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Sacred Touch for Men Relax your body. Reclaim your pleasure. Find your passion.

I’m in an afterglow today after an amazing evening of heart centered play, connection and energy exchange. Today I’m struck by by the powerful feeling of masculine play. As boys we learn how to interact and play with others. We learn about the value of masculine play. As adults, however, it’s all to easy for me to forget about the value of play and get stuck in my left brain hemisphere where it’s all about tasks, to do’s, language and the past and future. Last night was an opportunity to spend several hours at play pretty much completely in the present moment of my right brain.

One of the highlights of the evening was hearing Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight talk on Ted. When my friend first stated the talk, I really wasn’t paying much attention. However, as I began to listen to her talk I notice my left brain asking lots of questions. “Who is this person?” “Is she crazy?” “What is this?” My mind wanted to categorize the points of her talk. After a bit, I consciously let go of having to ask myself questions and just listened. That’s when the magic happened: the talk was about right/left brain experiences and I had to listen with both parts of my brain. I all too often filter much of my experience with primarily my left brain; consequently, I never see the entire picture.

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in a ‘right brain or left brain’ dilemma. After my experience last night, I’m really aware that the word or is very limiting. I’m choosing the word and instead. When my right brain and my left brain work together magic can happen!

If you haven’t heard her talk, please take the 19 minutes to hear it – it was inspiring.

Here we go again. And right after I wrote about religion and spirituality. Another pastor sharing the love of Jesus by advocating that all queer people should be locked up in electrified pens. And I wonder why I’m getting more radical as I get older?

I vividly remember this kind of shit back in the 80′s during the worst of the AIDS crisis. Funny how much things change yet how much they stay the same.

It does make it challenging to just stand by and love everyone though! I guess I take a deep breath.

Religion and Spritiuality

Posted by ed on May 20, 2012
Posted in Gay life  | Tagged With: | No Comments yet, please leave one

Throughout history many people have been hurt in the name of religion. Of course this also includes many queer people. While I make no excuses for the hurt and pain inflicted on people in the name of religion, I also feel that we can all too easily dismiss the benefits of a spiritual path because of the pain inflicted by people in the name of religion.

The words religion and spirituality are often used interchangeably; however, I believe that these are two very different concepts. Religion is a belief structure with a hierarchy that is controlled by those in power. Although religion came from spiritual teachings, it often morphs into a control structure that focuses more on keeping power and control rather than the original spiritual teaching. Many religions also have strong desires to increase their followers by conversion and often teach that their is the ‘correct’ or true belief and all others are less than the true. In other words – I’m right and you’re wrong.

On the other hand spirituality has no concept of right and wrong. Spirituality, by definition is a very personal belief. People may share their spiritual beliefs but few would try to convince someone that their belief is the true and correct belief. More often than not you’ll hear “whatever works for you.”

I’ve found that a spiritual practice has been very helpful for me. My spiritual practice embraces my identity as a queer man, it upholds the joy and the mystery of sexuality, it helps me find order in things that have no order and it connects me to the wonder of it all. My spiritual practice has elements of my Catholic upbringing, but also has elements of many other practices – some Western, some Eastern and some Pagan. It’s highly personal and is a reflection of who I am.

My spiritual beliefs are evolving and a result of years of exploration. Some of that exploration was learning from going down dead ends. These dead ends weren’t failures; rather, they helped my path to learn what is best for me.

Be an explorer!

Check out the May Newsletter talking about missed opportunities and lessons around bullying.

Voting Against Minority Rights – Again!

Posted by ed on May 8, 2012
Posted in Gay life  | Tagged With: , , | 1 Comment

I’ve previously expressed my opinion on gay marriage. In brief, yes, we should have the same rights as anyone else to have the government recognize our relationships. I also question why anyone would want to enter into such a contract. But that’s not the point of this post.

However, this evening the people of North Carolina effectively wrote discrimination and bigotry into their state constitution. I find it completely ironic that this is just another example of putting minority rights to a popular vote. Of course, the minority will lose – that’s why they’re a minority. I remember back to 7th grade when, in a government class, I was first introduced to the phrase majority rule with minority rights – I guess that was a bunch of bullshit!

Other than changing planes in Charlotte, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been to North Carolina. I just find it humorous that many of the cities are named after cigarettes (or maybe it’s the other way around!) I guess I won’t be heading there anytime soon.

I’m mad at religion for assuming that the only route to God is through their doctrine. I’m mad at religion for ignoring Jesus’ call to love and heal and instead they focus on hate and bigotry. I’m mad at religion for focusing on all this external behavior rather than (at least to me) the true nature of religion which about developing a very personal, internal relationship with God. The religious bigots are so focused on us and them – good and evil. It’s so easy to look at everything from a binary perspective. Yet, the world isn’t binary. If all we see is good and evil we miss so much because we’ve vested in being right. To me, spirituality is about – letting go of ego and letting things be. As someone once said to me in a very different context, it’s about the tyranny of the word or and the power of the word and.

Anyway, I’m sure this effort to enshrine discrimination into the constitution will continue. I”m curious how much (tax exempt) money churches spent on this political battle. I”m even more curious how these churches justify spending limited resources on a political issue rather than heeding Jesus’ call to care for the less fortunate. How many people could have been clothed or fed from the money spent on politics?

Seems to me that organized religion is missing something.

Best I can tell National Masturbation Month was started by Good Vibrations back in 1995. According to the GV website:

Earlier that year, then-Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for saying that masturbation should be discussed as part of young peoples’ sex education. We were astounded. It was one of the most sensible things we’d ever heard a government official say — and it cost Elders her job! We started National Masturbation Month to raise awareness, and because we wanted to highlight the importance of masturbation for nearly everyone: it’s safe, it’s healthy, it’s free, it’s pleasurable and it helps people get to know their bodies and their sexual responses. Of all the kinds of sex people can have, masturbation is the most universal and important, yet few people talk about it freely — worse, many people still feel it is “second best” or problematic in some way. National Masturbation Month lets us emphasize how great it is: it’s natural, common and fun! This year’s theme is “D.I.Y.” Do it yourself! Nobody does it better!

One of the things I’ve noticed is that, for most guys, we learn about masturbation in our early teens and often don’t change the way we pleasure ourselves since that time. Think about it, look at what you liked when you were 13 years old. How many of those things do you like today? If you’re like most, your tastes have changed considerably, yet many of us masturbate the exact same way we did back then.

At that time our goals were to get things done quickly and quietly so that we didn’t get caught.  Consequently, we learned to go really fast, be very quiet and quickly get rid of any evidence of what we were doing.

Try something new. Slow down. Take the first 10 to 15 minutes and engage your body everywhere except your genitals. Take your time a warm up; take nice deep breaths. After this introductory time, try out different strokes. We all have our favorites, but changing the stroke can bring entirely new sensations. Go slow; let go of having to be hard and allow your body to react naturally. As you go slow and take your time, you may find some entirely new and welcome sensations. When you’re done, don’t immediately reach for the towel and get up. Savor the sensations – they keep coming. Allow yourself the luxury of taking in the entire experience.