Orgasmic Living

Why We Really Chase Unavailable Partners

I recently had the great honor of contributing an article to Together Magazine's blog. I chose to write about something near and dear to my heart—insecure attachment. Since my separation from my sweet husband two years ago, I've been diving deep into why I'm consistently drawn to more unavailable guys and not as attracted to the available ones. It turns out a lot of my journey has to do with uncovering the places where I was not available for intimacy (imagine that!). Thanks to the work I've done with Empower Love, I've called in an amazing partnership and had a deeply moving completion ceremony with my ex-husband two days ago.

In this article, you'll start to understand the deeper forces at play in insecure attachment and learn how to unravel the knot that has you choose partners that aren't right for you—> http://together.guide/why-we-really-chase-unavailable-men/ 

Radical Ritual: Reclaiming my Virginity {NSFW}

The Virgin Mother on the Cross

The Virgin Mother on the Cross

I burned my wedding dress in the Burning Man temple this year. Or rather it burned while I watched—tears gushing from my eyes, snot running down my face. An unapologetic display of gratitude and grief. Ignoring the impulse to run into the fire and wrap myself in the warm comfort of the past, I chose instead to wrap my arms around me—knees tucked into my chest like a scared kid on her first day of school. Because that’s what it felt like—the first day of a brutal lesson in love that I was only just beginning to understand.

I liked to think I was good at relationships. This was my first error among many—attaching my ego to some version of relating based on doing it “right.” Always the consummate A+ student through-and-through. But when my relationship GPA depends on being a good girl (need to get into college to find a husband after all), then my wants/needs/desires get left behind out of fear of disrupting the class.

So I had to burn down the institution in order to see what was left. Because I knew whatever survived the blaze would not only be true, it would be the raw material in which I could turn lead into gold. The way of the alchemist—sharing her gifts once the inessential has been stripped away.

I met someone at Burning Man this year who asked me a simple question: When do you feel most powerful?

The answer came quickly: I feel most in my power when I dance/speak/move like no one is watching.

When I behave like no one is watching, I move from desire—an internally-motivated way of being that is rooted in truth and profound self-love. When I think others are watching, I notice how I posture myself in order to cater to their needs or assuage my discomfort.

-Who is this person?

-What do they want from me?

-What do I want from them?

-What do they think of me?

-Do they like me?

-Who do they know that I might know?

-Who holds the power right now and how can I get more?

-Do I feel jealous of this person?

-Do I think I am better than this person?

I think most of us go through life in a constant state of external reference—placing our power and agency into the hands of others rather than in the center of our own bodies. This shows up most powerfully in our most intimate relationships—both romantic and familial.

My intention at this year’s burn was to reclaim my power and agency through a revirginizing ritual. To be clear, revirginizing isn’t about denying my sexuality. It’s about reclaiming the original definition of the word “virgin.” In biblical times, a virgin was a woman who was owned by no man. She could own land. She was considered whole unto herself. That was my prayer. To return power to my center and choose relationship from wholeness—not unconscious patterns based on filling some ego-void or antiquated systems intended to deny a woman her holy right to erotic power and fulfillment.

The ritual was simple: walk to the temple in my wedding dress, take it off, and leave the temple naked. I intentionally left a lot room within my planning because I was curious what magic the playa would contribute.

I gathered my midwives (instead of bridesmaids) around 5pm Friday evening. Dana helped cinch me into my ponderous dress while I tried to ignore the sweat dripping between my legs. Lance offered me his arm and we set off on foot—literally, I was wearing no shoes—towards the temple. 

My midwives, Lance and Dana

My midwives, Lance and Dana

We got about two blocks down the road when we met a woman passing out cupcakes. She saw me in my dress and Lance at my side and offered her congratulations. I knowingly smiled and said “thank you,” amused at her hetero-normative assumption about my intentions.

I grabbed a cupcake and said, “It’s my unwedding day.” Curious, she wanted to know more. I told her about my ritual and she laughed. “Wow,” she said, “these cupcakes just came from a wedding."

How fitting that on my unwedding day I should eat the cake first. I had indeed gone through the looking glass. Full circle.

