By Scott Kiloby
I’ve never taken the position taken by some Buddhists that all pleasure should be avoided. Extremes of any kind are rather unhealthy. For example, at one point in my life, I experienced a ferocious sex addiction. I was living in the extreme in terms of frequent ejaculation through masturbation, sex and pornography and obsessive thinking around all if it. That was an addiction, by any stretch of the definition. As I became more conscious of my inner body through natural rest and the living inquiries, I began to notice what happened through ejaculation. My vital energy would be drained. During the period of arousal, my whole body would feel the wonderful explosion of sexual thoughts, emotions and sensations, but then it would all dissipate upon ejaculation. Afterwards, although there was a sense of peace that would be felt for a period of time, I also noticed that my pelvic area would feel blocked and uncomfortable for a number of days after ejaculation. And the only thing that would seem to unblock it or open it was another round of sexual play and ejaculation. But this kind of relief was only temporary. The contraction would reappear again and again, creating a repetitive desire to engage in sex or masturbation that ended with ejaculation.
As the sex addiction died down, the lower chakras began to open, with the help of the contraction work that I have presented on this site and elsewhere. Pleasure still remained important. But the addictive nature of seeking sex constantly was seen for what it is – a coping mechanism, a way to medicate oneself over and over, to cover up uncomfortable thoughts, emotions and sensations.
I began reading about tantric sex and masturbation and listened to some spiritual teachers who talked about the practice of not ejaculating during masturbation and sex. I read and listened with a skeptic mind. I’ve seen so many practices that just keep people spinning around in circles, trying to reach some great state in the future. I wasn’t interested in that anymore. But I did notice that ejaculation drained the vital energy in my body, continuing to solidify those lower contractions in the root, sacral and stomach chakras. And frequent ejaculation felt much more addictive than exploring sex in this different way, which would not end in ejaculation each time. So I tried it….
One day I began to explore sexual arousal through masturbation without ejaculating. I would allow the fantasies to arouse me, but would then bring quiet attention into the sensations in the root, sacral and stomach areas and the space around those areas, watching thoughts come and go as if they were on a screen right in front of me. As the thoughts began to quiet, it was easier to rest just with the sexual energy itself, without many thoughts on it. I stopped the self-arousal and just began to let that energy fill up my whole body. I reinstigated the sexual arousal several times, followed by periods of resting in quietness, letting the energy flow naturally without further arousal (i.e., “edging”) I noticed that as long as I did not ejaculate, the vital energy remained in my body, flowing smoothly up the spine and creating a sense of well-being and peace in a sustained way. This actually had the effect of quieting ego-based thoughts and sexually addictive thoughts that were previously unconscious. I just felt more alive and more engaged in my life as a whole. Gone were the days when sex or masturbation would drain my energy and leave me feeling contracted in my lower body. In fact, this exploration resulted in the lower chakras opening even more.
I have very little sex these days and there is very little masturbation. I believe that this meditative practice of non-ejaculation helped quiet any remaining sex addiction. Mostly, when I engage in those acts, it is more about being with the vital energy in a quiet way, letting it flow thoroughly through space. This has had a very positive affect on my overall sense of well-being. The vital energy continues to flow throughout the day. I highly recommend it. And I think it can be very helpful for those with a sex addiction who cannot abstain. It does take practice, because the mind is so often highly activated during the act. Regardless of whether you experience sex addiction, this practice can be beneficial in that you no longer repeatedly drain all that vital energy just for a quick ejaculation. I choose that overall, sustained sense of well-being over the temporary fixes that come with ejaculation. That has been the nature of my recovery overall, to live a life that is not built upon temporary fixes and that values well-being and present moment awareness instead.