Owning My Own Sex

November 15, 2009 by  
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While reading Lisa Guest’s post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-guest/identity-lifes-superimpos_b_356105.html) on her sex journey through her adulthood I thought about my own.

I have been sexually active since I was thirteen years old.  At that time I had a boyfriend who I loved with the heart a thirteen year old could have and he loved me back with his seventeen year old heart.  All was perfect except that my boyfriend was having sex with an older woman.  He told me because he didn’t want to keep anything from me. He explained that the reason he was seeing this woman was because he needed and wanted to have sex.   It didn’t make any sense to me at the time; why would he be willing to have sex with another woman and not me?  He tried to make me understand that I was too young but I wouldn’t hear and so I spent the next three months trying to talk him into having sex with me until I succeeded.

We continued living our love story until I was seventeen and the world was a very big place for me to only be his girlfriend.   Although I don’t recommend to thirteen year old girls to engage in sex – I was lucky my experience was one of love but it could have been disastrous – I only have good thoughts about that time in my life.  It was a different time where AIDS and a lot of other sexually transmitted diseases weren’t as much of an issue as they are today and so I lived my teenage love story with a boy who truly loved me.

Of course I learned very little about sex during that time as I never talked to adults about it and they never thought to tell me the birds and the bees story.

I loved sex but I also learned to use it as a way to feel “loved”.  When I moved to NYC at age eighteen, I had many one night stands and while they were fun when happening, they always left me with a bigger hole than the one I had started with.  That’s actually the reason why I got into my first marriage.  I met someone who I thought would help me get my life back on track, working towards something meaningful and creating some type of a family, and so at age twenty I was tying the knot with a man eleven years older than me who quickly made me look fondly to those lonely days.

I didn’t have an orgasm until I was a thirty two year old divorcee.  It just kind of happened.  I was fooling around with a boyfriend, a nice sweet guy, when it happened.  It was a sensation like none other and I was blown away by it.  After, I wished my mother would have taught me a thing or two or that my girlfriends, who were having their orgasms, would have shared with me how it happened and what it was all about.  I was happy that I finally was having mine, but I wished it hadn’t taken me so long.

Now having an orgasm in a way made things a bit more complicated.  Before having a real one, I wasn’t sure what it was or felt like, so when asked by partners if I had one I would always say “yes”.  I think you can say I was faking.  Not that I didn’t enjoy myself but I was certainly faking the big “o”.

Because so many men don’t really know and sometimes don’t care about female orgasm we go through many sexual encounters that are simply unsatisfying in many levels. So what happened after my first one was that unfortunately I had to continue faking it but now fully knowing I was doing it.

I don’t have kids but if I had daughters I would want to talk to them, when time came, about their sexuality.  I would want them to own their body and desire much more than I had owned mine when I was a young woman.  I think knowing how our pleasure works can empower us as women and can help us have more of a sense of self-respect and a more satisfying sexual life.

When I met my second husband I found in him a sexual and spiritual connection.  Here was a man who really wanted to love and please me while I loved and pleased him.  He also understood that my way of being pleased was my own and it was never a reflection on his abilities.  He was a man in every sense of what the word means.

Today, I am a widow and sexually I haven’t been with anyone for about two years.  Sometimes my body screams to be touched and I think back to those days of one night stands but soon realize those were the days I didn’t understand the depths of that being naked inside and out with another human can be.

I’m not saying that every sexual encounter needs to be with your soul mate.  But I do think for the sex to be truly fulfilling, at least for me, it needs to be profound at the moment that it happens and that the two people are able and willing to share the strengths and weaknesses that make us human.   I guess my requirement is sex between two adults. I have been through too much not to see another person with love and compassion and be seen the same way.

I do know love has many meanings and shades and so does sex but at a certain point in the life of an adult some shades no longer look good on us.  So I probably won’t be having my one night stand any time soon but I do look forward to the possibility of sharing love without being concerned about the hows and whats with another person.

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Sex And “The Secret”

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

By Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson

How many people have asked you, “Seen The Secret yet?” It’s a documentary about the law of attraction. The message is that our thoughts, feelings and expectations shape our experience of the material plane. The film reminds us to choose thoughts consciously, as we tend to create more of whatever we focus upon – desirable or undesirable.

Consciously focusing on what we hope to create is certainly wise. Yet it may be even more vital to cultivate equilibrium. Without inner equilibrium, we can easily trip on two major stumbling blocks when using the principles of “The Secret.” The first is that we may choose what we want to create based on primitive brain impulses from the Limbic and Reptilian portions of the brain (see diagram below) that are not in our true best interest. The second is that our subconscious feelings also manifest in our lives, so mood swings born of subtle neurochemical shifts create unintended results. Intense fluctuating feelings mean that one minute we see clear evidence that the Divine is in our corner, and the next moment it feels as if we are being punished for some infraction we don’t remember committing.

