Sacred Sexuality: Now More Than Ever

With the latest exposure of sexual assault, abuse, and violation in this country, there can be no doubt that our culture suffers from profound sexual dysfunction and illness. Many of us, especially women, have been privately aware of the toxicity for a long time and we now know publicly that there’s hardly a woman in America who hasn’t suffered from some sort of sexual assault, but it seems to take a revelation of this magnitude for the awareness to rise up from the underworld of whispered stories and reach the collective consciousness.

What we’re seeing in the media is the opposite of sacred sexuality. We’re seeing a sexuality based on power, lies, and cruelty, a sexuality that treats women like objects and uses sex to achieve domination. Sexuality isn’t the only sphere where the domination model shows up; we’ve lived in a world that is predicated on competition instead of cooperation for thousands of years, which fundamentally means that we live in a world that denigrates the feminine principle – the archetype of relationship and cooperation over power and competition – at every turn. And nowhere do we see this more clearly and painfully than in the realm of sexuality. We’re brainwashed from the time we’re old enough to absorb information with the message that sex is power, and that one’s sexual worth is defined by one’s desirability. Sex sells, and non-sacred sexuality is everywhere.

What we need now is a revolution of our model of love and sexuality, one that places the feminine archetype of respect, trust, safety, and connection at the helm. Part of the problem is that we’ve been so conditioned in the current model that we, as a culture, have no idea what sacred sexuality means. How can we change a system when we have no idea where we’re going? When I ran my Sacred Sexuality course in June 2017, a participant on the first week’s phone call said in response to the suggestion to abstain from the mainstream media’s portrayal of sexuality, both pornography and otherwise,”Abstaining from pornography is easy, but to abstain from absorbing a negative portrayal of sexuality means I would have to stop watching all television, movies, etc. It’s so clear that unhealthy sexuality is everywhere. A sacredness to sexuality has never been modeled, and I’m not even sure I know what that means. What exactly is sacred sexuality?” It was a brave and honest question, and one that needs to be answered now more than ever.

Sacred sexuality is sexuality that holds the values of connection and respect at its core. It’s sexuality that is focused on process over outcomes, on how you feel instead of how you look. Sacred sexuality means making love with presence, intention, and curiosity, and understands that “making love” is far more than intercourse and includes gentle touch, kissing, and sharing intimate space with a trust partner. Sacred sexuality is mindfulness in action. Sacred sexuality is what this culture needs.

Nobody wins under the current paradigm. Even though men are the perpetrators, the monstrous actions that have recently been exposed indicate that they’re suffering from their own profound character defects and sexual woundedness. To understand this isn’t to excuse it, but it’s important to understand that these horrific actions are an outgrowth and symptom of a model that permeates most of the modern world. And as horrified as women are by the recent information, men are equally horrified. In fact, all of the good men I know not only feel disgusted by the revelations but they also feel ashamed of their sex. Abusers are an affront and a violation to all people.

But it’s women who are leading the way in many realms at this point in history, and it’s women who will turn the tide around our sexuality. If we’re to teach our partners – whether male or female – what it means to make love to us, we need to know what it means to make love to ourselves first. We need to be willing to decode our early imprints around the first faint emergence of our sexuality, from our changing bodies to our menstrual cycle, so that we can name and identity the beliefs that we absorbed. We need to examine the ways in which we denigrate and objectify our own bodies and how we’ve fallen prey to the externalized model the culture propagates. We need to fearlessly dive into every realm of our shame so that we can heal it from the core and emerge as the vibrant, luminous beings that we are.

It’s time to explode the old model and hit reset. It’s time to say, “I do not subscribe to the beliefs, habits, actions, and mindsets of our culture and I’m ready to uproot them from the garden of my body so that I can plant healthy seeds and water them into vibrant bloom. I’m ready to reclaim what is rightfully mine.”

In order to rise into our power as women, we need to tend to our wounds. We need to be willing to dig deep into our histories and our stories, for we cannot be priestesses when our true sexual power is buried under the shame of not only our own stories but our mothers’ and grandmothers’ stories, our sisters’ stories, and our culture’s stories. In order to access the fullness of our YES and connect to authentic desire, we must tell the stories of when our NO was ignored, silenced, or violated. Our desire is buried underneath our shame.

