I am writing this article with the intention of helping the reader understand one of the least talked about subjects: The Innocence of Sex.

I was changing the diapers of my son and enjoying the process of connecting with him with affection and care. I had already finished cleaning him when my mother in law, who was visiting, noticed he was touching his genitals. She yelled at him: “Shame, shame!" and quickly dragged his little hands away from this “shameful place”. Immediately she covered the area, safeguarding it from more "shameful" touching. I asked her why she did that. With a look of disbelief on her face, she provided me with an explanation that she thought should be obvious: "I did not want him to get used to touching himself 'down there'. It’s not right. It’s sinful." I was stunned at the force of her answer. She was emotionally activated and almost angry I asked such a "stupid” question.

For her, sex was dirty, and rather than experiencing it as pleasurable, it had to be “done” to pleasure her husband. She was big on fulfilling her marital “duty”. She, like many other adults, has never asked herself why we were born with genitals. Why would the creator give us parts of the body that we should avoid touching? I believe that if the genitals are dirty then they should be cleaned like any part of the body.

It is clear to me that Sex is innocent. Innocence is simply a state of being in which you have not been changed by an outside influence. You are born “innocent”. All of you are born innocent. Every part of a healthy baby: face, arms, hands, legs, feet, as well as all internal organs, including the sexual organs are innocent and in perfect harmony. They are there for the baby to discover and enjoy. Babies are not ashamed of any part of their body until grown-ups project their own shame onto them.

Babies absorb the beliefs and judgments of their caretakers and take them on as part of their survival mechanism. A baby instinctively copies her parents, absorbing their beliefs like a sponge. A baby does not have the discrimination to choose what is right or wrong. She then grows up into an adult with these limiting and shameful beliefs programmed in, and makes her decisions around sex based on these unconscious, limiting, and shame-filled beliefs – without even realizing it.

I had the fortune many years ago to be introduced to Tantra, the most comprehensive teaching regarding sexuality. It helped me overcome my own shame that had been instilled in me primarily by my mother, and later reinforced by the religion I grew up with. Tantra is becoming more and more known in the West and I hope many of you look into its intelligent, down to earth approach to life and see its enormous benefits.

Regrettably I might have transmitted some of my own shame to my first son because I had not completed my healing then. I am so grateful that by the time I had my second baby I had transformed the distorted negative belief that sex is shameful into fully accepting the innocence of sex. So when I noticed my little son touching his genitals I felt the same heart connected energy as when he was touching his face or his hands. If he was clean I never interrupted his enjoyment in discovering his body. He grew up with a healthy sexuality and he is enjoying a great intimate relationship. My first son, however, had to work to recover from the shame that was unconsciously transmitted to him by me.

Osho, a great Eastern Tantric teacher who brought enlightened ideas of the purity of sex to the West, argued that if society considered the eyes as shameful as the genitals, most of us would have problems with the eyes. You could substitute eyes with any other body part and the conclusion would be the same. Shame creates lots of problems.

Sex, like money, is innocent. It’s the way sex and money are used that can be ‘sinful” (I have learned that sin means missing the mark. It was originally an archery term, not a moral ‘no no’). Sex is pure energy. It is how you use it that can have positive effects or create shame. If you use it with a consenting adult for enjoyment and/or for creating a baby it is good. If you use it to fulfill your distorted pleasure by using an innocent child to fulfill your needs, or with someone who does not want to receive your sexual attention, it can have traumatic consequences for both parties.

The analogy of a knife illustrates the point quite well: A knife can be used to kill someone or to save someone’s life. Surgeon’s knives can save people’s lives. Can we say that a knife is bad? Most of us use knives in the kitchen to cut vegetables and never entertain the thought that a knife is bad.

Money is another energy that is innocent, yet some people think it’s “the root of all evils”. It is how you use money that counts. With money you can help people in need and you can create jobs or you can hire someone to destroy life.

If you have grown up without shame and were taught how to respect your genitals and how to use sexual energy safely, then you have a healthy sexuality. Then you will use sexual energy in a constructive way to connect more deeply with your soul and the soul of another. Sex with a consenting adult serves to empower you. Pleasurable sexual connection nourishes your body, mind and soul and can help you deepen your relationship with yourself and with another.

Sex is the way we all came into this world. If you view sex as shameful then you inevitably view your very essence as shameful. In fact, some religions thrive on selling you a variation of ways to “redeem you from the Original Sin”, that is of having been born the natural way - as a result of sex. Then perhaps even nature is sinful? I don't believe that nature is missing the mark. It continually grows toward perfection.

I’m glad this nonsense is now being corrected by psychology. However, the major contribution to an enlightened way of seeing sex as innocent has been brought to us by tantra. Tantra starts with the knowledge that sex is innocent. Your sexuality is innocent.

When I discovered tantra I started healing my relationship to my own sexuality and I've now managed to rid myself of the misconceptions surrounding my sexuality that I grew up with, as well as the shame that surrounded it. It took my full commitment to wanting to know the truth and working with Tantric Healers to do this. I was so impressed by the work that I became a Tantric healer myself.

Now I use my sexual energy combined with my compassion and spiritual understanding to deepen my enjoyment of life and help others do the same.

While doing that I am discovering that I am becoming lighter and closer to the truth of my essence every day. I could say I have experienced many moments of enlightenment and every time I do I feel more passion, excitement and love. It is a process, and an enjoyable one at that.

Author's Bio: 

Carla Tara is an internationally-acclaimed teacher of Tantra, who masterfully integrates a variety of Tantric approaches with body-oriented psychotherapy. She has studied with several Eastern and Western masters.

After a decade working as a psychotherapist in New York City, Carla switched her focus to body-oriented healing when she realized that Tantra was fast-tracking her client's healing processes, helping many people move through issues in one Tantra session that had previously taken them a year or more in psychotherapy.

Over the last 20 years, Carla has developed a successful private practice which incorporates her training in psychotherapy, Tantra and relationship counseling alongside her skills as a yoga teacher and Tango dancer. She has assisted thousands of people in finding deeper intimacy with their partners, learning new communication tools, and in unlocking their Divine sexual energy. http://www.1tantra.com/; http://carlatara.com