Secret Subjects

"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer,
sex raises some pretty good questions."
~
Woody Allen

This is a taste of the fun and advanced stuff. The previous sections are where extraordinary relationships are born and nurtured, but this section is where your relationships sprout legs, start to trot, and eventually strut and saunter.

I do my darnedest to keep it real and understandable, and to condense overly esoteric concepts into practical and usable information.

The stuff I cover in this section is WHY we diligently learn and practice the basics – to get to the juicy, sexy, rare, oft sought, and oft overlooked Secret Subjects:

Theoretical:

Practical

Let's get started with…



Pain & Suffering:
A Brief Introduction

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or
unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our
discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and
start searching for different ways or truer answers."

~ M. Scott Peck


As I keep saying, You can play and get hurt, or you can NOT play and get hurt. Your choice.

So, getting hurt is inevitable.

Pain comes with the package tour or being alive, as does joy and pleasure. Our bodies, hearts and minds are made to be ping-ponging back and forth between comfortable and uncomfortable, between pain and joy, just like the world we find ourselves in moves continually from winter to summer, spring to fall, hot to cool and back again.

But it is not the joy and happiness that cause such a problem for you, right? It is more the pain and hurt.

So, here's the interesting part. There is an important distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Pain is a sensation of discomfort, physical or emotional. As your body is wired to experience pleasure and joy, likewise is it wired to experience pain. It's all all-inclusive, pris-fixe kind of thing.

Any running from something, is suffering. Resisting is suffering. The wishing the something not to be so, the mad dash toward something else, the discord between what you are experiencing now and what you WISH your experience to be, is suffering.

I am NOT saying that to minimize or eradicate suffering i you must learn to like everything as it is. The desire to shift things in your life is a magnificent power that is your birthright as a human being – and something I give you many tools around in the Relationship With Yourself section [link to "Relationships With Yourself" section]. Accepting, or the opposite of resisting, is NOT complacency or passive acceptance.

The antidote to suffering is to stop running, stop resisting. It is to shake hands with WHAT IS SO. In ceasing to wish life to be different than what it IS, and seeing it for what it IS, suffering can evaporate.

If you are still confused, check out The Nature of the Mind, where I go more into all of this.

So, a quick review: you are in control of your suffering.

And yes, since you are often – either consciously or unconsciously – doing things which cause yourself undue pain, you are, to a certain extent, in control of some pain and hurt as well.

There are techniques to minimize as well and understand pain and hurt, many of which are here in this website. Pain and hurt are great teachers, and contain within them important gems, that propel us on to better and richer lives.

But to live your life on a quest to be eternally pain-free, is well, a life of suffering.

You might not be in control of all the pain you experience, but the length, depth and flavoring of your suffering is in your hands.

So often, you avoid relationships as a way of avoiding pain. But the pain or hurt found within relationship, within intimacy, within love, isn't pain to be avoided, it is pain of growth and transformation.

It is kind of a funny joke, if your stomach is strong enough for the dose of irony. You run from, resist and guard against the inevitable pain and hurt, and by doing so, slather on a super-sized helping of suffering, mostly missing all the joy, pleasure and happiness.

Ha, ha.

Rare, extraordinary relationships offer you a gorgeous way to play, but do not, and cannot offer you a way to NOT get hurt.

Since we've got that whole pain and suffering thing out of the way, why not play?

Why not see what outrageous amounts of sweetness, joy and pleasure are possible for you, on beyond avoiding hurt and pain?

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction

Go on to Sexuality as Spirituality
Go on to The Nature of the Mind
Go on to Shaking Hands with What IS
Go on to On Beyond Monogamy
Go on to Everyone Gets What They Want
Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



Sexuality as Spirituality

"I want to do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees."
~ Pablo Neruda

As A Means

Many spiritual traditions vehemently separate sex from spirit, and sexuality from spirituality.

You've probably been taught that anything to do with the body must be transcended in order to get to the spirit. You've probably also been taught that the sexual inhibits the spiritual. In order to be truly spiritual, you have to get away from or rise above sexuality, your body, and your humanity.

