Originally posted June 10, 2015
To all my lovers, from this life and the many previous…
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I understand it’s been difficult between us. I know you are wanting more of me and believe me, there is nothing more I’d love than to be able to offer you (and me!) the incredible sex you want anytime you want.
But I simply can’t.
Believe me, I try. Every time you reach for me, all I can hear is:
“Why you can’t a be a goddamned normal human being who fucks when she wants, cums when she wants and goes about her merry way?”
This I lament as you watch me collapse into a puddle of tears and snot once again—our sex hijacked by the alien demon baby that lives in my vagina.
OK. Maybe I’m being a little overdramatic.
That could be part of the problem.
I know the answers lie wrapped up, charred up, scarred up beneath the calcified strata of my orgasm; but as I listen closer, each layer has its own story to tell…
LAYER ONE: CONFUSION
If you asked me what I wanted from sex, I wouldn’t know where to begin. My people-pleasing reflex leaves me disconnected from the hunger in my heart.
Because really, who am I if I’m not making you happy? I don’t even exist. Cosmo says so.
Clinging to an identity wrapped in the dogma of “good little girls who only eat one scoop of ice cream,” I suffer in silence as I yield my voice, again and again, until silence becomes the norm.
Lost in a barrage of choices, I abdicate my power to another in the hopes of escaping the freedom-binding fear of making a decision.
What is sex? What is desire? How does my body work? Is it OK to feel these things? To want so much?
Maybe porn can teach me something? I remember the magazines hidden under the sink when I was 12. Later came fervent moans through green and red squiggles on late night TV. Now I can’t even check my email without getting spammed by a site promising me “lonely, horny girls who are looking just for me.” The porn world has left me feeling incompetent in every way. I will never be a) novel, b) a fantasy and c) ready to be fucked at the drop of a hat.
Which brings me to…
LAYER TWO: ANGER
Fuck you for not wanting ME, but some trumped up, dolled up, cummed up, fucked up version of an automated sexbot.
Stop trying to prove your worth by conquering my pussy.
When did sex become finding the “10 Ways to Light Him On Fire” or the “15 Moves That Will Turn Her Pussy Into Jizz Pudding”? (Gross)
I avoid sex because penetration is so goddammed boring. I need more. So much more. More than I could possibly understand and yet I need you to figure it out and take me there. To more. To the heights of my mind. Fuck my mind and we could fuck forever.
I have discovered (to my polite, feminine chagrin) that I’m angry. Fucking angry. At the way the erotic has been reduced to this two-minute, frictioned frenzy factory.
But because of my confusion (see Layer One), it’s easier to just stay angry at you for not remembering to do that thing that I asked you to do two weeks ago (you remember the one—I shouldn’t have to remind you).
So no. I won’t fuck you. I won’t give you the satisfaction of my pleasure.
If I give an inch, you take my pride.
You’ll see me crumble and break, my vanity at stake, as each thrust, twang, tickle and tuck strips me of my beautiful hide and renders me defenseless to the
And in that vulnerability I find myself deepening into…
LAYER THREE: TERROR
I have a not-so-secret fear: I am afraid of being thought of as frigid.
Ironic for a woman who spends her days writing, thinking and exploring the edges of her sexuality.
Or not. After all, the best disguise for insecurity is to dress it up in the robes of expertise.
But I have an even greater terror—that of not being frigid.
Who is this fierce feminine beast?
A woman so ravenous for life that she knows not how to hold all the conflicting and socially unacceptable pieces that are her. The whore tearing through her master’s flesh while wearing the virgin’s smile.
So grab the noose and tie it to the rafters: I would rather be dead inside than unleash the potency of my orgasm—I dare not face this uncaged warrior.
Avoiding sex is the same as avoiding life. It’s why I avoid going onstage. It’s why I pack my feelings into a dark corner. It's why I starved myself for seven years. It’s why it took me three fucking months to write these 1000 words.
Sex requires that we are vulnerable. We cannot hide from ourselves anymore and we cannot shirk our responsibility to this life in a comfortable wash of feigned ignorance.
