Get on your knees baby, and suck my … politics of desirability

Erotic Liberation and Emancipating Sexuality

There are many exploratory erotic spaces that I want to be in. However, the specific spaces I want don’t usually exist. Often, that means I create them, because I want them to be in the world.

Erotic Experiments

Recently, I created two very different erotic explorations, Transexy and Black Velvet. The events had very different intentions and different results. In reflecting and contrasting the two parties, I learned that my desire can’t be separated from my commitment to good body politics, and in fact, I’m turned ON by spaces that actively deconstruct the dominate narrative of attraction! Maybe you are too?!?

The first space I facilitated was Transexy: a sex party for transmasculine folks, many of whom had never attended a sex party. There were probably 50 people initially in the room, as I led us through a series of warm-up games. Games that help you know what you want in the moment, and communicate it clearly to your partner. Games that teach about boundaries and consent, as well as non-verbal negotiation.

You know, the type of sexy education we all should have gotten as teenagers, except we didn’t. And in this particular demographic there’s a higher percentage of folks dealing with really intense stuff than in the general population: dysphoria, shame, trauma, internalized transphobia, challenges receiving touch and having sex at all. So this party was a Big Fucking Deal. Just being naked together was an act of solidarity and revolution in a society that says trans bodies are fucked up, wrong, and that’s often best case.

The second space I facilitated was Black Velvet: a sex party in the dark for all different types of bodies, genders, sexual orientations, races, ages, body sizes, political affiliations. The only thing in these bodies had in common was that they were somehow connected to me or my fellow organizers, and we trust them. This party was held, from start to finish, in the complete darkness. Consent, boundaries, negotiation, desire… all without any sense of sight. Yep.

Black Velvet is an event that a friend and I conceived a few years ago, as we lamented over not getting to be gay males in the 1970’s pre-HIV sex scene. Dark rooms, also known as blackrooms or backrooms, were a common feature of gay bars, where anonymous sex can easily take place. We decided to create an erotic experiment that would recreate the dark room space:

Question: What happens erotically, between a group of people in a completely dark, anonymous, anything-goes-but-consent-is-required space?
Hypothesis: Participants will explore their own erotic desires, curiosities, hang ups, and boundaries, and will move beyond who they know themselves to be as erotic beings.

Having conducted one Black Velvet several years ago, I wanted a chance to go deeper into the experience, and am doing so this fall with a series of three by invite-only events. Last Saturday was the first of the three.

The practice of holding complexity

At the first party for transmasculine folks, I knew the space was radical. There were moments when the healing in the room was palpable. I looked around and could almost see shame constructs crashing through the floor, to be returned as power and pleasure in community. I knew without doubt how powerful and necessary this space was/is. I feel dedicated to continuing to create such spaces for folks with marginalized identities and bodies. And yet.

At one point, I looked around, and the bodies lying on the floor made a map of oppression. Central to the space were the young, white, able-bodied, thin more masculinized body with beauty privilege. Surrounding that central pile were groupings of folks with less desirability cred: the fat, the older, the disabled, POC, less masculine folks. I couldn’t see class status, but I’m sure it was also reflected in the space.

All of the privilege centralized, and upheld by the folks having to do the emotional labor of wrestling with their own self-worth and feelings of desirability. It broke my heart. And this map was somewhat my fault; I didn’t set up a critical space, or invite in the politics of desirability to be named and seen. I don’t think I even realized them so clearly, until this party.

Hey, where did my gender go?

At the second party, because of the absence of the visual, I have no idea if this map of oppression repeated itself. My sense is that it did not. It was a much smaller group, in a small space, and the edges of the space aren’t very far from the center. From the reports that participants submitted, there is no evidence to suggest this happened. While we can never erase oppression and desirability politics from our sex spaces, I’m curious if these become quieter factors when you just can’t see who you’re are messing around with.

Some racial features, and body size somewhat identifiable by touch, but in my experience, most touch started with limbs, where it was pretty impossible to discern the entirety of someone’s presentation. The space was designed to be scent-free, so that a participant with a disability around scent could participate, so again, that subverted some of the centralization of able-bodies, in terms of scent.

For at least a couple of the participants in Black Velvet, the absence of the visual was distracting from being connected to their arousal. I personally found the absence of the visual helped me to concentrate on what I was feeling and experiencing with each body I encountered. It’s interesting to me how the actual erotic energy feels with various folks.

I had significant erotic encounters with four different folks, and a variety of other encounters. Each time, the energy I share with my partners has a distinct quality. There is one person in particular who is running a low base note of Eros, and I lower my dial and feel the connection open like a slow, wide river… deep and sultry and timeless.

I know that I feel more desirable in the dark. I don’t worry about what the connection “means” or how I’m perceived, or if I’m wanted. It is clear that if someone is engaging with me, they want me. It really shuts up the dumb stories in my head about not being hot enough.

Of these two events, Black Velvet is the hotter erotic space for me. And in part, it’s because there has been some negation of the prevalent visual narrative that tells me who I’m supposed to be attracted to, and who is supposed to be attracted to me.

At Black Velvet, I found that I was attracted to all kinds of bodies in the dark. Bodies I would probably never engage with erotically were I able to see them, because they don’t go along with my narrative of who I am attracted to.

Yeah, but what’s this have to do with desirability?

Here’s the thing. We all think that our desires, who we want, what we want, is just mysterious magic. Like, isn’t it surprising that my desire trends towards everything that culture tells me is attractive?

While many may think of who we are attracted to as personal preference, those preferences are not developed in a vacuum. It’s impossible to separate one’s desires from the culture and society in which they were formed, so it’s important to think critically about it. ~Tristan 

There’s this thing called sexual capital. The more you are what culture centralizes as “good, normal, beautiful” the more of this sexually currency you possess. You get to trade it for things like dates, being asked out, make-out sessions, getting laid, etc. Yeah, all the good stuff! The problem is, that just like in other forms of capitalism, some folks have more access to sexual capital than other folks do.

As an older, fat white person with sags and wrinkles and a weird gender presentation, I have less access than if I were younger, thinner, and conventionally hotter. I have more access to sexual capital because I facilitate erotic stuff frequently, and have experience with touch, boundaries, etc. Sexual capital isn’t good or bad, it just is. But sexual capital becomes bad when we refuse to acknowledge the impact it has in radical spaces designed for sexual exploration, especially on those with less access to it.

I had a heart-breaking conversation with one guy with less access to sexual capital at Transexy, who sat on the edges of the party. When I enquired if he wanted my help integrating in, he said simply “I’m waiting to be wanted.”

“this unwillingness to recognize how love, fucking and whom we find attractive is political. It’s like we, as a society, have created this whole untouchable area around intimacy in our lives – and perhaps the most important area – the area I think could use the most critique – leading to this massive resistance around analyzing any decisions relating to love and sex. You hear terms like “preference” or “love is love” or “you can’t help who you like” and the conversation stops there.” ~Hari Ziyad

I mean, of course privilege and centralization of certain bodies occurs in these spaces. It occurs everywhere, and why would we expect radical sex spaces to really be any different?? I always say that there are no safe spaces, spaces where we magically leave all our socialization at the door and show up pure and innocent in our desires. Nope. Never gonna happen. But we can start to create sexual spaces for exploration that deliberately hold a critical lens, and strive towards inclusivity.

Mia Mingus talks about moving toward the ugly. Ugly folks and those deemed less culturally desirable have just as much chance to be good at touching and connecting as folks who hold the beauty bundle, maybe even more, because they are working to gain sexual capital rather than having it handed to them.

I learn that for an erotic space to turn me on, it’s gotta be reflective of my politics. Erotic spaces that oppress, no matter how well-intentioned or revolutionary in their own way, just don’t get my nut off. In this post, I’m publically making a commitment to never holding sexualized spaces again that don’t have an active lens of critique and desire to deconstruct oppression, as opposed to reproduce it unconsciously.

