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!