"We need sexual healing. We are in profound, desperate need of mindful attention and care for our intimate lives. We are deeply hurting, individually and collectively, but we don't know where to take our sexual wounds for mending. We are sexually abused, traumatized and disempowered. We are disembodied, fragmented and disconnected. We are dissatisfied, but we aren't really sure what we actually want, or what is even possible. We don't know where or how to find out, and we are discouraged from asking. We certainly haven't been given any compasses or roadmaps. What we have been given is reproduction-focused diagrams of ovaries and testicles, and minimal, if any, information about the pleasure aspect of what happens, "down there". We've been given shame.
In this enormous need for sexual healing, and the dire lack of awareness about the ways it can begin to occur, that motivated the creation of this book. People need to know what is possible. They need to know how to nurture their sexual selves and bring much-needed healing to their intimate lives." ~ Cassie Moore
"Cultural and personal experiences surround sex with stress, danger and neglect, not only inhibiting the ecstasy that is possible, but generating opposite effects - our cells are bathed in stress hormones and neurochemicals that damage the nervous system and actively obstruct pleasure, learning, happiness, connection and sexual response. Changing self, culture and community begins with changing our bodies' unconscious processes, so we can shift the fear-based patterns grooved in our own autonomic nervous systems. With this recognition, the profession of somatic sex education was born.
Somatic sex education utilizes the new science of the brain and nervous system as a basis for expanding sexual happiness. With awareness of neuroplasticity we understand that the whole nervous system is continually changing - either learning and growing, or contracting and becoming inhibited. Just as muscles grow when we work out and atrophy when we do not, the brain and nervous system grow and evolve with more enrichment and diverse stimulation. We can create new practices and form new habits, including the habit of sexual happiness. We can expand erotic possibilities with positive experiences of physical pleasure. We can repair damaged attachment systems with experiences of feeling cherished our sexuality, and encouraged and prized for who we are as erotic beings.
Somatic practices are body-based exercises and experiences that allow each person to open an inner dialogue with their autonomic movement, mindful masturbation and extend erotic touch in a container of safe professional relationship and caring community. Individual somatic sex education sessions are places to practice feeling and expressing desires and learning efficacy and empowerment in the erotic realm. Practitioners and clients form a community of practice that celebrates and cultivates the erotic for personal and social change." ~ Caffyn Jesse
This is an excerpt from an article by Lara Catone.
Before reading on, I'd love to invite you to pause and jot down your answers to the following questions: What associations do you have with the word "erotic"? What does this word mean to you? What associations do you have with the word "eros"?
If you google "erotic", the links that come up either refer to adult films or erotic literature that focus on sex. "But isn't that what erotic is?" The answer is both yes and no.
In its most true essence, eros is our life force energy. It is the energy of creation and the very pulse of our being. It’s what makes us feel ALIVE. Eros is the spark of inspiration and the magnetism that draws us into communion with our dreams and desires. When we are in the energy of the erotic we are at home in our bodies and in intimate relationship with the world around us.
Yes, eros is inherently sexual. Sexual in the way that a ripe flower opens in spring. Sexual in the way that the cells of our bodies divide. Sexual in the way that there is something you are so committed to that it propels you to act with great passion. It is the great force behind co-creation.
Eros, or sexual energy, is the electric source of our power. Coming into relationship with the erotic offers up a profound expansion in the way that we think about and experience our own sexuality.
What we know of sex and how we enact it is small and incomplete. As a culture, we have settled for the most minuscule crumbs of sexual expression.
Our severance from the erotic has been so complete that we can’t even perceive what’s possible from where we are currently standing.
The erotic current lives whether we look at it or not, whether we engage it or not. It’s a living current—persistent and undeniable. When we attempt to push down and bury eros it will emerge sideways and twisted. The pandemics of internet pornography and rape culture are a direct result of the exiling of eros.
The irony of trying to protect children from the erotic is that before culture domesticates them, children are the living, breathing full expression of eros. Young children learn through their sensual experience with the world, they are at home and liberated in all of the natural ways their bodies move, they freely express the full spectrum of emotion. This is eros in pure form and action.
NONE OF US CAN FULLY THRIVE UNTIL WE RECONNECT TO AND EXPRESS WITH EROS.
Read full article here.
A big focus of the work of a Sexological Bodyworker is supporting women in listening to their bodies by tuning into and accessing their erotic arousal.
