5 keys to being sexually free, conscious and empowered.
Being sexually authentic is your birthright. Sharing your deepest sexual truths with a trusted partner is one of the most loving, liberating, intimate and ecstatic of human experiences.
Many men and women hide authentic aspects of their sexual desire…for good reason! Sex-negative social and political groups, family, religions and even our relationships often prohibit us from revealing or discussing the full spectrum of our sexual desires. It can be a challenge for many to find others who will bless and respect any but the narrowest view of acceptable sexual practice or frequency.
In fact, the tangible fear of being shamed, harshly judged, or of losing partners, jobs, family or friends can leave many sexually active people secretive or shadowy about their true sexual desire. Some people are so deep in shame about their sexuality they can’t get past the fear of speaking openly about their desires to those closest to them. Some can become consumed by fantasy, masturbation or porn rather than risk openly expressing what’s true to their partners…or even to themselves.
Getting honest about our sexual desires can be a struggle, even in a supportive environment. To become sexually whole, it is important to learn and practice techniques to consciously engage and embrace your authentic desires, and share them honestly in a healthy, fulfilling, consensual manner.
This is also the path to begin to resolve the conflicted, wounded, shadowy, dis-empowered aspects of your sexuality.
Many people were emotionally wounded (shamed or terrorized) as boys and girls around their sexuality, if not in fact sexually abused. Many may have developed shyness or embarrassment, loss of trust, loss of confidence. They may have internalized the harsh voice of sex-negative moral judgment from their father or mother, religion or culture into their inner dialogue, or project that onto others. And to one extent or another, if they are secretive in their sexual expressions as adults, they carry an innate fear of being discovered at the wrong time or place, the feeling of being busted, the fall from grace and the consequences that might bring.
Most people have a complex authentic sexual persona, as distinct as a fingerprint and inherent as their eye-color, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. There can be light aspects and shadow aspects, the parts we show and the parts we hide. There can be tender sweet aspects and primitive, wild instinctual aspects.
These sharp contrasts do not necessarily cancel each other, but are a paradox that one can learn to hold honorably and in an ecstatically potent way sexually. Both light and shadow aspects of our sexuality possess a pantheon of archetypal parts and counterparts that we may carry at an unconscious level.
These sexual personas, or sex creatures as I sometimes call them, are distinct and independent from our outer social personas. Examples of these more primitive sexual archetypes can be dominant/submissive, predator/prey, beast/beauty, bad boy/good girl, teacher/student, mommy-daddy/son-daughter, older man-woman/younger man-woman to name just a few. There are as well, all the variations on cross dressing, transsexual, bisexual/queer or gay and lesbian sexuality. All and any of these expressions of Eros can be valid and authentic. They are far more typical within the sexual landscape than many want to believe. But for those so inclined, it is just their personal sexual baseline. It is their normal!
Finding safe ways to express these sexual energies consciously and consensually can be powerful, healing and ecstatically fulfilling. A hallmark of practicing conscious engagement of your sexuality is that there be nothing involved that would be ultimately harmful or non-consensual in your engagement with partners. Being consciously sexual means to encourage whatever is true in the realm of fantasy to express without negative judgment, shame or fear, and allow safe, consensual exploration. Clearly negotiated consent and other conscious practices can support the expression of any sexual desire, no matter how taboo.
If you are already married or partnered in a long-term relationship, that is not likely to embrace your emerging authentic sexual revelations, the challenge of getting honest is obviously more complex. This same complexity can apply within your social, religious or professional community, where your desire to be honest about your sexuality may risk condemnation, punishment or expulsion.
Despite the challenges, I encourage you to start with claiming your right to be sexually authentic…for yourself! Your sexuality has likely been the bastard of your personality your whole life. It has not been allowed to be included as a natural part of your everyday being.
If it seems you are in an impossible situation in your relationship, in that who you are sexually will never be accepted, you may feel faced with sacrificing your own truth, or ending your relationship. This either/or choice may unfortunately be true in some cases. But there is often a lot of middle ground to creatively work within, in a relationship that is based on mutual love and respect.
These loving relationships may offer enough room to allow you the dignity and respect of owning your true sexuality, and preserve the mutual love and care in the relationship, if not enhance it beyond measure. This might include negotiating anything from no enactment of the desires by mutual agreement, but full acknowledgment of your or your partner’s authentic sexual desires, alone time for one partner to use porn and masturbation as ritual fulfillment, to some level of mutual exploration together or inclusion of others in your ongoing sexual expressions.
It is a tragedy that many couples avoidance of honestly discussing their sexual yearnings, prevented them from discovering the depths of sexual intimacy they might have shared if they were not so afraid of revealing their desires to their partners..
Now if you are single, obviously, you have the opportunity to get clear about your sexual wants and expectations with future partners. I want to encourage you to express your sexual desires honestly right out the gate of any new relationships you pursue.
If asking your first-time date to have a mature, informational discussion about sexual desire, feels near impossible in the dating world you have roamed in, I suggest you enter a different world.
If you are serious about embracing your fundamental right to express your sexual truth, there are more straightforward paths to finding dates or potential partners that are open to if not welcoming of your desires.
Why waste months or even weeks of time engaging someone as a prospective partner who turns out to be a terrible erotic mismatch. There are all kinds of alternative social and dating sites that offer up a full range of available, sexually progressive, monogamous or polyamorous adult singles, from the sacred to the profane ranges of Eros. There are meet-up groups, lifestyle events, socials or munches, workshops, play-parties, snuggle parties, and erotic guides of every stripe to help you take those first steps in your journey.
But whatever path is right for you, I want to encourage you to raise your authentic sexuality out of the shadows to its rightful place alongside of your intellect, emotion, creativity and spirit as an integral aspect of your personality.
