Valentine’s Day Perspective: Sex and Psychedelics

The article Valentine’s Day Perspective: Sex and Psychedelics was originally published on Microdose.

Sex and psychedelics

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re re-posting this piece on Sex & Psychedelics from Nicolle Hodges. For more like this, check out: Sex & Psychedelics Series: Owning Desire and Sex & Psychedelics: Altering Our States of Consciousness


Flee Not the Body in Pursuit of Spirit

“Who is here because they want to know the best drugs to f@ck on?” I asked.

The ‘Sex & Psychedelics’ panel at the Wonderland conference in Miami was well underway; the room was so full that people were sitting on the floor and the door couldn’t close. My best guess is that 99 percent of hands went up.

The panelists, myself included, weren’t delivering the typical talk on whether MDMA is a boner killer (it can be), whether 2-CB will have you riding orgasm rockets into the ether (sometimes), or LSD is a surefire way to fornicate through space and time as (or with) otherworldly entities (it depends).

Rather, we were talking about the connection that psychedelics can provoke between willing participants, and questioning how they might help us unravel the truth of our own, subterranean desires. Specifically, I discussed the potential of eroticism for the healing of sexual shame. These are the themes I will largely explore throughout my column for Microdose — the first of which you are reading now.

The notion of God often feels like something we reach for outside of ourselves, and thus, remains removed from matters of the flesh. “Transcending” can altogether imply that we must leave our humanness behind, rejecting the body as if it were an earthbound weight prohibiting our soul’s union with a higher power. Here lurks the age-old hangover that our bodies, which harbor our desires, are shameful; our sexuality primordial, sniffing the ground on all fours so far from heaven. It is the dichotomy of spiritual versus earthly. And yet, a vision of connectedness cannot be born from teachings that emphasize separation. Deepening into the body is where so much awe can be found — gaping mouth and wide eyes included. And it is by way of pleasure that the body, and not merely the soul, are raised into the light of truth.


Sex and psychedelics
Photo credit: Shutterstock


Sex should be taken seriously as a form of meditation. But in the same way that some find sitting on a cushion and exploring the recesses of the mind to be a bore, there are those who have low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. Therefore, “sex” is not quite hitting the mark, either. It is time to consider the connection to one’s own sexual energy as part of an overall mental health checklist.

Before explaining “connection to one’s sexual energy?” I’ll get clear on meditation or “mindfulness.”

Mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, is more than quieting the mind by sitting still. It’s primarily the practice of how we are of service to ourselves at any given moment. Tuning into breath allows one to sink into the sensations and emotions of the body, rather than getting lost in the head. If we’re talking about the likes of sex, intimacy, connection, and self-pleasure, this checks out as a positive.

Let’s go deeper.


sex and psychedelics


“Practicing mindfulness” is saying that you’re committed to coming back to the present moment. But that can be intimidating, can’t it? Presence is the simultaneous joy and sorrow of being both in a moment and aware of its passing — like the blossoming and wilting of a flower in your hand, the exhilaration of fleeting existence, life and death dancing before you on stilts.

We cannot “transcend” if we do not first accept the body, as it is what grounds us to our mortality. The first step towards ending separation from divinity is reclaiming our bodies. The deep well of sexual energy (a potent life force within each of us that isn’t correlated to the communion of sex) teeters on the edge of some deep knowing that all things must end. It is, perhaps, this very tension between life and death, that we find eroticism (at least, according to George Bataille).

There is increasing evidence that mindfulness may help women with “low libido.” One study, led by sex researcher and clinical psychologist, Lori Brotto, was designed to test the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy on 117 women seeking treatment for low sexual desire and arousal. After three group meditation sessions, along with meditating alone at home, the majority reported that their desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction had increased. Sex-related distress significantly decreased, as did orgasmic difficulties and depressive symptoms.

What did they find when they dove down into themselves that woke them up again? What would you find?

Mindfulness is not necessarily comfortable. Sometimes, we sit with our fears, pains, traumas, and truths long before we learn how to integrate them. It becomes much easier to use the body as a source of pleasure when we are no longer trying to escape it.


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