The other day I listened to a research paper from a clinical sexologist who researched descriptors of ‘the optimal orgasm’ of people over 40 – 336 participants.
Before I tell you some of the her results – think for a minute how would you describe the qualities of your optimal orgasms? Really. I mean it. Get out piece of paper and write down 5 – 10 qualities, descriptors, adjectives, phrases. Go ahead. I’ll wait ….
The salient descriptors from her study all had transcendent qualities – speechless, awe inspiring, spiritual, breath-taking, amazing … the classic … “Oh God!!”
So what does this mean for the average Joe (or Jane)? And why do I care?
What was both affirming and striking was how spiritual language infiltrated so many of the descriptors. Once again I found myself stunned by and reminded by the inherent integration of sexuality and spirituality when sexual experience of the highest pleasure is experienced. Was this true for you as well?
When I think of those moments when I have experienced “the thin spaces” as the Irish call it – that moment when the boundaries between heaven and earth blur and you are suspended somewhere bathed in sacred light outside the confines of words – I find myself remembering the birth of my children, my head on my father’s chest as he exhaled for the last time, dissolving in love-making with my beloved. I have had these moments at two other times as well – when my soul was tearfully begging God for insight and comfort.
So while my own experience echoed the findings of her study, once again I found myself baffled as to why we as a culture (and specifically our religious culture that prides itself in “knowing God”) –does not discuss the potential interface of sexual expression and transcendent communion with the sacred. How is it that people of faith and people outside of faith both describe their optimal sexual experiences in transcendent terminology? Those without faith or opposed to religion – those least likely to adopt such imagery – who have NO agenda driving their description – who are simply using the language of ‘best fit’ … perhaps even wishing it wasn’t “so spiritual” – how is it that they too describe great sex as a wholly physical and spiritual experience?
What a fabulous mystery!