This is tender territory, to say the least. As I’ll be sharing next week, I was nothing short of stunned and shimmeringly inspired by the courage of the women on the last round of Sacred Sexuality to tell their stories, to share their experiences of both covert and overt abuse, to break the veiled silence of shame. It was as if they had been waiting their entire lives to write their stories and find healing and support in the virtual community of the course. It’s as they had been waiting their entire lives to shed the pain and take the next step into the fullness of their being.

We are ready to heal. As much pain and darkness as there is globally, there’s more light and healing than this planet has ever known. As we teeter on this precipice between dark and light, many of us sense that we’re on the threshold of a quantum leap in our evolution as humans, which means it’s time to harness the power of healing that is making its way through our species. We heal from the ground up, from our bodies to our heart to our minds to our souls, and as we enter the world of our body we find a readiness to shed what is no longer serving, to shake ourselves from the shackles of a outdated and harmful paradigm and stand on the edge of something new, something powerful, something glorious. When a great shadow explodes into the light of consciousness, as we’re seeing now around sexuality, it’s an invitation to heal on a massive scale. Now is the time.

Are you ready to heal from body shame and unearth the sexual desire that is waiting to alight? If so, take my hand and let’s begin. The next round of Sacred Sexuality will begin on Saturday, January 13, 2018. You can sign up here and I look forward to meeting you there.

18 comments to Sacred Sexuality: Now More Than Ever

  • Bob Holdsworth

    While I would consider myself a “good man”, I also know that I am the problem too. While I’m older, I still believe that the same culture of conquest is prevalent for younger generations of men. And that this learned male culture is at the core of this problem. It’s not just those in power who abused others (although they do deservedly generate a lot of attention), you can read about it with teachers and underage teens, fraternities, private schools with upper classmen assaulting freshman with a game called the “Senior Salute” and on and on. And the problem goes deeper to the locker room talk, side-glances when an attractive woman walks by, lewd comments (the last few are prominent in both adults and youth) and all the way to those early hormonal urges of young boys talking about “scoring” with a girl.
    So what is the underlying need in us that says it is ok to measure our self worth and value at the expense of another? Abandonment, rejection, control, self-will and fear are at the root here as they feed our lower self with a negative pleasure. That pleasure reinforces our disconnect from our spirit as our ego gets the attention it wants. It takes a strong will to look at our shadow side and see that we don’t need our defenses and negativity to be safe and whole.
    I hope your work infuses woman with strength and a willingness to talk with the men in their lives to help them open their eyes, look in the mirror and say “I am the problem”. Only when we take responsibility can we change. Thanks!

  • Lianna

    Sheryl, you have greatly interested me in the idea of the sacred feminine.

    I know on a deep level that this culture is off balance in the way it values productivity, force, aggression, and winning. I believe that culturally we’ve internalized the belief that the feminine is the opposite of that masculine paradigm – unproductivity, weakness, defeat, submission. This is toxic and poisonous to all involved.

    To reclaim the feminine as respect, trust, safety, and connection, to value creating together over winning through theft or destruction, gives me great hope. I do hope to exist in a world where I can create with kindness, build respectful relationships, and peacefully share the earth’s resources with gratitude.

    Thank you for championing that truth and for being a voice of peaceful strength.

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    Such a critical important topic. Psalm Isadora was a sexual healer and preecher and she helped thousands of people to be proud of their own sexuality. Psalm taught me to love my body unconditionally. Not an easy thing to do, especially when I have been through physical abuse in my childhood. Any kind of abuse is a CRIME. I have seen positive changes from people because there is endless help and support from the professionals. I remember when hitting a child in public was the norm, not anymore. Now in our more educated and modern culture this kind of abuse is reported and a fine is given. Parents are warned and that changes their behaviour. Laws are so necessary. We are moving forward because people are open to share their experiences through social media and this is when change begins. Merry christmas 🎄🎁 and happy holidays 😇🙏🤗💝

  • Elle

    Thank you so much for this. I am a woman who has enormous trouble reaching orgasm with my partner. After experiencing months of a gay spike (I thought- because I can’t with my male partner, I must be gay,) I found your work. I realized how messed up I was around sexuality- seeing it as a performance instead of a means of connection or even pleasure, and decided to actually try to connect with myself and my partner. Focusing on connection has made the experience more pleasurable, meaningful, and just plain better. I no longer worry about my outcome, and focus on the process.
    Thank you for your work! It is truly inspired and helpful!

