For the past few years, publications like Mic, The Atlantic, and even TIME have pointed out that millennials have been defined by “hookup culture.” Michelle Adams writes that “hook-up culture is definitely something entrenched in the millennial generation” in her 2012 article for Mic.

What is “Hookup Culture” exactly? It’s still too early for any set definition, but here is a rough outline. Hook up culture has been defined by the idea that young people, especially college-aged people and those in their twenties, do not have time for dating and intimate relationships; instead, they pursue sexual pleasure through one-night stands or friends with benefits types of situations.

Associated with hookup culture are the use of apps like Tinder and Grindr to find partners for sexual liaisons and the loss of meaningful, intimate sex. Phrases like “Netflix and chill?” are code for casual sex and Snapchat makes it easy to exchange nude pictures. This easy access to casual and no-strings attached sex, Donna Frietas of “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy” argues, has created a hookup culture that has left millennials depressed because they are not experiencing meaningful sexual relations.

However, studies cited in The Atlantic and TIME paint a much different picture. For example, TIME cites a study that shows that millennials are having just as much as casual sex as their parents and their grand parents had. The Atlantic cites another study that found 37% of young people find casual sex morally wrong, with another 21% claiming that casual sex could be morally wrong dependent upon the situation. Wow! That’s a majority of young people who disagree with casual sex as a favored form of relationships. So, what does all this mean?

As a society of young and old alike, we are still preoccupied with taboos and misunderstandings around sex. There are two sides of sex and intimacy portrayed in our daily lives. That it is something guarded, only to be enjoyed in the context of marriage or a committed couple. The other side is that sex is a simple carnal pleasure, sex for the sake of having sex. As a society, we can no longer afford to hold on to such thinking. If we do, we face meaningless relationships and feeling isolated from one another with no sense of caring and loving those who are close to us. We’ll simply turn into a society full of robots that have no sense of compassion or cannot find wholeness and fulfillment within themselves and each other.

We believe that it is possible to break free of the moralistic codes of our fore-bearers and the imposed stereotypes of a “hook up” oriented generation, to become a society more in-tune with ourselves and each other. All of us can embark on an adventure to create a better awareness and consciousness around sexuality and intimacy through bringing conscious awareness to the creative (sexual) energy inside all of us. Before we can make grand changes to our societies, we must first look within and begin with the individual self and we have just the practice to jump-start that flow of energy and consciousness!

Becoming more aware of our sexual energy, how it is connected with creativity, and how it can be connected to feeling love and intimacy can help us shed those inhibitions and stuffy moral codes we have around sexuality and intimacy. It can help us with that feeling of wholeness and fulfillment that we can find within and within others. The first foray into this discovery is to become more in-tune with our own sexual energies, through practices like the one above, to understand that sex does not have to be all about pleasure and the climax. Sex and sexual energy can also spark intimacy, creativity, and deepen love connections. We just have to be open enough to grow into that understanding.

We at TantraNova have a tantric practice that you can do when you wake up in the morning or at night before you go to bed. This 5-minute solo-practice allows one to feel the energetic connection and flow between lower energy centers (those associated with pleasure and centeredness) and higher energy centers (those associated with spiritual connectedness and feeling love). To begin, we suggest wearing comfortable clothing to be as relaxed as possible.

Sex Consciousness Meditation

  • Start in a comfortable sitting position with eyes closed
  • Place your right hand right below your navel which is connected to your creative energy center and place your left hand in the middle of your chest which is associated with your love energy center
  • Take a deep breath, through the nose, and expand your belly into your right hand and then send that breath up into your chest and into your left hand
  • On that inhalation, feel your energetic breath flowing from your “Creation Center” and into your “Heart Center”
  • Exhaling through your mouth, visualize sending the energetic breath from your “Heart Center” and into your “Creation Center”
  • Continue to breathe in this pattern for 8 breaths
  • Slowly take your hands away from your navel and chest and let them rest in your lap
  • Stay with your breath and the connection between your two energetic centers. Notice how you are feeling and those two centers feel
  • Come back, whenever you are ready, by slowly opening your eyes

Enjoy your practice!