However, more recently I picked up his Finding God through Sex: Awakening the One of Spirit Through the Two of Flesh. When I told my individual therapist that I was reading a work of Deida’s, she replied, “How can you stand his views of women?” Clearly there is a pattern here. They both are right. I found some of his views of women downright offensive. However, if one is able to see past Deida’s erroneous thoughts around women and some of his bizarre logic, there is quite a bit of wisdom in his work. It’s rare to find a book that has so many major problems as this one does yet which really stimulates thinking and brings new and helpful ideas into one’s worldview so that the total outcome from the book is positive.
Finding God through Sex is rooted in the premise that men are seeking freedom through sex and women are seeking love. Deida believes that men use sex to escape from their responsibilities in life and to basically wear themselves out to a point of falling asleep. Women, on the other hand, use sex to connect and create intimacy. Women are trying to tune in while men are trying to tune out. Deida is proposing that both sexes can work with their natural predilections to enhance the other’s sexual experience and to connect with the great cosmic love (also known as God) that we are all part of. To create this connection with “God” in the more spiritual and cosmic sense, all people must work past their involvement in the physical and sexual details of the moment to surrender to love on a much deeper level than we are used to doing.
Deida argues that for most people, sexual awakening in a spiritual sense is often the last part of an awakening to happen. He believes most people fail to apply what they’ve learned in the rest of their lives to sexual experiences. Thus, when most people have their so-called midlife crises, what they are actually experiencing is a dissatisfaction with the shallowness of how they live their current lives. Deida argues that people should not leave their marriages but instead should work on expanding their love outward rather than focusing inward, learning to surrender to the love that is the “God” within all of us which will in turn create deeper meaning in every aspect of our lives. This love will provide the happiness and fulfill the desire that is unquenchable by anything of this world yet it will happen while remaining fully in this world. While this is a beautiful notion, it will only work if both partners are willing to explore and work towards this change in sexuality and life beliefs. For many, a partner change becomes necessary at this point to find someone who, as Deida says, matches direction in life and depth in love.
This book is a series of essays that explore wisdom and exercises that one can do to develop one’s sexual awakening. While Deida argues that the book could be practiced by someone who is celibate, it really is meant for couples in monogamous, long-term relationships. Finding God through Sex is overwhelmingly heterosexual and rooted in stereotypical ideas about male and female desire; I would not recommend it to anyone who is not a Kinsey 0. While some of Deida’s ideas are true, others are nothing more than cultural creations that Deida has locked onto. In particular, his warped idea of female sexuality includes makeup and clothing as how women can find their divine sexual selves. He fails to see that clothing and makeup are actually socially constructed ideas about what women should be, not what their deeper feminine truths are. As Deida describes his ideas of how women should explore their sexuality, he creates a fantasy girls’ night in where the women dress each other in lingerie and S&M costumes. This event resembles no girls’ night I’ve ever attended and is really nothing more than a male masterbatory fantasy. That’s not to say that Deida isn’t a great erotic writer. The beginning of each chapter starts with a very vivid and explicit recollection of sexual experiences Deida has had which leaves the reader pondering whether Deida has slept with every woman in his community. Were Deida to write a work of spiritual erotic fiction which understood women’s sexual fantasies just a bit more than this book, I suspect he would have a best seller on his hands.
It is not until the end of the book that Deida begins to explore the idea that we all have masculine and feminine sides and that there is a bit of both in each of us. His image of a river bank and the river as two lovers who shape each other is incredibly beautiful. To him, though, the gender spectrum is not very fluid, and while we might contain some of the opposing sex’s characteristics, those are just minor things to be explored and then left to be. The small amount of gender fluidity he discusses is located with his discussions of BDSM, rape fantasies, and other kinkier sexual things thus leaving the reader pondering whether he thinks that gender fluidity may just be a phase that each of us needs to explore before we come into our true heterosexual gender binary selves.
I don’t know that any woman would want to take it on, but I feel that the book could have been a five star book if Deida had co-written it with a strong and powerful woman who could have whacked Deida upside the head every time he began supplementing wisdom with his personal fantasies. The book would have benefitted greatly from a true female perspective rather than the warped one that Deida presents from this heterosexual man cave. Despite its lack of perspective at times, Finding God through Sex is a really good work about how couples can transform their sex lives into something much more powerful than they have ever experienced before.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC