Female Sexual ‘Boiling Points’: They CAN Be Understood Outside the Textbook

An issue that I raise privately with women in classes of my main teacher of Chinese Healing classes, Master Mantak Chia, during times when he teaches any form of ‘Healing Love’ classes is that of ‘Boiling Points’ or arousal rates. He knows I have expressed my belief aloud, and I confess exasperation because I feel he has not opened to these type of ideas and included them in his books. I was included as a consultant in his book, the Multi-Orgasmic Woman, thanks to the co-author, Rachel Carlton’s request. My concerns and those suggestions on that subject that I offer in this article were not edited into that book. For years I have enjoyed speaking to women on this subject to get their opinions.

In years before and after the request for my consultation in that book, many students of Mantak Chia (both women and men,) have agreed with such opinions. Their experiences were similar to mine. This leads me to believe that there are many women who have a marvelous capacity for unlimited orgasm which Master Chia brought forth, but also rapid boiling points. Recently in autumn of ’10 when I write this article, the old saw was rehashed on The Doctors television show on CBS in the United States: “It takes women longer to get aroused then men.” This old saw has got to be sawed off ‘at the knees’ and used more carefully or be transformed with newer research. Stating such observations aloud makes women think that their case of being slow or even feeling numb or deadened sexually is a standard way women come into the world with nothing to be done to change it. So then they do nothing except retreat more into their safety zones.

In this world there is great interest in multiple orgasm, but it seems to those untrained in the techniques of Universal Healing Tao and other Tantric Ancient practices, that often a still limited type of ‘orgasm by the numbers’ is what is commonly discussed. To clarify I’d like to cite as an example, that on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show from the USA, a woman speaking about the quantity of her orgasms said, “I have eight or ten orgasms at a time”, and Oprah rolled her eyes in admiration. Sorry, but it seems a shame that women are looking toward such limited role modeling. When we learn our practices correctly, there are too many orgasms to even count. With ‘Valley Orgasm’ understandings, we can enter into a continual, non-stopping roller coaster of waves of bliss beyond bliss. (Where does one begin and end and then another and another? It can feel that continual orgasm is so normal.) Women and men equally can train to do so. And it becomes a spiritual experience that is precious. This is such intensified healing energy. My belief is that it works in this way because Universal Healing Tao practitioners combine our Sexual Energy practices with the development of the 5 Virtues which brings to sexuality so much more vitality. In my opinion, the study of 5 Element Virtue Power is what really brings the heightening toward becoming orgasmic without limit. This increases the speed of the boiling point, although some people are of that nature more easily than others.

A high speed of arousal can lead to this type of continual orgasm developing to become so intense, or in some it works in reverse. Some can allow the intense orgasmic capability to increase the speed of the arousal. We are all different. Either way, it is like the richest chocolate. Too much and you get ‘fat’… or overfilled. I suppose there are some who can go for hours and hours, just because any behavior can be cultivated. The question might be is: does anyone have that much free time? I believe overly indulging in orgasm/bliss is like anything else that we love too much: addictive. There are exceptions to this statement, yet to become one who cares to transform themselves via this path surely must utilize a great deal of patience and respect. In becoming one who is not bound by the physical limitations of society that have been passed down for a very long time, one must first realize how stuck they might have been in the first place.

One might imagine that they can transform with a few lessons and that is usually what gets people to drop the practices before they know what they really are about. Many are so bound in ego that it is impossible for them to begin to even imagine how much one can evolve to become a being with less limitations in behavior that our society claims is only one particular way. This is true for both sexes and I personally have taken years to come to see my personal need to watch the wonderful teacher ‘ego,’ give me masterful lessons. Why not take years for yourself to set out and do the practices with no expectation until finally you have ever increasing, blissful orgasm after orgasm.

