By Lynnie Stein / December 22, 2019

Sensuality, Spirituality & Sex

Minxes …

Stimulating and Sensuous Spiritual Beings

We are spiritual beings, which means that all the things we do, mundane or not, are at their root woven into our spiritual lives.

Including our senses. Spirituality is sensual, and sensual spirituality is not bad. While many traditions do their best to totally separate the sensual (literally: of the senses) and the spiritual I think the opposite is more honest.

Maybe it’s the smell and taste of a favourite family dish that suddenly makes you feel rooted and at home. Perhaps it is hearing an old song that transports you to another place or time. It might be the strains of a great symphony that moves you to tears and takes you outside of time, the moment you met the love of your life. Whatever it is, our memories and our experiences are intimately tied to our senses.

Spirituality is directly tied to our senses.

EVERY woman is sensual

She dances and sings her soulful truth, through the temple of her body.

My experience has been that all women secretly, deeply desire to be sensual.

At our core we all want to feel pleasure + to have it course through us in our work, or intimate relationships + our life.

Yet at the same time, many of us believe…

“I’m not beautiful enough to be sensual”

“I’m just not a sensual woman! I wouldn’t know how to do it authentically”

“I don’t have time to be sensual, it’s not productive”

As a society, we are cultured to believe that sensuality has so many taboo meanings. We are taught/sold:

Sensuality means you look sexy (which is cheap)

Sensuality is something you do to get the attraction of the opposite sex

Unless I have the ‘perfect’ body, I’m not beautiful enough to be sensual

Using your sensual power means you are undermining your intelligence

Sensuality is the opposite of feminism

Yet when we strip away all the shame, blame and marketing that surrounds sensuality we realize a deeper truth.

Sensuality is the simple moment of feeling this body deeply.

Sensuality is the act of being present, with your senses. 

EVERY woman is sensual

If she chooses to claim her body, and herself as enough.

Truly it’s that simple.

She wanted to awaken in her body. To be in her body. To move her body. To love her body + to share that love with the world.

She wanted to feel desires. To desire herself. She wanted to experience deep pleasure and enjoy the life that existed around her – not shut it out by emptying her being into nothingness.

She wanted to take her emotions into herself and really feel them all – consciously choosing to open her heart to all her life, the pain, and the beauty – so that she could live More.

She wanted to take those thoughts into herself and really hear them all – for the truths and untruths that they were – so that she could transcend them.

She wanted to be in this imperfect body, with scars here and some cellulite there – and yet see the radical beauty that she was as Woman.

When we look at the masculine + feminine polarity of the universe, we come to see that both exist within us.

The masculine can be depicted by the Universe – empty, present, endless in possibility and strength. Masculine spiritual pursuits include sitting on the side of a mountain in meditation for 10 decades, as the ancient yogis once did.

The feminine on the other hand can be depicted by the Earth – vibrant and full of life, chaotically experiencing herself + her wild beauty. Feminine spiritual pursuits are to cherish all things of beauty, vibrancy, and life.

While an amount of masculine spirituality and empty presence was needed for me to operate in the world… It wasn’t the fullness that I am as Woman.

Embracing myself as a living, breathing, vibrant embodiment of the divine feminine meant embracing myself as sensual.

A woman who is turned on by being herself

A woman who takes pleasure in her senses, who takes pleasure in her body and life. A woman who puts her pleasure first.

Being sensual does not make you cheap, or stupid, or a try hard.

Sensuality makes you a Woman

For many of us sensuality for many of us feels foreign. Women role modelling authentic, empowered sensuality, based in spirituality (love) rather than agenda (money) are few and far between.

Sensuality is not something you DO. It’s something you ARE.

Sensuality is noticing the feel of that fabric as it brushes your skin. Of taking blissful delight of the colour of the sun as it pours through the leaves outside your bedroom window.

Sensuality is sleeping naked and touching your skin. Sensuality is being with the sensations, without judgement. This is true sensuality.

Collectively the divine feminine is spoken of in many circles. Her power is awakening and women, myself included, desire more fluid-filled feminine lives.

Yet the divine feminine is not only flow and ease and grace.

She is also erotic and powerful and fierce.

The divine feminine is sensual.

And she is asking us to wake up. And take her back.

How about Sex? …  What is it?

SEX … Sensual Energy Xchange

The great virtue in sex is generosity, the capacity to offer an abundance of feeling, intelligence, and equality to your partner.

This doesn’t mean surrendering completely or giving away too much, but rather a thoughtful and moderate offering of self.

There is a traditional spiritual virtue applied to the special realm of sex.

We live in a culture so tainted by its Puritan beginnings that we often find it hard to have a healthy relationship with anything to do with our bodies.

