karezza had greatly declined in the United States, although related non-ejaculatory methods apparently had gained many followers in India and Egypt.

Peace between the Sheets

Presently Karezza enjoys a revival in the United States and is also spreading to other countries in large part due to the efforts of Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson. They maintain the website www.reuniting.info with a wealth of practical, scientific and spiritual articles as well as a discussion forum and a monthly newsletter. The basis for this work is the book Peace between the Sheets – Healing with Sexual Relationships, available from their website.

Gary had been a long-time alcohol addict and on prescription antidepressants. Within a short time of their new sex habits he found it relatively easy to overcome these problems (although he still had some tough moments), and also Marnia’s chronic yeast infections and urinary tract infections disappeared. This book, as well as many website testimonials, shows the many health and relationship benefits of this non-orgasmic approach to making love, and Marnia also provides easy to follow instructions and exercises for beginners.

The Method

In Karezza the emphasis is on the inner feeling awareness as well as on the feeling of complete union with the partner. Orgasm is avoided or at least minimized. Caresses and slow controlled movements during intercourse generate a steady stream of sexual energy that is consciously converted into feelings of sublime joy and love. Typically, this may continue for an hour or more. It is not necessary for the penis to be erect or even inside to enjoy this type of lovemaking. Part or all of the time the tip of the penis may just touch the entrance of the vagina, or the sexual organs may not touch at all.  

Initially concentrate awareness on the sensations at the point of contact with the partner, in the genital area and wherever the skin or a caressing hand touches. This generates pleasant sensations, which can now easily be converted into a loving feeling. Open your heart and send this love to your partner. In a more active fashion you can in your imagination lead the energy felt in the genital or pelvic area upwards to the heart. There you feel it as love and radiate it out onto your partner, and also envelop both of you in a cloud of love.

For many sensitive individuals this is more satisfying than just mechanically experimenting with different positions or chasing an elusive orgasm.  You may also lie quietly connected, just to relax and feel close, cared for and protected, without attempting to generate any specific effects. If sleeping together, you may develop a routine of connecting daily before going to sleep or after awakening, or both. This may be done without moving, just to feel close to each other, or you may sleep together skin to skin. All this is not only emotionally satisfying, but produces strong bonding and greatly strengthens the relationship.

A connection based on love provides a natural increase in sexual self-control, as explained by William Lloyd: “As you acquire the habit of giving your sexual electricity out in blessing to your partner from your sex-organs, hands, lips, skin, eyes and voice, you will acquire the power to satisfy yourself and her without an orgasm. Soon you will not even think of self-control, because you will have no desire for the orgasm, nor will she.”

Lloyd also notes the ability of Karezza or controlled intercourse to nourish lovers. He reports a sense of “sweet satisfaction, fullness of realization, peace, often a physical glow and mental glamour that lasts for days, as if some ethereal stimulant, or rather nutriment, had been received.” And, “in successful Karezza the sex-organs become quiet, satisfied, demagnetized, as perfectly as by the orgasm, while the rest of the body of each partner glows with a wonderful vigour and conscious joy…tending to irradiate the whole being with romantic love; and always with an after-feeling of health, purity and wellbeing. We are most happy and good-humoured as after a full meal.” 

BIO-ENERGY AND SEX

Sexuality and the various benefits resulting from non-orgasmic sex can only be understood in the context of bio-energy or life-force, also called prana, chi, ki, orgone, or od. We may see it as the innermost aura around living objects or feel it as heat or tingling in our body, especially when transferring energy as with 'laying on of hands' or Reiki, and most strongly during orgasm.

This energy circulates in our acupuncture meridian system and its vortexes form our chakra system. It is at the base of paranormal or psychic phenomena, and is also the healing agent of many natural therapies. While bio-energy is still unknown to orthodox science (except in astrophysics where it is called dark energy), it is an everyday experience of many sensitive individuals. Sexual energy is highest in virgin teenagers, where related electrical activity can lead to static and interference with electric and electronic equipment.

As living organisms we are a dynamic bio-energy system. Our health and energy rely on a strong flow of bio-energy into the chakra system. From there the energy flows through the acupuncture system into all the organs and tissues, and any surplus flows out to form the etheric aura around the body.

The sex chakra is our strongest bio-energy generator. In addition to providing a moderate stream of energy into the base chakra and then up the spine into the brain, it also keeps the production of our sex hormones going. If this energy generator becomes weak, then we lack vitality and may be close to a disease or to old age.

The problem now is this: if we let this energy generator deteriorate through poor nutrition or by blocking the flow of sexual energy, then our overall energy level deteriorates. If, on the other hand, we frequently use it with orgasmic sex, then we lose an inappropriate amount of bio-energy, again resulting in a low energy level, in addition to the negative effects of strong hormone fluctuations.

The logical solution is sufficient use or stimulation of our sexual energy but without discharging it and without creating an energy blockage. Ideally we produce a high amount of sexual energy and then channel it into the chakra and acupuncture system to keep us young and healthy. This model lets us understand the frequent claims of practitioners of Tao and Karezza methods of love-making as to the amazing health and rejuvenating effects that have been experienced.

Sex Perfection 

Rudolf von Urban, a psychiatrist and psychologist, was originally associated with Sigmund Freud but, like Wilhelm Reich, later immigrated to the United States. In 1952 he published Sex Perfection (Rider & Co, also see http://www.reuniting.info/sex_perfection_and_marital_happiness_von_urban) in which he relates experiences and insights that led him to the conclusion that there is a bio-energetic potential difference between sexually charged males and females which requires about half an hour to be exchanged and reach an equilibrium.

