SEX. There is little else in this this world that is as simultaneously beautiful, exciting, dramatic, scandalous, and that has caused so much passion, love, and strife the world over. From the Trojan War to the love of Shiva and Parvati, nothing excites, captivates and makes us crazy quite in the same way.
Our focus today is on the Ayurvedic perspective on sex, who should have it more, who should have it less, and how to help manage some conditions like dryness, excessive sexual desire, and no desire at all!
According to Ayurveda our bodies are made of 7 essential tissues called “dhatus”. Of these, rasa, rakta, and shukra are the most important to our conversation about sex.
Shukra dhatu, or the sexual fluid tissue, is a very refined form of rasa (plasma fluid), and its quality is largely dependent on rasa’s quality. Rakta is the blood tissue and is responsible for giving enthusiasm and being “hot-blooded”.
The internet and western culture lead us to believe that orgasms are limitlessly beneficial. From releasing stress, producing oxytocin, and cultivating a sense of connection between partners, orgasms can indeed be a wonderful thing.
Ayurveda is more discerning in its view and sees orgasms as depleting to rasa and reproductive fluids. It’s like having a glass of wine at night vs a bottle- a little can be an excellent way to relax and reduce stress, but a lot gives you a hangover, leaving you depleted and feeling like shit.
Ayurveda teaches us that excessive sex per our constitution type leads to excess vāta dosha in the body. Having sex at vāta times such as sunrise and sunset is to be avoided and is best done in the kapha hours of the day. Ayurveda also teaches us that the times to have more sex are winter and early spring! Ever notice how people tend to cozy up with a single person in the fall after they’ve had their summer flings and fun? Winter and spring are considered to be building times of year, compared with more depleting summer and fall which are higher in vāta, leading to naturally decreased levels of rasa and shukra, thus are less desirable for rasa depleting activities such as sex.
The Doshas and Desire
How can we understand the relationship of dosha to desire? Different doshas tend towards different sexual needs and desires. Read on and learn how to interest, excite, and balance the different doshas, as well as ways we to manage common imbalances and the lesser desired effects of sex, namely depletion of precious sexual fluids.
Of all the doshas, vāta is the one that should have the least sex from an Āyurvedic perspective. Why? Having orgasms is considered to be physically depleting, thus should be done less frequently by those who have less robust constitutions. This means you, Vāta dosha friends! Vāta is prone to dryness and is most likely to suffer from conditions like dry yoni, premature ejaculation, and general low libido.
What are some remedies to help deal with vāta conditions like dryness and low libido?
Dryness of the yoni means you have dryness in the body, thus increasing rasa is an integral part of this process. What is rasa? Loosely translated as plasma fluid, rasa is the lubricating element of the body. If you tend to urinate frequently, have dry skin, and scanty periods, it is likely that you are lacking in rasa dhatu. Some simple solutions include drinking electrolyte fluids (and lots of them) like coconut water, or regularly adding chia seeds to your water. You can also try Ayur-ved-ade, which is lime (or lemon in winter) in water with a pinch of salt and sugar. Well-cooked moist foods are also integral to this process. Put down those crunchy chips in favor of a juicy mango, it will serve you well. Ghee is another excellent choice to replenish your tissues and get you juicy.
How can we excite a vāta dosha person?
Vāta people are creative and spontaneous, and like new experiences and change. Having sex in an unusual place or setting can be really exciting for vāta folks more so than a planned endeavor. Think silly, surprising, and out of the ordinary to get your vāta lover excited!
Ah Pitta. This visually oriented dosha is the one most likely to be interested in sex, perhaps with lots of people, and is most likely to check out other people out wherever they go. Naturally hot-blooded, pitta tends to enjoy and seek out sex more than other doshas. Their appetites are often bigger than their physical capacity to stay healthy while having that much sex, and must learn to tame their sexual appetites, especially pitta with vāta secondary constitution types.
What are some ways to help cool excessive sexual desire?
One herb that can be used, albeit with caution, is neem. I say with caution because neem dries out our sexual fluids, so should be used mindfully lest we cause unintended side effects. You can try a ¼ tsp in the mornings and progress from there. Following a strictly vegetarian, sattvic diet can also help reduce excessive flames of desire.
So what gets Pitta excited?
Recalling that Pitta is very visually oriented, they are most likely to be turned on by designer lingerie, well groomed…well, you know, and a thoughtfully decorated, intimate setting. Get fancy to get a pittas fire going!
Sweet and sensual Kapha is the most able to handle lots of sex but may need some coaxing to participate. My teacher used to say Kapha people are like freight trains- it takes a lot of energy to get them moving, but once going are nearly unstoppable. Kapha are most likely to be balanced sexually and are sweet, loyal lovers when balanced. Conditions such as leukorrhea are kapha based and can usually be managed with some simple herbal remedies and dietary changes such as reducing fat and dairy in the diet and taking triphala regularly.
The biggest problem we see with Kapha tends to be excessive attachment and slowness to take interest in sex. Maintaining a healthy internal fire is very important for Kapha and helps keep their libido burning. This is best accomplished by a kickass exercise routine and avoiding excessively fatty or oily foods. They can thrive on plant-based diets far more than Vāta or Pitta doshas can and going vegan can be an excellent choice as dairy can contribute more to the “sticky”, attached quality. These lifestyle choices can help kapha people to access their sexual reserves, which are more robust than the other constitution types.
How can we engage kapha sexually?
The best way is through sweet enthusiasm- your excitement will get them excited! Remember that kapha can take a little time to get excited, so be patient and understand that they may need a little boost in order to get going- the freight train analogy! To be clear, I am in no way suggesting that you persist when a person has given a clear “no”, be it verbally or physically. I am referring to established lovers maintaining and understanding one another so they can respond without ego and with lots of love!
Ayurveda gives some general guidelines for frequency of sex, from as little as 1x every few weeks in the summer to 2x a week in the winter. This of course depends on your constitution type and what imbalances you have. Be smart with your sex, and most importantly, engage in this sacred act with love and reverence! And have lots of fun, too :)
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Copyright Sarah Otto-Combs and Siddha Labs 2019