Have you ever experienced sex as medicine? I’m willing to bet you’ve stumbled on a deeply emotional love making that left you feeling transformed and healed. Maybe that experience was couched for you as a tender, unspeakable experience with an orgasmic response you attributed to what a good lover your partner was. Perhaps you didn’t know it was medicine then, but as you look back on it now, you realize there was something extraordinary about it.

What is sex medicine? 

Love making becomes medicinal when we combine erotic energy with unconditional love, skillful touch, and a safe place for emotions to come gushing out. Emotional pain is melted away in pleasure.

Sex medicine isn’t therapy, and it doesn’t take the place of it. Rather, sex medicine compliments therapy because it works on the realm of mystery. While therapy is about parsing open emotional pain and figuring out what’s causing it, sex medicine reaches into the mystery of the pain and melts it away.

What are some indicators that sex medicine would be good for you?

Difficult emotions come up while you’re having sex.

Has this ever happened to you? Perhaps, while you were making love, you burst into tears with an overwhelming wave of sadness out of the blue. Maybe you felt transported back in time to a painful memory, and you wondered, “Why am I thinking about this NOW?” Or maybe, your inner “demons” find you in the moment of intense sexual pleasure, and terrifying thoughts of, “you’re not good enough. You’re too fat/thin/hopeless/emotional [insert criticism].” Chances are, these strong emotions felt out of place to you, and you weren’t sure what to do with them, so you stuffed them back down in an effort to keep the sexy going. What if this pain was no coincidence? What if that strong painful emotion is supposed to come up?

Your body feels numb or even painful to the touch.

Emotional pain often comes up during really good lovemaking, and it can also be at the root of frustrating sex, even if both of you love each other deeply. Ladies, maybe you notice that–despite the yoni being one of the most highly concentrated sites of nerve endings–you feel nothing much when Beloved is licking you or even penetrating you, as if your vagina has shut down. Yoni feels dry or even lifeless, and sex can be painful. Instead of being lost in sharing love, you are distracted by your body’s poor response, and you want to hide it. Sex is supposed to be amazing, right? Secretly, you just want to get sex over with, most likely without letting him know it hurts. Deep down, you might even blame your partner for not “doing it right” but you can’t find the words or inspiration to tell him what to do. 

What if you heard this “dead feeling” as an invitation to experience a different kind of sex?

Lingam doesn’t behave the way you want.

Men, you can experience emotional pain as slow erection or too quick ejaculation, or an ejaculation that never seems to come no matter how many ways your lingam is stimulated. Perhaps you feel tempted to compensate by focusing on pleasuring Beloved as her selfless lover. Maybe you secretly blame her for being too naggy or not surrendered to her own sexuality to arouse you. You might find pornography a temporary refuge, but it doesn’t feed your soul, and you feel restless and ashamed. 

What if you interpreted the frustration as a hunger for sex medicine?

You crave sex, but real intimacy doesn’t happen.

Not only can the body shut down when it’s calling for sex medicine, the opposite can also occur: the body can become hyper-aroused as a means of protecting a heart too wounded to engage. Sex, then, is incredible and mind blowing, but it never seems to build an emotional bond with your partner. Your heart doesn’t come into the bedroom as you keep it shielded. This can happen when you’re not sure how to address the depths of your emotional pain, or you feel self-judgment (“I should be over [insert your issue] by now.”) Skilled love making becomes a welcome distraction from loneliness or depression, and while your partner may be falling in love with you, your heart really isn’t into the relationship. This is your sexuality calling to use it for healing.

The sex was amazing…until the “daddy issues” came up.