Knowing that his colleagues would not take kindly to facts that contradict their theories, he waited for 30 years before publishing his discoveries. In addition to Karezza he also related the following observations which we need to consider when formulating a theory of sexual energy.

The Arabian Couple: The first account is of a former patient, a medical doctor, and his young Arabian bride. After caressing naked for about an hour without sexual contact in a dark room, he saw the body of his wife surrounded by a greenish-blue hazy light. Moving his palm close to her breast a visible and audible electric spark jumped from the breast to the palm, causing some pain. Von Reichenbach, a distinguished scientist, had previously described similar phenomena without being taken seriously by mainstream scientists.

Following von Urban’s suggestions the couple made a series of experiments with the following results: when they caressed for an hour and then had orgasmic intercourse lasting for less than 27 minutes, sparks still moved between them. However, if intercourse after caressing lasted 27 minutes or longer, no more sparks would fly. Furthermore, if they started intercourse immediately without caressing, the woman would not emit a visible radiation, and no sparks would develop regardless of the length of the intercourse.

In addition, caressing followed by orgasmic intercourse lasting less than 27 minutes induced in both a strong desire to have more sex. But if they acted on this with another brief intercourse, they both developed health problems afterwards, such as headaches, asthma and heart-palpitations. Also after caressing and intercourse of short duration the sparks between them became stronger. Urban interpreted these events as showing that a short intercourse eliminated the tension in the sexual organs but increased tension in the rest of their bodies.

The sparks also were stronger a day before the start of her menstrual period, again indicating increased body tension. Von Urban wrote that intercourse for periods of less than 27 minutes increased the distance at which the sparks would jump to more than one inch, indicating that the tension in their bodies became stronger with each (orgasmic) intercourse of short duration.

These sparks, which may only be observed in individuals with strong sexual energy, show that the skin is highly charged with bio-energy. This is pleasurable and desirable as part of sexual foreplay but then it needs to be discharged as part of a prolonged sexual union. If, instead, the skin remains charged up because the following union is too short, then the individual becomes tense and may in time develop stress-related symptoms and diseases.

So, to summarize, orgasmic intercourse for half an hour or more, with or without initial caressing, did not produce any sparks and therefore appears to eliminate all tension. Intercourse for half an hour or more was followed by a pleasant relaxation of the whole body with increased love and happiness of the couple and no desire for another sexual connection for 5 or more days. If the intercourse lasted for an hour this contentment lasted for one week, and after a 2-hour intercourse it lasted for two weeks. This was true even when there was an early ejaculation but they remained sexually connected with a non-erect penis. Later von Urban found these observations confirmed by reports of other couples.

South Sea Islanders: Von Urban also describes the sexual practices of some Melanesian societies as confirming the experiences of the Arabian couple. Foreplay with kissing and caressing takes at least half an hour, but a man never touches the clitoris. Then they connect with their sexual organs and lie motionless together for at least another half hour before starting movements, and after orgasm they remain sexually connected for a long time. On nights when they did not have sex they slept skin to skin but without any kissing or caressing. They had intercourse not more than about every five days, and sexual problems seemed to be unknown in these societies. They made fun of what they regarded as the immature sexual practices of Westerners.

The Neurotic Woman: A beautiful young woman was terrified of men, but after falling in love with a medical assistant of von Urban eventually agreed to marry him on the condition that he would not try to have sex with her. After six weeks, they finally spend their first night together, naked but without any sexual contact. After about half an hour of lying together both experienced an indescribable delight and rapture that lasted the whole night.

However, after 7 hours they had to separate or they would get a feeling of suffocation unless they had a shower, and then they could continue lying blissfully together. During the day they felt exceptionally happy, relaxed and energetic. For 14 years they practiced this celestial type of love-making until they tried conventional sex and lost it. As with the Arabian couple, their experiences were enhanced by having a shower before lying together.

Von Urban’s Six Rules of Perfect Sex

Preparation: A day chosen for making love should be filled with mutual kindness and affection. A period of love play with kissing and caressing should precede the sex act. Clitoral stimulation should be avoided. Woman who are used to clitoral orgasms should gradually, within a few weeks or months, be helped to refocus on vaginal stimulation.

Comment: Von Urban believed that clitoral stimulation increases tension and makes deep relaxation of the whole body more difficult, and if one is used to clitoral stimulation it also may make it more difficult to achieve deep vaginal orgasm. The main goal for von Urban was not creating strong excitement and coming quickly to an orgasm but rather having a loving and strongly bonding connection with a partner. This does not mean that everyone needs to do it this way, von Urban just believed that it gave the best long-term results in regard to health and relationships.

Position: The partners should adopt a position that allows them to remain fully relaxed during a long intercourse. Preferred is the Scissor Position: the woman lies on her back with knees drawn to the chest, while the male lies on his left side crosswise to her, so that his penis touches the entrance of the vagina. She now drops her legs and he places his right leg between her legs. With this, her left leg is between his legs while her right calf rests on his torso. Sides may be reversed.

The man places the tip of the penis at the opened entrance of the vagina. Now all kissing and caressing should cease and both lovers focus on the energy streams between their sexual organs. It does not matter if the penis is soft or erect. After half an hour and full exchange of sexual energy the penis usually becomes erect and may now enter provided that the vagina is naturally moist. The use of oil is discouraged as it slows the exchange of energy (but this should not be a problem with long connections), and condoms must be avoided (except possibly temporarily for the purpose of ejaculation) because they block the exchange of bio-energy and lead to increased body tension. These recommendations are for couples in long-term relationships, for casual encounters use safe sex practices.

