We unwove as consciously as we had woven ourselves together…and that was very, very consciously and slowly, during four days of deep purification and energy work–and energy play–at a Tantra retreat that left no shadows undiscovered. On the last evening. Finally. We kissed. And I realized.
At first glance, he had been too beautiful for me, and therefore, I surmised, gay—so well groomed, such good posture, pen perfectly placed beside his journal. Beautiful men are surely vain. Or gay. That was the easiest way to dismiss this man who stood out in the circle of 40. But he wouldn’t easily be dismissed. For example, one day at lunch I had a passing, silent, fantasy: wouldn’t it be great if this retreat had waiters, who’d take my plate and bring me dessert—and just then the beautiful and surely vain man beside me offered to take my plate and bring me dessert. I was stunned. I let him. Way to make my dreams come true!
The first day of the retreat, during a very boundaried exercise, women had been instructed to ask their partner (whether brought from home or met mere hours ago at the workshop) what level of touch he was comfortable with: on his perineum or inches away. So I had asked him, my partner of the moment, my beautiful, surely vain, possibly gay, future psychic waiter. Let’s call him Rudy.
“What level of touch would you like?” I asked.
Rudy replied, with zero attachment, “Whatever you’re comfortable with,” and I was struck by his verbal chivalry. It mattered not to him how he was touched; he cared about his partner’s comfort level. There was something about him.
Me being me, by the end of that very clearly instructed, efficiently orchestrated Tantra exercise, I had my hand in his pants. That was not part of the instruction. But I can be spontaneous. I like to break rules. Hand in pants was what I was comfortable with! Here was this gorgeous young specimen spooned in front of me, either gay or not gay, definitely not vain, but cute and fresh with his Aveda scent, and there went my hand. He was irresistible. I was opportunistic. We were enjoying getting acquainted. But I had some well-set boundaries and had lunch with someone else that day.
At the end of the second to last night of the workshop, late, when clothes were a distant memory to all of us, when all the body paint had been used on each other, I noticed that someone in his group had scrawled on his bare abdomen, like graffiti, “Sublime lingam,” with an arrow pointing downward. Couldn’t help but notice. I’d noticed his sublime lingam too, more than once in that 5-day course when we’d been unclothed. It was just plain sweet. I noticed a fleeting bit of envy that someone else had labeled his lingam. To be honest, I am much more taken by women than men. But this man was cracking my foundation…in a good way, gently, thoroughly. The next night, the final night of the workshop, fully clothed, when all of the guided moments of the puja were over, in a moment of play, I surprised him with a full frontal kiss on the mouth. Immediately, I too was surprised: I really, really liked it.
He did. He’d had his third eye on me since long before the retreat, when he had created a vision to meet a woman just like me…and had an intuition to attend this level two Tantra retreat, “knowing” he would meet her there. At a meal, he had overheard me telling a friend that I would love to have a male Tantra partner who was willing to dive deep with me, and not have it be about going to a movie and dinner first. I wanted the sex to come first. I wanted it to be just about sex. I was not into dating or having a boyfriend. I wanted to learn to move my sexual energy, unite my Shakti with Shiva, whatever that even would mean in real life. I could go to movies with my friends. I could go to movies alone. I wanted Divine sexual Union. In case he’d been wondering whether I was the woman he’d created in his intention or not, this clinched it. Little did I know–I hadn’t even known he’d been listening.
Over the next few days of the retreat we spent plenty of time giggling and partnering and rubbing each other’s feet and on the last night decided that the retreat would not be the end of Us. I arrived home to a poem he had written and emailed me. About Us. We plunged into what became a five and a half year long-distance revelry. Right away, we decided not to call it a ‘relationship,’ which implied effort, compromise, goals, seriousness.
“Let’s call it a journey,” I offered, and we embarked.
Before our first sexual experience, I said, “I want to love you as much as I love you and not have it be about anything. Not about diamond rings or moving or the future. I want it to be about love itself.”
“Perfect,” he said, in his laconic way, with the smile that fed my heart. And I committed to love him as much as I loved him, whatever that meant in any given moment, and if I didn’t feel the love, it would be all about me and zero about him. That was our mutual commitment.
Rudy was so easy to love, and as a bonus, he could make chai from scratch and came equipped with countless compelling stories about traveling in India. I was enchanted. He was funny, excellent in the kitchen, and he gave me plenty of space to be me. Over the years, I loved him no matter what, trained myself to recognize and transform any judgment about him that would seek to keep me out of Love. I learned there was nothing he needed to change about who he was; I just needed to release my own habit of judgment.
