“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.” -Frank Herbert
We often confuse the idea of doing whatever we want with true freedom. Following our every whim without a sense of responsibility for the consequences is not really freedom, but rather a poor facsimile that ends up entrapping us in unintended patterns of damaged relationships and long-term emotional scarring. Perhaps there is nowhere that this kind of misunderstanding about freedom creates more havoc than with our sexual selves. In fact, it takes only a few poorly executed events of presumed “sexual freedom” where we lose sight of taking responsibility for ourselves, and compromise both our confidence in ourselves and trustworthiness in relationships. Healing the erotic damage from misunderstood freedom demands both intention and education. Practicing even one of the following new ways of thinking about freedom will trace a path back to true sexual freedom and way better sex…
Anatomy of Sexual Pleasure:
The most essential step to taking responsibility for your erotic self is recognizing that no one else but you can heal it or make it work. To begin, get to know your own pleasure anatomy. Freud once famously commented, “The only thing about masturbation to be ashamed of is doing it badly.” Learning about your own pleasure response and charting a map to your own orgasm is empowering and will open you to unparalleled pleasure with your partner. Give yourself permission and time to feel your own body, learn the triggers and play with the edge so you know and can grow your own capacity for pleasure.
I have always believed that one of the most powerful freedoms we often dismiss is that of the ability to learn and educate ourselves. The first place I like to see in a new city is their main library. Likewise getting curious enough to really understand what turns you on or what doesn’t and going to find books and articles by people who study these things is not only instructive but deeply empowering. To become mature, sexual beings, we need to build a vocabulary with which to talk about sex. Make up a list of things you want to learn about yourself sexually and do it.
When we are able to really let go and surrender to wanting to want, something deeply shifts not only in our sexual experiences but, even more so in the more fundamental ways that we relate to life. At the remarkable place where we fully come to our senses and completely forget our egoic self, our erotic capacity is unleashed. It is where we are most animal and also most completely human. Learning to turn off the judging mind and engage in short practices where you become fully present will help when you get in the bedroom. Full presence takes practice but is worth the time because it is an open door to surrendering to your true nature.
Reconciling our wild sexual self with the context of our daily, accustomed roles may be one of the greatest challenges in the development of our erotic freedom. It is not uncommon to hear someone say- “I couldn’t do that with the mother of my children…” or “What would he think of me if….” Shame wins the day. And yet, when we lose our erotic nerve with the people who most intimately inhabit our lives, we are left with little choice but to solicit illicit relationships to discover and reveal our erotic selves. Then, instead of our intimate relationships reveling in the amazing elasticity and strength that provocative eroticism and wild sex contributes to our lives together, we are stuck with the shame of betrayals and longing for sexual recognition that is always just out of reach. So get over it. We are sexual mammals, perhaps the most complex in the animal kingdom, but fundamentally more similar than different. Explore the widest range possible and then, you know… chop wood, carry water like the cave man or woman you are.