Duration: After the man has learned to control his ejaculation, the 30 minutes outside the vagina are no longer required. For a long connection of one to three hours the couple remains mainly motionless or with slow movements. If ejaculation occurs prematurely, the soft penis should remain inside until at least half an hour since entering. If unwanted pregnancy needs to be avoided then withdraw shortly for ejaculation, urination and washing, and then connect again the penis to the inner lips. 

Concentration: During the whole sex act from preparation to finish the couple should focus on each other and what they are doing, become aware of the sensations where they are touching and the energy flows within and between them.

Relaxation: It is essential to relax not only physically by choosing a suitable position, but also mentally and emotionally. Any kind of worry, guilt or preoccupation with work or family problems prevents relaxation and full exchange of bio-energy. Try to overcome such problems by dealing with them at other times, and use relaxation exercises and meditation to switch off when you want to. Another problem is that a woman may suppress her sex drive because of previous abuse or disappointment, and may resist subconsciously. This can usually be overcome with much tenderness, love and patience of her partner.

Frequency: While this may depend mainly on the desire of the partners, von Urban observed that generally after a 30 minute intercourse with proper preparation couples are happy with a five day interval, after one hour intercourse with one-week, and after two hours with two-week intervals. He regards a sufficient interval as important to fully recharge the body batteries with bio-energy.

Comment

Von Urban’s observations seem to show that the undesirable effects of conventional orgasmic sex may be mainly due to unreleased body tensions rather than hormonal changes per se, although hormonal changes may be a result of bio-energetic changes. The increased contentment and happiness after von Urban’s Perfect Sex appears to be the same as after Karezza, and would be due to the combination of persistently raised oxytocin levels and increased relaxation.

The rest period of five days to two weeks between orgasmic events may mean that prolactin rises and testosterone receptor levels fall as after conventional orgasm, but that the duration of the changes depends on the degree to which the body tensions have been neutralized. If there is a prolonged reduction or fluctuation of dopamine levels as after conventional sex, it may be offset by increased oxytocin so that overall there is no negative emotional effect. My personal view is that high oxytocin levels will probably stabilize dopamine levels.

It is not clear if after Karezza there is a 5 to 14 day period of decreased desire for sexual union as after Perfect Sex. Some authors, such as Stockham seem to say so and advocate a waiting period of two weeks or longer between Karezza encounters, while some modern couples may connect daily but often just lie peacefully together or in a meditative state or just snuggle up for comfort. Any period of decreased desire may be much less pronounced with Karezza and mainly due to contentment of being in a bio-energetic equilibrium rather than to an unfavorable hormonal effect.

I suggest that for full heart-centered Karezza sessions a rest period of several days may be appropriate similar as for Perfect Sex to fully charge our sexual batteries, but that for meditation or comfort short daily connections are also fine. For more details on Perfect Sex see http://www.health-science-spirit.com/Sexuality.html.

SEX AND HEALTH

According to psychological studies and statistics in the longer term the vast majority of sexual relationships cause more distress and unhappiness rather than happiness. It is obvious, at least to me, that stress due to failing relationships also has a major impact on our health, emotionally and biologically. Even medical thinking now regards stress as an underlying problem that aggravates all other diseases.

Sexual factors that may contribute to health problems are nutrient deficiencies, hormonal and bio-energetic imbalances, and emotional distress. Several of these may be involved in any one case, and they cannot always be identified.

Nutrient deficiencies relate mainly to loss of ejaculate. The seminal fluid is high in zinc and requires much vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oils and linseed oil. Deficiency of these is widespread, especially in teenage boys with frequent loss of seminal fluid. The same deficiencies are common in schizophrenia, which starts most frequently in teenage boys. I believe that there is a causal connection.

Formerly doctors maintained that excessive masturbation could lead to insanity. They may have been right after all although, without proper investigation, modern medicine dismisses this as a myth. Zinc deficiency also leads to underdeveloped male sexual organs and later in life to enlargement of the prostate gland. By pointing out these connections I do not want to create guilt about masturbation but rather improve nutritional awareness. Also orgasm and schizophrenia are both associated with high and unstable levels of dopamine, while during depression dopamine levels are low.

A medical arthritis specialist observed that arthritis tends to get worse with frequent ejaculation (Arthritis can be Cured by Bernard Aschner, MD, Arco Publ. N.Y.).

Hormonal imbalances, especially dopamine excess or deficiency seem to be the greatest contributors to addictive behaviours, such as drug abuse, compulsive behavior and gambling as well as aggression, violence and attention deficit disorder. Oxytocin, on the other hand, has a beneficial influence on these problems. For a referenced discussion of this subject see http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_and_addiction.

The main factor in raising our stress levels is probably the inability to discharge bio-energetic static. One common example is watching exciting movies that fire us up, and then going to bed without releasing the induced tension. It is likewise with conventional sex. Initially the body may get charged with skin stimulation and anticipation, but then there is little release, especially for women, if the union lasts for less than 30 minutes. No wonder many women develop gynaecological problems, nervous complaints or hysteria (from hystera – the womb), or just switch off and abstain from sex.

Von Urban’s solution to relieve single or otherwise frustrated women of sexual and bio-energetic tension is a warm douche at bedtime on alternate nights. The duration is from ten to twenty minutes while lying in a bathtub. The water is supplied by fitting some rubber tubing over the tap. This is very relaxing and not meant to induce an orgasm, but will help to provide a peaceful sleep.  

All diseases and health problems of the sexual organs are likely to be linked to unhealthy sex practices. This includes not only cancers and infections of the sexual organs but also in other parts of the body. Even tumor growth and metastasis are stimulated by stress hormones. Oxytocin counteracts the effects of stress hormones, and less stress means increased immunity and faster recovery. Oxytocin receptors have also been discovered in tumors. Therefore, oxytoxin has a growth inhibiting effect on cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer - the more oxytocin the less tumor growth can be expected.

