“The real vulnerability is not from taking off our clothes together, but in baring our hearts to one another…” Wendy Strgar, Sex that Works
This week marks the official launch of my new book, “Sex that Works-An Intimate Guide to Awakening Your Erotic Life.” I have often said that if we could only fix one problem in our life and it was sex- we would by default, fix all of the others. What most people don’t realize is that the shame and pain that inhibit their sexual freedom and capacity for intimate pleasure also blocks their ability to feel a wide range of other emotions. The closer we come to living in our own erotic truth, the more our relationship to the rest of our life opens up as well.
The truth is that our soul is a twin flame of our erotic identity, in many ways the most essential aspect of our being, whether we live through it or not. After we eat, drink and sleep, the next layer of our reality is our sexuality. Writing Sex that Works was a project that lasted five years but began inside of this weekly column. Those of you who have been following my discoveries and epiphanies in the newsletter would sometimes post, email or even from time to time, seek me out at my traveling love booth. Your stories of courage and intimate renewal inspired me to keep exploring and sharing the vulnerable spaces in my own erotic journey. Thank you.
One thing I know for sure is that no great accomplishment is ever achieved alone. That goes for building businesses, growing families and writing books on sex. I was blessed to work closely with two incredibly gifted writers who helped shape Sex that Works into the accessible and thought provoking work that it is. In the process I learned a few lessons that have shaped not only the book, but how I have come to approach my life. I share them here, not only to inspire you to buy my books on sex, but to re-think the treasure you may well be missing in your intimate life.
Tell the deepest story
As a blogger, I have adapted my writing to the easy ‘one page essay’. It is a form that lends itself to selective sharing, which in part helps the reader digest but also has served to build solid boundaries around how much I divulged. When I started writing this book in earnest, Brian (one of my amazing editors) asked me if instead of picking a new topic, what if I just went back to those single pages and told the deeper story-the parts that I had left out for the sake of time and space. This diving deep, telling stories that I had never shared before, was unnerving. It still gives me pause when upon reading the book, journalists exclaim at the vulnerability I shared. Though it has made me courageous and as a result more confident about what I know to be true. Not holding back is what I ask the readers of Sex that Works to do- and the most convincing argument is the way I demonstrate it with my own life. It is through sharing our deepest stories that we not only make meaning of our life, but we give other people the tools to do this for themselves.
Letting go of the words
It is one of the great ironies that writing a book would provoke me to let go of my attachment to my own words. It turns out that really well written relationship advice books rely much less on a specific voice (that I had long believed was conveyed by my choice of language) but by how concise and clear the writing is, so that the ideas can be illuminated. Evelyn (my other amazing editor) and I would sometimes go back and forth a half dozen times before I could let go enough to see the clarity in the words she offered. They were actually reflecting my ideas better than the many ways I kept re-writing, trying to capture a voice. Letting go of my words in favor of the clarity of ideas reminded me of how often our words get in our own way. Feeling heard is not nearly so much about what we are trying to say as much as it is listening for what can be heard.
So consider this an invitation into my deep erotic journey and permission to give feedback- even if it isn’t nice.