Sexual love can be a gateway to the divine, a common trigger to a full blown mystical experience. So say the mystics and tantrikas. Most of us have experienced moments of utter bliss, a lift into an altered space, after and during sex, in short, we have touched spirit. Many religions believe in this too, including Christianity, that sexual love can be the ‘door in the wall’, or a hidden window onto a spiritual reality. The writer George Feuerstein says that today’s sexual malaise, addiction to porn etc, is a spiritual, not a societal problem. Feuerstein (a scholar and tantrika), says that most crucially, we have lost contact with our bodies. We both deny our body and are pre-occupied it. We distrust our body, and we are ashamed and afraid of it, and there is an absence of ‘true sexuality’ in today’s world. Many of us can ‘perform’ sex without being present. We have a fear of the body, and especially a fear of the feminine, seen in our disrespect for nature/gaia and the way we exploit it. I totally go along with his ideas. He wrote about this in the 90’s and he was ahead of his time, and well ahead of the internet. Today’s world of internet sex often misses this component of sex and spirit. Porn offers hard, quick fix voyeurism; it often only offers us a wilderness.
Years of tantra have informed my views on sex, the way I think about sex and the way I write about it. Scared sex, to me, is sex that sustains me, morally and spiritually. It is the opposite of routine, unfeeling, goal orientated sex, the goal being orgasmic release. However, you have to practice this kind of sex, and find a partner who practices it too. Tantric sex is the sex of woman worship; it is a woman’s call for intimacy and more intimate relating, sexually. And so, I’ve mostly sought tantric lovers in the last ten years. A bed isn’t just a place to get it on; it’s a place to connect with spirit. I believe it’s important to cultivate an awareness of the spiritual dimension to sex and to know how to lead others to this door in the wall.
I joined a tantric group recently, after years of being on the outside of the tantric world. A lover died, I broke up with another. I needed time away. Rejoining was a good thing to do. Recently, one dimly lit spring evening, I found myself seated yab yum style on a handsome half-naked man, our energies connected and flowing and the kundalini energy rising. It was simple and easy to get there, too. We were entwined, softly, and yet charged with desire and I felt like I was glowing there, lit up like the full-blown frigging Goddess. For a moment this handsome man stopped and chuckled as if reading my thoughts; he gazed deeply into my eyes and whispered welcome back.
My novel, The Tryst, is written from my own POV, as a tantric woman; it is woman-centred, and it is about a call towards intimacy for Jane, towards an awaking of a different life, a new way of being. Jane knows something is wrong with her current life, that there’s more out there, just as I did in my early 40’s. She senses a call to a greater sexual life in the form of numerous fantasies and dream trysts that pester her day and night. The sexual part of her is active in her imagination, only. She wants sex, but just doesn’t know how to break out of her own confines to find the type of sex she needs. It takes another woman, a Kali type Goddess, Lilah, a predator and a sexual connoisseur, to throw her into crisis and to force her to leap, to activate her sexuality Then, there’s healing. Jane finds her scared whore and her full sexual potential, the part of herself was missing. The Tryst is about a woman finding her sexuality, and it doesn’t come easily. There is a fight for it.
The Tryst (Dodo Ink)
By Monique Roffey
I found Bill still asleep in our bed. He was naked, covered to the waist by a thin sheet. It was dawn, a fragile time of the day. July too, and the sash window was fully open, the curtains not drawn. I hadn’t seen Bill in ten days. Now, I feasted my eyes on him – so vulnerable in sleep. He was half-turned on his side, cradling himself with one arm, his hair had grown decidedly longer and fell about his face and shoulders, and his torso was summer tanned. He was a man in his late 40s and big framed, both muscular and voluptuous, a sight of a man. Gazing down at him there, I came to understand that Bill was a piece of my puzzle too. Just like Lilah, he was part of my solution. A longing for him sprang inside me, warm and reassuring – my husband. I put a hand across my belly and welcomed the sensation, letting it spread slowly, thinking I had needed Bill all along, for part of me to heal.
And now I saw him lying there, I had a choice. I could go, leave him sleeping. Or I could step forward into another life, fully open. On the side table next to him, I saw the small polished egg I’d left behind, a part of me too. A gift, a message I’d never fully understood myself. I took out the stick of chalk I had with me and bent to the ground, drawing a thin white line around our bed, whispering incantations. The sprite had gone but she had left her energy in the room; I could still smell her there, dense earth. I lit a small sprig of sage too and uttered banishments at each corner of the room and when I was done, I sat down carefully on the bed. I had never fought for Bill, let alone protected him or what we had.
