Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Who is Candice Holdorf? (VIDEO)

So...this happened yesterday. What began as a quick audition morphed into a playful video that we shot in one-take and that inspired me to edit into a autobiographical "sizzle reel" (gotta admit, I kinda hate that term). Anyway, it was fun to create and hope you enjoy it.
PS-Bonus points to my brilliant husband who told me to ditch my lame-ass script and said, "Just tell me 5 things about yourself. GO!"

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lessons from the Erotic Void

Black Square, Kazimir Malevich, 1915
These past few months have been some of the most emotionally intense of my life. I am sitting square in the center of every fear that I didn't dare admit:
-I'm fat (As a recovering anorexic, this is the equivalent of death).
-I'm a mediocre actress.
-I'm an inexperienced writer who isn't good enough for a book deal.
-I have no viable skills and can't even get an entry-level job.
-I'm a terrible lover.
All these voices (which I recognize aren't really me) arise and feel all-consuming in the face of how little external validation I've been receiving.
But the truth is, I've been in a very internal process. Since Burning Man, I have purposely reduced the number of social media posts in order to release myself from the pseudo-erotic hit of human connection I receive whenever someone pushes "Like."
I've intentionally carved out the 6-month quiet space I need, free from professional and personal commitments, to finish the draft of my book (which I did December 1) and to complete my personal edits of it before passing it on to a pro editor (which I intend to do by March 1).
In going over my manuscript, I realize that there is something so genuine, pure and undeniably erotic growing in this moment--a profound intimacy with my own voice. I am not writing this book--it is writing me and it's medicine comes more for my own healing than anything else.
And perhaps, it's time to stop complaining and start listening to its wisdom.
EXCERPT FROM PART ONE: INVOCATION, CHAPTER 6: EROTIC DEPRIVATION AND THE COMMODIFICATION OF SEX
"Most of us are stuck in craving mode because we are socially barred from experiencing the erotic in our everyday life. Our society values the logical comforts of stability over the mythical possibilities that rest in the unknown. We’ve linked our value as humans to this “logical stability” and to other quantifiable means of success—so it’s no wonder that we rush in fear and craving towards anything that will temporarily fill and silence that painful void.
Our modern commercial industry and business culture know our insecurities and continuously reinforce these addictive habits—it’s what keeps them profitable, after all. They pose a problem in your life, show you the emotional struggle and then offer the one and only solution (often adorned with scantily clad women, once again fusing and confusing the world of eros and sex) that will take care of everything for a low, low price. But the truth is eros demands we pay the highest price—letting go of all the pride and vanity that stand in the way of unconditional love. And the kicker is that no one else can give it to us no matter how much currency we offer. It is only found by sitting in the discomfort of our own erotic void.
Eros thrives in those moments of "wanting" and it is through the dynamic tension created between “wanting” and “having” that orgasmic energy can build and power us. Yet we spend our lives lamenting how we aren't "having" and miss this key opportunity to tap into the erotic fulfillment that flourishes within the gaps of our lives."

Monday, December 29, 2014

When the sex just isn't enough...

L'origine du monde, 1866
Gustave Courbet

2am.

Shaking, I dialed the phone for a second time, as he didn't pick up the first. The volatile emotion in my gut overrode the sanity of my mind.

I'd been sick for the past week--the ubiquitous winter "bug" finally took up residence in my sinuses, throat and chest. So I sent him off to the party alone while I recuperated at home.

At midnight, I tried to sleep. The minutes became an hour. Then two. Tossing and turning within the rattled nightmare of my own freight-train mind, I felt the ache in my chest relentlessly knock me more and more awake. Each passing second was an agonizing call from the depths of my most profound longing.

He answered the phone. And before the "nice girl" could filter my words with her soothing, toothless bite, I blurted, "I'm not sexually fulfilled."

A hard blow to give via electronic communication, I know. But even as I said it, I knew that he already knew. Even as I said it, I knew he wanted more, too. And even as I said it, I knew what I wanted had nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.

We have good sex. In fact, we have great sex. Often. I have no problem experiencing one, if not several, climaxes that stretch out beyond the physiological contractions. He ejaculates if he wants, but if he doesn't that's fine too. I feel his heart. I feel his cock. I take pleasure in my own pleasure. We sometimes use toys and aren't afraid to get dirty.