Lemme say that one more time: I’m committed to creating revolutionary, erotic spaces for marginalized bodies and identities that hold a critical lens around sexual capital. I’m committed to bringing my work to people who think inclusivity is the hottest thing. And I am pretty certain that my politics can get even juicer, even bolder. That my personal and professional approach to sexual arousal that lifts people up can expand and evolve. Now THAT’S a hot erotic experiment.

In the dark
We are all desire
There is no age
No race or gender
Only passion
In the dark
We are sweat
Tongues
Flesh
Hands
Hard
Soft
Wet
In the dark
We are delicious

~Jake

If you like this, gimme some comment love below?

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Flagging Green for Ecosexual Daddy giving redemption

“What are you flagging?” Sie asks.

I follow hir green eyes down to the matching green bandana hanging off my belt. I’ve been camping for days on the gentle land of southwest Washington state, without giving a thought to the queer hanky code that relies on colored bandanas in one’s back pocket to signify sexual availability.

“Um, flagging pee rag?”  I try for a mix of affronting honesty with irreverent humor to cover up the shame I feel at being caught un-queerly unaware.

“Daddy.” Sie says confidently. “You’re flagging Daddy. And receiving.”

The amount of math I do in the next half second is staggering. I’m flagging “receiving daddy.” This incredibly hot sexy genderqueer person just opened a door called “daddy” that I’ve been wanting to walk through for quite some time. Sie is a longtime friend, and I trust hir.  We’re at an ecosexual convergence, deep in the woods, sitting at a picnic table with a bunch of folks who are exploring the lover relationship between Earth and self. I have permission from my primary partner to explore my erotic edges. I want Daddy. I want hir to be my daddy. I want to get fucked, in the woods, with hir as my Daddy. And it’s all possible, if I can just ask for it.

“Yeah, well, that’s interesting, isn’t it?” I stumble through the sentence, aware that the other four picnic-table sitters have gone quiet and are looking at me curiously. “So, I was wondering if you’d be down to fuck me?”

I can tell that sie is surprised, didn’t quite expect that full-on of a reach-around. It’s hir turn to do the math. I wait.

“Well. Hmm. That’s a thought.”

Not exactly the enthusiastic response that would set my pounding heart at ease, but not a cool brush off either.

Another beat. I wait until sie speaks.  “What did you have in mind?”

And it’s on. We negotiate a scene for the next afternoon. I tell hir that I’ve never truly bottomed before, and that I want to be opened.

Truth, I’ve never been in a space where I’m not in control. I’ve been stone more times than I can remember. I’ve opened many people, had many hot erotic moments that I’ve driven. I’ve even surrendered to receiving pleasure from others many times. But this is different. This is turning over the power to another, someone I don’t know at all in their erotic personhood, someone who is powerful, fierce, ferocious. And definitely sadistic.

The next twenty-four hours pass slowly. I find myself excited by the ‘what-will-happen’ feeling. The winged insects are having a field day all over my inner landscape… it’s beyond butterflies into full on plague of locusts. I’m not scared exactly, I trust hir. I trust hir capacity to handle me, to be my Daddy.

When the time comes I’m showered and ready for our forest date, (which in the aftermath of a forest-floor fucking turns out to be kind of ridiculous.) We meet at lunch, and walk out among the Douglas Firs together, the unbelievable vanilla scent of the trees perfuming the warm Summer Solstice air. It’s the longest day of the year, and Daddy and I are going out under the trees to play.

I’ve brought the only thing I have to lay on, my lavender towel, which will become a sap-filled souvenir of “the time sie fucked me so hard I bled.”

Sie asks me to sit down. Tells me to call hir “Doctor.” Then tells me to remove my wife-beater, my belt. Sie wants it to be sexy. I get the unspoken subtext: this is not a strip-tease. Just be really hot for me, please.

I take off the thick black leather belt, and upon hir request, open my mouth to embrace the silver pentacle belt buckle. I’m not from Texas, but I know the importance of an oversize buckle. However, I pay the price for my cocky audacity when sie doesn’t just want me to tongue it, but wants me to receive the whole damn thing. I let the spit and drool roll out of my mouth, wanting to make apparent my commitment to abandon and submission.

“I don’t like pain,” I’ve told hir, and instead I’ve been told to be available for ‘sensation’ which may become more intense over time. Surprisingly, I am available. When sie pulls the dripping buckle from my mouth, the feeling of absence is an unexpected grief. Sie takes off my pants, and takes a long look. Sie tells me that sie likes my dick.

Without ado, Daddy begins to fuck me. Sie spits on my junk, and I feel the hotness of hir spit drip down between my legs. This is a fucking that will change my life, and I know it as I have it.

I’m sobbing. It’s profound gratitude for the queer labor of love we are both engaged in: this is work we can only do with each other in community. At first, sie is concerned and checking in, but I reassure hir that everything is so good, beyond good. That it is perfect and welcome and I want it all. My body turns and rises to meet this fucking, wanting every bit of hir inside of me.

My hands reach out and grasp the dirt, duff and detritus of the forest floor, pulling it into my fists to hold the fuck onto something, anything.

I call out to this doctor of love and redemption to make sure it is okay to touch hir back. I grab fistfuls of Daddy, brutally pulling hir to me again and again. I crawl into hir neck, kissing and nuzzling. Our mouths, come together open and wet. This surprises me, all the kissing. I tell hir I love hir, and I mean it, which also surprises me.

I begin to notice the sensation of deep relief. Beyond the pain and the filth, something inside of me feels so calm.  To be the Doctor’s boy, to give myself to hir completely. Hir hand, dipping inside of me again and again begins to touch my heart. I move towards, rather than away from, the splitting pain of hir fist, creeping its way inside my cunt.

When I feel the tearing of my tender bits, there is a moment when I choose to find pleasure over discomfort. I choose the bright sensation, the ecstatic pulling and pulsing that is building in my dripping cunt, over the ripping and burning. Later, I will bleed. I will feel the dull ache of an empty lonely space inside of me, about the size of a fist.  But for now I have it, hir fist, holding me firmly from the inside.

I call out to the trees, to the land. “Io Pan! Keeper of the woods and the beast of my body! Wild Love! Wild Love! Wild Love!”

I pray, and sie moans, “Here I am with you, praying. Here I am with you, inside your body, with you.” It’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard maybe ever.  I’m not alone in my body. Daddy is here. Sie is here. We are together, sharing creation and prayer and song and delight, and my body is the container that is holding us.

The trees call back: “If you want wild love, practice feral sex.” Hir fist pounds into my battered front hole, again and again. Sie tells me how good I am at taking it, tells me I’m a champion for getting fisted for the first time, and bottoming for the first time, in plain sight of passer-bys to boot. When shame rises up, I fuck even harder. But really it is the Doctor who is my champion, championing my queer desire, my desire to fuck the shame and trauma away so that I can feel free.

Soon, I squirt and squirt all over hir hand. I am fucking crying praying squirting surrendering and time just stops. We both notice that it is 2:30 for a really long time. I want it to be over and I want it never to end. The only things I know in this singular moment are the trees swaying above me and the exact edge where they meet the blue sky, and this beautiful lover’s embrace that holds me tight right up against my pleasure and my pain.

I know I don’t want to get fucked like this every day. I can’t. And yet I need this. This is me getting fucked queer. This is me saying yes and allowing someone to fuck me in the way that SIE wants to fuck me.  This is me, finding Divinity and Self and Home and World. This is mine.

There is mounting rhythm and pleasure. The Doctor’s not-quite-human face looms above me, gorgeous and open and brutal. I feel my orgasm approaching, and my eyes open wide and pour into hir ocean green gaze. Through my eyes I give every bit of my pleasure to this Daddy, my Daddy. I scream and come and shake, all at the same time. It goes on and on. From my healing heart, deep, wrenching sobs of joy and freedom.

