In the modern world there is confusion regarding the role of sexuality in spirituality. Most of the time religions tend to propagate that sex and spirituality are opposite experiences. Sex is about pleasure and spirituality is about suffering. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Universe operates at at least two levels. One- that is seen by our senses and the other- an unseen level that is termed ‘spiritual’. These levels are also paradoxical in nature. One is to be seen and is factual, the other is unseen and is to be felt or experienced. There are other paradoxes in Nature too. The paradoxes of life and death, day and night, cold and heat are commonly known in daily life. The choice between the paradoxes is what makes a man confused. When the human being becomes confused then he (or she) looks into spirituality for answers. Acceptance of all paradoxes is what makes a person more spiritual than any other person.
Sex and spirituality are such paradoxical subjects. They are both necessary for leading a fulfilled life. One is at a physical level, the other is at an experiential level. Do they affect one another? Yes they do. Acceptance of both of them equally is what makes a person wiser. The common factor in both of them is that they both relax the body and the mind. In addition to giving pleasure, the sex act is an act of reproduction and it also helps involved individuals develop intimate relationships. Meditation, at an unseen level, also brings the people together in a spiritual manner. Both sex and meditation cause a reduction in body and nervous tension.
In my practice I meet people on a daily basis who are extremely stressed out. Many of them are suffering with depression, anxiety and other psychiatric conditions. In most of them, the sexual drive is reduced. The reason for this is that their nervous system is in a chronically aroused state. It does not get any rest because the person is on the go most of the time.
When they start doing meditation or any simple breathing exercise on a regular basis, they experience their sexual drive increasing temporarily. Then they experience a waxing and waning of the drive. As their emotional distress is reduced, their sexual drive becomes more stable. With increase in meditation, their physical needs including appetite, need to exercise and spending habits become stable. People who are addicted to sex also notice a reduction in their sex drive sooner or later.
As meditation is increased, there is a remarkable reduction in sexual needs and sexual drives in individuals. It does not mean that their sexual based relationships are broken down or destroyed. They simply become less demanding of their partners. If they do not have partners, they realize that they do not need to be sexually active to live a perfectly normal life.
It is because of the ability of meditation to reduce sexual drive, that celibacy is demanded of spiritual teachers in almost all cultures. It is not that sexual act is against the core of spirituality. In almost all religions, the spiritual leaders have been married. Sexual relationships have not been discouraged in pursuit of spirituality. In many cultures it is accepted that sexual fulfillment can sometimes be a pre-requisite to a spiritual journey. According to some researchers, during orgasm and also while experiencing climax in meditation, both the nostrils of the participant/ practitioner open for breathing. At no other time in wakeful or sleep phase does it happen.
Using meditation, sexual life can be made healthier. Suppression of sexuality is not the goal of spirituality. Rising above the sexual needs is the goal.