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Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence Paperback – November 1, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Deida is known internationally for his transformative work in personal growth and intimate relationships. He completed advanced graduate work in psychobiology, sexual evolution and theoretical neuroscience. He also has more than 20 years of training in hatha yoga, tai chi, meditation and tantra. He has taught and conducted research at the University of California Medical School, San Diego; University of California, Santa Cruz; San Jose State University; Lexington Institute, Boston; and Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 2


ôI love you, son.ö

ôLook at that young couple, they are so in love.ö

ôMy God, how badly I want to make love with you.ö

In our culture, we have a tendency to use the word ôloveö for three very different feelings. We can begin to understand some of the complexities of our intimate life when we untangle these three different threads of our loving. The practice of Intimate Communion depends on a clear understanding of these three separate elements in an intimate relationship: love, romance and polarity.


Of the three—love, romance and polarity—love is the simplest to understand and the most difficult to practice. Love is simply what is when your heart is open.

You could love your husband, your dog, your mother, your car, a book, your child, a painting or the seashore—or all of them at once. Love is simply the opening of your heart. When your heart is open, you love whomever, or whatever, is in your life. Love is the union of you and the one you are with.

Love is what is when your heart is open. To do love is to open your heart. If you are waiting to feel love, as if love will come to you, you may be waiting for a long time. Love happens whenever your heart opens, whether 10 years from now or right now, in this very moment.

Love has nothing to do, necessarily, with sex. You can love someone and not have sexual desire for them. You can want to have sex with someone you donÆt even know, or someone you are not loving. You exist as love when your heart is unguarded and opened, and you close yourself off to love when you guard your heart.

You can actually learn to love. You can learn how to open your heart, even when circumstances are difficult. Even when your relationship is painful, even when you feel hurt, you can practice opening your heart. You can practice love. This is the foundation of Intimate Communion: to practice opening your heart in every moment, including when you feel hurt. Rather than turn away or close down, you can practice loving. This practice of love extends far beyond conventional therapy.

There are many good books about how our intimate relationships often replicate our relationships with our parents. There are many good therapists who know how to work with childhood issues that come up in our intimacies. And when we work with a therapist, we often begin by examining our past, our parents, our childhood.

Our childhood stuff seems endless, once we begin to dig. A little digging is good, in order that we understand the roots of our search for love and its resulting frustration. But after a little digging, it is time to release the past and practice intimacy right now, in the present. Rather than concerning ourselves with the past cause of our present unhappiness, we can instead practice opening our hearts, right now. And through this moment to moment practice of open-hearted intimacy, this practice of being love, the power of the past weakens.

When you fall and wound your knee, it hurts. ItÆs good to take a few moments, inspect the wound, clean it and put a bandage on it. Without doing much else, it will heal. Unless, of course, you keep falling on your knee and re-wounding it.

In the same way, your childhood wounds will heal on their own, as long as you donÆt repeat the old pattern of wounding yourself over and over again. It is much better to practice true intimacy now than it is to continually focus on the past, just as it is much better to learn how to walk without falling rather than it is to focus on your wounded knee.

Eventually, through this practice of loving, our old childhood patterns of turning away or closing down when we feel hurt, or punishing our partner for hurting us, dissolve. We may still feel hurt when our partner acts unlovingly, but our hurt does not become closure. Our pain does not create distance in our relationship. Likewise, when we act unlovingly toward our partner, he or she can practice love, rather than striking back, closing down or becoming distant.


Imagine that you are at a party and you meet a person of the opposite sex. The two of you begin a conversation and the rapport is instant. The talk seems effortless. You really enjoy being with this person and you feel really comfortable. In fact, the familiarity is startling. You look at this person and say, ôItÆs hard to believe that we just met a few minutes ago. I feel like IÆve known you for a long time. Maybe we knew each other in a past life or something!ö

Have you finally met ôthe one,ö the mate you have always been hoping to find? You leave the party thinking about this person. You feel happy, maybe even a bit giddy inside. The two of you begin seeing each other, spending more and more time together. You feel the specialness of the relationship. There is a sense of uniqueness and destiny; you feel that it was meant to be.

This is romantic attraction, infatuation, ôfalling in love.ö

Romantic attraction begins with a strong feeling of oneness and of bonding, a feeling that you have ôalways known each other.ö You have probably felt this way about some person at some point in your life. If you have, you know that the feeling doesnÆt last. After several months, or, if you are lucky, several years, the feeling of romantic attraction wears off.

And when it does, it always seems to turn into something very specific. This person who was once so magical to you, this one who seemed to be the one who was going to give you everything you ever wanted, who was going to bring unending love into your life once and for all, seems to turn into precisely the person who does not give you what you want.

Eventually, relationships based on romantic attraction always result in not getting the love you want. Why? Because romantic attraction is based on an imprint in our psyche that formed during our childhood. As many of us have already discovered through therapy or personal reflection, those people to whom we are romantically attracted are exactly those people who embody the qualities, good and bad, of our parents. Whatever our parents didnÆt give us enough of (love, attention, praise, freedom, etc.), is exactly the thing we will not get from our romantically chosen partner.