I want to offer you another viewpoint.

There is no transcendence necessary, nothing to overcome, nothing to attain. You are not separate from the divine. You are a spiritual being having a divine experience. The divine is experiencing itself through you.

There is no place where, if you finally got there, you would finally be spiritual. This is it. You are already here.

As you know from your weekend quantum physics courses, everything from the thickest steel beam to the wispiest beam of light, is, at the end of the day, energy. Everything is this amazing, creative energy. This energy creates everything, it is the energy of creation.

This energy of creation is the energy of sex, literally and figuratively. Sex is creation, all living things come from creative energy, from sex.

I often think of the cherry trees blossoming as one long, gorgeous springtime cherry tree orgasm.

Especially in a culture and time as confused about sexuality as ours, sexuality must be expressed and experienced, so it is not repressed. So it doesn't remain a confusing hindrance. If you have "charge" around sexuality, if you run from it or too voraciously to it, it will always weigh you down and cause you suffering.

When you are clear and integrated with your sexuality, it can open you up to the divine.

As A Metaphor

For our purposes, I will attempt to define the divine. The divine is oneness. Beautiful unity, harmony, peace.

It can get a bit boring, though, just being oneness all the time, so the divine creates a game of more than one, so it can experience itself.

Think of it kind of like being able to look into the mirror. If you were the only thing around, there would be no mirror to look into, no way to experience yourself. This game of more than one, of "duality," this game of life, is a playful way for the divine to see itself and experience itself.

The divine loves nothing more than playing this big game of hide and seek.

It loves seeing all the vast and varied ways it can experience itself, all the spectrum of emotions, experiences, forms and flavors. It loves losing itself so it can find itself again. It loves the frustration of separation and the joy of union.

As I said, we are, in our human lives, acting out and experiencing this play of divinity. We create something opposite from ourselves, something to be separate from, so that we can experience joining together again. And once there is union, we get a bit bored and we create separation again.

It is a powerful play, the pull of polarization, the attraction of opposites coming together, the joy of coming home.

The coming together of opposites in order to experience union is one of the most powerful human experience of the divine at play.

Coming together, pulling apart, over and over again. Sounds a little like sex, doesn't it?

Sex is a not only a METAPHOR for spiritual, divine play, it is also a physical EXPERIENCE of spiritual, divine play.

Relationships As Spiritual Path

When you step on to a spiritual path, you likely do so with big questions about existence that you would like answered or addressed to your satisfaction.

  • If you are not merely your body, your thoughts, your emotions or your memories, you want to know, after all, who you are.
  • You want to learn to work with your mind, to know yourself well, to know what is an illusion, and what is true.
  • You want to know what it means to be happy, to be a better person, to find peace.
  • You want to learn, to grow, to explore and to know what it takes to live a fulfilling life.
  • You want to explore your relationship to the divine, or your experience AS the divine.
  • Anything can be your vehicle on your spiritual path.

I say have relationships be your vehicle. They will offer you an extraordinary ride.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality

Go on to The Nature of the Mind
Go on to Shaking Hands with What IS
Go on to On Beyond Monogamy
Go on to Everyone Gets What They Want
Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



The Nature of the Mind

You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations or experiences. You are not anything that can come and go. You are what always exists, as those thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations and experiences arise and fall away.

The nature of the mind is to function as an incredible tool, a great creativity, a generator of thoughts, an ace solver of problems. In fact, you may have noticed, if you aren't experiencing any problems, the mind will create some, just to solve.

For most of us, our mind is trying to do a job it cannot do. It is trying to keep the "negative" emotions away, the positive ones ever eternal. It is trying to keep you safe from all pain. It is trying to "do it right." It is trying very hard for you, to do a job that is out of its skill set, beyond its pay grade, out of the realm of possibility. But it keeps trying. And the continuous attempting of your mind trying to do a job it cannot do, is the suffering you feel. Who is suffering is your mind.

As I mentioned in the section, Pain and Suffering: A Brief Introduction, it is the running from a thought, analyzing a thought, wishing the thought weren't so, wishing it to stay, wishing it to be different than it is that creates the suffering.