But that one thing..that ineffable breath of life that overpowers our strongest defenses and connects us to the Source of all of Creation...yeah, I wanted that. All the time.

The sex just wasn't enough. I wanted more. I wanted Orgasm--the divine, erotic life force that births every moment.

The static between us had nothing to do with skill level or lack of love, but was directly connected to how honest I was about my desires, both inside, but more importantly, outside the bedroom.

I needed to look past blaming him and face the lack of fulfillment in my entire life, which was the true root of my discontent.

This has been a massive year of letting go: letting go of my coaching practice; letting go of raising the money to self-publish my book and instead opting, or rather praying, for a traditional publisher; letting go of the dream of acting; letting go of being the "sex expert" I thought I was.

La jeune fille et la mort, 1900
Marianne Stokes
And in the wake of all of that release, I realized: I wasn't mad at him. I was mad at God. Not any religious God, but my own personal connection with spirituality.

I felt betrayed.

Hadn't I already sacrificed enough? Hadn't I already whittled down my life to the barest of actions that were "in my integrity"? Hadn't I already "cleared the clutter" and dedicated time to only that which flowed from my deepest desires? Hadn't I stretched and beaten and shattered my heart enough so that it could "grow bigger" and "include all of humanity"? Hadn't I starved myself for seven years, left a marriage and sold 95% of my possessions to move across the country on a whim of faith? Wasn't I too old for this shit?

Apparently not. Or maybe none of that spiritual bargaining mattered. Or maybe I was just a spoiled adolescent brat on the verge of archetypal adulthood.

That mirror was painful. Sitting in the hungry void, feeling like I had given my all, yet not knowing who I was or what I wanted.

My lack of fulfillment stemmed from the ambivalence in my own life. The sex was simply a megaphone for those core erotic dissatisfactions, with Orgasm as the great communicator. And while Orgasm often speaks to us through sex, she will neither be contained nor compartmentalized to that one arena. The insatiable aches of my erotic appetite no longer found nourishment in the ephemeral frictions of sexuality, but in the perennial surrender with divine grace.

The Warrior
From 6 to 9 and Beyond:
Widening the Lens of Feminine Eroticism
Even as I write this, it feels as if I am asking for an answer to the unanswerable. It's like demanding that the Mystery reveal itself, but once it does, it will no longer be a Mystery.

I wish I could share a nugget of wisdom gleaned from Kali's blade. But I can't. Or if I could, the only thing I would say is this: I don't know a goddamned thing about anything.

And maybe that's a blessing. It strips me of those moronic "Top 5 Techniques" that I think will please him and use to temporarily assuage my inner crise de l'esprit. It forces me to release these binary notions trapped within the words "masculine" and "feminine." It shows me how little an understanding our culture has of the power of Orgasm and demonstrates the painful folly of lumping "sex" and "Orgasm" into one transient act (intercourse). And it places the responsibility for my erotic fulfillment squarely in the hands of the only one who can do anything about it: me.

Ask me what my biggest turn-on is and the answer will always be the same: Truth. The humble, quivering, vulnerable truth of each moment will invariably win out over any big-budget show. That is the ultimate fulfillment I seek and until I surrender to the truth of what is, I will always be fighting what isn't.

So that's our practice now: absolute, radical truth, both within the Orgasmic Eros of our sex and the Orgasmic Eros of our lives. And as the fire burns through the written landscape of my life, this truth may be the only thing left standing in the end.




Alexander - Truth from Alexander on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Lesson in Gratitude



Many of us in the US have just survived Round One of the holiday season: Thanksgiving. And while football, family and feasting usually comes to mind during this time (for better or for worse), it's also a great opportunity to step back and reconnect to one of the most powerful Orgasmic tools available: gratitude.

Gratitude has the immediate power to expand our capacity to receive more orgasm, more sensation and more LIFE. When we are caught in cycles of resentment, anger or blame, it's often a symptom of lack of gratitude.

But wait just a minute there. Before you start "looking on the bright side," let me tell you what gratitude is NOT. It isn't denying your feelings in favor of "positive thinking" or telling other people not to worry because the universe "has it all taken care of." This kind of spiritual bypass is a way of avoiding difficult feelings--and these feelings have something rich to teach us!