And when the paroxysm of agonizing pleasure is finally done, and the sobs are quiet, the world is irrevocably different. I am the trees, I am this lover, I am this Earth and this sky. I am this everything.  Love is so present in this moment: rough, raw violent love, love that has fucked me free.

 

Erotic Being versus Erotic Doing

I’m lying on my bed, legs spread, my lover’s mouth on my junk. And I’m not doing anything.

Not tensing, not thrusting, not helping, not wiggling, not desiring. I am simply being, while my body is stimulated and pleasured. The sensation is exquisite. The pleasure builds and builds. As it builds, I feel each tiny movement towards increase. Meaning, as the pleasure increases, there are moments where I crave MORE pleasure. I move my hips a tiny bit, pushing my bits against my lover’s tongue. Or I tense my PC muscles ever so slightly, to increase the sensation.

All of my attention is focused on my receiving practice. Can I be still and receive? Can I just receive? Each time I notice my miniscule attempts to increase pressure or stimulation, I relax again, and remember my intention to just simply be and receive.

Recently, I learn that the name for someone who allows themselves to receive is disparaging; ‘turtle lesbian’ or ‘pillow princess.’ I’m grateful that I don’t have this framework, and that my practice of receiving can be free from judgment.

I practice and practice receiving. I practice Erotic Being, without Erotic Doing.

In my practice, there are moments of epiphany. For example, I realize the vast distinction between placing my attention ON something (like my genitals) and placing my attention IN my genitals. The difference is so subtle, and yet tremendous; it’s about living, feeling and being inside of my experience. My consciousness can dwell in tissues other than my brain tissue.

An old friend asked, apropos of nothing, “How do you make good decisions?” and I answered that I’ve been feeling into my junk, more and more. When I listen to the truth that is spoken between my legs, my decisions are good ones. My body does not lie.

In order to have more of what I want in my life, my capacity for RECEIVING more of what I want must be increased. I must build the muscle of having, of receiving without doing. Erotic practice is the perfect place to build this capacity. I ask my friends, “How are you good at receiving?” via text. Some respond, befuddled. Two write back that they receive when they get massages from their partners. One person responded that they pay attention to what’s going on in their body when something is being offered, and notices how their body feels different when they are open to receiving and when they are not.

In the spirit of celebrating of Erotic Being-ness, what follow are some thoughts on receiving.  (And what I mean is the practice of receiving things we WANT from the world, not getting all the stuff we don’t want or need.)

  • Receiving is an art. If you want to learn to receive, conduct an Indiegogo campaign. Make it count, make it meaningful. Put something you love out into the world, and ask your people to support it. This is a terrifying practice, not for the meek or inexperienced in receiving. This will shine the light on ALL of the shit you have about wanting, asking, and receiving. There’s pretty much no place to hide.
  • Receiving can be cultivated. I can rest back in my body, pay attention to meeting the world from my back, choose to open my shoulder muscles.  The more I receive, the better I get at receiving.
  • Resistance to a thriving receiving practice can hide out behind egalitarian concepts like “mutuality” and “reciprocity.” Meaning, I am only available to receive if I believe the giver is also getting value from me. We are all so fucked up when it comes to gifting and gift economies, that we sometimes greet gifts with suspicion. We carry a lot of baggage around gifts that came with obligation, gifts that we gave out of obligation, gifts that mean more than just a gift. I can deflect receiving by not simply accepting the gift/compliment/pleasure/promotion/support… I can be overly grateful, or grovel.  Not great receiving.
  • Receiving is an elevated form of connection. Babies are held in “receiving blankets.” Offices have reception rooms, and receptionists whose job it is to receive you when you arrive. Shipping and receiving. Receiving dock. Receiving lines. And of course, the Hebrew Kabbalah, “receiving.”
  • Receiving meets the offering with a full body presence, and an open-hearted welcome.
  • We could choose to pay more attention to how we receive. How we receive others: their ideas, their words, their feedback, their gifts, their gestures. How we receive ourselves: our stories, our wounds, our faults, our gifts and talents and joys.

When all is said and done, here’s what I think. Receiving, that gorgeous practice of receptivity, is hard work. It’s a special kind of doing-not-doing. When I am receiving, I am BEING receptive. And that is the erotic self I’m striving towards, these days; the one that can fully receive the pleasure that is offered to me.

If you liked reading this, I’d love to RECEIVE a comment from you below.  

What happened at Geography of Pleasure? One man’s experience (guest post)

The circle of trans guys holds usThe Circle Holds Us

By Marcus, a participant in the “Geography of Pleasure” workshop. 

After the last day of the workshop, I was driving home meditatively, feeling the edges of my being. Not clicking from one radio station to the next, and blasting my senses with distracting stimuli. I wanted to allow myself to feel.

When I arrived at my place of residence, I thought, ‘I am home.’  I was feeling in my body and holding myself in a pleasant, nonjudgmental observation. My awareness of self was for once not about boundary patrol against shame, fear, or violation.

Two days before, I arrived at the workshop space in a daze, overwhelmed by the feeling of  being around other people. I had become so used to the security of isolation and shutting down before I could be rejected. Alone, I could (unsuccessfully) pretend that I was all the things I wished I could be, and remove myself from reminders of failures and inadequacies.

I tried to relax into the comfortable seating, dim lamp lights, and the circle of anxious strangers, only to find myself comparing my body to others and listing off all the ways I lacked qualities that I admired in others and so wished for myself. The expression of trans masculinity became ever so in focus. I began to irrationally perceive my body to be physically smaller and smaller and uglier and uglier, as I unrealistically assumed perfection and invulnerability in others.

Though it was my intention to stay and not run or hide, my body sure wanted to run as we began to take turns speaking in the first of many circles. I was suddenly morbidly afraid of looking and sounding funny, and not being taken seriously. Amazingly, these divisive views between myself and others were gradually broken down, in a way I never thought was capable… I will now attempt to describe some of my most groundbreaking workshop moments.

eyeSustained Mutual Eye Contact:

This scared me a lot, as I have long experienced this as mutual invasion of private space. While it is a common expression of wanting to know and be known, sustained eye contact was something I only normally used within the following contexts: romantic interest, aggressive challenging, or conversations. I felt extremely exposed because it was as if I were ‘caught’ seeking an inappropriate level of closeness. There was little excuse for me to stop looking, because the activity did not allow for typical distractions. It was very unsettling to feel that emotional nakedness that I reserved for almost no one. By the end of the workshop, I no longer felt such reservations once I understood seeing and being seen to not be a threat. Instead, it can feel so loving and fulfilling!

Body Observation

When I allowed my body to observe and be observed, I was overcome by the emotions of others and the energy of the room. When I felt loving, gentle gazes caressing my body’s surfaces, I realized the toxicity of my self-directed gaze. I never extended to myself the same kind of understanding and acceptance I aspired to give others.

Movement/Body Expression

Moving to music felt awkward. I was confronted by my body’s lifelong reluctance to express itself. Interacting with space around me felt dangerous compared to stillness, which felt so safe and contained. My initial line of thinking was that I don’t know how best to move, so I might as well not.

Though I had a blindfold on, I still felt a critical gaze upon me, the kind that has long held my arms down, my torso stiff, and my legs frozen. Then I realized no one was laughing, and others were similarly focused on their own movements. I had nobody to apologize to for my movements, as no one could see. This activity allowed me to ponder the following questions. What am I holding back from, when there is no one to please but myself? What is possible of myself, when no consequence will arise from honoring my impulses?

It was difficult to surrender, and I don’t think I fully could yet, but I willed my mind to allow my body to interpret the music how it pleased. I allowed myself to enact my varying emotions: playfulness, exploration, loneliness, calm. To stand and shuffle and wave and swagger and sit the way the music called my body to do.