  • Bee

    Is it bad that sometimes when I’m talking to someone about me and my partner for example buying Christmas gifts, sometimes I’ve gone and said “I got you something the other day” instead of “we got you something” sometimes I still use I instead of we but I don’t mean any harm by it, but I get a thought like “if you loved him then you would use the term we instead of I” is this true or just a genuine habit mistake?

  • lovingkindness

    Hi Sheryl,

    I haven’t experienced any abuse, but I have felt very disconnected from my sexuality for a long time – I’m not even sure if disconnected is the right word, because I feel just very non sexual most of the time. My fiancé expressed to me that our differing sex drive is hard for him because he wants more intimacy, not just sex. He wants me to want him, and I do and am attracted to him, but very rarely do I feel that desire towards him. I prefer to kiss, cuddle, and hold each other without the pressure of sex. And while I enjoy sec usually, I’ve never had the big O, I could really take it or leave it in all honesty, but I want to work on this because I care about him and our future marriage.

    Would this course be helpful to me? Is there anything to discover if I’m simply not a very sexual being?

    Thank you as always,

    LK

    • There’s SO MUCH to discover through the course, lovingkindness, and I would say the majority of the people on it describer their relationship to their sexuality in a very similar way as you have.

      • lovingkindness

        Thank you, Sheryl. I think I will enroll in the course. Your past courses have been life-altering for me, so I’m sure this one is no different!

  • Audrey

    Such an important article, and I agree with everything you have said. In reading this article though, I feel a drive to comment and implore you to consider in these articles to write from a perspective that considers the range of transgender identities – those people who do not identify as “male or female” but somewhere in between – and ESPECIALLY in conversations about sexual assault, because trans people disproportionately experience sexual abuse and trauma (50%, as opposed to the 25% statistic for women – see https://www.ovc.gov/pubs/forge/sexual_numbers.html). Saying “male OR female” without acknowledgement of those who identify as neither erases the possibility to see these identities that are already marginalized and hidden. It’s certainly a difficult thing to change this language that is deeply intertwined in our society. Still an incredibly important topic to discuss and I am so glad you are doing it. Thank you for reading.

    • Thank you, Audrey. It’s such an important conversation and I will be sure to become more educated on it. Let me ask you: How would you suggest that making the sentence where I referred to “male or female” more gender friendly? It sounds like in making sure that it’s gay-friendly I’m overlooking the gender conversation.

  • Susi

    HI,

    To make your sentence “if we are to teach our partners….” more gender friendly just eliminate “-whether male or female-”

    Your course sounds amazing but for some reason thinking of taking it scares me.

    Susi

    • Thank you. The language is tricky because I do want to invite all configurations of partnership but I will certainly be more aware of my gendered language.

      It’s normal to be scared of this topic, Susi. I’m curious if you have a sense of what specifically scares you about it…?

  • GG

    Hello,

    I’ve been contemplating taking the relationship anxiety course for quite sometime since it is something I struggle with. However, I feel the Sacred Sexuality course is very pertinent in my life right now. I’ve been in a relationship for 2 years and we have recently had to do long distance due to me losing my job. To get the most benefit out of our courses, would it make sense to take the relationship anxiety course first? Or does the order not matter in this instance?

    • Hi GG: I responded on the Sacred Sexuality page as well and said that if your sense is that this course would be more pertinent then I encourage you to take it. If your relationship anxiety is severe then it’s best to do the Break Free course first, but if it’s more in the background then the order doesn’t matter. I hope that helps!