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

I’ve run into many guys lately spending a lot of time in various forms of online relationships. I’ve said to almost all of them that I really don’t understand the preoccupation we’re having with online relationships.

Really, how many times can I say hello to someone I don’t know on Grindr or Skruff? I’ve never met anyone from these apps and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re just for playing around.

There are only 24 hours in a day and I much prefer real physical relationships over virtual, online ones. Sure it’s nice to keep in touch with friends who aren’t in my area, but that is a poor substitute for real connection.

Yet, I think we’ve managed to create a situation where many of our relationships are virtual. Even look at our sex scandals lately, Anthony Weiner didn’t actually have any sex yet he’s in the midst of a sex scandal without having any actual sex! As written in the Huffington Post, “Instead, Weiner, like so many others online, has become accustomed to on-demand sexuality, where relationships with another person are convenient, controllable and entirely on his terms. We’re adopting an Amazon.com or Seamless Web approach to our sex lives, expecting that sexual fulfillment can be ordered up over the Internet like sneakers or pad thai.”

Setting aside the political scandal, I’ve seen this version of sanitized, virtual relationships way too much lately. We’ve created our equivalent of the Star Trek holodeck, where any fantasy can be manufactured. The unfortunate impact is that no real person will ever live up to our fantasy creations.

The challenge in any relationship is how we navigate through the things that don’t quite work for us. These virtual relationships that we create online don’t have any defects so we’ve lost skill and patience navigating though those imperfections when they occur in real life.

I’ll take real flesh and blood over bits any day.

Faerie Wisdom

Posted by ed on May 6, 2013
Posted in connectionGay life  | Tagged With: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beltane-poleI just returned from 10 days with the Radical Faeries celebrating Beltane.

This was my first Beltane celebration and my first extended experience with the Faeries. The entire experience unfolded rather quickly. I wasn’t planning on going until, almost at the last minute, the opportunity presented itself and I was on my way.

I’m still going through all the lessons leaned but there are definitely some highlights. Getting to the location is no easy feat. I flew into a large airport nearby and was told that someone would meet me for the drive out. How would they find me? How would I find them? I realized that I needed to dress the part so that I could be found. My answer: rainbow socks. So here I am wearing shorts, boots and rainbow socks – I could now be found if someone was looking!

The funny thing about the clothes is that I noticed absolutely no attention in San Francisco waiting for my plane to leave. Yet, when I had to change planes later that day I noticed everyone staring at me! I wasn’t that outrageously dressed. Actually, for SF it was fairly tame; yet, the stares were palpable while changing planes.

In any case, I was found at my destination and was soon on my way to whatever adventure awaited me. Lesson one – dress to be seen!

Continuing with the clothes theme, I’m not really into classic drag. Yes, I’ve put on a dress and I look really silly – and not in a good, comedic way! I always avoided drag because I felt that it just wasn’t for me. The Faeries taught me that drag is important and can be anything I want it to be. I found costuming that reflected my masculinity and my creativity. Drag isn’t simply putting on a dress; rather, it’s using wardrobe to reflect my personality. When I’m in drag that fits me my inner energy comes across much easier. Lesson two – clothes reflect who I am so pay much more attention to what I’m wearing.

I like a plan and I like to know what to expect. Yes, I teach the importance of letting go, but actually I like a well-defined sequence. The Faeries taught me to trust myself and trust that what I need will be provided to me. Keep in mind that what I may need in any given moment isn’t the same as what I think I need.

My sexual energy was somewhat off during the event. My senses were overwhelmed and I was aware of a strong disconnect between what my head wanted and what my body wanted. I kept saying to myself ‘everyone’s having sex but me!’ Poor me! I was basking in my pity – ugh!

One evening after a fun day hanging out with a bunch of new friends, I was dipping into an emotional trough. I was getting quiet and wanted some slow-down, cuddle time with someone. Sometimes after intense experiences I know I need touch time. Yet my friends were on a high and wanting more action and movement. I wanted something different.

I stepped outside and sat down by myself for a minute or two and someone came by and sat next to me and started chatting. I opened up to him and told him that I needed some cuddle time and some nice touch. We spent the evening touching, caressing and cuddling. It was exactly what I needed! Lesson three – ask for what I want.

As we were cuddling on the front porch I heard someone else walk by lamenting out loud ‘everyone’s having sex but me,’ I couldn’t help but chuckle! Lesson four – let go and trust the universe; it will provide what I need.

