The Sacred Art of Love with Karinna Kittles Karsten
Taste of Sex – Guest Speaker
Beth C

Episode 38 - The Sacred Art of Love with Karinna Kittles Karsten

Karinna Kittles Karsten is an internationally recognized speaker, author and founder of Sacred Love Inc., as well as the author of ‘Intimate Wisdom: Sacred Art of Love’. She regularly counsels individuals as well as couples on intimacy and lovemaking. In this interview she explains that sacred love is an experience you can have with a partner through compatibility on four levels: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. Karinna also teaches us how to have more passion in our relationships, how to identify the right person or relationship for you, and what it takes to be a great lover and all you need is the willingness to do it.



Female Announcer: This program brought to you by is suitable for mature audiences only and may contain explicit sexual information.

Male Announcer: This show was recorded on December 11, 2007 at the One Taste Center in San Francisco.

Monique DeBose: Hello, everyone. I am Monique DeBose. This is A Taste of Sex - Guest Speaker Series coming to you from One Taste Urban Retreat Center here in San Francisco.

Each week on the show we host eminent people whose work challenges the status quo of our mainstream culture, real trailblazers. Tonight, we are exploring sacred love, and we are here with The Love Educator, Karinna Kittles-Karsten.

She is an internationally recognized speaker, author and the founder of Sacred Love, Inc. in Los Angeles, California. She has a newly released book entitled “Intimate Wisdom: The Sacred Art of Love” which is currently third on Amazon’s self-help, spiritual bestselling list. It also has an accompanying DVD, Sacred Lovemaking.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Sacred lovemaking is: I take two couples, one’s been married four years and one’s been married 20. And the 20 year marriage has three children in it. And the new marriage, they are just starting so they are learning and growing. 

They come to me for intimacy counseling, and what I do is I give them techniques, rituals and lovemaking practices that they depict. They actually go through the process of learning those techniques, and they communicate about what went on for them.

Monique DeBose: Karinna, I want to welcome you.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Thank you, Monique. It’s wonderful to be here.

Monique DeBose: Great. Thanks. I am really curious to know, what is sacred love.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Well, sacred love is a love experience that you can have with a partner, and it is based on having emotional, physical, mental and spiritual compatibility. That to me is the cutting edge of relationship, the absolute pinnacle of what you can have in a relationship, to be compatible on all four of those levels.

Monique DeBose: How did you come about coming up with this philosophy?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: I started studying Chinese arts, Chinese art of love specifically, about 17 years ago. My first teacher was Master Mantouche. Many people have heard of him. He wrote over 20 books on the Dao and on the Chinese art of love.

I also was studying simultaneously with yogat masters. My fondest experience was being initiated in my bedroom by a 92-year-old yogat master who was a contemporary of Yogananda. Now, he did not initiate me in the bedroom arts, but he initiated me in a very powerful technique that I integrate into my study and the philosophy of sacred love.

I also have integrated mythology, looking at mythology as well as young in psychology into my work. Basically, it is a fusion of all the things that I’ve studied over the years as well as what have helped me in my own life and what I find really helps clients and the people who buy my DVDs, CDs and books.

Monique DeBose: What made you, 16 years ago, decide I want to study Chinese lovemaking or the art of love?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Honestly, it just came to me. I had a friend in New York City; I was living in New York. I had a friend who said, “Why don’t you come with me this weekend to meet this Chinese master?” I said, “Sure, why not?”

I sat down in the very front row and had one of the most profound experiences to date in my life. That was really looking at what the study was of Dao, the Dao and the teachings of the Dao and sexuality. Mantouche was teaching the way of nature with sexuality, that it was a natural process, that it didn’t have this heavy laden guilt and shame around it. It didn’t have anything euphoric around it. It was a very neutral force, but it was powerful.

You had to understand that power to utilize it correctly so that it could transform your life. It could heal your life, and it could create greater bonding experiences. It was very powerful.

It was also about integrating a spiritual component into the act of intimacy. That was the light switch for me. I said, “God, where has this information been? I need this.” I started studying with him as well as some of his senior students at that time, now teachers, and then started to study other things in regards to the Eastern arts of love.

