Three days before I moved out of Santa Barbara, I had lunch with my friend Marie. We ate at one of those quintessential Santa Barbara restaurants—the ones with the high ceilings, lots of windows, lots of white people, and Spanish Colonial embellishments. I mentioned to her that I had never been here before (mostly because of the pricey menu but also because the place looked exactly like every other spot in Santa Barbara).
We sat down and I leaned forward to rest my elbows on the table and place my chin against my hands. I let out a huge, dramatic sigh. Marie smiled back at me, a quiet expression fixed upon her face. There was something very peaceful about her presence.
Marie is a buxom woman with naturally curly hair and round, brown eyes. She teaches a sacred sexuality class, which fascinates me for many reasons. For one, Marie does not dress provocatively (something that I’ve conflated with sexiness); and two, she hardly ever talks about sex.
Yet for me, the most pressing question is this: what the hell are her credentials for this type of work?! How does one become a sacred sexuality teacher? Is there a class? A degree? Some sort of ordination process?
These thoughts keep popping into my head until a new, more interesting one surfaces: Good for her! What a brave thing to do—to step out into the world in this way and to hold space for people to talk about one of our most intimate activities. This goes beyond sex and orgasms, you see, and transcends into the spiritual realm where spirit mixes with matter. That is a very sacred subject indeed.
So now that Marie and I are eating, I can’t resist the urge to talk to her about sex and specifically about my sex life. I launch into this narrative about a guy I used to date while she’s chewing on her sandwich.
The man is a Scorpio, I tell her, and I’m inexplicably drawn to him. It’s like a vortex—when we’re in each other’s presence and we’re engaged in conversation, his gaze absolutely penetrates me. “And then,” I add, “my vagina starts to vibrate.”
Marie nods in full comprehension.
“No, you don’t understand,” I press. “My vagina…it, like, literally starts to vibrate!”
I want Marie’s face to change to reveal some level of incredulity. But instead all she does is continue nodding.
“What is that all about?!”
“Well,” she reflects, “there’s an energy between you two.”
There’s that word energy—the word that describes so much but clarifies so little. Energy can be anything and everything, explaining away explosive anger or passionate lovemaking. Energy is what keeps us alive and promises that ever-exciting exchange between two human beings. Energy is something we hold, something we exert and, sometimes, something we experiment with. And that experimentation scares the shit out of me.
Marie goes on to explain that uniting two people’s energy is a powerful thing and, if they’re synchronized (or as I like to say, “operating at the same frequency”), that energy is electric.
My Scorpio is one of those high frequency people. He’s plugged into something deeper—maybe the core of the earth, maybe even the secret of the universe for all I know—but he’s just walking along, living his life like an ordinary human being. Some people just have that kind of depth.
I asked Marie what I should do with this powerful energy.
“Remember that it’s also your energy,” she instructs. “You’re creating it, so you can share it or you can keep it for yourself.”
“You mean, like masturbate?”
“Sure,” she says, “but it’s also a reminder that you’ve got the energy coursing through your veins. You have the ability to build it, shape it, meld it, and use it as you please.”
So this is the meaning of female empowerment, I thought to myself. It’s not a dominant/passive thing at all; it’s something co-created, something tingly, something that makes my genitalia vibrate when it’s in the company of another equally matched, equally powerful person.
After that conversation, I got to thinking about energy and its tendency to stir things up inside of us. I still wonder about that Scorpio, and wonder how we’re ever to make sense of these ephemeral moments in life—when energies mix with people, and where spirit mixes with matter.