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

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!

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.

I just Googled the term sexual beast and most of what was returned was related to rapists and other sexual predators. That’s a telling comment on our culture.

This post is about a very different type of sexual beast. This beast is the animal within; it is that part of us where the ordinary disappears and the extraordinary makes itself known. It is where the sexual energy unites with the heart energy allowing us to express ourselves in ways where words don’t really work very well.

I thought I knew my beast. I’m realizing that although I am familiar with much I also have more to get to know. I also now see that I keep my beast at a distance. Scratch recently told me that I often refer to my beast as if he is separate from myself. As soon as he told me that I knew he hit on something.

Why do I do this? What is it that scares me about that part of myself? Why do I find sex so incredibly hot yet also a bit scary at the same time? Is that old Catholic programming still more active than I want to admit?

Does age enter into this? Sure we all like to imagine good looking younger people enjoying sex, but what about those of us who get mail from AARP? Am I letting my own age bias effect my feelings? Most of us can easily imagine a young virile beast, what about an older beast? What does he look like?

I like letting my beast come play when I’m alone and I’m noticing that I hold back when I’m playing with others. Why? What is it about that part of me that I’m ashamed of? Is approval from others so important to me that I’m willing to sacrifice part of myself in the process? What’s keeping me from letting all parts of me come out to play?

Integrating our erotic lives into everything we do is so important to me. When erotic energies are segregated, we aren’t whole. Sex influences everything we do – even when we’re not being sexual. I use my sexual energies often in very non-sexual situations. There’s a huge difference between being aware of sexual energies and acting on those energies. Yet, I’m aware that I have an additional integration task to do. I need to integrate my beast into all parts of me.

The journey continues.

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!

Sex and Spirit

Posted by ed on November 6, 2010
Posted in conscious sexuality  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

Present to Erotic Energy

There are many definitions of spirituality. To me, spirituality is something that moves us beyond our noisy mind. It’s a practice that help us let go of our ideas, beliefs, identities and positions.

A spiritual practice is not based in dogma or belief. It simply allows us to experience and be – without the noisy mind constantly interrupting.

It’s not unlike the moment of orgasm – where the sensations overtake the body and analysis, logic and sense of self just disappear. So I find that intersection of spirit and sex a really interesting place to explore.

Where I begin is being in the present moment. It’s not easy! My chattering mind is almost always reflecting on something in the past or anticipating something in the future. It’s really hard to be completely present. However erotic energy offers us an opportunity to practice. When we focus on the sensations and really notice what’s going on in our body we are present – if even for a short moment. We’re alive and noticing.

When we’re present, we not aware of shame and guilt. We’re free to celebrate our erotic energies. We’re free to openly and enthusiastically connect. We’re not focused on our supposed shortcomings or believing that that other person completes us. Instead we’re focused on just being ourselves and experiencing a genuine connection without interference from the noisy mind.

Notice that I haven’t said a word about religion or any belief system. While I believe that religion and beliefs and eroticism connect, that’s actually a different idea that I’ll write about later. The point here isn’t about any belief in god, God, higher power, Gaia or anything else – rather it’s about being present and aware. In other words being alive!

What are some ways to begin this practice. The first step is to look at Eros as a practice. Treat the time with erotic energy as a special time. Don’t try to multitask. Don’t practice when you’re spirit or body isn’t really up for it. Don’t practice when you don’t have the right amount of time to devote to it.

If you’re with a partner, spend some time eye gazing and connecting. A great way to connect is to spend 5 minutes focused on each other’s breath. Neither partner needs to lead, yet both follow. Let go of performing, getting to a goal, talking about something else or anything else that gets in the way.

If you’re by yourself set aside space for your practice. Set the room to be warm, comfortably lit and pleasant to your senses. Turn off the TV or the computer; instead, put on music that feels right to you. Spend a few minutes connecting with yourself through a mirror. Match your breathing and relax into the moment.

Let go. Let go of possessing your partner or him/her possessing you. Explore connectedness. See how you connect together. Explore the interdependencies between you. Nature of full of examples. A great way to begin is to focus your attention on a part of the body you don’t normally pay attention to and see how that part is connected to everything else. Another great way is to look at your body or your partner’s body as a temple. How would you worship your body? Be a caretaker or steward of your partner’s body. Be intentional and deliberate of all that you do.

As you notice your noisy mind fill with thoughts (and we all do), return your primary thought to your breathing. Focus on the detail of the inhale and the exhale. When we’re focused on the nuances of the breath it’s hard for the noisy mind to do anything else. We don’t multitask well. If you’re focused on your breath or your partner’s breath, you’re actually present!

Listening To Your Body

Posted by ed on June 6, 2010
Posted in our body  | Tagged With: , | 1 Comment

I see a common theme in many men that shows up as a gap between what our head wants and what our body wants. Usually this comes up around sexual activity – our head wants to be strongly sexual yet our body isn’t quite there. More often than not, we drag our body along and the experience is often less than satisfactory.

Often this behavior is due to fear around aging – we become concerned because our erotic energy isn’t what it used to be and we think we have to force it. Erotic energy comes in cycles – sometimes we feel it strongly and other times it’s just not that strong. I think the problem is because many of us experienced a time in our life (teens and 20′s) when this energy was very strong. We have a hard time believing that it’s OK to have less than 100%.

I invite us to listen to where our energy is and honor ourselves where we are. For example, spend 3 to 5 minutes breathing and meditating. Ask yourself how would you rate your erotic energy on a scale of 1 to 10. Be honest! If you’re aware that you’re a 3 then be a 3. If you’re aware that you’re a 3 but feel you should be a 10 just note the gap. There’s no need to do anything about it.

Then engage in activity (or not) based on where you really are. That activity may be asking your partner just to be held. It may be a nice, slow massage. A wonderful erotic activity for when your energy isn’t that high is a slow genital massage. Ask the person giving you the massage to let you be soft – you don’t need an erection for this. You’ll be amazed how pleasurable it can be!

On the other hand, if you’re a 10 then fully be a 10. Get moving! Get sweaty! Make noise and enjoy the feeling. If your partner isn’t at a 10 with you then give yourself permission to have an encounter with yourself. A quick wank probably won’t do; give yourself full permission to experience erotic energy as a 10.

As you gain practice listening to your body you’ll begin to notice the cycles of erotic energy. That noise in your head wondering why your energy is low will begin to fade because you’ll know that it’s all part of the natural cycle.