Blockage or resistance is anything that hinders the natural flow of your life force energy, this can be a physical blockage (cellular memory) or psychological; both are deeply interconnected. Throughout our lives, we all come across certain blockages which often prevent us from moving forward. Perhaps it would be easier to understand if I gave some examples:
- Imagine being on a date with someone you share a connection with, after many expectations created by the breathtaking kisses you realize that you are so focused on what is about to take place that you cannot enjoy the present; as such, the more foreplay you encounter, the less your libido remains–your energy is just not there. Somehow as if by some evil magick, your body stops responding.
- You have kept pent up sexual energy for a while, suddenly the opportunity to be sexual with another person takes place. You meet, have an amazing night of sex, but the next day you still feel the same emptiness. Your libido returns but it wants someone different, as if it is searching for something that cannot be achieved.
- You meet the man or woman of your dreams. Beautiful, smart, fun, loving, who shares many similarities with you. You enter a relationship but despite your best efforts, the sexual connection just isn’t there–somehow you have no desire to be intimate with that person.
- You’re in a passionate relationship, the first 6 months are amazing; all of a sudden, as if for no reason, it seems the interest that once ruled simply disappears.
- Or you agree to date someone but as much as you agree on everything, you’ve never had a good sexual compatibility. You have always had more desire than him or her, but you are hopeful that one day this will change… and it doesn’t change.
All the above are examples which have occurred to millions of people, if you happen to relate to any of the above examples know that it is perfectly normal; it all comes down to a lack of awareness about the intricate connection between our body, mind and soul. This is where Tantra can be of great benefit to people, for it sees the person as a whole, while other disciplines may only focus on the mind, but overthinking may be the root of the problem or it may compound it. Other times the root may lay within psychological wounds which have been imprinted on the soul; simply addressing the body or the mind won’t cut it. And yet other times, the root of the issue may lay solely on the body–either due to sexual trauma, dogmatic programming which has left its mark on how the body should respond or our own ignorance about our own sexuality and our specific needs. When we relax and approach the person as a whole, we can relief those blockages and let energy flow.
From a Tantric point of view, learning to honor all aspects of ourselves is what integration is about; this means learning to enjoy pleasure without shame but with presence. Simply having sex for the sake of sex, is not the same thing as having healthy sexuality that is uninhibited and without shame. We seem to believe people who have no problem sleeping with various strangers have no shame about their sexuality, the reality is, they are no different than those who hide their sexuality, sexual needs or desires–both actions are rooted in shame and pain; both with a desire to escape these through the use of ego masks, neither one allows themselves to be free with their real desires.
When there is resistance, one feels disconnected, distant, angry, needy, frustrated, always seeking validation, superficial, hopeless or depressed–in other words, we all have experienced some level of resistance…we are human! The problem rises when this resistance becomes a blockage that robs you of enjoying your body in a way that is beautiful and which leaves you feeling fulfilled; not just physically but emotionally and spiritually.
Your pains, wounds and traumas are stored deep in your tissues, it’s called body memory. You want to feel pleasure, you want to enjoy the sunset, you want to have moments of intimacy and affection with your partners but something gets in the way. Sometimes the very attempt to positively flow energy activates certain triggers, creating resistance. That’s why Tantra also involves counseling, this together with touch, massage, meditations, contribute to making you feel good. All of these are natural calming mechanisms that relieve stress and tension which can be found in our bodies.
Resistance comes from internal conflict. Psychologically, it is caused by thoughts, beliefs and feelings in conflict with what you desire. These internal inhibitions can prevent you from being sexual, giving and receiving love or making a relationship commitment. You may just feel uncomfortable with something or you may feel some kind of fear, anxiety or even an unexplained anger.
And why would someone inhibit their own natural desires?
- Maybe you blame yourself for something or for not being at a place where you feel others expect you to be.
- Maybe you are rigid and cover yourself too much, demanding not just from others but more importantly from yourself.
- Maybe you feel there’s something wrong with your desires and your ability to satisfy your partner.
- Maybe you act overly sexual confusing sexual freedom with animal lust; as such your body gets tired of “acting” every time you are with someone, leaving you feeling trapped by the very mask you created.
- Maybe you feel there’s something wrong with you, making you believe that your desires are somehow dirty, bad or sinful.
Most of my patients when they seek help, they seek to identify and release their blockages and thus change aspects of their life. They wish to have lighter and happier moments of intimacy that are also vulnerable and raw–not just two people putting up a show. They seek an awakening to a life with more fluid energy and without so many internal blocks. Unfortunately, society as a whole seems to be against Tantra, demonizing that which they don’t understand. There are also the false Tantrics, who only abuse their clients. Both paths lead people to two horrible outcomes: abuse oneself as an animal or live in a cage of false virtue where the body, mind and soul are kept repressed. Neither one healthy.
