Friday, March 21, 2008

Catching Up Since February

I left Albuquerque for Northern California and rather than drive the whole way at once I stopped in at Wes Wolcott's. I had met Wes previously at the Conference for Shamanism and Sacred Sexuality in Santa Fe the previous January. He is a videographer and has produced DVDs for Margot Anand and others in the Tantra world. While there, I filled him in on what I had been learning about internet marketing and suggested that we could benefit through a collaboration.

I arrived in Northern California in time to create the Yummatopia website for Amber and Carolena. I feel quite fortunate to be a part of what these two gals have put together; a place to explore and increase yumminess in life. You can visit the site at: Http://

I got my STD results back and all the tests were negative. Good thing, too. I found beautiful woman whom had also been recently tested and we had fun. Although we like one another and share a strong energetic connection, I find that we have quite a few difference in our approach to life. This may be a good thing.

Anyway, I returned to Wes's place and it was providential to do so. I am finding it a pleasure to meet and work with some really amazing people including Bo Lebo, Marci Javril and Mare Simone. I just consulted for Marci about increasing her web traffic and successfully cloned Mare's website. I was appalled to hear that her hosting company was charging her $300/mo. How dare they! Anyway. More later.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Making Love Last: A Tantric Perspective

How can we make love last?

O.K. Now we are into the can of worms!

From a spiritual perspective, it is an odd question since we exist in a sea of eternal love.

It is also something of a trick question since it is based on a trick of the ego. According to Bodhi Avianasha, author of Jewel in the Lotus, (a tantra classic) temporality is a symptom of being in the ego-mind whereas timelessness indicates being in the heart space. So when we are in the presence of love, it is timeless. It is only when we are in our ego-state that we are concerned with time and with making love last.

It also begs the question of "Love with whom?" This question brings in a cascade of secondary considerations and cultural conditioning such as 'soulmate,' 'polyamory,' 'serial monogamy' and all the variations we see in society.

I would suggest 'being unconditional love with no attachment.' When I am drawn to someone, simply to express love for them and draw closer. When I am not, simply express love for them and put distance between us. 'Being unconditional love' runs counter to our programming. We are taught that love is located outside of ourselves and we must seek it and that there are certain conditions to be met. What if that's simply not true?

What if by simply being love, there is no implicit 'deal?' What if loving someone doesn't entitle us to relationship?

These days I find that when I cease clinging to a love that I think is scarce, I discover it is abundant. When I stop trying to ensure that love continues and simply let go, that it is all around me. This may occur in one person or in a progression from person to person. It is my experience that there is but one woman out there and she has a million faces. What there is for me to do is to love her and make hot love to her when she wants me to.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sexual Relationships: Basic Chemistry

I think preganacy could have just as much to do with the power of prayer as anything else. First it's "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God." Now you've got God's attention. So God figures you'll ask for what you want. "Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby." Nine months later God answers your prayers.

The species wouldn't make little ones if it weren't programmed for sex, and those little ones might not survive if we weren't programmed for relationship. It might be worthwhile to look into the neurochemical chemical basis for relationship.

Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, and the author of a new book on love, Why We Love and suggests it comes in three flavours: lust, romantic love and long-term attachment. There is some overlap but, in essence, these are separate phenomena, with their own emotional and motivational systems, and accompanying chemicals. These systems have evolved to enable, respectively, mating, pair-bonding and parenting.

On the lust level, we find several primary players, notably testosterone, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin and endogenous opioids. These substances drive us towards others for the purpose of sexual union and create the basis for bonding or at least mutual addiction. The nasty part of this equation is that the release of these chemicals is independent of the Romantic Love and Long-Term Attachment phenomena and the chemical cocktail acts differently in different people's brains. Hence scenarios such as those depicted in Fatal Attraction.

Romantic Love
Dr. Fisher suggests that patterns of behavior seen in romatic love bear a resemblance to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and may be inhibited through increased levels of serotonin. It is no wonder that Plato referred to this condition as a "grave mental disease."

Long-Term Attachment
Although supported by bonding chemicals such as oxytocin, this phase appears to be a product of many factors from early childhood imprinting to complementary lifestyle choices and seems less reliant on hormonal chemistry.

So now we get to the heart of the question: How do we get love to last? We will discuss various approaches and models in the next installment.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Gives With This Relationship Stuff Anyway?