When we stepped out onto the esplanade, people kept congratulating me as they biked or walked by. I simply smiled and accepted their best wishes.

About a quarter of the way towards the temple, a woman asked to take my picture. I could tell by her camera that she was a professional photographer. She moved me around a bit, placing me in the best angle to the sun. When she asked me where I was going, I told her about my ritual. She decided that she wanted to document it. The playa had provided my unwedding photographer.

About halfway across the playa, we found ourselves at a giant rosary with a cross in front. Since I was reclaiming my virginity, I decided embody the Virgin Mother while placing my body against the crucifix. An offering to the Christ consciousness that lives within me. Again, wholeness. Holy masculine and feminine merging within my own body and blood. After all, I had just attended a spontaneous Eucharist at the temple a few days before.

On the cross

On the cross

We stepped off the platform and made our way to the temple—stopping briefly for an apropos Bloody Mary along the way. Now literally filled with the blood of the Virgin Mother (and bleeding in my own right given that my menstrual cycle had started a few days before), I was ready to enter the temple’s sacred void.

What was meant to be a ceremonious entry devolved into utter absurdity as a woman—who thought she was singing the wedding march—started to sing the Imperial March from Star Wars. I couldn’t help but both laugh and marvel and how perfect her error was. I suppose I was crossing the threshold into some sort of cosmic death star. I thanked her for her contribution and continued along my path.

I circumnavigated the temple clockwise, my midwives holding space behind me while I sung O My Beloved. It was a medicine song to the Beloved within my heart. I always liked to take a page from Hafiz’s book whenever the opportunity arises.

Singing medicine songs

Singing medicine songs

When I finally returned to the entrance, I slowly weaved through the crowd—pulling my dress close to my feet so as not to swipe the faces of those sitting. When I entered, I noticed the center was completely empty. Folks were gathered around the edges, but there was simply open playa in the middle. At first I hesitated, thinking there must be some sort of ritual happening. Then I remembered—oh yeah…mine.

Entering the temple

Entering the temple

I moved toward the center and stood for a moment. I wondered what I should do next. Then I remembered: “Just do what you would do if no one were watching,” I told myself. I removed my front veil and gently placed it on the ground in layered folds. I laid my white flower—my unwedding bouquet—on top, then proceeded to remove my back veil and placed it on the ground, too.

Dana then came to me and helped remove my skirt, which fell to the ground in a heavy poof of whipped cream organza, satin, and lace. She then unlatched the many hook-and-eye clasps that bound up the corset and unlaced the ribbon that held it in place.

In one final sweep, I pulled the corset over my head and there I was, naked in the center of the temple with a hundred forgotten eyes watching me. Not sure what to do next, I felt into my center and knew I needed to give gratitude to the garments that had once so lovingly held me. I dropped to my knees upon the dress and fell over—bundling the fabric in my arms. Tears formed around the edges my eyes and my body gave way to rippling—not quite crying, but a sort of activation through my spine. An enlivening. An awakening. A rebirthing. 

Rebirthing

Rebirthing

I then stood, holding the dress against my bare chest and walked to one of the pillars at the edge of the temple. This was when the grief hit me. Through waves of jangled sobs, I made a prayer as I clutched the garment one last time.

“Thank you for the magic and the prayer that was my marriage. Thank you for the great honor I got to carry while in this relationship. I release myself and all others from unconscious patterns and suffering that hold us back from our power. I now choose wholeness and I call in ways of relating based on choice rather than fear. When this dress burns, may this prayer return to Source so that its gifts may be bestowed on those who now need to learn these lessons. Aho.”

As I put the dress between the pillars, a Hawaiian man who had been watching the ritual came up and spoke a prayer in his native tongue. He ended with “Mahalo” and I responded with “Mahalo” in return. I then began to sing a Ho’oponopono song as I turned my back to the pillar. It was then I saw several people had gathered behind me to witness the ritual. I’m not sure what called then to the temple that day or why they chose to witness. But I am grateful for their presence and I hope that through their witnessing, they too got the medicine they needed.

Not standing on ceremony, I quickly walked out the back entrance of the temple and returned to the open playa. The professional photographer came up to me—visibly moved—and wanted to take shots of me as my new self. Another woman came up and offered me a stick of incense as her thanks for allowing her to witness the ritual.

