Intimacy and spiritual connection: Why you feel guilty or filthy


For the common mortals, sex in the right way brings a connection not just on earth but also in the metaphysical world.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

Mary can no longer have sex with her husband of 15 years. The trouble started when she discovered that the man had an extramarital affair. Although her husband terminated the affair and apologised, his touch did not ignite the fire on Mary as before. Her body was unresponsive.

She tried reading Kama Sutra, the famous book on sex styles, and applied the new techniques but nothing worked. She, therefore, came to the sexology clinic to seek help.

“I would like to give my all to my husband just like before, to be intimate, to feel connected”, she explained, “unfortunately it is not working. I bleed inside and I abhor sex with my man!”

After much probing, it occurred to me that Mary’s physical body, her spirit and her soul were not in unity anymore in her marital relationship. You see, sex is not just two physical bodies rubbing together. There is a marriage of souls and spirits that accompanies it. When the physical body, the soul and the spirit are not united in action, sex becomes a traumatising experience.

Have you ever felt guilty after a good bout of sex? That was a sign of disconnection of the triad – body, soul and spirit. The same applies when you feel dirty, filthy and ashamed after sex.

The issue here is that human beings are complicated. There is a higher spiritual vision that drives people in life. In many religions, that spiritual agenda is achieved by living a life of prescribed values. For some religions, the higher achievement is reached by being celibate while in others it is achieved by having sex within some social and cultural boundaries.

For the common mortals, sex in the right way brings a connection not just on earth but also in the metaphysical world. The spiritual union through the ritual of sex is intricately interwoven on earth and in the metaphysics. When the body, soul and spirit are in unity, the result is peace, joy and hope for a better future.

“I hear you, doctor, but all this sounds like religious rhetoric,” Mary interrupted. “I wish we could just be medical so that I get a worldly solution to my problem.”

Well, it is not only in religion that sex is spiritualised. There is a great wealth of scientific literature on spirituality of sex that explains a number of occurrences in sex that cannot be explained by the biology of the union.

“I give up!” Mary exclaimed, looking weary of what appeared to be a religious talk in a sexology clinic.

 “Okay, Mary. Did you say you have been reading the famous Kama Sutra and trying out the new sex styles?” I asked.

Mary nodded as she reclined back on her seat looking more comfortable. The spiritual talk was seemingly driving her crazy and getting back to Kama Sutra was much welcome.

I checked out my copy of the Kama Sutra and drew her attention to the introductory paragraphs. I read out loudly:

“First, find meaning in your existence. What are your personal laws and needs? What are you called to do? What is your dharma? Second, get your home and career on track. Give your life form. Have a philosophy that can guide you, and apply it to your everyday concerns. Only then will you be ready to learn how to make love.”

I reminded Mary that sex was not just a physical act and no matter how much she tried to play innovative sex styles, it would never work when the life purpose housed in the soul and spirit were not part of it.

Her subconscious interpretation of her situation was that her husband had connected spiritually and divinely with another woman and so the original connection towards a divine fulfilment had been broken.

Her body was now overpowered by the soul and the spirit and so she could no longer intimately connect with the man she originally loved. As stated in the Kama Sutra, she was not ready to make love under the circumstances.

Suddenly, Mary broke down and wept uncontrollably. Our conversation could not go on. After two hours of trying to compose herself in vain, I advised her to take a break and come the following day for further consultation.

On return, Mary was accompanied by her husband. She talked passionately of how she had desired to be godly and connect with God through her marriage. She lamented how her husband, John, had destroyed her destiny. Suddenly they both began to weep and John moved and hugged her tightly.

 “So, how do we sort this spiritual crisis?” I asked, not sure how to proceed with the treatment.

 “The marriage will collapse unless another wedding is held,” Mary answered, choking with emotion.

It was at that point that I called a priest to the clinic and, for once, the sexology clinic turned into a church. I became the best man and the nurse on duty was the best maid as wedding vows were read.

As the couple walked away holding hands with renewed love, I remained confused, not sure how to handle extramarital affairs in future.

Prof Osur is a reproductive and sexual health expert