Today I reflected about a gentleman I have been working with and what he said to me after our last counselling session. Although him and I had seen each other over the years at a few events organized by acquaintances, we almost never had the opportunity to have a proper conversation–partly because I don’t often attend social events (I prefer nature…just my preference) and partly because he spends most of his time travelling due to the nature of his business. However, at a charity event we managed to strike a few words more than our usual. He asked why I didn’t attend social events more often, to which I replied “We all have our preferences. I only attend an event if I am interested in the content and very rarely something catches my attention. For me is not about the event or even the people who will be there, I need to feel something. Sure there are times I attend events for the sake of my loved ones, but honestly, I prefer to spend my time in nature, with my loved ones or doing things I love…I am a bit odd that way. There are things that scare me, solitude isn’t one of them…it is very enjoyable, for I can be my weird self without needing to explain why I am the way I am”
He then asked what success meant to me, to which I replied “I guess to me it simply means giving yourself permission to be who you are. It means being comfortable in my own skin, not needing to hide who I am as a whole…good and bad–I am no saint and have lots of imperfections. Everything has a time and place, that doesn’t mean, I have to live pretending to be this perfectly sweet, always cheery, always understanding, never sad or bothered person….I never liked Cinderella or Snow White. Plus I am odd; I have no desire to jump through hoops so you or anyone else accepts me or considers me perfect or normal. In all my years, I am yet to meet a normal person”…he laughed. It did not occur to me that he might just think I was nuts–then again, our circle can be quite eccentric, plus I figured by then, he probably had heard from our mutual acquaintances, all the stories about me–good, bad and weird. The next morning I woke to a call from him, asking if it was okay to set a time to talk and see if we could work together (talk therapy).
The day we sat down, I was reminded how many men can hurt in silence due to stigmas still prevalent in society. If you are seen as “successful”; specially in the business world; somehow is supposed to mean you have everything figured out–somehow as if by some type of twisted magick, one is supposed to stop experiencing moments of pain, fear, anger, disappointment, doubt…..in other words, one is suppose to stop being human.
From an outsider’s point of view, when looking at D. one would only see an intelligent, attractive businessman, who seems very much in command of himself and whom most times is surrounded by a lot of people; specially beautiful women. However, that day what I saw was a middle age man, who was tired of not letting his guard down, and tired of failed relationships and empty dating.
D. expressed he felt him and his companions were just going through the motions–whether psychologically or physically. Psychologically, both had an image to uphold…as if they needed the façade to keep the other interested–both afraid to have conversations of substance regarding who was the real person at the core and their histories. Physically, both people simply played roles in bed….at first it seemed fun; afterwards, there was nothing new to discover. He tried therapy and was advised by a sexual counselor that fantasies are healthy and to use them (role playing your fantasies…if you and your partner are into that, can be fun…once you know each other, but fantasizing for the sake of escape is never a good idea). It was also suggested to him that whenever he hit a road block, he should maybe watch some porn before an interaction–the advice only left him feeling more defeated.
Our conversations about his life and his dating habits, served to remind me that the culture of pornography not only affects men but women as well; leading them to confuse what is sensual with what is pornographic…robbing not only their partner’s of the opportunity to actually get to know them but more importantly, they rob themselves of the opportunity to enjoy real moments of pleasure…for often they are too busy trying to play a role–and that role is often to emulate what pornography says a man wants of a woman.
I am used to hearing all those things; mostly from women; to hear it from men is a bit different but helps to keep me grounded. More and more it seems the number of couples with dead sexualities is rising. I have met couples who expressed lack of desire (nothing to do with age or a physical condition…I am referring to often healthy and virile people). Other times, they express anxiety at the idea of yet another sexual encounter with their partner and often blame it on tiredness; while others use lack of time as an excuse to avoid intimacy.