Healing Ritual

Healing another, watching the healing of others, and receiving my own healing all were magical moments. It was when shame, anger, and grief looked startlingly beautiful in all their ugliness. When I realized we needn’t harden against it all. We could all face and absorb the immense shame and trust that our existence would not be smashed to smithereens.

For me, the ritual felt like bones being reset, and being allowed to heal with alignment and clarity. I had to dig really deep, because I had buried so much of my shame. Entering the circle forced me to verbalize what was holding me back from the happiness and pleasure in life that I desire. I found, and released fears, inadequacies, and traumas that my body was holding despite my amnesia.

Eros field trip 

(NOTE: Eros is a men’s bath house (very trans-inclusive) in San Francisco that generously donated admission for anyone in the class who wanted to go and check it out on Saturday night.)

I had reservations about going to a men’s sex space as a straight man with no prior inclinations towards having sex with men. But, I am really glad I went, as it was exciting to explore a new space with unfamiliar dynamics, all while feeling so safe because my amazing friends from the workshop were around!

I discovered I was actually physically desirable to some individuals, and the context of the men’s space really made me feel validated as a man. (Though I do worry about assumptions being made, based on my body type.) I also realized I still have some work to do about feeling ok and not guilty when enforcing my boundaries.

I did not discover any desire for sexual interaction with other men, but I now yearn for more access to intimate men’s spaces. This hasn’t really been open to me as a straight man, and I have, for a long time, adopted a normatively competitive gaze towards other men. For me this has fostered more feelings of isolation, inadequacy, and jealousy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABull Kelp Meditative Embodiment Activity

We were invited to sway to nautical music while imagining ourselves to be bull kelp. The idea of being rooted and just o.k. with my existence while swaying with the movement of the water was strangely profound. When we were invited to return to feeling the edges of our bodies, I could not help but weep from the sensation of viewing myself with non-judgment and comfort. It shook me to observe how long my body has been deprived of my love, and how long I have gone without noticing!

Anatomy Lessons

 I appreciated both lessons on the chest and the genitals and the fact that they were presented in dysphoria-reducing language. I have had some bottom surgeries, and am eager to understand my genitals. Tissues have now been rearranged, rendering some parts more accessible, and others less or not at all.

Despite having pored through countless anatomy articles and diagrams, I learned a new term and site of pleasure: the perineal sponge! This knowledge has helped me gain a better understanding of how to best stimulate the nerves that I thought were no longer accessible.

magic touchTouch

I felt extremely soothed, and so grateful feeling the love and care of the two people working together to bring me the release from muscle tension I desired. They were eager to comply, and I grew in my comfort to be able to ask for how I wanted to be pleased. For once, I experienced the joy of trusting another’s desire to please me. It was liberating to not feel guilty or burdensome

My body felt extremely honored by their touch, and I had never known that comfort and love could accompany such vulnerability. Who knew that exposure doesn’t need to be just about shame and embarrassment and instead could feel so delicious and freeing? I didn’t.

The Circle Holds Us

We took turns in a circle being held and holding one another, before everyone stepped backwards together towards the center of the circle. How amazing it felt to be this stable entity of love, so unyielding in its solid hold of me, despite how fragile we may each feel in so many moments of our lives. In this moment I knew I was not the scared person I was on Friday who was eager to shut out the intrusive presence of others. Instead, I leaned into the warmth of our bodies, the life of our collective breaths, the energies of trans masculine brethren with whom I felt an unmatched closeness.

Culmination and Integration

This workshop was such a highlight of my life after so much anguish and pain. I have rarely cried so much and been so deeply moved. There was a ‘before workshop’ era of my life, and now the ‘after workshop’ time is only beginning. I left with the profound understanding that there are truly greater possibilities for really knowing others in a way that facilitates the closeness and healing that I so desire, yet have always been so afraid of.

After saying many goodbyes, I entered the elevator, alone. The loneliness was momentarily terrifying. I was so sad to leave the space, because the world outside will never be nearly so safe, with facilitators actively shaping healing vibes. But even as I return to my real life, where my physical and emotional boundaries are continually tested, I recharge and revive when I think of being in that circle of bodies, holding and being held. Even now, my heart is still overflowing with love for our capacity to heal so much pain. I revel in the memory of that circle. Emancipating Sexuality Calls us home to Erotic Wholeness

Participating in a Revolution: A Trans Guy’s experience at Geography of Pleasure (Guest Post)

(The following is a Guest Post by Roman Rimer, describing his experiences at the Geography of Pleasure: Embodiment for Trans Guys workshop. Enjoy! ~ Pavini)

After the Geography of Pleasure workshop I was able to talk about the experience ad nauseam, maybe even brag a little bit, to my inquiring cis-gender friends.  Finally, a place where I felt at home. 

When it came time to write about what feelings came up all the words I piece together seem slightly off, empty.  Perhaps this goes back to the adage that writing is the loneliest profession.  By contrast, participating in a workshop with family members you never knew you had, feels to be quite the opposite. Feeling part of a larger group is huge, especially if it doesn’t happen often.

Trans Love

Warm, safe spaces exist everywhere; they’re just not always open to everybody.  My first impression when I entered the space was that I was welcome, and not just because I was helping other people sign in.  Often I feel I have had to be on guard, even when I am in familiar places with people I know.  Quite often those most “comfortable” elements in my life have at points turned threatening.  When I find myself in a new space, I am safe.  I do not have to worry about where I will go next and I can be fully present.

There are too many themes covered in the workshop to fully process, and I’m sure with time a few moments will pop up when I am least expecting it; perhaps they will provide guidance for that particular moment and it will make sense.

A concrete reminder for me was how important human touch can be.  Well-meaning touch is not always easy to come by, consent is only occasionally addressed, and at moments in my life I have wanted to fully separate from my body.  I imagine if we were taught at a young age to establish and respect boundaries, how the human race could start to heal itself.  Even when in relationship(s) I constantly crave human touch and to receive it in such a loving way as it was in the workshop was a much-needed gift.

I enjoyed the exercises in which we were placed in smaller groups, either two or three of us.  In one we allowed the other person to touch us, told them where, how much pressure to apply.  In the groups of three we asked our partners to remove article(s) of clothing.  It was something that on the surface so simple, yet while enacting it felt incredibly empowering.

The actions that many take for granted, are usually much more weighted with trans folks.  Perhaps it was because we all knew what it was like, maybe the safety quashed all fears. From talking with other folks I identified that I, too, have felt my body at times was stolen from me, misidentified, physically harmed, attacked with words.  

Us transfolks must love our bodies more than anyone could understand, we have held on to our bodies through everything.  And what a better way to treat our bodies than to allow them the tenderness from others?

I’d forgotten how satisfying it was to be around ones brethren. While it wasn’t my first time with a group of solely trans-masculine folks, it was the first time in a while.

I’d imagine for many trans folks we’re constantly surrounded by cis people, often well-meaning, but still for lack of a better word, at times, horrible. I constantly find myself in a teaching role, as I find that tends to be one of the more hopeful ways to reach out to people.  Being able to talk about my relationship with my body and not take on that role, is something I really value.

Though most of us were meeting one another for the very first time, I felt as though we’d known each other forever.  Coming from different walks of life, different generations, family dynamics, occupations, we fit together like puzzle pieces, the individuals so strong yet together creating something even more magnificent than us all individually.

 “The space was sacred there’s no doubt about it. I could feel the spirits of our transancestors and those who have yet to be born, all there with us.  Those who have been silenced helped give me the strength to speak.  It was as though as soon as we formed a circle a spark was lit, igniting an everlasting flame, warm enough for all of us.”

The workshop the previous three days was a mindfuck in the best way possible.  Imagine, always feeling like an outsider, feeling misunderstood, always wary of how much to disclose (if at all), the idea that many people might not get it, or their reactions could be harmful, even dangerous. And suddenly I was in a place where not only was it safe to share, but it was encouraged, and others spoke their truths, let their fears out into the air.  Suddenly, I felt less ashamed of my own struggles.