My unwedding photographer

My unwedding photographer

An offering of incense

An offering of incense

Naked on the playa

Naked on the playa

After they were done, I walked naked back to camp—stopping only for a moment to say hello to a marionette art piece of a teenage girl called "Step Forward," who, coincidentally, was dressed in her wedding whites.

"Step Forward" in her wedding whites

"Step Forward" in her wedding whites

I created this ritual not as a “fuck you” to marriage. In fact, I created it for quite the opposite effect. I created it to cleanse my heart of unloving ways of relating that cause harm and suffering to all the lovers in my life. I created it so that I could live my life from sovereignty and choice. I created it so that I can use my power in heart-centered ways. I created it because I want to know what genuine love can be without getting caught in the trappings of seduction and romance. I created it because I want a life where my sexuality is an expression of authenticity rather than a means of validation.

While huddled on the ground at the center of the temple, the words from The Grandmother’s story in my book Reclaiming Eros: A Heroine’s Journey came to mind:

It was in this moment Nan realized how very lonely she had been. Not just in this life but for lifetimes. Nan began shaking and weeping.

“Oh God,” she cried out, “I miss God.”

Unbearable love pressed against her chest. It was a spherical expansion that cracked the edges of her ribs and tore through her skin. As her heart burst forward, the back of her body burned—like simultaneously giving birth to wings and dying in the phoenix’s flames. An involuntary wave of gratitude and grief gripped her throat, and she keened an ancient sound that twisted with both agony and wonder.

“We touched love,” she thought to herself. “Not ephemeral romance, that crunches and pounces and cramps. But love. Pure. Rich. Golden. Love.”

This is the kind of love I want to call into every moment of my life—full-out, unabashed awe of the ordinary and devoid of the kind of pride that prevents us from living in direct communion with those that we love.

Finally, I am reposting a video I created nearly two years ago called SLUT, a poem I wrote for my book—which also happens to the Virgin’s poem. How little I knew then how far the journey to reclaiming eros would take me…and how very clear that this student has a lot more to learn…

2016: AN INVITATION FOR INSPIRATION

Tying up my career "loose ends."

Tying up my career "loose ends."

At the beginning of 2016, I made it a personal goal to wrap up several of the "loose ends" that were draining energy in my life. FYI, there is nothing inherently "wrong" with loose ends--they simply occupy my brain space and "slow the wheels" of my mind-gears (making it difficult to fully squeeze the juice out of my mind-grapes--that's a 30 Rock reference for those who are wondering ;) )

Anyhow, one of these "loose ends" was to finally sit my ass down and write a half hour comedy pilot that's been banging around in my brain the past few months. After my short film script Magdalena won two festival awards last year, I wanted to create something new to submit to the festival circuit. Lo and behold, when I sat down to do it, I completed it in just under a week!

Regardless of whether or not this script goes anywhere, it feels good to have fun, sharpen my skills and have my mind clear(er) and free(r) for the next creation to flow through.

I'm finding that tying up "loose ends" is one of the keys to inviting inspiration. If our minds are clouded and chugging along, worried about the stuff we haven't done, then we can't truly be present in our lives. There is no "empty space" for fresh ideas to flow.

Sometimes procrastination can be a good thing. It allows for ideas to flourish and mature into something we may never have originally imagined. But I think it's important to be able to distinguish when an idea is "marinating" or "rotting."

So for anyone feeling like their inspiration is a little lacking, take a moment to assess where there are loose ends in your life--energetic open loops that are draining your ability to be present. There may be something there for you or there may not. But either way it will at least give you a valuable map to navigate your resistance and (usually) your desire.

Relationship Game for the Month of October

Autumn Leaves,  Millais

Autumn Leaves, Millais

It's now autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere (and Happy Jewish New Year!). With the equinox upon us, we often find ourselves asking the questions "What am I harvesting from my work this past year?" or "What seeds am I planting for the year to come?"

Orgasm grows where attention goes, so if we are yearning to cultivate more feeling and connection in our intimate relationships, then there is no better time than now to put our attention on our sexual/romantic relationships and long-term partnerships.

