HOLY F*CK: CAN CASUAL SEX BE SPIRITUAL?

In the second installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo questions if modern-day hookup culture can co-exist with a Numi gal’s desire for conscious dating and sex…

As I sat next to my two friends Malia and Loulou watching Marianne Williamson speak to a crowded LA auditorium, I slumped further and further down in my chair as she discussed that which had been keeping me busy post breakup for nearly nine months…CASUAL SEX. Her words: “When a man puts anything in any of your orifices he has unspoken claim on you”, stung me. And to add insult to injury she went on to state: “Some Buddhist teachings say after sex the energy of the other person doesn’t leave your aura for seven years.”

Shit. My aura was starting to feel real crowded.

Not to mention that on my way to see Marianne talk I had casually mentioned to my new friends how I had recently had phenomenal sex in the back of a Prius under the Hollywood sign with a TV actor in an open relationship after drinks at the Soho House. (#Cliché.) I laughed about it, but now I felt a little uneasy…

Last year when I broke up with my girlfriend of nearly two years and decided to try dating dudes again, I had a period of being “free.” Meaning I hit Tinder hard. I was still meditating. Practicing affirmations. Reading Marianne and Louise Hay. But I was also determined to learn how to have casual sex in a casual way. Remember the “Sex and the City” episode where Carrie tries to have sex like men and can’t? That was me.

But there I was on Tinder, wondering: is conscious dating and/or sex even possible through online apps? Can you explore deep sexual bliss with a stranger you drunk swiped on? In fact, can you explore sexual bliss with a stranger at all?

Obviously sex and religion is a whole big Pandora’s box I will not attempt to open, except to say that I do have massive PTSD from spending too many hours at “youth camp” where I was saved/told I was a sinner for being a sexual being. I’ve been healing from that for years as a non-religious “spiritual person,” but still many of the same judgements and questions continue to come up. Is casual sex an obstacle towards enlightenment or can it be an aid?

My friend Karley (a.k.a. Slutever) who is a sex writer and creative collaborator, turned me on to Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, who did a rad TED talk on how casual sex can be super healthy, which inspired me. In the last year I decided to fully commit myself to this quest. Oddly (or not – cause the Universe knows what it’s doing) I attracted quite a few “spiritual” dudes down for the cause. According to Dr. Zhana, healthy casual sex must be sober (at least pretty sober) and feel authentic to you. Once alcohol, drugs, and sadness enter, then it’s a whole ‘nother thing. Thing is, I couldn’t seem to get naked with a stranger without at least three drinks. (If this isn’t a sign I dunno what is!)

Then I started seeing someone. I thought maybe this was gonna be someone I would partner with for a long time. We meditated together. We have the same agents. We write and direct comedy. It seemed perfect. And it was – but only on paper. In person we didn’t get along and never laughed. So cut to the breakup, and the same night that a friend asked me to go a “very progressive” sex party. She said I could just watch and that it was going to be a great experience etc…I mean…how could I turn that down?

So in my fragile, broken state I put on a tight black dress and lipstick and got myself into an Uber, and embarrassingly sang the Weeknd’s “Hills” to the driver getting into my “empowered single woman” space, i.e. hot mess space. When I arrived at the sex party I stood on the sidelines until a man with a top knot and a jar of organic coconut oil offered me a Thai Massage. This seemed harmless enough. But then again I was drinking large amounts of Patron. And nothing under the influence of tequila is harmless.

As I was being twisted into yoga poses I heard strange gurgling sounds. When I opened my eyes I saw the woman next to me was double deep throating. I was shocked, and took another deep sip of tequila. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against deep throating – it was just that in my vulnerable state, it was all too much for me. It just didn’t feel like my truth.

I like to think that I’m “sexually progressive,” and open, and sex positive. I think I said yes to at least 2 out of 5 threesomes last year…but maybe that’s just not me anymore. Not my authentic truth now. Though, at this party I kept downing tequila hoping to “make it my truth,” and the next thing I knew I was laying in some couple’s arms, naked. I still have no idea how I made it home, though I did get a text from the wife who is a yoga teacher inviting me to class and telling me: “Congrats on no longer being vanilla!” If she only knew…

The next day I decided to stop drinking. To stop smoking weed. And to stop having casual sex. At least for now. Because none of it seemed to be serving my highest good anymore. (Did it ever?) I had put so much pressure on myself to “be free” and have fun, but the truth was I was covering up loneliness and a feeling of separation from Source.

I can see that my true freedom now lies in healing my wounds, in meditation, and safe self exploration. But my fear was…does this make me…boring?! (Um, if anybody’s watched Be Here Nowish season two I basically wrote a character that I have become! Yoga pants and celibacy!) But you know what: I don’t give a f*ck about becoming boring. I haven’t drank or done drugs in over a month, and I’ve danced, laughed, and sung a ton recently, and felt myself surrounded by beauty and magic.

I’ve also just come off a 3-day meditation retreat where I chanted and sat in a circle for three eight hour stretches with amazing humans deep in spiritual search, which is something I’ve been actively in, off and on, for the last 15 years. I realized how sometimes I veer so far from this part of myself, and thank GODDESS something always brings me back. This time in the form of a best friend who I’ve known for 14 years, Rebecca, beckoning me to Berkeley. And hours of meditation and chanting and crying and healing brought me back, yet again, to myself. The self who is held by Source, and doesn’t need to be held by random strangers.

