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 have or feel. 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!
You are Divine. Yes, You! You have the spark of the Divine in you. You are the intentional desire of the Creator regardless if you recognize it or not. And no thing created by a creator can divorce itself from the spark/essence/sense-ability (the ability to sense the larger world around them) of the creator.
It has been a year, this month, since Toby and I started on this entrepreneurial journey as Sex and Erotic Coaches and over this time, I have witnessed a lot of growth within my own personal and sexual life. Some things were expected, while others, not. There have been triumphs as well as challenges. But through all of this, I would say that the greatest desire that has been borne in me is the desire to find freedom from fear! As a budding Tantrica (one who is learning the skills and applications of Tantra), this is one of the ultimate goals of the Tantric path.
Let Us No Longer Continue Acquiescing to Struggle, Denial, and Fear!
As a Certified Sexological Bodyworker and budding Tantrica one of the greatest gifts that I can give both myself and my clients is PERMISSION! Toby and I give permission to you to explore all manners of pleasures that delight you. This is not limited to sexual or erotic pleasure but to ANYTHING that might turn you on. My teacher and mentor, Jay Craver calls it the "inner boner" or the "inner hard-on."
Pleasure is not solely delegated to sex. Although this has become the focus of this "Reclaiming Masturbation" series, I want to take this last post to expand the idea and concept of what masturbation could be. Strictly speaking, let's think of masturbation not only as a sexual activity but also as any activity that "strokes" (in a manner of speaking) you to a higher place of pleasure, delight, and consciousness. This could be elicited through the listening of a great piece of music, eating a delectable meal, having a stimulating conversation with a good friend, enjoying a great movie, or attending a thought-provoking lecture.
When the Mind and Body are Allowed to Feel!
I have worked with a number of clients who struggle with receiving pleasure - physical and erotic touch. A recent client, upon receiving a hands-on education on penis massage techniques, found himself, by the end of the session, sobbing upon the massage table. Having accepted the permission to feel whatever his body felt, coupled with his desire not to shirk away in fear, shame, and guilt about his body and pleasure, he found such a powerful emotional release that had been long overdue.
You see, when the body and mind are able to feel what they naturally feel and are able to express these feelings, healing comes. Denial is NOT the path to release, healing, or even enlightenment. Some have found spiritual assent through denial, but I have found the opposite to be true (or at least the discernment of knowing when to hold on and when to let go). When we are allowed to, as the poet Mary Oliver so eloquently penned "let the soft animal of [our] body love what it loves," a whole expanse of restoration and integration can occur - an entire new frontier of pleasure opens up to us.
So many of us have purposefully locked ourselves in ivory towers while the world passes us by. Masturbation is not about watching life pass you by. Masturbation is about getting into the flow of life. It is in this pursuit of happiness, freedom, and joy that we find our truest selves. Sometimes that's painful. Sometimes we bump into places that need healing and release and sometimes we can find places within ourselves that are so dark and hostile that the only way through is with a healthy dose of mindful and conscious pleasure!
Adding Pleasure to the Pain!
As Mary Poppins is so joyfully quoted, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." So in these dark moments when difficult things arise, masturbate! Understand that this isn't about escaping your issues! This is about taking your pain and applying pleasure to it. This may look like a mindful masturbation session where you decide to physically arouse yourself while allowing your issue to remain very present in your heart and mind. Apply pleasure to your pain and, although it might take some time, witness your pain transform and transmute into something less painful. You might even get some sorely needed answers through the exercise. Give yourself permission to cry, to scream, to shake! Don't shirk away from this wonderful opportunity to be present!
Above all, apply some of the principles laid out in the previous blog posts on "Reclaiming Masturbation": breath, movement, sound, touch, and intention. Be deliberate and mindful about your pleasure session, whatever that might be or in whatever form it might take. You are in the driver's seat.
But we must take the first step. We must desire to no longer live in fear. We must desire to no longer live in denial. And we must desire to no longer live in pain. We must desire to be free - free to love, free to feel, free to sense, and free to enjoy. Free to find pleasures in the smallest and most mundane of experiences as well as the most painful and heartbreaking of circumstances!
I want to end this series with a few words that my teacher quipped in a moment of inspiration during the end of one of our sessions together! I took the liberty of taking the spirit of it and augmenting it.
Get your ass fucked and/or played with,
Get your dick sucked and/or stroked (and for our female bodied clients, give your vulva stimulation and TLC),
Get your belly fed and rubbed,
Get your heart held and loved,
Get your voice heard and expressed,
Get your mind challenged and stimulated,
Get your Spirit freed and connected!
(Notice that I moved all the way up the chakra system to illustrate how you can apply pleasure everywhere in your body and how that pleasure might manifest!)
Reclaiming Masturbation is about reclaiming your power, reclaiming your joy, and reclaiming your pleasure. It's about taking a stand for your own body acceptance and forging a more embodied path towards the truest love of all - the love of self!
Pleasure is your birthright - to feel, to sense, to enjoy. This is not something that is given or taken from you by another, it is as inherent to your existence as breathing air.