So I propose a game for the month of October. It's a simple game with only rule:

Everyday (preferably multiple times a day) ask yourself the question "How Can I Be More Generous with my Partner(s)?"

Now keep in mind that generosity does NOT mean doing whatever your partner(s) wants at the expense of your own desires. That is called acquiescence and is a breeding ground for resentment. In fact, generosity often entails giving your partner(s) an unobstructed peek into the window of your desire, i.e. "This is how to win with me."

If you are single or not sexually/romantically active, you can still play by asking this question in reference to the important people in your life: family, friends, co-workers, etc. Or you can even ask how can you be more generous with yourself! 

When you learn to approach your life from a generous place (abundance) rather than from withholding love (scarcity), you begin to cultivate honesty and gratitude, which are the secret weapons for expanding your capacity for more sensation and pleasure.

I hope you have a fruitful equinox and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Happy Harvest!

Reflections on Orgasmic Living and "La Grande Mort"

St. Francis held by an Angel by Gent  ileschi

St. Francis held by an Angel by Gentileschi

I am deeply touched by all the lovely messages I received last week for my 35th birthday. To be honest, I was feeling a little sad and scared about being in my (gasp) mid-30's. I had all this social programming telling me that I "should" have had my career success by now and that I "should" jump on motherhood ASAP (ya know, the infamous biological clock).

As I reflected on my life, one based on Orgasmic Living (i.e. surrendering to the unknown, living in the involuntary, faith in intuition, etc), part of me felt like a failure and...well...too old to do anything about it. I walked into the burn afraid of my impending death and paralyzed as I considered the eventual deaths of my beloveds. 

Then came the great dust storm of 2015. For 5+ hours I walked with a group of friends to the temple and back with nearly zero visibility much of the time. The ironic fact that I was literally walking "into the void" did not escape me. 

During my time at the temple, I discovered that I didn't feel the usual amount of pain and grief that typically comes when I see the thousands of memorials to those who've passed. I wondered if I had become hardened to sadness. I was waiting to be "cracked open" and when it didn't come, I felt guilty.

Then I needed to lie down. As the earth hugged me, I noticed an intense desire for comfort. My husband chose to skip this burn, so I shivered, cold in my loneliness.

Then I heard a voice. I couldn't see Her, but I felt Her presence. Death came and wrapped her merciful arms around me. And in that moment I began a new relationship with Death--one that was filled with such gratitude. I began to cry, so thankful that Death exists and that nothing lasts forever. It was surprising to discover not just grief within those wooden walls, but joy. My prayer for "more life" resonated even deeper because I found myself in the arms of Death.

The next day I attended a Shamanic Death and Rebirth Ceremony. I felt called to dig deeper into this new relationship with Death. Almost immediately, I began to cry again as the profound love that Death has for us all poured from my heart.

Finally, as I watched the temple burn on Sunday night, the power and depth that Death brings to every moment washed over me as the wood and copper structure quickly tumbled to the ground.

Of course, I am not ready to physically die just yet. Nor do I wish that upon my beloveds. This life is just too sweet right now. 

And this post isn't meant to gloss over the grief and tragedy that comes with facing mortality and the unbearable brutality that exists in this world.

For me, my experience simply expanded my perception of Death to include both the horror and the beauty. It gave me a little peace in my heart as I meditated upon this inevitable fact of being human. It presented the possibility that there is a miracle tucked inside the day of my death, just as we celebrate the miracle in the day of my birth.

As I return to my new home and my beloved partner (who drew me a rose-petal birthday bath, unloaded my playafied car and cooked me dinner) and my art and the world I've built around me, I feel a little more hopeful that life can get better with age. I see now that these current social fears on death and aging are just our culture's deep terror of facing the Mystery. And I am learning to trust (a little bit more) that there is exactly the right amount of life left in me to do everything I need during my time here.

It's the one who won't be taken who can not seem to give;
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
--The Rose by Bette Midler

Why I Avoid Sex: A Love Letter

Silence   by Odilon Redon

Silence by Odilon Redon

Originally posted June 10, 2015

To all my lovers, from this life and the many previous…

Dear Lover,

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.

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

weight

of

my

own

desire.