As I resensestize my pussy, all my receptors come online and to feel everything, the beauty and the pain, is enough to make you want to die.
And yet, here I am again. Terrified. Of death. Of life. Of who I am. Of never knowing who I am.
So it isn’t that the magic is gone, my love—it’s that the potency of our combined forces is too frightening to imagine. So we hide. We play pretend. We get tired. We fall asleep until we forget that we were even hungry in the first place.
And I feel your resistance as much as I feel mine. In fact, I welcome it. It gives me an excuse to stay sleepy under the covers.
But please, dear lover, for the sake of your life and mine, don’t ever stop trying. Fight for our surrender. Know that under my creeping and crawling and cat-cat-caterwauling there is a woman who so painfully wants to escape—who is scratching, layer after layer, for her freedom--
And for the chance to re-remember that she is…
LAYER FOUR: LOVE
PS: I think we're on the right track.
If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent human being in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all of the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. ~ Anaïs Nin
Originally posted December 29, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Originally posted August 20, 2013
Ah, sex. It seems like it’s all around us, huh?
We can’t turn on the television without seeing a scantly clad woman holding a beer teasing us to quench our “manly” thirst.
Or open our emails without receiving a barrage of spam promising us hot & horny women, bigger penises and affordable Viagra.
Or pass by a checkout counter without seeing women’s magazines offering advice for “5 Sexy Moves to Blow His Mind” or “How to Catch a Man (and Keep Him).”
From the evidence around us, it seems we are swimming in a sea of sex and it would make sense that many people are sick and tired are hearing about it.
However, the truth behind the “sexy” façade is this: sex sells, but sexuality does not.
Post an article on healing your sexuality and readers blast the entire comments section with angry cries of how the author is a “charlatan” or the publication is “selling out.”
Want to build your business using Facebook? Good luck if you are a sex educator. FB now blocks and even deactivates accounts that “violate their terms”—terms that are vague and vary on an hourly basis. Sex toy shops, sexuality teachers and even breastfeeding pages all face shutdown if enough “offended” people (aka angry and pissed off trolls with nothing better to do) file a complaint.
All the while profitable mega-businesses like Hustler and Playboy continue to operate unscathed in the social media world, despite the proliferation of asinine and even disturbing hashtags like #TittyTuesday, #MorningWood and #BarelyLegal.
The over-saturation of sex-like images in our culture is an example of what I call SEX-sationalism, which is the sensationalistic and commercial use of sexuality for the purpose of making a profit. Profit can means anything from money to relationships to ego-validation. Like any drug, we need it, can’t live without it and have to have harder and harder hits in order to feel its mollifying effects.
We are talking around sex, but never actually experiencing it.
It’s as if we are in a restaurant looking at the menu, talking about the menu, smelling the menu, maybe even eating the menu, but not going anywhere near the food. We fill ourselves up with pseudo-orgasmic experiences, which leave us sexually bloated yet malnourished.
SEX-sationalism works for the business of sex, but not for sexual freedom. SEX-sationalism says “Drive this car” or “Subscribe to this site” or “Buy this handbag” and all your empty voids and insecurities will magically go away.
That is, of course, until you need the next “hit” of pseudo-orgasm.
While SEX-sationalism works from the outside-in (by telling us what is sexy and trying to sell it to us), sexuality works from the inside-out. Genuine orgasm teaches us that turn-on starts from within and that pleasure is our birthright and our most natural state of being.
SEX-sationlism depends upon its customers feeling “less than,” but sexuality teaches us that we are already perfect exactly as we are.
SEX-sationalism offers unsustainable quick fixes, but sexuality teaches us that it takes a commitment to presence, vulnerability and approval to plumb the rich and nourishing depths of orgasm.
When I talk about orgasm, I am not simply referring to that 30-second crashing sneeze known as climax. I mean that living, breathing, pulsing life force that births every moment.
Our cultural fear of the wild and humbling journey of orgasm is what keeps us locked in shame around sex and resorting to recesses of our shadows to steal a tiny taste of the erotic.
The erotic has much more than just the act of fucking.
