Introducing Sex Toys Into The Bedroom

Introducing sex toys into the bedroom can be difficult. You become content with the way you do things, just like washing dishes, you have your way of doing it and you never consider change. It’s boring and tedious. In the same way, sex becomes boring and tedious. You need to ask yourself, how can we add spice to our sexual relationship? In more recent times, women have gained more sexual independence and freedom; they have become more open to introducing sex toys and props for bedroom pleasures to bring back the passion and to experiment with their partner.

Using sex toys in the bedroom during those passion filled and intimate moments is nothing new, but before you rush out to buy the blindfolds and vibrators, you need to be able to openly discuss, with your partner, the possibility of bringing toys into the bedroom. You also need to consider what kinds of sex toys you’d like to bring to your bedroom pleasures. Introducing toys can be a very sensitive subject for couples to discuss so being open about what you would enjoy and which toy you’d like to introduce needs to be discussed and both of you need to be comfortable with the arrangement.

Start with Honest Communication

You need to be mindful of how to start a conversation about sex toys. Choose a time when you are both feeling comfortable and relaxed. You can start by asking your partner an open-ended question about how they feel about sex toys. Then, let your partner know what your views are. In some cases men may see it as a threat, but if you offer reassurance that the toy will be there to bring pleasure to both of you then half your battle is already won.

Explain your reasons for wanting to introduce sex toys to your sexual relationship. Whether it’s trying something new, or wanting to put passion back into your relationship, explain how you feel. Even if you’ve used toys before for self pleasure and now want to bring your partner into the mix, always make them aware of your reasons and that you are not questioning their ability to bring you pleasure.

Shopping for Sex Toys

There is definitely no shortage of options when it comes to choosing sex toys for those bedroom pleasures. The list is endless but you may want to narrow down your options based on what you like. With the recent advancement of technology, sex toys have become more elegant, sexy, luxurious and more affective so seek out the ones that will make you feel that way. If you have never used a toy before then start with something simple that both of you will feel comfortable with. You can always, at a later stage, add to your collection of goodies to further enhance your sexual intimacy and bedroom pleasures.

In addition to the toys, you can make use of massage oils; creams and lubricants to further enhance your experience. Edible lubricants, gels and lotion are also very popular and you’ll find that they add a very sensual dimension to your intimate moments.

Gels and lotions that are edible or heat up with touch are also widely popular. These are great primers for other toys as you can use gels and lotions by themselves or with other items. Many gels are lotions are for lubrication purposes but come in fun scents and can be flavored.

Sex toys can be fun when added to your sexual play and can really bring passion back to a relationship. As long as there is open and honest communication between you and your partner, your toys will always add a new and exciting dimension to your love-making experiences, allowing you and your partner to enjoy them for many year to come.

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Why Every Relationship Needs Sex Toys

Adult sex toys is a topic that is being discussed more and more these days. Thanks to the book Fifty Shades of Grey, more people are buying toys and admitting to using them. Did you know that about 45% of women ages 18-60 use vibrators? Did you also know that about 78% of those women use a vibrator with a partner?

Although the numbers don’t like, are you still one of those people who don’t understand why people use them? Do you feel that if you have an excellent sex life, why would your relationship need sex toys?

Nothing is perfect and your sex life can always improve and be even better. Adult toys help you spice up your relationship and have a more fun and interesting sex life. They also are the key to helping you and your partner express yourselves sexually.

More Sex

Everyone could use more sex and more enjoyable sex, right? We already know that sex helps you live longer, makes your heart and immune system healthier, reduces pain and stress, and improves sleep. Adult toys help couples have more sex in more adventurous and fun ways. If your sexual attitude is more playful, then your sexual relationship is more satisfying. Does that make sense?

Women’s Orgasms

About 75% of women can not orgasm through penetrative sex versus 90% of men who do. Using a toy during sex, such as a couples vibrator/couples sex toy or a vibrating penis ring, is one way to help the situation.

Faking Orgasms

If you ask men how many women they have been with you have faked an orgasm, most men will say none. This truth is that about 50% of women have faked an orgasm at least once.

If you incorporate sex toys into your sexual relationship, your chances of reaching an orgasm increase dramatically.

Let’s consider time. We are all very busy and not many of us can have marathon sex sessions every time we have sex. If she is lucky enough to orgasm through penetration, it could take up to 20 minutes. If she were to use a luxury vibrator, it could take a few minutes.

Premature Ejaculation

Many men experience premature ejaculation. The Mayo Clinic suggests that one in three men or about 30% of men experience PE. A helpful way to fight premature ejaculation is with sex toys for men and sex accessories. For example, penis rings help restrict the blood flow from leaving the penis. Male desensitizers are designed to have him feel less sensation and delay ejaculation to prolong sex.

Everyone Orgasms

Unfortunately, many men forget about their partner’s needs. The key to the best sex is that is should include an orgasm for each partner. This should be the goal every time you have sex. Sex toys can help you reach your goal and cross the finish line… together.

It’s OK to use sex toys with a partner and using toys should not hurt your partner’s feelings. Sex toys are objects and not a real substitute for a real person.

Make sure to communicate with your partner how important each person’s orgasm is. The “hows” should not matter as much as they “whys.”

She Hates Her Body

Many women are embarrassed about their body, which can sometimes lead to intimacy issues. Using sex toys during mutual masturbation can reduce the anxiety of nakedness and help create more intimacy.

If you are ready to begin using sex toys, please make sure to read my other article: How to Introduce Sex Toys in the bedroom.

Have fun and remember that experimentation never hurt anyone!

My Secret Luxury is the provider of luxury adult toys and high quality romance tools. We offer a curated collection of sex toys for men, women and couples that adhere to the highest standards of design, style and technology. My Secret Luxury provides a place for discreet exploration and discovery through carefully crafted Secret Kits and gives unparalleled customer service through the Secret Concierge, who is available to turn fantasies into reality.

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Adult Sex Toys – 5 Basic Questions and Answers

1) Is it OK to think about sex? Is it OK to read about sex? Is it OK to have sex? Just for pleasure?

Sex is a good thing. Sex is legitimate as long as all the people involved are doing it from their own free will. Sex is physical, emotional and spiritual bonding between two or more loving people. Almost every human being is having sex many times in his life times. It is normal and natural activity for adults. It is OK to think about sex as well as to think about love, and to think about babies. In order to have good relationships, and good and satisfying sex life it will be good if everyone will know more about sexuality, so reading about sexuality is very good. Sex for pleasure can do many good things for humanity, relief stress and make more people on this planet happy.

2) Is it OK to buy and use sex toys?

Sex toys are TOYS. These toys usage is to increase sexual pleasure alone or with a partner (or
some partners). Sex toys only purpose is to increase pleasure of men and human. It doesn’t hurt anyone.

3) Is it OK to masturbate with sex toys?

Masturbation is making love with yourself, it is pleasuring yourself, it relief stress and makes people smile more. Masturbate with sex toys, is good as masturbate without sex toys, as long as you pleasure yourself, you can do it with your hand, you can do it with a back massager and you can do it with sex toys. Whatever makes you feel good with yourself, and doesn’t hurt anybody else is a good thing.

4) Is it OK to use sex toys when making love with my partner?

It is wonderful; whatever makes you both feel good with your love making is very good for your sex life and for your relationships.

5) What is the best sex toy?

There is no such thing as best sex toy for everybody. Everyone is a little bit different than the other with different things he likes. There are good and quality sex toys for woman and there are for man. There are good sex toys for straight couples as well as for gays and lesbians. There are amazing clitoris stimulation vibrators and there are G–Spot specific vibrators and dildos.

Sex toys are great adventure, buy and have lots of fun with them.

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How To Introduce Sex Toys In The Bedroom

Now that Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular, all of the media is talking about sex and sex toys. Are you curious about trying them but are too embarrassed? Are you unsure whether they are right for you and your relationship?

The following are some common misconceptions about adult toys:

Most people don’t use sex toys

Wrong! Many respectable people use adult toys, including people most would consider perfectly normal. Using an adult toy doesn’t make you “odd” or doesn’t say anything negative about your relationship. It just helps you have fun more fun in the bedroom! You don’t have to share with your friends, your boss or your mother that you use toys unless anyone unless you want to.

Sex toys are just for masturbation.

While adult toys are commonly used for masturbation, many couples enjoy using toys together, whether they are female or male or heterosexual or homosexual. Usually these couples are comfortable trying new things together, are open-minded, and trusting.

Your partner will feel inadequate if you start using a sex toy.

Are you nervous that if you bring an adult toy into the bedroom, it will hurt your partner’s feelings? An adult toy can give you an orgasm, but it can’t tell you how much they love you or rub your back. An object is not a substitute for a real person. If your lover has this fear, be sensitive and stroke his or her ego a little bit. As with most relationship issues, good communication is key.

Using sex toys can be physically dangerous.

NO WAY!

In fact, adult toys can have very positive effects on your sexual health.

For example, many doctors and therapists recommend adult toys to women who have trouble reaching orgasm; if you suffer from painful sex, vibrators can stimulate blood flow; all women can benefit from kegel exercisers or kegel balls to tone the pelvic floor muscles; prostate massagers reduce the risk of prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction and frequent nighttime urination. Lastly, orgasms help you live longer, block pain and, some say, look younger. Who wouldn’t want that?

If you use sex toys too much, you won’t have an orgasm with your partner.

If your partner is afraid you’ll replace him or her with your favorite toy, promise him or her that you’ll always keep things different in the bedroom: try different positions, new toys, light bondage and fantasy play.

If your relationship is healthy, there’s no reason why you should need a sex toy.

You are so lucky to have a healthy relationship. However, who wouldn’t want to make their relationship even stronger and closer by sharing a new experience? If your lover is insistent about not wanting to use an adult toy to spice up your sex life, assure him or her that you don’t need an adult toy either, you’d just like to try one.

