Living The Shift: The Union Between Sexuality & Spirituality as Part of our Evolution

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For some time, we have created and perpetuated the belief that sexuality and spirituality are two very different boxes in our lives, along with the idea that sex is dirty, impure, and “ungodly” – only acceptable for reproduction. The treatment of this part of ourselves as forbidden and primal has led us to using the act of sex in many debasing ways and has greatly minimized, if not eliminated altogether, the idea that sexuality is actually one of the doorways to help us remember our Divinity.

When we shift to accepting its higher vibration, our sexuality becomes a sacred form of self-realization and opening to the higher self, as well as opening to full union of higher love and connection with another. In this way, it’s incorporated as a crucial part of our spiritual evolution!

Our guest this week is Kendal Williams (www.tantrictransformation.com), a Tantric practitioner whose lifetime journey to self-empowerment presented itself through the melding of her sexuality and spirituality.

Listen to the recorded talk via VoiceAmerica

livingtheshift

Living the Shift: Our Evolution of Body, Mind, and Spirit

The Union Between Sexuality and Spirituality as Part of Our Evolution

Show date: 7/30/13

Key Notes from Kendal’s Interview

Angela: Please cover the highlights of your background, how your journey led you to finding your spirituality within your sexuality.

Kendal: Spirituality has been in my life forever. Sexuality was too, but I did not understand it as such. The world has always turned me on, everything about it. Even as a child I was fascinated and turned on my nature and by everything the world had to offer me. However it was not until my teen years that I was opened up to the possibilities. Love stepped into my life with a young man who was my first teacher. He brought a greater scope of spirituality into my life by introducing me to the concepts and practices of Tantra. Our lovemaking and deep connection opened me to life and the unity of spirituality and sexuality. My real lessons in love and in life  happened though when he left and my heart crumbled into pain. This allowed me to experience the rawness of life and great beauty came from it. I turned and walked down the path of what I call the, “white picket fence life,” You could say I strived for the American dream. Success. Or what we are taught success is, the house, car, travel, money, etc. I married and had children. We went through much chaos and learning and grew spiritually even though neither of us were consciously aware of the lessons at hand. Over the course of 17 years our paths slowly separated and our lessons needed to manifest apart from each other. Toward the end of my marriage I called into my life a teacher. I started paying attention to the omens/signs around me and reconnected to the spirit that I had always knew.  During this time of my life I was introduced to kabbalah and learned about the ego and how to expand our light body as well as the meeting of Duncan Knight (my tantra teacher and now dear friend).  I knew three things at this point: 1) I needed healing personally, I was numb to life and if I felt anything it was rage and depression 2) I wanted my relationship to my husband healed but was not caught up on any given physical outcome of that, whatever healed meant was good for me  and 3) I wanted to become a practitioner.

As I worked with Duncan my lower chakras started to awaken and heal, with this my desire for living life and feeling was summed back. I was horny. My kundalini was awakening and as it did I decided that I needed to explore sexuality deeper and expand out. This awakening brought reality into a clear picture, I wanted lovers in my life. I wanted sensual expression in my life. I wanted experience and I wanted the courage to do what was needed. I was scared to death of each step I had to take, but the universe provided me with many perfect souls that would become my guides, teachers of life, mirrors, lovers and friends and even a few that would come through to teach the hard lessons of pain and suffering. This time of life was full of miracles when I look back at it. Even as I worked through tough issues such as rape and the separation of a 17 year marriage I now can see the great beauty in what was being provided.

In the unity and healing of my sexuality and spirituality I opened the gateway to harmony, peace, unconditional love and acceptance of self and others and the ability to live unbound.

Angela: What is the difference between basic sexuality, as we generally know it today, and what sexuality can be (and provide) in its optimal state?

Kendal: Its ALL about integration. The integration of sexual pleasure and spiritual surrender. We do this when we learn to love and trust in life, not just in our intimate relationships. Openness is about the body opening up, our muscles relaxing, our hearts opening instead of hiding behind emotional blockades; where spiritual openness is fully feeling into each moment of life, feeling that there is NO separation between us and that precious moment of the present. When we do this we reach optimal bliss and passion not just in our lovemaking but in our daily lives. You see when we get turned on in the bedroom we are also getting turned on to life. Sex is a creative process that wants to manifest miracles. We are the ONLY species that has the ability to not only experience great pleasure from our “mating” but also not have it be mating, instead we have the great blessing of sex for pleasure and manifestation. This is where we need to start to except sex’s greatest gift to us. In our sexing we are able to expand our vessels and fill ourselves with an enormous amount of life force energy, if we open to this power of the creator and align our thoughts in the moment or orgasm to what we want to manifest in life then we can draw down these things, out of the quantum field of possibilities and have them materialize into our lives.
Angela: Does someone have to be in a relationship to explore this part of themselves? Please expound on this a little bit.

Kendal: Absolutely NOT. Some of the best and most powerful, spiritually evolving as well as educational sex is provided in the presence of no one other then ourselves. Self pleasuring is mandatory weather you are in a relationship or not. And I highly recommend that if you are single that you take this opportunity to work on yourself both sexually and spiritually. With self- pleasuring in a spiritual sense you learn to become the shaman of your life, you learn about your body, what you like and don’t like, you learn about your energy and how it flows through you at orgasm and if you are wise you will allow yourself to be witness to not only the pleasurable events of energy flowing but how your energy flows when you are upset, depressed or otherwise. How do these times relate in energy flow to orgasm and how can you direct that energy for the greatest good instead of what normally happens, a short circuit and then exhaustion. Through the practice of spiritual sex (weather alone or not) you can acquire powerful tools of self control, self love, acceptance, healing and learn to open to your own personal vortex of abundance.

Angela: What would be your advice to someone who’s put sexuality low on the priority scale in their spiritual evolution?

Kendal: Leaving sexuality out of spirituality is like trying to be positive all the time in life, by doing this we abandon part of ourselves. We are not being authentic. And by doing that we remain at the level that the part of us that we abandoned is still sitting. Only through embracing all of ourselves, including our kinks and dysfunctions, our traumas and our desires, our angels, saints and devils will we ever be able to become the full expression of love that the creator wants us to be. This is true surrender and surrender is powerful for our spiritual/emotional and physical growth. You have to remember that the thing that all of us that consciously walk a spiritual path subscribe to is the power of love, well that love-force that moves through the universe is also the same love force that breathes our breath and enables our hearts to beat as well as our genitals to experience orgasm. The only reason we don’t accept sex as a spiritual force is because of 2500 years of fear being programmed into us. When this fear dissolves, we no longer separate ourselves from the creator, we become part of the infinite flow of life. Opening sexually is opening to this flow of life. When we are having sex we are (if we are a man) penetrating the world with our presence in the moment, with our strength, our passion, our purpose. We are guiding the energy of the universe into what we want to manifest. (if we are a woman) the more we open our legs and allow ourselves to be penetrated we open to abundance, creation, love and surrender. In this we women carry with us the infinite universe within our wombs where we can manifest our dreams into reality.

 

Angela: What would you recommend as the first step for anyone wanting to explore their sexuality in a spiritual way – both individually and in a relationship?

Kendal: There are two first steps.

Learn to breathe. Breath is not only the essence of our soul but in learning how to properly breathe you will gain great insight into yourself, as well as have the most powerful step toward connecting, maintaining and controlling your life force energy. In our breath we can connect our spirits and travel up the spiritual ladder to heaven, we can expand our orgasmic state out into the world and fill our physical bodies with a sustainable energy that will carry us for days. Breath is the gateway to higher consciousness and sex that can heal and transform us as well as our world.

The second step is:

Have more sex. Really get properly sexed open every day if you can. Single or in a relationship take the time each day to have an orgasm and when you do come, breathe it in and allow it to fill your body, relax your muscles instead of tensing up and envision in your minds eye what you want to create. Consciously surrender into this state of pleasure with the feeling, vision and desire of the life you want to have.

What Are You “Trading for Sex”?

 

Are You Having Sex Because You Want to Have Sex, or Is There Some Implied Bargain Going On?

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Today we are going to explore the rather controversial topic of “trading for sex.” I certainly would not be the first person to suggest that marriage is often a form of legalized prostitution. But it surely is not the only arena where implied trades for sex are happening. Perhaps if you are willing to be honest, you can remember times in your own life when you had sex even though you did not really want to have sex. Because you were going to get something that you thought was lacking in your life.

