Passion and Sex: A Sacred Space


Envision a secluded beach where soft breezes caress silky white sand and topaz waves gently stroke the shore. Or picture a cozy mountain cabin laden with thick, luxurious rugs and aglow with the light of a warm fire. A romantic atmosphere can awaken the stirrings of passion and elevate lovemaking from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Whether it's the honeymoon suite of a five-star hotel, or your own living room, create an environment devoted to romance, or a "sanctuary" — a space set aside that allows you and your mate or lover to explore a new dimension of sexual connection.

"A sanctuary protects you from the hubbub of the ordinary world," says sex therapist Margo Anand, author of "The Art of Sexual Ecstasy."

"It possesses distinct qualities that set it apart: silence, beauty, elegance, sensual delight. It engenders feelings of confidence and harmony and sets the stage for moments of special grace." Creating a sacred space for sex with a partner is an important means of ensuring a healthy, happy and enduring sexual relationship.

Creating a Sacred Space

The most obvious designation might be the bedroom or living room. However, these spaces may be too cluttered with the sights and sounds of daily life or too restful to encourage profound sexual exploration. But even the most unlikely spaces can be transformed into magical environments.

Choose a room that will provide a respite from daily distractions. Those who cannot set aside a room for this purpose can temporarily transform an everyday space such as the bedroom or living room. This sanctuary should protect you from the outside world, providing a safe and peaceful environment free of computers, phones, televisions, alarms and children.

Ideally, couples should create their sacred space together so that it reflects each of their tastes. Once the space has been thoroughly cleaned and removed of any clutter, decorate with sensual colors, fabrics, textures and objects. Inexpensive tapestries or colorful sheets hung from the walls or ceiling can transform an ordinary room into an exotic temple of delight. They can also easily be removed if this space serves other purposes. Consider incorporating decorative prints, photographs or artworks that suggest romance or erotica.

Now it's time to add elements certain to fan the flames. Select ingredients that delight all five senses. Candles, decorative lights, fragrances, incense, scented massage oil, plush pillows, feathers, bells or other musical instruments (a stereo is fine too), water, and a few sumptuous treats such as chocolates, olives, or fruit are possible accouterments. Experiment with a variety of "tools" to create the proper atmosphere and spawn new romantic possibilities.

Once these ingredients are in place, it's time to plan a rendezvous. Wear something sensual and revealing — lingerie, a velvet robe or silk kimono. Light candles or dim the lights to create a soft, warm ambience. Then, infuse the room with a favorite fragrance. Men are certain to enjoy lavender, pumpkin and orange, which have been found to send blood rushing to their "power stations." A spritz of ylang ylang, eucalyptus or mint can also titillate the senses.

Erotic Rituals

Beginning a sexual encounter with a ritual — a mutually agreed upon activity — can help couples connect emotionally and kindle sexual desire. Ritual can also add meaning to sexual experiences, helping us view and remember lovemaking with reverence. A simple and pleasurable ritual might begin with lovers taking turns massaging each other's feet. Create any type of ritual you desire.

Here's a more advanced idea: Light two candles and surround with rose petals. Face your lover. Gaze into each other's eyes and take turns sipping wine as you share what you love most about your partner's body or prowess in bed. Then, describe in delicious detail the seductive pleasures you will lavish upon each other in the moments to come. When the passion becomes unbearable, extinguish the candles to complete the ritual. Let the games begin.

Sex mentor Margo Anand recommends several elaborate rituals that build trust between partners. In the Sensory Awakening Ritual, the recipient partner is blindfolded and led into the sanctuary. The other partner's role is to encourage the recipient to relax, breathe deeply, enjoy and receive. The blindfolded lover is then treated to a feast of aromatherapy scents waved under his or her nose followed by the sounds of different instruments, and samplings of aphrodisiac foods such as a grapes dipped in liqueur.

Next come seductive touches using feathers and silk, and loving words. The ritual is complete when the blindfold is removed and the lovers stare into each other's eyes, a process known as "soul gazing." From here, they may embark on a journey with a new appreciation for each other and for their enlivened senses.

Many of us may already engage in seductive rituals with our lover without thinking of them as rituals. Some lovers read erotic literature or poetry to each other. Others might seductively dance to arouse their partners. Massaging or bathing each other is a wonderful overture to sex. Any ritual, no matter how simple or elaborate, should emphasize loving words, eye contact, and most importantly, touch.

"Touch is a human need," says Patricia Love, Ed.D, author of the book "Hot Monogamy." When you're an infant, you have to have it to survive; when you're an adult, you have to have it to thrive. It literally lowers your heart rate. That's why couples that are happy together live longer. It's healthy for you."

The Healing Power of Pleasure

Aside from the sheer pleasure of touch and intimacy, there is good reason to nurture romance at every stage of our relationships. "The concept of the healing power of pleasure is grounded in the new science of psychoneuroimmunology," according to holistic practitioner Chrissie Wildwood.

"Pleasing experiences such as falling in love, listening to music, receiving nurturing massage, and inhaling pleasant fragrances actually strengthen the body's immune defenses."

Creating a special place where we can explore the full essence of our sexuality is a wonderful way to maintain a close connection with our lover. In this space, we are free to enjoy a range of creative sexual expression and to reach new heights of intimacy. What could be more blissful?

Related Articles