On the Spiritual Aspect of Sex

I know I used to be among those who rolled my eyes when people said things like “sex is spiritual, not just physical.” I refused to believe it because deep down I simply did not want to. And I didn’t want to because of what it meant about my lifestyle, which at the time was saturated with sex. Yet I have come to that realization that sex is spiritual and what this implies for everyone who is either married or sexually active outside it.

First, the idea that sex is spiritual comes across as esoteric and all but it really isn’t. It’s just common sense. As human beings, we understand that we have spirits. We’re not just body and mind (soul), we are also spirit. That’s what separates us from animals, that’s why we can conceive of life after physical death, and so on and so forth. If we have spirits that also means that we exist not just in the physical (body) and mental (soul) realms but also the spiritual realm. So then when we have sex, we see the obvious physical connection and experience, we feel the mental and emotional connection and experience but somehow because we cannot sense the spiritual connection and experience we conclude it must not be there or it is not happening. That is folly. If we exist in all three spheres, everything we do, we do across all three spheres. We can’t connect physically, mentally and somehow just assume that our spiritual side stays disconnected or goes on vacation. No, the sexual act is happening on that plane too. That’s just common sense. Just because you can’t sense it doesn’t make it any less real.

The question then is this: what does it mean if at the same time you connect physically, mentally you also connect spiritually? It has profound implications for sexual promiscuity. You know when sex is done physically, the physical effects linger but nothing a few days, a few showers and a Plan B or two cannot resolve. It’s a little different on a mental/emotional plane. The connections linger. They take root at some level, no matter how casual the sex. And the more that connection is built on the stronger the mental/emotional connection and the harder they become to dislodge. It’s why people who engage in casual sex say things like “I have to have sex with other people so I won’t get caught up in this one person” or something to that effect. And even though guys are a little less emotionally directed, it’s still very true for us. We might suppress it more easily or find ways to externalize it (usually by having sex with someone else) but if a guy tells you he doesn’t feel any connection emotionally from sex at all he’s either lying, not very aware or a psychopath. People go years and still think of someone they had sex with. Especially if it’s good. Which it usually is.

Now if a mental/emotional connection from sex is way harder to dislodge after the physical act is concluded, what about the spiritual connections? Do we think because we don’t feel them they’re not there? Remember that you can’t feel or sense spiritual things. But if necessity they’re there as long as you have a spirit. How does one break a spiritual connection? I don’t know but I suspect it is much much harder than a physical or mental connection.

When I understood this, I paused to think of all the women I’ve had sex with over the years and wondered what that meant for my spiritual state. Must be a patch work of spiritual connections, breaks, half broken and just generally a mess. Imagine the soul of someone who is wrapped up in their feelings for a lot of people they’ve been sexual with and how unhealthy that is mentally then consider the spiritual version of that. It made me shudder a bit because in my ignorant assumption that human sex is just about the same as animal sex, that is, basic biology, I had gone haywire with sexual activity for years. Now I realized something the Bible puts like this: don’t you realize whoever is joined with a harlot becomes one flesh with her?

Well, shit. I didn’t realize. Which brings me to marriage. I finally understood why married people are said to be one flesh, and why that connection is consummated through sex. Married people don’t become one flesh in physical plane, that much is obvious. Even in the deepest of mental connections they don’t truly become one flesh in a soul plane either because while the wife may actively submit to her husband’s will (based on Biblical view of marriage) that doesn’t remove her own will and personhood separate from her husband. That means their one-ness flows from the spiritual aspect, that means they merge spiritually as they consummate their marriage through sex and that connection is reinforced and strengthened as they connect sexually within their marriage daily. It’s why happily married people tend to start looking alike even though you can objectively see that they still look like their normal selves. There’s just something similar about them and sometimes it goes beyond looks, and spills into speech, action, mannerisms etc. That’s an effect of a strong spiritual connection, your spiritual state affects your mental and physical realities. Every motivational speaker knows that by now.

This made me realize that every time I had sex I was not only sharing myself physically but also mentally and spiritually. Scary stuff. This was the realization that set me on the path to celibacy. Because it became clear to me with all those disjointed spiritual connections, when they start spilling into your mental and physical reality, they don’t announce themselves as the results of sexual connections per se.They announce themselves as conflicting emotions, self worth issues, depression, anger, disjointed thoughts and behavior, angst, a feeling of nostalgia for things you don’t exactly know, and so on. It’s why a lot of sexually promiscuous people are depressed or mentally unhealthy. I know I experienced the same thing so I’m not calling names, but it’s fairly observable that a lot of people once they start on the path of being sexually adventurous end up on the path of emotional instability, self esteem and mentally escapist issues, risky behavior and what not. It might start with heartbreak or something but it’s all too common. We see it sometimes more obviously with women because men try to suppress everything and pretend like we can take refuge in our vaunted logical minds but deep down the effect is there if we will open up to it. Most people then use drugs, alcohol or ironically, more random sex to try to deaden those feelings which just makes it worse over time like a dog chasing its tail. I’ve felt this, experienced it and also observed it in others. I suspect it’s why many rockstars die young, unless someone keeps them grounded enough to avoid that rollercoaster of sex, drugs and rock and roll. All that sex is damaging you but you usually never realize where the problem is coming from because we’re so used to a materialist mindset that tells us the only thing real is what we see or feel.

Anyhow, it took this realization and God’s help but I’ve been celibate for a good while now. It’s not been easy. I still struggle with sexual temptation, and the lingering effects of a lifestyle fueled by sex but over the period I’ve been off that gravy train, my mind has been clearing out, I’ve been praying and meditating and reading the Word and sanitizing not just my mind but my Spirit through the help of God. I censor a lot of sexually explicit anything to try to keep my environment clear. Even so, I still fall into old ways sometimes. I sometimes find my conversations driven by sex especially with a woman I’m attracted to. Sometimes I realize I say blatantly sexual things to someone without even being aware of how sexual it is because that’s just normal to me. But I’m not where I was before. I’ve made loads of progress and by God’s grace i will continue to.

And I’ve noticed that my mind is calmer. My soul is less angst ridden. My feet are surer, my focus is better. Than they’ve ever been. I’ve been celibate long enough to almost requalify as virgin. The struggle and prayer now is that I keep it that way until I marry.

Because now I understand that that spiritual connection and one-ness makes sex hyper important but ONLY in marriage. I hope you come to the same realization and make the needed changes to your life as well. So help us God.

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