I have been struggling with this question since at least 2005, and even more so in the last nine months as I underwent a training titled “Sacred Intimacy Through A Tantric Lens”. I just finished the last in-person module in June.
I think it’s a very complicated definition, which is both the strength & the weakness of this field. Probably every Sacred Intimate understands hirself & hir work differently. Add in society’s errant erotaphobia, and avoiding being arrested, and disconnected sex, and sex-in-exchange (for money, for companionship, for drugs, for a roof over your head, etc), and it becomes even more complex. Sometimes Sacred Intimate is used as a marketing ploy, a euphemism for “Escort who will have penetrative sex with you if you give hir money“. Sometimes it’s used as a code for “Escort who will have penetrative sex while incense & candles burn, if you give hir money“. Sometimes it means “Escort who will have penetrative sex that integrates the spiritual or sacred, if you give hir money“. Given where our society is, all of these are valid definitions by my book, but it makes it difficult when my form of Sacred Intimacy doesn’t actually fit any of those definitions. So what do I mean by Sacred Intimate/Sacred Intimacy? Let me borrow the words of some practicing Sacred Intimates:
“What does a sacred intimate do? I like to say that sacred intimates combine the roles of priest, prostitute, and psychotherapist. In other words, they approach sexuality with the understanding that it’s related to soul work and to spirituality. They use mindfulness and integrity to help people identify, embrace, and practice desire as holy, sexual embodiment as an expression of the soul. They hold the body as sacred and view erotic energy as a crucial component of human life and spiritual health. Their primary intention is that of healing — and by healing I mean not just addressing the wounds to the spirit and the flesh caused by sexual abuse, addiction, or disease but also acknowledging that the fun and the pleasure, the vitality and the divine mystery of sex have nourishing properties in and of themselves. That’s a message that easily gets lost in a culture that is as ambivalent or sex-negative as ours.”
~Don Shewey (“Sacred Intimacy“)
“Sacred Intimacy is Spiritual, alchemical transformative process”
~Sacred Intimacy Through A Tantric Lens Faculty Trainer
What are my words to describe how I see myself as a Sacred Intimate?
I am your mother, your big sister, your lover, your priest, your therapist, your cheerleader, and your coach.
I see all of you as sacred. I believe that your erotic power is a fuel, a resource, an oracle; and I want you to have full access to that power. I believe that your body when integrated with your spirit, your mind, your emotions and your sexuality is the best guide you can ever have. I want you to be able to hear that guide when It speaks to you. I believe that sometimes we need a little assistance to come to Wholeness. My whole reason for being on the planet is to provide you with that assistance
I bring my whole Self, broken as it is to my sessions with you. I have some gifts that I was born with that make it easier for me to feel the connection between my spirit & my sexuality, that make it easier to use the erotic as a path inward to The Divine. I have also been trained in certain techniques that allow me to use these gifts in Service to others. I have my own path to healing myself, to Wholeness, and in Service to You, I come to Me. The two instances where my brain most easily shuts up, in which I most easily become a Conduit for Spirit are during sex, and when I am in session, in Service to someone else’s path to Wholeness. (there’s also singing, dancing, praising Orisha, and doing BDSM scenes in The Twilight Zone at MichFest, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post, lol).