The Trigger of Orgasms: Margaret Birkin's Near-Death Experience

by Kevin Williams

 

Many people are surprised to learn that NDEs and out-of-body states can be triggered by orgasms. Scientists know that the largest sex organ of the human body is the brain. Human brain wave patterns show distinct changes during orgasm which indicate the importance of the brain's limbic system in the orgasms. Male and female brains demonstrate similar changes during orgasm, with brain activity scans showing a temporary decrease in brain activity of large parts of the cerebral cortex with normal or increased activity in the limbic areas of the brain. Research has shown that the emotional centers of men's and women's brains also deactivate during orgasm, but to a lesser extent than in women. Brain scans on both sexes have shown that the pleasure centers of a man's brain show more intense activity than in women during orgasm according to Judith Horstman in her book, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain. Traditional Eastern sexual rites, called Tantra Yoga, may have emerged from early Hindu Tantra as a means of triggering biochemical transformations in the body to create a heightened states of awareness in both partners achieved by "kundalini energy." The French phrase "la petite mort" is translated as "the little death" which is an idiom and euphemism for orgasm. This term has generally been interpreted to describe the post-orgasmic state of unconsciousness that some people have after having a sexual experience. In a wider sense, "the little death" can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the "life force" - the feeling which is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of orgasm. 

Table of Contents
1. Margaret Birkin's Orgasmic Near-Death Experiences
2. The Eastern Rituals of Sexual Tantra Yoga
3. The Transpersonal Psychology of Kundalini
4. Kundalini Phenomenon in Near-Death Studies
 
a. The Kenneth Ring and Christopher Rosing Kundalini Scale
b. The Bruce Greyson Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index
5. Kundalini Symbology in Various Religious Traditions
6. The Psychophysiological Benefits of Orgasms
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1. Margaret Birkin's Orgasmic Near-Death Experiences

In 1993, Margaret Birkin went through an experience which was not only life changing, but which even now, years later, she can still recall in every detail. Her near-death experiences are examples of how they can be triggered by  sexual orgasms. The following is a description of her experiences:

"I was 46 years old when I met my second husband Peter. I had been married previously for 23 years and raised two children. My sex life with my ex-husband was OK but nothing to write home about. I had never experienced an orgasm with him in those 23 years. We had separated and were almost divorced in 1993, and Peter came into my life almost immediately that I left my marriage.

 

"I was attracted to Peter very much sexually. I found myself at 46 years of age becoming interested in sex again. I, who had always been shy and a little conservative, started reading books about sex and sexual positions. With Peter, I had no inhibitions at all, and I was experiencing for the first time, the most wonderful sex.

 

"One evening, I had an experience of the most incredible feeling. It felt as if every nerve in my body was alive with energy. This was accompanied by the most wonderful feeling of bliss. As the feeling enveloped me, I found myself leaving my body.

 

"I found myself in my own chest area looking up at what I knew was my crown charka. I could see a light ahead of me. All of a sudden I became frightened to move. I actually thought I was dying, and for a few seconds, I fought the sensation. I was describing to Peter what I was going through. I was still physically there in body, but my soul, spirit, whatever you want to call it, was no longer there. I was within my own chest cavity.

 

"The next thing I was heading upwards to the light and broke through into the most beautiful light and place of beauty. I was so amazed and it took me quite by surprise. I found myself in the realms of what I would call spirit. I was in another dimension.

 

"I found myself having a tour of this place. I could see auditoriums with people listening to speakers. I was aware of Halls of Learning and places of the most beautiful beauty. I did not want to return, but at this stage I started to feel the pull to go back into my body. I could not control it as it pulled me back.

 

"I was exhausted after that experience and had a rest for a few nights. Then we made love again. Again, I left my body.

 

"This time I traveled to what I call the Halls of the Masters. What amazed me was the black and white large tiled floor in this place. Many years later, a client would tell me about her visit to this place with the same black and white tiling. I felt that she had been with me. Her version of this place was the same as mine.

