My experience spending 24 hours in a sexuality and tantra workshop.
Here's what I gained...
Firstly, just let me say that this post is not particularly intended for those who live and breathe the world of divine sexuality and tantra. I'm sure everything I'm about to touch on will seem pretty fundamental and basic to those well inducted into this paradigm.
One of the main things I wanted to do was open up this topic for discussion; for those who may never have had these thought processes or experiences, and to be as open and authentic about what I've learned on my journey so that others can relate or feel more comfortable exploring similar things on their own path.
By writing and sharing this, I'm sure it will clarify my own reflections on what I've learned and gained.
SEX. SEXUALITY. ORGASMS. TABOOS.
Let's talk about them.
A great place to start might be touching on why I wanted to attend a workshop called Unleash Your Pleasure Power, and what I hoped to get out of it.
Well, I was interested in...
- Gaining a deeper understanding of my own sexuality and sexual energies within.
- Being able to build more open, loving connections and sexually-conscious relationships.
- Reaching heightened states of orgasmic pleasure and potentially experiencing full-bodied and multiple-orgasms.
- Pushing my own personal boundaries, seeking out challenges and exploring sexual taboos.
- Trying to harness my sexual energy into other aspects of my life - physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually and spiritually.
- Strengthening my ejaculation control and non-ejaculatory practices and the reasons behind doing it.
- Increasing my ability to circulate any pent-up sexual energy from my genitals throughout my entire body.
Slightly confused or thinking 'what the hell'?? I might be too if I was to be reading this a few years ago. Let me unpack this a little for my younger self and anyone else in the same boat...
"SEX EDUCATION IS FUCKED."
Facilitator of the workshop, Eyal Matsliah, a human potential and sexuality coach, shared a simple analogy.
"Four wheels are needed to drive our cars from place to place. Sure, we can still drive along with one tyre flat, but we're in for an unsatisfying bumpy ride. That flat tyre for many people is the lack of their own healthy sexuality, which unfortunately spreads into other aspects of their life, making for an unsatisfying and bumpy ride."
It's clear to see that healthy sexuality and sex is MASSIVELY suppressed in our Western culture and society. As Eyal bluntly stated, "Sex education is fucked."
It's no surprise that people are confused and latch onto dogmas, stigmas and misconceptions about sex and sexuality.
Porn is a social epidemic and portrays unrealistic expectations about sex.
Magazines spout superficial articles about how to spice up your sex life.
The majority of school education is biology based, and focuses on risks such as pregnancy and STI's...
Forget about decent education on the INTIMATE and PLEASURABLE aspects, which (aside from procreation) is one of the main reasons WHY we engage in these activities. Because exploring being intimate with ourselves or with another person can feel AMAZING!
The thing is, rarely is someone there to teach or guide us on how to explore our own body, or a lover's body. We're supposed to just awkwardly fumble along and eventually figure out how to intimately engage with a man or woman as we go through life.
We're sexual beings. It's one of the most natural and primal aspects of our biological makeup. When children are seen curiously exploring and touching their genitals, they're almost always scolded, which reinforces that behaviour as inappropriate, dirty or problematic.
"Don't do that!"
"Close your legs!"
"That's not what young ladies do."
"Don't touch yourself there, or god will hate you and ten thousand fairies will explode and die instantaneously."
With so many cultural and societal taboos and misconceptions, it's no surprise to see why so many people carry so much shame and guilt around their sexuality, and how this percolates into many aspects of their lives and relationships.
- Men with many partners = player/stud/hero.
- Women with many partners = slut/whore/dirty.
- Certain language = filthy/sleazy.
- Nudity = perverse/sexual.
- Sexual expression = inappropriate.
- Sex = sin.
- Menstruation = disgusting/detoxification.
- Ejaculation = necessary part of male orgasm.
- Monogamy. Polyamory. Number of partners. Not keeping it up. Circumcision. Making noises. Bodily smells. My body isn't good enough...
The list goes on and on.
I'm definitely guided by to the perspective that pushing one's personal boundaries, challenging the norms, reflection, introspection, and being conscious of one's own thought patterns and beliefs, is crucial for developing and growing into well-rounded mature men and women.
Especially in the world of sexuality; we need to consciously approach sexual dogmas and taboos.
MY FIRST NON-EJACULATORY FULL-BODIED ORGASM.
Yep, you read that right. Are you currently thinking "wow, too much information"? Because that would definitely be a sign that these natural aspects of life have become taboo, stigmatized and heavily repressed.
Practical exercises accompanied a lot of the theory in this workshop, and these exercises were all about embodying and exploring different types of sexual energies within. From the raw, heavy, hard, animalistic fucking - to the sensual, passionate, fluid love making - to the fiery energy of power and dominance; it was interesting to experience the different qualities of each and transition from one to the other.
Let's take the well-known pranayama exercise, Breath of Fire, or Tummo, which involves a fast contraction and pumping of the navel while breathing rapidly through the nose. Practicing this can result in increased focus, confidence and the feeling of power within; a state of being that can be manifested in many areas of life - to gain physical energetic strength, emotional clarity, mental precision, sexual power and dominance, or higher levels of spiritual perception.
Developing the awareness and presence of the body-mind connection is crucial for deeper levels of intimacy with one's self and with a lover.
It was an unexpected challenge for me exploring one of the practices: a sensual movement exercise - in a room full of strangers. I've generally reserved my loving sensuality and fluidity for special intimate connections, and had rarely explored that energy purely by myself in that manner, especially in public.
It definitely comes down to the stigma that moving your body in a sensual way doesn't seem like a very masculine thing to do, and with that, comes insecurity and judgement. A man moving his body in flowing feminine undulations may be laughed at or labelled in some sort of homophobic ridicule. Yet we share aspects of masculinity and femininity within all of us, so it's a rather regressive and immature concept to grasp onto.