Trying to fix or change your thoughts only makes them more persistent.

I call all this scrubbing your thoughts.

Thoughts are fine, thoughts are natural, thoughts are not a problem. The point is not to NOT have thoughts.

All thoughts – and things like thoughts like emotions, experiences, sensations and feelings – are transitory – they come, they last for a time, and they go.

Thoughts are like whiny children. Acknowledge a whiny child's existence and give her a moment of loving acceptance, she will quiet down. Ignore her, chastise her, tell her she is wrong, tell her she needs to change, and she will throw a tantrum.

Put simply, the job your mind is trying to do is keep you safe, get you everlasting peace and happiness. It does this mostly by scrubbing your thoughts. But since the currency of the mind are things like thoughts that are changeable, the mind cannot get you everlasting peace, happiness and safety.

However, peace, safety and happiness are your nature. Your nature is revealed, again and again, when you stop scrubbing your thoughts.

Time to restore your mind to doing the job it CAN do well. Want to know how to work WITH your thoughts, rather than endless scrubbing of them. I'll tell you how in Shaking hands with what IS.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind

Go on to Shaking Hands with What IS
Go on to On Beyond Monogamy
Go on to Everyone Gets What They Want
Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics


Shaking hands with what IS

It is a uniquely human trait to decide something should be different than how it is. I am angry, but I shouldn't be. I am feeling pain, that must mean I've done something wrong.

The trouble is not that the thought or sensation or experience IS, the trouble is that you try to resist, change, or run from, or make last forever something you are experiencing.

The universal truth, a key to getting off the self-made suffering ride, is to accept what IS. It should be happening, because it IS. Accepting it doesn't mean you agree with it or like it. The first step is simply to NOT wish the present to be different than it IS.

Accepting a thought, seeing it for what it is, not apathy. I am not a talking about passively accepting things. Accepting them is different than running from them, trying to resist them or make them stay forever.

Shaking hand with what IS, is like shaking hands with a person. The act of shaking someone's hand, you acknowledge, "you are here, I am meeting you." Accepting comes first. The judgment of I like this or don't like this, comes afterward.

Anything simply experienced for what it IS loses its potency or its grip on you. You can see it for what it IS.

You see with a filter of what you want, rather than what IS. But, at closer look, how could a thought or sensation – or person – be different than it IS? Removing the filter is the first step to a mind that is doing a job it can do. It is the first step to easing your suffering.

Again, I am not saying to blindly accept, or sit on the couch waiting for something to fall on your head, throwing your hands in the air, saying, "well, there's nothing I can do!"

One of the biggest gifts as human beings is our very real ability to shift things in our lives, to shift patterns, create amazing thoughts, to understand our minds and step off the suffering train.

Make it right, rather than wrong. Accept that it IS. If it is occurring, if you are experiencing it, then it IS. You can't create a different experience out of what IS.

But you do possess the power to create new thoughts, different thoughts, better thoughts.

What's Beyond Acceptance?

Shaking hands with what IS, is the keystone. Acceptance reveals your nature – a ground of love and lightness – from which any possibility is available to you.

Stop scrubbing that particular thought. Create a new one. Do new actions that create new patterns, ones you like, and ones that have you like yourself.

Accept what IS, move beyond, and create new.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS

Go on to On Beyond Monogamy
Go on to Everyone Gets What They Want
Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



On Beyond Monogamy

This section is for you if you want a relationship with boundaries that extend somewhere beyond the area traditionally considered to be monogamy.

Maybe you know that you DON'T want what you see around you, but don't exactly know what it is that you DO want.

Or maybe you DO know exactly what you want, but don't feel OK with what you want, or don't know how to create it.

To help you navigate what is possible On Beyond Monogamy:

  • Everyone Gets What They Want
  • Isn't It Cheating?
  • Abundance vs. Scarcity
  • Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
  • The Energetic Container

Ever read the Dr. Seuss book, "On Beyond Zebra?" It is one of my most memorable childhood books, and it tells the story of two kids who are practicing the normal A-Z alphabet at a school chalkboard, assigning A = apple, B = boy, all the way to Z = zebra.

