SLOW SEX – CONSCIOUS LOVEMAKING

What is it? How can it help our intimate life?

In present time, we are overwhelmed by various images of sexuality. Kids and teenagers usually lack any sexual education from their parents or teachers, because the adults – flooded by shame and embarrassment – silently expect their offspring to have plenty of opportunities to learn about sex from the media. And so the sexual “education”, to a large extent, is left to the pornography industry.

A few clicks on the internet and anybody can learn “how to have sex,” despite the fact that the shown practices and reality have very little in common. The scenes are exaggerated, scenarios unreal, vocalizations dubbed, and penises Viagra-erected. And when teenage boys try what they see with their girlfriends, it usually brings them frustrating and alienating experiences. Bodies twisted in unnatural acrobatic positions, feelings of tenderness and intimacy miles away…

We grew up in an environment where, from very early age, we are “trained” to be ashamed of the spontaneous reactions of our bodies. Kids who, with their inherent nature, touch their genitals or play “doctor” usually evoke indignation in surrounding adults. Without knowing why or how, they understand that something is wrong. And so the shame is anchored in our bodies. This shame often lasts a lifetime without us being conscious of it. It’s a feeling of our own inappropriateness, a feeling that there is something wrong with us.

Later on, when we start exploring our sexual life and, when we don’t reach “prescribed” orgasms – which, as any magazine writes, are part of sex – we feel again that there’s something wrong with us. Our deeply anchored shame usually prevents us from discussing the situation openly with our partner or friends and we, especially if we are teenagers, prefer pretending.

And so it is very difficult to find a soul mate to talk openly to.

Parents, educators, peers… they are all full of embarrassment… and the feeling of shame is passed on.

What the media shows us as an image of intimacy usually comes with the label “hot.” We see dynamic, hot sexuality. Tenderness on the screen often ends with a kiss. Physical sex belongs to another genre. Subconsciously we learn that sexuality is hot, arousing, connected with stimulation and ending in orgasm.

Despite that, many couples experience moments when they are neither hot nor excited. Usually, they understand it as some kind of defect which they try to fix with various stimuli. New underwear, a swingers party, Viagra, threesomes, foursomes… It is definitely enriching to engage fantasy in intimacy and to try the unknown. But still, is it the only way? Searching for newer and newer stimuli eventually tires us and what was hot and juicy at first becomes drab…

To a certain extend we are lacking “information” about what intimate lovemaking should look like. By intimacy I mean physical contact full of closeness and depth. And often we also don’t learn about the potential of sexuality to heal and develop us in mental and spiritual ways. So what does sexuality look like, if it isn’t dynamic and hot?

If there is mechanical sex (pornography) on one side, there is consciousness on the other. In the last few years, an expression “slow sex” emerged. It’s a synonym for conscious lovemaking when slowing down helps create presence and deeper experience. Lovers pay their full attention to breath, touch, experience, and mutual contact. The counterpart to hot sexuality is then the calm, so-called moon sexuality, happening in gentleness and slowness. It can include lovemaking that is almost without any movement. The moves can be very gentle, even “inner.” Mechanical stimulation is replaced by the depth of inner experience and perception of energy of the bodies.

This way of lovemaking was first described by an Australian spiritual teacher in his book Making Love. Other, very inspiring readings are books of his student Diane Richardson: Tantric Orgasm for Women and Tantric Sex for Men; Making Love and Meditation; The Heart of Tantric Sex: The Unique Guide to Sexual Fulfilment; and Slow Sex: The Path to Fulfilling and Sustainable Sexuality. Another book on this topic by Nicole Deadone, the founder of OneTaste movement: Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. In Czech, a similar book was translated – written by German author Bärbel Mohr: Sex wie auf Wolke 7.


The nature of this form of lovemaking is physical connection of lovers with very little or no mechanical stimulation. Partners perceive their breath, caress each other gently, and don’t move too much. Attention is focused more inside, to the depth of their own and their partner’s experience. The theory behind this form of lovemaking is learning that during connection of the two lovers energy exchanges between their bodies. This energy “starts” without any kind of stimulation, just thanks to conscious presence. We help this energy by conscious work with our breathing, which we deepen deliberately and we focus on feelings in our own body – not images, fantasies, nor thoughts. When connected with our partner, “communication” also goes between penis and vagina. Gentle, conscious connection helps to develop sensitivity of these organs and the flow of energetic exchange continuously deepens.

