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This is the text of a talk I gave at Generation Woman, about "What I Desire":
The simplest way to describe me is as a Sex Geek. I am fascinated by sex and love and intimacy in all its aspects – the physical, emotional, mental, social, anthropological and the spiritual. So, when it comes to talking about desire, well, that’s what I do all day. But it’s other people’s desire, or the concept in general; I rarely talk about my own, publicly, so this is a little different for me. And when I’m talking to an audience of women it’s usually for two days at a time, not five minutes.
So, how do I talk about a topic I have dedicated my life to exploring, in five minutes, in a personal way…?
Well, given that people are always asking me how I became a sex therapist, I thought I’d start with how my desire for desire started. And if a shamanic journey I went on a few years ago is to be believed, it all started several lifetimes ago when I was a Tibetan lama, exploring how sexual energy can be used for spiritual growth – but ended up inadvertently traumatising a bunch of women, and slunk off in abashed horror... read more
This piece of erotic fiction is the Creative Synthesis I wrote as part of the research dissertation for my Masters of Science degree in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. The research topic was: A Heuristic Inquiry into the Transformative Potential of Optimal Sexuality within a Relational Context. You'll find reading this erotic fiction an easy and enjoyable way of getting across the findings - which is essentially the essence of the overall approach in this blog...
Her:You wake. It’s the eighth anniversary of F-Day – Freedom Day. The day you discovered your tedious husband was bonking one of the attendants at the golf club. You’ll never forget the feeling – first a numbness from the shock, then an incredible feeling of release. It was as though something woke up in your belly, in your womb, and slowly expanded throughout your body, awakening a joy, a release, an aliveness you hadn’t felt in years, if ever. You recall your surprise as it actually felt sexual, this feeling of your whole body being awake and alive. Nothing like the dutiful dull, late-night rutting of your husband relieving himself inside you – not that that happened much anymore, he seemed as jaded by it all as you; nor anything like the early... read more
Mindfulness is a good thing. From scientific research to the personal experience of increasing numbers of people, there is proof of so many benefits from practicing mindfulness in life – better health, calmer, more self-aware, more engaged with life.
There’s also been more research on sex and mindfulness, although the focus tends to be on how mindfulness practices can make sex better. I’m just as interested in how sex itself can be a mindfulness practice.
While you can practice embodied mindfulness in seated positions, more obviously embodiment-focused are the movement-based mindfulness practices. These practices involve movement, such as tai chi and yoga, which have additional benefits of being kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, tactile, spacial and interoceptive (when practiced with focus not just as... read more
There are so many different ways to eat – all the way from a quick snack through to a fancy multi-course dinner. It’s the same with sex, which is why I use so many food analogies when I’m talking about sex.
I was doing this with a couple of clients recently. They’re a really fun-loving couple, upbeat and lively in most parts of life – but not the bedroom. Instead of the lightness that was in the rest of their connection, bedroom matters had become heavy and hard, and pretty non-existent. After several sessions of helping them identify and share their feelings and desires around sex, with loads of food analogies along the way, they came in to session with big smiles on their faces.
“We had sex three times!” the wife exclaimed. “We had roast dinner…” “And some cheese on toast…” added the husband, “And even an open sandwich!” finished the wife.
My teenage son came to me the other day and proudly declared that out of all his mates, he’s the only one who has made love.
Once I got over the initial shock of him being so open with me – even though all three of my children are really open about their sexuality, since I’ve brought them up that way, it still surprises me as I could never have been that open with my parents – I asked him if he meant that his friends haven’t had sex yet.
“No, Mum,” he clarified “they’re having sex, but it’s just that boring teenage sex. Me and Kate, we really make love.” He had a big satisfied smile on his face.
“So, what’s the difference between regular sex and love-making?” I asked.
Take a group of couples who love each other, put them in a beautiful environment with no distractions, teach them to connect more deeply, inspire them to explore and play, and what do you get…?
Well, as one man who attended one of my couples retreats put it:
"I thought this retreat would expand our sex life, but it didn’t so much expand as turn our sex life upside down! I’m now seeing the world with a new, exciting, slightly bewildering light.”
It’s hard to explain that to someone before they’ve experienced it. “What do you do?” people ask me. My answer could indeed be: “I turn people’s sex lives upside down.”
In the retreats I teach centredness, presence and mindfulness as the basis, then from there we explore the concepts of connection, energy and sensation - and voila! The combination opens people up to experiences that are so much more than the... read more
How do you describe the act of intercourse? Do you call it ‘penetrative sex’? If you do, which wouldn’t be surprising as it’s such a common term, have you ever thought about what the word actually means and symbolises?
Penetration means ‘breaking through resistance’. Which might have applied to sex in the bad old days when a wife was supposed to just submit to her husband whether she wanted to or not, so it may well have been an act of breaking through resistance. But now, in 2020, do we really want to think of sex as an aggressive act?
Worse still, the term ‘penetrative sex’ gives agency to the ‘penetrator’ - the man - who does it to a resistant, or at least passive, recipient – the woman.
Is this really the concept of intercourse we want to be perpetrating these days – that it’s something done to a woman by a man? Of course not, yet we still use the term.
- #311: The Bridgerton Effect
- #310: Cuddle plus – an essential phase of the affection-sex continuum
- #309: Moment-by-Moment Consent
- #308: How To Give (and Receive) An Erotic Spanking
- #307: Three Types of Sexual Communication: Chit-chat, In the Moment & The Debrief
- #306: What I Desire
- #305: Lazy Sex
- #304: It's Not "Needy" to Connect, It's Human
- #303: The Art of the Thrust
- #302: Transformational Erotica
- #301: Sex as Embodied Mindfulness Practice
- #300: So Many Ways to Eat, So Many Ways to…
- #299: Date Night or Date Day?
- #298: Teenage Love-Making
- #297: Turning Sex Lives Upside-Down - It’s My Life’s Work!
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