21 June 2006

Sex and God

What is the relationship between sex and God? How can we talk about sacredness and sex in the same sentence?

These are questions that I felt in the room during a men and women's evening I held in the last month. In a beautiful, soulful exploration of their unconscious patterning, participants came up with memories such as:

I was raised to believe that my dingelong would fall off if my 'did that' to it. And the idea of S-E-X. Baddd. Very sinful. Not part of the Christian way of life. Unless of course it is done
a) in wedlock
b) under the covers
c) in the dark
d) quick and
e) only to make babies, not for pleasure.

In time, more liberal notions started to allow for some pleasure, provided all the other conditions are met.

The difficulty, really, is not with Christianity, but with dogmatism that stems from the need to find security in tribal beliefs (and judgments). One man who has been struggling with this dilemma told me that he is left in the dark around the sexual, since Christ it 'so clearly asexual' in his portrayal in the Bible.

Later, in our conversation, we explored another possibility: The possibility that Christ was in fact a revolutionary, not an institutional man who wanted conforming; the possibility that Christ stood for radical truth, in the body, in total presence, and with full embracing of the sacredness of embodied life. What opening to bliss that brings! How it sings into the spirit of Christ (and Mary Magdalene!)

Existence has also given me the rare gift recently of seeing what happens when a denial of sexual awareness goes with extreme religious dogmatism. I encountered two people, both of whom have suffered from sexual abuse in their earlier years and have suppressed this memory, and both of whom are fundamentalist Christians. The result for both of them has been full-on or near scizophrenia. The fracture, extreme denial and resistance to their experience has resulted in both of them literally splitting off into different personalities or seemingly being possessed by 'demons'. This psychological profile may be a greater potential for some people, but it is so clear to me that a suppression of sexual memories and experience linked to fear-driven religious dogma is the perfect recipe for dis-integration.

I feel such compassion for these two struggling people. And I am grateful to them for the gift of their message. Look for yourself whether somewhere inside you those two realities - God and Sex - don't sit so well together. And if you can find that discomfort, explore why.

19 June 2006

June Tantra Evening - and "premature" ejaculation

The tantra evening in Jo'burg last night was an interesting one for me. We had a couple of absolute beginners, Dakini Wendy, a sessions-client of hers, and a "fan" of these talks.

Every one of these talks (I haven't kept an accurate count, but it's around the 12 or so now) has been significantly different, because they are mostly driven by the questions people bring. Also, I often refer questions to the Dakinis, as they have really good answers. Last night we discussed (or, more accurately, I lectured) the tendency to quick ejaculation in males, recovering sensitivity and a few tricks for gaining aawareness in sex. We also did a couple of old breathing/pcb exercises.

What I said about the cause of premature ejaculation:
Males have this erection thing, which tends to be rather obvious, and isn't generally socially acceptable. Also there's generally judgement about masturbation (which I prefer to call "loving yourself") which leads to a need for hurry in order to avoid discovery and humiliation. This applies in the "average" home, and more so in boarding schools.

This leads to a habit few males get to avoid - and I didn't get to avoid it on my journey - hurried, necessarily rough masturbation. This triggers a prostate/ejaculatory orgasm mainly from the lingam (penis) getting slammed, hit, into the prostate gland, which is at the lingam's root.

The result of this is that most males have ejaculation before they are aroused... the main symptom of male arousal is the clear highly lubricant fluid produced by the Cowper's gland, not erection. Erection can be there just because there's a fullness to the bladder, and an occasional fading of erection during sex isn't a sign of a lack of arousal. A common view of the Cowper's gland function is that it is just to neutralise the acid of residual urine, making the urethra safe for the sperm. Even some renowned sexologists believe it's a "component" of ejaculate, and it's commonly called "pre-cum" by many.

There's a neurological and physiological equivalence in men and women. Like the woman's lubrication, the Cowper's gland fluid is present fairly early in arousal, and it's only the male's hurry and (obsessive) focus on ejaculation as the "goal" that gives rise to the idea that it generally appears only shortly before "orgasm" - often confused with "ejaculation" - they aren't always the same.

The male has the neurological possibility the woman has of "clitoral" orgasm, via stimulation of the glans (crash-helmet), the very thin-skinned head of the lingam. The experience men often have, of being very sensitive after ejaculation, is just the start of the "clitoral" response. Like a young woman having her first oral sex experience, he can be scared by the intensity of sensation, and, like the young woman, with a bit of encouragement, he can "tough it out" for a bit.. at which point things tend suddenly to become realy nice. This thing of the sensitivity arising in the man only AFTER ejaculation is just a symptom of his lack of arousal. Arousal is only beginning... and the ejaculation's already happened.

