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

Ritual

Posted by ed on August 3, 2014
Posted in conscious sexuality  | Tagged With: , , , | 1 Comment

20140803_170810My boy recently moved to a new city and is going through all the expected challenges in adapting to a new location. In addition, we’ve been separated more than usual over the last few weeks and, while the distance has brought us closer, it’s also added some challenges.

Like a good Daddy, I want to be able to make things better for him. But I realize I can love, listen, and support but I can’t change the state of things. I wanted to do something symbolic to offer my support even though we’re in different locations.

We each have a chain and medallion that we both wear. They’re identical. So this afternoon I felt the impulse to seed my chain and medallion.

Seeding articles as symbolism is an important ritual for both of us. Sometimes seeding can be an amazing ritual of marking. Other times, I offer a seeding as a way to convey thoughts and energies. I performed this ritual as a way to symbolically offer my strength and support to him as he goes through his growing pains from this move.

My masturbation session was particularly satisfying and lasted for several hours. I hadn’t cum that much lately and felt the energy really circulating and engaging my entire body.

I placed the symbol on a cum rag that has hundreds of previous loads on it. I wanted to symbol to take in not only the energy from my impending ejaculation, but also take the energies from many previous orgasms.

When I felt the need to shoot, I concentrated all my attention to my body and what was happening as the energy escaped my body and landed on the symbol.

After I regained my composure, I offered a few words around turbulence, tenacity, strength and support. I completed the ritual by sitting with my feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to offer this ritual and the pleasure it generated in my body.

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.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more insane. I usually don’t get too political here, but I can’t can’t stay silent any longer about the craziness coming from the Republicans. Over the last several weeks we’ve seen these wonderful ideas coming from the GOP regarding our sexual freedoms:

  • The “Blunt amendment” was a failed attempt by Republicans to allow firms with moral objections to opt out of providing healthcare covering birth control. Imagine that, your employer could pick and choose what medical conditions they choose to cover and which ones they don’t cover. I can just see the list of morally objectionable medical conditions!
  • The state senate in Virginia has passed a law requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. Originally the law had also mandated a vaginal probe aimed at detecting a heartbeat in the fetus. Let’s do unnecessary and invasive procedures to ‘counsel’ a woman on what to do with HER body!
  • In Utah politicians have passed a local law that bans sex education that mentions homosexuality, birth control techniques and any discussion of sex outside marriage. Instead schools will be required to give sex education on the grounds of “abstinence only” or they can not mention the subject at all. We all know how well abstinence only sex education works. Oh, and when that young gay kid has the courage and trust to ask a teacher about his or her sexuality, the state of Utah restricts the teacher from saying anything!

The list goes on and on!

Almost every day I get a question from adult men about sexuality. These men are asking intimate and important questions because no one ever gave us accurate answers. Our culture is afraid of sex.

For my small part, I’ve recommitted myself to the importance of erotic education. Accurate, safe, age appropriate information is a fundamental right. If the Republicans have their way we’ll be mindless drones. I will not be assimilated!

Vision

Posted by ed on January 18, 2012
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Eyes ClosedVision is so overrated.

OK, not really, but many guys take in proportionately more from our visual sense than the other senses when it comes to our erotic lives. Just look at how much most of us look at porn. I hardly ever meet someone who doesn’t watch something while masturbating.

What would it be like to temporarily turn off our vision and play with the other senses while in erotic space?

I had the opportunity to play with that during Mindful Self Loving this week. My intention for the group was to see what would be possible when we weren’t focused on what we take in from our eyes and instead were to focus on what we take in from the other senses.

I found myself getting lost in pleasure. I was letting go of having to perform. My ears were really attuned to the sounds coming from the other men in the room which added to my own erotic energy. I found that it was much easier to let go of my noisy mind and settle into my body. Presence suddenly became very easy! Without my eyes wondering, I was able to easily let go and enjoy the experience.

After a while I invited the men present to remove their blindfolds if they chose to. I noticed for myself that I really didn’t want to remove it, but I felt I should offer that opportunity to the men in the workshop. What surprised me is that once I opened my eyes to take in the room, most of the men continued to keep their eyes closed! I assume they were having a similar reaction.

I too felt the need to keep my visual input to a minimum. I found myself in a really good erotic zone where my mind was surprisingly quiet – which is almost unheard of when I’m leading a workshop. I made a choice to stay with it. I closed my eyes most of the way to where all I was able to see fuzzy images of the other men but not much more. I saw what was going on the room but without much of the detail. I found that this blurry vision kept me in the energy of the room without becoming so distracting as to take me out of my zone.