Eros, the root word of erotic, is originally defined as a form of love connected to our fundamental creative impulses. It is directly linked to our feminine self-expression, power and genius. However when are we cut off from this source (as most of us are in this cut-throat and greed-driven society), we are left hollow, voiceless and searching for anything to smother the aching hunger for intimacy.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the way women are treated regarding sex. In the US, women are fighting to maintain sexual rights in the realms of abortion and planned parenthood. Around the world, women face such atrocities as female circumcision, honor killings and sex trafficking and are routinely blamed and often punished for being rape victims (especially women who work in the sex industry, who are considered contaminated and sub-human in our society).
On the surface we go, “Yeah, obviously rape and murder and mutilation are bad. Let’s do something about this.”
But when women speak up to reclaim our right as autonomous sexual beings, we are treated with derision and contempt.
To say that a woman has found her voice through knitting or singing or being a mother is worthy of applause and a 5-page spread in Ladies Home Journal.
But to say that a woman has found her voice through orgasm leads to everything from ridicule and accusations of being privileged man-haters to death threats and acts of violence.
We say that sex is all around us and that we are tired of hearing about it. I say we are not talking about it enough. The fact that we didn’t even know the full scope and power of the female clitoris until 4 years ago (yet had hundreds of studies documenting the function of the penis) is proof enough that even the medical field has a very cloistered and limited knowledge of sexuality.
Ultimately this post isn’t about shaming anyone who watches porn or reads Cosmo or doesn’t know the first thing about non-ejaculatory orgasms. It’s simply a call to action—a call to the courageous men and women who are willing to educate themselves, experiment with desire and free themselves from sexual shame, especially in the realm of feminine sexuality. From there, porn and Cosmo can be a conscious choice, rather than the default source of education and get-off.
So here’s to more posts about sexuality.
Here’s to giving voice to that part of ourselves that we’ve been so afraid to share.
Here’s to casting an honorable light on the journey to orgasm.
And here’s to ushering in a new perspective of sex: from sex as a bartering tool that wins us scraps of pseudo-orgasm to sex as an expression of our deepest truth.
Originally posted August 1, 2013
Because we live in a society still locked in shame around sex, genuine sexuality never gets taught. Because of this, conventional, male-driven pornography and mass media are our primary source of sex education. We're being told what is sexy, rather than discovering it for ourselves and thus, sex becomes a product.
Originally posted October 27, 2012
I get a lot of emails from men and women wanting the elusive answer to the never-ending question: How can I (or how can I get her to) have an orgasm?
First piece of advice: Stop Trying. No. Really. Take the pressure off of yourself or your partner to ‘make something happen.’ The more we clamp down and ‘effort’ ourselves into an experience that we think we should be having, the more we distance ourselves from the rich world of sensation that exists right here in the present.
Second: Redefine ‘Orgasm.’ Many people have a very limited view of what we consider to be orgasm, thanks to a lack of sound erotic education and the prevalence of porn and soap operas as our dubious teachers on sex and relating. Most of us believe that orgasm is this fleeting, 30-second event where you buildup a lot of energy until you can’t hold it anymore, go over a sharp edge and have some sort of crashing release.
While this experience (which I call ‘climax’) may be a part of orgasm, it is only a tiny hiccup on the spectrum of possibility. To me, orgasm is the pulsing breath of life that births every moment. Orgasm is the chilly tickle on the edge of my skin as my lover draws his tongue from the edge of my ear to the tip of my nipple. It’s the warm flush in my face and genitals when I reveal a taboo desire. It is the fire of my hunger and the blazing force that opens me to pleasure.
Which takes me to my third piece of advice: Receive. Let the love in. Our ability to experience orgasm is directly proportionate to our ability to receive pleasure. Very often, we have a lot of ideas that sit on top of and stifle our pleasure:
I don’t deserve to feel this good.
If I let this in, what do I have to give up in return?
I don’t want to tell him what I want because it will hurt his feelings.
If I ask for what I want, I will look like a bitch.
Everyone can have this except me.
I can’t do this with someone unless I know we are getting married.
I should just go along with this because I don’t want to look like I’m frigid.
