Trans Male Sexuality: The Geography of Pleasure

bridge-to-tunnel

“Geography of Pleasure: Embodiment for Trans Guys.”

February 21-23, 2014 in San Francisco

This is a three day workshop for those of trans-masculine experience who are curious about exploring their bodies. Did your trans body come with a user guide to optimize your pleasure? Together, we write our own.

In this highly interactive workshop, conducted by trans-masculine facilitators, you get to deepen your understanding of the unique and diverse capacity trans male bodies have for pleasure.

Art, Anatomy, Touch, Ritual and Conscious Play are the ingredients. This workshop focuses on the entire body and is held in a container that is playful, safe and reverential. All of the myriad decisions trans masculine people make about their bodies in regards to surgery and hormones are honored.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for those who self-identify as having a trans masculine experience.  This includes FTM, trans guys, bois, transmen and other trans masculine identities. .

Is this a sexual space?  

It both is and is not a sexual space. Meaning, this will be a boundaried, facilitated space for the exploration of an individual’s own body. In that way, we will be engaging with our sexual and sensual selves, as we seek to understand our anatomy and our pleasure more deeply.

In support of that deepening, touch will be involved, to each participant’s own level of comfort. Everyone will always be in choice about to what degree and in what ways they participate and engage. As a somatic learning community, we will assist each other in many ways in these explorations. Choice and consent are paramount in regards to any touch that happens in the workshop.

This will not be a sexual hook-up space, and the focus will never be on the sexual experience between participants. This will not happen within the container of the workshop.

This is radical, edgy work for a group of people that have most likely not experienced respectful learning spaces that are designed to serve our specific needs as trans guys. We welcome lots of questions and discussion, especially from folks may have who feel drawn to attend but are concerned about what will happen at the workshop.

The facilitation crew includes Captain Snowdon, Pavini Moray, Ari Zadel and Dallas Maynor.

To our knowledge, a workshop like this has never been done. We aim to create something that can be shared with trans guys around the world. Help us get the word about this necessary work OUT! 

Please forward this to any person of transmasculine experience you know, even if they are not in San Francisco, and ask them to do the same.

Feel free to contact pavinimoray@gmail.com with any questions.

Tickets available: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/geography-of-pleasure-embodiment-for-trans-guys-tickets-9731768983

No one is going to do it for us.  BUT…..

Together, we can create the kind of embodied sex education we want and need!  

Bringing It until I Fucking Die

Emancipating Sexuality brings it.
Janis Joplin

Someone I deeply respect, and who has had an enormous impact on the art and craft of my teaching unsubscribed from my blog this week.  It was after a particularly graphic post that I wrote, about practicing to be fucked in an alley.

While I understand on an intellectual level that the edge I walk in my work as a teacher of sexual liberation is not for everyone, inside my heart, I felt pain, and another surprising feeling: shame.

The voices of self-doubt rose strongly: am I doing anything that has meaning?   Am I not going to be liked, respected, accepted, loved because I insist on pushing the boundaries of sexual freedom in such a public way?  Should I tone it down, practice and explore privately? Am I too going too far, beyond that radical edge, to where my work loses relevancy?  The level of doubt was staggering.

Maybe, I thought, I should step away from this work, and go back to working with kids with dyslexia.  No one ever unsubscribed from that blog.  (Okay, I didn’t really have a dyslexia blog, but in my oh-so-fun shame story, they wouldn’t have if I did have one!)

I am not sure if self-doubt and feeling unworthy are the same exactly, but they are pretty darned close. Who am I to do this? Why would anyone want to work with me? These are the unworthy voices.

There is something so scary in doubting what I’m doing.  What if I’m lying to myself? What if I am delusional? I don’t want to be dependant on external validation by others, but in these moments, I find I am.

I know it’s not sexy. I know successful people often hide these kinds of thoughts behind a veneer of confidence.  Which is exactly why I want to speak them.  I get so tired when I try to hide insecurity, judgement, doubt.  Actually, hiding them seems to empower them, make them stronger.  I have found that if I just name these shadow feelings aloud, radical and scary as it is, they seem to dissipate. 