In the following are some of the statements for which you can find scientific references at   http://www.reuniting.info/science/research:

·      frequent hugs between partners associated with lower blood pressure and more oxytocin

·      touch and psychological support are health-promoting due to increased oxytocin

·      oxytocin strongly protects organs from damage due to blood infection

·      kissing may have positive implications for allergic patients

·      oxytocin speeds wound healing and reduces pain

·      oxytocin counters addiction and soothes withdrawal symptoms

·      massage aids detoxification for alcohol, oxytocin rises during massage

·      oxytocin reduces anxiety and stress

·      less oxytocin results in more aggression and less caring

·      oxytocin regulates cell proliferation and inhibits breast and prostate cancer

·      oxytocin increases the receptivity of females

·      oxytocin imbalance may underlie impotence and alleviate erectile dysfunction

·      patients with autism and psychiatric disorders improve with oxytocin

·      oxytocin involved in learning and memory

At the same site is an equally impressive collection of research references showing the health disadvantages of orgasmic sex.

 Hypertension and Stress

As an example of the benefits of healthy sex von Urban mentions the following case. At a neuro-psychiatric conference he presented a difficult case cured with his Perfect Sex method within 8 weeks of high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and inability to work. A leading expert doubted that a change in sexual practices could have normalized high blood pressure. Von Urban asked this expert to send him his most difficult and hopeless case. Ten days after seeing the patient his blood pressure was almost normal.

It should be noted that in contrast Wilhelm Reich, who advocated orgasmic sex for release of excess bio-energy, died of heart attack probably associated with high blood pressure, and his wife suffered from severe hypertension.

Von Urban also presents the case of a young woman who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, temporarily institutionalized and treated with electric shock. A few weeks after changing sexual habits she became and remained completely ‘normal’.

Considering the vast amount of hypertension, mental and other stress-related conditions in our society, and that von Urban demonstrated the effectiveness of his method only 60 years ago, I do not expect to see it discussed in medical journals or the mass-media any time soon.

I do not want to imply that sexual energy is the only factor causing or curing the discussed diseases, rather there are usually several factors coming together, and if one of them is changed from being detrimental to being beneficial, then this can be sufficient to overcome the health problem.

Furthermore, most of those with a chronic disease, and especially cancer, are emotionally rather fragile, and benefit greatly from a close-bonding loving relationship to elevate oxytocin. This is also beneficial with heart disease and mental-emotional conditions, such as depression and addictions.

High levels of testosterone are a negative factor with prostate cancer, and high estrogen levels with most breast cancers. But when we are in love (or create a feeling of love with increased oxytocin), levels of sex hormone in both genders become more like each other. Males become less aggressive, gentler and more spiritual, while females produce more testosterone to make them bolder and balance excessive estrogen levels.

For the Lack of a Cuddle

Anorexia nervosa develops mainly in teenage girls. This immediately suggests a connection to sexuality. I was intrigued to read that one of the more successful methods recommends, in addition to other measures, using a warm vest to provide a feeling of being warm and protected. That reminds me of an experiment with monkeys. Immediately after birth they were separated from their mothers and raised with two substitute 'mothers'. One was a wire structure containing a food bottle with nipple and the other was with terry cloth over the wire, heated by an electric bulb inside. The young monkeys adopted the cloth-covered structure as their mother substitute and were distressed when it was temporarily removed. The bottle structure was just a feeding machine to them.

All these monkeys became disturbed emotionally as well as in their behaviour when growing up, and they were unable to perform the sexual act successfully on maturity. Touch was emotionally more important to them than food. That is exactly what happens with anorexia nervosa. From this it is easy to see that the most curative method for these and other teenagers with emotional problems would be prolonged skin contact in a safe environment to raise oxytocin levels, and especially non-sexual, affectionate contact with someone of the opposite sex, as a bio-energetic boost.

It was often worse for human infants who were raised in church or government institutions without even a cloth mother substitute. One of the worst aspects for a baby is the feeling of not being wanted, and especially if it experiences hostility from one or both parents. A difficult birth with forceps and glaring lights is traumatic, also surgery and a negative attitude of some of those present at birth. Even worse is the prolonged removal of the baby from the mother in most hospitals. All of these generate stress hormones while more than anything else babies need persistent contact with the mother or a suitable human substitute to generate soothing and bonding oxytocin.

Presently there is a rapidly rising incidence of self-harm reported to affect up to 20% of teenagers, and even more teenage girls. While teenage boys tend to release their internal tensions through outward aggression and harming others, girls tend to harm themselves. Princess Diana admitted to it. This is not really new and was reported in former centuries and millennia. In the 19th century girls used to stick needles into their skin, and were medically known as the ‘needle girls’. At present cutting with razor blades is more fashionable.

The reported reason for doing this is unbearable emotional tension. It provides essential stress relief, and some girls say it keeps them alive so that they do not need to suicide. This tension starts with puberty and abates towards the end of teenage years. Self-harm is also related to eating disorders and is prevalent in detention facilities and nunneries. 

We can now understand this behavior according to von Urban’s model of a stress-based bio-energetically charged skin. When in pain, bio-energy is released together with feeling energy, and this pain-induced release of bio-energy is what keeps these girls sane. Also the opposite can be observed, pain due to various known or unknown causes can be relieved by appropriate skin contact.

There is, of course, the same solution as mentioned above for anorexia, mental problems and hypertension: providing prolonged skin contact in a safe environment with someone of the opposite sex.A special time of the week may be selected where the whole family joins in gently massaging each other, especially the back, neck, shoulders and the feet. Also holding hands provides good energy exchange, especially between the right hand of a male and the left hand of a female.

