Q: Sexual desires are interfering with my work and disrupting my connection with my spouse. How do I deal with my strong sexual desires?

A: Sexual energy is one of the most powerful energies we experience through the body. So if that energy isn’t explored and experienced fully, it can be problematic. You might consider some kind of couple’s therapy or counseling with your spouse. Often when something isn’t working sexually within a relationship, something else also isn’t working in the relationship. Although therapy doesn’t take the place of spiritual practices, therapy and spiritual practices can support each other. So I also invite you to continue with any spiritual practices you may be doing.

When the sexual energy is strong, something very simple you can do is let the sexual energy be bigger than your body. Trying to hold so much energy within your body can create a pressure that pushes to explode into action—including through orgasm! Letting the energy be bigger than your body relieves that pressure and allows you to feel a lot of sexual energy without necessarily having to act on it. With less pressure inside, exploring the sexual desire itself becomes more possible. You can ask yourself: “How do I know I want sex? What are the actual sensations of desire? Are these bad sensations or just particular sensations?” And when you are being sexual, find out more about that experience by bringing more curiosity and inquiry to that.

Reducing the pressure and exploring your experience in this way can also allow you to question what is true for you regarding your marriage and other sexual relationships. Some important questions you might ask yourself are: “What do I really want? Do I want to leave my marriage? Do I want to damage my marriage? Do I want to find a deeper intimacy within my marriage?”

If you take this question, “What do I really want?” all the way, you may discover what your sexual desire is really about. Often we try to experience more love and connection through our relationships and our sexuality. But what if love is always available, whether or not you are being sexual or in a relationship? Sex might matter a lot less if you were able to experience the love and intimacy that exists in every moment, with or without sex or even with or without a relationship. Then sexuality would become merely an expression of this love and connection with life rather than feeling like sex is the source of connection and satisfaction.