So, dear readers, today’s post isn’t for your benefit, per se.  It is for my own… to publicly own all of those unlovable parts. To claim transformational process as a state of being, replete with doubt and shame.  To be honest about how it actually is today, inside this skin sack I’m wearing.

And I do want the kind of world where we can all be honest about the shadow places, the fear places, the small places, and find love and acceptance out there. I spoke with my partner, who is often wise in the ways of transformative process.  What he said is that self-doubt is just part of the process.  It’s to be expected, planned for even.

And so, wallowing within the void of self-doubt, I prayed.  I asked Spirit for a sign.  “Please, please show me and let me know that you want me to keep doing this., that I am meant to do this.”  

I mean, I’ve trusted this process thus far.  I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting deeply that I am being led in good ways through my life.  I’ve made so many scary, risk-taking-you-could-really-regret-this-later kinds of decisions, and they have always worked out. I have trusted that a higher intelligence guides my work, and that there is a benevolence that is holding me as I move through my days. I have said, and continue to say, “Yes” to what is.

Well, I did get my sign, my coincidence, my synchronicity.  Yesterday, I came across and read a beautiful blog post, one which made me cry.  After reading, I was checking out more of the blog, an lo and behold, the author (someone I have never met) had written to me a couple of weeks ago, telling me how deeply they appreciate my work, how they are coming to San Francisco soon, how they would like to meet me.  In that moment of connectedness, I felt my heart open.  While I continue to feel  fear and sadness and the loss of the kind of passability that comes with being an educational therapist and not with being a sex coach, I know I am going to keep bringing it. In spite of self-doubt, I continue on, as evidenced by the writing of this blog post.

Because I think that  this TRULY what successful people do.  They keep bringing it, and bringing it, in spite of objection, persecution, obstacles, self-doubt, and loss.  They keep bringing it because they have to, because it gives their life deep fucking meaning, and they really believe in their work that much.  They truly cannot do anything else. They keep fucking bringing it, until they fucking die. I am of that ilk.  So, though I know the cost of admission is painful, and that the road will be fraught with self-doubt, I am going to fucking bring it, until I fucking die. I can’t really do anything else.

My new zine “Sexual Liberation Front” Free Download

Sexual LIberation FrontThis summer, I published my first “product.”  I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1980’s, when the hardcore punk scene was going strong.  I came up on zines, and have a strong affinity for information being distributed in a sub-culture underground.  This first issue of my zine is a labor of love, and I offer it in spirit of the gift economy: it will not be sold or bartered, ever.

It feels really scary to put a huge piece of my work out into the world, and let go of control over what will happen with it.  But it feels important in service of our collective sexual liberation.  That said, may this delight you, instruct you, challenge you and ultimately serve you.

Sexual Liberation Front: For Queers and those of Marginalized Sexual Identity

Zine Free Download

Please share, print,  and disseminate widely, with credit.

And no pressure, but if you do read it, it would mean a lot to me if you would drop a note and let me know.

My deepest love for all who read.

Turning Ourselves On: Creativity and Orgasmic Energy Regulation

How can I use Erotic Energy to fuel my creative projects?

Emancipating Sexuality loves the Magic Wand
Do you have one of these yet?

 I sat down this morning to write a blog post after being gone from my blog all summer.  True, my travels were wonderful and life-changing. True also that trying to start writing again was daunting.  I stared at the blank screen.  I looked at my notes.  I researched if Albert Einstein felt guilty for his role in the atom bomb.  I looked at a zine on consent.  I vented about consent.  But still, nothing brilliant or gorgeous was, ahem, coming.

After awhile of this, I told my partner, (contentedly writing at his desk across from me)  that I was stuck with  my writing.  I was hoping he’d inspire me. You know, get my juices flowing.  Or distract me.  But instead, he nodded sagely, and continued his own writing project. No help there.  I got up, got some sage and smudged my desk and computer.

