“Like the legend of the Phoenix, all ends with beginnings. What keeps the planet spinning. The force of love beginning. Oh, we’ve come too far, to give up, who we are. So let’s raise the bar. And our cups to the stars.
(2x) I am up all night till the sun. He’s up all night to get some. I am up all night for good fun. He’s up all night to get lucky.
(4x) We’re up all night to get lucky.
The present has no ribbon. Your gifts keeps on giving. What is this I’m feeling? If you wanna leave I am ready, oh.
Cause we come too far, to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar…” — Daughter covering Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Throughout history, sex and sexuality where in one culture praised and in the other dismissed as ugly, bad, dangerous or something to be avoided. In today’s society sex is more or less a business. In the backdrop there are huge debates around sex and sexuality (sexual identity).
On one side you have the free thinkers, who basically say it is all ok and healthy, natural, normal etc and on the other hand there are people who live more by strict rules of culture and religion, who say that it is only acceptable in the bonds of marriage for procreation, but the best would be to avoid it altogether according to religious thought.
(The same could be said about alcohol, money, power, and everything that can have strong consequences for the soul).
Throughout history the balance went in the favor from one to the other. Today we find ourselves (worldwide) in the zone of conflicts with strong views on topics regarding sex and its surrounding topics. Maybe it is the emotional discomfort of our ordered settled emotional worldview what troubles us. Or maybe it is our upbringing that conflicts with other people’s worldview and way of living.
But, let’s settle a little bit from what we know from the media, our parents, culture and what our society has told us. Let’s start from the beginning and start looking objectively on the subject matter without any preoccupied thoughts.
We are brought up to be fearful and anxious of what others might think of us. Let me explain. How many times did you consciously or unconsciously think to yourself to watch out how we act, react, what good manners are, and what others think of you or not think of you? Ok, maybe you are more of a free spirit and you do not really care, but we all have a lot of — this is right or wrong — thoughts. Your surroundings, where you are a part of, told you a lot of things that is noteworthy, desirable, to repel from, or to be ashamed of. We copy so easily each other’s behavior and shame the person who behaves differently. By this we put pressure on the other person to do differently and change his behavior, view, or whatever, into being the same brick as the rest; to be homologous as the rest. When you act or believe differently, you challenge the status quo of their ego, where they are part of. Anyway, the point I want to make is that a lot is passed on to you in the past without you being aware of it, so does the fear of pleasure. Why? Well, in the old days pleasure was sinful behavior, whatever pleasure, especially the sexual one.
The fear of pleasure
You may wonder if the fear op pleasure even exists, but it does, more generally then you may wonder. Pleasure is a high good, not in every society, but certainly in western culture. Our biology is programmed to avoid pain, and gain more pleasure even to an extent that it becomes harmful for us. Funny enough, when we are exposed to pleasure, we become resistant and feel insecure about it to engage in it.
“Our grandparents and great grandparents were likely to have been raised in a Victorian atmosphere, and they in turn had a strong impact on the sexual attitudes of the mothers and fathers who raised us. A single man in his late thirties once told me that when his father was a little boy his mother locked him in a closet for several hours after catching him masturbating. Tom felt that he could trace his own sexual hang-ups to that particular sexual trauma endured by his father. Every time a situation with a woman started to get sexual, Tom would get anxious and awkward, especially when he very much desired the woman. That’s how powerfully these multi- generational patterns are locked into our bodies. Tom’s father was punished and shamed as a child for sex and he, in turn, punished and shamed his son, making him sexually insecure.”
Among the many concerns that people typically have about their sexuality — whether it’s about a lack of sexual interest, performance fears, inability to have orgasms, or sexual addiction — almost all of it can be traced back to pleasure-anxiety. It can be found in their inability to just be at any level, not just in sex. It shows up in their patterns of thought, which keeps them stuck in their head or defended in their heart. But most specifically, pleasure-anxiety translates into a fundamental, largely unconscious, fear of being overwhelmed by sexual excitement.
“…In effect, we allow ourselves only the degree of excitement we know we can tolerate. …One major way people hold themselves back is to be performance-driven rather than experience-drawn. Both women and men can be more focused on how they appear to their partner than how good it feels to be with him or her.” — The Pleasure Zone, by Dr. Stella Resnick.
