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

Valentine’s Day

Posted by ed on February 13, 2014
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IMGP1272-smSo Valentine’s day is Friday.

This holiday is usually associated with romantic love or bloody massacres (or both!) I’m kinda a romantic at heart. I love the support, smooching, touching and physical and emotional intimacy that romantic love can provide. I’m also aware that romantic love is culturally loaded and full of unrealistic expectations. Valentine’s day is also really hard for those of us that choose an alternate path for our intimate fulfillment. Those of us in multiple relationships have a scheduling challenge! But, I’m actually OK with the paradox that is Valentine’s day.

There’s an aspect of Valentine’s day that I’m choosing to celebrate this year – I’m going to celebrate my love for myself on Friday. This exercise can be a radical practice of self care. It can heal our core while flying in the face of cultural expectations. While everyone else is out with romantic dinners and flowers, I’m going to be happily staying home alone!

I believe that it’s impossible to accept love into our life unless we can love ourselves. Once we develop the connection with self we can make room for love from another. If we don’t think we deserve to be loved how can we accept that love from someone else?

My self-love practice is more about acceptance than anything else. I practice accepting myself as I am – not how I think I should be. I see myself as desirable – not from a narcissistic perspective, but from a perspective of acceptance. I’m certainly not better than anyone else, but I’m also no worse than anyone else. I’m quite happy with who I am.

I’m planning to spend the evening with myself and see where I want to go. I don’t have any agenda. I’ll probably start with a short meditation to check in after the day and listen to my body, my mind and my spirit. They’ll inform me of where I need to go and what I feel like doing. I’m sure that there will be some self pleasuring going on, but, again, I’m purposefully avoiding any agenda. I may have an intense edging session or I may just have some slow, subdued with my body.

I’ll probably spend a lot of time connecting with my eyes in a mirror. I find this practice very powerful as a way of affirming myself. I’m going to go out and get a really nice bar of deep dark chocolate and savor that all evening! I may spend some time with a mantra of affirmation. I may take a relaxing bubble bath. I may sit in the candlelight and howl. I really don’t know. What I do know is that this Valentine’s day is about loving someone really important to me – myself!

Reboot

Posted by ed on January 26, 2014
Posted in conscious sexuality  | Tagged With: , , | 2 Comments

seeded mirrorIt’s been a particularly challenging week and I realized that I needed an evening to be in my body and let go of my mental noise.

I made a date with myself for the evening. I’ve found that I need to schedule time for myself lately; yes, it’s a strange feeling for me to schedule time with myself, but when I do I’m able to let go of my mental noise much more easily.

I began the evening relaxing, breathing and checking in with myself. Clear my head. How did I feel? What did I need? I felt my erotic energy was particularly strong. I hadn’t cum in a while and had a full and energetic week with clients. Lots of erotic energy to process!

Saturdays are generally Daddy/boy days but Scratch is away on a work trip. Between his schedule and mine, we haven’t had that much time together lately. I miss him, but he’ll be back. Tonight was about time for me.

I decided that I needed a long, masturbation session. I really haven’t done that much lately. I set an intention of doing nothing but masturbating for the entire evening. No particular goal other than simply enjoying my body and seeing where my body wanted to go.

I ended up having a great evening with myself. I edged. I gooned. I danced with myself. I moaned. I growled. I moved a lot of energy around.

One of the pieces of magic in my room is a mirror with a cumshot on it. I keep this as a reminder of the energy and healing that’s possible. From time to time I recharge the mirror by removing the previous shot and reseeding it with a fresh one. It was time to reseed the mirror. My intention was to welcome change and the unknown into my life and also to let go of things that have evolved and are no longer needed in my life.

Letting go and seeding the mirror is a very powerful ritual for me. I let out a thunderous growl!

Afterwards I felt energized, relaxed, grounded and refreshed. All in all a very nice reboot!

”If you don’t think that human beings are hard-wired to seek altered states of consciousness, just watch a group of children spinning around in circles and falling to the ground.”

I don’t remember where I first read this, but it’s so true. I remember back in fourth grade when we would play spinning and hold your breath games. We’d spin around and hold our breath and then feel tingly all over. I specifically remember those games as the first time I felt something sexual. Yes, it was fourth grade, but there was definitely a feeling.

I mostly remember that experience as a way into another world. In this other world experiences were altered. Things I thought weren’t possible suddenly became possible.