Master Chia, when I last saw him in Sept., ’10, was still teaching the commonly accepted differentiation of “boiling points” in men and women. I had written an article that was published in the American Healing Tao magazine that we still call, “Immortal Child’ in the early 90′s. There I spoke of how I personally experimented in the mid 60′s up until ’84 in ‘swinging’” when I was a single woman. From the time I began until when I stopped to become monogamous, I witnessed during sexual relations taking place in the same room near my own relations: many women had comfort and discomfort zones at swinging parties of many varieties. Over the years, before my eyes, transformations were happening. My observations shaped my views. Certainly men were ‘party’ to influencing their partners during those sex parties, as women were either dragged to those parties by their mates or were freely expressing themselves due to feeling safety in numbers. The numbers of free thinking women grew to become more freed up in those twenty years. Naturally, great differences of possibilities exist that make it difficult to generalize. Yet, I feel certain that in this laboratory of sexual attitudes, I witnessed a transformation taking place for many participants. Most people who are exposed more to new possibilities can shed old bonds. The majority of people in this world have no interest in finding uninhibited sexual expression with multiple partners.

Men had always had a seeming ‘permission’ to be much more promiscuous. The culture of ‘swingers’ permitted women to ‘come out of their closet’ of repressions long imposed. I will detail more about this in following conclusion to this article. But first I believe that my generation, the oldest baby boomers, were seemingly pioneers. (Yet throughout ages there were at times an open sexuality in and amongst different classes of societies.)

As an example of my last statement, let’s look at the common knowledge of Italy at the time of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Pompeii was one of many cities where raw sexuality was cultivated. Skipping ahead in history, these exceptions of common sexual expression were rarer than the norm in the Western world. It is common knowledge during the recent history of the 19th and 20th centuries the existence of the various repressed times before, during and after (Queen) Victorianism and Puritanism in the Old and New Worlds dominated for a cruel, long period. Double standards were the norm. Even China, Japan and India were as caught up in such extremes being that no one could even show their doctors their naked bodies and even be touched by them. In all of the East and Middle East between couples and in red light districts, sexuality could be something Westerners would ‘write home about.’ When historians seriously began to consider the history of Ancient understandings of sexual freedom periods in history, this fascinating subject could not be burned into non-existence. Books of information about China’s and Indian’s sexual practices were not distributed commonly. During the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse Tung in China, a majority of books of all spiritual and sexual practices were burned. In many other parts of the world that maintained behaviors that Westerners saw as ‘primitive’ and seemed to be against their religions, sexuality was more open and raw and not riddled with shame, guilt and repulsion through the repression. Whenever anthropologists cited world-wide sexual behaviors uncommon to the West, reactions were often of outrage. Shame and guilt which had been predominately the attitude of so many cultures throughout time took over so that arousal and orgasm shrank in women. Many men who were repressed experienced a few seconds of ejaculatory release. Often their hurry to ‘get it over with’ disabled orgasm potential in their women as well as themselves. This article is focused more on women, however.

If a culture is set on repressing women, (and men as well), naturally people feel guilty and their boiling points get put out before they can be fired up, (or never fired up in some women and men.) Repression is still found too commonly in our society. We are meant at times or always, to be free, bubbling and boiling orgasmic beings. We are not supposed to be gauged by female/male status, sexual preference or by other personality traits. Free women of older times could wind up with a Scarlet Letter. Mantak Chia always said that doing Universal Healing Tao practices in building one’s health, were enabling us, his students to overcome our horoscopes, biofeedback types and therefore, I ask, why not overcome the cultural repressions imposed on us? Why not use the Ancient practices now backed up with studies from modern biology and Quantum physics that can support the ancient sexual alchemy knowledge? Can’t we come to prove that advancement of modern orgasmic behavior is indicated by gathering enough modern peoples’ experiences? Where are modern studies of those who have seen great results through thinking about the possibilities brought about through mind-body-spirit, energy and emotional training practices? Enough people must be the experimenters themselves and carefully follow practices such as those given to us by Mantak Chia in his books to his students. Those who are his certified instructors all benefit by helping to spread our own understandings of our years of practices. Other systems exist as well, and there are limitless opinions and techniques to be observed by the curious. In a recent article about well known tantric teachers, I read that a great deal is said, in their workshops, about nurturing past wounds in women who have been raped or otherwise hurt which has limited their trust in who they truly are. Certainly we must be gentle with such women, yet more education must go forth to stop barbaric behaviors of mostly, but not limited to, men towards women. My idea, however is to greatly enhance the information of, as I said earlier, who we women are: We are the most easily aroused, multi-orgasmic beings. Anything that happened in the past to hurt ladies once terrorized, I believe can be overcome through positive role models that can well be focused on to pull them from the depths of the darkness back toward light. It certainly must be stated, that due to the extremes in numbers of women who have had abuse which some report at three out of every ten, it would be very challenging for anyone to think that every one of those women could learn techniques to move them away from their challenges to become more orgasmic. This subject is not an open subject for everyone in this world. The information is much more available now and someone who wants to change can make an effort to open up their interest, and eventually consider that they can have a more free attitude to possibilities of gaining much more pleasure in their sex lives.