From our twisted relationship with food, to a seriously unhealthy disconnect from our sexual selves, a great deal of what ails us comes from a culture that looks at all that is “sensual” with suspicion.

I am willing to bet there are quite a few peeps who started reading this article expecting me to be talking about sex, sex, sex because the word “sensual” has been reduced to just that. But sexuality is just the tip of the sensual iceberg, the category covers all our senses and the aspects of our lives they influence (that would be all of it.)

Reclaiming Our Whole Selves

The truth is (sorry Puritans) that we are spiritual/sensual beings. Neither are we just beings of our senses, there is more to us than our physicality; we are beings of spirit and sense. Both parts of our nature are equally necessary for our journey through this world. There’s a reason the single most holy thing religion does is a meal. (Though we’ve sanitized the hell out of it, at its root, it’s a meal.)

Use your imagination for a moment. Imagine that the most holy, the most spiritual thing you could do was to eat. Breathe in the smell of yeast and warm wheat from fresh bread, the creamy scent of warm butter melting on the slices, and cool rich cream in jugs on the table. Run your eyes over trays piled high with fruit in a dozen different colours, gleaming with fresh dew straight out of the garden and orchard.

Take a sip from your cup and your tongue is flooded with the tart/sweet/rich melody of flavours that is local wine. When you are handed the bread by your neighbour feel the warmth on your fingers, the powdery texture of the flour that kept it from sticking to the bread board, the smooth crisp crust, the warm yielding softness within. It gives under your fingers as you tear off your piece and pass the loaf on. This is sensual spirituality. This is spirituality big enough for our whole lives.

Our Sacred Senses

Now think about your last meal. Maybe it was amazing, but more likely it was eaten in a rush because you were late for something, maybe you ate it standing up over the kitchen sink, gulping down whatever would keep you going until it was time to eat again. Most of us don’t taste our food as we try to prep for our morning meeting and yell at the kids to get ready.

Or maybe you’ve struggled with food all your life, and you eat it with suspicion. It isn’t just our taste we neglect or view with suspicion. Our senses are generally an afterthought. Useful when they are working as they should, annoying when they are not. And when it comes to our spiritual lives, they generally get left behind completely.

How many times does a meditation teacher hear complaints about how hard it is to meditate with the sounds of life going on around us. How many times does a religious leader hear complaints that the sounds of children in the worship space are distracting and inappropriate (hint: all the freakin’ time ).

Our senses, and the world they reveal to us are not a distraction from the spiritual.

Through our senses. Your senses are your connection.

Reclaiming Sensuality & Spirituality

It is long past time that we reclaimed our embodied human sense as the sacred tool that it is.

When we disconnect out thinking brain, when we cut off the inputs it has come to rely on suddenly the rest of our body gets to speak. We have made spirituality into a thinking exercise for far too long. Faith has become about intellectual assent. But that’s not how it’s always been. Our spirituality used to be rooted in our senses and it is time we reclaimed sensual spirituality.

Learning to feel again

Reconnecting with the world through our senses is a lifelong mission.

There is a story in a book I adore (The Book of Joy, The Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu) wherein someone asks the Dalai Lama if he’s allowed to enjoy his food. After all he’s a serious monk who has taken vows to swear off all sorts of things to further his spiritual development. The Dalai Lama points out that we need food and caring for our bodies is important. He goes on to say that enjoying food isn’t the problem, eating only for pleasure and not for the care of our bodies is the issue. A little while later while eating a meal with the interviewer the Dalai Lama turned to his questioner with a huge smile on his face holding his bowl of traditional rice pudding. Beaming he said, “I love this!”

Our spirituality does not require that we reject the beauty and joy our senses bring us, it simply reminds us to keep those experiences in their proper perspective. The Dalai Lama loves his pudding, but he knows a few bites gives him full joy of it and he can move on without unhealthy obsession. (Science backs this up, did you know you get just as much pleasure from one bite of a favourite desert as from a full serving?)

Spiritual Bodies

Try this. Chose a sense, taste, touch, sight, hearing, or smell.

Your spiritual practice for today (or this week) is to notice the things that sense brings you and cherish them.

If you choose your sense of hearing sit in meditation and listen to the sounds of the house settling, the wind blowing against the windows, the dog sighing in her sleep. Hear your neighbours mowing the yard not as an unwelcome distraction but a reminder of how close we live to other divine beings.

Cherish the smell of grass, or the amazing curry your neighbour is cooking (maybe ask for the recipe instead of being annoyed that your apartment smells like garlic). Feel the nubbly texture of your sweater, and the soft fur of your cat’s chin. Savour the things your senses bring you, pay attention to them. This is the world; this is Holiness that has put on form and shape and is cuddling up next to you.