Reducing Stress and Tension

Bio-energetic static and emotional-energetic blockages are probably major factors not only with hypertension, mental problems and other stress-related conditions, but also in the present epidemic of hip, knee and lower back problems, leg cramps as well as gynecological and other disorders in the pelvic area, including impotence and frigidity. Persistent bio-energetic static and its associated emotional blockages tend to cause muscle tension with permanently reduced blood, lymph and nerve supply to these areas, and makes them susceptible to infections, arthritis and other health deterioration.

According to the findings of von Urban and the experiences of couples practicing Karezza, the easiest way of reducing such persistent tensions is prolonged quiet skin and possibly sexual contact with a partner of the opposite sex, basically as a long period of relaxation or meditation. While superficial tensions may be eliminated in one session, deeper muscle tensions are caused by a life-time of sexual frustration, and may require many repetitions of lying together while using guided imagery and pleasurable feelings to melt the corresponding emotional blockages.   

Emotionally deprived children grow into adults with antisocial or asocial tendencies. On one side of the scale this manifests as violent, criminal and destructive behaviour, and on the other as shyness, lack of confidence, self-destructive behaviour, and depression. Often our sexual problems start already right after birth if we are bottle-fed instead of enjoying mother’s breast, or worse, if we are separated from our mother for a prolonged period. This tends to make it difficult later to bond to a partner. Even with relatively good parenting our evolving sexuality causes enormous tensions and stresses while growing up in our society and most adults will experience emotional and health problems due our general ignorance in regard to balancing our sexual energy.

Compare our Western upbringing to the way von Urban describes how children were raised in some more advanced native societies. He writes “The Melanesians are certain that children whose sex impulses are not correctly developed can never become experts in love.” Sexual training is considered to be most important for the future happiness in the love life of their children. They encourage children to pay attention to their sexual feelings. There is a lot of touching, caressing and skin contact between adults and children in native societies.

The chief of an African tribe expressed his astonishment to an early explorer that Westerners do not provide sexual training to their children. He believed this to be more important than any other kind of training, as healthy sexual development not only provides bliss for the individual, but also a harmonious family and tribal life.

Also “In some tribes of Central Africa masturbation is taught by an elder of the opposite sex”, and to abate sexual tension “old women quietly lay their hands on the testicles of little boys, and old men on the vulvas of little girls, holding them thus for some time.” Professor Malinowsky noted that such practices were more satisfactory than masturbation. Why? Because masturbation, while providing local relaxation, increases overall bodily tension, while skin contact with the opposite sex reduces it. Therefore prolonged non-sexual skin contact between boys and girls, or child and parent of the opposite sex, would probably be a good way to improve hyperactivity, attention deficit, shyness, autism, violence, self-harm and related problem.

There seems to be a complete absence of sexual and stress related conditions in native societies described by Malinowsky. In our society children’s sexuality is so misdirected that sexual violence, rape and many forms of sexual inhibition, frustration and abuse, emotional problems, mental diseases and other stress-related conditions are a frequent outcome in adult life. This shows that we could learn much from native practices.

As these native people could observe all varieties of loving sexual activity, it had no unhealthy fascination or obsession for them, as it has for most people in our society. Consequently, abuse of children, rape, or other forms of violence, were unknown to them. Sexual activity to them was as natural and open as eating to us. No doubt, if eating would be regarded as 'dirty' and restricted in the same way as sexuality, and children and others would not be allowed to see us eat, most of us would have neuroses associated with eating.

According to Malinowsky such open native sexual education does not necessarily result in early pregnancies. Properly taught Karezza would not only lead to a healthier society at all levels, but would also curb the unsustainable overpopulation of our planet.

What many singles and especially women miss even more than sex is touching and hugging. Some try to satisfy this need with regular massage therapy. However, there may be a simple solution, just form a local "hug club". Discretely spread the word and you may be surprised by the amount of interest in hugging 'out there'. You may also form or join a healing group where hugging may be practiced together with other self-healing techniques.

SEX AND REJUVENATION

There are many hints of rejuvenation and increased longevity due to sacred sexual practices. Some of it, such as increased longevity in harmonious relationships, and longer lives of care-giving parents could just be due to persistently raised oxytocin levels. However, there are also ancient practices, especially based on Tao, that deliberately use sexual energy to rejuvenate and increase longevity. Also according to information channelled by Edgar Cayce we can achieve complete regeneration (perfect operation of the endocrine system) if we cleanse and purify the reproductive center.

In the 1930’s Peter Kelder wrote the now famous Eye of Revelation with the 5 Rites of Rejuvenation, or the 5 Tibetans. Thousands and possibly Millions faithfully did these exercises every day without doing the one that really mattered to draw sexual energy up the spine. That was probably because Kelder’s instructions for the sixth rite were somewhat vague.

The rite is only practiced when sexually excited. One is to stand and bend over with the hands on the knees and push all the air out of the lungs. Then straighten up and with the hands on the hips push up the shoulders. Pull the stomach in and up and hold this position as long as possible. Then forcefully inhale through the nose and exhale immediately through the mouth. The arms may now hang to the sides while you take further deep breaths through the nose or the mouth. If one is still sexually excited, the same procedure may be repeated as often as necessary.

However, Kelder did not write how to cause the sexual excitement that generates the sexual energy to be drawn up and distributed through the body. A more detailed and substantial body of instructions is now available thanks to the work of Mantak Chia in collaboration with Michael Winn in their Series of Healing Tao Books.

