Tagline 2 could go here

An Integrative Approach to Sexual Wellbeing and Erotic Vitality

Sex should be a Symphony, not a One Note Samba

Joseph Kramer

Erotic energy is a life force which can bring enthusiasm, vitality and creativity to all aspects of our lives.

Many of us engage in some kind of sexual activity on a regular basis - either with self or other(s). We invest a lot of time, attention and energy supporting various other aspects of our lives. We get exercise programmes from Fitness Trainers. We find the best teachers to stimulate our minds. Some seek spiritual guidance. But what of our sexual/erotic life? Who do we turn to for coaching in the very area which has the capacity to provide the greatest pleasure for ourselves and those we engage with.
Much of my work is with male clients and sometimes their partners. However, this work is accessible to all genders, so feel free to adapt what you read to your own situation.

Here are a few questions worth asking:
How often do we engage in sex, and what is the impulse behind it?
How do we feel during and after sex?
What part does porn or drug use play in our sexlife?
How “present” are we to our erotic experience, or are we repeating some habitual pattern?

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got” Tony Robbins

Erotic energy has the potential to pulsate throughout our bodies consistently. It is similar to our blood and lymphatic systems, but here is the twist.  If blockages in the blood and lymphatic systems go un-noticed, the body can shut down. Unfortunately, our erotic energetic system can be operating at 20% or less, without any distress signals. This could be linked to the sex-negative aspects of our culture. There is certainly a lack of uplifting erotic narrative and appropriate mentoring available. Where do we find a safe and supportive space to learn more about pathways to better sex? Who can provide the eldership, wisdom and inspiration to help us heal and progress? Where do we find somewhere to unpack the picnic basket of our erotic lives?

Until recently, if you wanted help in the area of sex, you had to make a choice to approach a therapist to talk through issues, or a sex worker to gain some hands-on experience. When dealing with the therapist, one had to translate the narrative into practical application. The sexworker may provide an inspirational one-on-one engagement, but it could be difficult to re-create in the context of your own sexlife.
“Have what you have. Want what you want - and work on the difference”

There are an emerging range of body-oriented practitioners, who have skills and training to assist in expanding the landscape of our erotic horizons. Internationally there is a small group with skills and expertese which span both psychotherapy and sexological bodywork. This is an emergent integrative approach which spans both talk and touch. In my own work, I find that some clients or issues call for more talk before moving towards touch. Others begin with touch and then realise that there are narratives nestled in the sinews of our body which call for attention, messages which need to be deciphered, acknowledged and addressed. It is an organic and intimate process, in which it is most important to “hold space” for the unfolding experience of the client, while also providing mechanisms to allow them to move towards insight, inspiration and expansion. One of the great benefits of this work is that whatever one learns in a session is often simultaneously integrated within both the body and the mind. There are also a range of exercises and practises to keep the process “cooking”, so that it can infuse into our sexual/erotic life, and indeed all aspects of our vitality.

The sexual narrative we grew up has a strong influence on us - the cultural, familial and personal stories we absorbed. As we make room to unpack our old stories, we become more able to open to expansive, respectful, adventurous and engaging erotic narratives. Our work is then to address the habitual behaviours and conditioning which impede our progress.
“If you don’t change direction, you’re likely to end up where you’re heading” - Lao Tse
There are many progressive and heart-warming developments in relation to male cutlure. However, when it comes to talking about sex, I sense that there remains considerable posturing in the form of “denial” or “bravado”. These impede the development of sex-positive models of support, caring, mentoring and guidance which are much needed. Further, there is a strong masculine bias towards “control” and “fixing things”. This is helpful when dealing with crisis or building a house. It is devastating in the context of sexuality and intimacy.

In moving beyond the legacy we have been given, it is important to develop more sensitivity to our own bodies. Clearly each of us has a body, a sensory vehicle through which we experience the world and interact with others. However, despite our intimate connection with this apparatus, we can often slip out of relationship with various aspects of the very body we inhabit. We can simply not notice what is happening. There are sometimes situations in which we feel unable to do anything about the presenting sensations, feelings, or situations that emerge. We get stuck.

“The best things can’t be told,” because they transcend thought. “The second best are misunderstood,” because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can’t be thought about.“The third best are what we talk about.”

