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.

Am I feeling all I can? Honoring sex and life

candle-circleTuesday was my 43rd birthday.  

I spent the day at Orr hot springs, moving between the water, the woods and the bed.  All day was magickal,  from the tarot ritual in the afternoon to the devotional fire ritual in the early evening.  I dwelt in Spirit all day, finding the territories of the body and heart that welcome in the numinous.  I made love with Kali Maa, my Ishta Devi (which is like your deity BFF), and listened for the voices of the land, the water, the creatures.

I reflected on my year, on the 43 years of my life, and worked on honoring the life the resides in this body.  We often focus our honoring of life on ‘life out there’ forgetting that we too harbor the spark. What is it to honor the life force within?  

For a birthday gift, my lover gave me an NJOY, which is a really beautiful stainless steel dildo.  It looks like a work of art, and it feels incredible.  Best sex toy ever, and this is not a review.  This post is a celebration of the unrealized pleasure and feeling potential of our bodies.

Scientific American debunks the myth that as humans, we are using a mere 10% of our potential brain power, but until this morning when I was fact checking, I believed it.  What is true that is we are not using all of our brain at all times.  What if the same is true of our sexuality?  When I learn something new, my brain somehow codifies and stores that information that was not there before.  I have more information now than I had before.  I have learned.

I believe we all accept far less pleasure than we are capable of experiencing.  It is possible for us to learn new things in our sexuality.  It is possible for us to feel more.  These are my lived experience.

While every sex toy promises the ultimate pleasure, the pleasure does not arise from the toy itself, but from how our bodies respond to a different kind of stimulation.  When we are able to place our attention on subtle difference in sensation, we become able to feel more.  We can attune our attention to be ever more nuanced.

One of my favorite questions to ask myself when I notice that my mind is wandering during sex is “Am I feeling all the pleasure I could be feeling at this moment?”  In effect, asking that question both refocuses my attention on the pleasure I am feeling, and opens the door for my body to be able to feel more pleasure.

This same question can be extrapolated to our sexuality as a whole.  Am I feeling as much/experiencing as much/exploring as much as possible?  Or am I settling for 10% of my potential? 

The intention of such a question is NOT to create shame, or “I should be doing more,” but rather to invite space for more to be present within our sexual experiences and our sexuality.

On my birthday, I felt sensations I have not felt before.  My body responded in ways in has not responded before.

While we were soaking in the delicious hot water, my partner asked me if I thought that we would ever reach the end of the road with our explorations and our learnings about sexuality.  He then answered his own question, saying “Actually, I’ve been enjoying sex since I first figured out masturbation when I was nine.  It’s been getting better and better since then.  I don’t think it will ever run out.”

It can be easy to settle.  We get lulled to sleep, lured into complacency.  We think it’s too much effort to change, that our sex is good enough.  We can believe our demons are too scary, too difficult to face.  We can stop exploring, and our sex can become routine, limited, rote.  We can convince ourselves that sexuality isn’t that big a part of our human experience, that it’s a bunch of hype.  I know this too because of lived experience.

When I honor and listen to the voice of the life force residing in my body, I hear a different message.  I hear the word “Hope.”  Heeding the call of this voice, quiet as it initially was, has saved my life again and again.  So many times I have tried to settle. Tried to resist change, resist the hard work of intimacy, resist the call of my true animal nature.

This week, as many of my kind are setting resolutions for this next trip around the sun, I am instead honoring the life force that insists I pay attention to my sexuality, my creativity.  I am honoring the fire within that quietly but firmly resists falling to sleep and missing my life.   I am honoring the continued learning and evolution of my sexuality and my pleasure.  I am honoring my commitment to showing up for the exquisite theatre of the body.  And I am honoring the insistent voice of Hope, telling me that there is more to feel.  

 

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