Healing Tao Books

Mantak Chia was a Chinese who had studied with various Taoist (or Daoist) masters before coming to New York 30 years ago. He seems to be the first modern Tao master who openly teaches previously secret Taoist methods of using sexual energy for rejuvenation, longevity and spiritual development. This system uses sexual energy as the primary fuel to be refined by spiritual practice. Instead of releasing sexual energy in form of an orgasm, it is channeled up the spine and then down the front in what is called the ‘Microcosmic Orbit’. In this way it remains available to heal and rejuvenate the body, while any surplus is stored in the area behind the navel.

First you practice to learn the two basic skills of avoiding an orgasm and circulating energy in the Microcosmic Orbit. Initially it is advisable to practice alone with self-pleasuring. This is called ‘single cultivation’. You stop shortly before the orgasm, and with breath control and imagination draw the energy upwards. Chia calls this the Big Draw for men and the Orgasmic Upward Draw for women. When able to do this it is preferable to use ‘dual cultivation’ with a partner of the opposite sex as it involves exchanging male and female sexual energies.

When sufficiently advanced, pleasure can be derived from repeated ‘valley orgasms’ during long periods of love-making and with repeated Upward Draws of energy. It is possible to continue practicing alone or with a same-sex partner but then one may need to use additional methods of attracting the missing opposite-sex energies.

Some of the relevant books by Mantak Chia are Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (1984), Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (1986), Awaken Healing Light of the Tao (1993), The Multi-Orgasmic Man (1996), and The Multi-Orgasmic Couple (2000) published by Healing Tao Books, Huntington, New York. In addition there is a global network of certified Tao teachers, see www.universal-tao.com. 

Circulating the Energy

It appears the Microcosmic Orbit was developed 2000 years ago by Taoists as a sexual practice to rejuvenate the brain and later evolved to become a spiritual practice. In addition to using activated sexual energy, you may practice the Orbit by accumulating energy during meditation, imagining energy entering through the crown center at the top of the head or by condensing breath energy.

To learn circulating energy, you need to have a basic understanding of the chakra system. These are 7 major and numerous minor etheric vortices that distribute bio-energy within our body. When you have a good feeling sensation of the energy either from breathing into the abdomen or from activating sexual energy, you imagine this sensation flowing towards the perineum and the base of the spine.

Now imagine a valve opening at the tailbone and with each inhalation you lift the energy higher up the spine, while holding it during exhalations. Imagine that your spine is a straight hollow tube through which the energy flows and continue to lift it all the way to the top of the head. Reinforce it with energy entering the top of the head and then lead it down in steps to the center of the forehead, the throat, the middle of the breastbone, the stomach and finally you store it behind the navel as a ball of energy.

When leading the energy down it helps to touch the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue. When needed, this energy may be reactivated with your intention and used for healing yourself or others by directing it with your mind where you want it to go. It may also be used for tasks with high-energy requirement and is the same energy that masters of the martial arts aim to cultivate and use.

When you can readily feel the circulating energy and the various centers on its path, you may also use a short-form to quickly energize and center yourself. Imagine the energy entering the top of the head and rapidly jumping down from one center to the next to the base of the spine. Then with one inhalation lift the energy to the top of the head and with the next exhalation drop it again down to the base. In all this energy work imagine and feel the energy moving below the surface of the skin.

Instead of the Big Draw when close to orgasm, you may constantly draw up sexual energy in a ‘Slow Draw’, especially during prolonged love-making as in Karezza. You do this by keeping part of your mind focused on your third eye area between the eyebrows, best by turning your closed eyes up and inwards as if looking at this point. Then with each slow inhalation you imagine sexual energy moving up the spine to the top, while during the slow exhalation you let the energy fall down the front and back to the sexual organs, not forgetting to keep the tongue against the roof of the mouth.

If this sounds too formidable, just start out by keeping your focus on the third eye and feel love radiating from the heart. The slow draw is also suitable in a meditative state with or without gentle self-pleasuring or early morning erections or other states of gentle arousal.  

For more details see www.health-science-spirit.com/bioenergies.html.

Strengthening Sexual Energy

The strength of our sexual energy is a function of our overall vitality or vital energy. Therefore, if our overall vitality is low, then we do not have much sexual energy available to circulate in the Microcosmic Orbit. Furthermore, by frequently drawing the energy up, it may initially deplete our available sexual energy. Apart from conserving energy through non-orgasmic intercourse, there are many techniques to strengthen these energies.

One such method is the Inner Smile. In its simplest form we may just smile at people we meet, at a tree, a flower, a cloud or the sky or landscape. As a more deliberate exercise we may close the eyes, focus on the third eye point between the eyebrows and smile in succession at every major organ and gland in our body.

Another important method is concentrating breath energy. This may be done with any organ in need of healing, but for this purpose we may breathe into the sex organs. Inhale deeply into the abdomen, and during a slow exhalation imagine the bio-energy in the inhaled air being compressed into the testicles or ovaries.

Due to decades of sexual tensions most of us have permanently tense and weak muscles between the top of the pelvis and the knees. This is like an old battery that cannot hold much charge. Use massage, vibrating, shaking, relaxation exercise and guided imagery to soften their contracted core.

Also do pelvic floor exercises. In addition to rhythmically contracting and relaxing the whole pelvic floor, selectively push forward to contract only the front part. In men this gives an impulse to the penis, woman may also rhythmically contract the vaginal opening. This forward pressure is used to prevent loss of energy when near orgasm, while selective contraction around the anus and tailbone helps to lead the energy up the spine.

Other common techniques are tai-chi and chi-gong. In these practices we imagine and feel energy being drawn into our body from our environment. Walking barefoot on grass or moist soil or swimming in the sea enhances and cleanses our aura. The north-pointing pole of a magnet, like the right palm, has an energy that is similar to the yang or male sexual energy, while the energy of the south-pointing pole or the left palm is similar to the yin or female sexual energy. In Tao philosophy the heavenly or spiritual energies entering through the top of the head are male or yang, while the earth energies are female or yin. Generally female energies are soothing and relaxing, and male energies stimulating and activating.