Often I feel as eager to cover up as I am to shed my layers.  Growing up in the States, feeling ashamed of my body, nudity, sex. While it was never hard for me to find my voice, it was always hard for me to trust it. The workshop provided the trust, part from within the community and building it within ourselves.

The day after the workshop I had an improv class.  I was still recovering, emotionally.  Thoughts zoomed across my mind.  How comfortable I’d felt, while battling through recurring memories of trauma over and over again.  In class there were about fifteen of us and I looked around thought, holy fuck, I’m the only trans person here.   Improv is known for “gender role reversal” if anything this drama therapy helped me figure out my identity.  Though I’d known most of these folks for months, and was out as trans to maybe a third of them, I instantly missed my kin.  Though it was only in my mind,  I felt I stuck out as the lone trans thumb, and I instantly missed those bonds I’d just formed.

I like the idea that everyone is trans, only some of us have realized it.   Perhaps this meeting was for those of us with the courage to move forward.  After feeling shamed by the medical community, by family, friends, all these aspects of my life I could trace back to deciding to live openly and authentically.  Once I came out I couldn’t quite go back.  And as exhausting as I am by the constant teaching, It’s worth it.  All the people about to have kids, for all the people who may not have given transphobia a second thought.

Nothing has made me happier than the friends who have since given birth acknowledging gender can very much be placed on children before they are ready to express who they are and they need to check their own beliefs before imposing them on their children.  And to meet other trans folks at this workshop who were parents themselves gave me quite a lot of faith in the next generation.  

And while it may take cis-gender people a while to catch on, I believe it’s possible.  Once they get close enough to our fire, they will see the warmth, the camaraderie that elevates us all once we accept ourselves, and by proxy each other.

I mentioned the importance of a warm space and there is no way I could omit the hot food.  It might not seem like much to some, but I am always grateful to have a hot meal in a warm space.  I still feel quite privileged even with trauma I’ve endured.  Since transitioning my housing situation has been more uncertain than not.   It’s all connected.

And while I would never give it up, or change anything, it’s clear the price I’ve paid to live an authentic life.  To not have basic needs met, or at least a given, I’ve put myself at risk. Knowing where I will be at a certain time, knowing I will be fed – is a huge thing.  It shouldn’t be and everyone should always have these basics covered, but by seeing once more how “outsiders” or rather, folks who don’t subscribe to a certain, limited way of being, exist, my empathy has grown and flooded from me.  It’s easy to see we’re not alone.

To know that although we went through this all alone, we were finally able to be there with each other.   There’s something that only we can give each other.  And that was remarkable.  The scariest part is in thinking that we are all alone.  The Geography of Pleasure workshop proved nothing could be further from the truth.

~ by Roman Rimer

Revolution happens when trans-masculine people invite pleasure into their bodies, just as they are.

bridge-to-tunnelI dip my pen into the blood of my heart, and begin to chronicle the myriad of thoughts, sensations, feelings, body epiphanies and erotic somatic learning that happened this past weekend.

It is only now, four days out, that I can bring myself to write of the beauty, the heartbreak, the joy, the community and the exquisite pain that was the first Geography of Pleasure: Embodiment for Trans Guys workshop.

Here’s what I notice: my heart aching mightily with the openness we created together.   I find my heart expanding into love and joy, and contracting into fear and anxiety, in a regular pattern.  I find I want the rawness and intensity of the workshop space in my everyday life.  It is hard to return to dishes, kids, and regular life.

How can I describe how the electricity in the room as we smashed paradigm after paradigm? How to write of the power of claiming our rightful erotic space, as humans who live on a trans-masculine spectrum? How can I describe the utter suffering that the people in this circle have endured, that has impacted every aspect of their lives? And how can I describe the fierceness and righteousness of watching the erotic call each of us home to our bodies, just as they are in this moment?

Truly, I cannot.

But what I can describe is the feeling of success I have as a facilitator of a crucible that created demonstrable transformation for participants. People looked different when they left.  They felt different. They felt like their context around pleasure, their bodies and their relationships had shifted so much that it was difficult to articulate. They spoke again and again of feeling a sense of safety that they had never in their lives felt.

I knew the workshop was going to be potent, but I really had absolutely no idea to what degree we would change everything.

One of my favorite reflections comes from workshop participant Jun C:

“I came in feeling like I had nothing to offer. I now feel like I have everything to give.

“I feel like I finally found the kind of community and connection with other trans-masculine people that I’ve been looking for that I couldn’t find for so long.

“I had initial reservations coming in (didn’t we all?)  I thought there was a very likely possibility that it was going to be some hokey new age-y type thing that usually strikes me as being disingenuous, devoid of real substance, with a false type of enlightenment. I don’t know yet how to articulate the sparkle magic that happened, but I’m so glad I was there.”

This workshop arose from a vision I had of a room of trans-masculine people, working together to banish shame, craft community, and communally welcome into our bodies the pleasure that heals trauma, brings sensation to numbness, and replaces fear with joy.  And this bold vision actually happened.

As a facilitator, my heart grew larger and larger with each story, each sharing, each time I sobbed with the hurt we have all borne. The scars I saw this weekend, (and I saw many,) denote a strength and a resilience, a determination to live in our bodies and to be truly ALIVE, without apology.

Perhaps I will write in greater depth about the specifics of what we did, but for now, I am basking in the delight of a heart full of passion for continuing and growing this work.  We  have already been invited to Portland, New Mexico, Toronto, Minneapolis and the UK.  You’ll be able to track our progress at http://www.geographyofpleasure.com.  I’ll be posting participant written reflections on my blog, as well as spoken reflections on our website and youtube. Stay tuned!

Our dream is for every trans-masculine person in the world has access to pleasure and embodiment, in the body they are in, RIGHT NOW! 

Sex Sells, Feeling More and Erotic Leaps of Faith

Feel more pleasure with Emancipating SexualityLast week I wrote that what we accept as our capacity for pleasure is actually far smaller than what we are capable of experiencing as humans.   

Perhaps you thought, “OK, so then I’m going to increase my capacity for feeling pleasure and expand my sexuality.”

Indeed, how does one expand into feeling more pleasure, if one has already accepted that the limits of our pleasure capacity are inflexibly where they are?

Or worse yet, what if we have don’t realize that the limits to our capacity for feeling pleasure are ones that we ourselves have created?

Before we consider the question of how to increase our capacity for pleasure, let us first acknowledge our diminished capability to enjoy the fullness of our human sexuality.   Let us ground into the historical contexts of how we have ended up here.

Throughout my blog, I have often written of my own experiments as I attempt to expand my erotic self and broaden my capacity for pleasure.  I write of my own experiences for a number of reasons, mainly because I trust personally people who walk their talk.  Therefore, my integrity compels me to be transparent about my process.  Blogging keeps me accountable to my chosen course towards erotic wholeness. Importantly, transparently blogging about my sexuality helps hold my shame at bay. 

Ironically, the shame of not being or having the sexual self we know or imagine is possible can actually  be enough to block us from seeking that self.  Therefore, it is crucial to the sexual wellbeing of the planet that we begin to break silence about our shame.  That people with marginalized identities also claim sexuality.  Through sharing our erotic journeys, we not only give ourselves permission, but also model and give each other permission to seek authentic sexual expression.

When I started exploring my erotic nature, I was optimistic, but guardedly so.  Perhaps there was more to my sexuality than I was experiencing.  I had a vague sense of missing out on something, but assumed (incorrectly) that the experience I was having was the extent of the experience I could have.  I thought the sex that I had, though limited and at times non-existent, was good enough.  Plainly put, I settled for the experience I had  and tried to wrap my sexuality around it. I did not try to expand the experience to meet the edges of my sexuality. 