In contrast, equilibrium encourages genuine wellbeing. Such feelings attract fulfillment and a strong faith that the universe is beneficent.

What do you really want?

Let’s look first at how impulses can influence the use of the law of attraction. All mammals are programmed with powerful urges for certain things, whether or not those things are in their best interest. In the case of humans these include preference for sugary and fatty foods, short-term benefits without considering long-term consequences, impulsive procreation, changing mates, and so forth. Across our species such innate urges foster survival to sexual maturity and the passing on of as many genes as possible. It is not the job of these primitive urges to move us toward personal growth, harmonious long-term relationships, or heightened spiritual awareness.

Therefore, if we rely strictly on our cravings to decide what we will use The Secret to create, our choices tend to be skewed. For example, an addict might be tempted to use the law of attraction to manifest a lifestyle that enables him to obtain the substance or indulge in the activity to which he is addicted. The power to manifest an “adult shop” around the corner is probably not the highest use of the law of attraction. Similarly, a woman might be tempted to attract a particular lover based on sexual chemistry. She may not realize that the qualities her primitive brain is seeking in him in order to pass on more genes via her own offspring – such as his attractiveness to other women – are not the qualities that would make him a good life partner. In each case, the person employing the law of attraction would be using it self-destructively because he/she is pursuing subconscious impulses, which feel like great ideas.

primbrn1The source of these primitive impulses, the reward circuitry in the brain’s limbic system, is a fountain of wants and desires. Part of its function is to encourage us to engage in an ongoing search for satisfaction … without ever finding it. It keeps us striving. This perpetual questing has spread humans around the globe in ever increasing numbers. It also leaves mankind extremely susceptible to marketing and advertising that promise satisfaction – whatever they actually deliver. In short, our built-in perpetual dissatisfaction allows us to be manipulated so that we exploit the resources of the planet with little regard for balance. Frankly, the film The Secret itself encourages this reflexive consumerism.

Buddha studied this weakness in human design a long time ago, and concluded that the source of all mankind’s misery is desire. Yet there is a way to counteract this built-in weakness. By cultivating inner equilibrium, we can muffle the cravings that otherwise lead us to grasp at each new sexual (or other) thrill, culinary temptation, promise of short-term relief, or impressive gizmo. With a sense of balanced wellbeing, it is easier to see which things really benefit us.

As it turns out, we may be better served by deeper, more harmonious interactions with others, time to read our inner compasses so we use our lives to best effect, a sense of connectedness and alignment with the Divine, and forgiveness and service to others. Our own actions act as magnets – attracting similar actions from others, so forgiveness and selfless service are particularly useful.

The point is that we need inner balance and freedom from our intense, primitive yearnings to bring our best goals to conscious awareness. Only then can we use the law of attraction safely and in the best interest of all.

Sex and the cultivation of inner equilibrium

Spiritual traditions often teach the cultivation of equilibrium through meditation or prayer. Most also have monastic orders, which emphasize that celibacy is critically important in this process. It is easy to understand why. Fertilization-driven sex is not only a most powerful urge, but it also sets off a subsequent, subconscious cycle of perception-shifting neurochemical changes. Without our realizing it consciously, both sexual frustration and climax powerfully influence our state of mind in ways that temporarily disrupt our sense of wellbeing and balance. Beset with intense desires or unnatural apathy, we suffer – and our reality reflects back to us that suffering, hampering our spiritual optimism and progress.

Devotional celibacy takes the knife out of aspirants’ hands by mandating gender segregation, declaring lustful thoughts off-limits, and teaching practices that aid in quieting such thoughts. However, it may be even more effective to master an approach to sex that promotes equilibrium in a stable, sustainable way. Without the intense neurochemistry that accompanies climax one also quells the subconscious ripples that inevitably follow at a neurochemical level.

The chief risk of the “controlled intercourse” path is that the initial learning curve may result in so many slips back into orgasm that the couple does not experience the benefits of equilibrium and gives up before mastering the practice. If a couple masters it, however, the practice of making love without orgasm often proves more sustainable than celibacy. Its other advantage over celibacy is that it counters the aching longings of celibacy – which are feelings of lack (more on the significance of feelings of lack in a moment).