I don’t want him to think I’m a kinky nympho.
However, when you admit the truth about your desire, love yourself enough to ask for it and stay connected to the sensation along the way, a world of orgasmic pleasure opens up to you—and rather than orgasm being this nebulous pinball that sometimes pings in the jackpot every once in a while, it becomes an infinite banquet that fills the hungry void that we often stuff with sugar, shopping or junk-food sex.
So what exactly does ‘let the love in’ mean? Well, first, it means slowing down enough to be present with what is. It also means being humble and gracious enough to honor the miracle of your very existence right now. It means acknowledging your own desire. Perhaps you are having sex with someone with whom you don’t really want to be having sex. Can you love yourself (and the other person) enough to tell the truth? Or perhaps your partner is offering exquisite attention on your navel and your brain is freaking out about how you have to reciprocate? Can you love yourself and your partner enough, to breathe, relax and feel (and maybe even whisper the words ‘Thank You”).
Orgasm has very little to do with technique and LOT to do with state of mind. First of all, orgasm is our own responsibility. No one can ‘do it’ for us or ‘give it to us.’ Yes, other people may facilitate the opening (and we dearly, dearly thank them for it), but our orgasm depends on our own ability to stay relaxed, receptive and present with what is. Also, if a woman doesn’t feel safe in any way, she will not enter a state of orgasm. This is why conscious explorations of erotic pleasure and practices of surrender (like Orgasmic Mediation) are powerful tools on your sexual journey.
For example, the other day I was having sex and while he was inside me, I could hear a cacophony of voices wondering if he was having a good time and if I was ‘doing it right.’ Instead of staying caught in my mind, I chose to breathe, slow down and simply feel the sensation of our sex. I noticed the tiny sparks on the lower walls of my pussy. I noticed the pulsation around my lips. I noticed how deeply he was feeling me and riding our edge. I noticed the variety of strokes he made—from long and languorous to soft and still to powerful and rough.
I surrendered to the pleasure of our experience and allowed the orgasm to overflow. I thought to myself, “I feel so fully loved right now, by my self, by life, by this man, by my body, that I am going to pour love onto this man through his cock.” And from there, I simply let orgasm take the reins.
When you answer the questions “What is my desire?” and “Am I staying connected to the sensation?” you invite an honest inquiry into the inner landscape of your sex. You begin to see orgasm as a curious friend, rather than an ephemeral foe. Orgasm becomes a lifelong journey, a state of being and a passage to grace. It’s often a fiery and clunky ride, but if you can remember to let the love in (and to share in your abundance), you’ll find yourself deepening your intimacy, feeling so much more in your body and having a hell of a lot of fun.
Originally posted October 22, 2012
“The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, and plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.” ~ Audre Lorde
Yup. You asked for it (even if you won’t admit it). Another article on everyone’s favorite topic: SEX!
(End of snarky intro)
I’ve noticed a trend on elephantjournal.com these past few months of authors and readers decrying the popularity of more ‘salacious’ and‘fluffy’ content and ruing the fact that ‘deeper’ and ‘more meaningful’ pieces often get overlooked. I have also seen a number of people complain that all this talkof sex is empty if you don’t also mention love.
The argument goes that all you have to do is put up a picture of a scantily-clad woman, have a title promoting the ‘3 Easy Steps to Being a Mega Sex-Machine’ and bandy about the words cock and pussy and BAM! Instant ele hit.
Now look: as a sexuality writer, I will be the first one to roll my eyes at some of the schlock that gets published. All the tips and tricks to snag a husband, make her come like a volcano or lose weight so you aren’t a flabby troll who can’t even get laid by a blind man can actually be damaging, prey upon our cultural insecurity and push our sex back into the shadowy recesses of shame.
However, when my work (and the work of my very talented ele peers) are linked to these complaints, I have to speak up. To question the journalistic validity of an article simply because there’s a ‘helpful’ list or it focuses on sex or there’s only a video and little writing is not only blatantly arrogant—it’s downright insulting.