After all, I had read enough about women’s sexuality to know a few things (or so I thought.)  I knew that that many women didn’t masturbate.  Many women didn’t orgasm during penis-vagina intercourse.  Many women didn’t have more than one orgasm. Many women didn’t even orgasm at all.  Since I was capable of coming a couple times when I had penis-vagina intercourse, and I masturbated, I was doing better than many women.

I set my own sexual bar super low.

What were some things I was missing from my sexuality?

  • Play and Exploration and edge-pushing
  • Desire and Fantasy
  • Transcendent sexuality and sex magick
  • Embodiment, sensate focus and being present during sex
  • Freedom for fantasy during sex and Freedom for all kinds of fantasies
  • Exploring different turn-ons
  • Toys, different positions and mixing up the patterns of sexual encounters
  • Gender play and different sexual partners
  • Anal explorations
  • Knowledge of my anatomy
  • Squirting  and Kegels
  • Breath, movement and sound
  • Ecstatic sexual encounters  and meeting the Divine during sex
  • Awareness of erotic energy, and ability to work with it
  • Kink, BDSM and power exchange
  • Communal erotic encounters
  • Allowing sex to crack open my heart
  • Full Body orgasms, G-spot orgasms and orgasmic spaces beyond the clittoral
  • Acceptance for my kinks and turn-ons
  • Curiosity

Shit, that’s a whole lot of missing!

The most interesting thing is that I really believed  I was doing good!  I ACCEPTED that the limits of my sexuality were real.

Barnaby Barratt, a psychotherapist, sex therapist, sex educator and tantric facilitator, implores that, “Our sexuality encompasses everything about our embodiment.  It is our sensual and erotic connectedness with all that is around us.  It is the medium of our alignment or misalignment with the universe, the grounding of our being-in-the-world.”

Why do we accept for our sexuality something that is less than perfect alignment with the universe? How did it come to be that I accepted those limits?

While most of us probably feel some degree of shame about where we are in our sexual expression, it turns out there are actually a number of really excellent reasons why we are where we are.

Here’s the crux of it: Our sexuality is informed by a complete paradox.  Ubiquitous in the United States are both blatant sexualization and  blanket sexual repression.  We all encounter examples of both of these hundreds of times each day.

Sexually Explicit or Implicit Advertising

Oh Hi, Sex-Sells Advertising!  The earliest known use of sex in advertising was in 1871, by the Pearl Tobacco brand.  The advertising featured a naked girl on the package.  Since then, sex has been a powerful advertising tool used to sell almost everything.  And it works, too, since we are hard- wired to respond to sexual connotations.

Brooke Shields was only 15 when this came out in 1980. Text read "Want to know what comes between me and my Calvin Klein's? Nothing."
Brooke Shields was only 15 when this came out in 1980. Text read “Want to know what comes between me and my Calvin Klein’s? Nothing.”

We actually even respond to messages that only imply sex, meaning advertisers merely have to access the part of our brain that recognizes sexual messaging.  According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, average American adults are exposed to approximately 650 advertising messages each day.

Implicit Sexual Suggestion
Implicit Sexual Suggestion

We live in a society that is completely sex obsessed, 

and simultaneously completely sex-phobic.

Pervasive Sex Negativity

In juxtaposition to the images above, consider the following:

Receiving these contradictory messages can be disastrous in our search for authentic erotic expression.  On top of that, layer the traumas, stories, shame, abuse and bad sex many of us have had, and it’s a recipe for sexual shut-down.  Seen through this lens, the fact that we can feel any pleasure at all is quite remarkable!

“Many of us tell ourselves that “sex is not all that important to me,” and then we immerse ourselves in substitutive activities. We plunge into all manner of heartless addictions, or we become preoccupied with policing the sex lives of others. We even lose our awareness of how disconnected we have become from our sensuality. We no longer recognizer our own inhibition, nor do we see its roots in our unconscious shame and guilt.” ~Barnaby B. Barratt

Those who do attempt to cultivate an authentic erotic experience often find themselves facing strong societal prohibitions.  However, when we turn our attention to that quiet, internal voice that compels us towards wholeness, we know we must question the limits we currently accept as immutable.

Sometimes we are required to accept things on faith.  Take leaps of thinking and believing that are unsubstantiated in our lived experience.  Sometimes, we just have to believe there is more, and set off it search of it, hoping we will find it.  I had to leap into the void of giving up my sexual limits, (without having any proof I would get something better,) before I was able to start consciously evolving my own erotic experience

I started this post with the thought “Okay, then I’m going to increase my capacity for feeling pleasure and expanding my sexuality.”  That is indeed the topic.  Stay tuned for further thoughts.  And until next week, I invite you to do one thing: consider that perhaps the current limitations of your sexuality will be different in the future.  Perhaps something deep inside hears the truth of this next statement:

Without a doubt, there is more for you to feel.

Take Me Down Where I am Whole: Take me down, to My Black Velvet Sexy Soul

il_570xN.171899971Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of losing my virginity.  

In honor of the long road of my sexual life, I’m reflecting today on how it was to make that first decision about sexual engagement, and how it is as a sexual being 27 years later.

Last Friday night, my friends and I offered “Black Velvet.”  This was an intentional experiment in what happens to our physical attractions, erotic engagement and sexual behavior when we enter a completely dark space. What happens if we have an hour and a half to do anything we want, as long as we obtain consent from our partners?  In the numerous conversations and emails that have occurred in the days following, I have learned that setting down our sexual baggage both is and is not an easy thing to do. 

When I first made the decision to become sexual, it was about a year after I had visited Planned Parenthood for the first time.  At 14, my friend and I made appointments, without telling our parents, to have pelvic exams and to start on birth control pills.  I remember being so terrified of pregnancy, and so terrified of my own sexuality, that going on the pill preemptively seemed like a wise, mature choice.  Even in light of my current concerns about the effects of hormones on developing sexualities, I stand by that choice and have great respect for PP to this day.  I remember taking my first peach colored pill, and realizing that I was taking my sexual power into my own hands.

Friday night, when I entered into the black velvet darkness, I had a similar sense.  This was about my sexual power, my way.  I had no fear about being in that space, as I trust my own boundaries, and even more, I trust in my ability to recover from breaches to my boundaries.  No matter what could have happened, I felt secure in knowing that I could eventually handle it.

When I met Terry, first real intimate love of my life, we decided that we would have sex together, and share the loss of our virginity.  We set a date, wrote a contract, talked about how it would be, and what we wanted.  I don’t know where the consciousness came from, because certainly no one in either of our families had helped to guide us, but there it was.  We both wanted a connected, playful, supportive and joyous experience.  We both wanted a space free of gender obligations.  We both wanted creativity and exploration.  We both wanted something meaningful. And that is what we created for ourselves.

It strikes me that in crafting the Black Velvet space, how strongly these principles from my earliest sexual encounters continue to shape my values around sexuality.  Conscious exploration and experimentation are the premises on which Black Velvet rested. Freedom from gender assumptions was a dearly-held desire. Play, connection, joy and support were all ingredients we stirred into that cauldron.

The experiment that was Black Velvet was so many things, to so many people.

I’ll only speak here from my own experience, although I’ve been collecting data from others.  What I am able to say is a common thread I’ve heard in reflections: how difficult it was to leave assumptions at the door.  Whether it was feeling excluded from a dyad already in progress, or concern about violating someone’s boundaries, or an unease about not knowing someone’s gender or queerness factor, our fears, assumptions, beliefs and stories make it very difficult for us to have a pure experience. 

I think back to October 28, 1986, and to the purity of the encounter I had with Terry.  Joy and connection.  The utterly astonishing feel of someone’s naked chest against mine.  The pain at the most gentle of penetration. The exhilaration of finally opening my body to someone I loved. The pride that I had done it in the way I wanted, with the person I wanted, and not drunk at some party. The sadness, knowing something was forever altered inside… not having grown into something yet that clearly had a vast and limitless potential.  The not knowing how to operate the parts, the bits, and yet feeling at the same time the exact knowing of how it all worked.  The vulnerability of showing my arousal, my desire, my pleasure.  The rawness of naked skin, exposed genitals, and bared heart. 

