One thing I absolutely love about being a sex educator, is the constant call to “walk my talk” and practice what I preach, and the seemly infinite depth of self-knowledge that arises from my ongoing, daily Tantric practice.
Recently my sexual Tantric practice has become really challenging.
I usually like to keep up a pretty consistent schedule for my solo Tantric practice, and get in about 2 good sessions per week. (Please keep in mind that I live alone, and have no children or external responsibilities other than work, so two, 1-2 hour solo sessions a week is entirely within reason for me.)
Lately though, I have had a subtle, but persistent aversion to sex, be it with myself or a partner. I have felt repulsed by the thought of touching or being touched in my genital area. I let my pubic hair grow in fully, and avoided trimming or “manicuring” that area at all, just let it be all bushy and wild, like I was covering up, …made me feel safe and also- unattractive.
On my scheduled self-pleasure nights, I watched a movie, or fell asleep, and basically did everything I could think of to avoid “going there”, but without really acknowledging that I was avoiding “going there.”
Then one night last week, it all came to a head. I had no plans for sexual self pleasure (or any tantric practice) that night, as just putting it on my schedule was enough to turn me in the opposite direction. But what I did have on my schedule was my 5 core pelvic movement and jade ben wa ball practice, which along with my Tantra Meditations, I continued to do regularly throughout this last phase of “sexual aversion.” (And let me just say- this was not a case of “low libido” this was sexual revulsion.)
So- this particular evening I began my Tantric practice “sexercises” quite normally, but at some point as I was doing the movements, it occurred to me that I needed to make sound. Lots of sound, loud sound, just let my throat open, and let pure, primal, non-intellectual sound come out of me with each movement.
I breathed, and grunted, and groaned, and yelled into every movement. I let every tight and sore muscle sound itself out of my body. I gave voice to all the unconscious tension and emotion I was holding in my shoulders, my back, my hips, eventually making my way to my thighs- where I encountered at first, a dense numbness, which eventually gave way to deep, heart wrenching emotions of sexual shame and despair.
Memories then began to arise from a particular event in my life, which has shaped my sexual identity as a woman, and even quite literally shaped the very cells and structure of my body.
I was 12 or 13, just beginning to blossom as a young woman. I was wearing short -shorts, and I remember being very proud of and comfortable with my body. It was the last time that I actually remember really enjoying the way that I looked, and having no shame about my thighs. It was also the last time in my life that I ever wore short-shorts.
I was spending the summer with my father, and I had come home from a walk with a friend. I walked in the door and was literally blind-sided with my father’s rage. He began yelling at me about talking to boys, staining the white carpet, and things that didn’t seem to be related or even make sense. I don’t remember the exact details of what happened next, or even how long it lasted, but at some point, I was lying crumpled on the floor, and my father had beaten me so badly with a belt, that my legs were bruised and bleeding from knee to thigh. But it didn’t end there. Somehow I scrambled up the stairs, with him following me, and at the top I found myself lying on my back, with my father’s weight on top of me, and his hands around my throat, choking me.
I don’t know how long that lasted, though it seemed like an eternity. At some point he must have come to his senses, because he stopped choking me, got up, and went downstairs.
Neither of us ever said another word about it, but I didn’t wear even knee length shorts for the rest of that summer, and I have never stopped feeling ashamed of my thighs, which were bruised and bloody for weeks afterwards.
So, though I have dealt with this particular trauma at various different times throughout my life, the reality is- there are residues and imprints which still reside in my body/mind/spirit, and perhaps always will- as we have no idea how deeply impacted we are by certain experiences, and how deeply damaging early childhood trauma can be.
Being able to do a regular Tantric practice is so wonderful for me, because it is so incredibly effective at peeling away and unearthing these unhealed wounds, in order that they may BE healed. Kinda like taking the splinter out so the flesh can heal, and/or- reopening a badly healed wound, so that the flesh/spirit can knit itself back together the “right” way.
On this particular evening I have been discussing- when the memories began to arise and the emotions with it, because of my training, I knew what to do to facilitate the healing process, and this is what I share with you.
#1) Be aware that if you are experiencing an unusual aversion to something (particularly sex, because by it’s nature, it will take you right into the core of your wounding) it is usually because something is arising to be purified. Meaning- if you don’t want to go there, that’s a green light to go there!
#2) Also be aware that you cannot force the process, and forcing yourself to go through a block can actually make it worse. So I like to say- go AROUND it. Kinda like I did- I avoided my direct sexual practice, but continued working with the 3 other principles of self-pleasure (movement, meditation, self-connection.) Each of these practices continued to work on unearthing the trauma, each in it’s own unique and unthreatening way, so that when the time was right, the boil could pop, so to speak.
#3) When it eventually comes to a head, dive in and celebrate it! Howl, moan, cry, grieve, feel the anguish, the fear, the intensity, and BREATH through it. Relax and breath, and watch the storm go by.
#4) When possible, replace the pain with pleasure. On this particular evening, when the boil came to a head, and began to ooze it’s pus and blood through emotions and tears, my feelings of aversion to sex started to break up a bit, so I took advantage of the opportunity, jumped on board, and engaged in some sexual self-pleasure. As I said above- because sexual pleasure taps us directly into the core of our being, it can facilitate the healing process much more quickly, deeply, and thoroughly than just sitting around talking about it. Also- pleasure is medicine, so the pleasure helped replace the imprints of fear, trauma and wounding on a cellular level.
I share all of this with you to encourage you to CELEBRATE your healing. It is a life-long journey, and with every layer of fear, pain, and shame that is peeled away, a more whole, empowered, purified, and WISE self emerges.
Also- I encourage you to be gentle AND consistent with your practice. As I said above- if you are avoiding any aspect of your self, be aware that there is wounding there, BUT- don’t force.
Be gentle but consistent, like water- a gentle stream flowing down hill will initially go around a big boulder sitting in it’s path, but it will eventually dissolve it entirely, if given enough time.
Have you had similar experiences of sexual healing during (or not) your Tantric Practice? Does any of what I shared resonate with you? Leave a comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
Want to get started on your path of sexual healing and empowerment? Contact me for more info.