Recently I found myself in a situation where a man was doing all kinds of “nice” things for me. And I noticed the temptation within myself to “repay” him with sex. I did not want to have sex with him, but it would have been easy enough to do. I could almost justify it in my mind. Fortunately, though, my heart and my intuition are a lot more powerful now than they used to be. I caught myself falling into the trap of feeling “obligated” to “repay” this person with sex. And I stayed in integrity with myself and said no.

What is this ritual we have of men paying for dinner? It can have all kinds of interpretations, of course. I enjoy spending time with abundance-minded people, and a man sharing his abundance with me does not feel much different to me than the “free” stuff I am receiving from the Universe (not always through men) on a regular basis.

 

But what about when it’s not just a simple sharing of abundance with no expectation of anything in return? Recently I saw an old friend of mine who had broken up with his girlfriend. They were together for several years. It was never a relationship of equals. He is extremely wealthy, and she is financially insecure. She gave him sex, and he let her move in with him and paid all her expenses. Which was all fine and good and relatively harmonious until she realized that he meant what he said at the beginning: he had no intention of getting married. For her, getting married was an implicit part of the “bargain.” And as her friends gave her a hard time about it, she was sensitive to other people’s opinions, and the sensitivity grew when she hit a particular birthday … they broke up.

I myself once had a “sugar daddy” relationship. I don’t envision ever getting into a situation like that again. At first it felt like a princess fantasy. He would take me to Nordstrom and buy me 15 pairs of shoes at a time. He would take me to the most expensive stores in San Francisco and drop $15,000 at a time on dresses and shawls. He took me to the finest hotels and restaurants, and we flew first class to far-flung destinations. Did I realize that I was “trading for sex”? No, I was not that conscious at the time. It all just kind of “happened.” I even persuaded myself that I loved him.

At a deep level though, it felt like he was overcompensating for the fact that he did not feel like he was my equal. Over the course of the relationship, that icky feeling started to increase. My respect for him gradually diminished. Before I knew it, I was almost two years into a relationship that I knew would not be permanent.

And it started to get very dark. I remember one time he urged me to quit my job, and my intuition screamed “no.” “No, do not let yourself be financially dependent on this man.” I started thinking about other men, and he became very jealous. One time I was staying at his multi-million dollar vacation home with some of my girlfriends. He claimed to be occupied at another location, yet he drove several hours to arrive unannounced to “check up on me” (i.e., make sure I was not with another man). I had never cheated on any of my boyfriends, but his constant paranoia led me almost to cheat on him. When we broke up, he had an engagement ring that he said was “burning a hole in his pocket.” I never saw the ring. It was all so … ewwwwww. I broke it off, and he married another woman about six months later. I kid you not. Which made me even more glad that we were not together. To me, it was all driven by his not feeling complete as a human being standing on his own two feet.

There have been lots of other times in my life where I could have married a man for money, for social status, or for some other kind of “value.” And sometimes, let’s be honest, there were times I even had sex for far more trivial reasons. It was just “easier” than saying no.

The “sugar daddy” situation made me a lot more wary of men attempting to “buy” sex from me, one way or another. At this point, I am glad that I have spent a solid amount of time single. When we have learned to be solid all by ourselves, it is a lot more difficult for us to be manipulated with our insecurities. I don’t get lonely anymore, so I have no need to have sex to fill a void in my life. Back when I had a job that I hated (when I was dating the “sugar daddy”), I fantasized about a wealthy man “rescuing” me from having to work. I did not understand at that time about patterns of co-dependency and how destructive they are. Now that I have learned to stand on my own two feet as an entrepreneur, the idea of marrying a man for money just seems ludicrous. The only kind of relationship that appeals to me is a co-creative partnership of equals. The only kind of relationship I can envision now is uniting with another person who recognizes his wholeness and does not need to “get” anything from me, nor I from him.

Life does not “just happen” to me anymore. I am conscious of my choices, and I am in charge of my destiny. So when my intuition flags a situation of a man trying to “buy” sex from me, whether with money or by doing “nice” things for me … I just say “no.” And every time I do, my self-respect increases a little bit more.

After all, knowing what you want and being willing to stand firm until it manifests … without “caving” in to social pressures or personal insecurities … is what it means toBecome FearlessAnd after living fearlessly, you’ll never want to go back to conventional living ever again :)

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Love,

Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter

The Hidden Issues of Marriage- How Care, Respect, Interest, Play, Attention, and Power Determine Success and Failure in Our Relationships

Money, sex, in-laws, vacations, communication, children–these head the list of explicit concerns couples struggle with in their marriage. But there are deeper and more significant issues. Often these are hidden from direct discussion or awareness. Care, respect, interest, play, attention, and power are the real issues couples have. These are the themes that make for happiness or misery, that fulfill or destroy dreams. Couples who have harmony in these realms have relationships that hold together, breed vitality, and foster creativity. We are creatures driven by invisible currents, often imperceptible to the casual or the inattentive observer. A case-in-point: What may seem to be a couple’s routine argument about which movie to see may be a hidden power struggle. One partner feels that she has been capitulated too many times to her husband’s preferences, even though in a less competitive moment his first choice would also have been hers.

In this article I will define and illustrate what I consider to be six below-the-surface issues in marriage and offer observations on how we might approach consciously living-out these themes in less destructive and more positive ways.

Care

John and Sarah (All names and identifying data have been changed.) are starved for caring. John grew up in a love-deprived home without a mothering mother. His mother, in and out of mental hospitals during his childhood, looked to her elder son to take care of his three brothers. After doing his own school work, he would make sure his siblings did theirs, clean house, and make dinner for his depressed mother and his exhausted and overburdened father. His parents were so absorbed in their mental and financial survival, respectively, that they did not even thank him. His sole comfort was managing to keep a semblance of sanity in the family and save his mother some visits to the hospital. When he met Sarah, a lovely young woman with a soft voice and an appreciation for his good efforts, he was joyfully overwhelmed. Here at last was one who understood, here at last was one who wanted to create a family in which thought and feeling and aspiration could be shared and executed together. He felt cared for.

For Sarah their meeting was equally promising. She had also been brought up in a family devoid of emotion–an austere mid-western family, in which mother never hugged and father sat remotely over ceremonial occasions, but had little else to offer. Sarah suffered from diabetes and John’s sense of order promised to help her maintain a regimen for optimal health. She believed she had found the man who would warm her heart and take care of her temporal needs. They, of course, fell in love with each other–for what is “falling in love” but finding another whom we believe meets–and will continue to meet–our needs. They married and, alas, a failure of “caring” soon began.

Sarah, it turned out, notwithstanding her gentleness and eagerness to be helpful, had only a rudimentary sense of empathy for emotional nuance. She knew how to do what she believed were “caring’ behaviors, but lacked a heart that matched John’s sensibilities. In their first year of marriage John’s brother was made paraplegic in a car accident. As he lived in the same city as John, he balanced his own families needs with attending to his brother, returning to his bedside and taking on his care much as he had looked after him when he was a little boy. Sarah attempted to be supportive, but John’s absence from the home, his drives across town twice a week to fill in for the nurses, his continually being on the phone to doctors, began to sink Sarah’s heart, as she wondered what happened to the man she married. She no longer felt John’s caring.

Caring is the constant and tender ministrations that we all look for in our partners. In many couples the most fundamental question is: Does she or he care enough? How precious is the statement that “He really does care.” How poignant the transparent defensive posturing, “I really don’t care what she does.” We need for persons to intend the best for us and to have us in their minds and to carry out acts of caring. The absence of caring breeds shame and worthlessness. Explicit issues of being home for dinner when expected, taking out the garbage, driving slowly when one’s partner is anxious about speed, or speedily when one’s partner is anxious about dawdling, are not “little things” but significant carriers of caring feelings. These are as intensely important, as urgent as the deepest demands of the human heart. In fact, that’s what they are.

“I care for you.” “He doesn’t care for me.” These are among the tenderest, most sought, and most feared sentiments persons express to one another. When caring behaviors become sparse, couples are fading in their vital attachment to one another. Caring behaviors are those acts subtle or blunt by which we convey to the other that we wish his or her happiness, safety, fulfillment. It is caring to feel deeply for our partner’s most searing fears and griefs; it is also caring to listen to her talk about her high school reunion. Caring is wishing the person well and acting to back up that wish. When we care we go the proverbial extra mile. Caring also conveys, implicitly, commitment, for caring is being present to the other as long as we are needed. We “are needed” a long, long time. Few in-love couples pre-arrange their breaking-up.