Since I wrote the above mentioned article in the early nineties, the culture has opened up even more than then. (It was toned down due to the spread of AIDS and people still need to take precautions against STDs. It is still necessary to spell this out! People are caught up in the sexual moment and need to be reminded: Responsible sexual encounters must be the norm without exception.) Sex scenes in so many modern films of this last 20 years and especially recently, are eye-opening for many people. Our World Cinema now commonly displays sexual philosophy and action that is even shocking to many of my generation and any generation depending upon their upbringing. This article is certainly not written with an intention to state whose values are right or wrong. We have had so much of that in our history. Attitudes still are split amongst our society and the way people conduct their sex lives are tremendously diverse as I write this article in 2010. This was not yet so when I pioneered in swinging in 1964. In the USA, our politics also are split greatly due to the diversity of thought about our sexuality.

Back to ‘Boiling Points’, there is no reason in the world for women to ever be told that just because of a chromosome they can’t have an immediately high arousal rate. In my case it is faster than many men I have known and only growing at the age of 64. It is becoming to be understood that after menopause one can unleash greater sexual blossoming than when one is younger and doing their best to conduct a career and some at the same time are raising a family. Both men and women Universal Healing Tao practitioners train to become people who know we don’t even have to touch or be touched to come to arousal and orgasm. We can just sit across from each other or get on the phone with our partner distances away or be alone. Our healing sexual energy can be transported energetically and psychically. We humans can penetrate beyond barriers where we can no longer trap ourselves if we aren’t awakened within the strictures of an unhurried developmental period that is safe. A great many years of proper training needs to be accumulated for results to be realized for most people. In both men and women, certain shyer personalities may take longer to train to open to their partner or even to themselves and give and receive the most profound exchanges of Healing Love. Love is built right into our DNA as a source that allows us beings to advance on the planet. And love is the most healing source that is in any medicine kit.

My history that I spoke of earlier in this article changed when I became monogamous with my 2nd husband from’84 until we parted in ’91, and with my wonderful husband # 3, Gene Cohan since we got together later in ’91 and married in ’93. There is so much to be gained in a sexual relationship that is sacred. It was not magic in those unions that changed me suddenly from a swinger to a monogamous wife, but it was that I understood gradually through development in my experiences. The healing qualities we can bring to each other as a couple are beyond most people’s common knowledge. En-training oneself to one person can spread great intentions for love, peace and wellness onward to the world psychically as we perform our love making. The lifestyle of ‘Swinging’ lost its appeal for me once I fully understood that at a deep level.

Does one have to be a PHD for Master Chia and the world’s sexologists to listen to all of us through our experiences? My good friend, Saida Desilets has offered her beliefs about female ejaculations to Master Chia and he now speaks of them with reverence. I am glad that he listens, (yet I personally do not agree that this type of orgasm is necessary or useful any more in women than it is in men, except for men’s sperm used in an act toward conception. Furthering this discussion is not intended to be included in the scope of this opinion piece.) Some people who are new to the points I am making here might be better able to understand the theories and beliefs I espouse here through reading the series of books on Multiple Orgasm by Mantak Chia to get a greater base in this important information that few authors had previously detailed as Chia has done since the mid eighties.