Food for Sex

We cannot have strong sexual energy if we are malnourished. Our life force from which we generate sexual energy is similar to the bio-energy in raw food. Therefore, raw food has a much stronger vitalising effect than cooked food. 

High-quality proteins are part of the seminal fluid and a high protein diet is sexually stimulating. In our culture meat is preferred while in the Orient chickpeas are used to improve sexual performance. The highest reputation has free-range raw fertilised egg yolk. It supplies sulphur compounds that are also high in the semen. However, even more effective than egg yolk is raw minced meat.

The seminal fluid is also high in zinc and requires much vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oils and linseed oil. Deficiency of these is widespread, especially with frequent loss of seminal fluid. Fish oils are also required for natural vaginal lubrication.

The body forms nitric oxide from the amino acid arginine as a signal for the blood vessels of the penis to relax. This is necessary so that the penis can fill with blood and have an erection. Also magnesium supplements help to relax. Stress, on the other hand, or being emotionally uptight, prevents this necessary relaxation and, with this, an erection.

Various herbs and alkaloids have traditionally been used to improve various sexual functions. Commonly used for improving and balancing the endocrine system in general and sexual hormones in particular is Maca (botanical name Lepidium meyenii). It appears to be more effective than Wild Yam and is especially helpful with age-related sexual problems. Also Tribulus terrestris is frequently used to improve sexual functions.

SEX AND SPIRITUALITY

Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.

The idea of celibacy for priests, nuns and monks is to spiritualize sexual energies as in meditation, rituals and other devotional practices. While this generally involves conscious exercises as in yoga, Christian mystics commonly transformed their energies without conscious awareness through intense devotion. If religious celibates fight to suppress their sexuality, they misunderstand the deeper reason for the practice of celibacy, and block their spiritual evolution on that level. If devotional practices do not lead to the transmutation of sexual energies then it is much better to find a natural outlet. Suppression always leads to problems. 

There are hundreds of different Tantric, Taoist, yogic and meditation techniques to transform sexual energy into kundalini or spiritual energy. Sexual energy is a denser part of our general life force energy, which can be liberated as kundalini energy and led upwards. Its ultimate purpose is to facilitate spiritual growth by developing our chakra system and higher energy bodies.

What is Spirituality?

In this context ‘spirituality’ means to me an effort to speed up our evolution of consciousness, which then becomes manifest in the functions of our energy bodies and the formation of higher energy bodies. I see the next stage in the spiritual evolution of humanity as forming a society based on cooperation, love and compassion. In some way this is a high ideal of all religions, but especially expressed in Buddhism and Christianity. Love and compassion are the expressions of an opened heart center. Therefore the practice of Karezza is especially relevant at this time.

Tantric, Taoist and yogic methods try to go further by fast developing the whole chakra system and a higher energy body, which Taoists call the immortal body, and which may correspond to the light body of New Age philosophy. However, apart from achieving various temporary states of bliss and psychic happenings, few seem to be really successful in this way and also so-called brain or spiritual orgasms may still be related to dopamine activity.

Tantra and Kundalini Yoga

Tantra and kundalini yoga originate from the Hindu tradition. Both methods aim to lead sexual energy upwards, Tantra in ritualized male-female interaction, and kundalini yoga in strict individual practice; both methods entail semen retention. As a reward there may be a brain orgasm and various states of blissful conditions. Traditionally Tantra was seen and used as a method to enable men to achieve enlightenment, while women were only used as tools, even if they were ritually worshipped as Goddesses. This has changed in modern western practices where women are now complete equals of men.

I see the main problem with these methods as being one-way streets of energy flow from the base of the spine to the top. This tends to lead to unbalanced development by over-stimulating the head centers at the expense of the heart center. Furthermore drawing up too much sexual energy may in time deplete overall vitality. Also I am not impressed with the abilities of practitioners of these systems to rejuvenate.

There is probably no problem with these methods for beginners, but various reports indicate problems may result from continued over-stimulation of the brain. This seems to be increasingly acknowledged by modern Tantra and kundalini practitioners who now have added the Microcosmic Orbit to their practices. For an interesting overview of the modern Tantra, kundalini and Tao scene see The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm by Michael Winn (http://www.healingtaobritain.com/p67magazinequestforspiritualorgasm.htm).

Enlightenment is in the Vagina

You may think I try to be cheeky or provocative with the statement: ”Enlightenment is in the vagina”, but this is one of the authenticated sayings of the Buddha, and it leaves us with the problem of how to understand or interpret this. It seems to turn our usual understanding of enlightenment on its head.

The actual phrase in Sanscrit is: "Buddhatvam Yosityonisamasritam."  This may also be translated as: ”Enlightenment is in the female sexual organ(s)”. This same view is expressed in various sacred Tantric texts. There appears to be much hidden sexual activity involving female consorts in some Tibetan Buddhist Sects. Western Buddhists, on the other hand, apparently do not know what to make of this saying, and therefore tend to ignore it, although I know of one Western Buddhist in Thailand who took this to mean that lots of intoxicating orgasmic sex is the road to enlightenment. But there is also another Buddhist saying that refers to orgasms as killing the inner Buddha.

My understanding of the first saying is that it refers to female sexual energy which is required for a male monk to become androgynic, meaning that male and female energies become balanced in an individual. This may be achieved by dual cultivation as with Tantra or having a female consort, or by single cultivation as with energy meditation. This is really the same process that we also see in Taoist practices and in the Gnostic Gospels. It has nothing to do with surgical or hormonal gender changes. The second saying simply means that by wasting our sexual energy with orgasms we do not have enough left over for enlightenment.