I’m truly sorry that every single piece on elephantjournal doesn’t get the kind of attention it deserves. I have read and re-posted some gorgeous pieces that unfortunately got lost in the electronic fray. However, that is the nature of being an artist. We may create many, many pieces, but only one becomes a Guernica or a Mona Lisa.
In my opinion, I don’t think people are tired of hearing or talking about sex. In fact, I think we are actually starving for frank, in-depth conversations about sex. I think what people are tired of is SEX-SATIONALISM—that is to say, the titillating ‘tee hee hee’ that sits on top of our own sexual shame, hunger and insecurity. We get a ‘hit’ when we Youtube search for various ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ and pop-star lesbian makeouts (and no thank you, I do not need to see a busty woman when purchasing an automobile or deodorant). We become sex-crack junkies, opting for the quick fix in the syringe rather than making the more vulnerable choice of asking directly for the sex we want.
Also, many people tired of SEX-SEXSATIONALISM are erroneously suggesting that sex is meaningless unless there is love attached. The assumption is that love is greater than sex and that sex simply for the pleasure of sex is somehow vacant.
Are you kidding me?
First, sex without love simply doesn’t exist. Love is everything. It’s in everything we do. We are love. It is impossible to escape it, whether you are fucking, eating, pooping, walking, crying or writing. Our capacity to allow ourselves to feel it may fluctuate, but the truth of the matter is that love is the ineludible breath of orgasm. Even when we feel dead and disconnected from the world, love is there—we are often too proud to accept it, but it waits gracefully and patiently for us to acknowledge it.
Second, it is my belief that we are confusing romance with love and sex. We have this belief that sex is only OK as long as we do it ‘tantrically’ with someone with whom we are ‘in love’ and to whom we plan on making a lifelong, monogamous commitment. Balderdash. Some of my deepest and most transformative life experiences were one-night stands, bathroom sex and sex with people who were already in committed relationships—all of which were saturated in love.
I actually think romance and other ‘rule-based’ excuses for sex are poisoning our ability to fully open. They sit on top of our pleasure, like an angry schoolmarm, punishing us for enjoying anything that deviates from a prescribed code of social respectability. To connect to our sexual authenticity, we need to strip sex down to its barest essentials: you, your partner and the sensation at the point of connection. That’s it. I am not tossing off sex with a committed partner. I give thanks every day for the gift of my Beloved. But I had to peel off the layers of what I thought my sex and love should look like in order to recognize and receive him.
Third, having sex simply because it feels good is not only OK—it’s the most noble reason of all. We have somehow adopted the myth that pleasure equals "lack of self-control" and that denial equals "being a good person." Perhaps this is a throwback to the "martyrdom makes you a saint" dogma espoused by many popular religions. However, in my mind, nothing is more noble, innocent and pure than surrendering to the pleasure of our bodies. The pleasure we feel of a soft cat's fur under our fingertips. The pleasure we feel of a ripe fig bursting between our teeth. The pleasure we feel of warm sun against cool skin.
And yes, the pleasure of sex. The sparks of electricity that ripple across the small of my back when my lover licks my ear. The glow in my heart when I connect intimately with another person. The curious bliss of deepening relationship. The playful thrill of adventure. The stirring of the soul in creating new life.
I neither trust nor enjoy sex if I or my partners have other agendas—romantic or otherwise. If you are having sex to impress someone, make your ego feel good, negotiate a transaction (i.e. I will eat you out if you suck my cock), disassociate from life, snag a relationship or anything other than surrendering to the pleasure found in our exquisite and miraculous bodies, then it’s not an act of love, but manipulation.
Now, I cannot help but notice that a great majority of our sex writers at elephantjournal are female and that most (if not all) of those who are ‘sick of sex’ and wanting more ‘spiritually enlightening articles’ are male. This, to me, is an indicator of the taboo surrounding female sexuality and the continuous sexism that blankets the more feminine spiritual paths.
Audre Lorde says:
“The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling. In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives.”