Tantra focuses on bringing you back to your center, to the authentic imperfect you. We do not seek perfection nor labels–we seek only to help you feel yourself from the inside out.
When you start to feel good with who you are, the autonomic nervous system carries these messages back to the pleasure centers of the brain, creating a feedback loop. In other words, the more you get excited about yourself as a whole, the less effort you will need to get “excited”.
Of course this presupposes that your mind is not interfering in any way and allows your body to take over and feel; when we do this, we deliciously connect with our subconscious and this in turn helps us heal the wounds hidden or the old programming that may be hurting us. When you feel your conscious and your subconscious while you are enjoying intimacy, your whole body becomes a vessel of expansion.
When you have some built-in resistance, your beliefs and feelings conflict with the human process of arousal–consciously or unconsciously, you’re thinking or remembering. The vibrations of these beliefs block the natural flow of energy and your ability to feel and be present decreases. If this pattern is not modified, your pleasure channels will close completely. The more we run away from becoming aware and working our blocks, the stronger they will become.
When you feel nervous, anxious, afraid, angry or retracting without any logical explanation; whatever the situation might be; it is your body memory leading you. It’s your emotional baggage built through all your experiences and stories taking care of your current emotions, and these can leave you feeling as if you are going insane.
When past traumatic experiences are lodged in the muscles of the body, they contract and the tissues harden. Some call it “armor.” Shielding is an attempt to prevent pain. We squeeze and contract to avoid discomfort and protect ourselves but the energy generated by the experience is trapped inside. Our bodies become a deposit for negative impressions.
Shielding is an instinctive process that protects us from “dangerous” sexual feelings–we have been taught that to feel pure intense pleasure is bad⁰ or have confused this with basic animal lust.
When shielding persists, it cushions the contracted tissues. They become rigid and inflexible rather than relax and flexible as they naturally should be.
Just like other parts of the body, the genitals are as subject to “armor”, perhaps even more so when subjected to intense fear, guilt and judgment from social conditioning. Our frustrations, failures and sexual wounds leave their traces of emotional and psychological energy in these tissues. Not to mention the impact of sexual abuse.
When we shield our body, it becomes congested and communication between our lower and upper chakra becomes compromised. The blockages prevent sexual messages from reaching our greatest sexual organ, which is our brain; over time this tends to decrease, limit and disrupt our ability to feel pleasure, or even worst–it becomes dependent of external harmful stimuli, which eventually won’t be enough to satiate one’s needs.
The repercussions of shielding our body are:
Physically: Deep muscle tension suppresses the free flow of fluids that give life, blocking messages to our nerves, circulation, lymph muscles and skin. Permanent tension and stiffness restrict our vital feelings of desire, attraction and arousal. Constant body tension can cause episodes of anxiety, attention deficit and depression. Even accentuate the effects of PMS, modifying the menstrual cycle, decreasing immunity and even the natural PH of the vagina, causing a greater propensity of irritations and urinary infections. In men pelvic tensions restrict the free circulation of blood flow and may cause erectile dysfunctions or episodes of premature ejaculation.
Emotionally: Shields sever our spontaneity and makes us feel threatened by what should be fun. This can make us uncomfortable when talking about sex and our bodies, as well as preventing us from expressing what gives us pleasure and even our ability to give pleasure to our partners. Shields can psychologically suffocate us, suppressing our ability to show and feel affection or forcing one to pretend to feel when in reality one is numb. A shield is an armor that protects us from everything that comes from the outside world but at the same time prevents us from having contact with that same world.
When blocked, protected and inhibited, we need greater effort and stimulation to break through the shells to feel more satisfied. Sexual compulsion or violence-seeking practices, painful sexual relations, painful S&M (sadism and masochism) and other eccentric practices can also be forms of shielding if they serve not your pleasure, connection and relaxation, but instead are an escape from feeling, understanding and healing one’s blockage.
When we are shielded against pain, we can generate expectations that create pressure performance. Taking the shield off won’t happen overnight, as awakening pure healing sexual energy can awaken doubts and fears that come from childhood or other negative experiences. The alternative however, is to keep living acting instead of being. The constant–“Will he or she like it? or maybe is best I put up a show, that way I can get another date”, “Will I be able to maintain my erection and enjoy it?”, “Will I be able to last and not ejaculate before she enjoys it?” become the norm. Instead of enjoying the pleasure of the moment, our anxieties shift our attention to the future, putting unnecessary pressure and creating a vicious circle.