But instead of stopping when they come to Z, they keep going, past the alphabet they know and have been told to practice. They go On Beyond Zebra, into a colorful, wild, wacky – and rhythmically rhymed, of course – Seussian world of all things possible if you don't stop at "Z."

Relationships don't have to be static or confining or conform to one label or another. Relationships are elastic, can shift as you do, can be a mix of what fully allows you to, healthily and honestly, express you.

Going On Beyond Monogamy could mean you create the freedom to be flirtatious, to be sensual with other people, to be sexual with partners other than your main partner, or even freedom to maintain more than one intimate and or sexual relationship. Or other colorful, wild, wacky and rhythmically rhymed things possible if you don't stop where monogamy usually has you stop.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy

Go on to Everyone Gets What They Want
Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



Everyone Gets What They Want

When my boyfriend and I met each other, he was clear that he didn't want to be with one person exclusively, although I was clear I did. But we couldn't help but be together and as we got into a "relationship," he strongly wanted to have the freedom for us to be intimate and sexual with other people, apart or together. At first I was very resistant, but then I became fascinated by the question,

"How could he have his freedom while I still got a committed, honest relationship? How can we both get exactly what we want?"

That seemingly incongruous question lead us both to take a look at what was un-defined and what needed re-defining in what we wanted in a relationship. It lead me to realize there were ways I wanted freedom as well, and him to examine what "having his freedom" really meant to him. It lead us to realize that if we were going to "color outside of the lines," we would need the basics – a strong foundation (The Three Pillars) absolute trust, co-created ground rules and clear boundaries.

That question lead us to clarify what we both need and want to have a relationship that honors us both, is built on honesty, held together with the glue of communication, is full of adventure, trust, and respect and is an expression of the unique individuals we both are.

That question lead us both into the extraordinary, loving, fun and vibrant relationship we have now, one that our friends and colleagues refer to as a model they deeply admire and wish to emulate.

That question lead us to explore the questions and distinctions that I lay out in this website.

I ask you the same question, How can you both get exactly what you want? It doesn't work unless both of you feel happy, safe and well looked after. It might take some listening, some communication, some trial and error and the willingness to do what it takes. But there is a way – YOUR WAY – that everyone can get what they want.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want

Go on to Isn't It Cheating?
Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



Isn't It Cheating?

There is the generally held strong belief that the only reason you would be sexual with a person besides your partner is because they are inadequate in some way, or that you are looking for something they can't give you. Cheating is considered pretty much the worse thing you could do, or could be done to you.

But if you still want to be with other people besides your partner, you figure the only way to get what you want is to cheat.

There is also the generally strong held belief that sexual monogamy indicates a healthy, secure relationship and that if you are sexual with someone besides your partner, you are cheating. Culturally, we have linked anything beyond-monogamy with cheating.

Here's the thing about sex.

Sex can be many things – an amazing intimacy between two people, a holy communion with the divine, a playful experience, or a mundane task. If you reserve experiencing sex with only one person – your partner – it doesn't in and of itself make the relationship healthy and strong. In fact, it is often the thing that weakens the relationship, resulting in cheating.

Cheating has little to do with any ACT in and of itself, cheating is the ignoring or dis-honoring of the rules or boundaries that are in place. When you know your partner is not OK with it, and you do it anyways, THAT is cheating.

Men cheat. Stereotypically, it is because they crave their freedom and would like to be able to be sexual with new and different partners. Men are stereotyped into the species that cannot commit. However, these same men are not opposed to being in relationship, but the fear of loss of freedom keeps them from it.

Women cheat, too. Stereotypically, most women are looking so hard for the perfect Mr. Right that when Mr. Right Now doesn't measure up to perfect, they stray, thinking they might find the perfect man elsewhere.

So, there you have it. Most women and men cheat on their partners. It is the norm, rather than the exception. If you are cheating, stop. Time to come clean. Take a good look at your cheating and use what you learn to re-define what you really want in relationship.