Monique DeBose: Who would be the people that would actually want to come learn this from you?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Well, I want to say everyone over the age of 18 just because I think that whether we are single and looking for the right relationship or we’re in a couple and we want to make that relationship stronger, more satisfying, more passionate or more fulfilling. Or we are divorced and we don’t know if a committed relationship is right for us any more.

We all need intimate wisdom. What I really try to communicate is how to bring more intimate wisdom into your life so that you have a better experience in love and intimacy. I think it’s for everyone.

Monique DeBose: What about people who might be interested or curious, but I guess I feel there is probably a wall up for quite a few people. Just saying intimacy, the word itself makes people freak out.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Right.

Monique DeBose: What do you do to reach those people?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: One of the things that I do is I create products, DVDs, CDs and books, which people can utilize in the privacy of their own home, so they don’t have to come and meet with me to have a session and make it all intense. But to actually explore these ideas, how to have more passion, how to open up to greater sense of sexuality, how to combine a sense of the sacred into the act of intimate connection in lovemaking.

You can do that in the privacy of your own home, explore those things. I think that’s an easier way to start to be receptive to the ideas.

Monique DeBose: You’ve really said something that made my ears stand up. I just recently got married.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Congratulations.

Monique DeBose: Thank you. And this is a funny thing coming next. How do you have more passion?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: How do you have more passion?

Monique DeBose: Yeah.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: How do you kick start it, over and over again? Well, one of the great ways to do that, and it’s very easy once you learn the technique, is utilizing the Daoist principles of Yin and Yang.

Let’s say that you are both exhausted, having worked all day. You don’t have much energy, but you want to connect intimately. The first thing that I say is you need Yin. You need to restore. You need to rest. You can take a nap together and then wake up and allow the energy to rise naturally to connect and be intimate and make love.

Or you can get into a shower and just let the water run on you and just allow that to bring up your energy again, too. Massage each other. Do something very restful. Utilize Yin when you are exhausted, when you are tired.

On the other side, if you are too lazy, if you aren’t doing anything about your love life you need to really get the fire going. That means you have to pursue. You have to stimulate your lover with your mind. You have to get their fantasy going. You have to be chivalrous in your active romance. That means energy. Action is required.

Now, you can see that if I’m lazy I need to take action. If I’m too tired I need to restore. I need to create rest and allow it to come naturally out of that experience. You can always utilize those two principles to get the passion going every single time.

Monique DeBose: People have to really be willing to want to do this.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: You have to number one be willing. If you have the willingness you can grow. If you don’t have the willingness there is nowhere to grow. You are going to stay spinning and spinning in the same place for an endless amount of time.

Monique DeBose: Is this mainly for couples?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: It is for individuals as well.

Monique DeBose: How does that relate to individuals?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Singles who want to have the right relationship in their life. You can utilize the skills presented in the book “Intimate Wisdom and Sacred Lovemaking” to develop yourself as a lover. I think that is so important to really being ready for the right relationship and also attracting the right relationship. I cover how to identify the right relationship and how to actually discern if someone is correct for you.

Monique DeBose: Well, I am already married, but how do you decide if someone is the right person for you?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Well, there are several ways to do that. One of the ways is actually start to be a love investigator. You can create this in a playful way. Anybody that you meet that you find that you are drawn to attracted to just start to be playful. You may not go on a date with this person, but just start to discern, tune in.

Are we emotionally compatible, and how do I tell if I am emotionally compatible? Tune in to your intuition. Do you feel open when you are with them? Do you feel your heart is happy when you are with them?

Those are two intuitive cues to see if you are emotionally compatible. Then ask some questions. You know, how do you feel today? Do they feel great? Are they depressed? Start to see how this person is responding emotionally on a regular basis or in that conversation. These are some ways to just start to get that investigator going.

You can also do it sexually. Tune in. Do you naturally have sexual chemistry with this person? Usually, you know immediately. I do or I don’t. If you don’t, then that’s probably not a good place for you to go. But, if you do it’s like, tune in.

Do you feel like we could have a really good sexual relationship, or I feel like it could be dramatic. I could have a really high, high with this guy or lady sexually, and then I might have a really low, low and I don’t know where it will end up. Just tune in to those intuitions and then ask. Are you in a relationship? What do you like sexually?

Monique DeBose: Be that bold.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Exactly. I think boldness is key.