Take a look at your relationship. Do your feel cared for? Do you care deeply about your mate? Talk with your partner and let him tell you how he feels. Summon the courage to hear that she may not feel nearly so cared about as your have imagined. In fact, you may have forgotten actually to care, and you may have become so used to being in an uncaring marriage that you aren’t even paying attention to the state of caring between you. Examine what has happened to your caring. Did it evaporate? Was it ever there?. How does your caring interweave with other themes of your relationship–with power and respect, for example? What do you need to do, to have your partner do, before caring can be revived? Do you need the help of a guide or therapist? Is it worth your investment of energy? Are you really serious about trying? And if so, how will you begin? How much energy will you give to realizing this possibility?

Respect

After their first idyllic months together, Ellen and Newton composed a gradual crescendo of disrespect which climaxed in a bitter divorce. What began as a story-book romance–a chance meeting in Key West where each had, uncharacteristically, taken solo vacations for introspection and R&R– she seeking refuge from an abusive marriage and he solace from a series of failed relationships. Newton was present and comforting to Ellen as she recounted the emotional and physical abuse she had suffered for years in an attempt to keep the marriage together for the sake of her children and in deference to her family’s pressure to avoid, at-all-cost, divorce.

Ellen, at first enamored of Newton’s vast intellect, and proud of his talent at engaging any person in fluent conversation, came to despise “his narrow academic interests” and his “pompous colleagues.” She deplored his long work hours and his extended field trips. She panicked about his regularly having several drinks before dinner. He showed no desire for children of their own. Fundamentally, Ellen did not respect his interests, his style, his friendships. Though she “tried” to persuade herself that she could learn to admire him, that he had a “right” to do what he did without her standing in judgment. Yet, in her soul she was negative to and threatened by many of the ways he lived.

Newton, at first attracted to Ellen because of her needfulness, after a few months of marriage began to see her less as loveably vulnerable than as one whose unhappiness was a drag on his contentment. He began to realize that he who had begun the relationship as the “white knight” for helping her escape from her unhappy and entrapped marriage had now become the oppressor. Her vulnerability became, to him, a contemptible craziness and instead of being with her in sympathy for the way the world was treating her, he became part of the world that was tormenting and abusing her.

The relationship, having made an 180 degree turn from affirmation of each other–their styles, looks, habits, values, commitments–to denigrating practically everything about one another, found itself on a steady course of decline and, eventually, divorce. To be trapped on a path where each partner judges the other as not living an admirable life is fatally demoralizing. Ellen “tried” to see Newton differently and the more she tried the more it was evident that underneath her posturing sweetness and positivity, there was repulsion. Many times Newton resolved not to attack her with “crazy-making” accusations, but when she would get upset at one of his absences or pretensions, he would forget his resolutions and “go for the gut.” Newton and Ellen had neither power, nor awareness, nor will to face straight-out that they did not admire one another. They repeatedly fought over mundane differences, ignoring the deeper angers and judgments that made them crash-bound. Hardly a marriage survives in this atmosphere; none happily. Theirs did not.

Respect means liking and affirming your partner for who he or she is in the world. Of course, being separate creatures with our own prejudices and definitions, some things about others we like, some we do not. But loving relationships that are truly satisfying are founded on mutual respect. We need to feel that others believe the attitudes we have, the professions we pursue, the charities we support, the jokes we tell are, for the most part, pleasing to them. If this is not happening, then there is a major problem brewing. People kill each other when they feel disrespected, and couples kill their marriage when disrespect prevails.

If you feel that respect in your relationship is becoming thin, take a long look at yourself and attempt to understand just how deep this disrespect goes. Have you, for some time, been feeling negative about how you partner leads her life, and have you been less than direct about it? Or perhaps you can look within yourself, at your own values. If you are failing to respect your partner, you may want to examine your behavior and see if you are emphasizing negative things to the detriment of the positive. Sometimes things are correctable, but you must address problems before the toxins of disrespect have ravaged your connection. If you want to develop respect, there is no better way to begin than frankly talking with your partner about your failings in this arena and beginning to construct a new basis for respect. If you can’t find it, then you are indeed in trouble.

Interest

A common way of describing a relationship is when persons acknowledge being “interested” in each other. “Interesting” covers a lot of territory. Though nature may have first created interest to assure replication of life, sex, recasts as interest, extends far into realms as diverse as intellectual complexity, athletic skills, winsome personality, and playing a mean game of chess. One of our strongest drives is the compulsion away from boredom. Losing interest defines depression.

Mitchell and Lori had only been married a couple of years when Mitchell lost interest. In the beginning their fascination for each other never cooled. He was strong and quiet, she, shy socially, but super-active athletically. She led him out of himself into a new world of sports and outdoors. He offered her a quiet refuge and protection from the many times she over-extended herself with activities. All went well until her job began to keep her into the evenings and weekends. He depended on her for stimulation, for keeping things going that were fun and engaging. Only a few months after Lori’s absence-making schedule began, Mitchell initiated afternoon dalliances with a coworker that quickly blossomed into a passionate affair. When Lori discovered his infidelities, the ensuing struggles, the threat of loss, and the reminder of their strong early attraction to one another reignited their desire to make a satisfying marriage.

Research indicates that affairs are seldom primarily sexually motivated. Most often they are persons’ attempts either to stimulate their life, or having lost a feeling of being desired in their relationship, discover if one can still be attractive to other partners. Nothing flattens a couples energy more than to have lost interest in one another–if the trend continues downward, persons can lose interest in being alive.

How can you make the uninteresting interesting? By paying acute attention. Anything looked at up close and personal is interesting. If something is interesting it sparks our creativity, it brings out our most primitive organismic sense of pleasure in relating to reality outside of ourselves. Interest brings us into heart and mind augmenting connection with the world. And persons are infinitely interesting for they are in continual ferment, discarding old and taking on new forms in a cacophony of novelty and growth.

Love is continually renewing interest. How many good films do you see where there is no “love interest.” (Note, “love-interest”–it’s almost a single word.) Interest is the life of relationships. Lose interest, death of the relationship. How do you retain and engender interest? By being willing to be open for it. By not expecting the other person to carry the full responsibility of being “interesting” to us. It is just as true–and perhaps a truth of more import–to say that you are responsible for your own ability to be interested. The lazy brain is the uninterested brain. Further if you are not interested you hardly accept the other as he is, for you are always looking for “something else” to carry you out of your stupor of disinterest.

Play

Play is the purest and fullest expression of joy–the most basic positive emotion. There are many forms of play. Sexuality may head the list, but not far behind is walking around the block, enjoying family rituals, laughing over the comics, watching a child grow up, matching rhythms and harmonies with one another. Play is pure; it is without pretense; it aspires to be nothing but itself. It is nature’s way of letting us know we are in the flow of experience. To play together is both to be in sync with the world and one another. We become couples, in large measure, because we play well together. Whether we are attending a lecture, going to the beach, or venturing into Eros, the compelling meeting between two persons can best be described as play. Persons are attracted to each other, not because they work well on projects together, but because they enjoy playing with one another.

When Rosemary and Spaulding met they were beautiful and talented young people who enjoyed parties, romance, and fanciful dreams of success. After their marriage they moved from a small town in the south to a large eastern city for Spaulding to attend law school. It turned out that he had talent for patent law and paternity, and before long his practice was successful and his home full. Rosemary bore five sons and gave herself to twenty years of active and consuming motherhood, along with making a home for her work-laminated husband.

Rosemary craved play. She didn’t know its name, but she knew she needed something. She tried tennis, encounter groups, therapy, religion, dancing. She discovered she liked all of them. Relieved of the demands of her large brood of children, she was ready for grown-up play. She learned to look people in the eye, talk about her feelings, claim her sexuality. She desperately wanted to engage her husband with her in her newly found playfulness. Rosemary urged, demanded that Spaulding join her, but his manner of play was to sit quietly with the newspaper, worry about the stock market, keep up with sports, and follow his sons’ progress. His games she could never play, and as for her parenting, it was time for a change of venue. She needed a playmate–i.e. a man to share with her in the new pleasure and creativity she had discovered in her life, and he hardly filled the (play)bill. For Rosemary play was the avenue to closeness and Spaulding’s inability to play with her caused a severe gap in their happiness together.

