What a lovely gift for your friend as she embarks on this new phase of life—where sacred sexuality may play an important and lifelong role. Terra incognita for some, the ocean of life for others, the multifaceted nature of sexuality deserves much exploration. Healing traditions from earliest times to present include sexual energy as a sacred expression of the divine. Out of the womb of creation comes our sexuality. This divine energy flows through all things, creating and giving life.
Becoming a loving person is such an integral part of living organically. This includes loving the earth, your neighbors, your significant other, and yourself. What’s more, love in the organic sense reaches beyond the traditional meaning of intimacy. Compassion, enchantment, sensuality, commitment, joy, and many other emotions come into play.
Naturally, an important facet of love is our sexuality—the libidinal type—and how we express it. However a number of saboteurs can take us away from our most loving self. “Feeling the love” takes a commitment on our part. It’s easy in today’s stressful and time starved world to let sexual satisfaction fall by the wayside. Some of you reading this may want to renew this wonderful relationship with your sensual, sexual self. Since our body’s central organ of sexual response is the brain—imbibing in “organic” brain food can include blissful aromas, luscious tastes, enlivening colors, mesmerizing music, warm baths, sensual massage, fragrant flowers, candlelight, the feel of silk on bare skin, feathers, reading erotica, skinny dipping, moonlight… you get the idea!
In filling that gift basket, I would say, let the Tantric approach be your guide. In Tantra yoga, pursuit of sexual pleasure has long been a form of sacrament, considered as essential to nurturing life as food and water. Perhaps include the ultimate manual on Tantra lovemaking, the Kama Sutra—written by Vatsyayana 2,000 years ago, about the same time as the Bible’s book of Revelation. Deepak Chopra has done a lovely updated version of this sacred ancient text.
A mélange of worship, meditation, ritual, and mysticism, this tradition teaches that sacred love leads to a direct experience with God. To the yogic practitioner, Tantric worship transforms orgiastic energy into a spiritual force that delivers the worshipper to the divine. Whether loving yourself or your beloved, lovemaking includes exquisite consciousness and modulation of every sensation felt in concert with the breath. In other words, the true pleasure of sex doesn’t come from orgasm but rather in recognizing, receiving, and satisfying our lover.
Tantra yoga assigns a central role to the senses in the quest for holy enlightenment. Loving touch, ritual bathing, sacred soundscapes, ecstatic dance, sensuous fabrics, herbs, aromatic oils, body paint, along with edibles, such as dried and fresh fruits, healthy nuts, champagne and chocolates (chocolate-dipped strawberries and dried apricots, yum!), are kept close at hand to titillate the tongue and refresh the senses. I encourage further study of the Kama Sutra—a comprehensive prescription for pleasurable living incorporating aspects of mythology and astrology. And of course, there are the 64 enlightening “art of sex” passages. A big reason for the Kama Sutra’s lasting fame and centuries of devoted practitioners is that it equally emphasizes our spiritual desires and sexual satisfaction, considering our human need to feel appreciated and emotionally connected.
There’s also a magnificent book written by one of the most sensual and green wise women on the planet, Diana De Luca. It’s called Botanica Erotica: Arousing Body, Mind and Spirit (Healing Arts Press). This playful and provocative guide to the aphrodisiac foods, herbs and behaviors that arouse us will provide the ingredients for a lifelong exploration of sensual pleasure. You’ll find recipes in the book that you may want to make (organic ingredients, of course!) and include in your gift basket—like candied edible flowers, chocolate spiced butter, Tantric trail mix, Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca) cordial, and much more. By the way, many high profile spas offer workshops on sacred loving—of note is the eco-organic Miraval Tucson resort and spa in Catalina, Arizona.
So many marvelous companies offer organic lotions, oils, lubricants, and “love” toys that I will leave it to your own resourcefulness to research these further on the Internet, however I would be remiss if I didn’t make mention of my friend Wendy Strgar’s company Good Clean Love at www.goodcleanlove.com. I so appreciate reading Wendy’s blog “Making Love Sustainable.” And her organic “love” products are simply divine!
Mary Beth Janssen,a highly respected beauty and wellness educator and a certified mind-body health educator for Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center for Well-Being, pens “Ask the Organic Beauty Expert” for Organic Spa Magazine. She has authored five books, including Pleasure Healing: Mindful Practices and Sacred Spa Rituals for Self Nurturing.