When fearing pleasure, you are fearing failure too. Since pleasure equals something with a bad ending, at least, this is what we think unconsciously. In doing so you are harnessing yourself for life and your authentic self. This way, you do not let someone in, so you are keeping other people on a distance, when deep inside you want to connect with them.
In order to feel and engage in pleasure we need to feel worthy and safe to surrender. It means that you can feel worthy without the need to be productive first or being a help to someone.
When you know pleasure (and are not ashamed of it) you can enjoy the moment, life will reflect this on you. People will start noticing you, you become attractive, people will want to start engaging in you. Yes, it is like all of a sudden you are attractive, when you thought you weren’t.
When you can enjoy, I mean really enjoy life and yourself, you will let people in too. Since you feel worthy, which is a confidence boost too by the way. By doing so, you can enjoy others’ joy, which gives an entrance to sharing your true value. Enjoy the ride. You will reach this higher state of self image, relationships and better life overall.
Do not be ashamed of who you are and what you feel, do not be ridiculed of your honest feelings and actions, we all are in one way or the another strange, weird and awkward (and we think we are not good enough). It’s the art of finding your tribe, your people, who strengthens you for the better and do not shame you.
The sexual you
When we strip away what society and culture has told us about sex and sexuality, we are left with the physiological and psychological aspect of sex. To put it simple, there is a real practical reason we engage in sex, that is to thrive or as I want to put it, strengthen yourself by procreation, self-esteem boost and expression of your desire and you as a person. But what does sexuality mean?
The official dictionary meaning of sexuality is: “gender identity, which includes different viewpoints: 1. somatic viewpoint, which is how your biological body works, 2. functional viewpoint, that is the desire to procreate or sexual desire, 3. psychological viewpoint, the desire for children, desire to fulfill, 4. social dynamics viewpoint, the purpose of sexuality in relations, 5. social viewpoint, planned parenthood, upbringing, 6. ideological viewpoint, norms and values, 7. social, law enforcement viewpoint, sexual harassment.
Gender identity: the grade/scale of association with your gender, which includes the way of socialization (perception of sexual attraction, which is learned by social interactions), of this gender in social structures and the way of acting of the gender itself (sex roles).” — The little Psychic lexicon
As I like to put it in my own words and of what I know, I would like to define it as following: sexuality is your emotion body, it is everything that lights you up or turns you down. It is the emotional bond you want to form or repel, with yourself and others. It is the search for empowerment, enlightenment and the longing for expanding the self. It is an interplay between your thoughts or your spiritual world, with your physical body and your emotional world.
Your emotion body doesn’t know right from wrong; it’s the acting upon that is judged by other people and by yourself. So, in order to accept ourselves, we should stop judging ourselves for lesser. We are as valuable as everyone else. Since we are brought up with a strong sense what is valuable and what not, what is ugly, disgusting, beautiful and what is not, we judge ourselves by this merit.
We should judge our actions based on how sustainable or good it is in the long run for ourselves and for the people around us. If our actions are based on compassion, empathy and love, it will be good, but if our actions are based on our wounds, hurts, anger and bitterness, then it is bad. It is really that simple, but because we have a lack of objective judgment of ourselves we use the valuing system of our friends, family and culture. When you are open for exploration and not numbed down by religion or the system of thought where you live in, you will know. So, with the right motivation (we know when we have right or wrong motivation) we can trust our own judgement. By thinking so, you will be judged, since religion by and large tells you, that you can’t trust yourself, you should trust a book for guidance, but believe me, when you have the right motivation, you won’t need a book.
When we judge ourself, we won’t know what we really like and dislike. When we judge ourself we won’t know who we truly are. When we judge ourself we won’t know the other person too, since we judge them too, by the merits we have learned. When we stop judging we are free, and we can start loving people as they are, this includes yourself too.
How do we know what our sexuality is? A good indicator is our sexual arousal. When and where does it come from? You can write your erotic stories down or just fantasize a story in your mind. In the end, ask yourself, what was it about, what did I like and dislike? Were the people from the same sex? What was their gender? What kind of relationship did it convey? What was the setting? What role did you play? Take your time to evaluate. When answered properly we know the answer. Some people do know it from a very young age, depending how strong one sexuality is (Kinsey scale). Anyway, in time we will know our likes and dislikes and start being comfortable with it.