From the beginning we play. We virtually come into the world playing. Play is losing ourselves in unplanned pleasurable abandon of mind and body. Play feels good. Play expands the body, loosens the breathing, rushes the blood, releases endorphins and epinephrine and dopamine. When relationships form there’s a lot of playing. So many activities for couples are play activities. Dating, dancing, going to the movies and…sex are play. Sex is high and vital adult play; when it’s work it’s no fun. Play is an accepting activity for it exists for its own sake. This is perhaps why play often gets such a bum rap.

You and your partner probably don’t play nearly enough. As heirs of Puritanism, you may feel that everything should be “purposeful,” that present activity–even play–should be leading to something else that justifies your effort. But acceptance is not future oriented; it is receiving and enjoying with your partner what is in the present–and no activity is more “in-the-present” than play. If you can’t play, you are much too anxious about what is “not yet.” Play releases, it transcends a “not-now-consciousness” to enter an “experiencing-now-consciousness” that is pure enjoyment. Being able to share the play-moment makes you indeed partners in living life freely and for fun.

Attention

Jerry wants to be “heard.” He has countless stories about how Jennifer repeatedly paid no attention to what he told her. On the first thanksgiving visit to his uncle’s (the grand-old-man of his family) home when he implored Jennifer never to reveal that they had lived together before they were married. He knew that his bachelor uncle was notorious for his Victorian morality, which dwelt alongside a great mind and loads of money to distribute solely to his two nephews. Jennifer, after several of glasses of Chateau Rothchild, let the secret of their cohabitation slip. Uncle abruptly asked them to leave and seven years later has neither spoken to nor about them.

Jennifer’s story is of her futile attempts to have Jerry listen to her terror of his family. Again and again she had stressed to him that his family’s loud and condescending ways made her shrink with discomfort and fright. She told Jerry that the only thing that could help would be to medicate her anxiety with wine, and that she knew that she sometimes got out of control. Jerry paid little heed. Through their failure to listen attentively to each other, they lost family and inheritance… and gained anger and disappointment with each other.

From our beginnings, we must be attended to. Children not “heard,” neither mirrored not understood, whose sense-of-self is grossly handicapped by the indifference of others, literally do not survive their childhood. Did you ever speak to someone when you thought he was in the room with you, perhaps voicing a thought about a shared experience, and found he had walked out of the room leaving you talking to air. You felt disappointed, foolish, annoyed. That is what it is like not to be heard, not to be attended to. You begin to think that actually you don’t exist.

Like so many who do not feel heard, Jennifer and Jerry resort to aggressive and sometimes ruthless measures to gain attention. Jennifer demeans Jerry’s manhood, talks about old boy friends being more appealing to her than he is–“They listen”, and threatens further havoc on his family, aimed this time at his parents. Jerry scowls and yells, or alternately he takes a passive, withdrawn stance, hoping to invoke such guilt in Jennifer that she will pause and listen to his side of things. Both are so caught-up in trying to force the other to hear them, that they are like the United Sates attempting to save Vietnam by destroying it.

As a marriage therapist, I see an endless parade of persons who drag their partners to counseling with complaints about how they are not being attended to. The complaints come in many forms: not being heard or listened to, not being seen or sought out, not being thought about or remembered. All of which make the unattended-to person very insecure about whether she or he is truly valued by the other.

If you are to learn better to attend and be attended to, you must become aware that listening, indeed, is your deficiency. You need to check out your narcissism to see just how self-absorbed you are and how effectively you take in what is real about your partners. In many households, persons go weeks without ever so much as inquiring after their partners feelings or even their everyday experiences. Are you one of these? And if you feel you are rarely attended to, pay close attention to your experience, are you often wishing for more or different than your partner can give? If all else fails, ask your partner if he or she feels attended to and known. If you and she are not reassured by her response, then undertake a course of training–with friends, therapists, family, books–to see if you actually want learn and develop the courage and skill of empathy.

Power

Human beings abhor feeling “less-than.” We can’t bear for another to get the upper hand. We have many ways to even scores. The recent popularity of “First Wives Club” and “Waiting to Exhale,” gives strident witness to the “fun” and satisfaction we have in seeing others get their comeuppance when they become too powerful for the good of both partners. We fear that our partner may be ahead of (translate better than or superior to) us, or worse, that she or he may be “feeding-off” us. We attempt to correct this by conscious and unconscious balancing designed to make sure we do not end up on bottom. We work, all out, to stay on top. Case in point: Paul washes the dishes and points out to Anna that she should appreciate his efforts; he claims that what he does more than compensates for her vacuuming the house; she then agues that, not only did she vacuum but she shampooed as well and this puts her ahead….and on it goes.

There are several varieties of roles that are used in the power struggle. A couple of favorites are the victim and the saint (variations: nag and “Nice Guy,” wimp and the tyrant). The victim is always “down” and refuses to allow the other person to enjoy their “up” position. Victims blame; they invariable see the problem as the bad behavior of the other. Elizabeth is an assertive and demanding victim, as she approaches most of their talks with Brian, her husband, with a full agenda of grievances for his “failures” in treating her well. Brian is ever eager to please, but nothing he does ever seems to be enough, nothing ever seems to work. If his behaviors are “right” then his timing is “wrong.” Always, he is either agreeable or compromising, yet what he does is bumbling and only succeeds for Elizabeth half-way. If he comes home early one night, she reminds him that his job is less secure this year so he had better take no liberties; when he is late she speaks of the children feeling neglected.

Brian is the model “Nice Guy,” a sort of Sensitive Man version of a saint. He listens to Elizabeth; he “empathizes” (i.e. he insists he “understands what she means”); he smiles at her with sweetness and reassures her of his love. But there is a darker side in this hidden power struggle: he is “injured” that she does not appreciate his efforts more fully, for underneath he feels “put-upon” and “had-it-up-to-here” about her demands and pleadings. He neither lets himself or her know just how disgruntled and resistant he is. She tries to get him to admit it. She tells him “Don’t you resent my going-on all the time about wanting more from you?” He responds, “A bit, but I understand that you are really hurting, and I want to do the best I can.” But, from time to time his real upset is apparent even to him, when he says flat-out to her insistence that he interrupt his racquetball to be home “on time” for dinner–” Well, I just can’t do that.” Underneath this “Nice Guy” trait there resides the resentful mind of one who feels he is being more misunderstood than is his wife. His attitude is strength and availability, but beneath the surface there is determination not to be “used,” not to be made accountable for what he believes in his heart-of-hearts is more her “fault” than his. He is fighting her and she him. The explicit issues of their marriage, his time availability, his forgetting anniversaries, his financial instability are rendered trivial by the velvet war they are raging for dominance. Bit by bit they have lose confidence in mutual good will and caring. And without this assumed reciprocity of energy and love, a power struggle sets in.

When the dynamic themes of your relationship are suffering from failures of loving connection, developing “power-over” often becomes by default the mode of choice. Power is the booby prize for failure of respect, care, et al. If we can’t be with our partners, at least we can exercise power over them. So we become obsessed with being winners. There are so many ways to have power struggles: they can be well disguised as content discussions or battles over “important” things–when the deeper theme is showing who can win: we may feign willingness to give our partner what she wants, but our deeper intention is to dilute her justifiable anger for our inconsiderateness; we can bring up issues in public that have not been worked out in private in order to get help from one of our friends whom we know shares our opinions.

You probably did not fall in love with your partner because either of you demonstrated power over the other–relationships are rarely fueled by the winner enjoying being related to a loser. Should you find yourself lost in power trips, ask yourself just what are you feeling inferior about that you might go for the “win?” Know that your love and positive connection are out of kilter, and you have surrendered to a power trip disguised as a marriage. Are you willing to invest in the delicate and vulnerable reinvention of a balanced and reciprocal marriage?

How it all adds up….

In all of these hidden issues there is a common theme, whether care, or respect, or interest, or play, or attention, or power: acceptance. We are social creatures and the central question of all human existence is: Do you accept me? Am I OK with you? Do you embrace me, or do you push me away? What is my future with you? Are you a refuge, a safe harbor? Or do I have to worry about being alienated from you? At the core of the human psyche and soul is the yearning for the continuation and fulfillment of the unconditional love often provided for us as infants. We are born of parents whom nature, at its best, provides with instinct and wisdom that they may lovingly respond to our needs–simply because we are. Beginning within the womb and beyond, when things go the way nature intended, we experience ourselves as given-to as though we were a pure gift of joy to our human companions who are pleased with us and we with them. This is the imprint by which all our social life, and most centrally our marriage life, is measured.