The world of sex is feminine: dark, uncertain, combustible, frightening. It is a spiritual path that pulls us down into the mud of humanity before we can push off the ground into the more celestial (and masculine) realms of consciousness. So when I see my fellow sister-authors (and brothers as well) gather the courage to share their erotic opening with the world (yes, that includes E.L. James, regardless of your opinion of 50 Shades), I want to scream from the rooftops “Write on! Your expression is my inspiration! Your voice is my healing!”
We each have our niche—that thing that calls forth from us our greatest power. Yours may be vipassana. Someone else’s may be crocheting. Mine is sex and orgasm. Perhaps if I wrote about cookie baking or child rearing, you might be able to categorize me in a socially acceptable binder full of women.
I genuinely pay tribute to the vibrant community elephantjournal fosters and the myriad of voices that come out to play. Questioning and challenging are important and encouraged—it spurs personal and social creativity. But writing off other people’s work as cheap or ‘simply trying to make a name for themselves’ is simply disrespectful.
So. For those of you who are tired of reading about sex (but not really) and need a list and a video to satiate your ele appetite, I humbly offer you 7 Non-Sexual Tips (Plus 1 Video!) to Spice Up Your Sex Life:
1. Chew your food slowly. Savor the experience. Use all five senses and allow the flavor to slide over your body.
2. Express gratitude. When you come from fullness and approval, it expands your capacity to receive.
3. Do something loving for yourself every day. If you know how to love yourself, you will take nothing less from anyone else.
4. Practice service. When you recognize your abundance and allow it to spill over, your joy transforms you into the most attractive person in the room.
5. Break the rules. Violate the ‘No’s’ and ‘Can’ts’ in your life and you will be bold enough to do it in the bedroom.
6. Surround yourself with beauty. When you know what gives you pleasure, you can recognize it and ask for it.
7. Laugh. It takes the pressure off to perform and connects you to the crooked perfection of life.
PLUS! Obligatory humorous sex video!
Originally posted October 5, 2012
Of all fires love is the only inexhaustible one.” ~ Pablo Neruda
I feel like I am at a crossroads. I’ve been here for some time now and I’m getting a little impatient. As the shadows of my former life fade, a vast uncertainty lies before me:
Do I move full-time to Los Angeles this year? Next year? Ever?Do I travel to Peru, Thailand, India or somewhere else?Do I continue acting?Do I continue coaching?Do I lead workshops?Do I take more classes?Do I keep writing articles? A book?Do I give in to necessity and find that secure 9-5 with health benefits?Do I have children now? In five years? Ever?
The more I get caught in the questions, the more trapped/confused/angry/scared I feel. Survival mode kicks in and I start making plans, solving problems and fixing my circumstances. I busy myself with menial tasks that are suddenly of great importance. I fixate on anything that seems to move my life ahead, just like a responsible 32-year-old woman should.
I am a woman in control—pearls on, belt cinched, lipstick unsmudged.
Then a hefty kick in the ass arrives (or sometimes just good sex, though the two often go hand-in-hand these days) and I remember that I have chosen an Orgasmic Life—a life of magic, play, spontaneity, curiosity, adventure, growth and above all, a moment-by-moment willingness to surrender to desire.
And the moment I begin to do anything, I have moved from faith to mistrust. From authenticity to masquerading. From being to performing.
Control forces us to do. Surrender requires that we are done.
In the realm of Orgasm, life does its work through you—but you don’t do a damn thing. In fact, the moment you start to do, you actually get in the way of the greater intelligence unfolding from within.
Unfortunately, our achievement-minded society doesn’t think highly of surrender. In fact, those who choose to live on the edge of uncertainty are often labeled as “cowards”, “irresponsible”, “weak” or “pussies.” We overvalue being on top and ignore, scoff at, condemn or even abuse anything that is seemingly “beneath us.”
We all want to fuck life hard and fast…but no one wants to admit their desire to be fucked.
Yet here’s the sad part—for as much as we walk around brandishing our overdeveloped cocks and boasting about our latest conquests, we are actually starving to be well-fucked and thoroughly conquered. Really. Man, woman, gender neutral, hermaphrodite—it doesn’t matter. The art of receiving a good fuck from life is a human experience and is the gift of our inherent femininity.
