when sex and love are in the ether, you can bet inspiration and artistry hover close by. That's because great lovemaking puts you in the right-brain-dominant zone that feeds both sensual pleasure and perception, inner vision and creativity. To get there faster, commit yourself to only having sex that feels good. Then learn to expand the pleasure potential by prolonging stimulation. If you usually jump straight to your genitals, spend time exploring your feet, ears, throat and inner thighs. Try stroking your whole body lightly with a feather. Experiment with deep breathing patterns . Don't hold back on any tears or vocal emotional expression that comes up during lovemaking - repressing those dampens your creative flow. Try emptying your mind and see if any images arrive unbidden. When sex is over, keep breathing and let yourself drift with the dreamy after-waves. This is a time when deep creative impulses can make themselves more easily known.
Make your artistic impulses even stronger by experimenting with turning even the obligatory parts of your life into an expanded sensual meditation. Eating an orange? Watching a sunset? Sitting on the bus? How does the experience change if you see it as an erotic meeting between you and your surroundings?
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
"Catalogue what turns you on - make a study of yourself. Doing this can bring up some surprising or disconcerting things. But the more you know yourself, the more empowered you will become. Use this (information) to start to experiment with prolonging your states of arousal. To start having a significant alteration of consciousness, a half-hour is minimum. Then you can begin taking that energy of arousal and circulating it through your body, mind and spirit, at all levels, for enhanced creativity."
MARK MICHAELS (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati), PATRICIA JOHNSON (Veenand), tantra teachers, NYC area and online
"The effect of rhythmic stimulation, the type most effective in producing orgasm, is to recruit more and more neurons, bringing them into synchrony and increasing levels of excitation. By activating neurons all over the body, it's possible that genital stimulation can activate cross-talk between systems that don't normally have cross-talk, i.e., synesthesia. (This is a state in which one sensory input, e.g. sound, can produce impressions of another, e.g. colour.) Creativity can come from that kind of synesthesia. Typically, artists, psychotics and children experience synesthesia."
BARRY KOMISARUK, PhD, professor of psychology, Rutgers University, adjunct professor of radiology, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ
"Looking through the camera puts me in an altered state. I tend to shoot and shoot, and an incredible focus happens. It's absolutely pleasurable. It's a brainwave shift. That happens during sex, but whether it's the same shift I couldn't say. To draw from the right side of the brain, you're supposed to look at things really slowly, for a long, focused time. After a certain amount of time, your brain just trips. It kicks into that brainwave shift that's not analytical. Even when you do 'thump thump ah' sex, you get that altered state, though it's very brief."
DALE BOLIVAR, artist, photographer, Toronto
"When you feel fully alive in your body during sex, expand that feeling. Imagine that you're doing something (sexual or even non-sexual) with deep interest, passion and intensity. Now, as if your skin were porous, allow the feelings to float out beyond your skin. Just as you have moved from any fixed idea of individual pleasure to limitless possibilities beyond only you, the expansion of your sexual experience also stretches now beyond only the sexual. You're tapping into all experience, so of course, you're also tapping into all creative experience."
DOT WHITEHOUSE, sex therapist and healer, Toronto
"(Creativity) is about our ability to respond to inner guidance. In the healing tao practice called the inner smile, you focus on your body - you realize (first) there is a connection to your higher self through the top of your head. You allow the good feeling of that connection to flow into your forehead and face, the smile spreads, you smile to your heart, let it smile back to you. You smile to your lungs, liver, spleen and let them smile back. That lets us receive the awesome grace that makes the whole creation possible."
ANNA CARLING, RN, PhD in allied health sciences (Chinese herbal medicine), healing tao instructor, Toronto
"The key to self knowledge in sexuality is masturbation and your consciousness of your sexual imagination - that is, fantasy. It's illuminating to see what you think of when you pleasure yourself, when you are alone and feel unpressured to perform or live up to some status quo."
SUSIE BRIGHT, author, Mommy's Little Girl: Susie Bright On Sex, Motherhood, Porn, And Cherry Pie, Santa Cruz, CA