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.