It seems like we ôalways knewö our romantic partner because we did know him or her: in the familiar texture of our parents, imprinted in our childhood psyche! Our new partner seems so special because we unconsciously hope to continue the relationship we had with our parents and finally get the love we always wanted, the acceptance we always desired, the fulfillment of our heart that we always craved. And, because we have unconsciously chosen our parents in our partner, we have chosen someone who will not give us what we always wanted, in exactly the same way that our parents didnÆt. (Even if our romantic partner does give us what we want, we often cannot receive it, because our childhood imprint doesnÆt believe it is real.)

As the thrill of being ôin loveö wears off, your romantically-chosen partner seems to be perfectly suited to cause you pain. He or she seems to have an uncanny ability to poke at your weak spots and hurt you, though not necessarily on purpose; the person who used to bring out the best in you now seems to bring out the worst, just by being himself or herself. And you do the same for your partner. Because romantic attraction is based on qualities in your partner that you unconsciously recognize from your childhood experiences, you will be as fulfilled and as unfulfilled by your partnerÆs love as you were by your parentsÆ.

Sexual Polarity

The subtle power of sexual polarity pervades all our lives. It draws us toward our lover. It makes us uncomfortable with our spouseÆs best friend. It keeps a marriage full of life, and when it is gone, it takes the life with it. What is sexual polarity?

You are standing in the supermarket choosing tomatoes. You look up, straight into a very attractive strangerÆs eyes, a stranger of the opposite sex. A jolt of electricity runs through you. Your eyes remain engaged a little longer, and then you look down at the tomatoes. Your body is flush with energy and aliveness.

Sexual polarity—the magnetic pull or repulsion between the Masculine and Feminine—affects all our lives. A few moments of sexual polarity can cause the memory of your trip to the supermarket to linger in your mind for hours or even days. Total strangers can raise your body temperature, cause your face to blush and make your heart pound. On the other hand, when sexual polarity is weak in our intimate relationships, we begin to feel that something is missing, and we often blame our partners or ourselves.

Sexual polarity either is or isnÆt happening—or so it seems at first. Before we understand that sexual polarity can be consciously turned on or off, we call it ôchemistry.ö It seems that either your intimate relationship has it or it doesnÆt. In todayÆs modern ideal of a relationship based on friendship, we sometimes act as if sexual polarity is not as important as, say, good communication. So, over time, our intimate relationships tend to become more talk and less action.

However, whether we like to admit it or not, talk is not enough for many of us. We also want to share the energetic juice of sexual polarity with our intimate partner.

So, in the practice of Intimate Communion, we learn to consciously practice the art of cultivating and sharing sexual polarity. We face the fact that for most of us, the force of polarity is at the core of our sexual attraction in intimacy. This mysterious force affects all our lives, yet remains mostly at an unconscious level.

We begin to master sexual polarity by becoming sensitive to its flow in everyday life. Imagine you are in a room talking with your good friends who are the same sex as you. The conversation is flowing effortlessly. You are laughing together and listening together. The mood is free and easy.

Suddenly, an extremely attractive person of the opposite sex walks into the room. The energy shifts. The conversation halts for a moment and then begins again, a bit more choppy, a bit contrived. You feel slightly self-conscious. And you are aware of him or her, the attractive one whose mere presence in the room has shifted the energy. This is the force of sexual polarity.

We are affected by sexual polarity from head to toe. Our minds become simple in the midst of a loving embrace and our thoughts are triggered to race by the inviting eyes of a stranger. Our heartbeat, skin temperature and posture are also affected by sexual polarity. Notice the shifts in your body the next time you are standing face to face with a highly interesting other. Merely imagining his or her eyes lingering on your body causes a shift in blood flow, breathing and muscle tone.


To prepare for the practice of Intimate Communion, we must understand that love, romance and sexual polarity are not the same. You can love anyone. You can love everyone. You can love a mountain or a flower, a painting or a stuffed animal. Love is simply when you open your heart. In love, you allow yourself to relax your sense of separation, so that you become one with whomever or whatever you are contemplating, whether a child, a lover or the Grand Canyon. Love is unity, openness to the point of oneness, ultimately. And there is no limit to the number of people, things or places you can love.

Romance is an exclusive feeling. The main feeling in romantic infatuation is, ôFinally, here is the person I have been waiting for all my life.ö You feel a deep sense of familiarity with this special person. Most people only feel this way with one person, or maybe several people throughout their lives. Whereas love is the action of opening your heart, romance is the less-common feeling of familiarity and ôat-homenessö you feel with the special person in your life. And, inevitably, while loving only increases loving, romance often ends in disappointment when your special partner begins to irritate you or frustrate your desire for love more than anyone else in your life.

Sexual polarity is an arc of energy that flows between two people. It could happen in the grocery store with a person you donÆt even know, let alone love. It is a flow of energy that runs through your body, mind and emotions, and you might experience it many times a day—at work, on the street or at home.

