Sexuality is more than genitals, intercourse and orgasm – much, much more. It’s an energy and part of the life force; therefore, not a physical activity but connected to spirituality, creativity, joy and love. All these qualities are contained within each of us and we need only access them. If anyone tells me they don’t feel sexual, I know something is blocked and can be unblocked with sufficient motivation and a little energy. By understanding that sex is probably one of the most myth-ridden aspects of society, and then being open to some new ideas about it, it will immediately make a positive difference.

Sex is the most natural thing in the world, yet can be very complex. When you love someone, you automatically want to make love, if you’re ‘normal’, right? Sure, in a romantic sense,

but not if you’ve suffered sexual trauma in the past, have issues with your own body or you’ve been repressed by your upbringing. We’re not machines. Sex may be a natural act, but there are emotional complications, hang-ups caused by the past, fears and insecurities about our bodies, whether we’re good enough and so on, all of which can spoil the natural flow of our sexual energy.

Some people are totally blocked off from their sexuality; the rest of us want it sometimes and at other times, we don’t. It’s not whether you’re having sex or not that matters, it’s that you’re making the choice. If you’re having sex but you’re not enjoying it because you see it as expected or necessary, then that’s unhealthy. Sexual boundaries are just as essential as the other boundaries in life. I remember one counselling client telling me that sex was her “last chore of the day.” How sad that one of life’s greatest pleasures should be viewed in this way.

Repression is the only sexual sin against oneself. If you’re in a relationship enjoying regular sex, or you’re single and have casual sex, or if you’re celibate but have found creative ways to sublimate; that’s all fine. But if a lack of sex represents a deprivation or you’ve closed off your natural sexual energies, that’s not good. Try to find the source of the blockage and release it. Tantra (Eastern concept of sexuality as being linked to spirituality) is a helpful tool for this because it de-emphasises genital contact, intercourse and orgasm, focusing instead on touch, sensuality and breathing technique. It’s an excellent way to centre yourself and get back in touch with your life-force and energy-flow. If you’re comfortable with your own body, you’re going to be more at ease in sharing sexual experiences with your lover. Feel good about yourself and let your sexuality be part of your life, not separate from it. Don’t hand over the responsibility for your pleasure to anyone else. You’re in charge of that and as long as you are, you can never go wrong. So, educate, release, have clear boundaries, love yourself and get in touch with your centre – these are the secrets behind good sex.

Sad to say, there’s a lot of ignorance in our society about sex. Sure we all talk about it, and make jokes but it’s an area of life surrounded by myths. I was so glad when I was asked to do a sex advice radio show a few years back because it gave me the opportunity to bring out of the cupboard all those taboo subjects that people still, in the 21st century, feel uncomfortable talking about. The question I was asked most in those 2 years was – `is this normal?’ `This’ could be oral sex, masturbation, fetish, fantasy, whatever. I encouraged callers to ask anything and everything on their minds but the over-riding reactions were fear and guilt. This is a carry-over of Victorian standards that no longer apply today. We can still be a values-based society whilst embracing sexuality, sensuality, pleasure, even hedonism. There is nothing to be ashamed of between consenting adults.

Just talking about sex, literally, is offensive to some, but I truly believe that the more open we are about the intimate side of life, the less intimidated we have to be about our bodies, enjoying sex with ourselves or a partner and exploring some of the more forbidden areas of sexual pleasure. My philosophy is always try everything once and if you don’t enjoy it, you needn’t do it again but don’t close your mind to the novel and different.

Sexuality is sensation and sensuality, connection and physical awareness all rolled into one. When we are not feeling sexual or engaging in sexual activity as such, we are nevertheless fully in that flow at all times. Sexual intercourse, for instance, is only one way of expressing this energy, merely one tool of expression that we may or may not choose to employ. The Western view of sex is extremely limited and even crass. Sex is about communication, intimacy and connection, which can be achieved without any physical contact whatsoever. What we mistake for sex is in the main, lust. There’s nothing wrong with lust – it’s great fun, but it’s not the whole story. We are cheating ourselves if we only choose this one manifestation of sexual energy.

When I teach my Singles classes, the subject of sex comes up often as a source of lack. Apart from suggesting that focusing on lack only creates more and certainly a heightened perception of it, I also advise sublimation, which is totally different to repression. Repression of any kind creates negative energy, leading to deep unhappiness and even physical illness. Using sexual energy in other ways during periods of abstinence from physical forms of sex is not only healthy but also desirable. Sexual energy can be sublimated into creativity, as one excellent example. Communing with nature, love of animals, having fulfilling work, appreciating art and beauty, intimate relationships of all kinds – these are all, not poor substitutes, but conduits for release of sexual energy.

Those not in a sexual relationship can express libido by self-pleasuring or sublimation; those in partnerships can enhance and improve relations by tantric practice or simply allowing the addition of a spiritual component into their lovemaking. The whole secret of fully exploring our sexual energy is to think more openly about what it means not to be restricted by labels and society’s pressures, for example about what passes for beautiful. Very large women often feel `unsexy’ when in fact, this body feature is totally irrelevant for sexual feeling exudes from within.

Look at gorgeous belly-dancers who feel the rhythm of the music and sway their bodies to the beat of their inner drum. This is precisely the energy that can be brought into the bedroom, with or without a partner. Aids to release of sexual energy are music, touch, oils, laughter, massage but mostly, joy, love and a positive attitude. Employ and embrace all of these so that Sex can become a holistic experience rather than a short burst of gratification.