Author Archive: makinglovewithgod

Sex in a Time of Grief

Yesterday, my beloved and I had some long-overdue quality time together. In the late afternoon, as we made headway with two delightfully obscene slices of cake in the Rainbow’s End, I found myself apologising for how low I have been over the last couple of days, and the impact that has had on our togetherness. With infinite gentleness and understanding, my beloved reminded that I have been in the dumps since the Referendum.

It’s true. And without going into why that is, I will confess that recent political events – be they the fallout from Brexit, the shootings in Orlando and those of Alton Sterling and Philado Castille, or the closing of the UK’s Department for Climate Change – have had an impact on my mood. And on our sex life. If anyone is surprised at the concept of a sex therapist facing challenges in the bedroom, let’s just say the phrase “my mess is my message” is funny because it’s true.

We were home and happily snuggled up when the news from Nice came in, swiftly followed by that from Turkey. I went to my altar, lit a candle and prayed, and felt the mixture of shock, sorrow, and powerlessness that is becoming all too familiar of late sink into my belly. When I lay down with my beloved, I suggested we take it in turns to express our thankfulness for the blessings of safety, shelter, and sheer aliveness.

And so today the only thing that feels appropriate to write about is:

How the hell do we have pleasure after grief – whether that grief be personal, political, or both?

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Safe Sex, Sacred Sex

A few weeks ago, I stood in a well-fitted dungeon, catching my breath in wonder as the fourth chapter of Koinonia took off before my eyes, like champagne from a well-shaken bottle. The crowd was the largest we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming, and the mischievous force of springtime was evidently strong in this one; the boudoir space rose, crested, and fell in an ocean of soft-lit silken skin.

For my Terrific Team ™, this meant an evening spent running from corner to corner, attempting to distribute gloves, condoms, and hand-sanitizer at the right moments – because the fact is, like so many of the habits that make sex conscious and creative, rigorous safer sex protocol takes practice. (more…)

Being Seen

It was my first day of seminary. The group moved around the room, weaving betwixt and between itself. When two of us made eye contact, we would pause, stand before one another, and one of us would say:
“I am here to be seen.”

“I see you”, came the response.

I was hooked. (more…)

Going Deeper – Reflections on Rekindling Intimacy

I spent the weekend before last at seminary for my Interfaith Ministry training. There was a lot to love about the two days (as well as plenty to feel challenged by!), including one particular structure we did on the subject of intimacy. The facilitator, inspired by Gestalt, was talking about intimacy as a cycle; as any of my clients who have listened to me bang on about how sexual arousal is a cycle (not a straight line!) over the years might anticipate, this made a lot of sense to me. (more…)

Handing it Over – the Art of Surrender

During a recent weekend intensive, I was talking a group of particularly intrepid explorers through the fundamental elements of magical ritual. On the morning in question, I was focusing on the final piece of the puzzle, the aspect of surrender, and emphasising the importance of closing a ritual by handing the desire or intention for which that ritual has been done over to the divine. “It’s not your job anymore; you’ve done your working in the present, your work is done. Now is the time to entrust it to the Universe; the future is her job, not yours.”

On the other side of the room, a face lit up, and said “I’d never considered that before, that it could be someone else’s job, that it’s not all just down to me.” (more…)

Sex, Magic, and the Importance of Being Funny – an interview with Barbara Carrellas

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Photo by Barbara Nitke

[This interview was originally published on December the 1st 2013]

Barbara Carrellas.

Sex educator, author, theatre artist, and fire-eating extraordinaire.

The irreverent inspiration for much of my own work and writing in sacred sexuality – and the all round gateway drug into a bunch of my favourite things about life.

What better way to begin blogging at greater length about the intersection between sex and spirit than an interview with this incredible pioneer of love, loins and liminality.

Luckily for me, I got in some quality time with her during her recent trip to the UK, and took the opportunity to ask her a bunch of entirely biased questions.

Enjoy.

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A Dream Coming True

I spent the better part of my childhood clambering over the rocky, gorse-kissed landscape of a tiny Greek island called Kythera. Like so many of those islands, it had succumbed to mass migration early in the 20th century; the population when I was a child stood at around 3000 souls, and only half of that was actually Greek. Studded all over this wind-ravaged outcrop were little white churches, the majority of them an abandoned testament to a once larger and more fervent population. I encountered them on my travels through the landscape; unlike my contemporaries, I was discouraged from the trappings of modern life – which is to say, I wasn’t glued to the television – and so, when I wasn’t glued to a book instead, I set myself to becoming an intrepid explorer and conqueror of my environment. As I grew, and the first seeds of spirituality began to take root, I dreamed of owning, or, better yet, building from scratch, a little white church such as the ones on whose doorsteps I would rest and reflect. I imagined adorning the walls with the angelic beings I had begun to commune with, and creating a haven where people of all faiths would be welcome, and those of no faith might be inspired – or at the very least, comforted. (more…)

Dancing in the Dark

The crab apples on the tree outside my window are going over, the promise of an Indian Summer lasted all of a day, and I know I’m not the only one finding it just that bit harder to get out of bed. On a recent and particularly grey morning, when the fuzziness in my head seemed a perfect reflection of the sky outside the window, my brain helpfully supplied me with the term SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. And I felt myself bristling at the implication in that term that to have a felt response – be it physical, emotional, or even spiritual – to the cycles of the natural world must be a “problem”. (more…)

Waving not Drowning – Staying Afloat on the High Seas of Shame

A few nights ago myself, my beloved, and some rather brilliant friends were sat round the dinner table, discussing the concept of shame. The conversation flowed from the semantics of the word, through to the embodied experience, and touched upon everything from fear of being seen to be vulnerable, through to the challenge of asking for what one truly desires. The topic felt particularly poignant for me; the last month or so has been something of dive in the deep end of the shame pool. (more…)