I rarely look at porn while masturbating. I find that it actually distracts me. What surprised me about this experience was how much I continue to be distracted by what I see. Our eyes bombard us with information. Much of the time this information is very valuable; however, there are times when this constant bombardment becomes a distraction. Try closing your eyes and see what unfolds!

It’s a Boy!

Posted by ed on December 24, 2011
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Masculinity is so hard to define. Yet, when I experience it or see it the feeling is so palpable. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my own issues with my dad, but the Daddy/boy relationship has had a particular strong draw on me. The intensity of a strong, protective daddy coupled with an adoring boy combines all that is magic about masculinity, love and power.

Wonderful surprises happen when you least expect them. I met Scratch at a Black Leather Wings party. The connection I immediately felt was palpable. He asked me about developing a Daddy/boy relationship. Of course, I agreed! he is an amazing boy!

Right after I agreed, I suddenly realized that I’ve never done this before. What if I didn’t do it right? What was a daddy supposed to do? How do I add a boy to my existing relationship? Oh shit! My self doubts came up. But I also knew that I had to put them aside. I’ve received so much healing at the hands of other daddies, I instinctively knew I needed to explore daddy too.

Scratch makes me smile. I have the opportunity to share my experiences with my boy. In many ways I get the privilege of being the daddy I wish I had biologically. I get to help him while at the same time, I push him to continue his own journey. We talk about his dreams. I offer suggestions and perspective. I support him. He also supports me. I’ve realized that it’s ok to confess when I don’t have the answers. We can figure them out together.

What more perfect arena is there to express masculine love than in a Daddy/boy relationship? Our physical intimacies are spiritual. We naturally transcend traditional top/bottom roles. Both of us easily switch roles. Daddy/boy is a mindstate – for us it really doesn’t have much to do with power dynamics. It’s an exchange of primal masculine energy that comes not only from our penises and assholes, but also comes from our hearts.

Desperation

Posted by ed on August 9, 2011
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Recently while relaxing in a hot tub after a long day, I encountered a young man really wanting an erotic connection. He was aggressively flirting with me and the other men in the water. While sex in or around the water would have been OK, it wasn’t an explicitly sexual place. I couldn’t help but notice how aggressive this young man was in his actions. I’m often open to sexual encounters, but this situation was different – the man was desperate for affection.

Of course I’m making his story up. In reality I don’t know what was going on inside his mind. All I was really aware of were his actions. But this got me thinking about how desperate we are for connection and how that desperation comes off onto others.

If he was looking for real connection, there were plenty of opportunities for that. I would have enjoyed connecting with the man in the water through a conversation, a hug, even light caressing. However, his aggressive need for sexual connection really turned me off.

It got me thinking about my history of looking for connection through sex. I recall the longing I had looking for connection and validation through sex. I also recall that although this type of connection met one need, it was sorely lacking in meeting other needs.

How many of us are looking in the wrong places for connection and coming off desperate in the process? Sex can be great, sometimes conversation, holding and caressing is even better!

July Newsletter

Posted by ed on July 9, 2011
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Towels are very usefulWe are afraid of sex. Everywhere I turn I see a culture that is afraid of bodily pleasure. We can’t talk about sex. We can’t ensure that children have a healthy perspective toward sex. We can’t communicate desires. We mostly ignore sex and hope that it all just goes away. The only exception is when sex is used to sell things. Then it seems to be OK. Just look at most commercials selling cars, shampoo and alcohol. Buy the right product then all your sexual issues will just go away.

Yet we seem to love violence. A recent Supreme Court decision codified it. This decision says that a state cannot restrict violent video games to those under 18. I’m not a gamer, but games have certainly changed. I remember games like Doom where the objective was essentially to shoot everything in sight but the object of the shooting was aliens and monsters. Today’s violent games feature rupturing the insides of people, dismembering and decapitation. All of which is extremely visually explicit.

So the high court says it’s OK for someone under 18 to see a woman literally torn in two by pulling her legs apart, yet this same child cannot access information about sexuality or the body. There’s something really wrong with this!

One of the dissenters of this opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer, summed up this important question clearly.

But what sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting a sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively but virtually binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her? What are we teaching our children? It’s OK to rape, torture and kill someone else, but only if their clothes are on?