I’ve found that there are many ways to enter these alternate worlds. Some of these methods work out better for me than others, but intense body experiences are often a path into these states. And for me, intentional masturbation is one of the most profound paths to reach an alternate existence. Of course, I wouldn’t suggest that only focused, tantric masturbation is the only way to reach these alternate realities. There are many paths and no one path is right or wrong. This path just works well for me.

I’m also not suggesting that there is only one correct way to masturbate. Not at all. Different times require different methods. Sometimes, I’m looking for that intense experience. Other times, I just want something simpler. Nevertheless, I do understand that my solo experience can be a magical and mystical experience. Yes, it’s very pleasurable, but it’s also deeper than that. When I’m in that altered state, all the distracting noise of life just goes away.

This altered state is sometimes referred to as gooning. I’m not entirely sure I like the term, but it’s appropriate. I found this explanation of gooning on the net and it’s pretty accurate:

It’s that state usually achieved after a prolonged edging session, when a man becomes completely hypnotized by the feeling radiating from his penis. Since a gooning state can only be achieved after edging, the man’s dick will have become mightily aroused at this point and every caress the male genitals are subjected to will trigger potent elation. As the man keeps edging and thus keeps experiencing intense pleasure, he enters a state of trance where his mind intimately merges with his cock to become one: the gooning state. To be even more accurate, when the gooning state is achieved, the man’s body becomes for all intents and purposes an appendage to his erection. When this state is achieved, the male becomes freed of all social codes of conduct, and his arousal, alone, dictates his reactions. As a result, a gooned out man will become very expressive and demonstrative: he may become very vocal, while his body and face might take on undignified expressions and poses, all in response to the intensely exquisite caresses his penis is exposed to. Hence the term “goon”, since at this point the man effectively looks like a silly, foolish, or eccentric person.

Gooning is not a narcissistic manifestation. Narcissism is extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents. Rather, gooning is closer to a meditation experience, where the mind and the body align, focused on a single thought (or feeling, in this case). Hence, for many gooners, gooning will be described as a liberating experience where the mind is freed of all external pressures and demands, and where the body is freed from societal expectations.

To enter the state of gooning, one has to first master the ability to edge, that is the ability to maintain sexual arousal at high level for a prolonged period of time, ideally just below the point of no-return (the moment where the orgasmic reflex is set in motion, when ejaculation becomes an inevitable fact). Edging thus requires knowledge of one body and knowledge of one’s reaction to masturbation: being able to edge may require a lot of practice in itself. Once edging is mastered, one only needs enough time, privacy (and often a sufficient amount of lube !) to reach the gooning state.

My own personal experience with reaching altered states is that letting go is also important. If I try to hard to get there, I will keep missing it. When I can let go of trying to make it happen, it just happens. This is so untypical behavior for me – I’m usually focused on goals and making things happen. Yet, letting go is crucial and I can’t try too hard. It’s more of a mental practice, similar to meditation, of letting go of thoughts until I reach a place of quietness.

When I’m edging and can let go I can get so turned on that nothing else matters during this time. My brain isn’t concerned with the usual aspects of life – I’m so aroused that my arousal is the only thing that matters. My body is completely engulfed in sensation and that’s all I’m aware of. I don’t care what I look like. I don’t care what sounds I’m making. I don’t care if I look silly. I am only focused on the sensations in my body. The path to get there is to let go.

Yes, it’s an alternate reality.

What’s Normal?

Posted by ed on September 19, 2012
Posted in conscious sexuality  | Tagged With: , , , | 3 Comments

In a text I used the phrase ‘back to normal’ and got a reply of ‘Normal? What’s that? It’s been so long.’ That got me pondering what really is normal.

When it comes to sex, intimacy and connection normal is a loaded term; it essentially means how others want us to behave. That’s not authentic; instead that’s living my life for someone else’s sake. What is my authentic sexual self? Hmmm, I haven’t really thought of that much before. I should though. We’re encouraged to be aware of our authentic self in all other aspects of life – why not be aware of our authentic sexual self.

I think I avoided this topic because I was scared. Coming from my sheltered Mid-western background, I didn’t want to be labelled as a freak. Yes looking back, I knew as early as high school that I had very a different perspective on sex than most others. Sex was a powerful force that not only felt good, but I also knew that pleasure could lead to something much more profound.

Of course, this sometimes got me into trouble. I realized that I was the outsider. Others saw sex as pleasure. I saw it as pleasure but with limitless possibilities for new experiences. I didn’t want the label of freak, but I really did look at pleasure in a very different way. I tried to bury my head and pretend that I was something other than my authentic sexual self. Burying my head wasn’t sustainable.