More commonly, I get calls from men who feel frustrated by the “daddy issues” their partners seem to have. She’s crabby, irritable, and blaming him for what he doesn’t perceive as his fault. What started off as an amazing connection with incredible sex turned into a messy, painful break up. I’m willing to bet he unknowingly exacerbated her emotional pain by distancing himself when he didn’t know how to handle her strong emotions released by good sex. There may have been months of breadcrumbing each other, the push and pull to keep each other at just the right emotional distance. There are likely many factors at play, but one of them is the good sex bringing up trauma stored in the yoni, and neither partner knowing what’s happening or how to deal with it. If both of them had known how to use sex as medicine, both of them would have had a greater chance of healing emotional wounds and finding an astounding bond of their souls.

Why sex medicine works.

Sex medicine is uniquely capable of unearthing deep emotional wounding because it reaches into your personal mystery. Talking about your emotional wounds helps you understand them better, but since we are mind/body/spirit/soul creatures created in the image of the infinite God, talking alone will never be able to touch the full mystery of Who We Are. Sex medicine is the very energy that created us. When you know how to wield the healing heat, sex melts emotional pain away at the level that we were created. The result is profound relief and peace–beyond linear reasoning–and a deepening of the closeness you feel with your partner.

Mystery is defined as a profound truth that defies explanation: it can only be understood by experience.

Here in the west, our philosophy about the ultimate goal of sex is to get to the orgasm. When sex is used for medicine, the goal is to help the receiver surrender body, spirit and psyche to opening, releasing, relaxing and letting go of emotional pain. Just as deep tissue massage provides relief by opening tight muscles and releasing knots, sex medicine “massages” the psyche with penetrative love, dissolving tight and painful emotions. Orgasm may or may not happen, yet every loving touch, every exchange of loving energy along the way contributes to release of emotional pain and the re-sensitization of the body. 

What would it mean to you if you could create an experience of sex medicine whenever you needed it?

I’ll talk about the skills needed to be sexual healers for one another, and then I’ll offer a sample sex medicine ceremony.

Emotional Skills for Offering Sex Medicine

For the sake of ease in pronouns, I’m going to talk about men offering sex medicine to their female partners. However, these skills apply to people of all gender and orientations offering sex medicine to their partners of all orientations and genders. Please adjust the pronouns as you read to your own needs.

Assuming you’ve had the experience of strong emotions coming up during sex–either your own or your partner’s–you may have noticed the sex didn’t turn into medicine. This is because sex medicine requires some skills that I’ll share with you right now.

Listening without Fixing

Emotions can be powerful, overwhelming buggers. How do you feel when you see someone crying? Is your first instinct to try to fix things or to make them feel better? That’s how many people feel, The problem is, it usually backfires. “Why are you crying about that? Don’t you know how many wonderful things in your life you can feel happy about?” Emotions don’t want to be fixed. They want a safe place to be expressed and understood. Once they’re acknowledged, emotions tend to fade away and then alchemize into peace on their own.

When your partner is having an emotional response, during sex or any other time, try just holding her in your arms. You can say, “You’re safe to feel that way with me. I’m here for you.” Then let her talk or cry while you quietly hold a safe space. Ask questions, like, “How did you feel when that happened?” or “Will you tell me more about that?” 

Not Taking it Personally

While your partner is talking about how she’s feeling, you may be tempted to feel attacked or like her emotions are somehow your fault. A good analogy is to consider her emotional pain as a thorn in her heel. Maybe walking on the thorn causes immense pain, but it wasn’t the sidewalk that put the thorn in the heel. The same is true in relationships. Maybe you did do something that triggered her pain, but you didn’t put the original thorn in her heel. Find that firm ground within you so you don’t need to take what she’s saying personally. “I’m sorry you’re feeling this way,” is a soothing phrase that shows compassion without taking responsibility for something that may have happened long before you even met.

Knowing Your Body is a Gift

Your big, warm hands. Your scratchy cheek. Your soft kisses and feathery hair. The smell of your skin. The warmth in your eyes. The comfort of your chest. These are all medicines for a woman grieving. Now is not the time to feel self-conscious about those extra pounds or your weird toes or the age spots. Be generous with your body and allow her the healing gift of cuddling and sitting in stillness while she navigates her emotion.

Read the Cues of her Body.