 

"As I wandered around, I saw my spiritual teacher and Master, Maitreya. He was playing chess with someone and as I moved closer, I could see it was Sai Baba. I was so amazed. They both looked up and laughed at my amazement. No words were spoken, but they seemed pleased to see me.

 

"As I was watching them, suddenly I moved ahead and out of their dimension, into another one.

 

"Here I was out into space. I was moving very slowly, but I could see ahead of me an energy which is the only way to explain it. It was a long way off and I knew that to reach it, I had to move slowly. It was an inner knowing. Again, I was physically attached to my body, but out-of-body consciously. I was able to talk to Peter, albeit very softly, as if physically miles away. This helped because I could not believe what was happening. Again, after a while I had to return to my body.

 

"The next time this happened, I became aware of the Universe itself, of space, of our connection to space, and to the Universe as a whole. I passed galaxies, and at one stage, passed black holes which felt as if they were the Chakras of the Universe. Still the energy in front of me seemed such a long distance away.

 

"Every couple of nights I took a journey. I don't know whether Peter felt left out, but each time we had sex, I left my body and went further and further into space.

 

"As each night I traveled further and further from my body and the Earth realm, and the energy got closer, I became aware of the co-relation with the whole of life itself. I became in awe of the creative work of God.

 

"Then one night, I came closer to the energy and as I did, I felt it for the first time. It was pure love, pure unconditional love. At this point in my life, I had never seen myself as a decent person, but this energy spoke to me in thought and told me that I was a beautiful person. It told me to let go of the conditioning that I had of myself as a person with no worth.

 

"The love from this energy was amazing. It was so profound I sobbed uncontrollably.

 

"My next visit, I got closer and the same with the next visit. Finally, I was able to merge with this energy and the bliss, happiness, incredible peace that I felt inside. This being's energy was so incredible. I did not want to leave.

 

"It spoke to me in thought and told me that one day when I had finished my spiritual development, this energy and I would work together. However, I had a hard path in front of me with my development and I was not to give up for in the long term. It would be worth it. It also told me that I needed to move toward it slowly, because, had I not done so, I would have burnt up within the spirit.

 

"They call the orgasm in some circles the little death. For me it was a death and a rebirth. I was never the same after that. I don't think I will ever change either. It was the most amazing experience and one I know I will never forget."

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2. The Eastern Rituals of Sexual Tantra Yoga

According to the ancient practice of Tantra Yoga, the goal of the sexual act is to balances energies within the chakras of sexual partners. Once the body is awakened to it, "kundalini energy" (or just "kundalini") rises within the body culminating with the individual personality and identity of each partner dissolving into cosmic consciousness. Hindu scriptures describe kundalini as lying "coiled" at the base of the spine like a sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern terms, kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive sexual drive. It is reported that kundalini awakening results in enlightenment and bliss. Other yoga practices focus on the awakening of kundalini energy through meditation, breathing rituals, or the chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reported kundalini experience is a feeling like electric current running along the spine. Practitioners of Tantra Yoga understand these effects upon the body on multiple levels. The male and female partners are conjoined physically, representing Shiva (the male principle) and Shakti (the female principle). When the fusion of these energies takes place, the result creates a unified kundalini energy field. On the individual level, each participant experiences an integration of both of their Shiva and Shakti energies. Popular Tantric authors in the West, such as Joseph Campbell, combined sexuality and spirituality to correct Western repressive attitudes towards sex. As Tantra became more popular in the West, it underwent a transformation which became synonymous with "spiritual sex" - the belief that sex is a sacred act capable of elevating its practitioners to a higher spiritual level. However, Tantra in the West often omits having the guidance of a guru and Eastern meditation and ritual rules of conduct. Kundalini is one of the components of an esoteric description of the "subtle body" (or astral body) which consists of subtle energy channels and the "chakras" (spiritual energy centers representing the endocrine system according to Edgar Cayce) within the body.

