Updated: May 13
Twelve years into my relationship, I still wake up most mornings to the best sex of my life.
Same woman every day. Both of us equally stretched from working full time and parenting. Both of us another day older than we were yesterday. And yet this is our reality—lovemaking that gets hotter rather than cooler the longer we’re together. A reality that, in my 20s, I wouldn’t have believed was possible.
Back then, I had an insatiable sexual appetite that always got me in trouble—from cheating and lying to losing the trust of those I loved and those I didn’t, all while leaving a trail of ashes behind me everywhere I went.
Now, many years later, I have that same insatiable sexual appetite, but it works to open my woman’s heart, allows her to trust me more, not less, and helps her surrender so deeply to me that the sexual ecstasy surging through her keeps my attention, sex drive, and devotion to her fully engaged day after day, year after year.
How did this change happen?
Through walking it alongside her, my sexuality has not been suppressed, demonized, or made wrong. Instead, it has been liberated.
Liberation does not mean letting my cravings do whatever they want. Imagine letting a three-year-old child do whatever they want. Is that liberation? No. Obviously not. When we apply that sort of thinking to our sexual desires, the results are similar to putting a sharp knife into the hands of a toddler.
I used to think that sexual liberation meant doing whatever I wanted sexually. If the impulse for an orgy was there, then to live sexually liberated meant to go and have that orgy. And I’ve followed those impulses; I’ve experienced the results. And it is only because I have that I know for certain the costly consequences of such actions. They are the kind of consequences that bled out across my personal life and soiled the relationships I had with those I cared about most.
It’s no different than craving a drug. Once the high kicks in, you may feel confident that your decision to take the drug was the right one. But the next morning, the feelings of fatigue, regret, and bodily discomfort remind you of your foolishness. Yet it doesn’t stop you from doing it again.
Sometimes it takes years of repeating these patterns before you’re able to see that you’re not becoming liberated by these experiences, but rather, you’re becoming enslaved by them as they wear your soul thin and rob you of your precious life force in the days and years that follow. I know because I’ve done this too.
William Blake once famously wrote, “The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”
I am such a fool. And I had no chance of becoming any wiser until I was capable of seeing my foolishness for what it was. Wisdom doesn’t come from trying to be wise. Wisdom comes from observing all the ways I am foolish.
Until I saw my foolishness, my desire for sex continued to create discord in my life. My sexual desires wreaked havoc rather than spread love. I felt burdened by my wants and the wants of my lovers rather than liberated by them. More was never enough.
It wasn’t until I was ready for devotion that I stepped into my maturity in love, and my sexuality was transformed from poison into medicine. It is devotion that did this—the unequivocal principle that completes the Path through the transcendence of self in the name of unconditional love.
Today, my sexual desire is a gift that I give to the person I love, and it has transformed my relationship. Today, I can see and feel all the ways that my sexual desire can express itself selfishly, leading to losses in trust and love. I know how to stop creating discord and instead sow the fertile ground for a sacred relationship to thrive.
Through devotion, my sexual desire was transformed from a reckless monster into a fire-breathing dragon of spiritual awakening. It is not subdued, it is not shamed, it is not kept hidden, it is not held back, and it is not afraid of the dark—the darkness within myself or my lover. It is the full force of my sexual prowess made both conscious and loving, turned towards my beloved as a gift that opens her into otherworldly ecstasy each and every time we unite.
Because of this practice, my lover’s sexual devotion captivates me every day. It’s the most profound, ecstatic, sensual, pleasurable, erotic, awakening, and unconditionally loving experience that I have. It reminds me that I am not alone, that we are not separate, and this condition in which we live is love.
The permission I give myself to name what I see, feel what I feel, and express my desires is equivalent to the permission I give to her. If my heart is closed, if my desires are kept hidden, then she will be unable to trust me and open in my presence. It’s these subtle and often unconscious withholdings that make intimacy deteriorate with time.
Through devotion, selflessly turning the full force of our conscious-love towards one another, we unlock the greatest depths of sexual energy within ourselves and each other. As a result, my woman becomes the apex of my sexual fantasy time and again. She reveals my desires to me—desires I would’ve never known to ask for.
And yet there they are: pristine, pure, ecstatic—exactly what draws me deeper into her. She pulls me completely into the present moment. Orgasm after orgasm after orgasm, pleasure loses its preciousness but not its significance. Pleasure becomes merely background noise echoing through the eternal tremor of divine union.
Pleasure is not the objective of the Path. Love is. And love is awakening.