Even still, to try and practice and embody that by myself, in the presence of others, was a semi-uncomfortable boundary I had to push. The cool thing was, this exercise empowered me to be more inclined and confident to induce my body into more fluid, sensual, physical movements, purely because I think it feels great - so gentle and luscious, and also because - fuck the norms and stigmas!
As for the orgasm...
This happened during a basic sound exercise. An invitation to lay down, breathe, and make sounds. To explore vocalisations. Inhale ---> exhale with sound.
At first, I began with the natural sigh that accompanies the release of the breath, but with time, we were coaxed to explore loud growls, roars, yelling, grunts, howls and moans. Yes, this may seem really bizarre or like an uncomfortable thing to do around other people, but remember that for me, this was about exploring new experiences and pushing personal boundaries.
For many reasons, making raw, primal sounds seems to be very restricted during our daily lives, especially in the bedroom! There's something primitive in all of us, repressed by the norms of society and culture, and it felt incredible to let that sense of self out of the cage. It felt natural. I had never really considered just how much pleasure and inner connection can be gained through sound and vocal expression, particularly in a sexual situation!
We were invited to place a hand on our heart and a hand on our genitals (on top of our clothing, mind you) and this is where it became unexpectedly intense.
I had just spent 15-20 minutes exploring a large range of my primal and sexual vocalisations, and by allowing my body to open up and express itself in the way it naturally wanted, the channels in my body had clearly opened up so that I could enter an extremely pleasurable state of being.
Electric surges seemed to shoot from my cock, back up along my spine, infusing my body with orgasmic sensations. I kept jolting and having body shakes as the energy pulsed through me. These orgasmic waves continued to flow, and as the intensity subsided, I entered a euphoric and blissful state of consciousness, and began laughing at what had just happened.
My first full-bodied, non-ejaculatory orgasm, in a room full of a strangers, after howling like a wolf and growling like a wild caveman in a prehistoric orgy. Just your stock-standard Saturday morning I guess!
"WHEN YOU EXPAND YOUR DEFINITION OF ORGASM, YOUR ORGASM WILL EXPAND. AND THE LANDSCAPE IS VAST!"
Eyal presented an engaging, knowledgeable, well-structured workshop, and his reputation for being a leader in his field is well deserved. I'd recommend future workshops of his for those wanting to further explore their own sexuality.
I clearly wasn't the only one to benefit from this. A man, who seemed very reserved and humble, expressed that when he and his partner made love that night, they had gained a deeper embodiment of their sexuality, and it felt like he was "wrapped in a galaxy of a thousand pussy's..."
Breaking down the misconceptions of male and female orgasms, menstruation, and also the topic of ejaculation control, were key points of deeper discussion, much too lengthy to delve into here, but I'll touch on a couple of things.
Clitoral orgasms and ejaculatory orgasms, are not the be all and end all of female and male orgasms. In fact, Eyal went into great detail building cases for why we should limit these types of orgasms and 'goal-oriented' pleasure, and how to expand our horizons to the many different types of orgasmic states that can actually be achieved.
What sounds more appealing...??
- Quick, depleting, shallow, sharp peak, fast drop, sensitive, loss of connection, pleasure finishes.
- Prolonged, energizing, whole-bodied, smooth taper, expansive, deeper connection, sustained pleasure.
Yes, that is obviously a rhetorical question!
Did you know that ejaculation and orgasm are actually two separate physiological functions that take place in a man's body? That means it's possible to separate the two, and gain substantial long-term benefits from doing so.
I've been practicing the art of non-ejaculatory pleasure for a little while now, and can definitely attest to some of the advantages! Being able to pull my sexual energy up and circulate it around my body to increase pleasure is something I'm learning to do - and is a definite win, as is lasting longer, having more energy, and becoming a better lover.
According to Eyal's book, Orgasm Unleashed, women are able to experience over 20 different types of orgasms, some of which can open up deep levels of ecstacy, euphoria and altered states of consciousness, which if I'm being honest, I'm definitely a little envious of!
I'd always held the view that a women's menstruation cycle was part of the conception process, and was cleansing the body of toxins. I don't know why I thought it was a detoxification process. I can't ever recall someone teaching me that, but it was obviously ingrained and conditioned into me somewhere along the line.
Little did I know that the blood isn't actually toxic or dirty. It's some of the most nutrient dense blood in a woman's body that's actually needed and used to develop a baby in the womb.
Traditional tribal cultures see this process as sacred and divine, and hold rituals to honour this symbol of fertility and deep connection to the feminine.
It just went to show how heavy some of our cultural conditioning and misconceptions really are, especially towards sexuality.
I gained a lot from these 24 hours.
Particularly with the practical exercises. It was a definite level-up in terms of recognizing and understanding my own sexuality and the various forms it comes in, and the way I can actually manifest these and interact with them internally, and when engaging with a lover, or just another person.
We're never in a static state of consciousness. We're constantly producing various hormones and neurotransmitters, which we express through different personas, archetypes, energies, emotions, and characteristics. It's important to put ourselves in an assortment of situations and seek out unique experiences, so we can discover, explore, cultivate, and get to know these states of being.
I have no doubt there are vast realms of possibilities to discover in this world of tantra and sexuality. It feels great to have taken a lot of the focus off the philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual aspects of my consciousness exploration, and blend it with the Earthly physical pleasures of being a loving, spiritual, sexually integrated man.
If you made it this far, I hope you're a little inspired, or curious, to reserve judgment and delve a bit deeper into your own sexuality, and explore what's possible without the cloudy lens of dogma and misconception. I question my thought patterns frequently, and still find myself operating in old habits, beliefs and judgement systems. But it's all part of the journey, and what a great journey it is!
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