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Sex & Spring Cleaning

As I was beginning on a spring cleanse, a friend wrote to me: I complete 7 years of celibacy this month—please have a cup of tea in honor of this milestone.  After 7 years, I am free of all past lovers, and there is a definite boost to my energy.

All I could think was that we wash our hair a billion times but rarely consider clearing our sexual channels. I don’t think women, in particular, talk about this option much. Sexless-ness is hush-hush turf.

I used to think of time without sex as giving up a pleasure but perhaps, like giving up the pleasure of chocolate mud cake and goopy cheese, time off from sexual intimacy can be a revitalizing break for our energetic circuits. Let the body clean out, have a rest and find its easiest digestive ways.

In search of love, I spent two decades taking a succession of lovers (and a husband) into my body then acting as a filtration unit for their confusions and angers. It was quite exhausting. I realized I needed a break from partnership. I needed to be single for a while, but a script in my head and emotions urged me to hook up again, as if an unattached me wasn’t attractive or real. As if I was a loser. Having been taught to be sexually available, and not necessarily for my benefit or pleasure, I didn’t feel valid about taking time off for my body to clear. I spent a lot of time judging myself and not really feeling how I felt. And nothing in my world encouraged me to ask my body how she felt, no green light to simply let my body rest from lovers. I took the break anyway. During my Dancemeditation practice, I noticed my body’s unexpected, un-categorizable freedom. My body was happily unencumbered. She was mainlining something more spiritual at that time. Sex is not the answer for a spiritually bereft condition. Sure, it can be a palliative, but more often it’s like perfume masking a bad odor. It doesn’t remove the rotting smell or the thing that is rotten.

All spiritual paths include fasting from time to time in order to receive clarity about the self, about path, about the world. Fasting gives a moment away from the gnawing of appetites. It allows the body to recalibrate. A time away from sex is a fast, and it can be a feast of self-awareness.

There’s no should or shouldn’t here, rather there is a ‘could’. We could take time off if we want to and still be women,  still be sensual women, alive women. We are still our own person which means our own body cleared of the imprint of others. Having a break allows our flesh to heal and our core being to find itself.


In the midst of spring cleaning, how does your body feel? Who is ‘in there’ with you?


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    1. Sex is not the answer for a spiritually bereft condition…wise, wise words….neither are drugs, alcohol, work, others, gadgets…..all of which can be overdone to fill the hole in the Whole of self…’s a big step for a woman, culturally conditioned on so many levels to take care of others, to be with others to take care of herself and her Self….but until she does that she keeps reaching out to the other and finding she is really holding nothing…’s within, not without……but that’s not an easy lesson to learn, particularly in the busy world…..

      March 22, 2012
    2. I so agree. Not at all easy.

      I like the way you frame interactions (sexual, emotional) as ways of taking care of others because I do think that’s what we don’t notice as we go along. I think many of us confuse giving with receiving. Caring for others can be sweet, delicious, and satisfying but it can also drain us because some core aspects of human life are not about other people. Those core needs are so intimate they are beyond society, even familial society, and can only be fed by spiritual communion.

      March 22, 2012
    3. Eugenie Kuffler #

      I’ve never read that before. It’s great, I agree, entirely.

      March 27, 2012
    4. Dardan #

      I love re-framing the experience of “going without” as “fasting”. I am familiar with various fasting practices, fasting from foods, words, emotions, habits…but hadn’t thought about sex/celibacy in this way before. What a fresh, kind, generous, open, celebratory way of looking at holding one’s own body apart from others. Taking the time and space to notice and heal wounds, habits or ways we control others or are controlled by sex is a very valuable exercise. And to really feel and savor the juicy, sexy, aliveness of our own body and to know we do not have to feel that only in relation to another body – what a treat! Thank you Dunya and thank your friend for celebrating celibacy as an opportunity to deepen our connection to our own BodySelf alone!

      March 28, 2012
    5. Beautifully said, Dardan ~

      March 29, 2012
    6. This is so well said and so inspiring. Thank you.

      April 14, 2012
    7. Anastasia Blaisdell #

      Ditto, michele marie…This is all so inspiring as I feel I fell off my wagon of Self some time ago with the overload of children and a challenging relationship….where am I? where is ME time? gee,,,,,makes me seriously reconsider this gap in my life…Is this the road I want to travel, where I get brushed out the door or under the carpet with all the rest of the dust and fallen debris in the house…..I really don’t think so, but what now?… (I’ll figure it out-not looking to be fixed here, just voicing inner poetry as Dunya does soo well and inspires me to be just as honest and raw.) 😉

      May 7, 2012

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