Personal and Planetary Liberation through Practice

In these times, more than ever, our practices become what sustain and nourish our resiliency and our capacity to resist, without collapsing from fatigue. Our practices are our freedom; we choose where we place our valuable attention. Through practice, we become the artists of our own lives, refusing to subsist only on a diet of despair and powerlessness, instead practicing what deeply feeds us; joy, kindness, forgiveness, boundaries, pleasure.

Consciously choosing what we practice is how we liberate our lives, personally and collectively, from the tyranny of the over culture.  It is my professional opinion that making certain our bodies are feeling pleasure is a radical act of resistance, and a necessary act of self-care.

sexual liberation

Sexual liberation can be understood not as a state, but as a series of practices. Practices which support the commitment to freedom in one’s body, on one’s own terms. Choosing the erotic as a path to freedom takes tremendous courage, willingness to resist most of what you are told you should and should not do, feel, know and experience as a sexual being. Erotically liberating practices are countless, and wonderfully diverse; if the path of the erotic calls to you, choose one practice and follow it with avid curiosity as you discover what is true for you.

Here are five practices of sexual liberation, created for your delight and reflection.  One does not need to do all, or any, of these practices while pursuing freedom. Any practice (no matter how small) repeated over time, can lead to big changes in your sexual freedom.

I do not invoke sexual liberation lightly; I understand that it is the path for some, and not all, and also timing is key. No judgement if this is not your path, or not your path right now. No judgement that the erotic is the best path. As Rumi wrote, “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” But if practicing sexual liberation supports your wellness, my blessings on your practices!

Without further ado, practices that support Sexual Liberation.

Shamelessness: the practice of desiring, touching, and communicating with innocent abandon. Throwing off the repressive yoke of shame to embrace an inner attitude of freedom. How to practice: Notice when shame arrives knocking at the door. Usually, shame is attempting to control our speech, actions or requests. Once you notice that shame is in the house, imagine throwing it off of you. Shake yourself free (metaphorically, and even physically), take a big breath, and do or say the thing.  You can name that you are feeling shame, and acting anyway. By practicing shamelessness, we free ourselves of the constriction of shame. 

Lustiness: the practice of commitment to experience the world through the lens of lusty vigor. How to practice: Notice during the day when you have sexual feelings or thought. Perhaps someone hot crosses in front of you when you are stopped at a red light. Perhaps you wake feeling aroused. Once you notice the erotic stirring within you, bring your breath to it. Breathe into the feeling, and see if it wants to expand a little bit in your body. Allow yourself to slip into feeling lascivious. Instead of stopping lust when it happens, follow it for awhile and see where it leads. 

Permission: the practice of wanting what I want. Allowing the space in my life to want new, surprising things. How to practice: To give yourself permission to do something, you have to first notice when desire for something arises. Perhaps the impulse towards something you want is quite brief, and the inhibition of the impulse occurs almost immediately. Start by paying attention to those small desires, those moments where your desire surprises you. Notice what happens in your body when your impulse, and then inhibition, arise. Now experiment with telling yourself you can have whatever it is, if you really want it. Notice what happens in your body when you do that! If what you want is within the realm of harming none, and brings you pleasure, try actually following through on giving yourself permission. 

Celebration: the practice of celebrating sex, your body, body diversity by cultivating an attitude of raunchy joy, loud and raucous praise for the sensual and the sexual, and lip-smacking wonder and delight. How to practice: Savoring and Celebrating both require your attention. Talking with friends about the great sex you had last night, or praising your lover’s many delights out loud to them. You can cultivate gratitude for your erotic encounters, and remember them with relish and in detail in the day or so after they finish. 

Erotic Self-confidence: the practice of moving your body and making moves on your playmate without fear of rejection. How to practice: Athletes often use the power of their imagination to practice winning the game or meet. They go into great detail, forming a neural pathway in their brain that has already HAD the experience they are preparing for. Erotic self-confidence is similar. You can practice ahead of time, in your imagination. Of course, an erotic encounter will go how it goes, but preparing your brain for a confident experience will help. Another part of practicing erotic self-confidence involves practicing feeling confident. This can be in any situation. You tune your internal channel to the “I am a sexy, confident beast.” And you practice feeling that, and believing it is true. 

Choose one of these practice and try it out, if it brings you joy. Explore it to the edge. The practices of Sexual Liberation call you home, set you free, and nourish the revolution. 

I’d love to hear about your erotic practices. What works? What have you  explored? How does your erotic practice nourish you? Please leave a comment below! It makes me happy to hear from you.

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Watch the Video: How I masturbated in public and became a teacher of Sexual Liberation

Here’s the video of my Mystery Box Story!  Enjoy!

 

Sexual Liberation: Calling Ourselves Home to Erotic Wholeness

Emancipating Sexuality Calls us home to Erotic WholenessLast week, a client said to me “Well, I know you have always been free sexually, but I’m not like you, I’m stuck.” I smiled/cried because nothing could be further from the truth. I was sexually blocked for years.  Right now, I’ve got an erotic energy block the size of a small city at my diaphragm that I’m working on.  And, even being able to identify that stuckness is a profound indicator of how far I’ve come.  (We are called home to Wholeness)

No, this sexual liberation that I’m always nattering on about is hard won, every single day.

