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Mindful Sex: Everything and Nothing

by Jessica Graham

I had sex for the first time because there was a Me I wanted to be. I wanted to be a Me who had “been there, done that.” I wanted to be a  Me who could utter a resounding “No!” when accused of virginity. I wanted to be a Me who was no longer that scared kid in an alcoholic home, who was instead tough, seasoned and utterly jaded. This first experience spilled over into many more. Some fun or hot. Some disappointing or scary. Very few open, connected, or truly alive. Then again, my life in general was not open, connected or truly alive. I spent a majority of my time suffering or finding ways to numb that suffering.

A lot of my suffering involved romantic relationships. I had no true intimacy, as sex was just another way to build up one Self and hide from another. There was no sense of unity with the world around me, and certainly not with my sexual partners. Even looking someone in the eye during sex was light years away from my comfort zone. A good relationship, this lack of connection did not make. I could not see that I was not separate from my partners or anything else. I was deeply attached to whatever Self was yelling the loudest. By the time I found my spiritual practice I had bottomed out on being a Me, especially the anxious, shut down, and painfully separate version that years of hard living had created.

As I clawed my way through the effects of a trauma-filled life, utilizing meditation, recovery groups, and therapy, I had no idea that all the versions of Me would coming crashing down to reveal what I really am. Everything and Nothing. What a surprise for someone who had spent her life tethered to a never-ending spiral of Selfing! I also had a big surprise in store for me when it came to sex.

It seems that time slows, or perhaps doesn’t exist at all. Your breath is your partner’s breath which is the breath of everything. As you inhale, so does the universe. At first you can’t tell your body from her’s. One warm, pulsing, entity of energy. Then there is no body at all. Something can see through your eyes, taste though your mouth, touch through your fingertips, but it is not made of thoughts and emotions. It is not a Me. If you have experienced this, you know just what I’m talking about.

The first time I began to recognize the Everything and Nothing during sex, I was shocked right back into a solid self. This self said “Holy moly! I just had a spiritual awakening! I want more of that!” This is common with early spiritual insights. The Self arises and tries hold on to the experience. Of course the moment that happens, and you become attached to that self, Poof! You are landlocked once again. But over time these insights add up and the gap between rememberings gets smaller. This has been the case for me with both my spiritual and sexual development, though I don’t really see these two as separate anymore. It’s all included.

Read the whole Mindful Sex Series

This article also appears at Science & Nonduality

Jessica Graham is a meditation teacher, sex, relationship, and spiritual guide for couples and individuals, speaker, and author of Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out. She is a contributing editor for Deconstructing Yourself and her work is featured on many apps including; Simple Habit, Wise@Work, Emjoy, Breethe, and Sanity & Self. Jessica is also an award-winning actor and filmmaker. Connect with Jessica on Instagram and at

Find all of Jessica’s DY articles here.

photo by David Yu

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