You or your partner is afraid of feeling pleasure

Pleasure is a birthright. Everyone deserves it and should have it. Own your sexuality and do what works for you. After all, orgasms make you healthier and happier.

Buying sex toys can be really embarrassing especially because they look gross and scary.

You are right. Now, thanks to the Internet, you can shop in the comfort of your own home without judgement. Most adult toys make you feel uncomfortable because they are usually phallic or cheesey or are so loud that you think your children or neighbor might hear what you are up to. Luxury sex toys are just the opposite. You might not even realize that they are high quality adult toys because they look like art. They are now so discreet and quiet that no one will know what you are up to.

These arguments might make sense and work for most people but might not work for you. If that’s the case, here are 3 more reasons to try out sex toys:

Pleasure = Sex Toys

Who is not a fan of orgasms? You might be too tired or too busy to have sex, but there’s no denying that orgasms feel good. Adult toys can help you have more orgasms. What’s wrong with that?

Sex Toys are Fun.

Whether you have been with your lover for a few months or many years, things might be a little stale and you want to try something new. That’s OK – you are not alone! Adult toys can add excitement to the bedroom and keep things from getting mundane. Using an adult toy together can bring you closer; sharing new experiences together can be very intimate.

Sex Toys Make Sex Better.

Did you know that about 30% of women actually have an orgasm during sex? Most women need clitoral stimulation to achieve an orgasm. Meanwhile, many men have trouble sustaining their erections as long as they would like, whether it be because of age, medication or stress. That’s what adults toys are for!

If you are now ready to start using adult toys, here are a few suggestions to get started:

Start slow by starting out with something small. Start with a small toy and show your lover that the toy is all about adding more pleasure and excitement to the bedroom. For example, if you want to try a vibrator, start with something that’s small and discreet, like a finger vibrator or vibrating egg. If you want to try light bondage, try a blindfold or holding your lover’s hands above their head during foreplay.

When you are ready, work your way up to something bigger and bolder.

Above all else, remember that communication is the key to any healthy relationship. If you can’t share your feelings or desires, something is not right. Intimacy and fun are the main goal. It is entirely up to you to decide whether that means with or without sex toys, but experimentation never hurt anyone!

My Secret Luxury is the provider of luxury adult toys and high quality romance tools. We offer a curated collection of sex toys for men, women and couples that adhere to the highest standards of design, style and technology. The online shop provides a place for discreet exploration and discovery through carefully crafted Secret Kits and gives unparalleled customer service through the Secret Concierge, who is available to turn fantasies into reality.

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The Amazing Range Of Sex Toys

The variety of sex toys is surprising. Sex toys vary from purely male or purely female sex toys to toys that can be used by both sexes. There are also some sex toys that can also be classified as sex aids or marital aids.

The Purpose Of Sex Toys

Some sex toys aid the man’s erection, stimulate the female genitals to become more sensitive or provide a different feel to ‘normal’ sex. Other sex toys provide an ‘environment’ for variations in sex, for example so called orgy bed sheets. Sometimes they are used to help a person who has difficulty with unaided sex to achieve sexual satisfaction. However most sex toys provide a new way to directly stimulate the male or female genitals to achieve sexual satisfaction.

Using sex toys can provide new experiences and variation in the sexual experience. It can also provide a fantasy element for enhancing or revitalising a relationship.

The usual expectation is that a sex toy provides direct stimulation of the genitals in foreplay and/or during sexual intercourse or as a means to obtain orgasm through only the stimulation provided by the sex toy.

Types of Sex Toys

Vibrating Sex Toys

Probably the most well known sex toys are ‘vibrators’ which, as the name suggests, provide stimulation of the genitals using vibration. They are mainly used to stimulate the clitoris, but may also be used to stimulate any other part of the female body or that of a man’s.

The simplest of these are pencil or wand shaped (though normally thicker than a pencil). They often have an internal battery (or two) which powers a small electric motor. Sometimes the battery pack and controller are external and connected to the vibrator by a wire. This motor is fitted with a small, out of balance, weight attached to the shaft. As this weight rotates it throws the motor and vibrator into a small circular movement which causes the vibration you feel.

With a vibrator that has a controller, as the power is increased the speed of the motor increases and with it both the rate and strength of vibration. Both the strength and rate of vibration effects how stimulating you find the sex toy. The best effect may not be as strong and as fast as possible. The optimum settings may well change as your degree of excitement builds. To get the best results it is worth buying a vibrator which is controllable.

Different vibrators will have different characteristics and you may well find you prefer one combination much more than another and your preference may even vary depending on which part of your body you are stimulating.

More recently electronic vibrator controllers have appeared which provide not only the static control of power/speed but also allow you to select patterns of power pulses and surges. These can be very effective.

There are also other vibrating sex toys such as butterfly stimulators and vibrating penis rings.

Other Powered Sex Toys

There are some sex toys that use other ways to provide mechanical stimulation. These usually depend on a motor that makes the sex toy continually change its shape which provides a sort of rotational movement or makes it move back and forth. The back and forth movements are sometimes powered by an air pump rather than a motor. The movements have been used to create, for example, mechanical licking tongues, vibrators that ‘penetrate’ the vagina and mouth simulators to give a man a ‘blow job’.

On a bigger scale and much more expensive, there are ‘sex machines’ that incorporate thrusting and vibrating dildos.

Combination Sex Toys

So far we have covered vibrating, moving and thrusting sex toys. As you may have guessed these are all offered in a bewildering array of combinations.

A common combination in many ‘Rabbit Style’ vibrators is clitoral stimulation using vibrations and vaginal stimulation using movement and sometimes a thrusting motion as well.

Many sex toys add varying textures to their surfaces; a dildo or vibrator may have ridges or soft spikes or a rippled shape.

Sensation Change Sex Toys

Some sex toys rather than provide vibrating or moving stimulation, change the feel of sex.

For instance there are a variety of sleeves to put over the penis to provide different sensations for both partners while engaged in penetrative sex.

There are rings that squeeze the base of the penis and/or tighten the scrotum that assist the man’s erection and also changes his sensations. There are penis extenders and thickeners which may give a man’s partner greater sensations during penetration.

There are a wide variety of lubricants that can significantly change the feel of sex.

There are PVC and Polyurethane bed sheets that are water and oil proof that can be used for slippery or messy sex.

Why Use A Sex Toy?

A good question is: why do people use a sex toy? Surely fingers, tongues, penises, clitorises and vaginas etc all provide great sexual stimulation and enjoyment.

Well, apart from therapeutic uses (eg erection assistance), sex toys can drive the imagination (being taken by a machine), provide variety (new ways to do old things), vary the stimulating effects in otherwise normal sex (penis sleeves) and some can provide experiences not possible with ‘normal body parts’ (particularly vibrating sex toys and electro-stimulation).

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Sacred Sexuality

Sitting with my friend Roseanne in the darkening twilight, I ask her a question I’ve been asking many people lately: “What does sacred sexuality mean to you?” Roseanne hesitates, searching for the right words. “It’s not something you can force… but once in a while, you pass through into something beyond, something transcendent…. It’s like a great light… Life comes pouring into existence, and for just a second, you get a chance to look at it and see it happening.”

Roseanne, a mother and housewife in her early fifties, is neither a student of Tantra, nor is she versed in New Age thought. In fact, she seems an unlikely source for information on sacred sexuality, raised as she was in a strict Mormon family where sex was equated with sin. Yet the long overlooked truth is that countless “ordinary” men and women feel a natural, intuitive reverence for sex as the place where “life comes pouring into existence.”

At the same time, millions of Americans also carry a heavy legacy of sexual guilt and shame which blocks their ability to appreciate sex as a divine gift. Over and over, people tell me that their parents rarely or never talked about sex, and pretended to be asexual. “In my family,” one woman told me, “there were no words for sexual parts or sexual acts…. When I was eight or nine, I got out a mirror and looked at my vagina and wondered if there was something wrong with me. “Is this okay?’ I thought. ‘Is this how it’s supposed to be?’”

Many of us were raised in religious traditions that considered sex “unspiritual” if not downright sinful. In contrast, most indigenous people revere sex as an encounter with the spirit worlds. Sobonfu Some, a teacher from the African Dagara tribe, says that her language has no words for “having sex.” The equivalent Dagara phrase translates as “going on a journey together”-a journey guided, according to Dagara belief, by the spirits of the ancestors.

Moreover, the Dagara believe that though this journey is taken in private, it benefits the entire community because in the process, the human and the spirit worlds are brought into alignment. Such ideas may seem a far cry from our own. Yet I have heard hundreds of women, as well as many men, describing sex as a mysterious, profoundly sacred power.

Janet, for example, responded without a moment’s hesitation to my question about the nature of sex: “Sex is the light that streams from the body.” “Sex is magic,” said another woman, “it’s a field of magic.” And yet another told me in a tone of awe, “It’s the primal creative force. It moves through you, but it doesn’t belong to you; you can’t possess it.”

Sex is not a genital activity; in fact, it is not an activity at all, but rather an aspect of the creative life force also known as Kundalini, which can enliven and electrify us at every stage of life. For Cindy, a sculptor in her seventies, the moment of her sexual awakening coincided with her birth as an artist. “In that moment, I understood that this vibrant aliveness was me. That’s who I am. All the creative work I have done since then comes out of that state.”

Cindy has had several deeply satisfying relationships, but today, she is happily single. Grinning, she tells me, “I felt so empowered when I realized that I would always be a sexual woman, and that I didn’t have to depend on a partner. The older I get, the more I feel turned on to spirit, to my own creativity, and most of all to the crazy, magical rush of life.”

Naomi, a woman in her forties, made the exhilarating discovery of her own sexual power during a women’s ritual at which each participant took off her clothes and offered a nude dance. Years of childhood abuse had taught Naomi to equate sex with humiliation. And so, she entered into her dance shaking with terror. Soon however, fear gave way to a mounting surge of ecstasy that coursed through her body and intensified until it exploded into orgasm. “This joy started coursing through my body until I was rolling around on the floor like a little animal, kicking my legs and laughing. It wasn’t dignified or beautiful. It was a joyful, ecstatic exuberance exploding through my body.”

