by Fred Burks
“What I’ve found is that in life in general, and particularly in sexuality, it’s all about honoring my natural desires while at the same time committing to stay conscious and fully consensual with everything I do.”
Happy Valentine’s Day! On this special day for honoring our beloveds, 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 a most awesome and powerful force. When the sex hormones run hot in our veins, we feel incredibly excited and thrilled to be alive. Life once again becomes a great adventure. Yet when these hormones rage, the rational mind has this very strange tendency to shut down. Our thinking is hijacked by primal instincts which can cause us to do things that we never in our rational mind would do.
This unfortunately has led to profound wounding on both personal and global levels. Sex abuse, which is much more common than many would like to admit, is a sad, but all-to-common manifestation of sexual desire gone berserk. Harnessing the intense sexual drive can be quite challenging, yet the rewards of doing so can be incredible depth and intimacy with our partners, and yes, better sex, too.
A gorgeous woman I met a few years back came from a childhood of intense sexual and emotional abuse. I’ll use the name Rachelle for her. Rachelle had a pattern of jumping into sex quickly, only to then soon regret and feel shame about it. The first time she and I really connected, Rachelle had recently decided for the first time to be celibate for several months to break her pattern and learn to really love herself.
Shortly after we met, both Rachelle and I acknowledged an intense sexual attraction between us, yet I told her I wanted to support and honor her in this beautiful intention to love herself by holding off on being sexual. She was clear she would not be able to hold back, so I told her I would take responsibility for holding our boundaries.
When I eventually did hold the boundary of not being sexual for several months – even when at times she badly wanted to go there – Rachelle was moved to tears. She told me she had never been treated with such love and respect. And when months later we finally did surrender to the amazing bliss of full-on sex, it was incredibly ecstatic for both of us. She even found out for the first time that she was multi-orgasmic! Though we were only together a couple years, Rachelle emailed after we parted 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. It 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, like when Rachelle jumped into bed too quickly with many men, only to later feel shame about it. And 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 rape and even murder 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.
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.
I’m most fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when powerful sexual urges arise. I’m thrilled to have learned to dance with and channel this powerful energy in ways that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I’m feeling attraction, but to all in my life.
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. I trust myself to honor both my partner and myself even when the hormones are raging in my veins.
After years now on this path, I have no doubt that by surfing the rich waves of desire while also keeping my mind and heart present, I can experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This conscious practice 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 woman now, I enjoy letting her know that I feel attracted to her. If she seems open to it, I’ll even show fiery passion in my eyes as I express this.
Yet even as I show my attraction, I don’t at all push it on her. I simply express the attraction and wait for a response. I make clear that though I am attracted, I have no need to do anything about it. She then feels that I’m not pressuring 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.
Staying conscious doesn’t mean denying the powerful urges which arise during sexual contact. I love consciously surrendering to the incredibly rich sensations and primal desires when they arise. When we are both feeling that delicious animal intensity and desire, the sex can be absolutely awesome!!! Yet I only go there when the contact is fully consensual and welcomed by my partner.
When two people are both in full and clear consent, inviting these 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 Rachelle.
Once a man is sexually aroused, the powerful drive towards ejaculation for many is overwhelming. Some men 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 act on it, I can tell you that it can be incredibly rewarding and even ecstatic once you learn to let that tension just be when it is there. Ride that wave like you would a bucking bronco. As I’ve gotten ever more comfortable playing with this dynamic tension, I 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 sent me to my room and wouldn’t let me go on wild adventures. 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 or girl 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 let the bad boy out and break the rules or do what we’re not supposed to, like joining the “mile high club” by making love in an airplane bathroom. Yet if there is any risk of harm, I will not go there.
When this bad boy or girl shows up in sexual connecting and it is dealt with in a conscious way that is consensually agreed upon, it can bring a whole lot of fun, pleasure, and ecstasy. Role playing naughty scenes can be a lot of fun! 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 honoring my natural desires and urges while at the same time committing to stay 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? This is how we transform our world and bring more joy and passion into our lives.
With warmest wishes for a great Valentine’s Day,
for the PEERS empowerment websites
Note: For more on transforming your sexuality, see this online lesson on sacred sexuality. For other articles on bringing sexuality out of the closet, see Fred’s website Let’s Talk Sex. And to visit a richly inspiring website showing how we are all interconnected through a beautiful web of love.
- Start by being as honest with yourself as you can about your attractions and sexual desires. Pay attention to when you start to go unconscious and make a choice not to go there. Don’t deny what you are feeling or thinking, yet also don’t act on it unless you are making a clear, conscious choice.
- As you learn to accept and control your sexual desire, explore sharing about it with others. Let’s take sex out of the closet and talk about what works and what doesn’t.
- Consider taking a course in tantra to learn more about controlling and channeling sexual desire in ways that honor all involved. The Human Awareness Institute (HAI) offers great workshops in a variety of locations which invite participants to explore intimacy and sexuality in conscious ways.
- Share this inspiring essay on sexual desire with your friends and bookmark it on key social networking websites using the “Share” icon on this page.
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