When you notice emotions coming up for your partner, she may need a change in the love making. Be willing to slow your thrust, hold stillness, hold her close or maintain a prolonged eye gaze–whatever her body is telling you it needs. If you’re having a hard time knowing what to do, ask her. “I can see you’re feeling something intense. Do you want me to slow down?”

Breathe and Send Loving Energy.

If you’re familiar with erotic meditation, now’s the time. Draw the love of God through your crown and into your lingam in your in-breath. Exhale the love through your lingam into her body. 

Emotional Skills for Receiving Sex Medicine


As you tune into your beautiful spirit and your gorgeous body, what are you feeling? Become aware of it. Breath and drop in. Acknowledge to yourself what emotions. “Tears are coming to my eyes, and I’m feeling really vulnerable right now. I’m remembering something awful my father said to me when I had my first sexual experience.”

Trade Self-judgment for Self-love

As long as you’re with a partner who loves you, one of the greatest gifts you can give him is the opportunity to administer medicine to your inner mystery. Embrace what’s coming up for you with self-love and share it with him. You’re more sexy to him now than you’ve ever been, because this is your authentic self.

Ask for What You Need

Unless your partner is pretty skilled at navigating emotions, he may need a little help from you knowing what to do. Ask for what you need.  “Can we sit in yab yum while you rock me?” or “Will you spoon me?” 

If words aren’t coming, use your body. Do you want him to thrust harder while you cry? Wrap your legs around him and pull him closer to you while you thrust against him. Bury your face in his chest and cry.

Envision Your Pain Melting Away

Once you’ve found the sexual exchange that’s most comforting to you, let the pain come up. Envision the sex medicine melting it away like candle wax. Or, breathe the pain away and send it to the night sky to be diffused. Whatever visualization you use, the work is to feel the pain and release it.

Creating Your Sex Medicine Ceremony

Now that you have an idea of the skills you’ll need, it’s time to create your sex medicine ceremony.

I do want to mention that it’s not necessary to have a ceremony to practice sex medicine. You or your partner may not know you need the medicine beforehand; emotions might pop up during sex. If that’s the case, be willing to shift into medicinal mode. 

But, let’s say you’ve been plagued by sadness over the way your last relationship ended, and even though in your head and heart you know it was time for it to end, deep in your gut (what Buddhists call the third dantian) you grieve your ex-lover. It’s been six months. You’ve been to therapy and know that relationship had too many problems to survive. You’re grateful for the good times and the precious things you learned. You’re in a new, very loving relationship with a wonderful partner who listens and understands you. Sex medicine is just what you need to purge your body of the last remnants of your ex’s vibration deep in your personal mystery.

You might say to your Lover, “I’d like to use our lovemaking to heal some emotional pain I have.” Your partner should lovingly agree. Arrange a time when this will happen. In this example, I’m assuming a woman in heterosexual, monogamous relationship (Beloved) is asking her male partner (Lover) for healing, but this process applies to anyone in any type of couple, gay, poly, and everything in between.

Set the Stage

Prepare your space so you can be safely vulnerable. Turn off cell phones and television. Light candles and play soft, instrumental music. Put out fresh flowers, towels and massage oil, and maybe a plate of fruit and cheese. A little wine or edible cannabis is a nice touch, but don’t overdo it; you’ll want your wits about you. You two are creating a sanctuary where your focus can be solely on Beloved. Then, take a hot shower so bodies are clean and smell nice. Be creative and enjoy getting ready.

Once your space is prepared, sit across from one another on the bed and place your right hands on each other’s hearts. Gaze into each other’s eyes. Say a few words of the love you have for one another and your intention to use this time for healing. Be reverent but light-hearted with it.

Begin with Tantric Massage

Beloved should now lie down on her back and relax. As the one who has asked for healing your “work” is to sink into as much pleasure as you can, only instead of focusing the energy on trying to have an orgasm, let it soak into your soul and deep into your emotions. Usually, if emotion came up during sex, you may have pushed it away because you didn’t want to make a scene, or because you wanted to continue to “be sexy” for your partner. Now, your emotions are in a safe place to come up and move out.