In the eight century, a female Buddha, Lady Yeshe Tsogyel, achieved enlightenment through mutual Tantric practice. She explains that women must control their sexual energies just like men need to control their ejaculation if they would cultivate spiritual enlightenment.

“If there is leakage of sexual energy, the Buddha Unchanging Light is slain...Therefore, with the power of retraction, drawing up 'love' with the base energy of life-force, I held it in the pot of my belly, and maintaining the recollection of pleasure uncontaminated by lust, divesting myself of mind-created Samadhi, yet not slipping into an instant of torpor, I experienced the ascent of Awareness.”

This passage explains in beautiful simplicity the process of Taoist internal alchemy: produce a feeling of sexual pleasure, draw this feeling from the sexual organs into the abdomen, continue to increase it with mindfulness, and at the same time lead the feeling of meditative bliss from the head into the abdomen. Energy flow then follows the feelings. In the abdomen the heavenly or male energy from the head centers interacts or copulates with the female earth energy of the sexual and base centers.

The ultimate goal of Taoist energy cultivation is the formation of an immortal body. This is not a physical body but a higher energy body, a light body. In the same way as in esoteric Buddhist practice this is achieved by combining male and female sexual energies so that the practitioner becomes androgynic. This takes place initially in the area behind the navel where the converted sex energy has been accumulated by practicing the Microcosmic Orbit or an equivalent method. 

Our major male-female poles are at the top and the bottom of the spine. This is like an energy axis between two spinning vortices with a secondary male-female split between the right and left side of our body. The internal alchemy or inner copulation of these poles then creates the divine child or immortal light body. To be successful we need not only a strong sexual pole but also a strong crown or heavenly pole formed by regular meditation and a spiritual attitude.

Lao Tzu explained the immortal light body thus: It is self-aware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a biological body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can never die.

However, Edgar Cayce warned that if you raise the kundalini before you can control your sexual energy it simply inflames your sexual desire and causes problems on your spiritual path. As a general advice this means practice Karezza or the Microcosmic Orbit until you can use your sexual energy without being confronted with uncontrollable desires. 

The Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber

A similar picture emerges from the Gnostic Gospels. Apparently these gospels by the disciples of Jesus have been rejected by the official Christian churches because they imply that Jesus had secret teachings for his disciples. These teachings seem to have been the basis of Jewish Christianity under the leadership of James the Just, but were lost with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.  Western Christianity is based on the doctrines of Paul who did not know Jesus personally and therefore did not receive these teachings. Most great spiritual teachers reserved advanced teachings for those who could understand them. So we read in the Gospel of Thomas:

(22) "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, ….. then you will enter (the kingdom).”

This basically says that we must become androgynic to enter the kingdom of heaven. There is no chance that the general public would have understood this. Also consider the following:

(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of (eternal) life."
Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."

This, too, refers to androgyny. The means to achieve this is the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. It is alluded to in various Gnostic Gospels. Jesus taught various sacraments, the Gospel of Philip, states that there were the holy baptism, the holier atonement, and the "holy of the holies," the sacrament of the bridal chamber, in which participants "put on the light" or "chrism" and return to oneness. Androgyny is also a central part of other religions where deities in Taoist, Hindu and Buddhist art are often shown as part male and part female.

There are no direct descriptions of the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber, but it is clothed in sexual symbology and seems to have been practiced as a sacred male-female union without orgasm, also described as pure embrace or undefiled intercourse. Possibly both methods were used as in Tao and Kundalini-Tantra practices. Dual cultivation appears to be by far easier for equalizing male and female energies. However, there is also the following description which may indicate single cultivation:

Epiphanius mentions a Gnostic writing called "The Great Questions of Mary" where Jesus gave Mary Magdalene a revelation on a mountain. According to this Jesus produced forth a woman from his side, akin to the generation of Eve in the Garden of Genesis. Jesus had sex with her, and then consumed his own semen. (novusordoseclorum-oai.org/documents/magdalene.htm).

This description is interesting as not only the mythical Eve was created in this way from the androgynic Adam, and together they populated the world, but also in Hindu mythology Shiva produced his consort in the same way and they then copulated to produce the world. All of these describe a male-female split of the divine androgyne, and the sexual union of both parts then produced an immortal light body, the human race, or the world.

It is clear that descriptions of secret teachings such as the above are disguised so that only the initiated understand the true meaning. From what we know now we may assume that Jesus demonstrated to Mary how to focus sexual energy into a male and female energy pole, and then unite these polarized energies to create a higher energy body. The swallowing of semen could be symbolic for retaining his seed and actually not ejaculating. However there was apparently a long tradition in ancient religions, including Gnostics and possibly early Christianity, to swallow one's semen for ritual purpose. This is called semenatophagy, for more information see http://sacredsemen.com/.

Here a final quote from the Gospel of Philip: “If anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light. If anyone does not receive it while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place. He who will receive that light will not be seen, nor can he be detained. And none shall be able to torment a person like this, even while he dwells in the world.”

According to the Gnostic Gospels the main purpose of Jesus was to teach eternal life by re-creating the divine androgyne, and thus overcoming the separation of the sexes in the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. Being born again in this way with an immortal light body, any successful follower was no longer a Christian but became a Christ (Gospel of Philip). The real significance of the crucifixion and the crowning achievement of his life was the reappearance of Jesus and his continued teaching in the materialized form of his immortal light body. This was to demonstrate to his followers the truth of his teachings about the divine androgyne and the eternal life. Therefore, the real basis of the teachings of Jesus is sacred sexuality, the same as in Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist teachings.