I am a pragmatist. I say, since most men and women are already cheating, pragmatically speaking, why not take a good hard look at why you are cheating? And why not take a good hard look at the rules and boundaries you have in place. They are obviously not working for you.

You can – and must – create new rules and boundaries that suit you, that honor you and your partner with trust and honesty, rather than dishonor both of you with cheating and lying.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want
Back to Isn't It Cheating?

Go on to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



Abundance vs. Scarcity

We are told there is not enough love to go around, that we have to control love, keep it, hoard it and force it to stay.

We are taught that love is a scarce resource that we must squirrel away and keep between two – and only two – people, or else it will run off, to settle with some other person who has been more mindful of the rules!

The first time I saw my boyfriend kiss another woman and witnessed him sharing that intimate moment with someone other than me, and I watched my mind come up with the only options it had known up until then:

He found something in her that I lack.

If he is enjoying her, it means he wants to leave me.

His affection for her diminishes his for me…

And none of this was true, but these were the only thoughts available to me. He wasn't longing to go anywhere, nor was he finding anything lacking with me, he was just having a beautiful moment of freedom, of sharing an intimate moment with someone, and, frankly, not quite believing his good fortune!

It was at that moment I understood that there is enough love to go around.

I could see he wasn't looking for something besides me, he was simply enjoying something AS WELL AS ME.

From this realization came the concept of "AND rather than OR."

Love is an AND, scarcity is an OR.

My partner's affection for someone else in no way diminishes his love for me. In truth, the fact that he has freedom within our amazing relationship makes him value the relationship all the more.

The bond and the absolute trust I have with my partner is our solid. Our strong foundation allows us to deeply love each other, while having love enough to spill over to others.

I tell you the nature of love is abundance. There IS enough love to go around.

In a scarcity view of love and relationship, you think there is something or someone to be owned. But the truth of it is that you can't own love, and you can't own anyone.

In an extraordinary relationship, there is nothing to own, nothing to get, nothing to lose.

Your partner is not a trophy to look good on your arm, to make you look good, or to conform to all the ways you imagine a perfect partner to be. You freely chose to be with your partner, and they you. You do not own them, and they do not own you. They are not perfect, but are likely perfect for you.

If you have co-created a solid relationship, based on love, respect and honesty, and if you have the basics of communication, trust and honesty in place, you have a connection between you two that is not easily replaced or replicated.

What you and your partner offer each other is so uniquely one-in-a-million, to have the thought that it might be available in someone else or somewhere else is a mistake.

When you have the assumption that you can own something, you also believe that it can be taken from you. That is the nature of jealousy, and jealousy assumes there is something you can lose or that could be taken from you. If you are no longer looking for someone to validate you or complete you, then there is nothing they can take from you or give you.

I am not saying being in partnership with someone doesn't offer you anything. Yes, you experience the good stuff, and lots of it – like fun, connection and intimacy. But if the partnership isn't set up as an ownership, the nature of love, which is abundant, is apparent.

However, all this is the finest theory in the world until one of you feels neglected or that your partner doesn't have your back.

The quickest way to jealousy, doubt, insecurity, anger and mistrust is to try to create beyond-monogamous situations when your relationship is not strong, when not both of you are on board. In a situation of scarcity rather than surplus, any action you do might feel to your partner like neglect, a lie, and a loss.

For this abundant view of love to work in a real life relationship, it must come from a condition of great surplus. When your partner is 100% satisfied with the connection, intimacy, sexual life and communication between you two, there is a condition of overflow, of extra, and of surplus. It is from that place that there is room to consider having love flow over to others.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS

Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want
Back to Isn't It Cheating?
Back to Abundance vs. Scarcity

Go on to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?

Maybe.

Going On Beyond Monogamy is all about honoring who you are and what you want and creating a relationship in which that can flourish healthily.

Could what you want be selfish and immature? It is possible.

Do your homework and your due diligence on yourself. Take some time to understand how you are wired, take a look at patterns that you keep repeating, learn what it is to take personal responsibility. If you haven't yet, check out the Relationship With Yourself section.