Pamela Madsen guides women on a very simple somatic (through the body) clothing-on exercise where they simply cup their genitals and rock. She dubs this the "Lotus Lift Meditation". As the women rock on their hands, many of them can begin to feel the slow building heat of arousal. Sometimes, this is the first time that they have felt their own arousal in a very long time. And for others, it is the first time that they have felt their arousal separate from beginning some other kind of sex act. this simple act opens up a communication pathway between a vagina and it's woman.
In this guided meditation, women simply feel, listen, and even question their bodies using the energy flow of arousal. In this soft trance states, women are asked to tune into their bodies and “ask” their “pussy”, “vagina “yoni”, “vulva” “cunt” (whatever word they are comfortable with), how their “lady parts” are feeling. Words often used are “honey”, “soft”, “happy”, “sexy”, “hot”, “tingling”, “connected”, and “alive”. But more and more, the following words are used: “angry”, “rage”, “broken”, “sad”, “pissed off”, “disconnected”, “nothing”. And then there are shocked tears. Many woman who express these darker emotions are shocked that these words came out of their mouths as they spoke the emotions of their angry, hurt, ignored, and disappointed vagina.
One may witness tears rolling down faces and stunned eyes as the women realize that they have not been listening to their own bodies, and that their vagina had some very real things to say to them. And so they begin a practice of having an internal dialog between a woman and her most sacred parts. Some mental health professionals call this “counseling with our parts”. Where one actively invites a body part to communicate with them. It's an incredibly healing practice, and often eye opening for the “owner” of the part. So this is what was learned about angry vaginas from their owners this year.
1. Vagina's want to be held and touched and not just when sex and orgasm is on the menu. They like a good cuddle.
2. Vagina's want their pleasure taken into account and they are tired of being rushed.
3. Vagina's want their “no” to be heard. Vagina's hold stories of sexual trauma for a very long time and need lots of support to heal. They don't want to be rushed.
4. Vagina's want attention paid to their climate whether it is ovulation, menstruation, peri-menopause, or menopause climate shifts, they want to be cared for and heard when the weather changes.
5. Vagina's want to be told that they are beautiful.
6. Vagina's will shut down and numb out if they are ignored.
7. If Vagina's are ignored long enough they will get furious and can begin to hurt.
8. Vagina's want to be asked.
Vagina's are resilient and they want to feel connected to their woman. Our job as women is to create the time to do just that. It's simple really. Create a space where you can be quiet. Begin to tune into your body by noticing your breath. Close your eyes and put one hand on your genitals and one hand on your heart. You can rock, or cup and move arousal energy or not. The most important thing is the connection. Try to tune into this incredible space between your legs and ask your vagina a question such as “How are you feeling?” and see what she says.
It can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
~ Excerpts from an article by Pamela Madsen
So many women come to (Sexological Bodyworkers) wanting to "surrender". They are wanting to be able to "open" and "relax into their bodies". And yet, so many of us of any gender --- walk around in a state of "clench". It's all about hard bodies, tightened abs and guarding our emotional and physical selves. And that makes a lot of sense for a world that lives in combat. The only thing is that it doesn't make a lot of sense for is living a life of full sensuality. An armored contracted body goes numb from holding tight; and is not an invitation for pleasure or a lover's hand.
In Sexological Bodywork, we have for years worked with people around what we call "genital mapping" and "pelvic release work". This particular aspect of sexual wellness is not necessarily around arousal or orgasm. It's about identifying where in our genitals and pelvis that we hold unconscious contraction and emotions. By doing this slow exploration, we begin to identify in a somatic (in the body) experience where the trauma is held -- and we can learn to feel how to unleash it. Putting all of the learned practices together, we are using the term "Genital De-Armoring". Joseph Kramer, the founder of the field of Sexological Bodywork, would probably prefer the term; "Erotic Integration Work". But there is an imagery around the wold "Armor" that is helpful here for people to understand the concept.
traditionally worn as a defense against combat. This wording is used to describe the somatic process of ‘armoring’ that can happen in the body as a physical response to trauma.
There are many types of trauma, whether it is shaming around our expression of sexuality, difficult childbirth, medical/surgical experiences, sexual abuse, rape, or any form of unwanted sexual touch.
The body can go into a pattern of ‘guarding’ or holding, creating chronic pain or tension in the pelvic floor, or even ‘numbing out’ to suppress any sensation or feeling at all. Adhesions and scarring deep in the fascia can also contribute to feelings of pain and ‘stuck-ness’. This can make it extremely difficult to be connected in a loving way with our own bodies, or fully engaged and present with our partners in intimate situations. Loss of intimacy and lack of desire can cause us to pull further away in relationship.