So many variants are possible for people to bring into their sexual development. Sex certainly never needs to be a routine. It need not be a battle of egos. It must not be something hidden behind doors that were imposed by early experiences that turned off some people to a world where you can renew yourself and your partner mentally emotionally, spiritually and energetically as well as the obvious physical releases we can receive.

Sometimes our tastes are influenced by mind rather than feeling, however. The jury will always be taking in more well documented facts of results of individuals’ personal journeys that need to be reported to those who scientifically research beyond the old Masters and Johnson’s conclusions. Looking up Kinsey Institute on a Google search, I found a non-comprehensive list of over 20 programs in Universities that train sex researchers. I myself hope to further research existing logs of available scientific material from recent archives.

Meanwhile, my personal suggestion to all of you is to read more and allow yourself to stay calm when “looking at the promised land.” You might be one who has already been cultivating your sexual energy. Whether or not that is true for you, anyone who wants to begin growing their spirituality through this particular branch of wisdom seeking can do so. It is not the only way to attain spiritual advancement: it is only one pathway. Seek and you will find.

Sexuality After Serious Illness

Whether by accident, illness, aging or the cards life deals you any time from birth onwards, at some point in life many of us face obstacles to sexuality. As our culture creates “reality” tv shows like “the Swan,” in which fundamentally healthy and able-bodied people go to great lengths to be made over as culturally defined sex symbols, the very real challenges to sexuality many people face remain invisible and unspoken. These include:

  • facing illness in youth and/or adulthood o becoming temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of illness or an accident o enduring loss or tragedy, be it with a job, a significant relationship or ones own capacities
  • living through trauma and the consequent obstacles one must face to heal
  • experiencing changes in hormone levels, bodies and libidos that come with the natural aging process
  • by nature, chance or inclination straying far from the socially acceptable definition of beauty and attractiveness.

A 47 year old woman who suffered from childhood sexual abuse and debilitating chronic illness in adulthood commented, “If you live long enough, you will be sick or something will be wrong with you. You’ll lose a job. You’ll have a serious accident. You’ll get sick. You’ll gain weight. How do we deal with this in a culture that worships perfection and youth?”

While I have always viewed sexuality as sacred and loving: soul energy exchange, the language commonly used to describe sexuality is far from spiritual. Terms like “sexual performance,” ” sexual function” and “sexual dysfunction” mechanize and clinicize a deep and intimate human capacity. We are taught to expect erections on demand from men, losing touch with other factors like emotional and physical well-being, a sexual-spiritual connection with self or a partner, self-esteem, stress and changes in the body due to the natural process of aging. Women are expected to look like teenagers throughout the life cycle sporting Playboy physiques in order to be attractive. As a culture, we have lost touch with feminine energy, feminine power, and the wide range of body shapes that occur in nature.

In the absence of conscious, holistic, experiential sex education, too many people learn about sex primarily from images transmitted through pornography on the internet and in magazines, or from the “thou shalt not” teachings of religious institutions. With all due respect for the new class of sexual dysfunction “miracle drugs” and the people they help, that we present sexuality as a commodity you can buy or a magic button you can press on demand dehumanizes the deeper and multi-dimensional aspects of sexual experience: love, intimacy, connection, spirituality and soul-based energy exchange.

In this backdrop, what happens to people who face real and serious obstacles to sexual relating? From the people I have spoken with who have faced and/or continue to face obstacles to sexuality, which in some cases also include obstacles to physical and emotional well-being, the answer is not very heartening. Isolation, lack of community, and a scarcity of resources and understanding often accompany the already challenging experiences of illness, disability, loss, trauma, aging and the like.

“We’ve become a throw-away culture, and sadly enough, that includes people,” reflects Brenda, a 55 year old woman who has suffered from polycystic ovary disease since she hit puberty. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder that affects the female reproductive system in 6 – 10% of women. “If you have a disabiity, an illness, are suffering a loss, are very young or very old, you can easily become invisible or be thrown away as the `mainstream’ dominant culture charges on to quicker, easier and more perfect pursuits.”