Then I remembered some advice my friend Captain had once given me.  When I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, he said Masturbate, but don’t come. Do it frequently, until you know what you want!”  So I went upstairs, took off my pants, and laying on my bed, let my junk bask in the warmth of the sun coming through my window.

Surrendering to the morning sun,  I started to breathe into my pelvis.  The deep connection between erotic energy and creativity is one I know.  It was clear that my stuck place in writing was sourced from my own body.  My hands drew lazy, sweet circles on my body.  Touching, relaxing, stimulating.  Eventually, I called on my Magic Wand, and together we journeyed.  I thought of the irony of the name “the magic wand” and how like a pen a wand is.  How writing and fucking are connected for me.

I let myself turn myself on.  I allowed my erotic energy build. I  consciously pulled it throughout my body, letting every part of my body taste the yumminess.  Using breath, and the movement of my body to feel the sexy everywhere. I knew I was not going to let myself orgasm, so there was no urgency, no goal.  It was just turn-on.

As pleasure built, it became clear that I could write about this, my accountability for my own turn-on, my own erotic energy, my own creative process.  My partner is not responsible for turning me on; I am!  Using my tools of breath, placement of attention (helped by the warmth of the sun) and movement, I was able to unlock the Eros within.

Often in my sexual past, orgasm has been the goal, and admittedly I’ve had some orgasm obsession.  Like trying to time it just right.  Trying to get there with my partner.  Trying to have the biggest fattest orgasm that lasts forever. Trying to be multi-orgasmic. Trying trying trying.

Or, even more challenging, “Orgasm Chasing,” as my teachers call it.  Using muscular constriction, making orgasm the definitive moment of a sexual encounter.  Trying really hard to come.  Either to get it over with as soon as possible (pleasure can be hard to bear,) or because I’m afraid my partner might bail and then I would miss out, so better get it quick. Building to orgasm but not coming circumvents the entire orgasm dilemma.

Using held orgasmic energy to fuel creative process is a fabulous and inspirational trick.  It served me well today, and I hope it will serve you.  Try it, if you haven’t, or revisit it if it’s been awhile.

What will you use your orgasmic energy to fuel? Take a minute and commit to it in the comments below.

Learning Sex through Pleasure

Can you imagine how it would be if you had learned about the importance of pleasure in your sex ed classes at school?  Earlier this month,  I was honored to present at the AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists) conference in Miami.  I offered a workshop entitled “Pleasure Focused Sexuality Education.”  Through a series of playful and fun experiential activities, over 75 sex teachers and therapist considered how to teach Sex Ed using PLEASURE as the central curricular tenet.  This is a radical thing, right?

Traditionally, AASECT has disallowed members from using touch as an educational modality.  By including me, a Sexological Bodyworker, in their line-up, they demonstrated their recognition of Somatic Sex Education as a trend.  I was able to discuss Sexological Bodywork and the Professional Code of Ethics at the town hall meeting on the ethics of touch.  It was invigorating to welcome the curiosity of my AASECT colleagues, and to educate them about the work I am doing.

Oh yeah, and I took hot-off-the-presses copies of my new zine “Sexual Liberation Front” and gifted them to the wonderful people who received me so graciously.  I heart my anarchist roots!

Receiving the Fruits of Love

“Desire consists of three stages.  First, getting clear on what you want.  Next, communicating it.  And last, being available to actually receive what you want, and recognizing it when it comes.” ~me

Often, this process breaks down for people in one of these stages.  After a number of failed attempts, we subconsciously learn to push away our desire, as it has become the source of pain.  To be truly intimate, we must reclaim our desire.  We can practice each of the three stages.  When we learn to consciously and actively receive, we begin to realize that our desire is not all encompassing.  We begin to know that it’s okay to be hungry, because sometimes we are full.  We begin to allow the yearning that brings us closer to Spirit, because sometimes we know the feeling of one-ness, of not-alone-ness.

