Stress and Sex, A New Possibility
We all know, and are told more and more every day, of the impact of stress. It’s linked to more states of dis-ease, disease, ill health, minor ailments that turn into bigger things, fatigue etc etc etc. the list goes on and on. It’s linked more and more to not only physical issues and problems but also mental, emotional and spiritual conditions. And also sexual.
Most of what we do for stress related conditions deal with the symptoms. There are medications, alopathic and homeopathic for all the stress ailments. It’s easy to pop a pill, take a tablet or swallow a solution. Which doesn’t turn out to be much of a solution, simply because whatever we’re taking the substance for, has nothing to do with the cause of it. So generally we suppress the symptom which pops up somewhere else, and we take something else for it. Almost every health practitioner, from whatever background, acknowledges stress as being the cause of so many of these. But to change that means changing something in our lives, in the way we live, the way we work, the way we have relationships etc. For most of us, that’s too much to do until something really serious happens, it’s too much work, as if we’re not doing enough work as it is. And sadly that’s often when it’s too late. What’s even sadder, particularly with all the information available to us today, we know this.
There’s a wonderful trend at the moment, it’s been happening for a while, and growing, of bringing ideas, information and knowledge from ancient cultures and philosophies into the present. Linking these to current research, finding the connections, seeing how these open new doors, give us new perspectives and expand the way we see ourselves, our world and our lives.
One field that’s growing at an amazing pace is that of sexuality, and I’m going to include sensuality as part of this. There are two major streams of research and growth. The first is more scientific, based in a more western way of thinking. It includes the body, chemicals, the mind, psychology, the nervous system etc. The 2nd is Conscious Sexuality, spiritual sexuality, sexual energy practices etc. these are drawn from many different sources, and much work in this field is being created and developed by its practitioners. A beautiful synergy is developing where so much ancient knowledge about sexuality is now being proven by the scientific method.
One of the principles of sexuality emerging from the ancient ideas, as with all areas of life, is that there’s a purpose to this beyond pleasure. The pleasure is important for so many reasons, but there’s more. Just as there’s more to eating well, to exercise, to learning. There’s a greater purpose, as an example, the more we continue to learn, the better and longer our brains work, the greater interest and meaning we have in life, the more energy we have for living, the less impact certain illnesses that effect older people have on us.
Looking at all this we can begin to see that there is purpose beyond pleasure to some sexual and sensual experiences and practices.
One of the greatest of these is stress release, stress relief, less stress, put it any way you like.
Stress is defined as a state of pressure, strain or tension. This can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, sexual. You name it, any area of our lives can, and does, come under stress. This extends way beyond us to circumstances in the world, political systems, financial systems etc, which all impact on us. The violence and terrorism in so many parts of the world keeps many of us in a higher state of stress, simply by its existence and the connections we have through people and media with the world. The 6 degrees of separation, a butterfly flaps it’s wings in Arizona, there’s a tidal wave in Japan… we all know somebody who…
Let’s put it simply.
Certain sexual and sensual practices can lower stress.
Sometimes radically, sometimes to the point of the stress not being there anymore. There’s a purpose way beyond the pleasure.
And what makes this an interesting and easy lifestyle change is that it’s based on pleasure. Many of the other lifestyle changes that we know will make us less stressed require work and effort. For many people, particularly with a high state of stress, sex has come to be seen as effort. One of the most common effects of stress is low-libido.
If stress is a state of tension, the opposite of that is relaxation. The right kind of sex and sensual experience can take us into deep states of relaxation. And that’s the first key. The right kind of sex. Any sex will generally be relaxing, will increase the pleasure chemicals in our body, will help us feel more relaxed. But if we’re willing to learn about some of the sexual and sensual practices available, we’re actually able to use these in many ways. The first is lowering our stress and being more relaxed. What we see from this is a decrease in the symptoms associated with stress-related ailments. These include better digestion, better sleep, less immune related illnesses such as flu, less headaches, better skin tone, more regulated blood pressure, better heart health to name just a few. The deeper we’re willing to go into these practices the more see the benefits. Then we’re able to go from stress release, from having less sickness to states of better and better health and everything that goes with it, more energy, being more creative, feeling more fulfilled, joints working better, bodies being healthier, all body systems being more regulated, higher immune system functioning, feeling happier, more connected, less alone and separated from the world and society, which is a growing issue due to more digital and less human contact and communication. We’re able to feel more loved, more connected. We have less relationship stress, which is huge for many of us, with the divorce rate ever expanding. And the cost of broken relationships is high, financially as well as emotionally. The happier we are in ourselves and in relationships, the less abuse of alcohol, of substances, prescribed and recreational. The more relaxed we are, the happier we are. From this space the choices we make in life come from somewhere different. Rather than stress-based choices, which are always going to be limited and contractive, we can make choices from being more open, to greater possibilities, so we see more of what’s out there, of what and how we could things.
We then have to ask what the ‘right kind of sex is?’ It falls under the banner of Conscious Sexuality. And like everything else in life it requires some learning, some practice, and some time to enjoy the gifts and benefits of the practices. Just like any other lifestyle change and enhancement. But, once again, when pleasure is the base it becomes easier to do. It means learning things such as Expanded Orgasm, some Tantric practices, Conscious Sensual Energy Massage, different ways to touch, to breathe, different sexual perspectives etc. Most of these can be learned easily, many of them you can practice on your own. You don’t need to subscribe to a particular philosophy or religion or any esoteric ideas. They’re simply practices and processes we can use with a different purpose, in a different way to enhance this life we live. With greater pleasure.
Conscious Sexuality also means that we have to expand our understanding of sex. We have to go beyond the simple idea of sex being about penetration and orgasm, which is the way we generally see it. We’re talking about experiences that involve the build up of sexual and pleasure energy in specific ways. This increases the pleasure chemicals, deepens the relaxation and heightens the experience. Many of these don’t include orgasm, let alone penetration. This requires a mind-shift, moving out of the patterns and conditioning we’re so used to. Some of these experiences don’t include orgasm at all. In Conscious Sexuality the experiences have an intention, a purpose. This allows us to benefit fully and deeply from what they have to offer.
As the research continues we’ll be able to see more of the amazing and beautiful possibilities that our sexuality and sensuality can offer us.