The return trip home was the final lesson from the Faeries. I was told to be ready for a ride to the airport at 10:30. After 10 days, time was becoming a somewhat nebulous experience, but I managed to pay attention enough to be ready to go at the designated time. I waited. I waited some more. No one showed up. After what seemed like an eternity, the driver showed up and we were on our way. Then he got lost. Then he got lost again. I was noticing the time and was beginning to wonder if I was going to make my flight. Finally we found our way onto the freeway towards the airport. Talking away in the car he drove right by the airport exit! My flight was to leave in 45 minutes! Oh no – I had bags to check. I told myself that there’s no way I would be on that plane. Breathe! Yes, I’m really breathing now!

Eventually we make it to the airport and I get checked in and my bags seem to be OK to get on the flight. I go to security and the line is extending out into the lobby. The flight is boarding and leaves in 25 minutes! Of course I pick the slowest security line and everyone else seems to be moving much faster than me. (Note the variation on ‘everyone’s having sex but me’ – ‘everyone’s moving but me!’) I finally get through security – no time to put my boots back on or even my belt. I’m running through the airport carrying my boots and belt. I get to the gate, put my boots and belt on and I’m the last one one the plane. Lesson five – let go and breathe; things will unfold as needed.

There were many more lessons during those 10 days. And I gave some lessons to others. I was asked to give a workshop and many guys came up to me and commented on how much they learned what what I talked about. I let go of having to give the perfect workshop and simply shared what was present. I felt confident among a group of people I didn’t know – yea! Lesson six – stay present. I recall some wonderful connections during the week sharing from our hearts. I loved listening and also being heard.

All in all it was a great experience; I’ll definitely be back!

I haven’t been monogamous in decades. I tried it and realized that monogamy doesn’t work for me. I find that sex with multiple people opens my horizons and provides me with more diverse sexual experiences and more opportunities for sexual exploration that I would get by restricting my encounters to only one person.

I’m very experienced at non-monogamy. What I’m learning is that I’m not so experienced with polyamory. Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamory, is “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.”

I’m really paying attention to the word relationship in the phrase intimate relationship. An open relationship is relatively easy. It’s just about sex – there’s no emotional involvement. You get together, have a great time, and then you’re off on your way. As they say “no strings attached.”

I’ve found that I need the strings to be attached. NSA is great and fulfills a physiological desire, but NSA does nothing for the emotional desire.

Polyamory, on the other hand, is a relationship. In fact, it’s several relationships. I”m finding this challenging because I have much to learn about managing relationships with two people: scheduling, balance, communication – it is a lot of work. It’s also very rewarding.

I’ve been learning much – many times by my own mistakes. I read The Ethical Slut – probably the best book on relationships and polyamory around. I’ve been spending time on polyamory.com recently where I found this most wise piece of wisdom:

In my experience, trying to please everyone does not get better results. It gets an exhausted me, and a whole bunch of people who are unsatisfied that I didn’t try hard enough. So rather, in each situation, I pick who I’m going to satisfy. Then I satisfy them to the best of my ability. I satiate the others by telling them that there will be another situation where it will be them who I satisfy. Sure, if possible, I’ll satisfy as many people as possible. But sometimes that’s just impossible. You can’t be in three places at once. So pick one place, and be fully present there.

I can’t take responsibility for pleasing everyone in my relationships at all times. I’ve tried – and failed miserably. I have to come back to practices that are integral to my life: grounding and presence. Most of all – presence; if I’m grounded I can be present. I can’t control many aspects of these relationships nor can I control what the others in my life will feel. I can, however, absolutely be present.

So I recently found myself at furry night in a local bar. Who would have thought? Me? A furry? Really?

I had a great time that that evening dancing and meeting lots of interesting people. As I was reflecting on the evening I was really aware of my comfort zone. I really don’t identify as a furry, but I felt the urge to explore that evening and accepted the invitation to go to the club. I was also aware that my comfort zone would have kept me from a fun evening if I was listening to that voice in my head that was telling me not to go.

There were lots of made up reasons to not go. I’m not a furry. I don’t know how to react to furries. I don’t want to say something accidentally offensive. I don’t want to feel out of place. I didn’t listen to any of those reasons.