There are two main threads to the practice of Intimate Communion. The most important one is the practice of love itself: the conscious practice of opening our hearts and feeling through our obstructions to loving in every moment. The secondary practice is the conscious and artful use of the force of sexual polarity in the transmission of love. In the practice of Intimate Communion, the sex act itself can become a spiritual union, a communication of the force of life and love, a passionate transmission of openness and ecstasy. Whether sexual polarity is practiced or not, Intimate Communion is about relaxing more and more into perfect coincidence with love, surrendering our fears and resistances. To be freely open even in the midst of fear involves a moment-to-moment discipline of loving. To be free and loving is the ultimate discipline—and this is the practice of Intimate Communion.

¬1995 David Deida. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Intimate Communion by David Deida. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; First Edition edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155874374X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558743748
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Oh Yeah!.... Absolutely!..... That explains it!.... No wonder!.... Of course!.... Right!.... Oh.....yes, that's what I want! are just SOME of the things I felt and thought as I read about this brilliant, yet elegantly simple three stage relationship theory. To see myself and my relationships, past and present, in the pages before my eyes was 'enlightening'...to say the least. To read about another possibility in relating with the opposite sex, a way of understanding, honouring and respecting our differences.... and gifting each other with these differences, made me yearn for the third stage. As a woman, I have never felt so deeply seen, heard and understood. David Deida and 'Ophelia' are committed to a 'intimate communion' - a relationship I have always dreamt about. A relationship I have somehow always known about, deep in my heart, yet could never really grasp.
After fighting for my independence, after finding out that instead of waiting for the outside (usually a man) to give me the love I wanted or even 'craved', that I could give it to myself. After realizing and owning my co-dependency and 'working on myself'. After finally creating and still living in a 'new age' '50/50' 'inter-dependent' relationship, I still feel something missing. David Deida is shining a light - a way or path towards more fullness, wholeness and peace. If you are interested in conscious loving, breaking FREE from the constraints of life and getting the LOVE you so deparately want, buy and read it now!
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I have to add my dissenting voice here, because I didn't like this book. This book is from 1995 and the author has written books later that are five star books. Deida argues in this book that you should try to find deeper love with your partner. This deeper love is normally not possible in the modern "equal" relationship. The book really reads like a bad self-help book. The idea seems nice, so you continue reading, but the book never really goes any further. It just provides endless repetition.

In Deida's later books he has found his voice and style; he writes in a direct way even if it would upset the reader, he moves forward in his argument more quickly. In this book his style is reminiscent of what I hate with self-help books. My strong advice is to read The Way of the Superior Man (second edition from 2006). This book fast-paced, contains several ideas, and is written in an engaging style. For those who are familiar with his sexual polarity idea: The book is full of the masculine energy that is totally lacking in the Intimate Communion book.

I am writing this review to guide potential customers. Deida doesn't let his old books go out of print and he has written many books. When I have read more of his books I will update this review.

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Wow. I ran across this book about a year ago when I accidentally went to a "tantra" workshop by a woman who taught Deida stuff and this was the "prerequisite" to read before the class (although I didn't know this before showing up for the class and had never heard of David Deida). I had arrived the night before the workshop, borrowed the book and spent most of the night drowning myself in David Deida. A light immediately went on and I knew the truth of what he was saying.
I tried out one of the concepts the next week at a desert campout where 2 guys were building a big structure. Normally, I'd have jumped in and helped the construction. But his teachings stopped me and instead, I just unobtrusively brought them snacks and water throughout the day and made sure they were not dying in the desert heat. To this day those 2 guys will get a big grin and introduce me as the one who saved their lives in the desert.
From there, I found out about an ongoing group that taught Deida work and continued in active practices, reading and listening to his work. Fast forward 1 year to today and I'm now with my soul mate that I met almost exactly a year after I discovered Deida's work. He naturally has male essence and just looovvveees how I deal with him. He feels bigger and stronger when he's around me and he even attributes his long sought after weight gain, to his body literally filling out to be the bigger man that he's become since he's met me!!! In a way, I feel like Deida's training teaches women how to be muses to their men.
Something about your whole energy changes when you start doing this work and I'm a very different person now than I was a year ago.
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I am still reading this book and cannot wait to share how I feel about it! My husband and I have been married for thirty years, and we have run the gamut of emotions and experiences as lovers and best friends in that span of time. We want to continue to grow in our relationship and David Deida's book is about the intimate communion we all want in our relationships. I dare to say, as I read this book, and watch the news or an "intelligent" talk show about relationships, I see how David Deida's insights could make a difference in understanding and moving FORWARD to resolving the male/female issues in our culture. Oprah, here he comes - a man with tremendous and unusual insights, teaching us how to live in true harmony with the sexes! This book (as well as his other books) truly and deeply respects the feminine as much as the masculine. The points are well-made while honoring and UNDERSTANDING men and women. Thank you, David Deida. The future looks encouraging!
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