I want to turn now to address some issues particular to men. I would feel there are counter parts to the following that could be addressed to women, but since the male side is the side I know most directly, I offer this view.
There are some percentage of men still stuck in their immature, adolescent, non-consensual, brutish if not violent expression of their sexuality.
This is the result of a male culture that does not provide adolescent boys a contemporary process of initiation into mature masculinity. It is also the result of an educational system that offers no responsible sex-positive sex education, no sexual diversity training, communication/negotiation skills and no discussions of sexual consent and responsibility, not to mention anything about the ecstatic mutual pleasure and intimacy sex offers.
Instead this critical stage of development for boys takes place on the playground, in the locker room and hyper-masculine athletics culture or worse, street gangs. Here the dark violence of the uninitiated shadow masculine reigns.
These omissions generate the class of men capable of rape, date-rape, gang rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and other tragic manifestations of the uninitiated masculine.
On the other hand, many men in our culture have been socialized to keep their authentic sexuality on a leash, where it is hidden, secreted, shamed and harshly judged by the unconscious mind and culture at large. This has lead to a culture of men hiding, sneaking, porning in secret, going to strip clubs, hiring prostitutes as a shadowy way to express their true desires.
If your intention is to be an honorable and conscious man, your sexual authenticity does not deserve to be so vilified, unloved, hidden and scorned. Welcome it out of the wasteland of your unconscious sexuality that holds all the despicable projections placed on it – sex-addict, deviant, disgusting, creepy selfish, rapist and every dark projection imaginable. You have every right to embrace, honor, bless, love and advocate for your sexual right to be exactly, unapologetically who you are.
For both men and women, I encourage you to hold your sexuality up to the light and cheer! Know that somewhere out there in the gene pool are plenty of cohorts who will respect and admire your sexual honesty, if not be ecstatically turned-on by your desire.
Start there. Claim what is yours. Start to bring your personal sexual truth into your own aware, benevolent acknowledgment.
My intention for everyone is to stimulate your own natural yearning to be fully sexually authentic. Now is the perfect time to begin your own inquiry into the deepest realms of your sexuality.
For me this has meant developing a personal viewpoint and practice that encourages whatever the authentic desire is and untangles and diminishes whatever resists, judges or fears the conscious expression of the desire within my own psyche. From this and my work as a therapist with hundreds of men, women, couples and groups over the last 15 years, I have developed what I call the 5 Keys for consciously engaging the fullest range of your desire and find fulfillment in sex, life and relationships.
The 5 Keys to Embracing Your Sexuality and Finding Fulfillment in Life & Relationships
- Sexual Authenticity
Each person has an innate, authentic sexual identity, as distinct as a fingerprint, and as inherent as your eye color. This is the first step – uncovering the deeper dimensions of your sexual desire, untangling the desire from all that resists, fears, shames and judges you unconsciously, and owning what your personal sexual truth is. This includes understanding the core themes or Personal Erotic Myths’ as I define them, that maps the erotic types you are attracted to and the frequency of desire. This will be explained further in a later chapter
- Sexual Honesty
Your authentic sexuality is your birthright! Once you know what is sexually authentic for you, the next step is to learn how to express it honorably and in a forthright manner. This will mean working through all that has kept it hidden in shame, fear and harsh internal judgments, so that you can move beyond those into a place of conscious advocacy. This will be critical in order to clearly communicate what you desire and deserve sexually, and avoid disastrous erotic mismatches in your future relationships. Part of this practice will be to create a safe environment to encourage and support your partners to be honest as well, and bless them for their own sexual honesty.
- Sexual Empowerment
By developing easy to use practices of conscious intention, negotiation skills to review and set boundaries, discussions about consent, cultivating presence, physical embodiment, and mindfulness you can learn to advocate for and embody fully your own authentic desires. These practices will also help diminish all that resists your desire physically, emotionally and psychologically. Becoming more empowered in your authentic sexuality does not mean you have healed and resolved decades of shame, fear, harsh judgments or other serious issues that may have occurred around your sexuality. That can be a much deeper level of personal work to be undertaken. And opening to your sexuality can be a perfect starting point to beginning that deeper work. But practicing these techniques can allow you to recognize, to be aware of and to have an intention or choice about whether those past issues need to be around every moment, if they do not support your sexual exploration. You can learn to put them aside and be present with your intention in the moment and who you are with right now. This level of presence itself generates tremendous trust and safety – the bedrock of any hot sexual engagement with your partners, no matter how off the charts and edgy the desires may be. This level of awareness and intention is where you and your partner can begin to be engaged in a deep dance of intimacy and connection, and you can become an extraordinarily present, embodied, ecstatic lover to your partner(s).
- Sexual Shadow
Bringing awareness of the ways you may have been out of integrity through expressing or hiding your sexual desires in shadowy, secretive, unhealthy, unconscious non-consensual ways, is a critically important step in consciously embracing your authentic sexuality and learning to express it in a mature forthright manner.
Learning to understand and embrace paradox allows us to accept we can be both frequent, perverse, wild, dark and taboo in our desires without detracting anything from our ability and desire to be a loving, tender, honorable, and considerate of our partners. Being authentic sexually does in no way detract from our being a good parent, partner, worker, citizen or spiritual, soulful being. The task here is to learn how to hold both your darkest desires and your most lofty aspirations for the world in an aware and noble balance that is in integrity with your agreements to your partners and yourself.
There is no perfection in all this. We will fail if we are striving for perfection. But we can develop a strong intention to honor our own personal sexual truth, and be in integrity with our agreements and values, even if we stumble at times. And we can develop practices that help us continually renew our connection to our intention to be conscious men and women sexually and otherwise.
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