Sometimes kundalini reportedly awakens spontaneously as the result of physical or psychological trauma, or even for no apparent reason. When awakened, kundalini is said to rise up from the lower chakra, up and along the spine, and reaching the top of the head. The progress of kundalini through the different chakras leads to different levels of awakening and mystical experience, until the kundalini finally reaches the top of the head, the crown chakra, producing an extremely profound mystical experience as Margaret Birkin's NDE shows. Other accounts of kundalini awakening have been documented as well. In his article on Kundalini in the Yoga Journal, David Eastman narrates two personal experiences. One man said he felt an activity at the base of his spine starting to flow so he relaxed and allowed it to happen. A feeling of surging energy began traveling up his back, at each chakra he felt an orgasmic electric feeling like every nerve trunk on his spine beginning to fire. A second man describes a similar experience but accompanied by a wave of euphoria and happiness softly permeating his being. He described the surging energy as being like electricity but hot, traveling from the base of his spine to the top of his head. He said the more he analyzed the experience, the less it occurred.

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3. The Transpersonal Psychology of Kundalini

The Theosophical Society and interest by the psychiatrist and NDEr Carl G. Jung (1875–1961) influenced Western awareness of the idea of kundalini. Jung's seminar on kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, is widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought. Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the development of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation.

The kundalini can awaken spontaneously for no obvious reason or triggered by other intense personal experiences such as accidents, near death experiences, childbirth, emotional trauma, extreme mental stress, etc. Some sources attribute spontaneous awakenings to possible spiritual practice in past lives. Some academics have coined the term "kundalini syndrome" to refer to physical or psychological problems arising from experiences traditionally associated with kundalini awakening. The popularization of Eastern kundalini practices has been associated with psychological problems in the West. Psychiatric literature notes that:

"... since the influx of eastern spiritual practices and the rising popularity of meditation starting in the 1960s, many people have experienced a variety of psychological difficulties, either while engaged in intensive spiritual practice or spontaneously". (Turner et al., Page 440)

Researchers in the fields of Transpersonal psychology, and near-death studies have described a complex pattern of sensory, motor, mental and affective symptoms associated with kundalini syndrome. According to Carl Jung:

"...the concept of kundalini has for us only one use, that is, to describe our own experiences with the unconscious."

"Spiritual crisis" or "spiritual emergencies" associated with kundalini awakening may be viewed as an acute psychotic episode by psychiatrists who are not familiar with the phenomenon. The biological changes that occur from certain Yogic practices may lead to acute psychosis. These biological alterations by yogic techniques may be used to warn people against such reactions (see Greyson, 1993, p. 46) The spiritual crisis resulting from kundalini syndrome is a form of identity crisis where an individual experiences drastic changes to their beliefs and identity which is typically due to a spontaneous spiritual experience. This "kundalini crisis" can occur to people who are unprepared or without the assistance of a good teacher to guide them. The symptoms are said to resemble those of kundalini awakening but are experienced as unpleasant, overwhelming or out of control. Unpleasant side effects are said to occur when the practitioner has not approached kundalini with due respect and in a narrow egotistical manner. Kundalini has been described as a highly creative intelligence which dwarfs our own. Kundalini awakening therefore requires surrender; it is not an energy which can be manipulated by the ego.

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4. Kundalini Phenomenon in Near-Death Studies

Eastern traditions have developed elaborate lifelong practices and lifestyles with the intent of awakening kundalini and is, in fact, the implicit purpose of yoga. But If kundalini is awakened without proper guidance, as Dr. Kenneth Ring believes happens in a near-death experience, kundalini can be a raw, destructive power loosed on the individual’s body and psyche. Unfortunately, western medicine has not acknowledged the physio-kundalini model of arousal; therefore, symptoms are often misdiagnosed. Although the process of kundalini awakening is essentially a spiritual one and normally outside the domain of medical science, its symptoms imply the existence of medically verifiable physical and psychological symptoms.

