"We live in a society where sex is
somehow shameful and should not be talked about - but we use sex to sell cars.
That is backwards. Human sexuality is a blessed gift to be honored
and celebrated not twisted and distorted into something demeaning and shameful."
"Trying to get our emotional needs met through
sex does not work. It is dysfunctional. Human sexuality is a
blessed gift when it is in balance with the emotional, mental and Spiritual.
This is an emotionally dishonest society which knows very little about True,
healthy emotional intimacy."
"The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful
gift. One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically
as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Touch is not bad
or shameful. Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations
that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic
life test. Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh
and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring
our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted,
distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.
We need to strive for balance and integration
in our relationships. We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally
honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is
Making Love is a celebration and a way of
honoring the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine
and feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of
honoring its perfect interaction and harmony. It is a blessed way of
honoring the Creative Source."
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls)
A friend sent me an e-mail a few months ago, asking me what I thought
of polyamory. This is a belief system that holds it is possible to
have emotionally and sexually intimate relationships with more than one person
at a time. Or as I have seen it described: "responsible non-monogamy."
In my reply to her I stated that I had heard of it but did not
really know a lot about it - and that I wondered how many people living that
life style have ever done any healing of their childhood wounds. And
then I shared with her an excerpt from my online journal which I am going
to expand for this article.
Someone once said to me, that they thought monogamy was a screwed
up concept that was a result of the shame around sexuality that has been so
strong in Western Civilization. This person - who was a man (surprise)
- thought that monogamy was unnatural.
There has certainly been a great deal of shame associated with
sex in Western Civilization. This is especially true of America with
it's Puritan heritage.
I told him that I had no idea what sex in a healthy society would
be like. Perhaps in the fantasy land where everyone is Spiritually connected,
everyone is emotionally healthy and in touch with their connection to everything
- perhaps there, we Spiritual Beings could truly enjoy this experience of
being in body by being sexual with anyone and everyone we felt like.
I have no way of knowing what a healthy Spiritually evolved society would
I then told him, that given the societies we grew up in, given
the emotional dysfunction and wounding that we experienced, I did not think
anything but monogamy had a chance of being healthy. That the only people
I knew who could be sexual a lot with a lot of different partners, either
were using drugs and alcohol, or were acting out addictively because of their
emotional wounding. (And I was not just referring to sex addicts here,
I also include love or relationship addicts who feel desperately incomplete
alone and use their sexuality to try to get the love they are starved for
- looking for love in all the wrong places and accepting sex when they really
The first challenge for us in recovery is to start learning how
to be emotionally honest and intimate with our self - which means we also
need to develop a healthy concept of, and relationship with, our self.
This is a process that takes some time - as we learn to practice intellectual
discernment in changing the dysfunctional programming from childhood, and
emotional discernment that allows us to have internal boundaries so we can
grieve our wounds and disarm the emotional mine field within us related to
opening our hearts to another human being. To be able to do that with
another person whom we are attracted to romantically / physically, who is
also healing their relationship with self - is an incredible gift, and a rare
opportunity. The more people that get into recovery on the level where
they are healing their inner child wounds, the more chance that we can find
someone who is doing this work.
Uncovering and healing all the different levels of dysfunctional
programming and emotional wounds in regard to our own gender and sexuality
- and changing how we relate to people that we are attracted to - is a process
that takes time and energy. To think we could develop the needed level
of emotional intimacy to engage in sexual activity in a healthy way with multiple
partners is kind of insane in my opinion. To engage in sexual activity without
developing healthy emotional intimacy is codependent and dysfunctional most
of the time.
I specifically said "most of the time," because sometimes it can
be the path to developing a healthy relationship. So many of us learned
to jump right into the sexual relationship without knowing how to be emotionally
intimate, and most of the time - because one (or both) of the partners are
not willing to do the healing - that will end up leaving us feeling empty
and beating ourselves up for another "mistake." If however, two people
who are in recovery jump into a sexual relationship, it may be the stimulus
that forces them to learn how to develop healthy intimacy. Sometimes
two people who are not in recovery from their childhood issues will be led
into recovery to heal their wounds because of a sexual encounter - if both
people are willing to do the work.
Whatever the circumstances, healing ourselves and developing a
healthy relationship with another person who is healing, takes an investment
in time and energy that is huge - just to do it with one person. I have
a hard time understanding how it could be done with multiple partners.
I just really don't know what healthy sexuality would look like
for emotionally healthy people. I don't know any emotionally healthy
people - just people who are in the process of learning to be emotionally
healthy. What I do know, is that our childhood role modeling, emotional
trauma, and intellectual programming causes codependency - which involves
having a myriad of dysfunctional relationships inside of our self before
we ever attempt to relate to another human being.
As I say towards the top of the home page of my web site Joy2MeU.com:
"Codependency is about having a dysfunctional relationship with
self! With our own bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. With our own
gender and sexuality. With being human. Because we have dysfunctional relationships
internally, we have dysfunctional relationships externally.
Codependency is an emotional and behavioral defense system which
our egos adapted in early childhood to help us survive. We were raised
in shame based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environments
by parents who were wounded in their childhood's by patriarchal, shame based
civilization that treated children and women as property."
There are layers of wounding that need to be peeled off gradually
as we do the healing and change the dysfunctional programming. We all
have huge fear of intimacy issues because the first people we opened our
hearts to - our parents - were wounded, and in turn they wounded us.
In several places in my writing, I note that in my opinion romantic relationships
are the greatest arena for Spiritual growth available to us - because being
romantically, sexually involved with another person pushes all our buttons,
triggers all of our deepest wounds and strongest defenses. For one
person in codependency recovery to develop a romantic relationship with another
recovering person, is a process that evolves over time and involves a lot
of hard work - and a lot of emotions.
To find one recovering person who is willing to put in the time
and effort, who is also someone we are attracted to emotionally, mentally,
spiritually, and physically, is an incredible gift in my opinion.
I really can't see it happening with several people at once.
I, personally, don't see how it would be possible for someone who
was raised on this planet to have a healthy physically intimate, emotionally
honest relationship with more than one person at a time.
Setting Internal Boundaries
in relationship to Romantic, Sexual Relationships