Pleasure! Pleasure! Pleasure!
What is it about the word "Pleasure" that causes so many of us to pull back, to hide in shame, and cower in fear? For some of us, pleasure denotes judgment. Pleasure is something we are not supposed to do. So many of us have surrendered and committed to a life of struggle, hardship, and angst. And a life void of even the slightest pleasures, truly causes life to be no more than an endurance test. But that is not what it's supposed to be! There is more, much, much more!
Pornography has been a present aspect of many people's sexual landscape including my own. In this, Part 3 of Reclaiming Masturbation, I want to share my thoughts, concerns, techniques, and insights into how to create a more mindful masturbation practice around porn watching. Pornography, in my opinion, exists for two main reasons and in two main categories simultaneously: Sex as Art (the adoration of the beauty of sex) and Sex as Science (the actual arousal and stimulation of watching the mechanics of sex). It's the latter, Sex as Science, that I want to spend Part 3 on.
Welcome to May, the National month of Masturbation!
A few days ago a dear friend of mine asked, "Garland, why are you writing about how to masturbate? Masturbation's been around as long as man's been on the planet!"
We both laughed 'cause his question is a legitimate one. Why write about something that, arguably, billions of people have engaged in for ages; putting hand or device to penis or vagina, stimulate until orgasm/ejaculation, the end. Of course his question insinuates that EVERYONE knows how to masturbate. Like, duh?
I discovered masturbation in 1993 at the age of 11. From what I have gathered, this is not unaccustomed for boys my age. One day you discover the intense feelings of penile self-pleasure and the next, you have a friend for life! Unfortunately, like so many others, I was derailed from fully being able to explore and embrace this new found pleasure without guilt, shame, and religious judgment.
Recently an out-of-town buddy of mine came to Seattle for a conference. While here he booked a two-hour session with me and afterwards we grabbed dinner while we debriefed about the session and caught up on our individual lives. On the way to dinner he asked me to describe to him how I was in high-school. I immediately erupted in laughter, a) because I found the question timely yet completely out of left field, and b) because the mere thought of the boy I was 15 years prior is starkly different than the man I am now.
Hello lovely spirit bodies, Toby here!
The journey of the past 7 months has been nothing short of amazing! Through starting a new business with Garland, to opening our own studio and seeing clients, change on every level has definitely become a common theme in my life.
As I work in the realm of overt sexuality and eroticism, I find myself in an ironic and untimely backlash of my inner conservative and a strong urge to retreat. It is another "Coming Out!" What will my family and community think? What labels will they stitch on to my character and value? What will they say behind my back? And the biggest question of all: But what will they actually say to my face? The threat of possible direct judgement and conflict is most gnawingly present, even though I have not experienced it outright. Will I be burned at the stake?