Kundalini syndrome has been reported in the West predominantly by people who have had a near-death experience or have been practicing kundalini yoga (Greyson, 1993, p. 45,55-56). "Kundalini awakening" is a term used in both transpersonal psychology (Turner et.al,1995, p. 440) and near-death studies (Kason, 2000) The term "kundalini awakening" is closer in relationship to the language of Hinduism and the yogic tradition, than the terminology of "syndrome." Dr. Bruce Greyson is one of the researchers who uses both the terminology of "syndrome" (Greyson, 1993, 2000), and the terminology of "awakening" (Greyson, 1993). In his 1993-article Greyson reviews many of the discussions of kundalini syndrome (Greyson, 1993, p.44-48). Researchers in the fields of transpersonal psychology and near-death studies have suggested some common criteria that describe this condition, of which the most prominent feature is a feeling of energy or heat moving along the spine (Kason 2000, p. 223).

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a. The Kenneth Ring and Christopher Rosing Kundalini Scale

Among the first studies to comment upon symptoms of kundalini was conducted by Drs. Kenneth Ring and Christopher Rosing's Omega Project (Ring & Rosing, 1990). In this study the researchers found that near-death experiencers reported several psychophysical changes in the wake of their near-death experience, including symptoms that could be interpreted as kundalini-activity. They developed the Kundalini Scale, a nine-item scale to assess psychophysical changes, and symptoms of kundalini activation, in near-death experiencers.

 
The Ring & Rosing Kundalini Scale
1. Feelings of energy in the hands.
2. Feeling deep ecstatic sensations.
3. Experiencing severe, or migraine type, headaches.
4. Awareness of energy discharges, or currents, flowing through the body.
5. Sensations of tickling, itching or tingling on, or underneath, the skin.
6. Awareness of internal lights or colors.
7. Hands feeling hot.
8. Sensations of extreme heat or cold moving through the body.
9. The body shakes, vibrates or trembles.
 

NDE expert Dr. Bruce Greyson notes that contemporary western culture is poorly equipped to deal with signs of kundalini activity; therefore, kundalini activity might lead to major disruptions in the social and psychological functioning of people experiencing kundalini symptoms (Greyson, 1993, p. 46). According to Greyson, such kundalini disruptions are often confused with psychotic disorders. Greyson underlines the importance of differentiating between kundalini phenomena on the one hand, and mental illness or psychopathology on the other hand. As a consequence of his research findings, Greyson finds support for the claim that the phenomenon of kundalini can be understood as a non-pathological force. He also implies that kundalini phenomena are not common in mental illness, and that it should be possible to differentiate this phenomenon from mental illness (Greyson, 1993, p. 54,57). Many reported cases of kundalini syndrome may rather be signs of an energetic state of bioenergy. The difference between bioenergy and kundalini was noticed by researchers such as Greyson, as referring to researchers who believe kundalini syndrome symptoms are a less profound effect of bioenergy (Greyson, 1993, p. 44).

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b. The Bruce Greyson Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index

In a 1993 study conducted by Greyson (Greyson, 1993) at an inpatient psychiatric unit of the University of Connecticut Health Center, Greyson developed a Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index , a 19-item questionnaire, in order to study kundalini and its effects (Greyson, 1993, p.49; 2000, p. 124). Greyson administered this Index to patients admitted to the unit. The Index includes 4 major categories: motor symptoms, somatosensory symptoms, audiovisual symptoms and mental symptoms:

 
The Greyson Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index
   Category Symptoms
  
  Motor symptoms
1. Body assuming and maintaining strange positions for no apparent reason.
2. Body becoming frozen or locked into strange positions and immovable.
3. Breathing spontaneously stopping or becoming rapid, shallow, or deep for no apparent reason.
4. Spontaneous involuntary bodily movements.
  