Surrender requires a hefty amount of vulnerability. We must be willing to let our guard down. We must be willing to explore what we want. We must be willing to unapologetically ask for it. We must be willing to sit in the fire as we watch the tricks, defenses and games we use to hide, burn away, so we can create the space to receive that which we most desire.
And yet, as my friend Pamela Madsen says, this soft, wet, messy, fucked-open vulnerability is “the place from where sexy flows.” It’s the void where unlimited Orgasm resides and where only the brave and truly powerful can unleash Her onto the world. It is unconditional love.
We think we are starving for love and we troll dating sites and bars searching for that person or experience that we think is going to feed us. We think, perhaps if we fuck it open, it will give us the spiritual nutrition we seek.
We are not starving for love.
We are bloated with love. In fact, we have years of backed up love rotting in our systems. We are just stingy, prideful and frightened motherfuckers who think that we are “giving something up” if we reveal our hands first. We hide behind seduction, perfectionism and poker faces, all while silently choking with shame on our tears of gratitude and awe (that have turned bitter with resentment over the years of blame and victimhood).
No, we are not starving for love, but for the nourishment that comes from being fucked open and sharing our own abundance. When you meet someone and fall in love, that person isn’t giving you their love; they are giving you permission to finally, finally express what’s been locked up inside you. And that expression demands nothing less than the fullest surrender of your pride, anger, shame, fear, envy, hatred and any other stagnant energy sitting on top of your orgasm.
These emotions aren’t wrong. Pride, anger, etc. are all part of the journey and when they are acknowledged and fully felt, can be alchemized as fuel for desire and can deepen intimacy with yourself and the people in your life.
Surrender is a practice, just like anything else in life.
There’s a reason why savasana is considered a master pose and why those who hide behind their busyness pop right up out of it at the end of yoga class (myself included). There’s a reason why many try Orgasmic Meditation once, only to run as far from it as possible afterwards. We seek to do the next thing that takes us out of that place of no-thingness…that uncertain void…the ultimate death of all we thought we were.
And yet, on the other side is the sweetest grace you’ve ever known: absolute communion with your soul. The work is to release the conditions that say, “I will only surrender if…(fill in the blank with whatever is it to which you are attaching your happiness).”
So I’ve given up bargaining with Her, released trying to discover the next right move and allowed her to penetrate my innermost being so that pure, unadulterated Orgasm can flow from me in gratitude and grace. And it’s within the healing balm of grace that love is a choice, freedom is inevitable and surrender is the holiest of prayers.
Originally posted August 7, 2012
“You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you…today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.” ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast, from Louis Schwartzberg’s TEDxSF talk on “Gratitude”
I’ve recently started attending a weekly Native American tobacco ceremony. From the outside the ritual seems simple: everyone sits in a circle, says a brief prayer for the things for which they need help and smokes the sacred pipe.
However, within the basic framework lies an experience full of connection, humbleness and vulnerability. Through witnessing another in communion with his or her Creator, you realize that each person’s prayer is actually your prayer. To have someone speaking your heart’s deepest yearnings is a swift reminder that we are separated only by the most trivial of differences.
Which makes sense. To walk around as a boundaryless open heart all day, feeling the pain, hope and wonder of each person that breathes near us would render us perpetually incapacitated. After all, we have cubicles to inhabit, student loans to pay off and episodes of Weeds to download.
Hence this weekly sacrament of public surrender is like ambrosia for the emaciated soul. We walk around with our poker faces on, pretending like life is just “fine” and that we have everything “under control.” So simply saying the words “I need help” is enough to sucker punch us in the arrogant gut of our social deception. Yet it is through these cracks in the armor that life’s blessings can fill our cups of longing.
The thing is that most of us carry thimbles where we have room for chalices; so even when can let in a little bit of the good, we fill up quickly and look for ways to manage the excess. One common way is to expel the energy through complaint. It’s a lazy way to avoid doing the work to discover what we truly want, as well as shirks the responsibility for your happiness to someone or something else. It’s easy to be angry at your friends if you throw a party and no one attends—but if you don’t give us explicit directions on how to get to your house, you are setting yourself (and the rest of us) up for failure.