Because of the importance of the topic, this past fall the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network, a volunteer-run group dedicated to providing resources and education about the many dimensions of what it means to integrate sexuality and spirituality, hosted a program on “Overcoming Obstacles to Sexuality in the Real World. ” At the meeting a panel of five individuals shared their stories of illness in childhood and adulthood, trauma, loss and aging, and how these experiences impacted their sexuality. Through sharing their stories and through group discussion, we pondered the question: how do people that suffer or have suffered illness, challenges or disability navigate the cultural and social challenges to intimacy and relating as a sexual being?

We explored issues of childhood illness and its ramifications on emotional-sexual-social development, permanent disability and the challenges to finding intimate partnership, aging and its impact on libido and sexual capacities, job loss and obesity and their impact on self-esteem, cancer and how both the illness and the treatment effect sexuality, and sexual abuse and its correlation with physical illness and chronic pain. With their permission, here are the stories of three of the panelists.

SEBOUH

Sebouh is a 28 year old man who suffered a brainstem tumor as a child. “I was only seven years old when they discovered a benign tumor (astrocytoma) attached to my brainstem. It could not be completely removed due to its location since the brainstem is responsible for many vital functions as such as breathing, heart beat, and other functions that if disturbed could lead to major paralysis or even death. The doctors wanted to preserve my quality of life.” Surgery was done in 1984 and some residual tumor was left behind.

Unfortunately, in 1986 there were signs of tumor regrowth and Sebouh underwent a heavy dosage of radiation to stop the regrowth. For the next ten years things were smooth. Sebouh succeeded at high school and went to college as a biology major, with the long-term vision of being an eye doctor.

Sadly, both the residual tumor and a hematoma (a side effect of earlier radiation) caused a string of further complications and surgeries. The most impactful complication was a cerebellar hemorragic brainstem stroke in 1999. The surgery required to stop the bleeding, as well as damage from the stroke led to permanent impairment to many basic capacities including coordination, gross and fine motor skills, paralysis, balance, vision and speech. Sebouh not only had to give up his dream of being an eye doctor, but also found himself faced with great physical challenges to overcome, and huge barriers to leading a normal sexual-social life.

“How does a person who is young handle the trauma of serious illness and its lasting repercussions: disability and physical limitations? And how do I live having once been able bodied and now being disabled?” asked Sebouh.

“I think the greatest challenge a disabled person faces in developing a sexual self is finding a special person who is open to what people with disabilities might be facing. In today’s society it is not an easy task to find that special person who care about what you had to face, who understands your physical limitations whether in sex or any other areas. Many people are afraid to build a relationship with someone who is disabled. Hopefully, there will be someone out there who will be able to see my inner beauty. “

“We need more places where people with disabilities can dialogue about sexuality and relationships,” acknowledged Sebouh. “Most of the support groups I have found are medical-based. For example, a support group for people who have had strokes. I think we need more groups that specifically address sexuality, relationships and barriers to intimacy when you live with a disability. All human beings are sexual. We all need love and affection. Many people lose their confidence after going through such a traumatic event as I did. But you have to remember not to give up.”

JEREMY

Jeremy is a 47 year old man, who like Sebouh, experienced a benign tumor as a child. While his illness did cause lifelong ramifications, they are not nearly as disabling as Sebouh’s. “When I was in the 5th grade, around age 10, I started to have headaches, but I didn’t let anyone know about them. They went away towards the end of the year. However, my growth slowed. By age 12, others had sprouted, but I had not. I went from being one of the bigger boys to one of the smaller ones. When I was 14 doctors realized this wasn’t a delayed puberty, and they ran some tests, including a pneumoencephalograph, a painful precursor to today’s MRI’s and CAT scans, where they inject air into your skull so they can photograph it. It turned out I had a benign pituitary tumor. I did a summer of x-ray therapy to be sure it was killed off. After that I was treated with hormones.”