A male who can relax deeply into sex, drop the woodpecker thrusting, and take long enough with "foreplay" (A word I'm not fond of, because it perpetuates the idea of sex being a linear progression to a result) particularly oral sex, or gentle, sensitive penetration can experience this "clitoral" orgasm, and later continue, having an ejaculation a while later, or not. A woman who regards her partner's ejaculation as "premature" can help herself a lot if she realises that a man will typically "last" in coition for as long as the "foreplay" took as long as he's encouraged to not tense his bum and go into woodpecker mode.

Women of course, have things the other way around. The clitoral orgasm tends to be much more available, easier to reach than the ejaculatory G-spot flavour. An intensely erect lingam isn't the best for this. After arousal's been there a while, there's a natural tendency for it to soften slightly, which helps it stroke the G-spot particularly in women-above-facing positions.

The next Tantra evening in Johannesburg will be on 16 July. Go to http://www.sacredsex.co.za/rahasyatalk.html or click the "Tantra" link on the right to find out more.

-- Love, however it looks --


17 June 2006

Blogging begins.. introducing my school and teaching.

Since I made this blog thingy, I've been mainly concentrating on my sites http://meditate.co.za and http://sacredsex.co.za. This has taken up most of my available time. So it's just been sitting here, not even gathering cyber-dust in the form of comments.

I'll be posting regularly from now on, with news of my tantra school, sometimes comments on the work we do, but without risking the confidentiality of school members and healing sessions clients.

We do work that doesn't happen much in the world - in fact, I don't know of an equivalent practice, teaching, anywhere.

Most teachers in the area of Tantra teach as a method of deepening their own work (If you would really learn a thing, teach it - Buddha). And it makes them really worthwhile teachers. This is why the best teachers of most therapies are themselves in the process of learning what they teach.

I've had a 20-year journey with Tantra, Osho's sannyasins, groups, workshops and meditation. Through that time, the idea of me teaching never ocurred to me. It's only the last few years, after my having completed the path, that I've been (gradually, as encouraged by those I work with) teaching.

It is strange for a man to be teaching tantra. It's usually, archetypically, womens' work. Historically the males involved have been mainly "fronting" for the woman's teaching when society requires. Even most of the historic "greats" like Saraha had an Arrowsmith Woman who's teachings they furthered, or made accessible.

My place in teaching is mainly to encourage woman to their teaching... being an encouragement and support. It's these women that have the capacity to free men from their illusions, particularly around sex, and they need the encouragement now on account of the world having been rather unfriendly to women with an authentic spirituality for the last couple of thousand years.

Some of the teachers I've worked with are nervous about what I do. Mostly, they are themselves struggling with what limitations, restrictions to impose on their work. How to keep the traditional "therapist" position of neutrality, non involvement. To me, with my current understanding, this is silly. This attitude doesn't make for totality, and it perpetuates a problem Osho highlighted with Tantric practice - that there's a tendency to be remote, cold, unloving. Of course, it's only on account of my own movement, my transcendence of my own sexuality that I feel I can work with Tantra, and support others. There's no way past teachers of mine (who of course saw me during my own seeking - which didn't generally look too pretty) can know that I'm "done" without encountering me in person. Even then, the "who I was then" is likely to give them trouble when looking at "who I am now".

Tantra is an "extreme" path. Although almost everyone can benefit from developing a more natural, less repressed sexuality, Tantra in it's higher, meditational practices is really for those who have an insistence on (and potential for) awakening to their enlightenment in their current incarnation.

At present there's two Dakinis (female tantra practicioners) and a Daka (the male version) in Cape Town, one Dakini, one Daka-in-training and me in Johannesburg. We've done IMHO magnificent work. Time and time again, I see "instantaneous" healing of deeply entrenched repressions and sexual traumas. The kind of "breakthroughs" that happen in around 5 years' conventional therapy - - for us, that's what happens in a "just average" session.

We're not here for those of just purient interest. We are screening more and more intensively as time goes on, as we get better known.

Our clientelle are pretty much unanimously overjoyed at our work. I don't put up testimonials and such at my website because I think it's tacky. I've been in marketing and web design long enough to know how few testimonials were unsolicited, how few have any truth in them at all.

The people we most like to work with (and the only people we should work with, really) are seekers. Those who had some significant freedom in their first 6 years, who don't automatically buy into "what everyone knows" and have done significant enquiry into themselves, that have a good awareness of their mind's trickiness, and a willingness to go beyond it's limitations.


-- Love, however it looks --