Sacred Sex Starts with Sacred Intention
The Sacredness of Sex
All primal cultures recognized the sacredness of sex. After all, sex makes life, so how could it be anything other than sacred? In cultures that especially revered sexuality, Eros was considered a path to connect to the gods and goddesses, to the Divine. Sex was considered a prayer and an invitation to fertility for all life and all beings. Any babies that resulted from sex were an added blessing.
Many of these cultures used similar practices and techniques to draw on the power of Eros in service to the sacred. My approach to sacred sex is drawn from the many paths that cultures throughout time have followed to honor the spiritual in matters of the body and the bedroom.
‘Sacred’ means different things to different people. For our purposes, we can start with the idea that sacredness is what makes things feel special, cherished and unique. For me, it’s more than that, though. The ‘sacred’ is closely related to the notion of ‘spirit,’ which I see as something real and also to be celebrated.
When I refer to spirit, I’m not talking about religion or even spirituality. Perhaps because of my decades as a practicing midwife, I think of spirit as life’s incorporeal aspect, as the part of you that entered your body-mind when you took your first breath. It’s the magic spark that animates you beyond the mechanistic physical plane. But it’s not just in you—it’s in everything. When I write about connecting to spirit, I mean connecting to the sanctity of life, the holiness of all beings, and the sacred fire within you. It’s the Divine not as a separate, superior being, but as the mysterious force that’s manifest in everything. When your sex is integrated with your spirit, it can lead to not just transcendent mind-blowing sex, but a personal and ecstatic experience of the Divine.
Spirit is what the Native American Lakota people call Wakan Tanka, the ‘Great Mysterious Power’ or the ‘sacredness that resides in everything.’ It’s the ineffable energy that, among other things, connects the carnal erotic to the mystery beyond matter.
We have been endowed with tools that enable us to ride sex’s magic carpet into the sacred realm. Some of these are optional—sacred sound, for instance. One, however is not. This is sacred intention.
Holding the intention to make something sacred is your most basic spiritual tool. You can use your other spiritual tools to make your intention more concrete (which often helps), but your most essential skill is the intention to have your sexual practice be sacred.
There’s something magical in this. If you hold the intention for something to be spiritual or sacred, that’s what it becomes. It’s a simple yet profound practice. You can use sacred intention whenever you have sex, be it solo or partnered, a quick snack or a prolonged feast. Define a sacred purpose for your pleasure, create a consecrated container, touch on your sacred intention during your erotic activities, appreciate and affirm the holiness of your erotic actions—any of these choices can be transformative. If you wish, you can dedicate your erotic energy and your orgasms to a spiritual purpose such as enlightenment, blessing or healing.
You can practice sacred intention whenever you wish. Depending on the circumstances, it may not take you to the experience of the sacred. On the other hand, it may. One thing is certain—you won’t experience sacred sex if you don’t hold a sacred intention.