It's an empowering way to explore self-pleasure.
You may not consider spirituality and sex to have much to do with each other. But when you think about it, the two are fundamentally linked: procreation is how we create life and keep the human element of our universe ticking over. The word 'libido' actually translates as 'life force'. In this sense, our sexual desires do have a spiritual quality – it's not only part of what connects us to each other; but to the universe.
But spiritual sexuality isn't just about intimacy with another person. Combining mindful and healing practices into our self-pleasure can be just what we need to unleash new energy and boost our sexual confidence. If you're finding yourself stuck in a bit of a 'masturbation rut' – you know, when you get into the habit of reaching for the same vibrator and ethical porn site – then a 'cosmic climax' may just be what you need to level-up your self-care game.
"When we're having a 'cosmic orgasm', what we're doing is almost letting the energy of the universe make love to us, so we don't even need to physically masturbate," says energy healer and sexual wellness expert Vanya Silverten, author of Sacred Revolution: A Woman's Path to Love, Power & Sensual Enlightenment. "It's all about learning to train your body to take on the forces of the sun, or the earth, or the stars and learn to kind of ride it and move it through your body to orgasm with it.
"If someone wants to add in physical masturbation you can totally do that if you want to. The real key is here is you're learning to kind of train the way that you move your sexual energy through your body," she explains.
How do you do it?
The very point of spiritual masturbation is that it's a personal experience, so there's no 'prescribed' way to reach cosmic orgasm. It's about feeling your way around and being playful with how the universe's energies stimulate you.
Vanya says it doesn't even have to be focused on the genitals, rather you can "drink in" energy and circulate it around our body and bring it to your heart, for example.
To get started, you can try:
Getting naked and lying down on your bed, letting daylight stream in through the windows.
Try breath work – exhaling deeply and consciously – imagining the sunlight energising your erogenous zones (anywhere you derive pleasure, such as the clitoris, breasts and lips).
You can incorporate physical masturbation here if you like.
You can also incorporate other spiritual practices – such as crystals, oils, healing music – anything that helps you create a "sacred space" and set the scene.
One thing Vanya says you're likely to experience is an intense build up of energy followed by release, though it doesn't have to reside in the areas you'd typically experience this when masturbating. The focus here is on feeling empowered and having your wellbeing restored.
"When you're with a partner, you tend to drink in their energy and feel complete by them," she says, "while cosmic orgasm is a way to break free of this feeling".
"We long for someone to complete us, and then we get horrible relationships and they don't go right," Vanya continues. "When women learn to masturbate spiritually, they're empowering themselves to a place where they're not needing or longing – they've completed themselves. That automatically puts them in a better position to attract healthier relationships or create better boundaries. It can be really nourishing and healing."
Sure, this may all sound a bit woo-woo, but an empowering and healing way to masturbate? We don't see anything wrong with that.
Written by Ali Pantony & Tanyel Mustafa.
This article originally appeared on Glamour UK.