  Somatosensory Symptoms
5. Spontaneous deep ecstatic tickle or orgasmic feeling.
6. Physical sensations starting in the feet, legs or pelvis, and moving up the back and neck to the top of the head, down the forehead, over the face, then to the throat, and ending in the abdomen.
7. Extreme sensations of heat or cold moving through the body.
8. Moving pockets of bodily heat or cold being extreme enough to burn or otherwise affect someone else or an inanimate object.
9. Pains in specific parts of the body that begin and end abruptly.
10. Tingling, vibration, itching or tickling on the skin or inside the body.
 
  Audiovisual symptoms 
11. Internal noises, such as whistling, hissing, chirping, roaring or flutelike sounds.
12. Internal voices.
13. Internal lights or colors illuminating parts of the body.
14. Internal lights bright enough to illuminate a dark room.

  Mental symptoms
15. Observing oneself, including one's thoughts, as if one were a bystander.
16. Sudden, intense ecstasy, bliss, peace, love, devotion, joy, or cosmic unity.
17. Sudden intense fear, anxiety, depression, hatred or confusion.
18. Thoughts spontaneously speeding up, slowing down, or stopping altogether.
19. Experiencing oneself as physically larger than the body.
 

From this study, Dr. Greyson found that psychiatric patients reported physio-kundalini symptoms, but to a lesser degree than a group of near-death experiencers described in a previous study. Greyson followed up his previous interest in the subject with a new study in 2000, published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology under the title Some Neuropsychological Correlates of the Physio-Kundalini Syndrome . In this study, a group of 321 volunteers from IANDS, responded to the Physio-kundalini syndrome index, as well as standardized tests designed to measure neuropsychological traits. Using statistical regression analysis, Greyson's study supports the hypothesis that persons with aroused kundalini would be good hypnotic subjects, have vivid mental imagery, be creative, enjoy a rich fantasy life, and exercise unusual access to internal states. Greyson concludes his study by stating how kundalini researchers may find his data to be consistent with the yogic tradition's claim that kundalini is the organizing force behind biological and spiritual evolution.

As a group, near-death experiencers reported experiencing almost twice as many physio-Kundalini items as did people who had close brushes with death but no NDE, and people who had never come close to death. As a check on whether the physio-Kundalini questionnaire might be measuring nonspecific strange experiences, I threw into the analysis the responses of a group of hospitalized psychiatric patients. They reported the same number of Physio-Kundalini Index items as did the non-NDE control group. There were two unexpected and ambiguous "control" groups in my studies: people who claimed to have had NDEs but described experiences with virtually no typical NDE features; and people who denied having had NDEs but then went on to describe prototypical near-death experiences. In their responses to the physio-Kundalini questionnaire, the group that made unsupported claims of NDEs were comparable to the non-NDE control group, while the group that denied having NDEs (but according to their responses on the NDE scale, did) were comparable to the group of NDErs. In regard to awakening Kundalini, then, having an experience mattered, but thinking you had one didn't.

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5. Kundalini Symbology in Various Religious Traditions

The serpent (or snake) is one of the oldest and most widespread religious symbols. As mentioned previously, Eastern traditions believe kundalini energy nourishes the "Tree of Life" (along the spine) within us and is coiled up like a serpent and therefore it has been called the "serpent power" - the residual power of pure desire. It has been suggested by Joseph Campbell that the symbol of snakes coiled around a staff is an ancient representation of kundalini physiology. Historically, serpents and snakes represent fertility or a creative life force. As snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. The Gnostic ouroboros is represented as a snake eating its own tail and is a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life.