Lover, warm the massage oil in your hands and begin to slowly cover Beloved’s whole body with a warm, open-palmed, loving touch. This touch should last for at least thirty minutes before touching the breasts or the yoni.

Beloved, breathe deeply and surrender to his touch. Let him know what feels good by moaning, sighing, or moving your body into his. Ask him to go slower or faster, or to use more or less pressure. Don’t be afraid to say what you need; he’ll appreciate it!

Lover, notice how your partner’s demeanor has changed. Is she glowing and relaxed? Wait to see this before warmly, slowly, worshipfully massaging her breasts with your hands and mouth, avoiding the nipples until last.

Practice Active Receiving

Beloved, continue to let him know what feels good, perhaps by gripping his hair while he kisses and nibbles on your breast. Remember, this is not a therapeutic massage where you zone out: this is a Tantric healing massage, where you are riding your erotic energy and letting it build. Be authentic for what is there for you. Do you feel nothing when he touches your breasts? Are you truly tapping into the incredible love of which you are capable, the sort of love that creates worlds and dances with stars and tells the ocean to crest and fall? Breathe from your gut and let the deep, wild, abandon of love your heart is capable of well up within you. Your maternal love. Your Lover love. Love for being wild. Love of chocolate cake and taking photographs and quilting. Love of Yourself. Breathe it all up and into your soul and psyche. Observe the different flavors and feelings love takes for you, and swim in them until your fingers get pruny. 

Lover, be mindful of yourself as a priest for the sacred love and healing Beloved is calling forth for herself. Watch for her ecstasy and guard her experience by prolonging it for as long as she desires. If you need more direction, ask, “How are you doing, beautiful goddess? Would you like me to keep worshiping your breasts? I notice you seem to like [insert what you notice].” When she’s READY, move to the yoni. Now is not the time for teasing games. Take her experience as reverently as you would a church service.

Ideally, Lover, you have knowledge of a six-point yoni massage and loving, deep pelvic tendon touching, but you can continue to augment her healing with any sort of touch she finds genuinely pleasurable. As a general rule of thumb, start lightly and softly and increase both speed and pressure as you notice her pleasure building. The pelvic region is often a hotbed of stored emotion, both inside the yoni and in the tendons holding the pelvic bone in place. Use plenty of warm massage oil. Watch her closely. Ask her for what she needs. “Does this feel good to you, my love? Would you like it faster? [Demonstrate.] Slower? [Demonstrate.] ” Remember, your goal is not necessarily to bring her to orgasm. Your only work is to bring her pleasure so she can use it for her healing. 

Here is where many couples can fall into a trap. Either or both of you may have subtle beliefs that somehow a real man should magically know how to pleasure yoni. The idea comes from Hollywood and porn and woefully conservative high school sex ed. It’s total bullshit. The only way to know if you’re doing it right, Lover, is to get guidance from the Beloved. The only way, wonderful goddess, he is going to know how to worship your yoni is if you genuinely, honestly, truthfully surrender to what feels good and ask for it. More lube, please. Lighter pressure, please. Can you go back to my clitoris, please? Your yoni is alive and in the moment–what may feel good tonight may not be what you want next week, or what you wanted last week. Surrender to what yoni wants right now. Asking is coming into your power, goddess.

Apply the Sex Medicine

If both of you are being authentic with yoni, She will reward Beloved with an outpouring of released emotion and kundalini, or lightning-like energy waves. Beloved, welcome this intensity and follow your body’s desire to express it. Make noise. Cry. Belly laugh. Curl into a ball. Writhe like a snake. Breathe deeply. Release amrita and don’t worry about getting the bed wet. (That’s what the towels are for.) With your every exhale imagine pain melting and flowing out. Let your body lead you with the best ways of releasing the emotion. 