Do not be that nice person (giving in on yourself)
To prioritize someone over your desire is good, but to a certain extend. It shouldn’t cost you as a person. When you lose your integrity, because you want to please someone, then you become a pleaser. You are loosing yourself as a person and so does your authenticity.
When your needs aren’t met by one way or the another and you have voiced it one way or the another and you are still neglected, then there is a lack of respect towards you. You can change this by respecting yourself more. By consciously going over what you actually want (personally) and take action into that direction. That is, when you are disrespected, you walk away. Not by a rude act, but respectfully and with strong intent letting people know that you disagree. Set your boundaries, know your boundaries and protect your boundaries.
It’s not about learning pick-up, it’s about learning who you are in your sexuality. Then you can connect with people who you admire and who you want to engage with. You have to respect yourself, for who you are.
A lot of us lived in denial or with a lie regarding their sexuality. When you know your sexuality and fully accepted it, you will have the encounters you desire and light you up as a person. You will become unstoppable, you will be someone who people respect and maybe even fear of, because of your confidence. In public people will look at you, they will follow you, they want to be your friend, because you radiate a strong personality.
“We will gradually become indifferent to what goes on in the minds of other people. We acquire an adequate knowledge of the superficial nature of their thoughts, of the narrowness of their views and the number of their errors. Whoever attaches a lot of value to the opinions of others pays them too much honor.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
How to connect (proactivity)
Connection starts when we are connected, not with our ego, but with our true self. This means that we are connected with our sexuality. Sexuality is about the emotional connection with yourself, with others and everything concerning life. The more you dare to embrace yourself, the more you start to connect with yourself and your emotional desires. Know your true honest desires, one from love, and accept this. It’s the cultivation of your love for life and the love for sharing this with people who resonate on your emotional level.
Study after study showed, that when we are deprived of love we start to deteriorate as a flower is deprived from water. We need to engage, physically and emotionally, but since in western culture people are alienated, even sometimes to the extent of being afraid of each other. The reason for this is not simple, but it is mostly due to the stuff learned from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; social constructs and ideas that don’t work anymore today (I will talk about this issue in a later article), it is how Alain de Botton calls it: Status Anxiety.
We are so many times caught up in our (ego) desires (mostly implanted from birth!), that we forget to prioritize the other person. Think of what value you are or can be for the other person and what value the other person brings. For one it is inspiration into realms of knowledge, for the other is companionship in life, for another person it is to belong, being heard, protected and be valued as a person. Do not try to reach or pull for something just to gain, but to engage.
By sharing your feelings with a person you love, value and inspire, we enhance the oneness and ecstasy of our emotional world. We shouldn’t do it with random people, but with purpose, with people we honestly like.
“If you lose the process of working towards your dream, you lose the dream itself. When you lose the dream, you’ll do anything to viciously defend it. With the loss of the dream, comes the birth of a BAD ego. A bad ego is one which will search for external validation, because they don’t ACTUALLY feel good about themselves. A bad ego will not be able to offer value, only take it. A bad ego is an ego which is unhealthy and looks to take as much value as possible for themselves before they leave unscathed, without giving anyone the chance to bruise their ego.
[It] is about being a positive influence to the world, however one can only be a positive influence if one is internally validated. This is why the ego is so important, not to abolish but to work towards. See yourself as an image, and then become addicted to the process of working towards that image. See yourself as a healthy guy, and then build yourself a workout program and stick to it to become a healthy guy. Now, when anyone wants fitness advice, you talk to them about it and in it, they find value. Social Dynamics is developing your skill sets to a point where you’re always developing them, and then when someone else needs help in that area you offer that to them. This is an exchange of value, this is what must happen in Social Dynamics. A healthy relationship exists on an equal exchange of value. If you are skilled in ONE area, let’s say the gym, and you help Scott, who’s a skilled web designer… what do you think Scott is willing to do for you? Now the next time you’re stuck on ideas for a website, you call Scott and he’s willing to help you. Social Dynamics is about developing a connection with EVERYONE, not just good looking girls [or guy], because everyone has some sort of value to offer. I, as a person, have so much value to offer them. Social Dynamics is exchanging value.” — Brian
Do not push or pull yourself or on someone else’s feelings. The lower self always tries to gain, it is on one hand iterated by society and on the other hand by yourself. Do not try to catch someones’ attention or do not try to earn or force someone in having sexual/emotional affection. Do not wake up emotions on yourself for someone because you like the idea of that person being with you.
