She chased you to the back of the playground and told you she’d share her new crayons with you if you showed her what you had “down there”. You tried kissing her with bubble gum in your mouth to see if you could share a “bubble”. He often played “doctor” with his next-door-neighbour, always delighted when she rang him up complaining that she was “sick”.
Somewhere along the line, most adults decide that sexual exploration is serious… very, very serious. But we don’t start off that way, as the above examples illustrate.
Perhaps it happens at puberty, with the self-consciousness of a changing body, or the guidance (or misguidance) of a strict or nervous parent, or a little later with the increasing pressure of “performance”, a partner’s high expectations, or anxiety about pregnancy and STI’s.
While those may have been and may continue to be very real concerns, if you focus all of your attention on them exclusively you will miss out on one of the biggest secrets of joyful erotic connection: Humour, innocence, and PLAY!
Sexuality has the potential to be like being back in drama camp. You can put on make-up, wear costumes, and invent and play imagination games. You can invent the rules of the game, and if you don’t like the game anymore you can change it. You can try things out and if they’re fun, you can do them again and again. You can let go of boredom and greet each sexual feeling with the excitement of a child engaging with its environment for the first time.
As a healer, one thing that I enjoy very much is guiding individuals to re-awaken the spirit of play within themselves. There is something very therapeutic about taking the time to explore erotic feelings in a non-goal-oriented space of unconditional acceptance, humour, joy.