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

Love,
c

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

5 (+1) Guidelines to Falling in Evolutionary Love

Union  by Android Jones

Union by Android Jones

Originally posted March 15, 2015

“I believe in karma,” he said, his dark eyes resting on my pained face. “Because I had to go through you to find her.”

Nodding my head, I calmly replied, “I believe in karma too. Because I had to go through you to find me.”

I didn’t know it then, at the end of my first marriage, but with that statement, I had laid the foundation for what would come to be known as “evolutionary love.”

My life didn’t look very “evolved” at that moment. I was homeless with all my possessions stored in the basement of a Brooklyn church. I was in my seventh year in my battle with anorexia, which reflected my own starving eroticism.  And I could barely get through teaching an hour of yoga without bursting into a river of never-ending tears.

I didn’t have language for it at the time, but as I sat in my room for hours begging God (or Spirit or nature or just my own damned will) to help me survive the shame, I knew something profoundly wise and beautiful was rising from the ashes of my agony—an agony that felt like death.

Because it was death. As frightening as it may sound, death is at the heart of evolutionary love because that’s what it means to evolve. We must muster the willingness to brave the fire of constant change so that new life can emerge.

In this sense, every relationship is an evolutionary one because it catapults us forward to the next leg of our soul’s journey. But when we begin to consciously work with this evolutionary dynamic, relationship becomes a sandbox for play and wonder, rather than something to which we unconsciously grasp out of fear of facing our inevitable aloneness.

So how does evolutionary love show up practically in our daily lives? If you asked that question of a thousand couples or multiples, you’d get 2,000+ different answers. However, in my exploration of love, partnerships and relating, as well as my personal experience with two marriages, I have stumbled upon some universal guidelines that may serve you on your path to evolutionary love.

1: It starts with YOU  

Ask yourself the question, “Who am I?” Go deeper and ask, "What do I want?” Inquire even further and ask, “What values are important to me?” The more you get to know yourself, the better equipped you will be when it comes to evolutionary love. Far too often we throw ourselves at the first cute, semi-clean person that comes across our path, donning various masks in order to shape ourselves into the person we think our lovers want us to be. Or we cling to people, attempting to fill the void of our perceived unlovability. When we lose our personal center, we are incapable of showing up as our raw, beautiful selves in the relationship. But when you have done the work to know who you are and what you stand for, you are more likely to attract others who support your dreams, nurture your growth and honor the evolutionary power of love.

2: Throw away the script

We’ve all seen the movies and read the magazine headlines that reinforce the heteronormative, nuclear family: Boy meets girl, boy marries girl by age 25, girl pops out two kids by age 30, boy and girl and kids live in a suburban house for 20 years, boy (and sometimes girl) retires and lives off pension until boy and girl die. The end. But evolutionary love is not linear and certainly isn’t beholden to any predetermined script. Evolutionary love demands that we continue to explore our personal edges in service to growth, not only for ourselves, but also for our community. We may fall in love with someone whose gender identity or expression contradicts what society deems as “acceptable.” We may fall in love with multiple people. We may choose to live in a community home with many constellations of people. We may choose to live in separate houses or even separate cities from our partners. We may decide that marriage, partnership and/or having kids is not in alignment with our personal desires. Evolutionary love requires courage and may seem subversive to many. But when we honor our soul’s true path, we are creating a world where multiple expressions of love can grow, flourish and find acceptance. Thus, we inspire others to step out of the shadows of their own fear and claim the love that is their birthright.

3: Be committed to the RELATIONSHIP

In the story of partnership, 1+1 does not equal 2. It equals 3, with the potential for infinity. What that means is, in the case of one couple, there are 3 key players: partner #1, partner #2 and the relationship between the two. Add multiple partners to the mix and the web of relating could conceivably go on indefinitely, though most people have a practicality threshold keeping that number relatively low.  In the case of evolutionary love, all partners must be committed to the relationship that wants to be created. This act of humility, surrender and responsibility sets the stage for a level of relating that goes beyond blame and creates space for all desires to arise and be seen. Yes, of course we must acknowledge individual personalities; however we must also recognize that neither person alone can create the epic magic that comes when one’s power alchemizes with his/her partner’s. As a personal example, I was recently angry with my husband—so much so that I had to leave the house and cry myself empty for two hours. At the end of feeling all that hurt, I asked myself the question, “Does the relationship last another day?” The answer was simply “Yes.” With my trust firmly rooted in the container of the relationship, coupled with the knowledge that my husband upheld the same value of commitment, I faced him with the truth of my feelings, sharing them in a way that contributed to the growth of our partnership.