Monique DeBose: You just mentioned checking on the emotional level. What if someone was totally, sexually compatible with someone else, they just felt it when they saw them walk into the room. But, you had mentioned earlier there are four phases for real sacred love. Do you need to have all four, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: I say yes.

Monique DeBose: It’s a must.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: I say it’s a must for great love. It is not a must for average love.

Monique DeBose: Who wants average love?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Exactly. Who wants average love? I think a lot of couples can relate to having a couple of places where they are compatible: sexually, mentally or emotionally and spiritually. But, having three or four it often is a great challenge. Those areas tend to be the place where you go over and over, and you argue.

A way to clear that space so that you are growing in those areas as well is to address. How could we really connect spiritually if you are already in a relationship? Even if you have two different faiths, how could we learn from each other’s faiths? How could we find the other stimulating to share our practice of faith together?

This is very important over the long term when you are in a relationship emotionally. How do you communicate your emotions? Is the other person receptive to the way you communicate yourself emotionally? Are they willing to give to you emotionally the way you need to be given emotionally?

These are things that have to be cultivated if they are not there initially, but you have to, from the beginning, be willing.

Monique DeBose: Right.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten:  Be willing. If there’s not the willingness, if you just feel resistance with someone about talking about the emotional realm, you know you are going to be struggling there. I say, no go. Don’t go there because you are going to be frustrated and in pain.

I think that attraction is just one level. It has nothing to do with the whole package and for the long term.

Monique DeBose: We are going to take a break. This is A Taste of Sex - Guest Speaker Interviews, and we’ll be right back to hear more from Karinna.

Female Announcer: Listen to A Taste of Sex Erotic Poetry Reading, a companion program to Life in an Orgasm-based Community. It’s Open Mike Night at One Taste San Francisco, a weekly audio program on

Monique DeBose: Welcome back to A Taste of Sex - Guest Speaker Series. We are here with Karinna Kittles-Karsten, and we are getting into some really interesting areas about sacred love.

Just before the break we were talking about how many of the components need to actually be there for a relationship to have real success, or what you said is great love? My parents shoot up in my mind because they have been married over 30 years.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten:  Wow.

Monique DeBose: Wow is right. From what I see, I don’t know their physical bedroom relationship. But, I’ve heard some conversations about that as well. I just don’t see compatibility. This is obviously from my perspective. Arguing, I see, and a lot of frustration.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten:  In the bedroom area?

Monique DeBose: Well, I’m not in that space. I don’t want to tell you that part. No, just in the emotional or connecting with each other or communicating. I see a lot of holding off. I’m just wanting to punish, it feels like. What do couples like that, who actually have love for each other but don’t know how to get to the sharing of the love? What do you do with couples like that?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Well, they have to be willing to develop their skill set. You can develop your skill set so that you actually can emotionally connect with your lover in a better way. Sometimes, you just have to have the tools right in front of you, so you go, “Oh, it can be different and I can do it differently this way”. That’s what the book is for, and that’s what some of the other tools that I create are for so that you have a road map that you can say, “Oh, I can get to a better emotional space by doing x, y and z.”

It sounds like they have two different communication styles. They have two different emotional styles.

Monique DeBose: Very different.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten:  It doesn’t mean that the love is not there, but they can’t reach each other enough of the time to be satisfied and in harmony with each other. That just takes some development, but the key is they have to be willing.

Monique DeBose: It comes back down to the willingness. Now, you mentioned earlier. I am curious to know. What does it take to make someone a great lover?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten:  What it takes for someone to be a great lover - and we keep going back to this is number one, willingness. Let’s say you are a singer, like I know that you are.

Monique DeBose: I’ll play that role.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: And that you probably practice the scales a lot and you rehearse singing. You couldn’t go out on the stage and sing well time after time if you didn’t develop those skills of the scales in your rehearsal. You really cannot be a great lover unless you are developing your skill set.

Those are skills, such as self-confidence and self-respect, openness, receptivity, generosity, the ability to be passionate about your love life and to keep recharging your love life. That is very important. The ability to have a healthy commitment to the relationship. You are committed like any other sport or business. You are committed to renewing and growing that relationship.

When you have these kinds of skills intact, you bring passion, love, respect and artistry to a relationship. When those are active, when they are fully engaged by each partner it’s amazing the kind of relationship you can create. But, when one person is doing that and maybe the other one isn’t, or they are doing it a little bit you find yourself let down.