“It was believed at the time that if you were on testosterone directly, the gonads would shut down and you couldn’t have children. So my parents chose injections two to three times each week. A doctor discovered growth hormone, and I was on it.” While Jeremy did eventually grow to 5’8″, that was far from the 6′ height he had imagined he would attain prior to the tumor. Being tall was a significant part of Jeremy’s masculine identity, so having his growth curtailed damaged his self-esteem.

Going through both the personal and medical ordeal, Jeremy bore the pain alone. “I had learned to become hypervigilant to hide what I felt about it. I didn’t like going to hang out in social situations where people explored dating and sexuality. I hadn’t been initiated into puberty. I felt a lot of rage and bewilderment.”

“As a young man I continued my withdrawal for survival even after the tumor was removed and puberty was initiated via the hormones. I felt way behind my peers, lacked confidence, was terrified of women and sexual encounters. In time I came to realize this was quite common, including my fear about penis size. But more importantly, I feared the girls would laugh at me for my lack of knowledge of sex. I fantasized about just being one of them–being kind, gentle, patient and understanding. But I was too afraid of being mocked to even risk dating.”

Through courage and determination, Jeremy has done a lot of personal growth work to overcome his fears and pain, and develop a sense of himself as a complete man. Through a wide variety of personal growth workshops, some with just men and others with both men and women, Jeremey has healed his sense of manhood and his relationship with women at many levels. ” I discovered I wasn’t such a lost man as I thought. There were other men I could relate to. I learned I could let myself feel and still be accepted. I have been able to share my fears and shames with women and discovered they respected and honored me for it. I found that there were women who found me attractive and responded to my emerging masculinity. I’ve found heart-connectedness from women and love for me that I never dreamed could have existed.”

“Therapy was also helpful and prepared me for the transformation workshops. And in a gender-balanced therapy group, I was first able to share with a woman how hard it was for me to be in the presence of an attractive woman, that I didn’t know where to put my desire and lust. All I knew how to do was bury it and wear a frozen mask. Acknowledging that opened me up to other experiences.”

In reflecting back on his experiences, Jeremy comments, “I think our community is lacking in safe places and opportunities to grieve. I think most people wait until they are alone to grieve when it should be a community experience. At the same time, grieving can lead to the abyss of self-pity in which case the loss is an excuse for not moving forward.”

Looking at Jeremy’s experience, when illness sets back emotional-sexual-social development, regardless of one’s chronological age, one still needs to have necessary experiences to finish “growing up.” “For my own struggle to grow up after the fact, the best support came from the hardest people who didn’t accept excuses and told me to get the job done and quit feeling sorry for myself.

BETH

Beth is 47 year old woman who now realizes that the sexual abuse she suffered as a child is at the heart of a mind-body trauma illness story. “I didn’t know until I was 35 that I had been sexually abused by my mother. It impacted me in many ways. My mother drank and had dissociative illness. To the best of my knowledge the abuse began when I was an infant. She was an episodic offender. When she was under a lot of stress, she’d molest me.”

Beth experienced a litany of physical problems that all tied back to childhood sexual abuse. She developed scoliosis. She started menstruating but stopped at 14. Her growth stopped as well, but was restored by taking thyroid hormone until she entered college. ” In retrospect, I didn’t want to be a woman. In my house it was unsafe. I had a growth spurt in college at 19, grew to 5’4.” My breasts grew three sizes.”

The most severe and disabling illness originated with recurrent bladder infections and back problems. ” I gave up for twenty years. All the doctors gave contradictory advice. I gave up on them, except for yoga, which helped. I felt good, was in a relationship that was hopeful, and I developed another bladder infection. I could hardly walk. I had interstitial cystitis. I had never heard of it. All I wanted was for my bladder to stop hurting. I was in chronic pain.”

In addition to the interstitial cystitis, Beth had vulvadinia, an inflammation of the nerves of the bladder, chronic fatigue, which is nerve-related, and then chemical sensitivities. “All these ailments were hooked up with each other. I felt like my body was rotting. The worst thing was that nobody was worried about it. Other than suicide, it’s not fatal! The medical system doesn’t get it about pain.”