Gratitude is simply the ability to stay present and say "yes" to what is happening. Say yes to the resentment. Say yes to the anger. Say yes to the blame. Then listen in closely and see what it has to say to you. This sets the stage for unfathomable amounts of intimacy. More often than not, there is a message of love that feels unworthy of being shared.

So share it. And by learning to say "yes" to all that is happening, you learn to express your clear "no" and set proper boundaries from a centered place of wisdom.

The more we cultivate our "yes," the more we can appreciate what is working in our lives, rather than getting hooked on what we perceive isn't working.

Start right now. Notice your body. What is the sensation or feeling that is most predominant right now? Say yes to that feeling or sensation. Keep saying yes as it shifts. Ask it what it wants to say. Just stay with it until you receive something. It may not make sense. It may not be transmitted through language. But just keep listening and saying yes until you are complete. Then thank this feeling or sensation and, while still connected to this part of you, write down 10 things for which you are grateful.

Learn to say yes to what is happening and the incredible abundance around you quickly becomes clear--no matter what time of year it is.

I am thankful for you all and wish you a safe and grate-FULL holiday season.

Blessings,
Candice

PS-In this moment, I also want to offer a prayer for peace and healing, as the true nature of Thanksgiving is not as happy as our history books would want us to believe. Please say a prayer for all who suffered during the founding of this nation. May we all learn to love one another as one people. Aho. (And special thanks to my friend Michael Costuros for bringing this link to my attention)
http://www.manataka.org/page269.html

Friday, October 31, 2014

One of the Scariest Decisions of my Life...

One of the things I've learned over the years as an Orgasmic Life Coach is how to spot desire. When I hear the tremble in a client's voice or the strain of resistance or the ho-humness of "that really doesn't matter," I know I am getting closer to what s/he truly wants.

I've learned all the tricks in the book...because I was a master myself. I could rationalize my way through any decision--hiding my desire in the safety of "socially acceptable behavior"--until finally the dam gave way and the messiness of my pulsing orgasm came gushing forth.

I've gotten a lot better at honoring what I want, but there are definitely still times when it takes every ounce of courage to own my desire.

Today feels like one of those days.

But here goes anyway...

As of November 1, I will no longer be taking on any long-term coaching clients. I am freeing my time and shifting my focus on writing, performing and public speaking.

Of course I will continue to work with my current clients for as long as is necessary.

I am committed to redefining orgasm and bringing the erotic out of the shadows of the bedroom and into the shame-free sunlight of everyday life. In fact, I see this as my life's mission. And while this career shift is quite scary on many levels, in my heart I know it is absolutely the next right step.

I've always been a storyteller and I believe it is through artistic expression that I can have the most impact. My writing continues to be a source of joy (and my book is nearing completion!). I feel most alive performing and giving interviews on the changing nature of orgasm, eros and femininity.

I am profoundly grateful for the many people who have chosen to work with me and share their journeys over these past 4+ years. It is through their vulnerability that I have been able to come to accept mine.

For now, I am still available for my signature 2-hour Deep-Dive sessions (both coaching and OM) but by referral only. 

I feel very excited for the next phase of my life as an integrated artist/healer and although I am not really sure how it's all going to look, I can honestly say that orgasm has never let me down thus far--so why would she now?

Thank you for being my orgasmic community and for being such an open and supportive reflection for me in this life.

In faith and service,
Candice

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The (Forgotten) Key Ingredient to Orgasmic Bliss



Wisdom. Compassion. That snake is bound to bite ya. ~ Sean Hayes, "33 Fool"

I feel like I am burning in fire of my own fear. All these little demons pour into my brain and whisper their frightening tales:

You're not good enough
You'll never succeed
You're too old for this
You're no expert

On and on the story goes until I am paralyzed in a sea of negativity.

But I have the (forgotten) key to freedom. And it not only supports me in daily life, but also works wonders in the bedroom:

Compassion

"Seriously?" you ask. "Isn't that some sort of hippy-dippy, Buddhist, spiritual thing?"

Well, yeah! Compassion shows up in Buddhist philosophy, but it's a universal principle that serves all of us.

On the surface compassion is the ability to feels another's suffering and to be moved to alleviate the suffering. But it goes much deeper than that. When you feel yourself in the midst of your own suffering, you invite in healing by acknowledging and loving that part of yourself that is in pain. It reminds us that we are whole and perfect as we are when we have forgotten the steps to the gloriously messy dance of being human.