You find yourself going into the state of stale mediocrity, and this is what really takes relationships and makes them deteriorate and causes separation within a relationship. You have to be developing your skill set and then bringing them to the relationship over and over again.

Monique DeBose: I have to ask this question. I am seeing a couple, and I see one is really willing and I see one is not willing. I don’t know; it just makes me feel for the willing person. I don’t know what to ask you because I know it comes down to willingness.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: How can you shake them out of their unwillingness? I think again it’s like putting a different picture in front of them and saying, “It can be different”.

Monique DeBose: You can have all this passion and communication.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: You can and this is how we could get there. That’s where intimate wisdom comes in as well as some of the other tools like sacred lovemaking.

Monique DeBose: I wanted to ask you about that DVD.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Thank you.

Monique DeBose: How did you come about making it?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Well, it’s been one of these very important projects I wanted to create because, for me, it is very important to show images of people making love and in love. Usually, we see sex or we see love. We do not see them together. And, we also do not see that sacred component in the mix.

I wanted to create a DVD about that process. Sacred lovemaking is: I take two couples, one’s been married four years and one’s been married 20. And the 20 year marriage has three children in it. And the new marriage, they are just starting so they are learning and growing. 

They come to me for intimacy counseling, and what I do is I give them techniques, rituals and lovemaking practices that they depict. They actually go through the process of learning those techniques, and they communicate about what went on for them.

Monique DeBose: That’s a real important piece.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: What went on for them in learning it, the emotional aspect as well as the physical aspect and how it changed the relationship? That’s really what it’s about. Couples can actually look at this DVD and learn with them what some of the skills that worked for them to ignite that passion over and over again, to have longer lasting lovemaking, to mix it up and make it more creative and to make it more sacred and more connected. So, you can follow along and try any of the techniques to enrich your own love life.

Monique DeBose: Do you think that by adding or acknowledging that sacred component to lovemaking in a way it makes it more palatable for Western society?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: It helps to allow that guilt to dissipate because I think Westerners tend to carry so much guilt and shame around the experience of sexuality. It’s ultimately because we’ve left the sacred out. We feel that we cannot be sexual beings and have a sacred experience at the same time.

So, bringing that back in and it can start with as simple as an intention, I honor you, my lover. I honor myself. May this lovemaking experience bond us and connect us even more deeply to each other in love and pleasure. If you give it that simple connection, the sacred comes right in.

Monique DeBose: I felt it, yeah, right in.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: It’s a prayer. It’s a prayer for your relationship, and it’s how you begin to bring that beautiful component of the sacred back into your story of intimacy,
of sexuality and into the relationship. I think it really helps.

Monique DeBose: I really felt that. I want to ask you before we wrap up; I am assuming you are using this practice in your own relationship. I know you have been married for five years.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: I have been with my husband for five years. We have been married almost two years.

Monique DeBose: Oh, wonderful. How is the process in the day-to-day of your living, when you are not teaching but in your relationship?

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: When I am living it and cultivating even more intimate wisdom. You know, it’s powerful. You are always on the cutting edge of yourself. My husband and I utilize the techniques in “Intimate Wisdom”, whether it be meditating together, whether it be doing the heart, body and soul ritual of connecting before we make love. Whether it’s utilizing the sacred Chinese practices of circulating sexual energy or communicating in a way that’s mindful and conscious to develop our emotional connection.

We utilize these all the time. They really enrich our relationship, and they give us access to reach a place where we are struggling, where we have tough times. It gives us a way into a new space. They continue to provide powerful access to new places in our relationship, and I look forward to continuing my own personal growth in intimate wisdom.

Monique DeBose: Well, Karinna, I want to thank you so much for being here. Your energy and just what you are bringing to the table is beautiful.

Karinna Kittles-Karsten: Thank you so much. It’s lovely.

Monique DeBose: This is Karinna Kittles-Karsten, and her website is

And I want to thank you all for joining us on A Taste of Sex - Guest Speaker Interviews hosted by One Taste Urban Retreat Center. You can find us on the Web at, or check us out at for more information about our lectures and workshops and sensuality, communication and relationship

I am Monique DeBose and we’ll see you next time.

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