The hidden themes of marriage are variations on acceptance. Unconditional acceptance is life’s first gift, and our lifetime task is to recover and amplify, in the specifics of our relationships, the infinite variations on this theme.Care is acceptance as we recapitulate the mother’s tender loving gaze and gentle ministrations for each others’ well being. Respect is acceptance as we honor the particularity of our partners in ways that they feel their life “as is” is highly esteemed. Interest is acceptance as we let our partners know that they draw our energy positively and vigorously. Play is acceptance as partners’ flowing, mindless, expressions connect with high pleasure with one another and all life. Attention is acceptance as we feel heard and known by one another, and by this experience confirm our entitled place in life. Power is the energy of acceptance fostered when one surrenders to being with one another, never dominating thus relieving fear, and gathering the synergy of true mutuality.

 

ORIGINAL POSTING HERE

Robert Caldwell, M. Div. has a private practice of individual, couple, and group psychotherapy in Bethesda. He is a Licensed and Certified Professional Counselor.

MEN ARE AFRAID OF SEX

hotcouplessexMen are mystified by women’s sexuality – actually we’re terrified of it. Our greatest fear? That we’ll disappoint you, that you’ll dream about or find someone is better or bigger than us and that you’ll never open yourself to us again.

As a woman, you make yourself vulnerable by revealing an experience or describing a fantasy. As men, we hear the details as a challenge to us to deliver it precisely as described. We think you’re like us and that every detail is something you want in real life exactly as you imagined it.

Your romantic fantasies have us mentally calculating the expense of the trip to the exotic location and the legalities of being arrested on the beach or in the waterfall. Your more vivid ones make us fear we need to be some kind of endowed gymnast to avoid disappointing you.

What men don’t realize is that the most desirable quality for a woman isn’t muscles, sexual gymnastics or impressive endowment, it’s a partner that a woman trusts enough to simply EXPRESS herself openly to.

The reason 50 Shades of Grey was popular wasn’t because it was well written (it wasn’t) or the specific sex it described, it was because the man described was confident and utterly unembarrassed about his own sexuality and created a safe space for the woman to express both her curiosity and limitations.

Most men are stuck – we don’t intend to be, we just have fewer places than women to have healthy conversations about sexuality.

We grew up on a diet of dirty jokes and pornography with the guys while publicly the puritanical beliefs from our families, our churches and sex Ed classes made us think everything we wanted was dirty.

We’re terrified that someone will discover that we’re deviants if we reveal out fantasies or inadequate lovers if we open up about our insecurities.

At our core we suspect that women don’t want sex, that we have to convince you to like it so that we can get it. It’s almost inconceivable to us that it’s something you’d actually want or think about.

Because they fear your sexuality, Nice Guys lack bravado inside or outside the bedroom while Bad Boys try to keep up their ‘show’ when their clothes come off or reveal themselves as the timid boys they really are when things become genuinely intimate.

A conscious man realizes that a woman is open when she feels seen, safe, respected and supported. An exceptionally conscious man understands that foreplay for a woman begins the moment sex ends and that she will be open to him as long as she continues to feel seen, respected and supported.

A conscious man doesn’t disconnect (roll over, turn on the TV, leave her alone to clean up). He knows that as long as he adores her and never stops showing that he supports her that she never turns *off*.

She might not think about sex the casual way he does, but if he proves to be magnificent in her *little* things he’ll find her magnificently available with his *big* things.

Graham R White

Are you Sexually Empowered?

What exactly is sexual empowerment? Does sexual empowerment mean that you will become some whore, slut or sex goddess/god? Does it mean that you will want to live out your fantasies or move from a once monogamous relationship into some alternative lifestyle with your sexuality? Does it mean that you will start to dress in a more seductive fashion? or watch porn freely?

KnockKnock

Through the years of working with many couples and individuals I have been asked all of these questions, some come to me with great excitement and hope that the answer is “yes” others have a look of terror run across their face and pray that these things will not come to pass. Some are hoping that their mates will change in this fashion so that they can go play the field more without guilt, while others are just wanting to feel secure in themselves and have someone tell them that they are normal in their desires and wants and that what they choose to do in the manifestation of their sexual empowerment is ALL up to them.  In all honesty, there is NO such thing as normal when it comes to our sexuality. There is no right or wrong. There just is the fact that we are sexual creatures and through the understanding and embracing of this incredible power within each of us that we can create a beautiful life. When we suppress our sexuality and hide it under the covers, in darkness or in the closet we are preventing bliss to flow through our lives in all ways. The links between our sexual empowerment and our ability to manifest abundance into our lives is ever so strong. The two are aligned. Napoleon Hill back in the 1930’s wrote the book Think and Grow Rich and in his discovery he found that all great leaders/change agents and millionaires had a few things in common. One of them being a high sex drive and an ability to transmute this power in their lives so that they were not just having incredible sex but that they were using this force  to live out their desires/dreams in other areas of life and pull massive abundance to them. This too is YOUR power. But in order to make use of this universal law you must first learn that sexual empowerment is a must. Healing your sex is how you heal your life and live unbound, liberated and abundant.

It is becoming a more common belief and a well supported one at that, that sex and money are tied together at the hip. For all of you who are wanting to develop that dream business, live your dreams doing what you want, be on purpose and a motivator to the world, then focus on healing, expanding and empowering your sexuality FIRST. The underlying core beliefs that you hold toward sexuality manifest themselves into other core beliefs about life. The way you can surrender into yourself, be comfortable with who you are as a sexual being, ask for what you want, negotiate your desires, communicate your love and/or pain, listen, feel and support your lover as well as yourself and hold space all play a significant role in how well you will achieve your dreams and desires in other areas of your life. When you are all blocked up and addicted to certain beliefs and ways of being, hiding and suppressing in sex you will also do this in your work, spiritual practice, exercise/nutrition, parenting, and over all relating.

So what does a sexually empowered person look like?

  • Is intimately connected to their sexual self
  • Identifies and experiences wants and desires without crossing the boundaries of another
  • Communicates needs, wants and desires without blame or shame
  • Accepts rejection without taking it personally
  • Feels at home in their self and their body
  • Sets authentic boundaries and means it
  • Is educated about how their body, pleasure and relationships “work”
  • Knows and utilizes available options for sexual expression and erotic experience
  • Feels fully sexually expressed and when they are not in full expression, they know how to get there
  • Thoughtfully explores sex and sexuality so that they can make clear distinctions about what’s right for them and what’s not
  • Develops and uses skills to make pleasureful, satisfying, fulfilling sex their norm
  • Forms relationships and develops intimacy that supports the highest expression of their core energy
  • Expresses a range of emotions in healthy ways that do not harm themselves or others
  • Identifies defense patterns in relationships and works to overcome them and replace them with healthy ways of connecting to others
  • Develops healthy coping skills for managing difficult emotions, grief and pain
  • Engages in clean, clear communication
  • Works to heal and release any shame, guilt or trauma about their sexuality
  • Heals the need to be competitive with others and to release patterns of lack, deprivation and feeling like they “can’t have it all”
  • Critically examines cultural messages about sexuality, gender and sex
  • Rejects and challenges sexual stereotypes, assumptions, false ideas and cultural myths that hinder, impair, squash or dim their magnificent sexual self
  • Identifies and experiences erotic authenticity even when socially popular ideas pressure them to do or like something else
  • Explores and develops an authentic sexual identity and does not need to hide or shift that identity to feel comfortable and safe in their life
  • Knows they never have to settle and that choosing one key desire and forsaking another is a false choice
  • Makes authentic sexual decisions
  • Experiences joy and pleasure regularly and as a norm in life
  • Develops their confidence and sexual self-esteem
  • Lives in alignment with their desires
  • Shines their light in its full brightness & juiciness in the world
  • Feels at home in themselves and moves through the world from a place of self-intimacy

As we learn to come out of the societal trap of “we can’t have” the life, the bliss, the love and connection that we dream of and that it is wrong for us to express ourselves in a creative fashion or live in comfort with our sexuality we experience a complete turn around in our lives. Our thinking and expressing is liberated and the weight of the world is released from us. we find ourselves smiling for seemingly no reason, seeing the good and beauty in all and instead of focusing on why the glass is half empty we know that there is a field full of cattle ready to share more milk for us. It is not a deprived, repressed way of living and thinking but instead one that says that in life there is more then enough with plenty left over.