Receiving is an Intimacy Technology skill.  Perhaps receiving seems like the most intuitive part of the process.  Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “Pavini, I TOTALLY am able to receive what I want.”  I believe you.  And also I invite you to consider the following.

It’s my belief, that beneath our cool exterior, most of us  feel a sense of profound inadequacy.  And I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Tara Brach, Brene Brown, and many others link our chronic suffering with a deep-seated sense of being unworthy. In fact, the Dalai Lama has ‘”expressed astonishment at the  degree of self-aversion and feelings of unworthiness reported by Western students.”  And he’s hanging out with the kids who are actually working to undo that particular belief!

When I was first falling in love with my partner, I was deeply worried about what must be horribly wrong with my partner, since they were falling in love with me.  How could I possibly actually receive love and care when I believed that the giver was deeply flawed?  And that I was deeply flawed?  If I am not worthy of love and care, I can’t actually receive it.

So yeah, somewhere along the way we swallowed a bunch of crap.   Unpacking and rewriting the unworthiness story is crucial.  And it can be a long road to recovery.  Feeling worthy definitely takes practice and repetition over time.

Once I’ve been working on the worthiness thing for awhile, then I can turn my attention to receiving.  Even if  if I can receive love and care, doReceiving massage can help you practice receiving other things.  I notice that I am receiving long enough to feel satiation?  If all we ever feel is hungry, we lose the sweetness of dancing along the spectrum between full and empty. We numb to the subtlety and nuance of our experience when our ability to move between binaries is stuck.

When I first left my marriage, and I was living on my own, I spent an entire Thanksgiving weekend painting my living room the color of sweet potatoes.  I listened to Lauren Hill, danced, cried and made my space gorgeous.  After the long weekend, when I was standing looking in the front window to my home, and all the lights were on, I had a curious sensation.  I couldn’t place it at first.  And then it hit me: I was content!  I had never had that experience before.  I luxuriated for months in the satiation of all of my work of leaving, moving, and creating.  It was a wonderful way to receive myself, with love.

One way you can assess how well you are able to receive is by asking someone to give you a massage.  (It’s in the name of research, tell them.)  As you are being touced, notice how deeply you can allow the touch to soak in.  Do you feel it just at the skin?  Can you allow it to absorb further in? To your muscles?  Bones?  Heart?  Can you actually feel the love pouring through someone’s hands and into your body?  This month’s Intimacy Technology class is on Receiving.  On how we can practice being available to receive more of what we want intimately, and how we can recognize it once we have it.  I hope you’ll join me on Monday, May 20 at 7.

“Is it Pee?” Public Erotic Education and Female Ejaculation

“Is it Pee?” was a predominant question many participants had during yesterday’s Female Ejaculation workshop held in Oakland.   Since I wasn’t leading the workshop, it was great to let someone else field the many curious questions, while I got to focus on my demonstration client. Yep, yesterday I had the privilege of conducting a demonstration Sexological Bodywork session.

This was the first time I had publically modeled the educational work I do as a Sexological Bodyworker.  Although nervous, I found I loved educating through touch.  It’s often hard to explain in an easily understandable way what exactly I do as a Sexological Bodyworker, and showing it was so much easier. Plus, watching someone touch themselves or another is a fabulous way tFemale Ejaculationo expand your own erotic repertoire and I wanted to bring that to this group.

In the hour leading up to the demonstration, I marveled at the sold-out crowd of over forty attendees.  Mostly hetero-normative presenting couples, they were well dressed, well spoken and obviously well educated.  When asked about their intentions, many of the male-identified participants noted that they were there to learn to “make her squirt.”  The female-presenting members of the audience wanted to be able to ejaculate, or wanted to control their ejaculation.

