So simple, so amazing: a journey into awareness
Chapter 11: Slaying the dragon
Sharing my sexual fantasy kicked off a few weeks of us having probably the best sex of our relationship; and yet very soon after, we began exploring the idea of giving up sex altogether.
For a few weeks we allowed ourselves to get lost in fantasising and fucking. And then we woke up. We began to realise that sex is a way that we get lost, lose control, and lose our awareness, and fantasising whilst having sex is, or could be a kind of sex magic. I resisted at first, thinking, how can something that feels so good be wrong? But of course that is a ridiculous argument- look at bacon sandwiches.
Unthinkable that me, an earthy Taurean who loves to feel my bare feet on the ground, who loves walking, exercise and nature, who is totally wedded to the physical, who loves food, loves sex… could give up sex.
It had been mentioned before, during our foray into Buddhism. We had been talking about craving and how things fall away and John said, eventually even sex might just fall away. I remember feeling very strange about that, as if it opened a door to a possibility I hadn’t considered before, forcing me to think the unthinkable.
I found it hard to imagine us giving up sex without some distance or withdrawal occurring; either because that’s the only way we’d be able to do it, or because that would be a consequence of us stopping having sex with each other.
Years before we even met, John had been into tantric sex, Tao, the idea that orgasm depletes your finite reserves of energy.
Why do this? We’ve done everything else. We’ve had enough sex to last a lifetime. It’s like the lifestyle equivalent of when my hair had been every colour (orange, black, purple, red, pink, platinum…), the only place to go was natural. Why not try the one thing we’ve never tried: No sex.
I did feel better when I stopped fantasising- even straight away I noticed good things happening day to day, as if I was being rewarded for purifying my thoughts.
We went three weeks without an orgasm. The effects were felt in terms of increased energy (John) and increased awareness (both of us).
We didn’t stop having sex, but we did limit it by setting certain days and by going as long as we could without having orgasms. Having sex without the intention of orgasm changes things, and creates new ways of having sex and new ways of finishing. Finding the moment to stop and then sitting or lying together as we let sexual excitement wash out. Not using hands, not trying so hard. Treating it more like giving a massage. Accepting it as an experience complete in itself.
The experience of having sex and stepping back from orgasm, wanting to come but managing to stay conscious. Like just having a lick of an ice cream when you want the whole thing or ordering a slice of chocolate cake and only eating one mouthful. Like stepping right up to heaven and then walking away… because you can. Because you are strong enough. Because you are so strong you are able to see this for what it is, an earthly desire that you can control. And when you do control it, you feel powerful, you feel aware, you feel risen, separate, up above the earthly pleasures of the bed. Why? To teach us to walk away, not in a self harm/punishment way (although I can see how religions saw this and corrupted it) but to make us realise that… We can walk away from everything.
In bed, got hot talking about sexual fantasy, up until then, had been conscious, lovely sex, then lost it, wanted to come, did come, and fell right back down, into the body, with energetic ties so thick they were almost visible: to sex, to my sexual parts, to John. Bound, wanting to go back to it, like getting drunk one night and wanting to just go back to the pub again the next day because it’s just too hard to drag oneself out of it to somewhere else. Like getting stoned and forgetting about the dishes. I lost my awareness.
So I figured I must be making progress, to notice these changes.