Yoga, derived from the sanskrit word “yuj”, means “to yoke or bind”. Through it’s cleansing process, we gain an understanding of the tangible, physical body in order to access & provide clarity to the non-tangible mind & spirit through energetic awareness & clarity of our thoughts, emotions, & attachments.
Yoga & healthy sex both strive toward unity & connection. At first glance, any desire appears to be dualistic in nature, in that we want something other than ourselves (that which we are not united with). Yet, when we look closely, it becomes a good deal less simple than that.
As Mike Lousada & Louise Mazanti state in their book, Real Sex:
“Fundamentally, all spiritual traditions say that God (the divine, or whatever form the tradition believes to exist) created the universe in order to feel itself because by being at one with everything, the divine could not experience itself. The nature of the universe, say the spiritual traditions, is that it’s constantly striving to know its true nature, which is its sense with oneness with all that is. That is the universal cycle, the rotation between separation & unity. We, too, long for the otherness in order to feel connection with it, to experience the return to oneness.“
Many practices advise that we release any & all desire. That can sometimes feel like someone is telling us “just stop being stressed” – helpful. I’ll just do that.
In this practice, we invite you to feel desire, all of your desire, but thoughtfully distinguish the object from the energy of the desire. In allowing ourselves to fully embrace the energy of our desires, we free ourselves from repression & instead invite truth. As we have seen, at the root of all desire is our return to oneness.
The water element is associated with fluidity. We as humans are continually changing, learning, & growing in our understanding of ourselves, one another, & the world around us. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. On a very physical level, the cells that I had 10 years ago have now shed & replaced themselves. On a mental level, I would like to think that I have learned a lot both through real-world experiences & dedicated educational studies. Emotionally, these experiences have influenced my perception of the world & of myself. I know & can see that I am nothing but continual and dynamic change. Surely, 10 years from now, I will be a different person than I am today. I will look different, feel different, & with any luck in my dedication to an open mind, think differently. And yet, I still sometimes feel the need to associate with that which is static. I often feel this pull especially when it comes to identity & attraction.
As stated in The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy & Dossie Easton:
“Looking at the theory & practice of bisexual lifestyles offers opportunities to explore our assumptions about the nature of sexual & romantic attraction & behaviors. Some folks have had sex only with members of one gender but know that they have within themselves the ability to connect erotically or emotionally with more than one gender & thus consider themselves bisexual. Others may be actively having sex with someone of a gender that is not their usual choice & still consider themselves heterosexual or gay. Some bisexuals prefer different types of interaction with different genders, while others consider themselves gender-blind. Some can be sexual with any gender but romantic with only one, or vice versa, & so on, throughout the universe of bisexual attractions & choices. Bisexuals challenge a lot of our assumptions about gender, & many bisexuals can tell you what is different for them between sex & relationships with one gender & with another. This interesting & privileged information can provide all of us with new stories about sex & gender. The increasing visibility of bisexuality has led to some challenges to traditional definitions of sexual identity. Specifically, we are having to look at the fact that our sexual attractions may say one thing about us, while our sexual behaviors say another, & our gender identity says yet a third.“
Even identifying with a label – bisexual, gay, straight, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, trans, genderqueer, and many, many more – all have many meanings & evolving definitions within them.
Relationships & identity don’t do well when we try & stuff them into pre-conceived forms. The continuums of gender, both in identity & attraction, are as dynamic as we are. Allowing ourselves to embrace these concepts in their continual fluidity allows us to remain close to what is true.
Sarah Hunter Murray & Lori Brotto’s work in the Journal of Sex & Marital therapy explores the concept of heterosexual male desire. In their study of 300 men between the ages of 18-65 who were in a relationship for at least 6 months, only 12% reported that their partner made them feel as sexually desired as they wanted to be (despite having almost 95% reporting that feeling desired in their relationship was very “important”).
The silver lining? Sexual revolution! By reclaiming our empowered voice to be sexual, we allow ourselves to actively give & passively receive pleasure, regardless of gender or relationship structure. We align with the truth that we, as humans, have a need to feel desired.
Sexual scripts are often limiting & frustrating leaving us with outdated & stereotypical roles to be played instead of truth to be enacted. The dynamics of giving & receiving pleasure are not gender based & our insisted adherence to that false expectation has created a wealth of dissatisfaction & unnecessary confusion. The active & passive roles with regards to our sexual play are often contextual & may vary from moment-to-moment, relationship-to-relationship, in any given situation. Knowing how to both receive & give pleasure are skills that we should all be comfortable & familiar with, no matter our gender, orientation, or relationship structure.