Maybe you feel like what you want is too unusual, too out in left field. Whatever your version, you are not alone, and there are others out there doing it, and scientific studies backing its evolutionary validity.

I say it is better to be healthy and intentional about creating what you want, rather than repressing it or doing it anyway, but lying about it.

One of the most selfish and immature things you can do is pretend to want things that you don't want. Another of the most selfish and immature things you can do is get what you want by lying or cheating.

Selfishness and immaturity almost always create a condition of constriction and tightness in your being – the opposite of the ease, lightness and expansiveness of the healthy expression of who you are.

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want
Back to Isn't It Cheating?
Back to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Back to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?

Go on to The Energetic Container
Go on to Sensuality Basics



The Energetic Container

Going On Beyond Monogamy opens the doors of possibility of having sensual, emotional, flirtatious and sexual connections with other people including your partner.

You will need the same groundwork and foundational tools for a beyond-monogamy relationship as for a monogamous one. Relationships of any type thrive when the basics are strongly in place. Want to review the basics again? Check out Relationship With Others section.

In the kind of situation where you are pushing the edges of what is possible in your relationship, it could be that jealousy might have even more room to arise. So you want to have some strong tools to help. The Energetic Container is an extremely useful one.

Although I have had periods of both monogamy and beyond-monogamy, when my boyfriend and I first began to experiment with being not exclusive, we discovered something we call The Energetic Container.

I am naturally not a jealous person. But I have tasted it enough to study it and understand it as an extremely useful thing to bring you closer to your partner as well as gain understanding about who you are and what you need.

In one instance in particular, my partner and I found ourselves at the same workshop as an ex-lover of his. He had slept with her during a time when it was questionable whether he and I were together or broken up. Everything was fine until I saw them saying good-bye. They stepped around a corner for a few words and a hug, and out came my claws. I felt the threat (real or perceived, didn't matter) of being lied to, cheated, or that there was something sneaky going on behind my back.

But what came out of that was extraordinary, and has allowed us to have an even greater, deeper, more fluid relationship. As I thought about what the jealousy had to offer, I realized that I felt like he had "left" me emotionally or energetically, like a string of connection between us had been cut.

When I brought it up to him, he realized that he could also feel where he "left" energetically.

Incredibly, we both realized that if he had done the same actions without me feeling him "leave" I would not have felt jealous. In fact, I would have been happy for him to have a moment with someone he cared about and had history with.

You know the phenomenon where you think about someone you care about, and you can "sense" things about them – where they are, if they are thinking about you, if something is wrong with them? That energetic connection is similar to the concept of an Energetic Container.

The Energetic Container is like a room that you and your partner are both in. You might go to opposite sides of the room, not looking at each other, but you are still in the same room, and can feel or sense that you are in the same room. When one of you "leaves" the Energetic Container, it is the equivalent of leaving the room. Outside the room, the thread of connection is severed.

Although my partner and I might expand the boundaries of our relationship and be physical, sensual or sexual with people, we keep our Energetic Container strong. We remain emotionally and energetically connected and loyal, first and foremost with each other. We have each other's backs and are tracking each other all the time, to make sure all is good, healthy and clear. When something goes off, or one person feels unsure, confronted or neglected, we stop everything and come back to restore our connection.

My partner and I are both gregarious, flirtatious people at heart, and using this concept of the Energetic Container has allowed us to be free and self-expressed without hurting the other.

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Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want
Back to Isn't It Cheating?
Back to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Back to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Back to The Energetic Container

Go on to Sensuality Basics



Sensuality Basics

In this culture and society, the arena of sex is so hyped you are often left desensitized, confused, numbed-out and alienated from your own unique sensuality.

Goal-oriented sex, with its over-emphasis on only orgasm, puts an enormous pressure on both women and men to look, act and perform in a certain way – all of which mostly leaves you cold, unsatisfied and wanting.

Saturated as we are with sex, sex, sex, it is good to keep in mind that your sensuality is a vital part of your sexuality. It is important to recover your sensitivity, your innocence, your "beginner's mind" around sex, which comes in the form of sensuality.

