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Sexual Desire
Essay on the Transformational Power of Sexual Desire

"What I've found is that in life in general, and particularly in sexuality, it's all about being and staying conscious and fully consensual with everything I do."

Dear friends,

Happy Valentine's Day! On this special day for lovers, here's a thought-provoking essay on sexual desire and how it can be used to transform relationships for the better.

The Transformational Power of Sexual Desire

Sexual desire can be most beautiful and powerful, yet the intense drive to go somewhere with it has caused profound wounding on personal and global levels. As I've learned over the years to experience my desire ever more consciously and without attachment to where it goes or what happens, I've found my love relationships have consistently become richer and more enjoyable.

One gorgeous woman I met a few years back came from a childhood of intense sexual and emotional abuse. I'll use the name Kate for her. Kate had a pattern of jumping into sex quickly, only to then soon regret and feel shame about it. I first connected with her at a point where Kate had recently decided for the first time to be celibate for several months to learn to really love herself. Both of us acknowledged the strong sexual attraction between us, yet I told her I wanted to support her in this beautiful intention.

When I eventually did hold the boundary of not being sexual for several months – even when she at times wanted to go there – Kate was moved to tears. She told me she had never been treated with such love and respect. And when months later we finally surrendered to the amazing bliss of full connection, it was incredibly ecstatic for both of us. Even though we are no longer sexual now, Kate recently emailed to thank me for this "most amazing, deep, healing relationship."

Sexual Desire is Natural and Beautiful

The drive towards sexual connection between two people who are strongly attracted to each other is a natural and beautiful part of our biology and of being human. The urge to merge is what keeps the human race going, as that is where we all came from when our parents surrendered to it. Sexual desire is a divine gift which inspires us to seek out deep connection.

Yet the carnal power behind this intense drive all too often causes some to go unconscious and to do things they later regret. Particularly for some men, once sexual desire kicks in fully, trying to stop or control it can feel like not scratching an intense itch or trying to stop a sneeze about to happen. They feel powerless to control it.

For both sexes, this powerful drive can shut down the conscious, thinking mind and the sensitive, loving heart. It can and sadly has led to acts as intense as sexual abuse and rape around the world. Herein lies the root of much psychological and emotional wounding on both individual and collective levels. Yet it doesn't have to be this way.

As I'm fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when these powerful sexual urges arise, I'm thrilled to have found ways to dance with and channel this powerful energy that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I'm feeling attraction, but to all in my life. Primarily by holding a strong intention to be ever more conscious and by studying practices like tantra and sacred sexuality, which give ideas on this, my life and relationships have changed in awesome ways.

The ability to stay conscious even in the midst of intense sexual connection has left me feeling more free and alive than ever. I trust myself now that I won't do something I will later regret. Yet I also know I can still experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This has brought a deep peace, joy, and excitement about life that I doubt I could have experienced otherwise without spending years in an ashram or meditating in a cave.

My transformation of this primal drive has made a huge difference even in how I approach women. When I find myself attracted to a particular woman now, I enjoy letting her know that I feel an attraction, yet that I have no need to do anything about it. She can feel that I'm not moving towards her or trying to get in her pants. How cool that most women immediately relax and open when I'm so clear and honest with them. And I love feeling so relaxed about it myself.

Staying conscious doesn't mean denying the powerful urges which arise during sexual contact. I love consciously surrendering to the incredibly rich sensations, desires, and feelings which arise. Yet it does mean choosing to only go there when the contact is fully consensual. When two people are both in full and clear consent, allowing the deep animal urges and passions to come out in all their primal beauty and power can not only be incredibly rich and ecstatic, it can even heal old wounds around sexuality, as happened in my rich connection with Kate.

Once a man is sexually aroused, the powerful drive towards ejaculation for many is overwhelming. Some feel frustrated and even angry if they are not able to release the sexual tension they feel so strongly inside of them. Yet having learned to welcome and play with this dynamic tension without the need to go anywhere, I can tell you that it can be awesome and even ecstatic once you learn to just let that tension just be when it is there. By getting more comfortable with the dynamic tension, you can actually feel more excited and alive.

I so love being able to play with the exquisite sexual energies and even use them for higher purposes without a need to go anywhere with them. I often do this while fully clothed. Now that's safe sex! And the women seem to love this, too. I have had several women break down in tears of gratitude in my arms when I was sexually attracted to them, yet did not try to get into their pants.

Taming the Bad Boy and Bad Girl

Almost every one of us has a part within that is the bad boy or bad girl, that takes pleasure in breaking the rules and doing what we're not supposed to do. Most of us were to some extent in our childhood controlled in ways that felt very oppressive. I know I was. Even though I am very clear now my parents were doing their best, I hated the way they tried to control me as a kid. As a result, breaking the rules and doing what we're not supposed to do can at times feel quite exhilarating.

Yet for different people, this desire to be bad can show up in very different ways. Some go so far as to become criminals. For others this desire is easily controlled. The key question is how conscious can we remain when that bad boy part of us comes out. If it's a situation where all involved are in agreement and no one will get hurt physically or emotionally, it can be fun sometimes to break the rules or do what we're not supposed to. Yet if there is any significant risk of harm, I will not go there.

When this bad boy or bad girl shows up in sexual connecting in a conscious way that is consensually agreed upon, it can bring a lot of fun and pleasure. Yet when it expresses in an unconscious way, it can and has led to intense sexual wounding and even deep regrets from those involved. Sadly, this still happens every day all over the world.

Yet thanks to people like you and me who are choosing to do what it takes, times are changing. Sexual abuse is increasingly being exposed all over. At the same time, diverse sexual preferences are becoming more accepted and even welcomed. As a species, we are gradually becoming more loving and tolerant of each other. And we are slowly but surely coming to more embrace conscious sexuality as a positive force in our world.

What I've found is that in life in general, and particularly in sexuality, it's all about being and staying conscious and fully consensual with everything I do. Rather than dampening the excitement, I've been thrilled to find that the more conscious I am, the greater the possibility of rich passion and deeper connection. Can I hear a big YES! for staying as conscious and consensual as possible in our sexual connections? Thanks for caring enough to be the change.

With sacred love and warmest wishes,
Fred Burks for PEERS and
February 14, 2013

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