After having one of my best orgasms, I started laughing uncontrollably. I had no idea why I was laughing, but it was uncontrollable and it continued for about 10 minutes.

After I finally calmed down I went to sleep. The following morning I awakened in an ecstatic state.

My first thought of the day was, – is it possible for sex to be one of the paths to personal growth?

The answer was immediate and clear – ABSOLUTELY.

As I was having this thought I was thinking of a very close family member who had first hand experience while exploring his sexuality for the first time resulting in a surprising and pleasant personal growth.

Until the age of 28 his only sexual experience was from encounters with four different prostitutes.

After he finally met a woman he really liked, his body shut down and was non-responsive every time they tried making love.

He wasn’t accustomed to having feelings for the person he was having sex with nor having someone he actually cared for to be so close to him and see him fully exposed.

After the first few time, his new love grew increasingly frustrated and they decided to have a heart-to-heart conversation.

He confessed that, she was the only woman he had ever been with that he truly cared for and all of his previous sexual encounters were only with women he had paid.

His confession was very difficult for her to hear and accept. She couldn’t come to terms with his explanation and decided to end the relationship.

Even though the consequence of opening his heart and sharing his innermost secrets was not what he had expected, for the first time he felt a sense of relief, calmness, and finally confidence as a man.

For the first time he allowed himself to open up and let go of his shadows, insecurities, lies and other walls he had built over the years.

Sex can bring out many hidden emotions, fears, weak spots, insecurities, habits, shadows, desires, power, and even trust.

It can be one of the most intense and direct ways to really look into ourselves, because everything becomes magnified when we allow someone to become so intimately close.

Sex invites us to constantly express our boundaries and desires, which can sometimes be conflicting and we cannot control what responses we will receive from others.

It can take us to a state of worry “what if the other person doesn’t accept my boundaries or desires – would they stay or walk away?

But, being silent and passive doesn’t work either, because we do everything on a surface level to try and protect our heart and inner most feelings.

We must be aware that it is our full responsibility to take care and give love to one’s self. Allowing someone we trust get so close to us can help heal the roots of anger, judgment, lack of self-worth, and fear of failure.

It can heal past relationships by giving us the strength to look at our own behavioral patterns.

There is no “One” solution to address all of the needs of the human life. Self-Care, nutrition, emotional, mental, spiritual and various other forms of energy exchange are needed to address the complexity of the human self.

There are times when our pain can be the greatest pathway to healing we could have never imagined, opening doors which can provide the deepest freedom, and endless love.

Cover art by: Jasper James