When someone says the word "relationship," we think we know what they mean, but it is my experience that people's definitions are far from a consensus, especially when it comes to sexual relationships. Rather than focusing on the broadest of definitions, which would apply if we were describing the relationships of objects or concepts, for brevity's sake I would like to narrow it down. Let's take it even narrower than human relationships in general all the way down to sexual relationships.

On one end of the continuum we have people who insist that the only proper sexual relationship is one based solely on procreation within marriage. On the other end of the continuum we have people who flit from partner to partner without any of the constraints of commitment. Then we have everyone else, who falls somewhere between the two.

Many people have come to adopt an allowing (although subtly judgmental) framework in which to consider relationships that goes something like this:
  • Asexual childhood
  • Experimental adolescence
  • Loss of virginity (Some insist this must occur within marriage)
  • Sowing one's wild oats
  • Settling down
  • Asexual old age
Sounds reasonable. But what if the model reflects nothing but an artificial construct to deal with something far more chaotic? Almost every level of this framework is challenged by the truth of human behavior.
  • Asexual childhood (When we look from a psychological point of view, we see that children are indeed sexual beings, but the sexuality is generalized and not oriented towards intercourse. Of course this is not license for the predatory behavior of certain adults; as incest or otherwise.)
  • Experimental adolescence (This seems to be consistent with behavior. It would make sense to fully inform adolescents about essential matters such as pregnancy, parenthood, venereal disease and sexual predators. From a tantric perspective, it would also make sense to bring adolescents to an understanding of the energies emerging in their bodies and to come to understand them as a spiritual gift to be prized and used well.)
  • Loss of virginity (The old image of a furtive moment with a teenage partner or night spent with a prostitute seems not to apply these days. In spite of the best efforts of adults, teenagers and young adults watch internet porn and imitate it, in its varied flavors.)
  • Sowing one's wild oats (Although regarded as a transient phase, this is turning out to be a lifestyle for many.)
  • Settling down (Many still settle down into marriage only to find themselves divorced shortly thereafter.)
  • Asexual old age (It turns out granny gets it on, too; and often kinkier than in her youth. Statistics show that STDs are rising in the over-50 crowd.)
Given the fact that the familiar old model doesn't seem to apply any longer, one wonders about what the alternatives are. Just possibly, we were sold a bill of goods. Many cultures in the past had different ways of looking at relationships and different social constructs for managing them. In the next installment we will examine a few.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cuddle Party: A Review

I had the pleasure of meeting Reid Mihalko of again recently. I first met him at Baba Dez's Daka/Dakini Conference West, later at a Sexy Spirits gathering in New York City, and most recently in Chicago at Baba Dez's Daka/Dakini Conference East.

I have a lot of respect for what he is doing. I agree with him that quite a bit of American society is touch-deprived. Somehow we got touch and sexuality and predatory behavior mixed up as if it is all the same stuff. Reid sorts it out in his cuddle parties. He has formulated some excellent rules, and I appreciate the care that he and other Cuddle Party facilitators take in bringing participants into a conscious space using the rules. Here they are:
[Bracketed comments are mine.]

Rule # 1 - Pajamas stay on the whole time. [Prevents "oops!" and creates safety.]

Rule # 2 - You don't have to cuddle anyone at a Cuddle Party, ever. [Re-educates people that they don't need to give in to social pressure or expectation.]

Rule # 3 - You must ask permission and receive a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific in your request as you can.) [Takes all the guesswork and mischief out of touch.]

Rule # 4 - If you're a Yes to a request, say YES. If you're a No, say NO. [Instructs people to line up their feelings and their word.]

Rule # 5 - If you're a Maybe, say NO. [Clears up the gray area and creates safety.]

Rule # 6 - You are encouraged to change your mind. [Encourages exploratory play.]

Rule # 7 - Respect your relationship boundaries and communicate with your partner. [Creates safety in established relationships.]

Rule # 8 - Come get the Cuddle Caddy or ME if there's a concern, problem, or should you feel unsafe or need assistance with anything today. [Handles anything questionable or unforeseen.]

Rule # 9 - Tears and laughter are both welcome. [Encourages authentic expression of emotion.]

Rule # 10 - Respect people's privacy when sharing about Cuddle Parties and do not gossip. [Creates safety.]

Rule #11 - Keep the Cuddle Space Tidy [Contributes to consciousness and safety.]

Rule #12 - Thank you for arriving on time. [Acknowledges peoples fundamental integrity.]

