Transformational Pleasure

By Melissa Fritchle LMFT Holistic Sex Therapist and Educator

Pleasure : Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

I believe in transformational pleasure. I believe that when we experience moments of joy, awe, full body laugher, quaking orgasms, subtle sensations that infuse deeply into our tissues, beauty, we are healing ourselves.

I believe that our wounds are to be healed by a radically different experience, one that is grounded in the present moment, in an openness to our body’s buzz, and a knowing that we are deserving of full-on bliss. From a place of security in our right to exist and utilize every aspect of this physical, mental, emotional, spiritual life. Exploring our edges in a way that feels respectful and intriguing and tinged with wonder is medicine.  

I do believe in make love not war. And by that, I mean when we can connect to the amazing diverse world around us, in a fully embodied way, we will be kinder, more flexible, less afraid. When we turn towards others as our teachers and healers and exploratory playmates, we grow in juicy, vital ways. I believe the true north of pleasure doesn’t thrive on others hurt or fear, but in collaborative curiosity. When we allow ourselves to find happiness – from the deep plethora of options your happiness can reside in daily – we build a better world.

That doesn’t mean we ignore the battles. If we want a world in which we can all be fully embodied, our sexuality and pleasure honored, we have to fight for it. That is clear to those who are paying attention. But the people who are crafting restrictive, discriminatory, yes hateful, laws are not guided by pleasure. Pleasure is decidedly absent from their world view. Pleasure is frightening. And not just queer pleasure, or Latina pleasure, or differently-abled pleasure – but their own pleasure too. They are diminished by their own intolerance.

So I have decided that to fight back – to say I will not stand for a world of diminishment and fear of our full claim to our bodies – I have to put my pleasure out there. I must live a life that celebrates my pleasure and invites others into theirs. I must use all of my senses. I hone my skills in listening to my sensations so that they can guide me. I need to prioritize the care and feeding of my joy, even if the day only allows for a moment of letting a piece of chocolate melt on my tongue. I will take that moment.

I will dance barefoot, and place my belly on the warm dirt, and smell every flower in the display, not just the roses. I will touch my friends and listen to their breath as they tell me about their difficult day. I will let myself cry a full bodied cry, and then rise out of that into laughter. I will taste my own sweat and the heat I can create. I will masturbate often and infuse myself with the energy of my private enjoyment. I will find new creative ways to ravish myself. I will relish my life. I will not let anyone take the one chance for this experience of life away from me.

I believe that pleasure makes us strong rather than weak. That is shows us what is worth our struggle and why we might appreciate being born at this time, into the life we have been given. Delight is not superficial and ecstasy is not an indulgence. They are our life blood pumping though us.

How about you? Will you let your pleasure transform you?

What We Are Facing & How We Face It

From Conscious Sexual Self to Transformational Pleasure 

In the last 2 years I have had a crisis of faith that has taken me to some pretty dark places. My understanding of our human selfishness has shaken me, my clarity on the state of our changing environment has oscillated me between panic and numbness. And, on a personal level, my father died which as a rite of passage forced me to think about legacy and death and what I should do with the time I have. The answers were not quick to come, shifting from this to that in an existentially dizzying way.

In trying to grapple with this, I have had to honestly ask myself – in the face of the big changes that I think human life is going to face in the not so distant future – do I think helping people heal their sexuality is important enough?

And fundamentally I say yes.

And so this blog has been reborn, now as Transformational Pleasure. While I cannot do much to answer the question of how or whether humans can survive what is coming, I can say with faith that healthy, positive, joyful, free sexuality is a way to keep our humanity alive.

Pleasure of all kinds gives us reasons to live and keeps us engaged in the world. So it is not superficial. In facing oppression, owning your own pleasure and finding ways to claim it builds resilience. Taking in beauty, belly laughs, gentle touch, family recipes, time to paint for no reason other than it feels good, are ways of loving the world and each other. Far from superficial, we need these moments to fill us up and to motivate us to keep going.

Sexual pleasure in particular incites us to experience our own body, to find the gift of ecstasy waiting there for us. For many, myself included, sexual pleasure is the first experience of transcendence of our story, our ego, a brief glimpse into respite from the daily concerns. Touching our self for pleasure, is empowering. It uses no resources. It is abundantly there for us. And it is healing, reduces stress response and lowers pain sensitivity and all kinds of other good side-effects that I will write more about in another post.

And shared sexuality opens us up to giving and receiving pleasure from others. As we deepen our ability to communicate and be present for one another in sexual play, we strengthen those skills for other times. Entwined bodies build an ability for the heart to feel closer to others. Sexual interactions that are compassionate and not objectifying, expands our willingness to see others as both exciting and vulnerable. Sex bonds us, not through monogamy or commitment, but through intimate engagement with a fellow human. And oxytocin, released when we are physically close to another, which seemingly exists to enable this critical calling of connection and bonding. We need to feel connected. Empathy is important. As feelings of isolation and loneliness seem to be increasing, we need to do more to build this into our lives.

Sex positive attitudes ask us to imagine other people’s desires and needs as different and distinct from ours, and to stay in community with them. It invites questions and curiosity that might just bring brand new solutions and perspectives. Including others in our envisioning of a happy life is vital. And it is much easier to wish pleasure for others, if you have access to your own pleasure.

Let’s wish pleasure for others.

Please. Wish pleasure for us all. Let’s make this part of our mission as we all move forward into a new year and a new future. It just might save the best parts of who we are.