This point in sex medicine is extremely beautiful and extremely vulnerable. Our western culture is actually quite ill when it demands we behave in a certain way to be sexy and lovable. Seeing a Beloved in Her power as she heals herself and releases deeply set emotion is as beautiful as watching a thunderstorm. Lover, you can encourage her with sympathetic moans and encouraging words. “Mmmm. That’s it. Let that go. I’m here for you. I love you. God, you are so beautiful.”

Goddess, now is not the time to worry about what you look or sound like, so you’re going to have to be your own best friend. Remind yourself you are powerful when you release. You are healing yourself and forging intimacy with the one you adore, who is so lovingly being your priest in this sacred temple of You Two. Emote for as long as you need to. Trust your body to know exactly what it needs and ask for it. 

If you want intercourse, ask for it, but, Lover, be careful to remember you are here for her healing, not primarily for your pleasure. It’s easy to fall into old ruts around intercourse, so be mindful. Many women find deep, slow, rhythmic penetration–especially when it intentionally hits pressure points all around the yoni–to be cathartic, like bursting pockets of emotional pain. Be sure you are authentic in asking for what you need. 

Beloved, now is not the time to offer intercourse because “it should be his turn now” or to thank him for serving you or because you are too timid to face the rest of your pain. You are a strong, powerful goddess, and this is your time. His turn is coming another day.

When your pain has fully drained, you’ll feel a quietness come over you–like the freshness after a good rain. Your body will feel sparkly and relaxed. You’ll close your eyes and go inward as if lying on the beach in the sun. 

Nurture What Just Happened

Lover, watch for this sign. This is your signal to be the guardian of her “soaking” time. Curl up behind her and just hold her like you would your newborn baby. Your touch should be firm and still–no stroking. Hold her for at least 15 minutes, but for as long as she wants it. This is a great time to drift off for a little nap. You may find energy running through you like waves or even lightning, especially as your partner’s chakras align with yours in the spooning position. This is natural and wholy pleasurable. Experiment with breathing and visualizing to move the energy through your chakras and share the energy with her. Enjoy the newfound cleanliness. Feel the deeper intimacy you have with each other.

Close the Ceremony

Here’s the part a lot of couples skip, and don’t you skip it. Close your ceremony. Do it so there are no misunderstandings. Beloved will be very vulnerable and open– remember, like a newborn–so protect her heart with a few simple but powerful exercises. 

Sit across from one another as you did to open your ceremony. Share with one another what the experience was like, what you want to take away from your time, maybe what you would like to do for your next healing session. Give each other a loving and respectful thank-you kiss or namaste salute. Then, blow out your candles.


Sex medicine is only as healing as you are surrendered to it. Be mindful of ways you can be more and more and ever more deeply yourself in sessions with your partner. 

Respectfully speak your mind. If something your partner does makes you feel unsafe or isn’t pleasurable, lovingly say so. Start with what you like and then ask for what you need.  “Jim, I love how strong your manly arms are! Can you do that slower and deeper?”

Let your spirit take you. Visions. Spirit guides. Angels. Wisdom from seemingly nowhere. Feeling of being one with all the grains of sand on a beach or all the stars in the sky. These are common spiritual experiences during healing sessions. Let them be. You’re not crazy or making it up.

Journal. Record what happened in your healing session as soon as you can afterward. Otherwise, you find you’ll lose much of what you experienced. You’ll be amazed to revisit your journal weeks or even years later and find a treasure of wisdom waiting there.

Sex medicine works best when both partners are skilled at sexual touch, navigating emotional release, saying yes to pleasure, and are deeply loving of themselves as well as each other. See a therapist if you need more healing than sex medicine can provide. For one-on-one instruction in sex medicine, contact me. Your complimentary discovery session is just a phone call away.

Dakini Leah is a Certified Tantric Sexuality Educator. Since 2013 she’s helped thousands of people use their sacred sexual energy for healing, intimacy and self-development.