Learn more about how to become sexually empowered through one of my coaching programs or workshops/seminars. After all that’s what I do.  Embrace your authentic sexually empowered self TODAY. Your dreams and life are worth it.  Live Unbound and liberated.

–KW

Empowerment list original posting and writing from Amy Jo Goddard

Nudity Provides Health Benefits for Your Body and Brain

Is clothing crushing us? Are we trapped in tomb-like textiles, exiling our flesh from experiencing the environment? Are we atrophying our epidermis, our senses, our neuro-intelligence?

If you put a plaster cast on a broken arm the skin starves for Vitamin D, the muscles weaken due to strangled range of motion, the nerve synapses depress to a whimper of their former joy. Twenty-first century hominids? We shroud our entire skin palette except for face, neck and hands – we obliterate symbiosis with the planet.

We hide in cocoons, when we could be free as butterflies.

History reveals many cultures that were not clothes-minded. Spartans were basically bare and their victories in pan-Hellenic sports competitions enticed all neighboring Greeks to exercise nude, creating the word “gymnasium” (Greekgymnos = naked). Romans mingled in magnificent bathhouses, enjoying dense communal nudity as they drank, dined, defecated, bathed, read books, argued politics, and watched theater.  Adamists — naked heretics — performed stripped-down church services in North Africa, Bohemia, the Netherlands, and England. Pre-Hitler Germans were avid adherents of Freikorperkultur (“Free Body Culture”) with 70,000 attending co-ed Nacktkultur schools.

There’s naked Japanese in hot springs, naked Finns in saunas, “sky-clad” Jain monks in India, plus millions of nudists worldwide going to “Nakation” camps, beaches, and resorts. They’re still sporty as Spartans, eager to hike naked (“free bush rambling”), canoe naked (“canuding”), bicycle naked, ride horses naked, run naked, play volleyball, badminton, ping-pong and chess naked, swim naked, dance naked, do Naked Yoga, Naked Tai Chi, Naked Gardening, Naked Bowling, and of course, many of us, perhaps you and I, dear readers, are NIFOC — Naked In Front of Computers.

Many famous figures were bare-all aficionados; too many politicians to name, so I’ll just list sci-fi and scientists: Leonard Nimoy, Alexander Graham Bell,  Robert Heinlein, and seismologist Charles Richter. Nudism is prominent in Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld books and John Varley’s Steel Beach. Celebrities? Many movie stars skinny-dip at the French Riviera, trying to elude paparazzi seeking pix of Bruce WIllis’willy or Natalie Portman’s port side.

Here’s evidence suggesting that skin-only can be superior:

Born Free.  Pediatricians agree that infants thrive with a daily dose of “naked time” because the unhampered range of motion aids brain development, stimulating neuron growth. Recent discoveries reveal that the “plastic” brain changes and develops throughout our entire lives. Neuroplasticity pioneer Michael M. Merzenich believes,  “Everything that you can see happen in a young brain can happen in an older brain.” Doesn’t this imply that “naked time” is equally valuable for humans of any age, especially the elderly?

Weakened Bodies. A 2003 University of Reading study entitled “A Naked Ape Would Have Fewer Parasites” posits that “humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease.” Unfortunately, the garments we wear can be a breeding ground for filthy fungi and bad bacterium, causing yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rotting toenails. Lyme Disease deer ticks can grab onto our sweaters and sea lice can sneak into our bathing suit crotches. Cinched-up belts, ties, and clothes impede breathing. Men’s snug pants raise testicle temperature, lowering sperm count and fertility.

Barefoot Medicine. Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections. Dr. Norman Doidge (author of The Brain That Changes Itself) believes skipping shoes increases brain flexibility and youthfulness, and many podiatrists now advise going barefoot as much as possible. Bare feet are today’s prescription. Will tomorrow’s elixir take the next step: Bare Body?

Superior Socialization. Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed “Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.” Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.

Tolerant Views.A University of Central Florida 2008 study of 384 participants concluded that pro-nudity students “were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians” when compared to the anti-nudity students. They were also “less prejudiced towards ethnically dissimilar others.”

Soothe Away Your Crazies. Massage is recognized as a therapeutic treatment for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, borderline personality disorder, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. Theskin stimulation of massage — improving blood flow and detoxifying the lymph system — is duplicated by the warmth, freedom, and improved circulation generated in nakedness.

Soak Up The Rays Vitamin D deficiency is currently soaring, with up to 75% of USA teens and adults receiving insufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Lack of this essential health aid is a factor in numerous ailments, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Anyone who bares all outside as a “naturist” harvests larger amounts of Vitamin D in a quicker time span.

Financial Liberation. Clothes are a huge money and time-suck with shopping, laundry, closets, dressers, and gazillions of hours wasted wondering what so-and-so looks like with their garments removed. The global markets for swimsuits alone is expected to reach $17.6 billion annually by 2015; our carbon footprint would shrink like a wool sweater if fabric was no longer manufactured.

Longevity (just joking!). Have you noticed that the furry Norway Rat only lives 2-3 years, while the Naked Mole Rat survives to be 28?

So… is the future going to be full frontal? Will the post-Singularity planet be stripped? Will everyone in a climate-controlled tomorrow choose to be nude, strutting around like the Nuba dancers and boxers of Leni Reifenstahl?

Trends point to an era where there won’t be a stitch to worry about. Many resort areas are are now offering nudism to increase tourism, and American naturist clubs claim their enrollment is growing 20% annually. The German airline OssiUrlaub.de offered nude chartered flights to a Baltic sea resort, and today’s lengthy luggage searches at airports are steering travelers to destinations where they only need carry-on towels and sunblock. Twenty million Europeans already go to nude beaches and spas.

Getting goosebumps imagining it, are you?

Original Posting by  Hank Pellissier on The Immortal Life

The Benefits of Self- Pleasure

masturbation1I dislike the term “masturbation,” which comes from the Greek root word to “self pollute.” I prefer self pleasuring. Only through self pleasuring can we discover what our bodies are capable of and what really pleases — or pleasures — us. Without that knowledge, we can never let our partners know what we want or what we need to be pleasured by them.

Historically, the United States Patent Office has had over 900 applications for anti-masturbation devices for men. One of those devices even included sandpaper gloves which were meant to prevent nocturnal emissions in young men. Conversely, with the exception of chastity belts, there are few devices to prevent female masturbation – the thought being, of course, is that women neither masturbate nor enjoy sex. YES, THEY DO!

The only things preventing women from enjoying a pleasurable sexual relationship are lack of knowledge of their own bodies; partners who are poorly educated in female pleasure or who simply refuse to give up control; and/or an unwillingness or inability to communicate what they want or need from partners. With self pleasuring, women can acknowledge all orgasms before climax and bring that knowledge to their lovemaking with their partners.

The dichotomy is that we are told not to touch “down there.” As old myths fall we now know that self pleasuring is healthy and constructive. It enhances pleasure when intimate with a partner and adds to mutual pleasuring. YES, it’s ok to reach “down there” and assist a partner in pleasuring you.

masturbation2Some experience their first, and often multi, orgasms with the aid of a vibrator. Pleasure devices have been around since ancient times such as Ben Wa balls, which are now replaced with cordless vibrators. The use of a vibrator to explore one’s body for pleasure is recommended; however, it is never a replacement for lovemaking. One person said they didn’t want a vibrator because “it’s not warm and it doesn’t hug me.” The key point is the more you know about your body, the more pleasure is available to you, and your partner as well.

For men, self pleasuring allows for extended erections and delay of orgasms. Often vibrators extend lovemaking and avoid premature ejaculation. Simply by stroking without allowing ejaculation, men can learn to last longer and longer in their lovemaking.

Although couples can pleasure themselves in front of each other as foreplay or as a learning experience, self pleasuring is different. It is the only time you get to make love to someone you really love — no one can pleasure you like you! Even as you tell your partner how to pleasure you, and he or she pleasures you, it is different. Not better, just different.