Sacred sexuality can be etheric and gentle, or it can be bawdy, raucous, and funny. Cutting through the ego’s pretentiousness, it reconnects us with the innocent joy of our animal bodies and gifts us with the medicine of wild, liberating laughter. Therefore, the ancient Greeks called Aphrodite the “laughter-loving” goddess who was always surrounded by children.

We all need to find our access to ecstasy, for the soul’s hunger for ecstasy is as real and urgent as the body’s hunger for food. When people become obsessed with sex they are in fact starving for ecstasy. Our society will not have a healthy attitude to sex as long as it fails to acknowledge ecstasy as a basic human need which people will try to satisfy by any means, including alcohol, drugs, and self-destructive sex. Modern Western civilization is probably the first that has no ecstatic rituals. Creating our own version of the Sufi Zikrs, the Pagan spring festivals, or the ancient Greek mysteries could address the longing that drug-prevention programs and sex education cannot fulfill.

As an energy that transports the soul back and forth between the unmanifest and the manifest dimensions, sex has always been of special interest to healers, shamans, priests and priestesses who felt called to serve as go-betweens between the worlds. In the past, only very few, select individuals were called to this path. Today however, the urgent evolutionary need of the planet is causing a mass spiritual awakening. Most of the men and women I counsel are as deeply dedicated to the spiritual path as any nun or priest, yet they are also regular people with regular jobs and families.

For some, sexuality has served as a catalyst that forced them to abandon the path of organized religion and find their own way through difficult, uncharted terrain. Richard, now happily partnered with another gay man, was formerly a highly respected Zen Buddhist teacher and monk. “I saw desire as a big no-no,” he told me. “The Buddha taught that attachment to impermanent objects causes suffering. In my order, that was interpreted as meaning that personal attachments were bad, and sex was definitely bad.” Like many religious institutions, Richard’s order considered celibacy a spiritually superior way of life.

In theory, Richard agreed. Yet as the years went by, he became more and more frustrated. “I felt dry and shriveled. I started wondering, ‘Where’s the juice in my life? I need to find that juice.’” Soon after, Richard made the choice to leave his order, a choice he has not regretted. “Now,” he told me, “I believe that the purpose of the spiritual path is not to avoid suffering but to grow in love. And the only way I can walk the path of love is by following my heart’s deepest desire. I still feel that celibacy is a valid choice, but it should be an option, not an ideal. So much hypocrisy and deceit are the direct result of idealizing celibacy.”

As Richard has discovered, the path of sacred relationship is at least as demanding as the monastic path because it forces us to develop and transform the ego in ways monastic life does not. Nonetheless, Richard is not alone in his determination to integrate sexuality and spirituality, human and divine love. For many centuries, the way of the monk or nun has seemed incompatible with the way of the householder.

Yet in the last fifty years, a radical-and still little understood-transformation in the function of our sexual relationships has been occurring. Poised as we are on the brink of global disaster, communion with spirit is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity. Consequently, more and more couples are finding themselves equally committed to one another, to the spiritual journey, and to the process of inner transformation.

“What people like us are trying to do has never been done before,” a married friend told me. “Certainly our parents were not trying to achieve that level honesty and consciousness and intimacy.” Marriage (in which I include any long-term, committed sexual relationship) is perhaps the most radical voyage of personal transformation a spiritual seeker could embark on. But short sexual involvements, too, deserve to be honored as spiritual teachers. Every sexual attraction carries a message from spirit which we will fail to hear if we simply chalk it up to random “chemistry”.

Of course, this does not mean we should act on every impulse. Hannah told me of a night she and a monk spent sharing a small room, both madly in lust with each other. “Neither of us slept a wink,” Hannah remembered. “Every cell in my body was trembling with desire. But I did nothing.” Ironically, she remembers this night as one of her deepest experiences of sexuality, and has never regretted her choice.

“I couldn’t pretend to myself that this was love,” she told me. I don’t believe that sex and love necessarily have to go together, but in this case, they were in conflict, and I chose love.”

Those wanting to improve the quality of their sex life will find no lack of books, workshops and teachers. At the same time, even the most refined sexual techniques cannot unlock the door to the sacred. The key lies elsewhere-not in our actions, but in our perceptions. If we would experience sex as a luminous, light-filled miracle, we must approach it with eyes of reverence and with a mind free of judgment and shame.

Among the many manifestations of divine light, few are more beautiful than sex with its rich amber glow, its red-hot sparks, and its sweet honey flavor. Sex carried us all into life, and every now and then, it affords us a glimpse of paradise and of the radiance that is our true home. Sex is one of the most potent spiritual teachers we will ever encounter. It’s high time to give it credit for the inner growth it triggers and to gratefully acknowledge the vast generosity of a gift that connects us with the ecstasy of creation.

Ten Steps Towards Sexual Wholeness

1. Tell your story in sacred space. Telling your story is a powerful way of coming out of sexual isolation, owning and integrating your experience. Sometimes, it can even be a lifesaver. Words carry power, and naming your truth in the presence of compassionate, attentive witnesses is tremendously empowering. However, this deeply intimate process should always be contained in a sanctuary space of sorts, which might be a therapist’s office or a trusted friend’s living room.

I do not recommend telling your story outside of sacred space, which I define as an environment where your story will be received with attention, compassion and reverence, where you will not be judged or shamed, and where your request for confidentiality will be respected. Like the body, so the psyche too has its “private parts” where a person holds their deepest, most intimate secrets, as well as their most vulnerable feelings, memories, hopes and fears. Your story is sacred, and you would no more want to share it with an inappropriate audience that you would want to have sex with inappropriate partners.

2. Embrace pleasure as a friend. Wilhelm Reich was one of the first to realize how much we fear pleasure. When Joanna had an orgasm that left her, in her own words, “at the center of the universe, totally at one with everything,” she reacted not with elation but with terror. Perversely, we often view pain as safe, even virtuous, while associating pleasure with decadence and sin.

“In Catholic school, I learned that suffering was good,” one man told me. “Jesus suffered, and so did the martyrs. Nobody went to heaven for having a good time.” Provided our pleasure does not harm ourselves or others, we should consider it healthy, healing, and holy. Sacred sexuality honors pleasure as a gift from God, and as nature’s way of letting us know what is good for us. Welcome pleasure into every moment of your life, and embrace it as a friend, guide, and teacher.

3. Find time and space to open to your sexuality by yourself. Masturbation, or self-pleasuring, to use a more positive word, can be a voyage of self-discovery and an experience of truly making love to yourself. It’s just one way, though-remember that there are a million ways to “turn on” to yourself. Get naked, wrap a shawl around your hips, and do an erotic dance. Go out on a warm summer night and lie on the damp grass, letting your body commune with the earth’. A good lover is a priceless gift, but please don’t buy into the belief that without a lover, you can’t be sexual!

3. Take responsibility for the partners you attract. The foundation of sacred sexuality is love, and love begins with self love. If you have a history of choosing inappropriate partners, you can safely assume that in some way, you still feel unworthy or undeserving of the love you want.

4. Learn as much as possible about where and why you go astray. Watch out for patterns of “making do,” condoning abuse, or settling for relationships that are ultimately destructive and undermining. Sacred sex involves not only physical nakedness but also emotional and spiritual nakedness. Take a good hard look at who you are getting naked with.

5. Learn to express your sexual desires and needs. Good sex requires honest communication. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Unfortunately, fear and shame cause many otherwise articulate men and women to become mute in bed. Alexandra spent ten years in a sexually frustrating marriage before she finally found the courage to ask her husband for what she wanted. “As a good, red-blooded American girl, I was brought up to believe that the man had to give you sexual pleasure, and that if he didn’t give it to you, there was no way to get it.” As it turned out, Alexandra’s husband was more than happy to oblige her. Yet one wonders how many relationships fail because partners dare not express their desires.

6. Slow down and relax. We all know that stress is the number one killer in our society. Besides felling thousands of people every year, it also cripples our sexuality. Slowing down-way down-is essential to sacred sexuality. Ecstatic lovemaking occurs only within sacred time, time out of time; it cannot tolerate being cramped into tight schedules. “Quickies” can be wonderful. Still, they are the sexual equivalent of fast food. Give yourself the gift of a gourmet meal now and then!

7. Relax while aroused. As we get aroused, we tend to tense up. Practice doing the opposite. Instead of tensing, relax and allow pleasure to spread throughout your body. This runs against our grain because we generally want to reach orgasm as quickly as possible. To do so, we tense, thereby concentrating our excitement in the genital area. Often, we unconsciously hold our breath at the same time. Try breathing deeply and allowing yourself to relax into increasing levels of sexual arousal, without rushing toward orgasm. If and when orgasm occurs, it will release a healing flood of pleasure throughout your entire body.

8. Be brave. Understand that even with the best partner, sacred sex is bound to be somewhat scary. Why? Because as in any encounter with the divine, you will have to let go of control and surrender to a power greater than your own. Sacred sex is loving sex, and love is not for cowards; it takes courage to plunge into that purifying blaze. The ego may balk, yet our body and soul live for that crazy, exhilarating plunge. There is nothing more noxious to the body than being inhabited by an ego that refuses to let go. Our body yearns to reconnect with the eternal source of its being, and grieves when we becomes so fearful that we refuse the healing medicine of ecstatic pleasure. A body deprived of ecstasy and of the cleansing, purifying stream of bliss is never a happy body.

9. Open to God as your lover. Meditate on a divine Being who blesses your sexuality and desires you with as much passion as you desire Him or Her. Mystics of all spiritual traditions have invoked God as a lover who led them into states of rapture and orgasmic pleasure. By accepting God as our lover, we invite sacredness into our sexual experience. On the other hand, opening to the divine lover will also transform our spiritual practice. In the presence of the God the lover, worship becomes lovemaking, and lovemaking becomes worship.