True, the couple may experience a longing for orgasm for a time, but as they continue this gentle lovemaking practice, focusing strictly on the generous healing of each other, they often find that the longing for orgasm settles down to quite manageable levels, replaced by a comforting sense of wholeness and wellbeing. Dr. J. William Lloyd described this sensation:

in successful Karezza the rest of the body of each partner glows with a wonderful vigor and conscious joy…tending to irradiate the whole being with romantic love; and always with an after-feeling of health, purity and wellbeing. We are most happy and good-humored as after a full meal.

The power of a subtle sense of lack

Why should feelings of wholeness and wellbeing be so important in shaping how our thoughts manifest? After all, can’t we just visualize away any sexual hangovers using the principles of The Secret?

Alas, the law of attraction does not function solely based on our conscious thoughts. Our subconscious feelings and expectations also shape our experience. If we’re feeling satisfied, whole and full of energy, then we tend to attract events that reflect our inner fullness: material abundance, time for things we need to do, and a sense that the Divine is nurturing us.

However, if we are feeling depleted or needy, our feelings tend to attract draining events, taxing demands, inadequate support from those around us … and above all material scarcity or greed. When we have a subconscious sense of lack, it feels like there isn’t enough to go around, so it feels risky to share what we have with others. Selfishness is therefore a natural outcome of feeling depleted or needy.

Ever wondered where all the scarcity and selfishness come from on this planet? Obviously, no one consciously uses the law of attraction to create scarcity. Yet, if you look around, a sense of “not enough” is clearly one of the most powerful thought-forms on this planet.

dopaminesmIs it possible that humanity creates and reinforces subconscious feelings of lack constantly with fertilization driven sex? Certainly, the sensational feeling of high dopamine at orgasm is followed by a steep drop in dopamine (and other neurochemical changes that last for days). Low dopamine gives one a sense that some key element for happiness is missing, a malaise that colors one’s perception of the world, and tends to attract accordingly. Might that be how humans contribute to a worldwide lack of material abundance, and the tendency to cheat or grab more than their share?

Because some of these shifts occur at a subconscious level, we may not be aware of these subtle changes in perception. Yet that doesn’t prevent the law of attraction from operating on them.

If we are feeling jumpy with excess sexual energy, what might that state of mind attract? Distractions, short-term or unrealistic thinking, get-rich-quick schemes, and desires for addictive highs (sex or substances). These perfectly natural subconscious feelings, which are also normal phases of the orgasm cycle, play a profound role in what we create in our lives – no matter how deliberately and scientifically we employ the law of attraction at a conscious level.

Sex and the power to create

Napoleon Hill wrote a classic best seller decades ago about the same principles portrayed in The Secret. In Think and Grow Rich he emphasized the importance of careful management of sexual energy:

No man can avail himself of the forces of his creative imagination, while dissipating them. Man is the onlyhill1 creature on earth which violates Nature’s purpose in this connection. Every other animal responds to the call of sex only in “season.” Man’s inclination is to declare “open season.” The lives of many reflect a continued dissipation of energies, which could have been more profitably turned into better channels….

When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, [the sex drive] maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.

For Hill, the answer is clear: a loving relationship with sexual discipline.

Sex, alone, is a mighty urge to action, but its forces are like a cyclone – they are often uncontrollable. When the emotion of love begins to mix itself with the emotion of sex, the result is calmness of purpose, poise, accuracy of judgment, and balance….

No man is happy or complete without the modifying influence of the right woman. The man who does not recognize this important truth deprives himself of the power which has done more to help men achieve success than all other forces combined.

A key question

The next time someone tells you that orgasm never sets off a withdrawal phase over the days or weeks following, remember that the shifts can be subtle and subconscious. Quietly ask yourself if events and circumstances in that person’s life suggest that a sense of lack is actually manifesting.

Remember, the sense of lack or malaise can be projected in any direction. Often it is projected onto one’s lover, who is perceived as needy or emotionally distant (needing ‘space’). In such case it attracts dissatisfaction, irritability, apathy, defensiveness and emotional separation. In contrast, loving couples may not tend to project this subtle sense of lack onto each other. They will reap many benefits from their union. Trusted companionship manifests in events that reflect a sense of safety. Yet the downside of the passion cycle will also show up in their lives. It may show up as increasing lack of sexual contact (thus gradually decreasing their beneficial sense of wholeness), or as money woes, professional troubles, illness, chaotic/draining challenges, addictions, and so forth.

In short, a subtle, recurring sense of lack combined with the law of attraction is never a welcome influence in our lives – and yet it is present in most every adult life. Both celibacy and passion can leave us with longings. Whatever its source, a sense of lack renders our lives less joyful and balanced than they otherwise would be. Life seems a struggle.