 

In many religions, the serpent is coiled around a Tree of Life situated in a divine garden. In the Abrahamic religions, the serpent represents sexual desire. According to the Rabbinical tradition, in the Garden of Eden, the serpent represents sexual passion. In the Genesis story of the Hebrew Bible, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the Tree of Life and the serpent. The serpent in the Garden of Eden lured Eve with the promise of forbidden knowledge, convincing her that despite God's warning, death would not be the result. This serpent is identified with wisdom: "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made." (Genesis 3:1). Although a serpent is identified as Satan in Revelation 12:9, in Genesis the serpent is merely portrayed as a trickster, promoting as good what God had directly forbidden, and particularly cunning in its deception:

"You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4-5)

"And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'" (Genesis 3:22)

According to the Hebrew Bible, a copper snake wrapped around a pole is used for healing. During the Exodus the Israelites lost faith and were smitten by fiery serpents. So God told Moses to "'Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.' So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived." (Numbers 21:8-9) An apt description of the healing qualities of the awakened kundalini. Some of the Israelites even began to worship this symbol, and the practice of worshipping the brazen serpent on the pole as a god was either passed on, or was revived later. When the reformer King Hezekiah came to the throne of Judah in the late 8th century BCE, "He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)" (2 Kings 18:4).Bronze and stone serpent artifacts have been found in excavations in Canaan, Gezer and other parts of Israel.

This Hebrew symbol becomes significant in Christianity when Christ suggests kundalini awakening as the true destiny of all his followers: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him." (John 3:14-15) According to NDE and kundalini expert, Barbara Whitfield (herself an NDEr), though the vocabulary of the kundalini hypothesis is foreign to mainstream scientists in the West, the concept of kundalini bears some resemblance to the more familiar "born-again" experience of the "Holy Spirit" described by many Christians. The New Testament describes the Holy Spirit as manifesting as "tongues of fire" over the heads of the apostles during the Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4) In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (saying 101) and elsewhere, Christ says unequivocally that "the Holy Spirit is my mother." In Luke 17:20-11, Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God is within you." The arousing of kundalini is said by some to be the one and only way of attaining divine wisdom or "gnosis" (self-knowledge). Self-realization is said to be equivalent to divine wisdom. The awakening of the kundalini shows itself as "awakening of inner knowledge" and brings with itself "pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love."

 

Under yet another Tree (the Bodhi tree of Enlightenment), the Buddha sat in ecstatic meditation. According to Buddhist mythology, when a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the Earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, not to break his ecstatic state.

 

Serpents are connected with poison and medicine. The snake's venom is associated with the chemicals of plants and fungi that have the power to either heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness (and even the elixir of life and immortality) through divine intoxication. Because of its herbal knowledge and psychoactive association the snake was often considered one of the wisest animals, being (close to the) divine. Its divine aspect combined with its habitat in the Earth between the roots of plants made it an animal with properties connected to the afterlife and immortality. Asclepius, the Greek God of medicine and healing, carried a staff with one serpent wrapped around it, which has become the symbol of modern medicine.

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6. The Psychophysiological Benefits of Orgasms

Orgasms in both sexes can be extremely pleasurable and are often felt throughout the body, causing a mental state that is often described as transcendental. During ejaculation, the brain releases an increase of the hormone oxytocin. For this reason, oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the "bonding hormone." Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security between sexual partners. This suggests oxytocin may be important for inhibiting areas of the brain associated with fear and anxiety; thereby allowing orgasms to occur. Oxytocin also functions to protect against stress. Meta-analyses conducted in 2003 demonstrated that oxytocin can alleviate mood and reduce stress with a good efficiency. Other health benefits of orgasms include: (a) the obvious pleasurable physiological changes while having sex; (b) normal or increased activity in the limbic areas of the brain; and (c) the treatment of sexual dysfunctions such as anorgasmia. These beneficial effects have an impact on cultural views of having orgasms as well, such as the belief that frequent, satisfactory orgasms are important in sexual relationships, and theories about the biological and evolutionary functions of orgasm.

