Degree: Ph.D.
DegreeYear: 2002
Institute: California Institute of Integral Studies

Sexuality and couple relationships have a central place in the field of psychotherapy and sexology, and in the culture as a whole. There is ongoing interest into factors that aid in fostering a couple relationship that is healthy, happy, and enduring. One area that has engaged some couples is the goal of combining sexuality and spirituality. Some couples in the United States and Europe are experimenting with and practicing ritual and techniques that are being termed tantra, sacred sexuality, or spiritual sex, and many hold the belief that these practices bring them considerable benefit.

The purpose of the present study was to understand the meaning that the ritual of sacred sexuality/tantric practice has for couples who engage in this practice. Additional goals were to understand how these practices affect relationship satisfaction for the couples, and how couples that practice sacred sexuality experience their relationship.

Participants in the study were ten couples who had been practicing sacred sexuality consistently between one and ten years…