Part of what was so fascinating to me was how little information they seemingly had about female anatomy and sexuality.  They were so hungry to know more, and intensely curious.  I realized how pedestrian a topic female ejaculation has become in my world, and was struck by remembering it is still edgy and mysterious in the world-at-large outside of my sex educator bubble.

After an hour of anatomy, technique and presentation of the limited scientific research that has been done, it was our turn.  My demonstration client and I took the stage, leaning against the draped massage table in the front of the packed room.  I introduced myself and my work, and went into my intention for doing the demonstration.  Most important to me was that this audience feel permission to ejaculate or not, and feel free from the pressure to perform.

Naming the nervousness and pressure both I and my model felt, I spoke to the men first, stressing that they were never going to “make her squirt.”  That as a bodyworker, all I could do would be to create the conditions where squirting could occur, and if my model squirted, it was because of her own body and reactions.  (It annoys me when doctors talk about “delivering a baby.  Hey, I’m the one doing the work!  Female ejaculation is a little like that.)

I spoke to the pressure and shame female-identified people feel around squirting: squirting has become the new black, and you should be able to do it if you’re awesome in bed.  Or, conversely, the shame women feel when they squirt and make a “mess” without control over the process.  It’s a no-win!  I asked all members of the audience to take that pressure off of themselves.  When she introduced us, the facilitator had invited us to ask for anything we needed, and I asked for the support of the audience in witnessing a gift: the model, sharing her most intimate self with us, without the pressure to ‘perform.’

I felt a deep commitment to providing a real experience of my best erotic touch skills, and educating those watching through modeling attention, concentration and connection.  In ejaculation porn, the female often squirts excessively and repeatedly, usually after hard fucking with no foreplay.  This is not a typical squirting experience.

In our class, my highly hydrated model disrobed, and I began by asking her permission to lay my hands on her body. This is how I always begin a session, and feel it is critical for bodyworkers to gain verbal permission, every single time.  I laid my hands on her mons pubis, and her heart, and we breathed together until I felt the connection firmly established between us.  I had met her only once before, last week, when we got together to practice for the class.  We had established a good rapport then, and my goal was to make her very comfortable now, to feel safe and well cared for.  Throughout our session, I returned to eye contact with her again and again, and matched my breath to hers.

Slowly, I allowed my hands to explore her body, and started to tease pleasure to the surface of her skin.  The nerve endings in my finger tips danced with the nerve endings all over her body as we began to build erotic energy together.  We spoke quietly, as I checked in with her or as she made requests of me, staying connected and present to each other.  The rest of the room mostly faded away as we created the erotic container. From time to time I would speak to the audience (when I remembered them,) encouraging them to spend time opening the body so that the body will open.

Eventually, legs in the air and wrapped around my shoulder, she ejaculated into my gloved hand.  And then did it again.  I allowed her sacred waters to pour from my hand from above the table, allowing the audience to view the nectar of the process.  She then asked for and had a clitoral orgasm.  Afterwards, I held her, hugged her, and felt protective of her space.  Our connection was my focus.

As she recovered, we began to take questions.  The room had been pin-drop silent during the demo except for a few comments from me, her or the facilitator.  Now, people excitedly peppered us with queries.  The room was alive with possibility, and those gathered were eager to practice in the lab part of the class.  At that point, after speaking privately with a number of people about their individual struggles (including one very sweet pre-orgasmic woman and her partner) I left them to the erotic practice component.

I believe that the places we focus our attention come alive.  Over time, we learn new pathways into our deepest pleasure.  With practice, we get good at knowing our own bodies and responses.  With connection, we feel deeply held as we courageously explore that which we don’t know.

So is it pee?  I don’t think so, but I don’t really know.  And I don’t really care.  My own erotic practice of learning ejaculation has awakened tissues and nerves that I feel deep gratitude for knowing.  The permission to evolve as a sexual being that I have given and continue to give myself is profoundly satisfying.  And my erotic explorations have helped me know truths that I couldn’t have accessed otherwise.  And if that means I leave pee spots on my sheets sometimes, so be it.  It’s worth it.