Keep up the good work, buddy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Male Tantric Orgasm vs Ejaculatory Control

Many men become curious about tantra because they want to deal real with varying degrees of sexual dysfunction, whether it is premature ejaculation or difficulty maintaining an erection. Although tantric practices can be helpful in both these areas, the point is to take male sexuality to a whole new level.

Going beyond concerns about premature ejaculation, the tantric male seeks to achieve ejaculatory choice and eventually ejaculatory mastery. This entails not only practice during the act of lovemaking but also extensive solo practice in both aroused and non-aroused states.

The male tantrika practices semen retention through transmutation of the sexual energy. There is more to this than meets the eye.
  1. Practicing semen retention does not mean "Never ejaculating." I simply means retaining semen long enough to avoid depletion.
  2. Avoiding ejaculation for too long leads to congestion/stagnation (commonly known as "blue balls") in the male genitalia which can be a problem in itself.
  3. Congestion/stagnation can be lessened through specific practices such as taoist male genital massage.
  4. More important than simple semen retention is learning transmutation of the sexual energy, where the orgasmic impulse is directed up the spine, (spinal orgasm).
  5. With practice, the frequency of ejaculation lengthens as does the time spent lovemaking.
  6. Although orgasm may become more frequent and powerful, it becomes separated from the impulse to ejaculate so that ejaculation occurs only occasionally.
  7. Eventually, the habit of ejaculation will be relearned so that ejaculation becomes difficult. When this happens, intention must be focused to make it occur from time to time.
Tantric couples may find themselves engaging in such practices as frequent couplings without the goal-orientation of orgasm on every occasion. For example:

A couple may go to bed and play sensuously for a brief period before sleep. They may engage in morning lovemaking, yet either or both may refrain from orgasm. Taking their sexual energy into their workday, they may return in the afternoon and engage in lovemaking yet again. This may go on for several days before the man ejaculates.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Ejaculation, Orgasm, Love and Sex

Male and female sexual responses differ substantially and do not naturally result in the most pleasant experience for both sexes. For this reason tantra seeks to bring these responses into balance.

Males tend to express love outwardly and up through their Lingam (convex male sex organ) and to receive love through Anahata (Heart Chakra). They tend to be easily aroused, and quick to achieve ejaculatory orgasm, which leaves them somewhat depleted.

Females tend to express love outwardly and down through their Anahata (convex breasts) and to receive love through their Yoni (concave female sex organ). They tend to be slower to arousal and orgasm but are capable of multiple orgasms of extended duration which tend to fulfill them.

So men generally offer love in trade for sex and women offer sex in trade for love. Often women will feel devalued when a man is after them for sex with no love and men will feel devalued when a woman is after them for love with no sex. What is needed is a complete circuit where the man expresses his love sexually through his Lingam into her Yoni where it is received and given back to the man outward through the breasts and into the man's heart. However, due to societal attitudes and traumatic experiences during development, either sex may prefer to shut off this flow.

Tantra seeks to retrain the male to differentiate between ejaculation and orgasm and to refrain from ejaculation so that he may experience extended multiple orgasms like the female. it also teaches men to serve women in the full expression of their power as God-men. Tantra also seeks to retrain the female to stop equating love with the expectation that the man manage the entire process of arousal from interest to foreplay through orgasm and afterglow and instead to learn how to think of herself as a self-ignited sexual Goddess.

To achieve these ends, sexuality is regarded as an art in need of practice. Just as a musician achieves musical virtuosity through regular practice so does the Tantrika achieve sexual virtuosity through practice.

Practices fall into 8 categories:
  1. Solo practice for redirecting male energy patterns
  2. Solo practice for redirecting female energy patterns
  3. Solo practice for energy cultivation, conservation and transmutation
  4. Partner practice for male sexual healing
  5. Partner practice for female sexual healing
  6. Partner practice for redirecting male energy patterns
  7. Partner practice for redirecting female energy patterns
  8. Partner practice for energy cultivation, conservation and transmutation
Generally, all of these practices are necessary to differing degrees in different individuals. The degree of work required is rather like a pyramid, with the most groundwork being accomplished through solo practice, then moving up through the partner practices from sexual healing through energy redirection and finally partner practice for energy cultivation, conservation and transmutation. Quite a few Westerners seem to think they can shortcut to the 8th level and skip the foundation work. They are sadly mistaken.

More on specific practices in future installments