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Common Myths About Child Sexual Abuse and Incest

The first response the majority of people form when hearing of sexual child abuse or incest is denial: “I do not have to be concerned about that in my community.” “That would never happen in my family.”

The unbelievable reality is that a person who sexually abuses children may seem very average and ordinary to the world. He/she may be a leader in the church, in the community or in business, a sports coach, scout leader, or celebrity. Sex offenders do not fit a classic stereotype and are not necessarily uneducated, unemployed, impoverished or an alcoholic.

The majority of people find sexual abuse and incest even more difficult to believe or accept when the sex offender is someone they like, admire, love, and/or marry. Tragically, the unwillingness to accept the facts concerning sex offenders leaves children vulnerable to becoming victims and increases the likelihood they will be abused.

Myth: Rape/incest runs in the family–it is in the genes.

Fact: Rape is not in the genes in the family of someone who rapes. Rape is perpetrated by someone who is acting out rage. Physical and sexual child abuse are the majority factor in creating the level of rage that compels anyone to commit rape, domestic violence or murder. We have known for a long time that the one commonality among rapists is physical and/or sexual child abuse. Serial killer, Ted Bundy is a classic example of this phenomenon. Since 80% of sexual child abuse survivors are sexually abused by family members there are usually several generations within a rapist’s family–sometimes both maternal and paternal. Current statistics reveal 70% of children are physically abused once a week. It is believed the number of children who are physically abused has decreased in the past 15 years. However, the current rapists in society would have grown up in the era when physical abuse was more prominent, therefore, we can assume there is a high percentage of people, who are potential rapists when we consider date rape and rape in domestic violence, which is seldom reported or if it is reported, is seldom prosecuted. Therefore, society has no way to access the number of rapes committed per capita.

Myth: Children lie or fantasize about sexual activities with adults.

Fact: Using developmental terms, young children cannot make up explicit sexual information. They must be exposed to it to speak about it. Sometimes a parent will coach a child to report sexual abuse falsely. The key indicators of the falseness in such a report are the child’s inability to describe explicit details, the inability to illustrate the act, or gross inconsistencies within the account.

Myth: Most victims of sexual abuse are teenaged girls.

Fact: While more girls than boys are sexually abused, many are abused before their first birthday.

Myth: Boys can’t be sexually abused.

Fact: Masculine gender socialization instills in boys the belief they are to be strong; they should learn to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children and are as vulnerable as girls. They cannot really fight back against the sex offender. A sex offender generally has greater size, strength, knowledge, or a position of authority, using such resources as money or other bribes, or outright threats–whatever advantage the sex offender can take to get what they want.

Myth: Sexual abuse of a child is usually an isolated, one-time incident.

Fact: Child sexual abuse and incest occurrences develop gradually, over time; often, repeat occurrences are generally the rule rather than the exception.

Myth: Children will naturally outgrow the effects of sexual abuse or incest.

Fact: Sexual abuse or incest affects every aspect of human development. The damage is profound, extensive and pervasive. It is deeper than the physical and emotional level–it is a soul injury that requires multifaceted, multidimensional, therapeutic processing conducted by a professional who specializes in sexual abuse and incest trauma recovery.

Myth: Non-violent sexual behavior between a child and an adult is not emotionally damaging to the child.

Fact: Although child sexual abuse often involves subtle rather than extreme force, all survivors experience confusion, shame, guilt, anger, as well as a lowered sense of self-esteem; these are classic aftereffects, although they may not initially reveal obvious signs.

Myth: Child molesters are all, ‘Dirty old men.’

Fact: In a recent study of convicted child sex offenders, 80% committed their first offense before age 30.

Myth: Children provoke sexual abuse by their seductive behavior.

Fact: Seductive behavior may be the result, but is never the cause of sexual abuse. Amy Fisher, the Long Island teenager who shot her sex offender’s wife in the face and whom the media dubbed, Lolita having an affair with a married man, is a perfect example of this myth. During her trial for attempting to kill Joey Buttafuoco’s wife, Amy Fisher revealed that she had been sexually abused before her abuse by Buttafuoco. Her behavior that many considered seductive and promiscuous was, in fact, a result of prior abuse. However, regardless of the victim’s behavior or reason for such behavior, the responsibility for appropriate behavior always lays with the adult, not the child. A sixteen-year-old girl is no match for the cunning and streetwise tactics of a man twice her age, therefore, the ability to affect adult consent is unreasonable to expect.

Myth: If children wanted to avoid sexual advances of adults, or persons in positions of greater power, they could say, stop or no.

Fact: Children generally do not question the behavior of adults. In addition, bribes, threats, flattery, trickery and use of authority coerce them into cooperation and compliance.

Myth: When a child is sexually abused, it is immediately apparent.

Fact: In cases of incest against children, as much as the sex offender might be hurting the victim, the child loves him or her and needs her family. Therefore, she convinces herself that she is somehow causing him or her to behave this way, and she remains silent. In her confusion of loyalty to her sex offender, she protects him or her by holding the secret. Thus, she carries the shame and guilt. In cases regarding sexual abuse and incest, the victim often believes that she has cooperated with the sex offender in some way and places inappropriate blame on herself. Therefore, although with tremendous suffering, she hides her pain through denial, dissociation, numbing, zoning out, hyperactivity, as well as other distracting behaviors. However, the aware parent would recognize these behaviors as a sign that something is wrong.

Myth: When the sexual abuse victim is male, male homosexuals are the sex offenders.

Fact: Heterosexual men, who do not find sex with other men satisfactory, perpetrate most child sexual abuse. Many child molesters, even though they are heterosexual, abuse both boys and girls.

Myth: Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.

Fact: Whether victimized by males or females, boys or girls, premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about their sexual identity and orientation.

Myth: When a boy and a woman take part in sexual behavior and it is the boy’s idea, he is not being abused.

Fact: Child abuse is an act of power by which an adult uses a child. Abuse is abuse; a woman engaging in sexual behavior with a male child is still sexually abusive, even if she thinks he initiated the contact.

Myth: If the sex offender is female, the boy or adolescent is fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.

Fact: Premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, sister, babysitter or other female causes confusion, at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. Whether male or female, to be used as a sexual object is always abusive and damaging.

Myth: If the child experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, he or she has been a willing participant or enjoyed it.

Fact: Children can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. A sex offender can maintain secrecy by labeling the child’s sexual response as an indication of his or her willingness to participate. You liked it, you wanted it. The survivor is then manipulated with their own guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical, visual or auditory stimulation is likely to occur in a sexual situation. It does not mean the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant.

Myth: Males who were sexually abused as boys all grow up to sexually abuse children.

Fact: Only some sexually abused boys become sex offenders.

Myth: Boys are less traumatized as victims of sexual abuse than girls.

Fact: Studies show that long-term effects are equally damaging for either sex. Ironically, males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their own resultant belief that they must ‘tough it out’ in silence.

Myth: If a child is sexually active with his or her peers, then it is not sexual abuse.

Fact: The act is abusive if the child is induced into sexual activity with anyone who is in a position of greater power, whether that power is derived through the sex offender’s age, size, status, or relationship. A child who cannot refuse, or who believes she or he cannot refuse, is a child who has been violated.

Unless and until, society focuses on sexual child abuse prevention, before the damage is done, sexual abuse of children will continue to proliferate. Child sexual abuse is the greatest hidden epidemic in the world.

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Sexual Chemistry – Send and Pick Up Sexual Signals

Have you ever had a friend describe a really “hot’ blind date for you, and you get all excited and eager to meet this wonder person only to come face to face with the person and zero, nothing, no sparks. The person is all that, but you are just not digging him or her.

Or have you ever found yourself so powerfully attracted to someone with whom you have nothing in common, and physically he or she is not even your “type” but he or she makes your libido sit up and howl?

Or may be you’ve been in a passionless and sexually dead relationship with your partner and suddenly you find yourself so attracted to your partner that you can’t keep your hands off him or her?

Two words – sexual chemistry.

Sometimes you instantly feel strong sexual chemistry with someone when you first see him or her and other times sexual chemistry can sneak up on you very slowly. You may like the person, enjoy their company, and you have a lot in common but that spark is missing – that special feeling isn’t there (he or she is just a friend). Then one day you come to the realization that you are very sexually attracted to him or her.

Other times, you feel the chemistry with someone and then when you get to know the person, the sexual chemistry and attraction goes away.

You can’t fake sexual chemistry…

With the tons of books on reading sexual attraction postures, gestures and facial cues, and even with all that “we know” about men-women dynamics, many men and women still can’t figure out if there is sexual chemistry between two people — or not.

We misread and misinterpret sexual signals because there are other energies emitting on the same frequency that tend to interfere with our ability to correctly read someone else’s sexual attraction body language. It’s like when you are trying to tune your radio to 98.1 FM, but your antenna keeps picking up another channel on a higher frequency range. There are sexual attraction signals that your conscious mind could never tell you, because these signals are operating at a higher frequency range (the sub-conscious range).

So what do you do? The answer: Always follow your sexual instincts…

The ability to utilize your intuition is a crucial factor in sexual attraction, since sexual attraction happens at the sub-conscious level. Because your body senses threat or danger before your mind does, your intuitive mind or gut feeling can pick up those aspects of sexual attraction which vibrate at a higher frequency range — and steer you to the right move at the right time.

Intuition not only helps you steer away from potential danger, it also helps you feel confident and wise, knowing that the tools you need to conquer the unknown and unknowable are always at hand. Discounting your own powerful inner feelings and relying on some “expert’s moves” destroys your own ability to think for yourself, and make correct judgments of people and situations.

You need this vital element if you are to be successful with the opposite sex. So trust your intuition/sexual instincts.

Except that there is an alarming exception. If your sexual antenna is weak or faulty or damaged, you will not be able to pick up these signals operating at a higher frequency range and as a result you will not be able to tune into the other person’s sexual wavelength.