At first, many couples starting with this kind of lovemaking do not experience many deep feelings. The quiet intercourse can often seem boring – compared to hot arousal and orgasm it seems as if nothing is really happening. Usually it is just a phase when we experience this “boredom” due to our own insensitivity. Penis, vagina, even the body feels nothing or very little. But sensitivity comes with continuous practice. It starts to wake up and grow and the quiet intercourse becomes an immensely intense and deeply fulfilling experience, which cannot be compared to anything we have experienced until that.

What comes forward is the intelligence of our bodies – not the wit or fantasy of our minds.

An American meditation teacher Reginald A. Ray, author of the book Touching Enlightenment, claims that spiritual enlightenment comes only through the body, through total “embodiment.” Compared to that he says that today’s society suffers from extensive disembodiment.
Common workloads of western people are usually about hours and hours at a desk, counter, computer… We are trained in logic and opinion. Most of our body wisdom remains idle. Furthermore, we learn to suppress our body experiences, feelings and emotions as signs of weakness that affect our “functionality.” Regrettably, even many spiritual traditions are sometimes wrongly interpreted in the way that emotions would hinder spiritual development and so, as a result, the emotions are wrongly understood and suppressed.

And, Ray says, every suppression leaves an imprint in our body. And it manifests itself as insensitivity in whole, or a certain part of our body. In order to prevent ourselves from uncomfortable feelings, we suppress them further. This won’t help us to get rid of them; we only imprint them even deeper. This constant non-perception causes continual level of tension and stress in our body. On this level we learn to live and get used to it as the “normal” state. And, generally speaking, cumulated stress can eventually manifest itself as physical illness.

Conscious lovemaking activates body liveliness and strength of experiences. Emotions that we don’t like and that we originally suppressed can come along with this activation. After the insensitivity and “boredom” phases comes a phase when these emotions rise in quality of sadness or anger. We, sexually experimenting, don’t care about these labels of feelings and we examine feelings in our body…

“Where is it and what quality does it have?”

          “In the chest? In our stomach?”

                    “Is this feeling hot, cold, clutching, expanding…?”

And so we learn to perceive our body further and further without classifying our feelings, suppressing or holding on to them. We perceive them and let them pass… Breathe deeply… We let pass anything that needs to go through our body and release it from our system.

Today’s direct or indirect “sexual education” doesn’t prepare us for this dynamic. We “learned” that sex leads to arousal. What we didn’t learn was that it can also clean our body from its emotional load. So when tears or other unpleasant feelings occur during lovemaking we shoo them away – but along with that we also shoo away the passion. It is either us who cannot cope with the feelings or our partner: “What’s the matter? … Is there something wrong?” And because we cannot say what and why, we say: “Nothing,” and swallow the feeling. Mistake!

If we allow everything that comes along to pass freely through our body, we get rewarded by beautiful cleansing. Many feelings that bother and depress us loosen and we say goodbye to them for good. Furthermore – behind this wall of insensitivity and uncomfortable feelings there is a paradise of pleasure and blessedness we couldn’t even imagine! And our body is blazing, energized, full of joy, vitality and love.

Blessedness is a quality experienced in the body – we cannot reach it by thinking, logic or disembodiment. And blessedness is also the basic, original quality of our body. Under the influence of different stresses and traumas – beginning with the birth trauma – is a quality muted and veiled by defense mechanisms. The way of mental and spiritual development then lies in continuous melting off these boundaries of ego. It is not the way of “reaching” or “creating” something. We only let go of things which prevent us from seeing and perceiving. But the quality we cleansed in this process has always been present!

That is the reason why lovemaking is such a powerful means of harmony and love, better immunity and creativity. In its way it’s the means of inspiration, spiritual development, dissolving of ego and experiencing of unity. All this is based on energies released from the two bodies in pair intercourse. As on any spiritual way, there are still lessons and disturbing emotions. If we have courage and endurance to go through, to experience our own fragility, to meet the unknown… the answer is the highest blessedness, in its full extent, absolutely beyond our imagination.

Hardly anybody reaches spiritual awakening through lovemaking. However the qualities we can see and experience are deepening of love and affection between partners, harmony and mutual empathy, better health, joyfulness, creativity and inner freedom.

© Mgr. Denisa Říha Palečková, 2020

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Denisa Říha Palečková
Denisa is a love and intimacy expert who brings a totally new approach to the topic of sensuality. She’s on a mission to dissolve taboos around sex and empower couples to enjoy more passionate and fulfilling relationships. Her fresh, down-to-earth approach to intimacy and sensuality helps people experience more happiness and meaning in their lives - by transforming their relationship with their bodies and their partners. Apart from holding regular workshops, Denisa now offers courses online in English and in Czech. Since 2002, she has helped many thousands of people unlock their passions , reach a deeper level of intimacy with their romantic partners, and find their way to a more joyful and fulfilling life.

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