This quote is a good introduction to the subject of Tantra, which is central to the ethos of my work.Tantra has a range of meanings. It is suggested by some that it is actually made up of two sanskrit words - Tan, meaning extention and Tra, meaning transcendence. It is an invitiation to extend beyond the known sense of ourselves and the various polarities which pull at our identity. Through this work, we aim to catch a glimpse of transcendence, an experience which is somewhat beyond our grounded sense of reality.  As Eric Fromm tells us, “In erotic love, two people who were separate become one.” Tantra is a form of yoga, which means “union”, and includes the notion of regular practise. You can be shown tools, awaken sensation and experience in your body, but it is up to the client to continue developing your ability through regular exercises and activities to stimulate erotic energy and expand your capacity for pleasure.

Foundational elements of Tantra are: Touch, Breathwork and Awareness.

Touch:
Ask someone to scan their body to notice sensations, and they will often respond glibly, “I feel fine”. This is somatic insomnia. With guidance they might be encouraged to notice the touch of the cloth, or the air on their skin.

Working with touch awakens our relationship with our body, as well as often instinctively releasing tension. We can also develop more discernment around a range of sensations. There are three broad characteristics: Pleasant, Unpleasant and Nothing. Pleasant sensations are useful but generally known. Unpleasant are a little more useful because, taking a moment to rest with them, can allow us to unfold restrictions which limit our ability to experience pleasure. Feeling nothing can, in fact, be the most beneficial aspect of our work. If we develop the capacity to “be with” less known aspects with patience and open-hearted curiosity, our experience can transcend everything we knew about our relationship with the world, sensation, and erotic energy. As a bonus, the more we know about our own body, the more competence we build when engaging with other bodies. We improve our skills of intimacy, surrender, communication, sensitivity and move forward in our aspiration toward satisfaction and fulfilment.

Breathwork:
Sexological Bodyworkers, Toby and Garland remind us on their website spiritualeros.com that “We live in a culture that teaches us to be shallow breathers”. We need to work on this.
When we are conscious of our breathing, we are more present. There are many breathwork techniques to encourage deeper awareness.
Here are two:
1)Long, slow breath
Breathing deep into the belly, slows down our process so that we can bring more awareness and attention to whatever part of the body you may be focusing on. It can also assist with releasing tension.
In his book “Finding God Through Sex, David Deida proposes that men or the masculine principle need to move energy up from the genitals to the heart. This breathing technique can support that energetic flow.

2) Intense Power Breathing
Taking short deep breaths, with no gap between the “in” and “out” breath, rather like a steam train engine at full speed. This is useful at specific times where you want to move energy, as in noticing tension in parts of the body. It is also works to increase the ability to hold, maintain and build erotic charge.

Awareness:
Sometimes called Mindfulness, this is a deepening attribute of noticing. It is one thing to be touched. It is more, when you track the experience of touch in your body. How long can you stay present? Where do you drift off to? Often there are allied sensations in parts of the body which are not being touched. Sensations can transmute from itchy to tingling, pleasant to unpleasant, subtle to intense. Noticing these signals can spark radical awakening and insight. Further, by simply taking time, investing energy, holding space, and committing ourselves to erotic exploration and healing, we are sending a message to our bodies, our minds and our psyche, that we know there is more and we welcome the unfolding.
We are all conditioned to resist change. How do we overcome those outmoded aspects of our psyche which are can be so vigilant in strategising for stasis. Sometimes we need a roadmap to follow. It is often difficult to navigate without help.

There are an ever-expanding range of practitioners working with methodologies to support more presence, more embodiment and more fulfilling relationship with erotic energy. I hope this introduction to some of the core principles of my approach will spark some useful introspection, curiosity and experimentation in your own lives. Experience gives us knowledge to encourage our commitment towards expansion through practise and perseverence. I invite each of us to strengthen our path to sexual well-being and erotic vitality.

Enjoy the journey

“Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing” - Woody Allen

Kimbo is a Certified Sexological Bodywork Coach, Psychotherapist and Masseur.
He works in private practise in Sydney.
0490126497 www.dragonflysydney.com kimbo@dragonflysydney.com

 

Comments

There are no comments for this entry yet.

Add Your Comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.