Why can’t we have open, honest, intelligent conversations about sex? Why can’t healthy sexual expression be viewed as the gift that it is rather than something so disarming? Of course everyone won’t agree on what healthy sexual expression is, but I’m sure most anything is better that teaching 13 year olds that there’s nothing wrong with extreme violence. I guess it’s just a reflection of who we are.

As for video games… I actually enjoyed the original Mario Brothers. I’d rather stomp on mushrooms.

Opportunities to Explore Bodily Pleasure

Mindful Self-Loving continues on the third Monday of each month. We gather next on Monday July 18 at Eros in San Francisco at 6:30. Generating and playing with erotic energy in a group is definitely different than doing it alone. For most guys, a supportive of erotic explorers can add to the experience, even if you’re a bit shy. Many men find that a group encourages each other to let go of preconceived notions and connect on a profound energetic level.

We meet in a private space not connected with the rest of the activity at Eros. You do not need to pay an admission fee to Eros for this workshop; however, you may optionally enjoy the facilities at Eros after the workshop by paying a separate admission fee. In the words of Douglas Adams, be sure to bring a large towel.

If one evening isn’t enough, imagine spending a week diving into Eros. I’ll be returning on the facuty ofEros Spirit Camp this July at Easton Mountain in New York. Join me and a group of gifted facilitators at Eros Spirit Camp July 25-31. Imagine taking the best of your summer camp experience as a child and combining it with a supportive environment of men helping everone practice creating the kind of erotic life we’ve always wanted. During the week, we’ll use workshops and events to explore the possibilities of interacting erotically that are respectful, safe and life affirming – ways that both help us to go within and to discover new depths of self by connecting with others.

Easton Mountain is a retreat center created by gay men in upstate New York. It’s a short 2 hour train ride from Penn Station in NYC and is also easily reached from Boston and Montreal.

Be well,
Ed

 

Why are there so few real discussions on men’s sexuality?

Turn on Oprah, or for that matter almost any television show. It’s commonplace to see a discussion with women on sexuality. Women are talking about all aspects of their sexuality – everything from relationships to vibrators to some pretty kinky stuff.

Where are the men? When’s the last time you saw a discussion of male sexuality on television that wasn’t about related to an erection/penis size pill, criminal behavior or something with lots of judgment? There’s no real discussion!

Rachel Rabbit writes about her experiences at a bi sex party… “At most parties, women have control and men are less active in initiating. But in this space where men hit on other men, testosterone flourishes. I didn’t feel unsafe, but I did feel this vibe. The guys were there to play, and it felt like a celebration of male sexuality. Is that why we are so scared of their bisexuality? I wondered Is it because we condemn and dismiss male sexuality as a whole?”

I agree – our culture either condemns male sexuality or we laugh it off. Male sexuality is a stereotype – it’s something to be snickering at or acting with lots of bravado about. We pay attention to al the outliers – just look at Charlie Sheen. We’re quick to judge and condemn, but we rarely have intelligent conversations about it.

We can’t even say no when we want to.  Women have ample permission to say no but when a man says no we assume that there must be something wrong. Believe it or not there are times when we don’t want to have sex!

When male sexuality is celebrated there’s this ‘ewww’ factor that just won’t go away. There’s the whole concept of a MILF. When’s the last time you heard someone talk about a DILF? Older women are hot and sexual. Older men are just dirty old men. When a woman talks about sex she’s a ‘sex educatior’ when a man talks about sex most of the time we think something’s wrong. I can name a dozen widely known female sex journalists yet I can only think of one well known man  – Dan Savage.

No wonder many men have such a fucked up view of sex. We’re constantly aware of the dissonance between what society says we’re supposed to be and what we may actually feel. We feel that our sexuality is supposed to be turned on like a light switch, and when we don’t feel that way we think we’re not enough of a man. Yet when we ARE turned on like a switch we feel condemned by our sexuality. We can’t win! We’re constantly aware of the inner voice that’s telling us we’re supposed to know everything, be hard at the drop of a hat, have a cock that is the envy of all. At the same time, we’re not supposed to actually do anything with any of it!

Yet, I’ve found that when I celebrate my raw primal sexual self (ewww!) I feel at peace, grounded and happy. And, when I don’t feel like it, I’m perfectly comfortable saying “not tonight I have a headache!”

Conscious Eros

Posted by ed on August 1, 2010
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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?