A deep sense of equilibrium and wholeness helps us to create abundance. Anxiety or a sense that something is missing shows up as lack.

Spiritual Wholeness

Worse yet, subtle feelings of depletion or neediness make us feel like our Creator isn’t particularly loving.

If God is what people say He is, there can be no one in the universe so unhappy as He; for He unceasingly sees myriads of His creatures suffering unspeakable miseries – and besides this foresees how they are going to suffer during the remainder of their lives. Mark Twain

This suspicion that God isn’t looking after us keeps us feeling separate from our Creator, our world and each other. It is, in fact, the source of our dualistic perception. Various spiritual teachings insist that when we can overcome our dualistic perception of the world, we will transcend our limited, material-plane perception and restore ourselves to our innate multi-dimensional abilities. Deep, sustainable feelings of wholeness and wellbeing may be a critical step toward this effort.

When we feel whole, that is, when not beset by primitive cravings or recurring feelings of depletion, we tend to perceive our common interests with others more easily – perhaps because our perception is free of the protective selfishness that is so characteristic of subconscious feelings of lack.

When we feel whole, it is easier to hear the “still small voice of Spirit,” and tap our inner wisdom. Anyone who has ever tried to hear Spirit while experiencing intense sexual desire for an unsuitable partner knows just how hard it can be to hear that voice while under the influence of hormonal/neurochemical extremes.

When we feel whole, we also align more easily with the wholeness of the Divine. It may even be that an experience of transcendent oneness with another is an experience so close to the awareness of our universal oneness that it can be a shortcut back to full spiritual perception.

Sexual desire represents a critical decision point, although we seldom choose consciously. We can use desire (carefully) to increase our sense of safety and wholeness. Then we welcome contact and oneness with others – including our Creator. This aligns us with the flow of loving abundance throughout creation. Or we can use sexual desire to set off a subconscious cycle of highs and lows. The lows will tend to shift our perception for the worse, setting off a sense of depletion/cravings that push us toward defensiveness and selfishness. Then it is very difficult to align with the flow of loving abundance.

The real secret is that we choose how to use this powerful force in concert with the law of attraction.

Marnia Robinson (with degrees from Brown and Yale) is a former corporate lawyer who left her career to investigate how ancient sacred-sex prescriptions can heal the widespread disharmony in intimate relationships. Her last conventional job took her to Europe as “Director of Legal Services – Europe” for Campbell Soup Company.

Gary Wilson attended nursing school before becoming a licensed massage therapist. He teaches anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and advanced bodywork modalities (sports massage and neuromuscular therapy) at several massage schools in California and Oregon.

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Connecting The Dots

August 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I often try to think about our existence in relationship to history and the world at large.  I do that looking to connect the dots and hopefully find more meaning than our routines offer us. 

I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this blog have experienced the game playing of time, the trickster. The never ending years to get to be eighteen years old and then the faster than the speed of light to get to be the age we’re in. 

I am now fully aware that one day I’m going to be an old woman and that day will come sooner rather than later and when it does arrive I hope that I will have understood my existence a little bit better than I understand it today.

Yesterday, I did some reading about love, sex and spirituality.  While doing it I came across the historic evolution of women and sex.  I think that is a very important topic not just for women but for men as well.  When we are in partnerships we want to experience the greatest amount of pleasure and growth in our sexual lives.  So both sides need to commit and it shouldn’t be a job it should be ecstasy.

Yes, it is true that until the 50s (Kinsey) and then 60s-70s (Masters and Johnson) the idea of female orgasm was not widely accepted but if you go back in history when females were the guardians of spiritual things you will find that sexual intercourse in most cases was much more spiritual and ritualistic. 

Today we are all in a hurry.  We don’t have time to relax and connect and end up losing out on a lot of what life is about. 

According to Linda E. Savage Ph.D. (www.goddesstherapy.com) and author of “Reclaiming Goddess Sexuality” the great problem of sexual experience today is that women try to fit into a male sexual model.  While males can achieve fulfillment quickly through intercourse, women need to be caressed, and our imagination stimulated to achieve fulfillment.  Spending the time without the goal of having an orgasm is often more satisfying to women than the orgasm itself.

I know to my husband giving me pleasure was often more important than achieving his own.  With him I finally had found someone who truly was not in hurry and loved being with me thus our love making was special.

So I’ve gone around the world in my thinking to come to the point I want to make which is we need to be conscientious of our existence.  We need to connect the dots with history and we need to slow down otherwise one day we will wake up old and wrinkled and wonder what happened.

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