Let’s never wish we were anywhere other than Here Now, we decided at the end of our first weekend together. Let’s not want what we don’t have. Let’s channel the love and desire into our own life rather than wishing we were together when we’re apart. And…the biggest: we will handle our own issues, seeing each other as mirror. Period. I commit. Only if we absolutely couldn’t resolve an issue on our own would we bring it to each other’s attention. It was pure bliss. Whether he flew to Chicago or I flew to Miami, it was about sex, reverence, play, indulgence. Not about issues.
“Just so you know, I can’t be monogamous,” I had said that first weekend. “It’s not who I am.”
“Ok,” he said. “Whatever works for you.”
“Actually, I want to be monogamous,” I said, the second weekend, a few weeks later. “With you.”“Ok,” he said. “Me too.”
Immediately, people—friends, clients–began to ask me where our relationship was going, what our plans were. “It’s a journey. No destination,” I’d say, and that didn’t always register. So I would over-explain. “It’s a journey. It’s not about where we aren’t, what we don’t have. I have a partner who looks at me with reverence. He doesn’t want anything from me, except to be a mirror. I don’t want it to be anything other than what it is.”
“But really, when are you going to get married?” they’d ask. People had simply no paradigm for a girl-boy alliance that wasn’t “going” somewhere, leading to something permanent.
We had made an agreement around sex, right away. There was no flirting or messing around, no wondering who would make a move. We made as clear an agreement as we could make. It went like this: “Let’s have sex.” And at any given time, after sex, or after breakfast, or during dinner—often—one of us would say, “Let’s talk about sex.” It was our favorite topic. There was no stone left unturned; neither of us was too shy to say how something felt, what we wanted more of, less of. We both cared about how we could generate more energy to play in, how we could circulate that energy, between, within, around us. It was heavenly.
More than one person—and these were the people who I could actually tell—wondered how on earth we could have sex for four hours a day. “Well, we split it up. It’s about two hours in the morning. Two in the afternoon.” Rarely did we have sex at night, before bed, like everyone else. (That was our time for eating pie.)
—But what on earth do you do for two hours, they would wonder aloud. And what makes it tantric? And do you ever just want to have a quickie? And does he ever get to ejaculate?
These are all good questions. We could have sex for four hours a day because we had magnets implanted at the beginning of time, magnets that drew us to each other. I have no better explanation. We were drawn. e knew there was a higher purpose to it, and the purpose was to move this supercharged energy, to not have sex be about sex, but about personal transformation, then about making the world a better place. Whatever we wanted to clear up, clean up—that’s where we would direct the energy, intuitively and intentionally. He could tell which way the energy was flowing—or not flowing, which was a special gift of his. As we cooked, we blessed our food with the sacred energy we had created; it was a way of reabsorbing it. Sexual energy wasn’t lost in the way that it is during Western sex, because, even if we did eventually have orgasms, it was after transmuting the energy.
I think it worked—we worked–because in addition to loving sex, we both loved to meditate; our sex was a compelling combination of both. Before ever meeting me, he had practiced maintaining an erection, which required a level of discipline; but if he didn’t maintain it, I didn’t fear that it was about me. (And if he did accidentally prematurely ejaculate (which for us meant, well, 45 minutes in) then, of course, it was about me; because he just couldn’t control himself.) I had no reason to ever think I was anything but utterly compelling to him. Because we had no issues—not because we had no issues, but because of our initial commitment to have no issues.
Did we ever want to have a quickie? No. What made it tantric? Being conscious of the energy flow, conscious of knowing each other as Divine. Being conscious of every breath, every moment, while in ecstasy. Sending the energy where we wanted it to go. Did he get to ejaculate? Yes! He knew when it was physically necessary, and his timing was masterful. (And if I may digress, did you know that the ejaculate of a meditator is known to be supercharged with consciousness? Indeed. I have a friend who once requested semen from a monk so she could use it for a facial. It’s a long—and funny—story. Truly one of my coolest, most self-realized friends. So, men who save their semen, tantricly—men who run the sexual energy through their body without ejaculating—as opposed to monks, who we assume don’t run any sexual energy at all—have some very precious nectar. Sort of a fountain of youth.) Meanwhile, in addition to experiencing the delights of Rudy’s Shiva energy, we would also explore the secrets of female ejaculate. The female body is quite the storehouse for emotions. I’d laugh, then cry hysterically. Or cry, then laugh hysterically. Then we’d have to rest. There was just no TIME for a quickie.