Contrasting these feelings to Black Velvet, I see the effects of 27 years of sexual exploration with myself and others. I know how to operate the bits. I know how to touch, and listen with my being.  I now know a lot about pleasure, connection, and sex.

My encounters in the dark were both fulfilling and unsatiating.  I loved being able to touch people, without knowing who they were, or what they wanted, and having to trust my own desire as a barometer, as well as trust that they would uphold any boundaries.  Loved it, and found it completely challenging.  Hearing fucking and slurping noises, moans and what sounded like orgasmic moments made me feel surprisingly tender, and not erotic. I loved being playfully grabbed and roughly pulled, and being slowly seduced into a full body encounter.

That evening, after Terry and I made love for the first time, I felt full of meaning.  I felt like I had the most beautiful secret in the world.  Feeling the rawness between my legs was like a prize… the deep ache inside made me feel grown up, in love, and powerful.  It was less about my connection with Terry, and more about validating a deep unseen source of power, almost completely unexplored.  It’s like when you venture into something just enough to realize the magnitude of what could potentially be possible. 

Black Velvet was also like that.  Having had it once, I want it more and more.  I want to push more into that womb-like chamber, penetrate more deeply into the folds of its mysteries.  I want to know my assumptions, my filters, my lenses.  I want to know the way trauma informs my judgmental self.  I burn to understand sex that is purely about physical connection.  I am intrigued to comprehend how two people can be in an experience and have completely different realities.

Terry is still so dear to me to this day. Our sweet, queer explorations set a course of supportive experimentation which clearly I hold as a deep value.  How completely beautiful it is to me that on some level, my 15-year-old self recognized what my 42-year-old self would want and need. 

Black Velvet opens consciousnessThe most important revelation from the Black Velvet space is about time magick.  The potent knowing that this self, right now, is setting the stage for what my sexual self will want and need, far into the future.  Possibly 27 years in the future.  I am so grateful for the journey, the road, the hurts and harms and healings.  I am so grateful for the pleasure, the breathe, the community.  Our sexual healing begins the moment we step into it, no matter how trepidatious or cautious we are.  Thank you Terry. Thank you Black Velvet.  And Thank you Pavini.  

As the soundtrack ended, and the sounds around me in that black velvet space gentled and slowed, one of my fellow organizers spoke a benediction.  They blessed our work, and our play. They reminded us that sexual exploration is our birthright. That while it may be up to us and us alone, it is indeed possible for us to create these spaces for ourselves to deepen our experience as erotic beings.  And sometimes it requires stepping into our own darkness, our own black velvet, to reach deeply for healing, truth, and liberation.

One of our feedback questions from the experience was about erotic experiments, and what ideas participants have for events they would like to see happen.  If you have an idea, please drop a comment below or email me.  Happy Samhain!

Fucking Science: Erotic Experiments in the Dark

sex_scienceQuestion: What happens erotically, between a group of people in a completely dark, anonymous, anything-goes-but-consent-is-required space?

Hypothesis: Participants will explore their own erotic desires, curiosities, hang ups, and boundaries, and will move beyond who they know themselves to be as erotic beings.

Before HIV, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, gay male bars often had something called a “darkroom” or “blackroom.”  This was a space, in the back of the establishment, that was unlighted and could be used for anonymous sex.  You know, stop in for happy hour on a Friday, order a Bud, go in the back and get a blow job, come back and finish your beer.  Does that sound good to you?  I have always wondered why gay males get a different kind of sexuality than everyone else. Why do they get glory holes, bathhouses, anonymous sex? That’s always felt unfair, and I’ve decided to do something to change that.  It involves my living room.

Today, as I’m writing, I keep glancing in there, wickedly imagining.  Come Friday evening, it will be magically transformed into an erotic pleasure laboratory. Four sexual “scientists,” together with an invited group of people, will participate in an experiment called “Black Velvet.”    

Consider this imaginary scenario, culled from the invitation:

In this Black Velvet space, although there is no light, you will begin to notice the presence of other bodies.   Slowly, as you crawl through the space, you bump gently into a soft, warm presence.  You reach out a hand to touch, and jump slightly as your own erotic energy becomes merged with that of another.  You don’t know who.  You don’t know what that person looks like, their name, where they work, or what bits they have.  All you know is whether you enjoy the energy between you or not.  

If you do, and if they do, you stay and explore being in bodies in the dark together.  If one of you doesn’t enjoy the shared energy, you move away, move their hand away, or whisper “busy.” There is no shame. There is no expectation or obligation.  There is no commitment, other than to the truth of the moment.  

 Consent is always necessary… and it is given by your potential partner choosing to engage with you.  Your boundaries are not negotiable, and indeed the entire group is responsible for creating safer, supported space that welcomes all bodies, genders, sexual identities, and desires.  This group holds as its most profound value that the decision not to engage with someone is a decision to trust our deepest knowing, and is therefore a gift to everyone.

What will happen in this Black Velvet Space?  That’s completely up to you.  You may leave after being deliciously fucked by a hot stranger.  Or, you may explore what it is to be in a space like this and hold your boundaries and not engage at all. Or a thousand other outcomes.  The only requirements for how you explore a space like this is your desire to know yourself better as an erotic being.  

Are you still breathing?  Does this sound intimidating as hell to you?  I know it does to me.  I am really pretty scared about Friday night.  My intention is to open my body in new ways, and I don’t really know what that means or how it will manifest.  What if I go too far beyond my boundary? What if I fuck someone I don’t want to fuck, but they smell and feel so right?  My control issues/needs make it really, really hard to imagine being in a space like Black Velvet, and just surrendering. 

However, I am on fire with conducting erotic experiments.  I am deeply committed to using my body as a pleasure laboratory.  I am ‘all in,’ for maybe the first time in my life, in my ongoing explorations of body, sex, spirit and intimacy.

I’m really quite tired of my erotic limits.  I’m tired of only seeking the kind of sex that connects, builds intimacy, and endures the test of time.  I’m tired of sensation and pleasure being limited by my own narrow capacity. I’m ready to push past the boundaries I think I hold, and find what lies beyond them.Erotic Experiments

How do I know what I am erotically capable of, unless I conduct experiments?  How do I know what I might like unless I try it out? What else is possible for my genitals to feel?  For my hands to learn?  What else can I do with my erotic energy? How can I use the power of my orgasm to make electricity that lights my house? What happens if I turn my bits inside out and stimulate them?  To what edge of beyond trust can I push myself, while still staying connected and compassionate with my heart?

Oh there’s that trust word again.  I will say it is pretty intense, to be on this erotic journey in such a public way. It’s crazy hard sometimes, to claim radical sexuality and pleasure in this queer, fat body.   I am deeply trusting my own process as alchemical. I hope it stands for something that is meaningful to you.  Learning to trust diving into the void of not knowing, and learning to trust that I will emerge, intact feels like my great work.

So what will be the conclusions of the Black Velvet erotic experiment?  Will participants explore their desires, curiosities, hang-ups and boundaries? Will we emerge from the darkness, with deeper and fuller knowledge of our erotic capacities?  And will we be able to make it stick, make it count, make pushing our erotic edges translate into more space in our whole lives?  Or will it just be a cool, I-live-in-the-Bay-Area-and-we-do-weird-sex-shit-like-this-cuz-we-are-so-hip kinda deal?

I do not know.  Participants have agreed to send me their reflections within 48 hours of the event, so there’s my data collection. I will write to you next Monday (are you noticing that posts come out every Monday?  You could *subscribe* if you never want to miss one again!) Next Monday, I will describe the event and my experiences, should you be so interested.  (I’m also teaching an Intimacy Technology class next Monday on trust: please consider attending.)