Each day I traverse the challenging road back to the body, back to my breath, back to pleasure, back to trust and vulnerability and intimacy.  Just as a path quickly becomes overgrown without traffic, this liberatory road of the body must consistently be tread and reinforced.  I must continually reinforce the neural wiring I am consciously choosing for my sexual liberation.

It’s important to name that being sexually stuck is where my journey began.  Stuck in a sexless marriage, stuck with a limited potential for pleasure, stuck.  I was settling for a mediocre sexuality that I knew was problematic.  I didn’t know how to get out of it. I had no support resources.

Around me, I saw those who were going further and deeper into their sexual potential.  I felt tremendous guilt that my sexuality was so limited. Deep shame that I seemingly had no libido.  When my then-partner would try to touch me, I felt fear and confusion at my arousal process, and no ability to talk about it or seek support.

In that ho-hum Eoyore way, I was accepting that this was as good as it was going to be for me in this lifetime. (We are called home to Wholeness.)

In therapy for food addiction, one day my therapist gently pointed out that as I was healing my relationship with food, I must also heal my relationship with my body.  An important next step was to enter more consciously into my sexuality.  When a client comes to me and expresses how stuck they feel, or how blocked their erotic expression is, I completely get it, on a body level.  I KNOW intimately the aversion, the fear, the shut-down.  And, I also know the desire and innate craving for erotic expression that led me out of that painful morass. Ultimately, it has led me to playfulness and joy in my sexual exploration.

We are called home to Wholeness.  In each new relationship, we are giving ourselves opportunity anew to heal our wounds, both from our past and from our lineage. I was recently in a group and there was a man there in his mid-seventies who had just come out as gay. He had spent his entire life taking the “easier path” (his words) only to find that hiding one’s erotic identity is ultimately a denial of one’s very life. I am grateful to have learned this truth at an earlier age.  But whenever we do decide that the pain of claiming who we truly are as erotic beings is LESS than the agony of trying to be someone we will never be, coming out allows us huge, instantaneous advances in our own liberatory process. 

This morning, I was reading Susie Bright’s lovely little book called Full Exposure: Opening Up to your Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression.

Susie writes:

“Not many people are actually looking sexual liberation, at least not until they get to the end of a very weary road of dissatisfaction.  That usually takes a decade or two.  Liberation, per se, is not the sort of thing people count as tops on their to-do list.”

In my perfect world, we all feel and acknowledge the pull of liberation as an imperative of being human. I KNOW we feel it.  I KNOW we deny it. And I know we get ourselves stuck, with the very purpose of later being able to set ourselves free. 

One of the agreements made in order to attend Black Velvet, the erotic experiment in the dark that I hosted last week, was an agreement to reflect in writing on the experience.  We asked participants several prompting questions, including “What were the rules you found, that you made for yourself?” Many people noted internally constructing rules that were not implicit in the structure of the event, or that didn’t necessarily benefit their erotic experience or freedom.  Here is qualitative data about how we construct our own erotic limitations, our own sexual prison cells, often without realizing it.

One of my dear friends, a teacher of erotic education and sexual liberation, has said to me upon several occasions, “I don’t feel sexually liberated, most of the time.”  Ironically, it was my observations of the erotic life of this person that led me to decide I was worthy of sexual liberation, and that I could have it in this lifetime.  That person helped me to realize that the rules I had about arousal, desire, and lust were not mine: they were internalized cultural constructs, or internally created prohibitive rules, that were not expressive of my true erotic nature.

Sexual liberation is a process, not a goal.  For the rest of my life, I will be freeing myself from all of the rules that I have swallowed, either those that culturally constructed or those that are self-imposed.  For the rest of my days, I will be calling myself home to erotic wholeness.

How do we start that sexual liberation process?   How do we free ourselves of the limiting beliefs, constructed and internalized rules and codes about eroticism, sensuality and sexuality?  How do we take those first, scary steps into our own erotic authenticity? How do we call ourselves home to erotic wholeness?

One of my favorite sayings by teacher Liu Ming: “Resist as much as you possibly can.  Only do that which you truly cannot resist.” Ironically, resisting the process is a crucial first step.  (Read my blog post about Resistance) While we can live in denial for a long while, at some point, our own heart becomes our compass. The pull of the truth that resides in our hearts and our genitals may be a quiet truth, but it ultimately is undeniable. 

There is no wrong way to step onto the sexual liberation path you are already on. 

One of the most important things I learned as a Montessori teacher was that I never know more than my student about what they need.  I don’t know when a student is ready to learn something, or if they even need to learn that thing.  All I can do is watch carefully, and be present to offer support when readiness appears.  It’s a philosophy I carry into this work.  I stand in honor of your process, without judgement or agenda.

Whether you choose to put sexual liberation at the top of your list (as I have done, and you could too; it’s fun!) or whether you choose to ignore sexuality altogether, press your legs tightly together, and think of England, there is a biological programming inherent in your cells that compels you to move in exactly the right motions and rhythm for you.  There is something inside that knows exactly what you need for erotic wholeness.

Here’s a final thought for today: you are already experiencing sexual liberation.  Susie Bright again: “When you do finally get laid, and then it happens again and again and again, the confidence you acquire leads you to some new questions about the value of sex, about a lover’s companionship in your life, about your own sense of adventure and mystery in your erotic body.” Let us call ourselves home to Erotic Wholeness.

What is one thing you can do right now to honor your Erotic Self?

Have your commitment witnessed by writing it in the comments below.