What’s Next In Sex
Using sexual energy to heal sexual trauma by reconnecting sexuality to spirituality
Austrian psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Reich, a protégé of Sigmund Freud, was correct in saying that sexual ecstasy is the greatest healing force. I have discovered in my practice over the years that people don’t necessarily need years of talk therapy to heal sexual trauma.
My own healing journey from sexual trauma as a young child began with six years of talk therapy. Thanks to that work, I was left with a context for my pieced-together painful memories. But I did not find my deepest healing on the couch. My continued journey took me in a different direction: one that to me was unprecedented, controversial and even shocking. I learned how to use sexual energy itself to heal my sexual trauma. This path of healing directly through the conscious deployment of sexual energy emerges from what has been called “the subversive path of left handed tantra.”
Tantra is an ancient path that embraces non rejection of any experience. It was only this radical work that finally brought me all the way home to my own body. I was able, for the first time in my life, to fully reclaim the wholeness of my sexual pleasure.
I discovered that what I needed to heal was to immerse myself in the ecstatic bliss of my own being. I learned that erotic energy heals! I came to understand this first, through my study of a radical healing system derived from Reich’s work called Core Energetics. I eventually became a teacher of that work and experienced a deeper embodied aliveness in myself and with my clients. Yet it was years later that I received a rare, direct transmission of this ecstatic energy from a living master of an ancient tantric lineage.
Wilhelm Reich came to this same realization, which forms the core of his work. Reich was a respected yet controversial figure whose work on human sexuality and neuroses focused on what he called the “orgiastic potency” as a means to achieve physical and psychological health. He believed that sexual energy was the most sublime of all energies and that a person’s sexual freedom was the greatest of aspirations.
In his book Character Analysis, he proposes his theory of “body armoring”. He suggests that blocks in the deep physical structures of the body are formed as a result of unreleased psychosexual energy and trauma. Reich understood a free flow of orgiastic energy throughout the body would give us freedom from neurosis and trauma, offering a healthy, fulfilled life. He felt that sexual energy was not to be experienced only genitally but as full- bodied aliveness.
Reich in his own work with clients used techniques to flood the body with orgiastic energy, as a way to cleanse the body and restore it to its natural equilibrium. In my training as a Core Energetics Practitioner, I learned about Reich’s techniques to support clients to shed their body armor and find their authentic selves underneath.
When we block the free flow of life energy the emotions and spirit, interconnected to the life force, become blocked as well. When we reestablish the free flow of energy, we have an experience of feeling radically alive on all levels of our being.
Current frontiers of consciousness are beginning to understand that we can all have direct access to extraordinary experiences. What was once only the province of saints and mystics is now available to all of us. We are now discovering a new era of intimacy and communion through embodied ecstasy as a portal to our highest selves.
The information we need to transform and heal is already coded in our bodies. We innately possess the blueprint to activate this flow. All we need to do is learn how to open our erotic energy with conscious direction. Our bodies then begin to release the blocks to our natural connections to Source, God, or Infinite Intelligence. In what has been termed Hebrew Tantra this source is called Shekinah, or the Goddess, who grants the gifts of her mysterious healing powers.
My colleagues and I call this process of healing sexual trauma through sexual energy, Total Body Orgasm Activation. It is an embodied awakening — an opportunity to connect with the vast erotic power and potential that is always available inside of us. It is an experience of being fully alive in our body.
With practice, this embodied aliveness of Goddess becomes deeply anchored in our being. We become ‘turned on” all the time. Our wounds and feelings of brokenness begin to dissolve and we feel literally rewired with the eros of radical aliveness. We then realize we can generate this aliveness and wellbeing from within. We take responsibility for our own arousal. We reclaim our true power and potency.
How did I find this path? For many years I taught and led workshops and groups on the healing of sexuality. I had been deeply committed to working with women, particularly in the area of sexual trauma and abuse. Helping others heal sexual wounding became a deep passion for me. I was called to offer this service to others even as it was also a way for me to deepen my own healing journey. Yet, after more than twenty years, I was still not able to fully come to terms with this most painful challenge of my life.
In my personal experience, the energy of the Goddess revealed herself through a direct energetic transmission from an extraordinary master. I was participating in a retreat five years ago in upstate New York, entitled The Journey to Love. His potent transmission gave me direct access to this core teaching. In his articulation the central teaching of Hebrew Tantra was expressed in the phrase, “God is Eros”.
During the weekend, I began to experience these teachings as a living dharma. They resonated profound truths that pierced my being in a uniquely powerful way. As he completed the teaching on Saturday afternoon, I began to feel a strange surge of energy rush through my body. I sat up against a wall, closed my eyes and felt my body suddenly lurch forward.
I found myself lying flat on the floor having a full-bodied Shekinah experience [Shekinah is the feminine Hebrew name of God]. Intense waves of powerful Shakti coursed through my body. The energy of the transmission had, with great force, entered me.
The only way I can describe it is that it began to break me open. The erotic energy profoundly and ecstatically loved me open from the inside out. I writhed for over an hour releasing the pain of my old emotional trauma. The emotional trauma release was followed by an experienced of being totally engulfed in waves of rapturous pleasure which coursed and quivered throughout my entire being. The only thing I could do was completely surrender and let it move through me.
After the energy receded I felt deep peace that I had never experienced before. I had a profound awareness that I was part of everything and everyone. For the first time I knew, through my body, what it meant to be erotically ravished by Love itself. Through the dharmic transmission, I experienced an embodied awakening, an indescribable inner journey. I now know the experience to be a transmission of what has been called Outrageous Love.
In my experience, this love intelligence of radical wholeness, which some call the Goddess, connects human consciousness to the consciousness of the Divine. This connection initiates an evolutionary process, one that opens people up to new ways of being. New doors open towards the expression of one’s greatest gifts and unique potential. The energy anchors and transmits a profound surrender and alignment to the presence of the One Heart, bringing with it radical healing and transformation.
The master however was careful not to claim ownership of this potent force of wholeness. He gave me an empowered transmission, which taught me how to embody it as part of my person and power. I now gratefully embody this transmission and am able to pass it on to my students and others, and they to their students.
The experience of this energy, which is filled with what Plato called Eros, has been accessed by great mystics throughout the ages. Some of them learned to tap into it to produce spiritual power and enlightened consciousness. Closer to our time, it was Wilhelm Reich who understood most profoundly that life energy and Eros are one and the same. Leading edge physicists, evolutionary biologists and psychologists are now pointing towards similar conclusion.
Reich was persecuted relentlessly by the established ethos of his day. His life ended tragically in a prison in 1957. He refused to stop the promotion of his idea that orgastic energy was the fundamental life energy that not only courses through human beings but through all of cosmos itself. The same sacred esoteric teaching of the lineage master that “God is Eros.”
Reich’s ideas, the ideas of the lineage master and the subversive path of left handed tantra are still considered controversial. Still shunned among the old therapeutic guard. Yet the ideas and it’s ancient transmission are still very much alive today!
For more information, go to Integral Evolutionary Tantra.