In a single moment of lovemaking, I watch Londin transform from one erotic energy to the next. It’s as if she becomes every woman I’ve ever desired every time we make love. She is both young and mature, wild and serene, dangerous and healing, playful and deadly serious, my queen and my sacred whore, my devotee and my goddess; she is my everything.
She doesn’t ask for or demand my devotion; she inspires it—until devotion moves through me effortlessly. All I can feel is my unwavering commitment in love as I witness her every curve, sound, and touch.
The feeling rises up from my belly, engulfs my heart, and spills from my lips: “I’m devoted to protecting your heart. I’m devoted to being your mountain.”
She replies with a moan and a whisper, “I’m devoted to your cock. I worship you.”
Nothing more needs to be said. It isn’t the quantity of our words but their quality. They’re so honest, so naked, so true that they land like anvils and ground the moment like gravity. We don’t dare speak another word and spoil the depth that our commitments have created.
Through her, I feel the totality of my desire for Her—for Everything. Not just my desire for my lover in my arms but my desire for all of creation, for all of experience, for all of life itself. I let my desire swell to the size of the universe, wanting nothing less than everything: the stars, the heavens, the oceans, the cool breeze, the taste of fresh fruit on my tongue, the feeling of the sun on my face, the bliss of deep sleep, and the joy of waking up in a warm bed.
It’s all Her. Nothing is not Her. Everything that I touch, smell, taste, hear, see, and dream is Her. And through my lover, I know Her absolutely. She’s all I want. I realize union, not merely with my lover but with the Divine. I do not exist without Her. And She does not exist without me. We are One. And my devotion to Her is revealed in all that I do.
Each time I take a breath, I feel Her presence. Each time I look at the horizon, I see Her majesty. Each time I touch my lover, I merge with Her infinitely.
Devotion is not clinging to physical forms; it’s not serving or being subservient to the finite. Devotion is turning toward that which is already free, already love, already divine. And that is already present here and now, available to us all, waiting to be discovered through all things.
You are the Divine. Your lover is the Divine. Your parents, children, friends, sworn enemies, even nature herself are the Divine.
It seems impossible at times to imagine that all this is Divine. We are convinced that if divinity exists, then it must exist somewhere other than here and definitely not now. But until we’re capable of knowing ourselves as the Divine, we cannot know others or this moment as the Divine.
I spent many years of my life hating myself. My inner voice incessantly recycled afflictive thoughts, asserting that I wasn’t lovable, I wasn’t trustworthy, I was a failure at everything I tried, and all I did was hurt others along the way.
If you are like I was, chronically reinforcing your own lack of divinity, then union with the Divine will always seem like a fantasy. Regardless of what substances you consume, pleasures you experience, or accolades you achieve, it will never feel like enough. Those experiences themselves are nothing more than mirages. They only appear to be wellsprings of nourishment and lasting relief.
But ultimately, you come to realize the desert ground is drier the closer you get to the water’s edge. The moment you arrive, the mirage fades, and you humbly realize you are no more satisfied now than when your journey began. You’re still just as thirsty as ever.
To be liberated is to break free of this pattern completely. To be liberated is to see love now, to feel love now, to know love now. Without devotion, you give up all too easily. You remain trapped inside of your self, unable to see and feel beyond the fears that keep you prisoner.
Devotion is a lot like faith. You may need to remind yourself again and again that this is it, that this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You may need to remind yourself to keep looking when all you see is failure, to keep feeling when all you feel is unlove.
When you see and feel this moment as divine, it will not be difficult to see the Divine in your lover’s eyes, regardless of their mood or yours.
When you fall in love with your actual condition—the Divine in love with the Divine—you realize there is nowhere to get to, only mirages. You start seeing clearly and feeling fully, regardless of whether it’s pleasure or pain moving through you.
Rather than desperately attempting to control everything within and around you, you allow the moment to reveal itself to you. You allow life and love to show you what it is rather than arrogantly assuming you already know, voraciously chasing something else, or aggressively declaring, “This ain’t it.”
The moment you admit that life is about something greater than the survival of self, you are humbled. And as a result, something within you softens and makes you immediately more capable of love. The search stops, and the wanting for more comes to an end.
But this end is not bitter. Desire persists, but it’s no longer driven by craving and the foolish urge to satisfy your eternal yearning once and for all. It’s a bird calling to the sun.
Instead of lamenting what you do not have, you turn your desire towards your beloved and realize this moment as Divine.
—excerpt from Playing With Fire: The Spiritual Path of Intimate Relationship by Justin Patrick Pierce and Londin Angel Winters