In a de-armoring session, we use a combination of breathwork, touch and sensory awareness to help you relax into a deep state where subconscious patterns can begin the process of neural reprogramming. This is particularly effective for PTSD symptoms, when our bodies have been conditioned to react with a flight, fight or freeze response. Each session is different for each woman, and is based on what you would like to explore. You are gently guided back to a place where it is safe to trust your body, and where it can become safe to trust pleasure again. You begin to heal yourself from within, and that is an empowering space.
~ Excerpts taken from a post written by Pamela Anderson
These are excerpts taken from an article, The Importance & Function of our Erotic Embodiment, by Christiane Pelmas
The second thing I believe is that the most dangerous ailment in the world, the one from which all other catastrophes stem, is the epidemic of our disembodiment, the evisceration of our understanding that human experience, intelligence and awareness comes primarily through the portal of our physical body. If we are not in relationship with our bodies then we cannot be in relationship with others or the earth body upon which we each rely for our individual and collective survival. In our disembodied state we are capable of not only allowing but contributing to the disembowelment of each other and the earth.
The third thing I believe is that we live to be used up by the world in the unique way we are each here to serve; that this largest longing is at the root of all other longings. It is likely that the un-lived course of our deepest longing is the cause of skyrocketing addiction and other numbing behaviors now epidemic among humans. If we get to our death beds without having been both acknowledged and used up by the world in the particular way we are meant to serve, we often feel an unbearable sense of betrayal, anger and uselessness that is perhaps the worst of all human experiences. We cannot offer what we have yet to claim as our own: in our disembodied state we flail in bankruptcy with nothing more to offer than the collusion of our domesticity.
The fourth thing I believe is that, because of our cultural disembodiment and the resulting disembowelment of the world, the world is quite literally dying to experience our full presence, for the wise stewarding and intimate attention of our witness and reflection. We are so perfectly equipped to be the world’s stewards and witnesses, to feel the joy and heartbreak of the impossibility of this life and its certain death, of the miracle of ocean ecosystems and the diversity of rain forest canopies. Of the inconceivable infinity of space and the existence of microscopic organisms without which the entire web of this life would collapse. To traverse the vulnerability of our heart’s attachments while allowing that all of what we know and believe defines us will cease to exist, to make room for the next iteration, over and over, without hesitation, through devastation and incomprehension. It will happen to us, with us, despite us and we will, if we reclaim our wild lives and the fullness of the wisdom that comes through our erotically intelligent creatively vibrant bodies, be here to say “Yes. I am paying attention.”
These are excerpts taken from an article, The Importance & Function of our Erotic Embodiment, by Christiane Pelmas
So many of us are facing pain around our bodies and our sexuality. I don’t care if it is about your weight, breast or dick size, whether your body does not match your gender identity, scars, age or whatever it is. Pain and shame is not a contest. We can face body shame when we are aging, and we face it when we are young. I felt it the first time when I was a chubby 5-year-old and my mother told me that handsome men didn’t like chubby girls. Now I am being told they don’t like aging girls either.
When we are talking about women in particular, and body shame, we are faced with subtle messages that play in the background of our lives all the time. That’s when it begins to happen, when woman begin to distrust the power of their own erotic body and their own beauty. We tamp it down and we give our sexual power away. Most women never come near accessing the power that their bodies have erotically. We are trained and conditioned not to go there.
A part of that conditioning, comes from the messages that women have grown up with around the “superficially erotic” by current standards of beauty. Women can’t really win. We have been made to suffer and feel contemptible both when we meet those standards, and when we do not.
We have learned to suppress our sexuality and in doing so, we have suppressed our creative life-force energy. How many of us have been in the presence of really attractive looking women who fit the script and have felt no sexual energy coming from them at all? That’s because they don’t feel it either. These beauties have been successfully conditioned — and it’s an epidemic.
Here is my “naked” truth:
When I release my erotic self from society’s constrained container of how I am “suppose to be,” my life flows with color and a kind of energy that heightens, sensitizes and strengthens all of my experiences. When I am able to find this place within myself and release all of the myths around my erotic desirability — I am able to show up in the body that I am in — with incredible hotness that I feel first and then that I share with my partner. Erotic life force energy (sexiness) flows from the inside out.
If “others” are stuck in what they believe I should look like, then they don’t get to have me. I much prefer this idea of inviting “others” to meet me in my own unique expression of my sexuality and my physical beauty. I’m a gift. So are you. And it took me some time to really heal the wounds of society and really own that place inside myself.
Most of us come from a similar perspective when it comes to sexuality and self-image.