Your sexual antenna is weak — when this is the case, you have a problem tuning into a man or woman’s sexual wavelength because your own sexual signals are not strong enough to set off sexual chemistry.

How can you tell that your sexual signals are not strong enough?

Every time you meet someone new conversation is good, you have much in common, you are so sexually attracted to him or her and things seem to be going generally well but the other person doesn’t find you attractive in a sexual way.

If you can’t connect on a sexual level, then there is no sexual chemistry, no sexual attraction.

Your sexual antenna is faulty — when this is the case, you have a problem tuning into a man or woman’s sexual wavelength because even though you are sending strong sexual signals alright, you are sending the wrong ones at the wrong time.

How can you tell that you’re sending the wrong sexual signals at the wrong time?

Every time you meet someone new conversation is good, you have much in common, but when you start getting all “sexual” the opposite sex look at you like “Ugh! Weirdo” if you are a guy. If you are a woman, guys think you are “easy and cheap” because your sexual energy is like all over the place.

Your sexual antenna is damaged — this just means that you are not tuning into the opposite sex’s sexual wavelength because you are not sending any sexual signals at all.

How can you tell that you’re not sending any sexual signals at all?

You are sexually invisible to the opposite sex.

So to pick up these signals operating at a higher frequency range and get sexual chemistry right, you must first make sure you sexual antenna is finely tuned, is sending out the right vibrations — and IS TURNED ON.

With practice, you’ll naturally be able to tune into someone else’s sexual frequencies and set off powerful sexual chemistry. It just becomes part of you, something you do without even trying.

You might also want to read my article “Why Do We Like Some People and Dislike Others?” for a little more insight into those other energies emitting on the same frequency and tend to interfere sexual attraction.

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Integrating Sexuality and Spirituality

Take a look at the world around us, and it becomes readily apparent that we are living in a time of simultaneous convergence and deconstruction. As there is a resurging interest in spiritual practices in many circles, there is also a breakdown in the patriarchal, hierarchical church structures. The specter of clergy sexual abuse intermingles with a worldview promulgated by the church about the nature of relationships and sexuality that no longer has meaning for people today – men and women, young and even middle-aged. The gender roles we were raised with have broken down and blurred. The image of nuclear family as mom, dad and 2.4 children has been superseded by a far greater spectrum of family possibilities. Bisexuality, androgyny, gender fluidity and polyamory are more and more common, especially among the twenty something generation.

Erotic energy is far more than sexual energy. It is life energy. As our culture has evolved splits between mind and body, head and heart, heart and pelvis and sexuality and spirituality, we have forgotten what it means to be fully alive.

“Erotic energy is not just about having sex,” continues Suzanne Blackburn, whose participation in sexuality and spirituality work has catapulted her personal and spiritual growth. “It is about living.” As we have become disconnected from our bodies, hearts, souls, spirits, one another and the divine, we have lost touch with many of the most beautiful pleasures and experiences possible in being human. So many people today are searching for meaning and purpose, most often expressed through job dissatisfaction, addictions and broken or troubled relationships. The rise of industrialization, urbanization, the nation-state, global dislocations, war and poverty all contribute to the sex-spirit split for us both individually and collectively.

“Because our culture has repressed sexuality so much, it is repressing everything,” acknowledges Blackburn. “People who have repressed sexuality have also repressed other areas of their lives. If you are not joyful about your sexuality, it is hard to be joyful about watching a sunset or watching kittens play. Hopefully, by breathing life into one, you breathe life into all of it. It’s like giving birth. When the baby comes out of the birth canal and takes a breath, the baby pinks up. When we open up, breathe deeply, have fun, when we dance, we pink up.” This backdrop provides fertile soil for an emerging movement working to integrate sexuality and spirituality.

Living in the Midst of a Paradigm Shift

Bob Francouer, a teacher of graduate and undergraduate classes in Human Sexuality at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the editor of the Encyclopedia of Sexuality notes, “Sexuality and spirituality have always been joined and interwoven from the very beginning of the human race. It is only in the last 2000 to 3000 years of Western civilization that the two have been separated. And they have not just been separated, but have been seen as antagonistic to each other. The split between sex and spirit came out of the Greek philosophy of dualism, and a dichotomous view of humans as matter/evil/female and spirit/good/rational/male.”

Just as Western civilization went through a period of major cultural upheaval 2000 to 3000 years ago, we are undergoing a period of major cultural turnover and paradigm shift now. “The institutional churches are losing their credibility in dealing with sexuality and spirituality. They are losing their authority,” continues Francouer. Francouer is well versed in the changing paradigm worldwide. The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality is written by 300 experts in 60 countries on 6 continents. The encyclopedia includes in depth reports of all aspects of sexuality. Each country has a section on religious and ethnic influences. Having collected information from many cultures all over the world, “it becomes very clear the spiritual traditions are undergoing major revolutions in their patterns of thinking. People in many cultures worldwide are thinking now not in terms of marital and procreational values, but in terms of individual self-enrichment and fulfillment. The spiritual is a very important part of the new perspective.”

Significant leadership in the sexuality and spirituality is coming from women. Francouer acknowledges, “As women in developing nations are exposed to Western concepts and experiences of human sexuality, they are linking their religious traditions with the visions of Western sexuality. As women become more empowered in third world nations, they are gaining more control over their bodies and sexuality, turning more to their spiritual heritage.”

“When the human psyche reaches the point of convergence and breakthrough into a new level of consciousness,” reflects Francouer, “diversity is the first thing that happens. The energy spreads out and explores all kinds of possibilities. There is no one ideal paradigm nor five ideal paradigms. All the models we have had in the past have real difficulties being applied in today’s world. So people are creating their own models and patterns.” The new paradigms created need to include and consider the collective as well as the individual.

A Quiet Movement and Its Roots

The emergence of the sexuality and spirituality movement is very quiet. For one, the subjects of sexuality and spirituality are each daunting. Many people are frightened at the thought of delving more deeply into either one. Too, Ani Colt, publisher of Spirituality and Sexuality magazine and founder of the Sexuality and Spirituality Union Network (SUNetwork) points out, “One of the things that energized a lot of movements was the common experience of feeling oppressed. A sense of oppression contributed to the emergence of blacks, women and homosexuals. But the oppression of our sexuality is not even recognized because sex is always in front of us. It’s in ads, on TV, in the movies. It is much more subtle oppression. As a result, it hasn’t given us that organizing energy that has created the feminist movement, the civil rights movement and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans gendered community.”

Sex educator, sex coach and author Loraine Hutchins adds, “Erotophobia/sex-negativity is hard to battle because it is all pervasive and systemic. It doesn’t affect any one group at the expense of another like racism. However, erotophobia, like racism, really hurts everyone and diminishes us all. I think sex-negativity is a function of heterosexism, a system of oppression created by patriarchy, involving male supremacy and mandatory heterosexuality. This oppressive system hurts men as well as women. The parallel is in looking at how whites are made less by racism, in contrast to non-whites. The hurts are different and need different remedies.”

“Organized religion is of little help in the sexuality-spirituality field,” Shalom Mountain Retreat Center founder Gerry Jud acknowledges. “I make a big distinction between religion and spirituality. Religion is about controlling behavior. Spirituality is about development and liberation of consciousness – becoming consciousness itself. Sex permeates all of life. When people are intimate with each other, touch each other, look into each other’s eyes, dance ecstatically with each other, the sexual component is out front. You cannot take an effective spiritual journey without taking into account that we are sexual beings.”

The first nationwide survey on sexuality and spirituality was conducted by Gina Ogden, a sexuality therapist and author of Women Who Love Sex: An Inquiry into the Expanding Spirit of Women’s Erotic Experiences. She is presently writing a book based on her survey results and hopes that the data will provide a baseline for broadening definitions of human sexuality, especially for women. Oggen contends that the field of sexology itself has reinforced the split between sexuality and spirituality. While she was a visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute, she happened upon the earliest sex surveys – conducted by women MDs. “The first survey, a century ago, was filled with hand-written responses about sexuality and spirituality,” notes Ogden. “But since the 1930′s when male scientists took over the surveying of sexual behavior, sex research became focused on what was easy to count and measure – performance by way of intercourse, orgasms and spasms, the mechanical part.” In her 25 years of experience as a clinician and workshop leader, Ogden found these mechanical features to be only a fraction of what women said was important.

“Almost 4000 women and men answered my survey with an outpouring of stories about sexuality and spirituality, about love and empathy and meaning and sex as a direct path to the divine. What is fascinating is that these stories echo the responses from those early surveys, as if they’re filling in almost a hundred years of blanks, the mysterious black holes in the history of the sexuality and spirituality movement. Maybe the scientific arm of the present day movement begins with Celia Mosher, who conducted that first survey in 1892!”

Ogden continues, “There is brain research coming out now because with advanced technology like MRI’s and PET scans we can really look at what is going on in the human brain over a period of time, like stop action. Researchers are finding that during sexual stimulation more than one center of the brain is lighting up. This demonstrates an organic basis for arguing that sexuality and spirituality are connected, that sexual response is multi-dimensional. This is in direct disagreement with all the sex research that focuses on performance, and the medical diagnostics that say if you can’t perform to their standards, it’s called dysfunction. There may be a political and social movement going on, but it’s important to remember that the capacity for connecting sex and spirit is in us. It is in our cells and our brain structure. It is built in. It has taken us 3000 years to remember it, to rediscover it, to validate it.”

A Wide Spectrum of Trainings and Practices

Many trainings, practices and methods have evolved to help people learn to work with sexual, spiritual, and life energies in their bodies, relationships and lives. These methods have been developed by visionaries who have built a community or network of people around them. There is some cross-fertilization between these communities, but more often the right hand doesn’t even know there is a left hand yet, never mind what it is doing.

Existing practices and trainings approach integrating sexuality and spirituality from many different directions. For example, the Human Awareness Institute approaches this work from an emotional and interpersonal direction, giving people skills for deeper intimacy and connection through its Love, Intimacy and Sexuality workshops. Tantric work, on the other hand, approaches the body and its energy field from a rootedness in spiritual philosophy. Sterling community work focuses on distinguishing the differences between male and female energy.