When our body retains old negative energy, our natural tendency is to disapprove of what seems to be the source of our pain–hence body judgement takes place. Add to this an unrealistic world (social media and their filters or Botox or other extreme measures to seem attractive) and suddenly you have people being ruthless as to how they judge their body. Rather than appreciate and love our bodies as our sacred temple, we judge our appearance, our weight, and any other detail that is at odds with external patterns that are absolutely unrealistic. Instead of loving and accepting us, we condemn ourselves. As a result our sexuality is also seen with the same disapproval, shame and judgment. We do not feel worthy of the pleasure, affection and love that our body and our partners give us.
All these shields come from….
Fears: Lack of education and dialogue with our bodies and our sexuality. We don’t have education that helps us prepare, love and accept our bodies. Sexual education has simply become basic anatomy; no one teaches us the psychological aspect, the spiritual aspect and the beauty of our physical changes–often things such as pubic hairs, menstruations, wet dreams, masturbation are ignored or approached with very little tac or gentleness.
Social Conditioning: Strict social, religious and cultural puritanical attitudes create judgments, prohibitions and taboos that conflict with our healthy impulses. And when we learn them from authority figures like parents, teachers, religious leaders, neighbors, and friends, they carry extra weight. We end up being shamed, guilty and accused of unnatural behavior. Victims of abuse are often discredited or subjugated. Too often, we deny our own pleasure, thinking it is wrong, bad or sinful.
Blame: When we accept cultural and historical beliefs about how we should deal with our bodies, we end up full of guilt. Or we blame our partners for openly expressing their desires.
More Self Judgement: Other than abuse, the most damaging impact comes from judging ourselves. As we grow up, we explore our bodies or may have been curious alongside our friends. Children often like to play doctor–a natural way of exploring; unlike an adult and a child, between children there is no ill intention, it is all very innocent. However, when it comes to sexuality, most parents don’t know how to handle the situation; more often than not, they simply reprimand and constantly say “You can’t do that, it is wrong“–or they may say it is sinful. The subconscious of the child simply learns to be disgusted by one’s own body and its natural processes. We use our genitals to “come” yet see them as sinful, dirty or low.
Traumatic experiences are definitely one of the biggest roots for learning to shield. From physical punishments, abusive relationships, death of a partner to the most frightful– sexual violence such as rape and incest. Even common life experiences such as childbirth, abortion, miscarriage and insensitive gynecological examinations also can contribute to the body experiencing trauma.
Unwanted sex is another root for shields. We live in a society full of power games and so call relationship counselors who swear by their success of getting you a date or getting you lay, but you got to be willing to leave the real you behind–the old “fake it till you make it”– ignorance at is best and yet currently it thrives.
Men and women feeling pressured to be someone they are not so they may find love, yet that love won’t last because it is based on actors not on real people–eventually disappointment sinks in. It is so disturbing to live in a modern society where sex is traded quite easily yet most people in the privacy of a counseling office confess to wishing they did not have to trade sex, so they may get another date. Add to this that the only other option given seems to be by the puritans who claim one needs to become virtuos by becoming rigid–once more deny self. It is no wonder then one ends up feeling as if there is no way out; no real place where one can just be real, open and accepted as one is.
We live an infinite vicious cycle, a downward spiral that takes us further and further away from our innate wild yet sacred nature–a nature that leads to fulfillment.
When triggers are triggered, you feel emotionally affected, stressed, pressured yet to release these blocks you will need to feel them and come to know them. During Tantric Counseling many emotions may come to light, and it is important to be receptive to them. If you want to cry, cry like a baby. If you want to laugh, laugh until your belly hurts. We are always conditioned to swallow the crying or hold the laughter–these are conditionings based on ignorance and fear.
You can soften the weight of the resistance you feel by choosing to ignore your senses and avoid pleasure but inside you will feel as if you are slowly dying–the pleasure of living will be less and less an integral part of your life force and the need to use addictions or toxic escapes will become more and more predominant.
Other people hide from their blocks by diving into external factors such as work, dogma, empty relationships, etc… A busy and stressed lifestyle can be just another manifestation of resistance, sucking the person out of any energy or time they can use to experience pleasure or build a connection to themselves.
If you accept the tantric premise that pure divine pleasure rules and nothing is more important than your right to experience that, then you start to develop self-love from the inside out.
Getting in touch with the shields you may have built can be painful, but as soon as you start to acknowledge them changes start to take place; otherwise, these blockages will be engraved on your body. From the moment you become aware that all these are not part of the you that was meant to be, the you that has every right to be, is when you will start to discover what it really means to be free, to be wild, uninhibited and yet respectful of self–in other words a natural balance.