The experience of our bodies, our self-image and our sexuality often gets lost in translation. Instead of saying that all sexuality and all bodies are about this or that — let’s recognize that even the words “sexuality” and “self-image” have layers of meaning built into them. We are an amalgamation of desire, life experience, bodies, gender, subconscious urges, shame, sensations, and behaviors. Parts of our sexuality spring up from us organically, and some parts are shaped by our culture, religion, and even our language.
“Sex Appeal” is not one thing or one way. Our sexuality is a holistic and whole body experience that is unique in its expression from human to human. It would be a huge relief if we could all stop pretending that we have sexuality all figured out and that we have all the answers. Sexuality is not geometry — it’s a living container. And it is found in all of our bodies at every age, shape and size.
So if we don’t have sexuality and body image “all figured out,” how do we support women who are an amalgamation of all of this so that they can grow, explore, feel safe, and heal their relationship to Eros?
How do we present to ourselves naked?
I have come to believe that the women themselves have all of the information that they need deeply held inside of them, they just need the space and the space holders to help them unlock it. We need to be able to heal the wounds and strip away the stories that keep being told to us even in the stories that are meant to heal us! Sometimes, that calls for women to be naked together. And I am not talking about women engaging in some kind of group sex orgy. Even spending time in a Korean Spa can be very healing for women. We need to see each other’s real bodies so we can open to the beauty of our own.
It’s time to take back our own “naked” truth. As women we have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and non rational knowledge. Yes! This is about the body! This is “Non-Rational Knowledge.” We have to let go of the stories that we have been told and allow ourselves to connect back to our bodies.
We have been warned against this our entire lives by a world based on masculine power, perceptions and desires — which somehow women have taken into our bodies as our own reality. We are taught to fear our depth, and women are shut down to examine the possibilities of it within themselves.
But our bodies at every age and presentation are filled with our erotic energy. This offers a well of replenishment and a proactive force so the women do not fear what it can hold for them.
Do not succumb to the belief that your reflection of me, is who I am.
When women reveal themselves to themselves as hot, sexy, raw and wild it is a provocative and radical act filled with power. Let’s do it a lot.
Following are some excerpts by Eric Francis, from www.Sexuality.org
If you want a revolution, liberating sexual pleasure is the place to start. And if all you want out of life is to be authentic, open-minded, creative and loving, opening up your sexual life-force is the heart of the matter. How do you do this? If you really want to be free, start with self-love. Learn to give yourself deep and satisfying orgasms, release your guilt and shame, and then watch what happens.
Guilt about sex is guilt about life. Guilt about your own sexuality and shame around your pleasure mean that you are struggling for life. Give up the struggle. Just come into yourself and be alive.
Many of us are in some kind of crisis, living in a state of overload or feeling out of control; many of us are looking for direction, and in response, we're seeking some form of spiritual enlightenment.
Virtually all enlightenment programs teach that love is the answer to everything, and many speak about loving yourself as the essential ingredient to this state of mind. The Golden Rule is to "love thy neighbor as thyself," but notice that nowhere is there mention of physical self-love and self-pleasuring. Of course, if religion let on that giving yourself great orgasms was the easiest way to find God, love and freedom, you would probably have reasons for knocking on your neighbor's door other than borrowing a cup of sugar.
Banning pleasure is a brilliant business plan. You feel sexuality as a natural part of being alive. Since (according to the priest, minister, rabbi, guru, independent counsel, or whoever) sexuality is very, very bad, you will naturally feel guilty and shameful. Therefore, you need religion or products to save you. And then you are under control, making regular donations, and spreading The Word rather than the revolution.
The formula is simple: If you want to control a person, control their sexuality. If you want to control a society, make sex a crime or a disease. If you're a modern business, such as a clothing, liquor, car or cigarette company, and you want to make a lot (I mean a lot) of money, tap into the endless well of deeply-ingrained religious repression, and sell people back an illusion of their sexuality. Use their insatiable desire, put a sexy woman next to the car or posing with the cigarette, and promise deep and total fulfillment. Then watch your stocks go up.
Advertising pumps out repetitive messages, called "memes." The one thing most memes have in common is the running theme, "You are not good enough the way you are. You are insecure. You suck. You are not popular / cool / hot / hip / beautiful enough. You smell, you're not sexy, you're really ugly and you should really hate yourself. But if you buy this product, you will be fine."
If we want a revolution, liberating our sexuality is the place to start. No matter what else people do to wage political or social rebellion - be it from oppressive governments, the psychology of advertising, racism, sexism, repressive religion, or corporations that are rapidly colonizing our minds and destroying the planet - any revolution that is not a sexual revolution at its heart will fail. Sex energy is the spark of life. It is the calling of eternity. Sex energy is the infallible compass within us always pointing in the direction of life and freedom, orienting us toward reality. Here are some simple techniques that have worked for me and many people I know.