One of the common threads amongst the many approaches is the creation of a safe, sacred community circle. Joining together in holy ritual is a basic human need. We are starving for this kind of sacred circle. Trainings and workshops such as those profiled below provide help meet this need. I have selected a handful of significant programs in the sexuality and spirituality field, all of which have evolved over the past several decades. The purpose is to illustrate a range of what is available.

The Human Awareness Institute: Restoring the Purity of Heart and Soul

Stan Dale, 73, founder of the Human Awareness Institute, that has offered Love, Intimacy and Sexuality workshops worldwide for thirty four years, found himself on a path of integrating sexuality and spirituality while stationed in Japan when he was twenty seven years old. Having had a successful career in radio prior to being drafted, Stan worked at the Armed Forces Korea Network while in the service. He was put on temporary duty in Tokyo for the Far East Network, and was invited to a cast party for a motion picture being filmed there, “Joe Butterfly.” The cast party took place at a geisha house, a stunning 22-acre facility with trees, butterflies and flowers and buildings that looked like palaces. Through a twist of fate, he ended up living there for seven months when an old man who lived there invited him to stay. The old man told everyone at the geisha house to treat Stan like his son. The head geisha, nearly 70, gave Stan a quartz stone.

“She said to me,” remembers Stan, “‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘a stone.’ She said, ‘Yes…but come back and tell me what you see later.’ This went on for three days. I knew it was a trick. I examined it, had a magnifying glass, asked others what they saw…At the end of the three days, she asked me what I saw. Like a bolt of lightning, I saw the beauty of the universe. The words came out of my mouth.”

“At an event that night, the head geisha stood up. She gave me an honorific bow and said, ‘If you can see the beauty of the universe in a stone, you are now a geisha.’ I hadn’t known what geisha meant, but I sensed it was very special. The geishas taught me to look beyond everything I look at, to listen beyond everything I listen to, to go beyond what I touch. I learned an old adage to live by. If God wanted to hide, God would hide in human beings, because that is the last place we would think to look to find God.”

Stan learned to look for and see the spark of God, the magnificence that is every human being which may be camouflaged or obscured as we take the hard knocks of life. “As we walk through life in this world, the garbage keeps getting dumped on spirit,” notes Stan. Sufficient garbage gets dumped that people don’t recognize their own heart and spirit. “When something is in the body that shouldn’t be there, when it is taken out, it heals itself,” acknowledges Stan. “The heart heals itself. The soul heals itself.”

Just as the heart, soul and spirit get obscured by the garbage of life, sexuality has been equally misunderstood. “When we get the craziness and dirtiness out of the word sex, and put it where it belongs in spirit, heal and soul, then we get purity. “My vision is for every human being to be aware that their spirituality and sexuality is who you are, not something you get. My vision is for every person on this planet to see what is available when the garbage is indeed taken out.”

Shalom Mountain Retreat Center: Sustaining Spiritual Growth and Intimacy

Gerry Jud, now 83, is one of the true pioneers in the sexuality and spirituality movement. After getting a Ph.D at Yale, he started his career as a pastor in New Haven, CT. “I became interested in the question of why, in religious groups, the level of intimacy is exquisitely limited. People who get started in the field of a religious path soon level off. The journey comes to a halt. This troubled me as a church person, and so I began to study a way in which intimacy could be found among such people who are seeking a spiritual life, and how it could be sustained.”

He did his research and development work at Kirkridge, a major Protestant retreat center in Bangor, ME. Influenced by leaders in the human potential movement, including the folks at Esalen and in humanistic psychology, Gerry reached a turning point in his work when he worked with primal therapy techniques. “My first wife drowned after seventeen years of marriage. We had three little children. As a religious person, I did the best I could with that tragedy. It wasn’t until I got into primal scream work that I was able to release my anger. That changed everything for me.”

“That led me to see that people on their spiritual journey are not stuck in their conscious minds. They are stuck in the twilight,” a deeper subconscious layer that is often inaccessible to the conscious mind. For people to move forward in their growth work, Gerry recognized they needed to work at this deeper level, which he called the “twilight zone.” He developed a system in which he created an intensely tender, loving group of fifteen people. He would work with each person, one at a time, using deep breathing to put them into an altered state of consciousness.

Gerry initially started working with clergy and their wives, but his work soon grew to include people of all different religions and cultures. He eventually left his church job and founded Shalom Mountain Retreat Center in 1975. He found his work growing to include sexuality as it became apparent that the journey to God needed to include working with sexuality. Gerry’s pioneering work helped give birth to yet another body of work, the Body Sacred.

Suzanne Blackburn describes the Shalom experience as “a beautiful blend of all that we know in modern psychology and all that we know about love. It’s community at its best – a community that holds people to their truths and never withdraws love regardless of that truth.”

Body Electric School: Learning About Erotic Energies

The Body Electric School for Erotic Massage was founded by Joseph Kramer in the early 1980′s. Suzanne Blackburn speaks to the essential contribution of this work. “Kramer realized that men were compartmentalizing orgasm. For most people, initially men, if they were orgasmic, their experience happens within a five inch radius around the genitals. Kramer was interested in developing a body of knowledge to make orgasm a lot more – a full body, full person, full spiritual experience. He went on a quest to find out how to do this and created an experiential school for teaching about erotic energies.”

As we live with breakdown and deconstruction at so many levels of life, one thread that emerges is a hunger and longing, both spiritual and erotic. Suzanne Blackburn, reflects, “We are in a culture of dis-remembering in a lot of ways including the natural flow of erotic energies through and around us. Alex Jade of the Body Electric School uses the term ‘erotic amnesia.’ A lot of work is now available to help us re-member.”

Kramer drew upon ancient traditions and modern wisdom, and blended this knowledge in a new way that is accessible to men and women today. Body Electric work teaches people to wake up to their own bodies through breath, movement and touch, including Taoist erotic massage.

“Body Electric work translates ancient wisdom into practical exercises people can do in the here and now. We carry these ancient teachings in our bodies. It doesn’t take a whole lot of teaching for our bodies to wake up and remember. Our bodies hold the wisdom,” comments Blackburn. “In our culture it is generally not okay to take your clothes off with strangers, to talk about your genitals and erotic experience. The facilitators of Body Electric workshops are able to create a very safe space that allows people looking to be more alive in their bodies, to heal shame, open to more intimacy, celebrate living, and most importantly, to reconnect genitals and heart.”

Growing out of the AIDS devastation, the sudden linking of sex with death and attempting to recover from this, the school was exclusively for men until twelve years ago. “In response to women’s interests in this work, Joseph sought out women teachers,” chronicles Blackburn. The school currently offers a women’s program and a small mixed gender curriculum.

Sterling Men’s and Women’s Weekends: Distinguishing Between Masculine and Feminine Energy

An outgrowth of the human potential movement that offered us an opportunity to explore what it means to be human, Sterling men’s and women’s weekends provided a forum to explore what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

Joe Boyer, who is involved in leadership in the Northeast region for this work, speaks to the evolution of the men’s and women’s weekends. “Throughout the history of the world, masculine and feminine roles were established that worked for many years. In more recent years of civilization, these roles have unraveled with politics, the industrial age, wars and all the conditions that called for the women’s movement. The women’s movement pushed us towards equality, but this posed new problems. The divorce rate went up. As a society, and as men and women, we had lost touch with the essence of the male and female roles that had worked for millions of years.”

Sterling work explores the essence of what it means to be male and what it means to be female, and what each gender’s roles and responsibilities can be. The goal is for men and women to be able to come together and have relationships that work. What is being distinguished here is energy – what is true masculine energy and what is true feminine energy. “The more unisexed a couple gets,” reflects Boyer, “the more it loses its vitality.” Rather than becoming androgynous, which implies a melding of gender energies, we need to become more clearly rooted in our masculine and female energies. “We need the distinction of masculine and feminine energies to understand who we are and what our inner selves are trying to tell us. This is not to say a man should shun his feminine energy. The key is learning to distinguish it.”

An example of the difference between male and female energy is the way each gender feels a sense of essential expression. Men feel a sense of essential expression when they provide and act. Through acting, men connect with the resources of the world, helping do what needs to be done to move things forward. Women feel a sense of essential expression when they nurture and foster connections. To nurture, you have to fully connect with another human being, to be able to plug into another, experience what they are feeling and empathize with them. In this way, women keep the relational fabric of society together.

When we look at the symbols for male and female, the male symbol is like an arrow, pointing or directing, and the female symbol includes a circle, bringing together and including. Men may take women’s nurturing efforts for granted. Unfortunately, women may not recognize the expression of emotional energy by men. When women nurture and when men work, each gender comes from their heart. This expresses an intention to emotionally be there for another. It is their way of trying to emotionally connect. For men and women to relate and get along, being able to recognize and appreciate these essential energies and their expression is fundamental.

A big piece of Sterling work is empowering people to become the men and women they always wanted to be. Our culture delivers lots of messages about what a man or women is supposed to be, but these messages may not ring true within an individual man or woman. “The Sterling Men’s Weekend is promoted as a modern initiation into manhood. This culture lacks this kind of initiation. The closest thing we have is the military. The military, however, makes you into the man they or we want you to be. The Sterling weekend is about making you into the man you always wanted to be.”

In order to serve the world at large, we need to have a clear strong sense of self, including a clear sense of gender identity. In this light, Sterling work helps men and women get rooted in that sense of self, so they can then come together to help shape a better world.

Conscious Relating: The New Paradigm for Love

While we have made progress in accepting same sex relationships between men and men and women and women, the culture as whole still offers a pretty narrow view of what constitutes an acceptable loving relationship. Our high divorce rate illustrates that even straight heterosexual men and women struggle in the most accepted form of relationship called marriage. Sexuality, intimacy and emotional needs are often difficult to talk about in relationships, and as a result it is hard for many people to be truthful in their expression of their sexuality.