Sensuality is the enjoyment, expression and pursuit of physical – often sexual – pleasure. Sex, once infused with your brand of sensuality, can then become an experience of great pleasure and an unbounded source of self-expression.

However cut off you might feel, you are a naturally sensuous being, with a unique sense of sensuality. Your sensuality hasn't gone anywhere, it is just waiting for a little attention and a little warmth so it can blossom.

Once tapped, your sensuality has a way of making the rounds between a sweet simmer, a roiling boil, a full-on three alarm fire, and back again.

There is no one way to be brilliantly and fully sensual, there is just your way.

There's nothing to prescribe here. The best thing is to jump in and try, swim around and see what suits you, reawaken what might have been slumbering.

So I have created several exercises to get you re-acquainted and familiar with your – and your partner's – sensual self:

  • Conscious Touching Exercise
  • Five Senses Alive Exercise
  • Exploring the Body Wonderland Exercise
  • Come Some Other Time Exercise

I recommend you carve out some special time to try these out, separate from when you normally have sex.

Each of these exercises were created for you and a partner, but feel free to adapt the exercises to do with just yourself, if you want.

And enjoy!



Conscious Touching Exercise

Time to set aside: 15-20 minutes, not including preparing your space

1. Prepare an inviting, sexy, sensually rich space and invite your partner into it. This could mean lighting candles, putting on music, incense, opening the window for a cool breeze, having some wine or a bath beforehand. you get the idea.

2. Take a moment to connect, settle down from whatever you were doing before, and be with your partner. Maybe you want to look into each other's eyes, notice each other's breathing, or put a hand on each other's hearts. Something to connect you and get you both on the same level.

3. For each different kind of touch, you will touch your partner first, then ask your partner which they liked better and why. Explain the type of touch you were practicing on them. Then switch roles, so they can try it on you. You can pick anywhere to touch, but the arm or leg work well.

Intentional Touch: First, try touching your partner while your mind is distracted, while you are not paying much attention at all. Then, touch them intentionally: take a breath in, focus on your genital area, and then breathe the breath out through your heart, with love toward that person. As you breathe out, touch them. Finally, ask your partner which they liked better and why. Switch roles.

As You Like It Touch: First, try touching your partner the way you think they would like to be touched, in a way that you think would bring them pleasure. Then, touch them in a way that brings you pleasure, notice the sensation of touching them, take delight in touching them. Finally, ask your partner which they liked better and why. Switch roles.

Depth Touch: Bring your hand about 6 inches above the skin of your partner. Imagine that your hand is already on the skin of your partner. Begin to bring your hand closer and closer to them, so by the time your hand reaches their actual skin, it is as though you are 6 inches deep into their arm or leg. Ask your partner to describe how that felt. Switch roles.

Drag and Flow Touch: Place your hand lightly on the skin of your partner. Imagine that their skin is a moveable, shapeable substance, like water, silk, sand, tiny pebbles or honey. Move and drag and flow your hand over and through their skin – this substance keeping your mind focused on whatever substance you are imagining. Ask your partner to describe how that felt. Switch roles.

4. Take some time to share the experience – what it was like for both of you.

Five Senses Alive Exercise

Time to set aside: 20-45 minutes, not including preparing your space

1. Take some time to prepare an inviting, comfortable, sensually rich space into which to invite your partner. Make sure the room is warm, and that there is a soft and comfortable place for your partner to lie down. You can light candles, put on soft music, light incense, open the window for a cool breeze, even offer your partner some wine or a bath beforehand. you get the idea.

2. Gather several different items for each "sense." For sight – or lack of sight! – you'll want something to use as a soft blindfold. For touch, gather several objects that are of all different textures – soft, rough, smooth. For taste, gather an assortment of items that are sweet, sour, bitter, salty, even include water or wine. For sound, have music handy as well as things that make different sounds, like aluminum foil, crinkly wrapper, a bell, your breath. For smell, gather several items with different scents, like incense, scented oils, pieces of fruit, etc.

3. Ask your partner to lie down, and take a moment to connect with them, settle down from whatever you were doing before, and be with each other. Maybe you want to look into each other's eyes, notice each other's breathing, or put a hand on each other's hearts. Something to connect you and get you both on the same level. You can tell them, if you want, that this is an exercise to awake and indulge all of the five senses.