No matter how old you are, no matter how much you have struggled or how hung-up you think you are, you can learn to feel yourself. I suggest you learn by yourself. I agree with Betty Dodson, the world's foremost (and perhaps only) orgasm coach, that it's better not to expect your lover to "give you" your first orgasm. This is your experience; give it to yourself, then, when you feel ready, share it with other people.
I've noticed that a lot of people withhold orgasm from themselves. This is the best way to become a control freak, and the experience is not pleasant. Orgasm, which is surrender, is the opposite of control. Control is what the church does.
Orgasms are fun, but they're valuable as more than just pleasurable. They are experiences of surrendering the tightly-strung conscious mind and remembering a much vaster, freer aspect of self. We can enter the space of orgasm and loosen our desperate grip on life. We allow change and flow into our lives. Orgasm seems to open up a psychic door to another sphere of consciousness, one that in my experience exists all the time, but which we only reach momentarily with each burst of ecstasy. If you want to be free and feel your human power, practice experiencing deep experiences of sexual surrender, and this place will not seem so far away.
Through the Looking Glass
One of the most powerful memes, or repeated messages of both religion and advertising is, "You are incomplete and you need another person." So, very early in life, we are cast off from ourselves and embark on an endless quest of finding the perfect other. And it turns out to be a pretty hopeless search for most people, wrought with endless pain and loss, which ferments into resentment and hatred. You will not find anyone outside yourself until you have found you deep within yourself. Our culture pushes the idea of monogamy, but we forget that "mono" means ONE. You are the one.
Mirror masturbation is a confrontation with your essential self, your uncluttered beauty and your most real sexuality. This is the basic exercise in authentic self-expression. It may seem shameful at first, and you may be repulsed by the idea. You may think, "Why would I want to do that?" or immediately conclude that it's stupid or disgusting; you may feel a shot of fear course through your body, perhaps the fear that you'll get caught, or that someone else will know. Or you may be thrilled at the prospect of such an adventure.
Masturbation is about being your own lover, and mirror masturbation is a very direct and obvious way to experience this.
The fact that so many people are repulsed or would never dare to talk or think about masturbating passionately and lovingly in front of a mirror is an indication of its power. The veil is shame. Shame is powerful; it is a door. Where you feel embarrassment, you are holding back energy, and you will release your strength as you do. Shame is the map to your strength.
Go through the door and find out what is on the other side. In any aspect of sexuality, the stronger the shame, the more pleasure and power it conceals. Sexual shame conceals a deeper shame of being alive. Often a great well of guilt is veiled as "a little guilt," and I suggest you explore this possibility. If you have any lingering traces of resistance or guilt around your existence, here is where you'll uncover them, and where you're likely to let them go - in front of a mirror.
Some people suffering from self-hatred in the form of "body image" issues, like not being good-looking enough, feeling overweight, awkward or otherwise unsexy, are likely to resist the most strongly, and, by no coincidence, find the greatest relief and healing.
We are taught that our self-image is something we put on. I would propose it's something that's far better taken off. All the bullshit loaded on us by religion and advertising and ex-lovers about how ugly we are can drop off like silk. You will feel better for doing this. Your life will change.
(These self-pleasuring experiences) will begin to make a lasting visual and emotional impression on your psyche, and you will start to see yourself differently and exist more comfortably and naturally. You will breathe more naturally within your own being. You will become more comfortable with change. Ecstasy means ex-stasis, or freedom from being stuck. We need this desperately. As you leave behind your guilt and shame about self-love, you will begin to let go of all other kinds of psychological resistances to who you are. You will start to feel who you are, and who you are is strong and wonderful.
It took many years for (the author) to figure out that guilt is useless, it is toxic and it kills us. These experiences will help you free yourself from the guilt of being who you are, and teach you about who that person is. Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing. People who know themselves cannot be bullshitted by anyone else. They are unlikely to fall for the sick preachings of religion. Once you have experienced life free from guilt, you will never want it again.
But remember guilt has a purpose: our guilt is the means by which other people control us. Self-disparaging people are easy to control. Being around other people who do not thrive on guilt and self-attack can take some getting used to, because they are free, and they challenge us to be free. And when we drop our guilt and can no longer be shamed, the people around us may initially react negatively because we're not leaving them any convenient handles to yank us around with. We give up our guilt; they lose their power; everyone is happier. So it goes on the way to freedom.
Excerpts by Eric Francis. Read full article at www.Sexuality.org