Deborah Taj Anapol, a pioneer in the field of exploring conscious relating and integrating sexuality and spirituality, speaks of the new paradigm for love. “Right now what is occurring in consciousness is a marriage or blending between the masculine and feminine. With this shift comes an understanding of love as consciousness, rather than feelings for an object or love as something finite. The new paradigm for love is one of partnership, rather than a dominance/submissive form of relating.”

Relationships are based on honesty when they come from a climate of mutual respect and emotional safety. In the old paradigm, when relationships fail, partners often distance from themselves and each other with lies of omission and commission. When intimate relationships are formed from a utilitarian base, responding to social expectations, economic necessity, or gender role expectations, it is hard for men and women alike to find an authentic way of relating. When relationships are formed from a more spiritually integrated place, one comes to a partner freely, from a place of unconditional love and choice.

When people are ashamed or afraid to admit their needs to themselves, never mind their partners, it is hard to have a paradigm for love. Learning to know ones emotional, sexual and intimate needs becomes a spiritual journey. For many people, alternative lifestyle options are needed for authentic and vital relating and expression. As we move through a paradigm shift, forms of relationship may need to adjust to accommodate our individual and collective growth and change. Committed relationships may range from marriage to God with a celibate lifestyle to polyamorous relationships where people are both emotionally committed and sexual with more than one partner. Some people commit emotionally to a primary relationship with a person of one gender, yet engage sexually with another person or other persons of the other gender. Some individuals and couples choose to study and practice sacred sexuality to increase both their sense of connection and pleasure.

Bob Francouer comments about the shifting paradigm, “I think the outcome is going to be a much greater, more open, tolerant diversity. Once premarital sex was taboo. Today, in many circles, including mainstream circles and even churches, premarital sexual relationships are taken for granted. We will see different lifestyles that are socially responsible and fulfilling for the individuals. As we live into our seventies, eighties, nineties and beyond, some people will change their pattern of relationships.”

Where we will evolve to will be an interesting question. Women are taking a leading role in bringing an sex-spirit integration into the culture. More and more men are realizing they need to heal their wounded hearts to bring themselves more fully into their own lives and relationships. I am excited about the healing potential this emerging movement has for life on Earth. Perhaps, as we reconnect with our bodies, our hearts, our souls and one another we will indeed create a world that can live in greater harmony and peace.

The Boston Area Sexuality And Spirituality Network

In response to a groundswell of interest, the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network was founded in May 2002. The group exists to create a forum for people interested in integrating sexuality and spirituality to meet, dialogue and exchange resources. At the first meeting of BASSN, one of the themes was the need for an umbrella organization that embraced ALL forms of sexual, spiritual and gender expression. One member stated, “I can find a group of bisexual women pagans, but that group may not dialogue with transgendered Christians or hard-wired straight monogamous people.” BASSN offers an umbrella, welcoming people who identify with the many dimensions of gender identity, orientation, sexual expression and spiritual identity.

What BASSN members have in common is the desire to create a community or tribe where INTEGRATION is possible, creating a safe space where people can explore and learn from both differences and common threads. The group sponsors monthly meetings, which are like mini-workshops. Topics the group has addressed so far include: integrating sexuality and spirituality: what does it mean?, the essence of gender, safe touch, ways of loving: forms of relationship, and sexual energy.

The group will be organizing a Sexuality and Spirituality Leadership Forum, gathering together pioneers in the S and S field to share their visions and work, and to see how everyone can work together to support one another and this emerging field.

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Pan and Aphrodite for Humanity’s Sexual Healing

Sexuality has been a rather dysfunctional area of the human experience, in the past and today also. Even though, in the western world, we may appear as ‘liberated’, ‘uninhibited’, ‘progressed’ and ‘advanced’ in sexual matters, with free pornography and prostitution, Internet sex, promiscuous sex with strangers, countless sex advice on popular magazines, huge expenses on improving our sex-appeal and appearance, sexuality is not much more balanced today than at other times. Neither is its connection to spirituality widely recognized. Sexual energies, when cleared of any excessively ‘positive’ (obsession) or ‘negative’ (judgment) attributes, can be used for the return and re-anchoring of higher frequencies in our lives and the world around us.

Hardly do we realize the importance of sexual health to spiritual health. We mostly regard sexuality as an isolated part, cut-off from the rest of our lives. Yet, sexuality is an inseparable part of one’s expression of life force. A couple with a healthy sex life, based on love, respect, inspiration and creativity, exudes such delightful energy, which helps, not only themselves, but also the world and the people around them in invisible ways. The same applies to a person who may be single, yet at peace, comfort and acceptance of his/her sexuality, while expressing his/her creative force in different ways. Despite the media’s brainwashing, sexual health (in the spiritual sense) is NOT determined by the frequency of our sexual contacts. Sexual health means acceptance, means the release of any guilt or shame about sexuality, the recognition of sexuality as a channel for powers of creativity, joy, spontaneity, honor and vitality. These qualities can be expressed in many different ways, not just through sex. Problems arise when these qualities get blocked due to trauma, guilt, shame, insecurity, low self-esteem, idolizing sex, sex addiction etc.

Human sexuality can be seen as a means to channel Universal energy into matter, so that physical matter is ultimately infused with life energy and soul energy. The most obvious creation of this infusion is, of course, a baby! But it is not the only one. Through appropriate channeling of sexual energy, one can create a work of art, a book, a project, or just a joyous day, during which we laugh and love and sing and rejoice. Sexual energy, when properly channeled (according to ancient methods of yoga, for example) can help towards spiritual enlightenment. Seeing sexuality as a package of physical techniques on biological reflexes, in order to create some momentary euphoria, is a very limited view. It is like seeing sex, as a little ‘fix’ to produce a ‘high’ and this view hides the spiritual truth of sexuality.

As other areas of the human experience, sexuality can be a wonderful tool, but it can be used in different ways. It can be used for ill and darkness, or it can be used for love and truth. Ways, not contributing to the light, are when sex is used for hurting, humiliating, using, or exploiting another, or for escaping boredom and the sense of vacuum and emptiness we may feel. Yet, the vacuum inside cannot be filled by sex. Many people today try to fill what is, essentially, a spiritual vacuum with sex and end up feeling more empty than ever (especially if they have used other people for their own perceived ‘need’). Both partners tend to feel cut off from the source of life force, depleted rather than energized, end up seeing each other and themselves as worthless and unattractive. We are bombarded by the media with messages of sexual obsession and sexual using (“how to get him/her to meet your needs” etc), but no one tells us that what we do to another, we do, first and foremost, to ourselves. If, through sex, we humiliate or use another, this is how we will feel about ourselves: used and humiliated. If, on the other hand, sex is the way of expression of love and appreciation of another, then this feeling will multiply for ourselves also. Sex can be the tool to give love or pain. The choice is ours and this choice will affect (just like every choice we make) every aspect of our life, as well as life around us.

Sexual healing is not about spicy advice on achieving greater physical pleasure. Sexual healing is about who we feel we are, in the deepest recesses of our soul. Sexual healing is about clearing the guilt that comes from abuse we received from others or we inflicted upon others, in this or in past lives. It is about de-idolizing sex and shedding all fears around it, fear of rejection, of not being liked, of being without, of being inadequate. It is about seeing its true purpose: union, joy, co-creation. Many spiritually evolved individuals choose the celibate life of the monk or nun, not because sex is ‘bad’, ‘dirty’ or anti-spiritual, but because they use their sexual energy for spiritual ascension. This may not be for everyone, if they feel that this is not their path. Spiritual progress does not exclude sexual activity, but the latter has to rely on love and respect to assist the former.

Sexual healing is very important today for the progress of humanity, since this area gathers some of the most repressed and dark negative thoughts and acts. Think about women in abusive relationships or women stoned for ‘hypothetical’ (or even real) infidelity. Think of the pain in many relationships (which is always linked to sexual pain, directly or indirectly), which often leads to substance abuse, depression, even suicide. Think of those, sometimes advertised, sexual practices, which humiliate human beings, with the use of physical violence. Many forms of negativity charge sexuality today, especially when it is disconnected from the spiritual self and is used to channel lower energies.

Some examples of distorted use of sexuality are the following:

1) The degrading of women, has been going on for so long, in such a wide scale, that the accumulated memory leads many women (along with men) to depreciate themselves. Men and women often fail to see the connection of female sexuality to the qualities of beauty, tenderness, sweetness and the Divine Feminine, but only see it as a vehicle for physical pleasure. Many women, who dimly remember this connection with the Divine Feminine, try to reclaim it, but sometimes do not know how. They expect approval from a man, in order to feel this connection again and to feel good about themselves. They idolize outer appearance, as the measure of the erotic inspiration they emit. But, attractiveness stems from the flame of vivacity, of our spiritual essence, which is unique, exists in all of us and which, when embraced, can shine outwards to all. This is the real attractiveness and beauty. A woman feels good in herself for who she is and this ease makes others feel attracted, while feeling good also. Everyone wins. Even without sex, the recognition of one’s own light and of the light of another, can be the most sublime, etheric erotic interchange, which can even diminish the biological need for sex. Sex can come about, but it only unfolds as another step in the manifestation of a positive energetic connection, it does not create, or replace the connection.

Many women can be blocked sexually by the emotional wounds of the past. Betrayals, rejection, lack of affection, abuse from the past, may make them doubt themselves and obstruct the flow of life force, in all areas of their lives. In this case, it is helpful to visualise clearing the heart charka with the white light of the Goddess. Even if a woman did not have any negative emotional experiences, it is likely that she feels the universal wound of rejection and abuse of women, coming from the collective unconscious of millions of women who have been abused and still are, in the world today. Healing the heart charka in this way, she helps not only herself, but heals the global thought-form (“women are abused by men”), she sends the healing energetic matrix to be used elsewhere by other consciousnesses too. Since we are all connected, healing does not only heal us, but goes beyond us.