The truth is, as much as I want to believe in the glories of casual sex, I don’t think it brings me personally closer towards Bliss, Peace, and Spirit. If it works for you then that’s beautiful and more power to ya. For me, I hope and think that having sex with someone I love deeply in a soul partner way will do that.

Until then I’ll go back to what I’ve been doing more of what I’ve loved since I was 19 years old…chanting my kundalini mantras, singing Steve Winwood’s Higher Love at the top of my lungs, making Shiva+Shakti cosmic union collages and altars, getting high off raw chocolate, and doing my girl Elyssa’s soul mate manifesting meditation.

Alexandra Roxo is an LA based filmmaker and actress who is currently developing a holistic coaching business. She has a company called Purple Milk that makes all kinds of fun stuff including the popular web series Be Here Nowish. Follow her on Insta here and read her past Numinous articles on Now Age love and sex here

TURNED ON: SPEAK YOUR TRUTH, RESCUE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Imagine the heartache you’d avoid if you could just speak your truth. Numinous relationships expert Ellie Burrows examines the sacred partnership between our tongue and our heart chakra…Portraits: Mikal Marie Photography

I believe in astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics and mediums. However, I do not believe my boyfriend is a mind reader.

Most people are the opposite. They don’t believe in astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics and mediums. However, they think their boyfriends, spouses, partners and lovers should be able to intuit what they’re thinking.

It makes my brain explode.

For clarity’s sake, I’m not talking about couples and friends who can finish each other’s sentences. Although sweet and impressive, that kind of reminds me of what happens when women live together and all start their monthly cycles at the same time. A bit of a stretch maybe, but I think we all can all agree that when you spend enough time with other humans you begin to adopt their mechanics.

No, I’m talking about when you lash out at your partner for not knowing how you wanted something done. For buying the wrong brand of organic milk, for not pleasuring you properly, or, most commonly, for not knowing why you’re upset.

Thinking about this, I reached out to a guy friend who writes relationship advice for some major publications. I asked him for a concrete example in which someone’s partner thinks he or she is a mind reader. He responded with a one liner email: “Uhm. Yeah. My life.” I quickly realized no one was safe from this issue and that it needed addressing.

Enter my friend, let’s call her Sage (this is The Numinous after all).

Sage and I had had a long, very tiring day running around outside the city for various obligations. For a few reasons that I promised not to disclose in this article, her emotions were at “an all time high, like freak out level.” And, unfortunately for her and her wicked attitude, she was scheduled to have dinner with her husband and another couple later that evening. All Sage wanted to do was cancel her plans, spend a quiet night on her sofa with her man and quite possibly have sex.

Cut to 5pm, us stuck in traffic on our way back into the city, and Sage astutely describing our state as “eternally stuck in midtown.” A bad situation was getting worse.

Meanwhile, in another dimension called Downtown, Sage’s husband had enjoyed a gloriously leisurely Saturday. Having spent all day at home, he’d decided to run some errands and notified her by text that he was headed out now and would meet her at dinner.

Oh no he didn’t.

Everyone. Run for cover.

The conversation escalated quickly. Sage couldn’t understand why he decided to leave just as she was coming home. She thought it was “rude and unnecessary, when they hadn’t seen each other all day. How could he be so thoughtless?”

But Sage was saying this to me. Not to him.

As if it was the most obvious thing in the world (because it was) I turned to her and calmly responded: “Why can’t you just ask for what you want, and tell him what you need? Ask him to cancel the plans and stay home with you instead.” But Sage wouldn’t say it. Sage couldn’t say it. She rolled her eyes, let out an “ugh” and told me that wasn’t the point. I felt pressure in my chest. My heart constricted a little.

Sadly, the story of Sage is a universal tale – and I believe it’s deeply tied to desire.

My first piece in this series was all about arousal energy, Qi, and how when we allow ourselves to open and soften it can circulate within and excite us. I wrote: “for me, arousal is really about accessing the heart and I use my whole being and all my senses to do that. If my heart isn’t activated and engaged, then I can’t be turned on.”

Now Sage had no problem accessing her heart. Her heart knew what it wanted, but was trying to reach her husband’s mind without going via the tongue. The energetic equivalent of: “do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.”

If in Chinese medicine the meridians are the paths or channels in the body through which the Qi flows, it’s no coincidence that the external part of the heart meridian is the tongue; this organ and this muscle are bound in sacred partnership.

Now let’s backtrack a little. As babies, communicating our needs to the one we love unconditionally (our mother) relies largely on the power of intuition, as we do not possess the ability speak. And in the beginning that works, because our needs are rather simple. But as adults we have more needs, and those needs are rather more complex. We also have an entire dictionary at our disposal. Yet sometimes, when we encounter what feels like unconditional love again, we regress and forget how to use it.

Put like this, it seems only natural to assume our loved ones should be able to intuit our needs. But the thing to remember is that their needs are often very different to our own.

Any time we use the word ‘should’ we are also creating pressure and strain. Probably not a good idea when it comes to our heart meridian as that’s how heart attacks happen, energetic ones at least. The kind that can take gallons of ice-cream, buckets of tears, and endless reruns of Sex And The City to heal. Luckily, simply expressing the want, calmly and without judgement, is usually enough to alleviate the pressure.

By the time we’re grown-ups, we’ve also hopefully learned that we don’t have to get what we want. But our body never unlearns the importance of expressing what we need.

Do you have trouble expressing yourself in relationships? Connect with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and share if you dare…