Thinking of those I have sat down and talked to about the sexual aspect of their life, what I often see is a lack of knowledge of the blue print of the person they are sharing themselves with. Believe it or not, in order to maintain a healthy relationship or to even start a fulfilling sexual relationship, one needs to meet the psychological aspect. Many would think what I am saying is nonsense, but reality is…sexuality is more than just the body: it is the mind; and if you want a unique experience; it is also the soul.
We all have the need to be understood more than we have the need to be desired–this may come as news to many, for the need to be desired is so apparent; however, our psyche is mostly ruled by our subconscious and our subconscious seems to operate based on connections–this connections are deeply rooted in the need to be understood; which is another way the subconscious uses in order to understand self…which is the ultimate goal. If you don’t know the psyche blueprint of your partner, how their body operates (physiologically)–their best times, what they like, dislike and their desires, chances are sex will eventually feel like a chore more than the amazing expanding ecstasy that it is meant to be. Without the things I just mentioned, sexuality simply becomes empty sex….a way of discharging; more like share masturbations than nourishing pleasurable encounters to recharge and integrate.
That all leads to men who insist at all costs to prove their masculinity by penetrating vulvas and vaginas tense with anger, full of fear…stiff bodies that play the motions while waiting for the moment to end. Women tired of faking moans and orgasms, as if they are having the best time of their lives while fantasizing about moments of pampering and care–hoping to get rewarded with these for having put on a good performance.
Soon these people start to wonder if there is more to sexuality; their soul says there is, their body desires it, but their psyche is exhausted–at those times it is often common for pornography to sneak itself even more. Pornography isn’t Tantric Sexuality; I only say this, because there are Tantric Educational Videos…but those videos are different and are there to compliment knowledge of your body, not to replace Tantra as a whole (for Tantra covers mind, body and soul). Nor are they there to become your go to before intimacy with your partner. Pornography is demeaning, unrealistic, outright stupid yet it sneaks itself with videos, images, memes that are misogynistic and sexist. Violent sex, absurd positions, false pleasure where there is so much mindless thrusting; in a way that no vulva would be able to achieve an actual orgasm.
The sexuality that is presented there, is so far off from what is sexually desirable to women. In tantra we cherish the desires of Shakti (the female aspect)– for a satisfied woman, a woman who feels desired in her entirety, is a woman who will know how to use her body to take her partner to higher degrees of pleasure. The worst part of pornography, is that men and women often tend to attempt to replicate what they see, which only kills desire and leaves them feeling resentful–both unable to express their frustrations out of fear of disappointing the other.
What is the ultimate result?… women who reject their partners, men who think maybe they need harder styles of porn or empty encounters, inability to sustain erection, premature ejaculation, orgasms that only come through manual stimulation, anger or depression– violent penises, hardened uteruses.
Making love is something else–it is exactly as the name says: the creating, the building of love. Making love while enjoying deep passionate sexuality, is something we all have a right to experience but it starts with being open about our needs, likes, dislikes…who we really are.
As adults, we must take responsibility for our sexual health; we can’t call ourselves independent, liberated and yet be incapable of putting into words what we like and need– that is self respect and respect for another soul. It doesn’t matter if you are in a marriage, polyamory, lover or single….if you want to experience a sexuality that leaves you looking forward to exploring more of it, a sexuality that is passionate, uninhibitedly wild yet leaves you feeling fulfilled, sacred–like a god or goddess–then you need to love yourself enough to be open an honest with you first, and then with those you share yourself with.
After months of working with D, it was beautiful to see just how happier he seems, giving himself permission to exercise the right to be his whole self and partake in relationships that regardless of not being permanent, are more organic in nature and more fulfilling …mentally and physically. So when he said “I didn’t think pleasure could feel this good, and all I had to do was give myself permission to be me…all of me and be willing to learn”–I believe he means it; for when I look into his eyes I see the real D, not just the empty shell he was becoming.
Don’t forget, that in accepting yourself with all your delicious light and darkness, we heal the energy of love and sexuality; in doing so, we help heal an ill society.