Women can also ask Goddess Aphrodite to help them heal and accept their sexuality, to help life force flow again as a creative and vital power in their lives. The Aphrodite energy is very helpful in healing female sexuality and the Divine Feminine for humanity. A woman can thus feel the strength, the joy and vivacity which the Aphrodite energy brings… Even though Aphrodite’s name has been long stained and mis-used for all sorts of prostitution or pornography related material, Her purity cannot be changed, neither could She ever die…

There is another issue which links female sexuality to the channeling and the energy of the Goddess on Earth. The Goddess was worshipped very actively in many ancient temples in many parts of the world, mainly through female priestesses, who were virgins or practiced chastity. This was very powerful, since there were a big number of priestesses indeed! In those times, celibacy did not have the meaning that it has had in many religions since, i.e. it was not about being ‘clean’, while condemning sex as ‘dirty’. It was about reserving the female sexual energy for channeling the Goddess, and it was a very powerful anchoring method for the Goddess’s energy. Until a time came when, even in spirituality, masculinity dominated (sometimes through violence by male priests). These male priests or other males may have been of the dark or not, but (in ancient Greece at least, but I presume in other parts of the world too), they destroyed the temples of the Goddess and, on some occasions, converted the temples for male deities. They also forbade the priestesses from practicing the worship, forced them to marry, sometimes raped them or trained them and corrupted them with sex, so that the temples of the Goddesses became more or less prostitution houses. Prostitution was NOT one of the methods of the Goddess! But it was a powerful way for male domination to divert female sexual energy from anchoring the Goddess on Earth. It was not so much that they corrupted or raped the priestesses for their own personal gratification (even though this was a side gain!), but their main aim was to close down the channel for the Goddess through the priestesses.

How does this relate to us today? The Goddess is coming back… And it happens that many women around the world, especially sensitive, educated, strong women, find themselves, for long periods of time, without a partner. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so. Rather than complaining, or longing for partner, or even worse, consume themselves with inappropriate relationships, it is important for these women to recognize that any period of celibacy has its purpose. To question themselves, as to whether they feel drawn to working with the Goddess, since the Goddess energy may be trying to get through to them. It does not have to be forever, nor do women have to become nuns. The Goddess may need to work with them in chastity for only a certain period of time. When this time is over, the right partner will appear without effort. Neither does it mean that married or sexually active women cannot be the Goddess’s channels (though ANY relationship or sex that is not mutually loving, kind and respectful would block the Goddess energy). In effect, the large number of women without a partner today reflects a spiritual calling from the Goddess, one to be grateful for and used well, rather than wasted in obsessing about finding a partner (in ways that some modern movies or books almost make fun of…) This is something new in our spiritual era and something to be honored. So, I feel it is quite important that single women are aware of this perspective, since for many of them, their cooperation is needed by the Goddess AND working with Her will make their lives much more fulfilling and sweet than they can ever imagine. It happened on so many occasions in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, during the attack on the Goddess, that the priestesses were made to believe that they were good only for sex or that they could not make it without a man…The reversal, the healing of this distortion is taking place now…

On the other hand, many men can also feel blocked (even apathetic) towards sex, or they can be obsessed and addicted to sex. For men, the deity Pan can help in clearing the channel of sexual flow, in reconnecting with the current of life force through sexuality, regardless of the presence of a partner. Pan is the guardian of the life force energy source (which in the inner planes looks like a little like a waterfall), for the human and animal kingdom and I believe for Nature also. Since it is the same life force, the energetic interaction which occurs when we are in nature, breathing it and appreciating it, helps us open up the sexual channel and helps with sexual healing too. It is of no coincidence that in Greek mythology, humans were said to join erotically with nymphs, ethereal and elemental energies. The channels of life flow in humans were so clear and open, their frequency so high, that they could unite with the entities of Nature, showing that Man and Nature are one. It was not of course any form of the biological sex that we know of today, but it was an energetic union and interaction of the highest and purest level and beauty, which created more Light on Earth. Unfortunately, as the general energies spiraled down with the passage of time, this capacity was lost, and the once pure ceremonies of Nature in ancient Greece (and elsewhere) got replaced by drunken orgies.

Yet, as humanity and Nature evolve towards ascension, the two worlds with come close together once again. It is no coincidence that Pan, Who symbolizes the purest and highest triangle joining Nature, Man and the Divine, was brutally slandered, for many centuries, making Him appear as a satyr, a nymphomaniac, ugly, with horns etc. At times, His image was even taken to represent evil. None of this is true. Pan is one of the highest Masters of Light, the king of the Nature and of the Elemental Kingdom and He protects Nature and Man.He does NOT have horns, He has a very beautiful innocent loving face and lots of thick curly long hair. When He was in body on Earth, He could sometimes appear with goat’s legs (although He could also appear as fully human), but this was deliberately planned by Spirit, as a dramatic lesson of utmost importance to humanity about the equality of Man and Nature. A lesson, we are still struggling with today…

2) Sexual abuse, particularly of children, is one of the darkest distortions of human sexuality. What could lead someone to such behavior? There is never just one single reason, but it has been found that the many offenders in child sexual abuse have themselves been abused as children. What is very common in cases of child sexual abuse is memory repression, so that the adult bears no conscious awareness of what happened to him, even though he may have irksome feelings that something inside is deeply wrong. Unless they heal their original trauma, so that they reclaim their own wounded inner child, there is some likelihood for a few of them (though certainly not the majority of adult survivors) to repeat the trauma they endured and behave in a similar way to other innocent and vulnerable ones. In some cases, there may even be the element of revenge, power and control, humiliation, malevolent intent to destroy the innocence of the child victim, especially when the offender is also influenced by lower energies and entities. The more the offender passes his own shame and worthlessness onto the victim, the more ashamed and worthless he feels himself. Both lose, in an ever-deepening vicious circle of abuse and humiliation (which is always the sole responsibility of the offender). After each re-enactment, the offender feels more and more depraved, helpless, and worthless, so that he feels his only choice really is to do one more of the same.

If an offender wishes to heal (some do), it is very important first to be cleared of any negative energies or entities that may have been attached to him, either by those who abused him as a child (if this is the case), or during his own acts of offending. I believe that addictions, such as offending children sexually, practicing violent sex, or using heroin (among others), attract many negative entities to those involved, this is why it is so hard for many individuals to break away from them. This does not mean that the offender bears no responsibility, or in fact karma, for it is always he, who chooses what to do. But it is an important factor to consider and I believe that many therapy programs today for offenders and addicts, would be much more successful, if they included negative energy clearing. It is important for the offender to ask clearing and protection from the Beings of Light, like Archangel Michael, in order to keep away any dark energies, who may be trying to manipulate him. The offender can ask to be helped to act, think and feel only in pure and kind intent. He/She can ask from Pan to withdraw his/her energy from any destructive channels of expression and re-channel them to healthy ways of light and creativity. It is important to ask for help from the Highest Beings of Light, since the darkness involved in these cases can be quite persistent. I believe that 12 step programs for addicts are excellent in this regard (and child sexual offending is always an addiction), since their basis is fundamentally spiritual: the addict/offender needs to admit the destructive nature of his behaviour, to take responsibility for his actions and thoughts, to realize that, with help, he can change, to admit that he needs help in therapy and to take all necessary practical steps to commit to his therapy. All of this, of course, requires that he is wishful and ready to change. Many are not. But there are some, who can no longer bear the pain of the depravity their acts bring and wish to change.

What we, lightworkers can do, if we feel this is the right thing, is to pray, wherever it is permitted by God and does not interfere with karma and with God’s Plan, for child sexual abuse to come to an end and for child offenders and victims to heal, if and when they are ready. If we ask without judgement and with genuine caring for all involved, we are helping, not just the offender, but the many possible child victims that each offender could harm during the course of his life, if left untreated. Of course, we can pray for the protection and caring of all children involved.

As for the victimized child, he/she does not need to remain a helpless victim forever. He/she can heal and clear away the stain of shame that has been put on their soul by the offender. The sexual offence on children almost always aims to destroy the innocence in the child. But innocence cannot be destroyed. Children may think that they lost their innocence, but in reality, it has only been ‘frozen’ at a certain corner of their heart, only waiting to be warmed and reclaimed again. The survivor, when ready to heal, can get rid off the feeling of shame and wrongness, which was not theirs in the first place, can reclaim their power and self-love and feel safe with their power. Praying to the Mother Mary (or any feminine deity of white clearing pure light) to clear with the white light of innocence all remnants of memories of shame and pain can be very helpful, as well as praying to Pan and Aphrodite for sexual healing.

3) AIDS. It is of no coincidence that, at a time when sex is so often burdened with shame and darkness, to appear a disease, which is transmitted through sex, but which also is related with acute stigma, shame and in some environments, even repulsion. There are many negative psychological interactions around AIDS. There are places in the world, where virgins are raped, because the rapist believes that he will get rid of the ‘dirty’ virus by passing it on to a ‘pure’ other (the same dynamic with child sexual abuse: the offender abuses the child in a failed attempt to find a momentary relief from the burden of the ‘dirty’ shame, by passing it on to the innocent victim). HIV carriers are stigmatized (perhaps not so much in the developed world, but in many other parts of the world), as if there is something wrong with them. The virus has become a symbol of all the negativity we have projected upon sex, and has, in turn, been used as a tool to spread the shame and the negativity further, by stigmatizing and condemning people. We can visualize a white light clearing humanity and all those who wish to receive this, of all the shame, guilt, stigma, judgment, revenge, abuse, isolation, that relate to AIDS and HIV. We can send the white light of love and compassion and acceptance to all those who have died so far (20 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, often died in secrecy and isolation), as well as those who are affected now. The more people refuse to judge and turn away from those infected, but see them in light, love and equality, the more the virus (which represents shame, rejection and ‘dirtiness’ about sex) will lose its power. The white light of innocence, embracing the Earth, will help loosen the grip of the disease upon humanity.

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