Keep a running list of the things you experience and the responses they raise in your heart, soul, and mind. Allow your senses to lead you on a pilgrimage of sacred revelation right there during your everyday life.

This is the stuff spirituality and life are made of

it is possible to be intensely spiritual and intensely sexual at the same time.

There is no contradiction. More than that, I came to believe that if a person’s sexuality is not fully accepted, his spirituality will suffer. And vice versa: if his spirituality is not strong, his sexuality will be weak.

From all these sources, I developed the ten erotic commandments. Notice that they are not about physical love as an isolated phenomenon.

I think of a human being as always, in every instance, made up of body, soul, and spirit. There is no such thing as purely physical love because we are more than physical. So, be prepared for a broader notion of what sex is all about.

There are practical steps to go with these “commandments.” Realize the importance of taking care of your bodies: being clean, smelling nice, dressing well.

Pay attention, as well, to what you say, talking with some intelligence and thoughtfulness. Choose the setting and props carefully: good oils, fragrances, linens.

Spiritual rituals are always carried out with attention to detail and with beauty.

Spiritual Sex – Sensual Energy Xchange

1. Move beyond narcissism and self-absorption.

This is not a glamorous suggestion, but it is essential. Treat your partner honestly, respectfully, and kindly. It’s as simple as that. Spirituality begins in achieving a basic but difficult aspect of maturity — not being selfish. This doesn’t mean that you don’t take care of yourself and have full satisfaction in your sexual life, but as the spiritual traditions consistently teach, you can’t be happy if those around you are not happy.

2. Sex is a union of persons, not only bodies.

You can prepare for sex by being an interesting person, bringing with you your intelligence, culture, ideas, values, and talents. It’s one thing to make love with a pretty body and another to be intimate with a real person.

You can take time to talk to your partner, maybe at dinner before lovemaking. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things that matter. Letting a closely guarded thought emerge can lead to a physical sense of release. If you can’t do this with your dinner partner, then your sex may not be anything special.

3. A spiritual person has a broad vision. He or she is interested in life, meaning, and the world. Vision is an aspect of transcendence and a reach beyond self. Sex usually begins and ends in conversation. Visionary talk, in contrast to mundane and self-centred chatter, can be vital and erotic.

4. Spirituality benefits from contemplation or meditation.

Lovemaking can have a contemplative quality — taking time, allowing yourself to be dreamy, giving in not only to passion but also to the timeless atmosphere of sex. Ecstasy, a word often applied to sexual experience, means “to stand outside,” and it doesn’t have to have the swoon factor that people sometimes associate with it. Ecstasy can be a steady, calm progress to a state that is tranquil and otherworldly.

5. Sex is as much a ritual as anything done in church or temple.

A ritual is an action that speaks primarily to the heart and soul. It doesn’t have much practical meaning. Some people like to justify sex by seeing it to make babies or to express love.

Obviously, it can do these things, but it can also be a ritual that evokes the spirituality of the relationship, long or short, casual, or serious. Therefore, the spiritual quality of sex may increase if you pay attention to its ritual aspect: timing, clothing, music, candles, setting, language.

6. Sex can be virtuous without being repressive or too clean.

7. Sex has a lot to do with appreciating the beauty of the human body and the person.

You don’t have to be a stunner. Fortunately, sexual passion allows us to see the beauty of the body in small elements and gestures. Loving the person also helps, because the beauty of the personality usually gets transferred to the body.

8. Prayer takes many forms.

Even the monks have said that to work is to pray. You don’t have to say formal prayers before sex, but you can bring to it such an appreciation for its power to express love and to make unions that it becomes a prayer.

9. For sex to be deeply exciting and engaging, you must evoke the spirit of sex.

The ancient Greeks and Romans had a keen awareness of the spirituality in sex, which they personified in the goddesses Aphrodite and Venus. An old story is told of pilgrims going by boat to an island where they could venerate a statue of the naked and seductive Aphrodite. As a muse is to an artist — a real and important source of inspiration — so this spirit is to a couple making love.

10. Spirituality involves reaching beyond the self.

Sex is quite private, but a good sex life can help make a good community. One of the results of good sex is joy, pure and simple, an antidote to the often depressive, cynical tone of modern life, with its tendency to dehumanize and make excessive demands.

When people have a joyful, positive outlook, they are capable of community

Our trial collection of Lynnie’s green banana flour based with lacto fermented brines and Ooh la la gold leaf lube in a tube!

With gratitude to my amazing Unicorn and Mermaid members of The Gut Academy Create – together we are spreading our wings and reaching for the sky!!

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© 2021 Lynnie Stein