4. Start by blindfolding your partner. Moving slowly, gently touch them, caress them, kiss lightly, play as you wish. Then slowly introduce the items you gathered, in whatever order you like. Go slowly. Take your time. Enjoy. Notice your partner experiencing all of their senses. You can keep it an exploration of the five senses or you can add in the erotic, as it feels right.

5. When you feel your partner has had enough or is getting bored – or you are, gently bring it to a close, laying a hand on them, and removing the blindfold.

6. Take some time to share the experience – what it was like for both of you.



Exploring the Body Wonderland Exercise

Time to set aside: about 1 hour, not including preparing your space

This exercise is to get to know your partner's body, as though you were discovering it new. Although it can be as sensual and/or sexual as you both want, the point is NOT to jump right into sex as you normally do it. It is NOT about the performance, the guessing or hoping that sex can sometimes be, but rather it is meant to be a process of discovery, to educate you about your partner's body, and their likes, dislikes and preferences.

1. Prepare an inviting, sexy, comfortable space and invite your partner into it. This could mean lighting candles, putting on music, incense, opening the window for a cool breeze, having some wine or a bath beforehand. you get the idea.

2. Take a moment to connect, settle down from whatever you were doing before, and be with your partner. Maybe you want to look into each other's eyes, notice each other's breathing, or put a hand on each other's hearts. Something to connect you and get you both on the same level.

3. Tell your partner that for the next ½ hour, your attention will be entirely on them. All they have to do is relax, receive and give you instructions and feedback as you go.

4. Touch, kiss, caress, lick your partner, asking them often for feedback. Not only, "Do you like this? How about this?" but also, ask them, "Would you like it harder, softer? Slower, faster? Deeper?" Ask your partner to speak up and tell you where to go, the speed to go at, what to try, etc. Remind them the point of this exercise is so you can learn their body, and you need their help in learning it. Keep it light and fun – this is meant to be like play time.

5. After ½ hour, switch roles.

6. Take some time to share the experience – what it was like for both of you. Sometimes it can be a new experience to ask for what you want, or to verbalize instructions or preferences, or to just receive and not DO or reciprocate, or to have someone's attention entirely on you.



Come Some Other Time Exercise

Time to set aside: 30-60 minutes

The point of this exercise is to shift the goal of a sexual, sensual experience from orgasm to sensation. So often sex is goal-oriented, and you miss the whole process along the way, in order to reach the goal of climax. This exercise is about re-defining the goal as the process itself.

1. Prepare an inviting, sexy, comfortable space and invite your partner into it. This could mean lighting candles, putting on music, incense, opening the window for a cool breeze, having some wine or a bath beforehand. you get the idea.

2. Take a moment to connect, settle down from whatever you were doing before, and be with your partner. Maybe you want to look into each other's eyes, notice each other's breathing, or put a hand on each other's hearts. Something to connect you and get you both on the same level.

3. Explain to your partner that the focus of this exercise will be to NOT have orgasm, either of you. You can feel free to do whatever you want, however you usually do it, but remember to stay present to the sensation. If you feel your mind wandering, bring it back to what is going on, what sensation you are experiencing. If you feel close to orgasm, relax and breathe into the sensation.

4. Continue, experiment, breathe, indulge, relax, and enjoy!

5. Take some time to share the experience – what it was like for both of you to have sexual experience that's focus was on NOT experiencing orgasm, but experiencing everything but? What did you learn, what did you like, what would you like to throw away, what would you like to include in your love-making?

Back to Secret Subjects
Back to Pain & Suffering: A Brief Introduction
Back to Sexuality as Spirituality
Back to The Nature of the Mind
Back to Shaking Hands with What IS
Back to On Beyond Monogamy
Back to Everyone Gets What They Want
Back to Isn't It Cheating?
Back to Abundance vs. Scarcity
Back to Am I Just Being Selfish or Immature?
Back to The Energetic Container
Back to Sensuality Basics

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