At the same time, I also have learned much from my beast. I’m not sure if that qualifies me as a furry, but I do understand the freedom that one can have when we leave our usual persona behind and adapt a new one.

Instead of succumbing to my inner voices, I listened to my desire to be curious and explore. I dressed up – not as a furry, but I dressed for fun nevertheless. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know. People I didn’t know came up to chat with me. Many people loved what I was wearing. It was fun!

Sometimes, my comfort zone is a personal prison. It keeps me from exploring new opportunities and tasting all that life has to offer. I’ve noticed that as I get older, my comfort zone becomes more prominent. I like what I”m familiar with (oh no! I”m turning into my parents!)

This night out was clearly outside of my comfort zone, yet I had a blast! Many aspects in my life lately have been telling me that my comfort zone should be a refuge – not a prison. I can be in my comfort zone when I need familiar things or when I need time to rest and recharge. It’s also very important to get out of my comfort zone and explore all that life has to offer.

Yes, furries ruin everything!

Vulnerability

Posted by ed on December 15, 2011
Posted in connection  | Tagged With: , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

The most common thread I hear from men is a longing for connection. I’m not talking about casual friends, acquaintances or hookups. Rather, I’m talking about true, real connection with another human. True connection is hard. It requires us to be our genuine self. We have to come into connection with all our doubts, our perceived weaknesses and our humility. When we come into connection as our true selves with all our vulnerabilities and simply love and expect absolutely nothing in return magic can happen.

Being Ourselves Online

Posted by ed on May 10, 2011
Posted in connection  | Tagged With: , | 2 Comments

My Asspig ProfileThe recent newsletter about connection really seems to have struck a chord. I was thinking more about this and realized that many of us have online profiles. Some are for dating others are for hookups and others are just for friends. Many of us have also experienced meeting people online.

Yet how many of our online profiles are true reflections of who we are? Every time we pretend to be someone we’re not are we just furthering our own self doubt? Think about it – when we say we’re someone else isn’t that just saying “I don’t like who I am, so I’ll just pretend to be someone else.”

OK, full disclosure time. I only have one active online profile. It’s on Asspig - a hookup site for guys who like butt play. It may not be everyone’s thing but it’s mine. If you click on the thumbnail to the left you’ll see my entire profile. (It’s a jpg, so none of the links and features will work.) The profile is a pretty accurate description of me and what I’m looking for – at least what I’m looking for on Asspig!

I’ve spoken with many guys who have met people online and they clearly weren’t who they purported to be. In some cases, the difference was staggering! I fail to understand how someone who bends the truth to such an extent could ever meet someone. It’s like announcing at the beginning “I’m a liar and I hate who I am. Let’s go play!” I don’t think so!

Then many of these people who have stretched the truth wonder why they’re not meeting anyone and get bitter. I believe that if we just we true to who we are, we would increase our chances of meeting people we could genuinely connect with.

Use the text section to let people know what you like or what you’re looking for. Use photos that are flattering and also fairly recent. Give someone an idea of who you are now – not who you were 10 years ago. You may be surprised how many other people really want to meet the real you!

Practicing Connection

Posted by ed on December 14, 2010
Posted in connection  | No Comments yet, please leave one

Being in connection can be really hard to do. We don’t have lots of practice at it Oh sure, there are attempts, an example is what I call corporate connection – connection at work. It usually look like lots of eye contact and close listening. But actually, the eye contact is more of a stare-through. You’re not meeting the eyes of the other person, you actually staring right through them and looking at the wall behind them. It’s a power contest – not actual connection.

So let’s practice making and breaking connections. It’s really easy to practice and opportunities happen all the time. Next time you’re in the grocery store try practicing with the checkout clerk. Rather than the perfunctory greeting, try meeting the clerk’s eyes and saying a genuine hello. Nothing fancy, just hello. Try for just a second to see the human instead of the checkout clerk. This connection doesn’t have to be very long – just a second or two. In fact anything longer gets to be a bit creepy.

When you’re done and ready to leave, practice breaking the connection by saying goodbye and leaving. Again, nothing fancy, just practice establishing and breaking connection.  We often think that connection is this big deal that leads from saying hello right into getting married. And that assumption often keeps us out of connection. If we practice starting and stopping connection in our everyday life, you’ll be amazed at how your interactions develop.

You’ll also begin to have more confidence when making connections that are more important to you!