One of my teachers, Joseph Kramer, uses the term ‘erotically gifted.’ I’ve really come to appreciate this term; I think it fits perfectly. Being erotically gifted is more than a high sex drive; it’s a deep and profound dedication to experiencing and sharing pleasure. It’s the ability to connect with almost anyone on a deep, personal and profound level. It’s consciously and temporarily setting my desires aside so that I can be with another’s erotic energy for the sole purpose of helping him with an experience. It’s letting go of the fear and diving deep into pleasure for the sake of pleasure. It’s taking emotional risks to really get to know myself and my relation with the divine.

Unfortunately our culture doesn’t know what to do with the erotically gifted. We don’t think that pleasure is that important. I do. It’s as important as politics, the environment or most anything else going on in the world. When we’re sexually fulfilled, we’re at peace, we can relate to others on a more authentic level. The world could be a better place if more of us were sexually fulfilled.

Yet, these are the gifts of the erotically gifted. I’m learning how to change the label I apply to myself from freak to shaman.

Actually, normal is pretty boring!

The most common area I help men with around our masturbation practice is learning how to slow down. We’re conditioned to go fast and furious. We learn this when we’re younger and many of us keep with this same speed throughout the years.

Slowing down is one of the simplest things we can do to enhance our pleasure. I made a video several years ago to show a masturbation technique that’s all about slowing down and savoring. I’m not even hard during most of this and I don’t cum. However, I do raise my erotic pleasure to amazing levels!

I recently decided to put this video on the site to show all men an alternative way of masturbation. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to masturbate; rather, there are many possibilities and I think it’s important to explore all the possibilities. Sometimes I like it fast – other time I prefer to take is slow. Here’s an example of going slow.

I wrote this for men’s site that focuses, among other things, on our sexuality. I thought I’d share it here too…

Yes, I coach men on how to make masturbation a more satisfying experience. Wait a sec, isn’t this something that most men are pretty accomplished at?

Actually I believe that many of us need help and, yes, some adventuresome men will pay for advice in this area. No, this isn’t just an excuse for a circle jerk.

Most of us learned to masturbate when we were somewhere around 11 to 14 years old. Unfortunately, as adults most of us do it the same way as we learned way back then. The quickie version that most of us still practice may have been useful for us way back when, but often isn’t that satisfying as we age.

Think about it, the early adolescent experience is focused entirely on ejaculation (usually fast and often), not getting caught (quick and quiet) and removing any evidence as quickly as possible (quickly clean up with no time to savor.) We carry this same fervent focus as adults. No wonder I hear so many men complain that while masturbation is a way to have an ejaculation, it’s really not that satisfying. It’s because we’re still wanking the same way.

It’s time to look at masturbation as an adult. So, how do we do that?

Communicate. In some ways male masturbation is the last taboo. We joke about it all the time, but when was the last time you honestly talked about it? Or even consciously thought about how to make it better? Many guys continue the habit developed when we were younger to make masturbation a hidden, furtive experience. When we were younger we hid it from parents, in school we hid it from roommates and as adults we hide it from our partners. I don’t believe that it can truly become a pleasurable practice until we communicate with our partners about it.

Masturbation is a great way when we’re younger to learn about sexuality. Later, we enter into relationships and mistakenly believe that this part of our erotic life will suddenly go away to be replaced with partnered connection. The reality for many is that both continue to co-exist. Partnered sex and solo sex meet different and complimentary human needs. One of the most intimate ways of connecting with your partner is to talk about your solo activities. Talk with your partner about your practice and find ways to be more open about what you already do. Take your masturbation out of the bathroom!

Slow down. Now that you have some room to be more open about your practice don’t be in such a rush. Warm up your body by taking the first 15 or 20 minutes and involve your entire body except for your genitals. You wouldn’t start a workout without a warm-up; erotic practice is no different. Use this time to check in with your body and discover what your body really wants. Practice quieting your mind and listen to your body. Become aware of the dissonance between what your head wants and you’re your body wants. Maybe you don’t need the usual fast and furious stroking; slow and sensual can be a nice change of pace.

Try out different strokes. Even using your other hand can offer a very different experience. When we slow down we begin to notice new and subtle sensations that are often overlooked when things are going so fast. Oh, and since you already talked with your partner, you can take your time!

Savor. Most guys use our sense of vision much more than the other senses. Close your eyes. If you’re adventurous put on a blindfold. Discover what there is to experience from the other senses. Let go of goals and bring your attention to the pleasures of the journey. By slowing down, those subtle sensations that signal an approaching orgasm become much more apparent.