4: Let go when the time comes

This guideline hearkens back to the previous statement that death is at the heart of evolutionary love. As difficult as that may be to integrate, think of all the relationships that ended poorly or were filled with constant strife and unnecessary drama. Much of the time, the problem was that the relationship did not evolve with the partners. Because we’ve been taught that a “successful” relationship is one where the partners stay together until one of them dies, people are slowly withering away in homeostatic relating, rather than braving the winds of change. Change doesn’t necessarily mean divorce or break-ups, but it does mean cultivating the willingness to consistently review our ever-evolving needs, desires and circumstances and dropping what is no longer serving the relationship. That may seem scary or difficult, like we are traveling without a map, but it’s also an exciting adventure and creates a relationship where every touch, kiss and caress is fresh and alive. In a recent article, Will Smith recently spoke about the multiple “deaths” of his marriage and the creative ways he and his wife evolved the relationship.

5: Champion the highest vision for your partner(s) and for your community

Being a champion for your partner(s) seems like a no-brainer in any relationship. Of course you want your partner to succeed in his or her dreams. But we often don’t act that way. Unspoken jealousies, fears and resentments creep into the relationship and we end up tearing down ourselves or our partners. This is where “starting with you” is crucial, because if you are sabotaging yourself, you often have the self-awareness to catch it and if someone is sabotaging you, you don’t stand for that crap. In all relating, your partner(s) act as a mirror, reflecting both the light and the shadow within. Evolutionary love recognizes this dynamic and consciously uses it for deep growth and transformation. Our relationships become spiritual paths, with our partners as our wisest teachers. Those practicing this model of relating often recognize that they don’t live in an isolated bubble, but are part of a vast network of people. They understand that through their love, they have the opportunity to inspire and uplift all within the community.

+1: Nurture your sex

I don’t call this +1 because it’s optional. I call it +1 because it is KEY to cultivating an evolutionary relationship. Most people say that the first thing to go in a long-term relationship is sex. It’s not because it isn’t important. It’s because it’s VERY important. We avoid sex because it’s one of the most highly-charged places in a relationship. Everything comes to the surface in our sexual lives, so when the resentments start to build, it’s easy to simply fall into the comfort of avoidance rather than to sit in the fire of transformation. DO NOT DO THIS. Keep coming back to sex. Keep learning from the orgasm that arises between you two (or three or more). Allow yourself to acknowledge all the places where you have been hiding and lying to your partner. And clear it. This keeps the wheels of the relationship greased and running smoothly, for if we can learn to communicate with clarity and compassion in sex, we can most likely do it anywhere.

The list above is by no means complete, definitive or even “right.” As I said earlier, evolutionary love has an infinite number of expressions. Ultimately, it’s what you make of it. Your desire is your guide and your imagination is the map.

I’ve had the great honor of witnessing several members of my community as they practice evolutionary love and teach us through their experience. My dear friend, Julia Maryanska, is currently raising funds for her film, Union: A Documentary About the Art of Love. The film follows 6 of these couples as they share their struggles, triumphs and unconventional wisdom on the path to evolutionary love. Interwoven within the stories are expressions of the couples’ love as told by the music of electronic artist, Nimitae, and the visionary art of Android Jones.

Click here to learn more and support this fantastic project---> https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/union-a-documentary-about-the-art-of-love

Lessons from the Erotic Void

Black Square  , Kazimir Malevich, 1915

Black Square, Kazimir Malevich, 1915

Originally posted January 12, 2015

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."

When the sex just isn't enough...

La jeune fille et la mort, 1900 Marianne Stokes

La jeune fille et la mort, 1900 Marianne Stokes

Originally posted December 29, 2014

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.

 

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.

A Lesson in Gratitude

Originally posted December 2, 2014

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