If you like this post, it would make me deliriously happy if you would consider conducting your own erotic experiment in the next week or so. Post a comment below telling me what will be, or drop me an email and tell me what happened.  I know I’m not the only erotic revolutionary here! 

What might happen on our planet if we build

a critical mass of erotic consciousness? 

Paying Eros: Fuck your Creativity

Erotic Liberation and Emancipating Sexuality

Do you truly know your own will, when it is free, unbound and without regard for loss?  Do you bow to the will of Eros, or do you seek to bind your creative nature to the will of your logic? How far can you go, how far are you willing to go, to serve your own creative muse? What will do you choose, during your Earth time, so you may bring the one true, exquisite work with which your heart smolders? Will you set ablaze your life, foolishly and courageously risking being reduced to ashes? Will you hope to light the world with your outrageous claim to radiance?

Are you willing to feed your work, your true work, the thing your very soul requires for food, with the pleasure that arises hotly from between your legs?  From the moist delight that graces your yearning lips or from the relish of your sticky fingers?  Will you caress your project with the hungry touch of a lover? Trace the edge of your story with one slow, wet, finger tip? Let your gaze hover over your canvas, ripe with the slick yearning of your want?

How much raw lust do you bring, will you bring, to that which you must do before you are killed by desire?

Will you lay on your couch, your lover’s tongue lapping up your slime, as you type outlandish poetry furiously, moaning, onto a computer screen that your half-open eyes don’t even see? Will you stir your passion into the bubbling pot on the stove as your crazy crush rubs and humps against your backside, leans into your neck, whispers naked wanting into your soft ear? Will you let flamboyant dreams overtake you, draw you to the far edge of the universe of your imagination and make mad plans, as the fingers of your darling probe the holiness of your body?  Will you tear off your bandages, rip off the scars and scabs of your heart, so that Eros is reinstated as your top, your Dom, your Sir?

Will you let your fingers bleed the words onto the pure page, great smears of red, writing the words your mouth does not even know how to speak? Will you drop your hands to your sex and use the smut you find there to fuel your collaborations? Will you use your own salty sweet cum to trace the brutal and beautiful designs of power and lust over the flushed-skin trembling one  at your side? Designs made of desire like wire brands searing the flesh in subtle patterns that speak truth louder than clothing can hide? Will you dip your pen, your wand, your brush into the feral sweat in the creases at your lover’s hips, and wet the virgin page with your unfulfilled, unsatiated passion?

Will you endure or inflict the agony of blows, strikes that carve out the heart leaving unfamiliar and unexplored chambers for love to fill? Will you marry your violence, your pain and terror to the starlit night and full moon perfection of joy and beauty? Will you join all of your selves, your broken child, your mighty wise one, and your fierce healer, in service of the Art of your life? Will you bleed? Will you cum? Will you give the cherry of your erotic self in service to the Eros of the Earth?

Will you Fuck with merciful abandon?

Will you Fuck with freedom and with the innocence of violets and ferns unfurling next to streams? Streams that flow like the waters between your very legs,  streams that carve away the flesh of the Earth as your fingers tear at the pathways to arousal of your beloved self? Streams that dissolve rock as your flesh and bone dissolve resistance, break boundaries, abolish thought and control?  Will you know God through your fucking, through your fucking, bleeding, pissing, cumming body?

Will you?  Because that, muthafuckas, is Erotic Liberation.  And whether you believe it or not, you exist right now only because of Eros, brilliant and deliberate or misguided and pathologized as the case may be. Eros is owed the tremendous debt of remembrance.  We each of us are completely and utterly responsible for restoring innate and right relationship with our deepest creative source.  Let us pay homage through feeling. 

Bring back right relationship with Eros and Emancipating Sexuality

  

Erotic Energy 101: Tools to maximize pleasure

Erotic Energy Emancipating SexualityLiving in Northern California, the term “energy” gets bandied about with quite a degree of frequency.  And in my field, that includes erotic energy.  We talk about “erotic energy regulation” and “moving through your energetic blocks.”  Now, admittedly, I’m pretty woo.  But sometimes I feel challenged by what exactly I’m supposed to “do” when playing with energy.  I feel it, I know it exists, but how to engage it in meaningful, and pragmatic ways?

Why work with Erotic Energy? 

Well, Neo-Tantra has claimed erotic energy as part of the branding.  Personally, I find it really distasteful.  But I’m not willing to let them have all the good stuff!  I think that everyone can have access to the skills of erotic energy regulation without having to subscribe to a vague ‘sacred sexuality’ doctrine.

Emancipating Sexuality and Erotic Energy
Oh Gross.

I work with erotic energy in different ways.  Deepening my understandings (like writing this piece) is one way; practicing and experimenting with things is another.  I work with erotic energy because I find that I don’t truly know the edges or limits of my own potential as an erotic being.  I am of a curious nature, and find that engaging energy in my sexual encounters provides deeply pleasurable and often transformative encounters.

 What is a working definition of “erotic energy?”

Dictionary.com offers the following definitions:

Erotic: pertaining to sexual desire

Energy: The capacity to do work, available power

Therefore, a working definition of ‘Erotic Energy” could be “The available power of sexual desire.”  Of course, I want to add “pleasure” to this definition. Thus, here’s my definition:

“Erotic energy is a resource available to humans at all times, and can be understood as ‘the pleasurable power of desire.’”

What are the tools to access and use erotic energy to maximize pleasure?

I believe there are different skills involved in working with erotic energy.  There are a set of foundational skills of embodiment.  Then, there are skills of creating, sustaining, moving and sharing erotic energy.  Many people have access to some of these skills, and can choose to develop others.

Foundational Skills

Aware of Body Sensations

Aware of the inner landscape of the body

Sensation is returned to areas of the body once numb

Lives fully in all areas of one’s body

Able to breathe fully into the belly: the belly is soft, and movements are smooth

Able to place one’s awareness in different areas of the body, and hold it

Able to move the “I” who is experiencing out of the head region, and place it into different areas of the body

Has a “pleasure map” of own body

Aware of own energy field

Can access own energy field at will

Erotic Energy Emancipating SexualityCreating Erotic Energy

Able to build sexual charge within the body

Able to turn oneself on

Can use tools of breath, sound, movement, touch, fantasy or visual stimulation.

Able to feel touch, whether self or other, through skin, eyes, heart love, life

Profoundly touched by the natural world

Profoundly moved by the capacity for beauty created by the human species

Sustaining Erotic Energy

Able to maintain a level of erotic charge

Training to increase capacity to sustain pleasure

Can ‘hang out’ in the Valley of the Orgasm

Able to hold erotic charge through orgasm, and retain

Sustains a level of consistency in libido, with natural ebb and flow

Moving Erotic Energy

Can pump erotic energy through the body through:

  • kegels
  • the microcosmic orbit
  • pelvic thrusting
  • hip opening movements and poses
  • exercise of the pelvis or pelvic floor muscles

Can allow sexual charge to move beyond the genitals and circulate throughout the body

Can allow the mind to soften, and embrace the slipping away of time and space

Utilizes both Muscular excitement (Constriction) and muscle relaxation to build charge

Sharing Erotic Energy

Able to dissolve personal boundaries

Can merge with another energetically

Can feel a field of erotic energy shared between self and others

Can allow own erotic field to open to include natural world

This list is about some of the energetic possibilities that we can access as humans.  It is not exhaustive, and while many people can probably access some of these skills, most people probably cannot access all of them, all of the time.  I know I can’t!  So not to be disheartened if this list seems overwhelming; it’s just potentials!

I will continue to write about erotic energy and its regulation.  If you are intrigued by your own erotic potential, I invite you to try this.  Masturbate to the edge of orgasm, and stop.  And pay particular attention to how you feel and what you notice internally for the next hour.  Then, masturbate again, and notice what happens.  And if you like, drop me a line at pavinimoray@gmail.com and let me know what happens!