Have fun, explore, be pleasured!

Author’s Bio:

Nationally renowned author, teacher, lecturer and inventor Dr. Stuart Bloch, DD, PhD, ChT is one of the nation’s leading experts on sex and sexual relationships. He is the founder of The Institute for Sexual Awareness (www.isasex.org), a research and educational trust whose purpose is to educate people to have more pleasure and satisfaction in relationships. This article is based on Dr. Bloch’s new book, “Conversations with the World’s Greatest Lover” found on Amazon.com.

May Has Cum…Have You? Masturbation Month.

maymasturbationmonth

In case you were wondering, May is National Masturbation Month. The celebration of May as National Masturbation Month began in 1995 in San Francisco as a response to the forced resignation of then U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.

After a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day in 1994, an audience member asked Elders about masturbation’s potential for discouraging early sexual activity. She answered,“I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

That was the end of Elders’ career as America’s first black Surgeon General, but the spark for National Masturbation Month. Offended by Elders’ ouster, the ever progressive, pro-sex staff of San Francisco’s sex toy and education company Good Vibrations decided to find a way to keep the focus on Elders’ unjust firing, and to bring talk about masturbation into the mainstream in just the way Elders had envisioned.

Realizing that large number of folks lacked support and advice to help them enjoy the simple, basic act of masturbation, Good Vibrations sought to provide support, advice, and reassurance for people looking to open their own personal sexual horizons.

And so was born National Masturbation Month. Among the first steps Good Vibrations took was to promote masturbation as healthy, safe and natural way to express one’s sexuality, thereby removing much of the shame and stigma have so long colored the act masturbation.

So, is it true, as so many believe that masturbation is so commonplace, natural, pleasurable and healthy that “ninety-eight percent of us masturbate, and the other two percent are liars?” If so, why do we need an entire month to educate people on something they’re already enjoying?

The answer is twofold: First, to help those already enjoying themselves to delve further. Second, and most importantly, it looks like plenty of people might still benefit from some encouragement and education.

A recent cross sample study of American adults asked the question: “On average, over the past 12 months, how often did you masturbate?” Only 38 percent of women said they’d masturbated at all during the past year, while 61 percent of men had done so.

The data shows that young women seem to warm up to masturbation more slowly. The study showed women from 20- to 39-years old were the most enthusiastic masturbators, with women 18 to 20, and those over 40 masturbating less. The study is the subject of an excellent article by Journalist Michael Castleman in Psychology Today.

Earlier studies have shown that rates of masturbation are higher for both men and women with higher education, more frequent sexual thoughts, sexual experimentation before puberty, and more lifetime sexual partners. Moreover, masturbation has documented physical benefits for both men and women, to say nothing of likely emotional and psychological benefits.

Health Benefits for Men
A 2007 article in Sexual and Relationship Therapy notes that masturbation may help men improve immune system function, build resistance to prostate gland infection, promote overall prostate health. Moreover, Australian researchers have shown that frequent masturbation may lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

A survey of men found the more frequently a man masturbates between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to get prostate cancer. In fact, those who masturbated more than five times a week were one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

These findings were the subject of a 2003 Doonesbury panel by Pulitzer Prize-winning Garry Trudeau. In the panel, one character alludes to masturbation as “self-dating.” Nearly half of the 700 papers which normally syndicate Doonesbury did not to run that strip, proving that public discussion of masturbation is still a thorny issue for some, and perhaps attesting to the need for an observance like National Masturbation Month.

Health Benefits for Women
Women who masturbate regularly increase their resistance to yeast infections. Masturbation helps women release pre-menstrual tension and other physical discomfort associated with menstrual cycles, like cramps. Masturbation increases blood flow to the pelvic region, which helps to reduce pelvic cramping and related backaches. Masturbation can also help to alleviate chronic back pain and increase a woman’s overall pain threshold.

Health Benefits for Both Men and Women
For both men and women, masturbation is the safest sex possible, with no possibility of sexually transmitted disease, or of unwanted pregnancy. It’s a great way to relieve stress, and release a nice flood of mood boosting endorphins. Masturbation is both a natural energizer, and a good way to help you sleep better, depending on the time of day. Lastly, masturbation helps to build stronger pelvic floor muscles, which can improve sexual performance and enjoyment. The benefits of masturbation for men and women is the subject of an excellent article for Fox News by Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright.

So, don’t just stand there, get out and celebrate National Masturbation Month. I’ll leave the details to you.

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That Shameful Yoga Ass

Sometimes you have to question the reasoning that people have to allow for such improper events to occur. What am I speaking of?  Parenting choices and the personal level of respect that we help our children to have for themselves. As a mother myself this very thought topic effects many of my choice’s day to day. What sort of example am I setting for them? How do they perceive my happiness, comfort in self, self-esteem and love of self? Are they seeing a strong, morally sound, well centered, loving woman or are they seeing an ill, repressed, confused, emotionally unstable, blaming woman who cannot get through her own garbage?

The fact of the matter in my life is that I have come to a state of being where I am who I am in each moment.  I am an emotional creature as god wired me so, but I am not quick to erupt or tormented by past traumas that I cannot seem to release to the shadows of a time gone by and lessons learned. The harmony outside of my physical body stems from the inner peace, self-love, acceptance and realization that reality is what it is in the present moment.  I have learned through the course of time and many harsh lessons that I am perfect and divine just the way I am and in however I choose to show up in the moment. There is no need to make apologies for being.  This is what I hope to share with my children, peace, acceptance and self awareness.  But how do we share these lessons? How do we make certain that we are walking the walk of the internal guru? How do we really know that our children see and hear these valuable life models of being?

Let me share a story.

yogaass

“It was a cold dreary day and the power kept resetting as the storm blew through causing our clocks to be off by who knows how many minutes. Mornings are always a quick moving, testing time within my home as three of my children have to be awoken from their slumber, eat breakfast, get lunches made, signatures in planners and the biggest ordeal, their shoes on. Like all mornings this was happening except with the time being wrong, we ran late and I decided that I would drive them the two blocks in the rain and wind instead of them getting cold and soaked as well as any later by walking.  We get to the school and they say goodbye and I love you as they slam the car doors shut and make a mad dash to the front doors of the school. Just then my attention goes from mommy mode and taxi driver to a deep breath. As I inhaled my ears opened and I tuned into the radio station that was playing in the car. The hosts on the station were having a deep conversation about some of the current events happening in some of our local schools. They were sharing that a few middle schools and even a high school (I think) were passing new dress codes, as the schools had come to the conclusion that yoga pants should not be allowed to be worn as every day dress.  

One male host shared his take that the parents allowing their daughters to wear yoga pants were just trying to be “cool parents” instead of instilling in their child a proper way of dressing and how when one dresses in this uncouth manner (yoga wear/exercise wear/COMFORT wear) that they are actually causing issues for others.  The focus was not on the girls comfort and ability to JUST BE THEMSELVES but on how the boy’s in school were being tormented by the yoga booties and that girls need to take full responsibility for the boy’s reactions. “

What about jeans?

Who remember’s the perfectly fitting, beautiful ass showing Rocky Mountain Jeans from the 80’s?

sexyjeans

Okay, so I get that I am not the average parent or individual for that matter in my viewing of things and how I process what the world brings to me. I get that I am far more open and a realist to life when it comes to everything especially my children and them growing up. But seriously, this whole talk seemed to be on shaming young women ages 11-18 for wearing yoga pants.  And to this the shame that is being bestowed on this group of young women carries out into the world to ALL women. And effects ALL males.

My questions to this topic of shameful yoga bootie are:

Is there anything that does not turn on or side track a young man when he is in his hormone high season?

What is more empowering to young men and women: teaching that someone else is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions (thus happiness or lack thereof) or that we are the creators of our inner world, it is OUR choice to focus on what thought, feeling or action we have or make?

Is socially shaming anyone or a group for something really benefiting the morality of the whole?

If a woman or girl who is wearing “yoga pants” is raped or sexually assaulted should we let the poor blinded boy/man off the hook because it was actually the girls fault?

bindingboobs

By shaming a young woman for this or a young man for something else are we really creating a healthy sexual future for this person(s)?

If we allow tank tops, tighter fitting t-shirts, yoga pants, or whatever else comes up to be illegal attire for everyday wear for young women because it side tracks the boys then should we also start having young women bind their bosoms so that their forming breasts do not side track the young men?