“What saved me was the internet and hooking up with other people suffering from interstitial cystitis and the other ailments I was suffering from. I found out from other patients that pelvic floor physical therapy helped some people. I started this treatment and saw the relationship between my knotted up pelvis from sexual abuse and my pain. The incest had tightened me up so much it started this pain and disease process. Eventually the whole middle of my body turning into concrete. The bladder nerve endings were crushed and squeezed.”

The illness took its toll on Beth’s primary relationship. “The man I was involved with stuck with me through the hard part. However, the better things got, the worse the relationship got. He didn’t know how to get the support he needed. It was traumatizing for him.”

Beth has worked diligently to heal, creating her own treatment plan, integrating treatment methods that have made sense to her. She has recovered significantly and has had no bladder pain for three to four years. “Sometimes I have to pee a lot. Sometimes I have fatigue and sore muscles from my back rearranging itself. I still go to physical therapy a few times a week. It’s really hard to change what’s been going on since you were very young. I still feel permanently traumatized by the physical pain I went through. If I’d had adequate pain management, things would have been different.”

While Beth doesn’t yet know if she’ll recover fully, she keeps getting better and better. She was able to finish college, which was interrupted by the trauma pattern in her body during her college years. She has started dating again. She is much more able to consider what she really wants for her life, rather than spending all of her energy fighting pain or trying to heal from pain.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO SEXUALITY: FINDING RESOURCES

The kinds of serious challenges discussed in this article provide an opportunity to crack through to the soul. “What is keeping people from the sacred act of sex is distrust and old hurts,” acknowledged Brenda. I think people need to learn how to touch each other in precious ways. I think we need to move society away from commercial and soul-less influences on our sexuality. Though sex-positive dialogues and community support, we can overcome the sex-spirit split, sex-negative and anti-aging messages that bombard the airwaves.

Psychologist and sex-spirit researcher Gina Ogden points out, “We are all facing obstacles to sexual-spiritual identity whether we are challenged or not. When you get sick, disabled, old or grieving, does your desire for sex decrease? Possibly? Does that matter? Maybe. How does society treat you? As if you’re asexual.” This is unfair and often untrue.

In her nationwide survey on sexuality and spirituality, Gina found “both men and women report more sex-spirit connection as they grow older. What they mean by this is 1. they’ve moved beyond religious and cultural sex-negative messages, and 2. they’ve gained the maturity to value the relational richness in long-term partnerships and the courage to value their new and perhaps occasional partnership without fear or worrying about” turning them into a conventional “form.”

Brenda recalls, “One of the greatest examples of sexual-spiritual exchange is found in the film, `Cocoon,’ when the lead male is `loved’ by the spirit of an alien who only could have relations at the core of our being. This was merger fully and totally that surpassed orgasm. I think this kind of exchange is truly possible when people truly love each other.”

Nonetheless, when working to overcome obstacles to sexuality, the following resources are often valuable:

1. Community. It makes a huge difference when someone facing an illness, disability or other challenge to sexuality, is surrounded by supportive community. Isolation is its own disease, making already challenging circumstances even harder to overcome.

2. “Out of the box” solutions. Jeremy notes, “People who have faced challenges both to their overall health and their sexuality need to be able to go to a space that is freed of the constraints of `mainstream’ society morals, i.e., intimacy only in marriage or monogamous relationships. We hunger for intimacy in a way most people can’t imagine, not necessarily because we get less of it, but because we think we do.”

3. Education and sensitivity training for medical professionals working with people facing sexual challenges. All the BASSN panelists suffered at the hands of sometimes even well-intentioned medical professionals, who simply lacked information and understanding of the person’s situation, treatment or condition, and/or displayed insensitivity to the physical, emotional and spiritual pain they were suffering.

4. The internet. Many of the BASSN panelists found both information and others going through similar experience through searching the internet.

5. Learning to touch each other deep inside. In our touch illiterate culture, we starve for safe, nurturing, and intimate touch, both emotional and physical. Through creating an emotionally safe climate, learning to speak and listen from the heart, and learning the language of physical touch, we can feed each other’s hearts and touch each other’s souls.