The Importance of Communication

Role play and power play can be exciting and enjoyable ways to express one’s sexuality. More and more, BDSM and other kinds of “kinky sex” are becoming mainstream, and the popular mantra of “safe, sane and consensual” is fairly well-known. Last week, an Ontario Superior Court judge agreed with those cornerstones – particularly the third one. Read the rest of this entry »

Which Comes First, Vitality or Pleasure?

As the month of March came in I began thinking about the Vernal Equinox and what it meant to me this year. One thing kept coming into my life: vitality. It was a word I had a sense of but could not define or explain. I saw it everywhere but did not understand what or how it was in my life. I did not know vitality.

I thought and reflected, researched and let it go. After several weeks, I came to place where I could honestly say “Now I know vitality.”  It’s my life force, my zest for life, my Orende, my joie de vivre, and my desire to grow and reach new heights of awareness and pleasure. It’s the energy I have to do what I desire and to do that which will make my heart sing.

Finding vitality is not specifically about healing, although healing may be involved. Sometimes, healing is required to have more vitality, and sometimes, healing can result from increased vitality.

Around the time of the Equinox I was making a big decision about my journey and my healing. Although the path to making the decision was not easy, it created a positive shift in my life. I didn’t know if things would go as I wanted, but I knew that simply making the decision was an act of power, because every decision made clearly, cleanly and authentically for our own best good is an act of power. While I was aware the decision itself had power, I only understood bits and pieces in the beginning. It took some time before I could fully comprehend the scope of my decision.

I know the power of sexual energy to heal and transform; it balances the whole body and being, and increases vitality. A balanced sexuality promotes a balanced person. Without balance in our sexuality, something will be off in our emotional, mental, physical and/or spiritual aspects. When the day of the equinox passed without my noticing, I understood this balance even more.

The decision I made was not about attending a workshop or reading a book or anything like that. It was simply a commitment to bring more vitality into my life; to raise my life force; to increase my Orende; to live fuller, love deeper and connect more thoroughly to myself, to life and to others. It was a decision to seek pleasure moments to increase my vitality, to seek healing through my sexual release and pleasure, to clear the blocks that slow down my energy. I made the decision to immerse myself in opportunity because it’s not the workshop, the healer or an event that will accomplish my goal; it’s my ability to be present in the moment, to acknowledge and accept the opportunity for growth, and to allow healing to happen and my life force to increase.

Almost eight months later, my life is much more vital and full; I feel much more alive. I recognize how it all goes directly back to that decision.  That Spring morning, when the truth of my decisions became clear, there were birds chirping outside my window in the dreary wetness – “welcome to Spring” they sang. Perhaps it was another lesson: Pleasure can exist even in a dreary wet day.

I will leave you with one final thought: increasing your pleasure increases your vitality, and increasing your vitality increases your pleasure.   If you’d like to explore this idea further, see “The Pleasure-Vitality Connection”.

Challenging Sexual Stereotypes

One thing I hear often from clients is that they are afraid to communicate their particular fetish, fantasy, or desire to their significant other. In a perfect world, partners would hold for each other a space of unconditional love within which the couple could explore together like children in the playground of their mutual imaginations. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of sex-negative conditioning in the way most of us have been raised, we don’t know how to do this for each other.

When a man, for example, tries to think about how he might communicate with his partner about his desire to be submissive in a sexual encounter, he might imagine being received with one of the following responses: “Men are supposed to be dominant in sex.” “I want a real man, not a sissy.” “There’s something abnormal about that. You should see a psychiatrist.” “Are you gay???”

While we live in a society where, on a general level, gender roles are relatively relaxed, when it comes to ideas about what constitutes “normal” sexual desire we are still very polarized: Men’s desire is supposedly initiative, assertive, physical, competitive, genitally-oriented, quick to arouse, seeks sex, and is focused on performance, while women’s desire is supposedly receptive, submissive, emotional, cooperative, whole-body oriented, slow to arouse, seeks love, and is focused on connection.

These ideas are so ingrained in our social fabric that many people take them for granted. While they may be true some of the time for some people, they are not necessarily true all of the time for all people. When men or women have fantasies and/or desires that do not fall into the correct category for whatever gender we happen to be, their first instinct may be to make them wrong, to feel ashamed of them, to dissociate from them and pretend they’re not there, or even to put them down when we see them in other people.

Both men and women experience an amalgam of the above traits sexually, at different points in time, even at different ages. The purpose of bringing this to your awareness is so that you can start to ask yourself where in your life you buy into these stereotypes, and therefore where you are limiting your sexual imagination.

Do you suppress your desire to be tied up and ravished by a woman because you think it will mean you will be less of a man? If you are a woman, do you get uncomfortable if your male partner asks you to dominate him because you think being assertive sexually is unnatural for a woman?

Stepping into broader definitions of what men and women can do, feel, and say in the bedroom without shame or guilt will create the breathing room for both people to accept and share more of their genuine desires, not just those that are socially acceptable for our gender roles.

What’s Normal?

The short answer is: Your mileage may vary.

Generally speaking, “normal” is a reflection of what’s deemed morally acceptable in a given group.  And of course, morality is varied and relative. Read the rest of this entry »