FROM THE SEXOLOGISTS DESK: Pleasure / Redemption

There’s a phenomenon that operates as an undercurrent to your pleasure.

It has plagued me in my past and rears its conniving little head to get me to come down from pleasure.

Since it smacked me in the face just yesterday, I feel called to write about it today. It’s fresh in my psyche and sitting inches from my awareness. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, what happens to me, happens to you and if you are reading this to learn more about sex then inevitably you are also seeking pleasure.

             The catch is that we need to talk about all the shit that gets in the way first.

Oh my, this topic is a tough one. I’m going to be naming the culprits and exposing some vulnerable stuff around pleasure, money, food and time with other women. These are all issues of the sacral chakra and it is easy to get them jumbled and interconnected in both enlightening ways (desired) and ways that represent a box of shadows gnawing at each other (undesired).

Sometimes, the pull to redeem myself after a pleasure binge is a guilt trip of the highest order. The easiest way for me to help you see the connection between pleasure and redemption is to tell a little story. I will be sharing the corresponding feeling states {xoxo} that arose throughout each peak and trough and at the end I will connect all of this back to pleasure and sex. Now for the story…

Yesterday was meant to be the second day of a workshop I was co-facilitating called Tantric Awakening for Women. I had felt disappointment on and off through the week that it hadn’t materialised as I had great faith in not only the container it would have provided for women but what the workshop contained. The truth is that we didn’t have the numbers to run it {embarrassment} and then it had me questioning my skillset, talent and what is right/best/authentic/congruent for me to be in the public eye {shame}. Naturally, it was also a week where I felt like I was seeing everyone else’s sell-out events {double shame}.

An opportunity presented itself to have a girl’s day out instead – champagne brunch, temple spa, food {hedonism} and I said an enthusiastic oh-baby-yes. If I couldn’t spend the Sunday in a space of embodiment and facilitating, I would spend it in relaxation and connection instead. 

My pleasure trajectory continued to rise over the day with it peaking in the spa temple – the combination of me in my naturalness, steam, mosaic tiles, soft lighting, mud and laughter had me declaring ‘this is bliss! Fark this feels so GOOD!’ Pleasure plus plus {++}!! My inner desire huntress was satiated. 

Mmm but the clashing of pleasure and redemption struck as we left the spa. We were starving and sourced food quickly at Jamie Oliver’s Italian. This is where the conundrum hit. I had just felt such a peak of pleasure and a parting with money {guilt} at the spa that I felt I needed to retreat into redemption mode – the inner dialogue was starting about reeling it in and getting out but I really wanted to be in the restaurant without a care in the world {freedom}. On a deeper level, I wanted to stay on with my tribe {belonging}. My pep talk to myself was around presence, that money is replaceable, that there is no point being there and not ordering an actual dish and really experiencing it all. So I let the fuck go. I tasted the pleasure of my dishes (and other’s) and tried to steer the conversation into pleasure talk from dissatisfaction/frustration talk. Because I wasn’t feeling that abundant, I gave my friend a bit of extra money to cover for the meal – this is one of my counter-intuitive moves I use when I’m acting tight and it moves me to feeling {generous}

As we veered to leave it was becoming apparent we were all starting to become a little more internal – that natural post-food-afternoon-slump where you need a nap and before I knew it I was home again. I sat on the couch and recounted the day’s events and got a little teary. My own little vortex of mother {guilt} for not properly connecting with my daughter before her bedtime and a question of how much I ‘deserved’ the day {unworthiness}. Physically, I was tired but wired, dehydrated and a little headachey. This state didn’t encourage clarity or self-love.

It all triggered me right back into, how can I redeem? mode.

Blindsided.

I thought I had this one. Nope!

But early intervention was my guiding light. I saw it, felt it and spoke to it. I read in bed and talked to my husband about a separate incident of shame that was lurking for me. I owned all my shit and didn’t put it on to anyone else.

And because I cleared and processed in this way that was soft and gradual, I was able to hold and touch my husband with presence in a form of non-sexual lovemaking, ingest my book voraciously and nuzzle my baby’s precious cheek. Authentic pleasure was back in my realm.

                        Struggling to see the connections and why this is on a sex blog?

This has everything to do with sex because I am referring to how we/I respond and how present we are to pleasure, indulgence and hedonism. There are endless parallels and mirrors to our daily lives and our sex lives. You didn’t need to be raised with religion to be susceptible to the dynamic of feeling pleasure and then seeking redemption. Sure there needs to be balance and ebb and flow. But why can’t authentic pleasure just exist in its own bubble and not require a see saw to drop us back into good girl mode? I am saying this as both a teacher and a student of pleasure and life.

A true teacher does not teach you; she does not see you as inherently separate from her, or less than her. She simply reflects back your own inner knowing, and reminds you of the vastness of your being. She is a mirror, a signpost…We learn best in a loving field, no threat of failure, no punishment {Jeff Foster}.

As pleasure teaches me more, I’ll share more with you. Women have the potential to create pleasure communities and I feel honoured that I am witnessing this movement happen.

I have really struggled with a conclusion in this piece as I feel that it is a [dot dot dot] scenario. There is so much more to unearth here.

Lauren xo