It is not about the gain of having, but the exchange of value, that is the exchange of life, that is being inspired. Being inspired means being fulfilled and having the desire to inspire others. That is, you are truly alive and so are your relationships. That is you are sharing you, yourself :)
A lot of us are afraid to really share themselves (this means sharing your sexuality too), because of the wounds, upbringing, shame, impressions we have inherited from our past. We keep people on a distance when in reality we want them be close, but we are filled with so much shit that we are unable to do it. When we stop judging and unclothed ourself from our ego and stop giving a fuck about our status in society, we start being more receptive, more ourselves, more someone who really starts to enjoy living. We start having a lust for life.
How to engage (pro receptivity)
Our sexuality serves us as a gateway to the other person. Most of the time we are emotionally alone, even when we are surrounded with a ton of others which we interact with on a daily basis. There are just a handful of people who really admire us. This is not something to be scared of, but can be used to know and better ourselves. The better we know and accept our sexuality, the more people can start to engage in it, the more people we have in our lives that inspire and admire us. I mean, the more true connections start to emerge.
We must understand that not everyone loves the same way. We shouldn’t love as we want to be loved, but understanding the other as if it was you. The basis of engagement is this understanding of other people, then knowing our sexuality and its impression what we get for the other is, whom we love, comes from that space (love type + personality type + sexual orientation). It helps a lot to know your sexuality, to know whom you feel connected to, physically and emotionally.
⁃ Funny enough it starts with a decision, then a number of other decisions. The first decision is to choose wanting to engage, making time for the other person, to choose to open up ourselves, not fully but enough to be receptive.
⁃ Throughout the years we develop patterns, social patterns of interaction. By learning empathy we can refine and understand our and others’ social patterns and communicate (fixed action patterns and social non written rules) our emotional/sexual needs and understand the need of others.
According to Sheri Winston’s intimate arts center there are six parts of pleasurable ways of touch. I want to change it in a more broad thing, called sexual identity. These key points of sexual identity are: presence, purpose, patience, precision, pattern, progression.
⁃ Be present in the now. The more present you are, the better you can enjoy the moment itself.
⁃ Have a purpose in why you want to interact with the person. Is it his energy? His insight, knowledge? Is it the kindness and respect? Common interests? What is what you can give, what purpose do you serve?
⁃ Have patience with the other, they might not open up immediately. Look at non verbal signs. Look at the topics you or the other cover.
⁃ Be precise, a good word and a good gesture in the right time does heal. You open up the other person and you can start feeling the warmth with which they welcome you.
⁃ If you know the person, after a while you will recognize patterns in the way they speak, react. Adopt to it by informing, consulting, collaborating and empowering the other. It is a reaction to the other person. It will take a while, but by doing honestly good, you can repeat the process over and over with everyone and start seeing patterns.
⁃ A lot of the time we stand ourself in the way, by not letting go of ourself and others and always trying to be better, to prove something we are not and keeping people in this merit we grew up in. We end up bitter, frustrated and angry. A lot of times we are to judgmental towards ourself. Just let go, the injustice what is done to you and the things that could go better. When done so, we start to open up, for possibilities we did not notice first. For people, for joy, for everything.
We can talk about this subject for a very very long time, since it has many aspects and has lot’s of levels. Our main goal is to feel good about yourself, not in a narcissist way, but in a healthy non-judgmental way. More living with the day and with people, than with ideas of how it should be and what we want.
Expressing this all is to be true to yourself and enjoy life (and not be ashamed or ridiculed of it). A flower too, doesn’t hide it’s beauty, but expresses its beauty and life energy.
“Sexuality should be a source for self knowledge, creativity and communication.” — Peggy Orenstein
Dare to express yourself!