What intrigued me, ultimately, even more than sex with him, was, actually, pujas, blessings, ritual. Sex goes hand in hand with puja, for me, and at this level of sexual-spiritual, I can barely tell them apart. Reverence was the main course. I was just as happy to be fully clothed, blessing him in any way my imagination permitted. And he was willing to receive what the Goddess, as embodied by his earthly partner, had to offer. Even though it was all about sex with us, at the same time it was not at all about sex. At least in the traditional sense.
No one understood. And that was fine.
We could do it forever.
Until we didn’t. Until…five plus years in. It seemed as though we had peaked. Our journey a macrocosm, in a way, for the act of intercourse itself.
It was time to either set new intentions or separate.
When we broke up, I released so much energy, so much, I could barely identify it all. It filled my car, where I sat, holding my phone. It was fear and dread…and I didn’t make up any stories around it. I just felt it. There had been nothing to fear except the fear of breaking up, which had built up in me, and maybe us, over a couple of months. When he’d answered his phone, I had said, “One of us needs to be the one to call the other one and break up, so, I volunteer.
“Ok,” he said.
Just like when we had come together, when we broke up there was a recurrent question from my posse out in the real world: “What happened?”
“Nothing happened,” I would reply. “It was just time. The energy was no longer supporting our Union.”
“But…what did he do, what happened with you two? You seemed so in love!” We were. So in love.
The first cultural assumption is that a good and viable relationship must be permanent. The second assumption is that surely something went wrong if it didn’t “last.” Who made this up? That true love lasts forever is such a prevalent assumption. What if true love and true union and the beauty of coming together have nothing to do with permanence? What if they have to do with presence? Until you choose not to be present?
“What happened?” people asked, with deep sympathy. “I am so sorry!” It was difficult to explain why there was nothing to be sorry about, without sounding delusional, in denial, new agey…the expectation of pain was so high, among everyone. I really did sound like I was in denial. I found myself almost wondering if something were indeed wrong with me…callousness, for example. Because it didn’t hurt. It felt great.
“And how is he taking this?” I’d be asked.
“He feels the same way,” I said, more than once. It was so simple. But only to us, it seemed. Even out of union, I loved our Union, our agreement to be simple, our agreement to be immune to potential dramas, our agreement to create our own unique itinerary on our journey.
We exited in the same high level of consciousness at which we entered: present, engaged, listening to our hearts, listening from our hearts. It was lovely, and I could only celebrate. But because our way of celebrating had always been, well, sex, we didn’t actually celebrate.
What an amazing 5-year path of discovery, of learning to be receptive, of opening to the masculine Divine, of letting my Divine Feminine be present with no need to hold back, ask for a guarantee, or claim ownership.
I had learned to experience higher consciousness as embodied by this man, specifically as delivered by his sublime lingam. I had learned to let that energy travel through my spine, like a pole of light that exposes anything that isn’t Love. I had learned to revel unfettered in my own Divine Feminine, in Shakti, the energy of creation, to ride with it for hours that felt like moments and moments that felt like hours. I had learned to expose it all, without feeling exposed. I had learned to love someone no matter what. I had learned that monogamy is simply placing all my eggs in one basket, but that it’s important to be selective about the basket.
Quite a journey. At its completion, we were both sated, filled, changed.
So yes. The breakup was conscious. Tantric. “What if we take all of our sexual energy, our lower chakra connections, and bring it up into our hearts,” he suggested.
“And what if we take all of our shared consciousness, the psychic moments where we know what each other is doing, and bring that down into our hearts. So going forward, we feel like dear friends and not exes,” I said.
“Perfect,” he said. We were so aligned.
We sat there on the phone together and did it, brought the energy into our hearts. I felt nothing but love for him. So much love that I was tempted to not break up.
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you too.”
Our Divine journey was finished. I was grateful that we had seen it coming—we had seen it coming because of the clarity we embodied. We had seen it coming, so our journey could exist forever in its pristine state: we had never had a fight, rarely a disagreement, there was no blame to assign, there was nothing either of us had “done.” We were just done.
We were happily, beautifully, complete. And yes, there was a part of me that wanted to get naked with him, right then, to celebrate—and I think that pretty much sums up why Tantra is the perfect spiritual path for me.
In retrospect, beyond our Divine journey, what I have to celebrate is this: you too can do it a whole new way. You can love and be loved, without having it have to be about anything but love. You can come together consciously and exit consciously—or not exit at all, and just stay conscious. You can call in the partner of your dreams, and they can be better than you’ve ever dreamed. You can live in Love. You can choose the most blissful spiritual growth path imaginable—sex!, and Let Love Rule. We do not need to live within an old paradigm that was designed by people who were not as enlightened as we now are. We can design a unique New Paradigm that feeds and sustains our bodies, minds, and spirits. Now is the time.