The Afterglow and the Beforeglow

Everyone knows there is an afterglow following good sex. A quiet inner shimmering following the fireworks of orgasm.

There is also a before-glow and a during-glow. Each one makes the way for the other. For best results, stay tuned to that glow before, during and after sex. And cherish the impulse to have sex as a kind of glow within, an inner light you can choose to share, or not.

One day when I was a teenager, talking to my girlfriend, I was totally surprised when she looked at me with joy in her eyes and said that “After sex was her favorite part.” I said, “What?” She said, “Well – lying there, being still except for breathing, cherishing all the millions of tiny sensations as they change every second.” She had learned to perceive the sensations deeply and ride them into a meditation that left her radiant with delight. In that moment of listening to her, I learned a whole new way of tending to sexual sensations, and from then on a big wide universe opened up for me.

You can think of meditation as a way of finding and basking in your inner glow, so that you become more and more intimately familiar with it.

Meditation is also a way of keeping your nerves in tune, so that you are always ready for great sex, or as ready as you are capable of being. "As ready as you can be" is the kind of everyday delight you have when you have just come back from a great vacation, and it's been a couple of days but you are still in the afterglow of the vacation. You carry that freshness and zest with you into your day. It's fairly realistic to stay rested all the time, as long as you are willing to meditate every day.

That one conversation started me on a path that keeps on going and keeps getting better. She shared her secret with me and I was a willing student. People are extraordinarily generous, everyone is constantly radiating their secret of life to anyone who will listen and learn. And meditation really helps me, has always helped me to be more alert to these teachings that are going on, one second at a time.

So it seems to me that the greatest gift of meditation is not just learning how to savor sex, but also learning how to learn. Sex is not separate in any way from our usual everyday activities of breathing, tasting, smelling, moving, seeing, noticing desires and following them.