How about we just cover young developing women up from head to toe; only allowing their eyes to be revealed so that the boys can learn how to suppress and get a grip on their hormones and desires?

muslimgirls

The fact of the matter here is we exist in a sexually repressed culture.  One where more and more people are turning inward and shutting down. Depression, anxiety, sexual issues, mental illness, anger, fatigue, and dis-ease are all at an all time high. More and more cases of people suffering from being bipolar, ADD, ADHD, and stress induced illnesses are being reported.  Sexual crimes and abuse in many fashions are also growing at phenomenal rates. Our fear for the young women in yoga pants is that they will fall prey to someone who has not learned how to deal with their sexuality in a healthy fashion. We also fear that if young men are surrounded by too much mental stimulation that they will burst and become one of these ill acting sexually challenged souls.

As parents, teachers and a society we want the best for our youth but we really have no clue of how to create it. The reason for this is because we are all victims raised by victims and has been programmed to believe that our sexuality is the source of all evil. Okay so maybe you were taught that money was the source of all evil, well money and sexuality is what causes ALL the worlds’ pain, suffering and demise.  MmmmHmmmm! Sure.

Pain, suffering, ill behaviors, war, terror, rape, and more are all caused not by money and sexuality but by power hungry ego thoughts that manifest into actions of control. When we start to believe that someone else is responsible for making us happy, providing for our love, our bliss, our stress release and that if they do not do the right things and give us what we “need” then they are causing us suffering in some fashion so we have to TAKE it or at least try taking it (forcing our will onto another), we have the true culprit of suffering.

By teaching our young male population that a girl should not do this, say that, wear this, listen to that or act some certain way we are in fact teaching the young male population that their thoughts and actions should be based on what someone else is “causing” them to feel or think. This is not being proactive for the self. We are also sending mixed teachings to young men saying that it is okay for a man to speak, do, act, go topless, etc.  But not a female, thus teaching that man rules woman. In the same essence we tell boys to respect women and treat them like ladies, yet we pump our media, games and movies full of the reverse. We worry about young men seeing a girl in yoga pants and a t-shirt at school and getting a hard on but we have no worries about the porn he has on his phone, his computer or the virtual women he is in combat with that are almost naked and portraying women in a plastic sense. We tell young men to not act on their sexual desires as they are sinful or sex is only for marriage or a committed relationship, that masturbation is nasty or dirty, yet when we walk into a store or turn on the TV we are bombarded with sexual advertising and shows and games that show the opposite. The same goes for young women.

The policy change on yoga pants for some schools will not prevent boys from being sidetracked or have sexual desires and act on them, but these policies will go to feeding the sexual shame and repression that so many women suffer from. The next generation will have one more lashing of shame to overcome. Sadly the young men of today who are being tormented by this shameful yoga ass will in future years  be tormented in a much more severe way. That once hot yoga ass girl will not be able to open up to deep loving penetration and orgasm with her lover because through the years the suppression of who she was and the ability to be comfortable in herself and in the pants she chose to wear will cause her to block physical and emotional feeling. She will need healing for shame and taught how her sexuality is empowering not sinful. That is IF she awakens to why she feels so lost, so ill, repressed, confused, emotionally unstable, blaming  and possibly even suicidal. IF she can find the courage 20-30 years down the road to deal with her garbage that was tossed into her youth by a sexually repressed and ill society.

Some do, most don’t. Welcome to the world of pharmaceutical drugs, street drugs, alcohol, 70% divorce rates, affairs, domestic abuse and emotional whirl-winds!!!!

–KW

Extra Relationship Energy – By Janet Kira Lessin

1man2womenEarlier this month while Rose, my female lover, furiously rode my husband during a love-in, my body felt that old familiar pain in my gut and my heart once again. I silently collapsed in defeat. Jealousy! When will I ever be done with that ‘ol green-eyed monster?

“I can’t ever possibly compete with that,” I thought as I watched them, peeking between my fingers. “They’re so involved; so wild in their passion, they don’t even notice me and how miserable I feel!”

What chemistry do they experience when they feel that wildness, connection, joy? It looks like, but no, it couldn’t be could it? Could it be … NRE–new relationship energy?

Wait a minute here. My husband had been involved with Coyote and Rose for about 15 years! This was not a new relationship by any means. I met Sash, moved in with and married him. A month later, he introduced me to his lovers, Coyote and Rose. So, if anything, Sasha and I are the ones who possibly still have NRE, not Sasha and Rose!

But here it is, obviously, an energy that is still there for them after all these years.

I had been in two long-term monogamous relationships, 12 years each, spanning 24 years of MY adult life. I know how sexual excitement fades, how lovemaking becomes routine, stale, perhaps even boring. In those monogamous days of my life, I contemplated that “swingers” probably maintained the excitement in their love life by bringing that new, novel energy back home to their beds.

And what of my observations of Sasha and Rose, long, long time lovers? Their energy “felt” to me like NRE. I was jealous. Does he have something different with Rose and not with me-his wife, his buddy, his companion, his lover, his confidant? Perhaps there is a “key” here. What do they have together that Sasha and I don’t have?

Could they be so passionate because they don’t live together? Could it have something to do with the frequency of their encounters? And if there is a different energy for those who are infrequent lovers, perhaps we need to coin yet another phrase?

How about ERE? External Relationship Energy? Extraneous Relationship Energy? Extramarital Relationship Energy? Perhaps OPE: Outside Primary Energy?

Familiarity breeds contempt, doesn’t it? My husband and I counsel couples, triads and moresomes, so I’ve heard all the stories. I’ve also read hundreds of emails and had hundreds of emails, chats and instant messages from people bored with sex with their mates. Many complain “My wife (or husband) won’t make love with me anymore.” The neglected mate often goes out and cheats and feels justified for their actions. “We started out so passionate, so in love. What happened?”

What I think happens is we pent up resentments. Pent-up resentments create distance in our relationships. We always create resentments; we can’t help it. When we’re primary lovers with someone, we inevitably resent them.

We resent our lovers because we’re in the thrall of negative bonding patterns–repeated sour interactions fueled by our childhood conditioning. We react to our lovers as though they were our mothers, fathers or siblings.

We and our partners are imago mates, deeply imprinted, desired soul mates who complete each other, who give touch, sensitivity, intimacy and respect we still need but didn’t get (the way we wanted) from parents. The catch to lovers who could heal our hurts with parents is that our lovers could disappoint us again if they don’t do better than Mom and Dad. Our imago mates resemble our caretakers–not necessarily physically–but emotionally, psychologically and energetically.

Our imago mates mirror us, reflect our disowned subpersonalities, our inner voices. They show us disowned aspects of ourselves we need to use to center ourselves. They mirror underdeveloped parts of our humanity; they do this by what they do or how they are that we envy or hate.

Here’s how this operates for me and Sasha. He snaps at me because he’s scared ex-wife Joan will get our house. He’s upset by that but snaps at me. He morphs into an irritable father. I become withdrawn daughter, then angry mother. He reacts as rebel adolescent. We stick in a parent/adult/parent/adult vicious cycle till we center ourselves, apologize, reconnect and make love wholeheartedly again.

Sometimes partners find that though they forgave each other verbally, resentment lurks within and eventually kills sexual desire. They create internal scoring systems. She hits the “One Too Many Resentments” button and they separate.

We overcome our difficulties and survive in our relationships, react less to our lovers’ predicaments, and learn new ways to enrich ourselves by learning from our lovers. We learn, grow and appreciate our mates more. How do we prevent resenting the heck out of one another over time? How do we keep that passion of NRE or infrequent relationship alive in our primary pair bond?

I suffered jealousy for days; I ranted at Sasha. I penned a 7-page “hate” letter to Rose! (how dare she, that Bitch!). I analyzed my reactions with Sash and Rose when they came over. We’d focused on pleasing them and showing them a good time. But we lost feeling of being connected to each other. I resolved to return to Sasha during water and bathroom breaks. We’d bring each other the passion we’d just shared with our Rose and Coyote. We’d keep returning to each other. Sash enthusiastically agreed.

I keep communication lines wide open with Sash as loving, tactful and honest as I can. We stay orgasmic, follow our tantric practices twice daily, we can also enjoy sexual diversity and simultaneously keep linked to each other. Then we bring the electricity of other loves to each other.

Janet Kira Lessin: Original Post No Longer Available