Bill’s eyes flickered.
I smiled at him. He groaned and shook his head. His eyes flew open and he stared. His alarm faded when he registered who it was.
“I’m here,” I said.
His eyes opened wider, his long hair fell over his face and he pulled it back. His beard looked stronger too, as though Bill had been quietly growing richer over the last week or so. He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me. He gazed and mouthed the words hello, Jane.
He looked clear-faced and older. The worriedness I’d associated with his features had somehow lifted. I said hello back and moved across the bed and lay myself down next to him, face to face, our bodies aligned and close, not touching. I was clothed. Bill was naked. The sheet separated us. We gazed at each other for several minutes. Sadness swelled in me, a wave of regret and devastation at the loss of him. For those ten days I’d been unable to contact him by phone or email. Lilah had interfered. I had understood some kind of separation had been imposed; it was out of my control. We’d been cursed. I’d wept for days in a hotel room. Tears fell, looking at him. He touched my cheek.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
He moved closer and kissed my tears. I felt relaxed, like that tender feeling after a bath. Or maybe my own grief had softened me. I felt older too, and womanly, and forgiving of myself and him. Bill kissed me on the mouth and pulled away the sheet and I reached down to hold him.
I kissed him back and he moved across me, pulling open the buttons of my shirt. Then we were together, in motion, kissing, responsive to each other, tongues searching, words flowing between us. My back arched as he smothered my breasts with kisses and whispers of his own sadness and regret. Both of us uttered our mantras, sorry, sorry for the past. I was wet and soft and half-clothed.
I saw Bill then. Big-boned and full-hipped and sexy. Both of us were somehow sexier for being this age. Had I lost confidence in my body? If so, I seemed to suddenly have it back. Then Bill was on top of me, naked and hard, his cock pressed into my stomach. He peeled off my white lace bra and I showed him that I was a little unsure of my breasts and he said ‘yes’ with his eyes. Had this been part of it? The loss of my younger body, was that also in the mix? Bill peeled down my jeans, taking my panties with them. He sank his mouth between my legs and I gasped, burying one hand in his hair. I laughed and he laughed too and drank. I opened my legs and sighed and opened my eyes and even said the word out loud, “Lilah”.
I could feel her presence in the glossy silkiness between my legs. Bill’s tongue was strong and agile and I writhed with the pleasure he provoked. Then he stopped and looked at me, as if to say, this is only beginning. He pulled my jeans away so that I was naked and yes, my nakedness brought on a feeling of extreme shyness. And at the same time I felt open and full of longing. Then Bill was using his knuckle up and down, up and down on my clitoris, stroking me and dripping his silky serum on to me. My breath quickened and a spasm came from my groin, from his tender loving hands. An orgasm sprang upwards from my centre and swept through me. I’d never known this husband-lover Bill, had never tempted him to me, ever. He laughed and watched my body tremble and then he said “my wife, my wife”, and slowly, oh so slowly, he sank his long hard cock into me.
The Tryst, blurb
By Monique Roffey
London, midsummer night. Jane and Bill meet the mysterious Lilah in a bar. She entrances the couple with half-true, mixed up tales about her life. At closing time, Jane makes an impulsive decision to invite Lilah back to their home. But Jane has made a catastrophic error of judgment, for Lilah is a skilled and ruthless predator, the likes of which few encounter in a lifetime. Isolated and cursed, Jane and Bill are forced to fight for each other, and, in doing so, discover their covert desires.
Part psychological thriller, part contemporary magical realism, The Tryst revisits the tale of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, to examine the secrets of an everyday marriage.
Praise for The Tryst
“What makes The Tryst an unexploded virus isn’t just the quality and brightness of Roffey’s writing on sex, even as it uncovers inner glades between flesh and fantasy where sex resides – but the taunting clarity of why those glades stay covered. A throbbing homewrecker of a tale, too late to call Fifty Shades of Red.”
DBC Pierre, Booker Prize winner
Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. Her novels have been translated into five languages and short-listed for major awards including the Orange Prize, Costa Fiction Award, Encore Award, Orion Award and the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature. In 2013, Archipelago won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. Her memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth, was published in 2011. She is a Lecturer on the MFA in the Novel at Manchester Metropolitan University. She divides her time between the East end of London and Port of Spain, Trinidad.
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Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esSTfsbP3P4&sns=em