For at least two thousand years of European history until the late 19th century, so-called "female hysteria" was thought to be caused by disturbances of the uterus (from the Greek "hysteria" = uterus). Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and "a tendency to cause trouble". By the middle to late 19th century, female hysteria was considered to be what medical science now recognizes to be sexual dysfunction. As unethical as it may seem, the typical treatment for female hysteria in those days was performed by a physician massaging the patient's genitalia using a vibrator or water spray to cause orgasm. In the early 1890s, Sigmund Freud published a series of articles on hysteria which popularized his own views of on the subject. By the 1920s, the Freudian psychoanalytic school of psychology attributed hysterical symptoms to the unconscious mind's attempt to protect the patient from psychic stress and recommended the clinical use of hypnosis as a treatment.

A 2011 study performed by Rutgers University, was the first to map the connection between female genitalia and the brain. Brain scans of several women stimulating themselves while in a functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) machine demonstrated how the brain registers distinct feelings between (a) stimulating the clitoris, (b) stimulating the cervix, and (c) stimulating the vaginal wall where the "G-Spot" is reported to be. A paper published in March of 2012 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, provided documented evidence that vaginal and clitoral orgasms are separate phenomena that activate different areas of the brain and possibly suggest key psychological differences between women.

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"The soul is here for its own joy." - Jelaluddin Rumi

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The Art of Sexual Ecstasy book cover.

The Art of Sexual Ecstasy: The Path of Sacred Sexuality for Western Lovers

by Margot Anand, M. E. Naslednikov, Leandra Hussey (Illustrator)

This landmark book on human sexuality makes the sacred lovemaking techniques of the East fully comprehensible to Western readers. Elegantly illustrated, it helps the reader acquire new attitudes and broaden his or her range of experience, to revitalize and strengthen relationships. This book opens the way to a new stage of fulfillment and bliss, making the sacred lovemaking techniques of the east available to western readers and extending sensual experience for everyone. This is the most comprehensive and clearly written work on contemporary Tantric sex. An exceptional detailed program for both the beginner and the advanced practitioner.

 

Healing Love Through the Tao book cover.

Healing Love Through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy

by Mantak Chia, Maneewan Chia

This is a new edition of the bestseller: the first book to reveal in the West the Taoist techniques that enable women to cultivate and enhance their sexual energy. Learn the Taoist secrets for shortening menstruation, reducing cramps, and compressing more chi into the ovaries for greater sexual power. Learn the Taoist practice of total body orgasm. For thousands of years the sexual principles and techniques presented here were taught by Taoist masters in secret only to a small number of people (sworn to silence), in the royal courts and esoteric circles of China. Mantak Chia teaches powerful techniques developed by Taoist masters to revitalize women's physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Available in Kindle Edition also.

 

The Enlightened Sex Manual book cover.

The Enlightened Sex Manual: Sexual Skills for the Superior Lover

by David Deida

The secret to enlightenment and great sex is revealed to be one and the same in this groundbreaking manual for adventurous lovers. David Deida was trained for decades in the art of spiritual and sexual awakening. Now he presents the ultimate collection of skills for opening to the physical, emotional, and spiritual rewards of intimate embrace. In paperback for the first time, this book teaches you how to transform simple "skin friction" into the depths and embodiment of ecstasy, how to develop sexual abilities as gifts of heart rapture and bodily surrender, how to achieve the principal types of orgasm - and all their varieties - and much more. Available in Kindle Edition also.

 

Finding God Through Sex book cover.

Finding God Through Sex: Awakening the One of Spirit Through the Two of Flesh

by David Deida and Ken Wilber

No matter how much we pray or meditate, it's not always easy to integrate sexual pleasure and spiritual surrender. Bestselling author David Deida helps single men and women and couples of every orientation live up to the challenge of loving in unbearable rapture. This brilliant writer and internationally renowned expert on spiritual sexuality presents a revolutionary new way to love - one in which sex literally becomes an erotic act of devotional surrender, "making love, magnifying love, from the boundless depth of your heart through every inch of your body and in merger with your lover." Through provocative vignettes that illuminate the many moods that color lovemaking, and direct instruction that speaks honestly to the masculine and feminine desires within each of us, Deida brings wisdom gained from 30 years' work with thousands of couples to illustrate the distinct yet complementary avenues men and women can skillfully travel toward untamed passion and sacred unity. Available in Kindle Edition also.