On a biological level, when we experience compassion, our heart rate slows and stress level decreases, we secrete more oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and we activate the parts of the brain that are also connected to empathy, caregiving and feelings of pleasure.

That's right: pleasure.

Often while having sex, our grimy little demons arrive, spewing their poison into our ears (telling us that we are a fat loser, not orgasmic enough or can't last more than five minutes) and cutting us off from pleasure. The usual response is to reach for techniques or masks to cover the tender vulnerability yearning to rise. 

We have been conditioned for achievement and external validation; so we grip harder, run faster or make a hasty retreat from anything that may threaten our fragile little ego's perception of itself. Our climaxes have become trophies that we pass back and forth to each other, reminding us that we are "winners" in the bedroom and that we are "doing a good job."

When we are covering for our own perceived shortcomings, we are blocking and numbing our own capacity to feel, both the pain and the pleasure. Or we become so sensitive that the slightest touch causes us to jump in our skin and do anything to get rid of the sensation (as in premature ejaculation). 

Many of us are lying during sex. We feel we don't deserve what we want, so we don't ask for it. Or we don't know how to communicate it in a way that our partners can hear, understand and easily follow. Or we haven't taken the time to cultivate an awareness of our desires and have no idea for what to ask. 

We don't want to hurt each other's feelings, so we hold back from the truth until we either implode in a barren wasteland of sexlessness or explode in a vitriolic game of blame and victimhood. 

I will tell you this: the best sex I've ever had was when I didn't know what the hell I was doing and I just surrendered to the moment-to-moment unbridled expression emanating from my deepest truth. 

I simply got naked, in every way possible, and revealed the burning treasure within. 

I stopped performing and started feeling.

And when the voices arose, I had compassion for myself. I was honest. I told my lover(s) that I was afraid that I wasn't hot enough for him. I told her that I was afraid that my pussy smelled. I told him I was afraid that I would get too attached and that our relationship would get awkward.

Most of the time, this opportunity for compassion opened the door for my partner's deepest fears and wounds to arise and be witnessed.  The benefit was a level of intimacy that we would have never discovered had we stayed hidden behind our masks. 

And any lover that couldn't accept all of me--well, I tapped into my capacity for compassion and opened my heart wider to their pain (which he or she was obviously trying to mask) and my own feelings of rejection. I blessed them, didn't take it personally (as best I could) and walked away.

Compassion allows us to cast the net of acceptable experiences so wide that everything that arises is not a hindrance to our happiness but an opportunity for evolution. We become erotic alchemists and step into the tantra of everyday life. Every sigh, whisper and moan is born from our erotic truth. We relax our monkey minds, soften into presence and surrender into the delicious, erotic yearning that comes (wink, wink) when we are a "yes" to all of creation. 

This is what it means to truly live an orgasmic life.

So next time you are feeling the need to reach for a technique or solution to your suffering, both in and out of the bedroom, see if you can simply step back and see your situation not as a "problem," but as a chance for greater intimacy. Remember your humanity, find compassionate acceptance and allow the gifts of your heart, hands and genitals to arise in service to your highest calling and deepest desire. 


Monday, September 1, 2014

The Tragedy of Falling in Love



The tragic beauty of falling madly in love with every moment is that you must simultaneously grieve as each second passes. This is the trade-off for opening your heart wider to love: the heart must swell and break within it's own pulsing for you to be fully alive. 

This was my lesson at this year's Burning Man--specifically at the Temple of Grace. The willingness we have to feel even a single teardrop of the world's grief will determine our capacity to receive the world's blessings, which are always here, simply waiting to be acknowledged.

At one point, I saw the faces of the many men I have loved in my life and asked for their forgiveness where I lacked compassion. At another point, I sat before the altar, channeling the Divine Mother, and sang Ho'oponopono, while those around me prostrated in the most reverent and humble prayer. And still at another point, I clutched my Beloved Adam as we sobbed in each others' arms, both in gratitude for our life together and in sadness in its ephemeralness.

I am still learning how to walk with an open heart. I am still learning how to trust the erotic voice quivering within my soul. I am still learning how to be in continued connection within a community where, even after three years, I often feel like I don't quite fit. Please have patience with me as I stumble my way towards Grace.

Thank you. I love you. Please forgive me. I forgive you. Bless you. Bless you.