I suggest looking at erotic pleasure on a scale from one to 10; one is hardly feeling anything and 10 is orgasm. Look at the subtle differences between a six and a seven. When approaching an eight, try to practice coming back down to a seven. When in the nine to 10 range, slow down even more and feel what there is to savor.

Turn off the porn. Porn can be a spark to get things started, but it quickly becomes distracting. Porn is nothing more than manufactured erotic fantasy. It takes us away from the experience. It’s all too easy to lose sensation in the body because we’re fixated on what’s on the screen. But many guys will say, “Without porn it’s boring.” When you close your eyes and bring your attention inward to savor the experience many men quickly that porn isn’t needed. If some external stimulation is important, consider aural stimulation. The sound of other people can be very exciting to hear and doesn’t remove us from our own experience.

Make it a practice. A workout regimen is a practice. Yoga is a practice. Masturbation can be a practice too. Keep striving to learn new things about yourself. Tell your partner what you’re learning and incorporate those learnings onto your lovemaking. Make masturbation a conscious choice. Set aside time to savor the gift of your body rather than looking at it the way we did when we were younger.

A practice involves conscious choices. Begin with scheduling. Find time when you aren’t rushed and can clear that task list in your head. When we’re focused on what we have to do next, it’s hard to let go and surrender to the pleasure. A great gift of sex is that it can be a mind wash to help us put all parts of life into perspective. Use this gift with intention.

Be conscious around ejaculation. Ejaculation when the body doesn’t need it is draining; ejaculation when the body does want it is life-affirming. I believe that there are times when we need to ejaculate and there are times when we don’t. Learn how to differentiate the two. Listen to your body; sometimes the message is quite loud. Follow what you body needs rather than the habits we’ve developed.

Try out some of these ideas and see what it’s like to move an important part of our erotic life to more accurately reflect our adult desires. It’s time to grow up.

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.

Life is full of paradoxes. I’m very much in tune with the spiritual side of sex. For me, sex is most often a highly spiritual experience that offers me an opportunity to be grateful for the body I’m in. I’m aware that sex is a gift that offers many possibilities for connection with others and self, for relaxation and healing and the ability to clear away the stress of life.

There’s also the other side of sex that I’m equally aware of. There’s the raw, primal part of me that just wants to fuck. There’s the hedonistic beast that is full of desire and lust. There’s the part about taking, domination and carnal desire.

The interesting point is that both extremes are real and true as are all the possibilities between these two extremes. Although our culture puts judgement values on the extremes, both are actually needed. Without the carnal energy, I’d be nothing more than a much of warm fuzzies with no drive and no desire. Without the sacred side, I’d be out fucking anything and anyone I could with no regard for anyone other than myself.

Yet, when I engage both energies simultaneously magic happens. The core primal lust combined with the feelings from my heart create infinite possibilities.

Again, our culture likes to make most things a choice – choose one OR the other. I actually like the word AND. I like both!

Conscious Eros

Posted by ed on August 1, 2010
Posted in newsletters  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

Conscious Eros

“Success isn’t the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”

I saw this on a t-shirt someone was wearing at O’Hare airport while I was changing planes over the weekend. I was coming back from Easton Mountain where I was part of an amazing team of men leading a week of workshops on being erotically conscious. I liked the quote on this shirt because it reminded me of my belief that we must all set ourselves on fire to get what we want in life.

Whether it’s Eros, or career, or relationships, or any other aspect of life the common thread is that fire we create for ourselves. It’s so easy to complain about things that are missing or things we want more of in life. Yet, often when we examine what we’re looking for the one key ingredient missing is that fire or passion. We just expect things to automatically happen and we’re surprised when those things don’t happen the way we want.

Looking at our erotic life can be a useful window into finding that fire for each of us. How do we interact erotically in ways that are safe and fulfilling? Eros has the potential to offer us great gifts of connection with self and others and the sense of the divine in all. Yet, many of us only see the surface of Eros – the sexual act. When we can find ways to dive deeper to see all the parallel paths that Eros has to offer, we can begin to see infinitely expanding possibilities and the intersection of Eros and spirit. The best place to begin is to become aware of the power of intention. In other words, become clear on what you want and why you want it.

When things aren’t going the way you want a place to look is your own fire. Are you creating and tending the fire to give yourself the things you want out of life or are you expecting spontaneous combustion?