We look for what’s wrong with life. We hold onto the idea that life happens “to” us, as if we are some sad little puppet, rather than becoming active participants in the experience. We have a thousand ways to talk about what’s shitty in our lives and virtually no language for what’s good.
Nowhere do I see more of this than in the arena of sex. It’s an area loaded with confusion, shame and resentment smothered by a lacquer of bravado, victimhood or just plain avoidance. It’s also the place where we are most desperate to be touched and where a mountain of excuses resides to keep us small and safe:
I’m not getting enough
I’m too old/fat/inexperienced
No one knows how to touch me
I can’t last long enough
My partner is blocked
I’m fine, but they have a problem
All the good ones are taken
It’ll never happen for me
The art of receiving what you want is something we are rarely taught and yet it’s the foundation of sexual maturity (and is required for vibrant and nourishing sex lives). First, we must have the courage to admit that we are hungry and that it is no one else’s responsibility but our own to feed us.
Once we decide to follow our desires, rather than live in the world of complaint, we must then undergo the task of expanding our thimbles into chalices. If we want more, we need to grow big enough to hold more.
Again, I take my inspiration from the pipe ceremony. There, the way we are taught to pray is that before you ask for what you want, you must first express gratitude for what you have in your life right now. It changes the perspective, so that your desires come from a place of abundance and attraction, rather than lack and rejection of what is. You mentally and energetically set yourself up to receive.
Think of it this way: each time you say “thank you,” you find your location on the map of desire and widen the net for the universe to bring you more. Conversely each complaint is energy wasted that could have been used to express yourself and surrender deeper into pleasure.
Recently, I was making love and towards the end, I found myself in a state of overwhelm—the energy was high, I was feeling physically exhausted and my mind was flipping out on whether or not he was happy. We’d lost the connection and I started crying and blaming myself for ‘fucking it all up.’
“Do you want to check in with me?” he asked.
“Ok,” I simpered.
"Well, the first three-quarters of that was some of the most amazing sex we’ve ever had together.”
Oh. Well that changes things.
Because I was approaching our sex from fear-based, life-or-death-stakes mindset, all I could see was the negative: any perceived ‘fuck up’ was going to lessen my value as a human and I would end up dead and unloved in a crappy studio apartment in the Tenderloin (fear-based mind also tends to bring out the drama queen).
Had I been in my abundance and gratitude, I would have stood up on the bed, ripped off my chain & turtleneck sweater and sang “I Just Had Sex!”
Which brings me to my second point: the importance of cultivating humor in sex.
We’re all human. Being able to laugh at ourselves in the face of our sheer incompetence is what makes being alive bearable. Humor takes the life-or-death-stakes view on sex and infuses it with space and permission. As one of the clumsiest people on the planet, I’ve had my fair share of teeth-banging kisses, cum & snot-nosed BJs and mid-coital pussy farts. You just gotta laugh at that shit because we’ve all been there.
You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed not to have the answer. You are allowed to curiously fumble into the unknown. In fact, that is where the best sex happens. When your rational mind throws its hands in the air and says ‘Fuck it! I’m just gonna let it all hang out and have fun,’ you go from being a warrior on the battlefield to a child in a sandbox—totally unaware of people’s eyes on you and unattached to what is created.
Play for the sake of play.
And really, why have sex for any other reason other than for fun? Of course there’s also procreation and shared intimacy—but if you’ve lost the spirit of play in the process, then I suggest slowing down, re-evaluating your desires and re-connecting to your own pleasure.
Because ultimately sex is fun—and silly and weird and confronting and undeniably human. We should celebrate that: the slips, trips, bumps and falls as well as the bliss, joy, ecstasy and intimacy.
So no matter how your sex expresses itself these days—whether you humped three people this morning or haven’t kissed anyone in ten years—take the time to be thankful for your sexuality. You are alive, right now, a sexual being on this planet, and you have the unique opportunity to go on a rich and hilarious journey into the heart of your own desire.
Just don’t forget to pack the Gratitude…