Sex is easy, and can provide a form of instant intimacy. But it’s not enough for deeper connection.
While good sex alone can’t sustain a soulful relationship, a lack of a sexual connection usually spells ruin. Sexual intimacy pales in comparison to being deeply seen, respected, and held in a relationship—when a like-minded person participates in our deeper growth and development. This is soul sex.
As a relationship progresses, its depth increases, however slowly or imperceptibly. This process tests both partners: their tolerance, emotional triggers, trust, needs, and true desires. This progression happens in the context of giving and receiving love, both conditional and unconditional.
Conditional love based in agreements is a given for us in intimate relationships, and to varying degrees among different couples. Unconditional love happens as well, though less commonly, as we hold sacred space for our old wounds and disgruntlements, as well as for the ways our partner differs from us and for which we nonetheless offer support.
When we allow disavowed or hidden aspects of us to find safe landing, to be seen, to be welcomed and held, they can be transformed by the mere act of their surfacing and our acceptance of them. Relationships with rich emotional connection, healthy boundaries, and mutual respect gift us this capacity.
While making space to welcome our shadow can be a messy process, the more experience we get, the more we get to know what we can handle holding space for, as well as what our partner can handle. Some issues are better vetted with close friends or in therapy, particularly those that trigger our partner. We might develop the capacity to sit with difficult feelings without sharing them in the moment, or choose to do so skillfully in the moment. Anger, for example, is usually best to sit with for a time before expressing, so that we don’t burn the bridges of intimacy.
Sitting with difficult feelings, especially our core emotional triggers, allows us to be there for ourselves before we ask others to be there for us. While holding space for emotional process in relationship is a blessing, we also have to understand that it’s not our partner’s obligation to do this, and it can unduly burden them. Soul sex happens when consent and similar desires for fulfillment are mutual; we can usually feel when this happens or not. Soul sex is a profound turn-on and can also help deepen physical love-making.
While the old wisdom that opposites attract can make for interesting dynamics, I find that having enough similar interests is not only more enjoyable but provides the needed distraction, enjoyment, and lightheartedness that is essential for a deeply meaningful relationship. Age differences as well might not be as significant as having similar core values, life trajectory, and spiritual perspectives. Qualities I appreciate in a partner include a passion for truth and wisdom, equality, fierceness, outspokenness, compassion and empathy, stewardship of the land, mind-body integration, and healthy lifestyle.
Ultimately, two individuals can have great soul sex if their “soul trajectories” are similar: how much each has worked on themselves, the depth each aspires to and embodies, and how much each can welcome and navigate shadows that present when the soul is deeply stirred. Partners might have different interests, but non-negotiable core values turn the soul on!
Without similar trajectories that reflect similar core values of potency, fun, compassion, and everyday interests, partners are more likely to leave the relationship. Of course, sometimes parting happens anyway for logistical and other reasons. Ironically, such parting, while excruciating, also helps us cultivate soul in the ways we grow from being broken-hearted.
If both partners don’t share a similar trajectory, the “soul-chemistry” usually isn’t sufficient to sustain the connection. Sexual attraction is also a key component for soul sex, such that each finds the other physically desirable. With soul chemistry and physical attraction, orgasm can happen on every level of our being.
When soul sex happens—when deep emotional support and sustainable connection occur—we can become more physically attracted to our partners, because we love who they are. We might even find ourselves sexually attracted to someone who is not our “type” or whom we would not ordinarily be drawn to.
The central practice for becoming soul-sexy is emotional healing. When we join with a partner who also cultivates emotional integration, hot soul sex and lovemaking can flourish!
Soul sex is synonymous with the healing and evolving container of sacred relationship. It’s a lot more challenging than superficial relating. But the possibilities it allows are invaluable: the healing of our deepest wounds and the ability to share and receive love in all its grounded, embodied glory.
A supportive network of loving friends, vital community, and a nourishing relationship with the natural world help to support us in the often-challenging container of soul-stirring intimate relationships. We need others to help us hold them, process our challenges, and find strength to endure and nurture their poignancy. In this sense, we share the soul of our primary relationship with others, leading to the building of soul in the community.
If we want depth, meaning, and a richer intimacy than sex alone, consider soul sex. For these very reasons I like to spend time in relationships that both nourish and keep me at my growth edge. These are the relationships of a lifetime.