 

The Soul of Sex book cover.

The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love

by Thomas Moore

A highly original approach from best selling author Thomas Moore, restoring sex to its rightful place in the human psyche as an experience of the soul. Describing sex as an experience of the soul, Thomas Moore here brings out the fully human side of sex - the roles of fantasy, desire, meaning, and morality - and draws on religion, mythology art, literature, and film to show how sex is one of the most profound mysteries of life. While finding spirituality inherent in sex, Moore also explores how spiritual values can sometimes wound our sexuality. Blending rather than opposing spirituality and sexuality, The Soul of Sex offers a fresh, livable way of becoming more deeply sexual and loving in all areas of life.

 

Introduction to Tantra book cover.

Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire

by Lama Thubten Yeshe, Jonathan Landaw, Philip Glass

According to Buddhism, every human being has the potential to achieve profound and lasting happiness. And according to the tantric teachings of Buddhism, this remarkable transformation can be realized very quickly if we utilize all aspects of our human energy, especially the energy of our desires. Introduction to Tantra is the best available clarification of a subject that is often misunderstood. This new edition of the classic text includes a new foreword by Philip Glass and new cover art, but leaves untouched Lama Yeshe's excellent original text, edited by Jonathan Landaw. Tantra recognizes that the powerful energy aroused by our desire is an indispensable resource for the spiritual path. It is precisely because our lives are so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy not just for pleasure, but to transform our lives. Lama Yeshe presents tantra as a practice leading to joy and self-discovery, with a vision of reality that is simple, clear, and extremely relevant to 21st-century life.

 

Changes of Mind book cover.

Changes of Mind: A Holonomic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness

by Dr. Jenny Wade

Dr. Wade's original theory of the development of consciousness brings together research from neurology, new paradigm studies, psychology, and mysticism. In this stunningly original book, Dr. Wade presents a theory of development that begins before birth and ends after death. She extends the boundaries of development in a way that leads us to rethink the nature of consciousness and the relation of consciousness to the brain. She brings these sources together in a synthesis that will make an important contribution to consciousness studies and to transpersonal psychology. Dr. Wade's theory concerns the development of consciousness per se - not merely its derivatives, such as cognition, social development, and affect - and its neurological bases, something no other developmental theory has taken into account. Using data from a wide range of empirical studies and neurological research, Dr. Wade shows that awareness considerably predates birth - probably even conception - and lasts after death, supporting the idea that the self exists outside the boundaries of linear time and a physical body. This book represents a major leap forward in psychological theory and a groundbreaking approach to human perception and being in the world. Available in Kindle Edition also.

 

The Heart of Tantric Sex book cover.

The Heart of Tantric Sex: A Unique Guide to Love and Sexual Fulfillment

by Diana Richardson

After many years of exploration, Diana Richardson found that the ancient practice of Tantra, with its unique, intelligent approach to sex, had the effect of enhancing intimacy and deepening love. Here she has adapted Tantra for modern Western lovers in a practical, sympathetic way. Tantric Sex can transform your experience into a more sensual, loving and fulfilling one. Available in Kindle Edition also.

 

Tantra for Erotic Empowerment book cover.

Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life

by Mark A. Michaels, Patricia Johnson, Tristan Taormino

Authentic and engaging, this illustrated guide is unique in its holistic approach - showing how Tantric practice not only greatly enhances your sexual pleasure but also leads to richer and more satisfying experiences in every area of your life. Relevant for anyone, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation, this book features original techniques, self-exploration exercises, and provocative selections from classical and contemporary Hindu Tantric literature to help you discover the source of your own erotic power and transform your life. This book has been named a National Best Books 2008 Award Winner in the Health: Sexuality category, and is an award-winning finalist in the Religion: Eastern Religions category. Available in Kindle Edition also.