Arretine pottery, Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

The Sublimation of Desire

How to alchemize the energy of desire into bliss and creativity

What is Sublimation?

Sublimation of dry ice
Freud and Jung

Actively Working with Sexual Desire

Maybe you have a new lover you can’t stop thinking about. Maybe you have a long-distance lover. Maybe your love is unattainable, unavailable, or unrequited. Maybe you have a long-time partner who still turns you on. Maybe you are yearning for a type of love you had in the past. No matter the circumstances, there is a specific quality in the desire of passion, the desire to touch and be touched, hold and be held, kiss and be kissed, the desire to enter or be entered. What happens when we are overcome with desire for someone or something? It depends on the nature of the desire, of course.

Conceptio by Johann Daniel Mylius’s Anatomi Auri, 1628

Working with the energy of desire

What I am presenting here is just a taste, a superficial, but functional view of a process that could help. It’s not a path or an answer. It is a technique on offer…if it works for you, great. If not, perhaps there is a better solution for you. These things are personal.

  • repress the desire (it doesn’t actually disappear, but goes underground)
  • compartmentalize and ignore the feelings
  • masturbate to reach a climax and release
Those Karmamudra yogis of the past: Ghantapa with his consort as portrayed by Robert Beer.

Correcting Some Beliefs

There are a few important beliefs to address before we get into the practices. These beliefs are foundational to being able to sublimate desire, to being an alchemist. We have to have some good knowledge before we can enter the laboratory and start working with the raw materials.

Image of the Tummo heat being generated and sublimated by a yogi, Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple

How we do it. Practices.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve divided these practices into bite-sized chunks and tried to avoid a lot of esoteric language. They all work together. If anything is not clear, I hope you will reach out to me directly. None of these is dangerous when undertaken consciously. But, always be your own teacher and feel into what is right for you. If anything here doesn’t feel good, ignore it.

  1. Diffuse the energy
Central and side channels with the white thiglé. Red thiglé is not pictured but is located at the base of the central channel.
Yuthok Yontan Gonpo the Younger
Prince — Rock-n-roll tantrika
Orpheus tries to hold on to Eurydice, ca. 1791, Francois Gérard

Wrapping Up

This essay just scratches the surface of what we can learn and deepen into when we begin working with the subtle body and sexual, creative energies. My hope in writing this is that it will serve to bring us deeper into our bodies and our embodied experience. The sexual (or sensual) experience is so central to this human body and to our lives, it’s a shame we engage with it mostly unconsciously.


--, futurist, facilitator, intuitive strategist, teacher of feminine wisdom principles.

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Schuyler Brown, futurist, facilitator, intuitive strategist, teacher of feminine wisdom principles.