Sexual Self-Transcendence

The profound spiritual urges behind masculine and feminine sexuality

6 min readApr 24, 2021
Love of Souls by Andrew Gonzalez

My love settles on top of me, his arms cradling my head. We kiss, and I feel him enter me. Both of us gasp at our joining, at how right it feels to be connected like this. He starts to move, and we are more than our mortal selves: we are feral, we are primordial, we are divine. He calls me by my many names, and as he thrusts deeper he gasps the truth of the vision we are both sharing into my ear:

“We are panthers, we are bacteria, we are gods, we are galaxies merging. In all levels of reality, I am fucking you.”

And I see it. We are not just a man and a woman, with our personal histories and set of memories from our individual lifetimes, we are the Cosmic Lovers, joined in eternal harmony. We are all life, and all life is Our Love, and on all levels of reality, we are always joining.

Spiral Genesis by Mark Henson. The best artistic depiction of the experience we had, which indicates it’s a vision that other lovers have shared.

As the fractal of Divine Love unfolds before me, feeling the truth of ourselves as the nexus of reality, I burst into tears of awe. My soulmate strokes my face, concerned. I smile through my tears.

“It’s just so beautiful…”, I whisper, shaking with emotion. I pulled him closer, kissing him again, moving with him.

The above is a true recounting of the most profound spiritual experience I have ever had — a spontaneous mystical experience caused by sex with my soulmate and life partner.

Cosmic Sex by Lady Reverie— an artwork I made inspired by our experience

Sex is the most spiritual act I have ever engaged in, and the most profound. For true lovers, sex can be a path to enlightenment. I believe this is why many religions around the world have sought to control and limit the free expression of sexual love, as it has the power to destabilise dogmatic ideas about the way to reach spiritual fulfilment.

Some religions however, most notably the Hindu sexual yoga pathways of tantric Shaivism or Shaktism, recognise the true power of sex as a spiritual experience.

In the Shiva and Shakti story, the god and goddess are archetypes representing cosmic principles. Shiva is the “God of Gods”, the eternal consciousness and awareness behind all life. Shakti, his cosmic wife, is the animating energy behind all of reality. Without Shakti, Shiva is stagnant, lost in endless meditation. Without Shiva, Shakti’s energy lacks structure and purpose. Together, they complement each other perfectly.

I love the Shiva/Shakti perception of masculine and feminine. My love and I see ourselves as yet another of the infinite reincarnations and manifestations of this archetype, which finds itself again and again in all love stories and all layers of reality.

Ardhanarishvara (the merged being of combined Shiva and Shakti)

In the Hindu belief system, the Self (Brahman/Atman) is the true nature of being, underlying all things. This is called nonduality.

Nonduality is the realisation that things that appear separate to our senses, are actually one interdependent and self-generating process. Separation (duality) is an illusion caused by perception.

But in order for there to be awareness of anything, there must be the perception of separation.

The paradox of being, is that nonduality and duality are actually both true, and require each other.

“To be is to be perceived, and so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other” — Cloud Atlas

If there was no perception of separation, there would be no experience and no consciousness, because experience is the interaction between the Self, and the Other. There needs to be an Other if there’s going to be an interaction.

That’s where Shiva and Shakti come in. Their interaction, their cosmic lovemaking, drives the universe, although on a deeper level they are also One.

This got me to thinking about the nature of “masculine essence” and “feminine essence”, from a sexual point of view, and I think that overall it boils down to:

Masculine: the urge to merge with, to be consumed by and absorbed by, to transcend the boundaries of the self by becoming part of another person

Feminine: the urge to be merged with, to consume and absorb, to transcend the boundaries of the self by having another become part of you

Ultimately the outcome we are striving for is the same, unity/realisation of nonduality.

Another way of thinking about the paradox of duality and nonduality is through the Taoist concept of yin and yang, the union of opposites.

Masculine and feminine energy is often expressed in terms of the yin and yang. It’s not that men and women are one dimensional and can be reduced to a singular concept, but rather that during the evolution of life on earth, there were two urges that evolved in different ways depending on the life form, and express themselves in penetrative sex between humans.

This urge is reflected at a cellular level during meiosis (sexual reproduction). The sperm is absorbed by the egg, becoming part of it. The egg becomes no longer its singular self, its DNA tangling with male DNA, in order to become a new being, the zygote. And because all life on Earth evolved from single celled organisms, the same urge expresses itself through higher and more complex forms of life.

“The yin-yang principle is not, therefore, what we would ordinarily call a dualism, but rather an explicit duality expressing an implicit unity.” — Alan Watts

That was the vision that my lover and I had when we were love-making, we realised the way these forces were constantly interacting at all levels of reality.

I believe this urge “to merge with, and to be merged with” also connects deeply with the core of what men and women find erotic.

When my partner and I talk about our sexual fantasies, so much of what turns him on about penetrative sex is the idea of becoming part of me. It’s a vulnerable thing because it’s transcending the boundary of the individual self, and that can be scary, although if you are in a state of love and trust it is an ecstatic feeling. He has often spoken of feeling “consumed” (in a good way) by me, and of that state being a state of bliss. because it’s a state of love.

I’ve also listened to a lot of audio porn by straight men and one of the lines that really spoke to me was when one of them said that penetrating a woman was “a complete and total abandonment of all my senses, all my desires, all my — everything. The surrender of everything I am right now into you.” It seems to be a very common feeling.

Divine Ecstasy— another of my artworks

As a woman, being penetrated, and having my lover’s essence become a part of me, is inherently erotic. I love taking him into myself, having him become one with me. To the point that if I could choose to be a man instead, I wouldn’t. I love the experience of being a female in sex so much. It is both surrendering and powerful.

Sexuality is the most powerful way we can share the experience of becoming One with the Other. It can be done purely for pleasure, it can be done without love, and if that’s what you’re looking for, keep on being safe and consensual about it.

But I strongly encourage you to recognise sex as one of greatest sources for enlightenment we have.

For all of you seekers and lovers, I hope you get to experience transcendent, mystical sex.

“And Shiva went on making love, and on and on and on (…) He was not there, Devi (Shakti) was not there — the man and woman have completely merged into each other. Some unity has happened, a great synthesis, a great orchestra of energies.” — Secrets of Yoga, Osho




“The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds” — Cloud Atlas