[This is the second in a series. For the first part – see: Female Sexual Dysfunction.]
Female Sexuality and Healing through Tantra
Step 1 – Arriving at and accepting a depth conceptualisation and experience of our sex as it is.
Often we are so drawn by ideas of how we would like our sex to be or behave, that we don’t stop to enquire in depth how it actually is. This has to be our starting point. Being deeply present to our sex – our genitals – as they are is the only place to begin. For practical ways to do this read my other article Awakening sexual pleasure >>
If we are experiencing some kind of vaginal numbness, the experience can feel like an absence. Like there is nothing there, no sensation, no feeling, no energy, nothing. But, if we drop more deeply into how our sex is through the practices outlined in my other article – we will find that this absence will have a shape / quality / texture to it.
In sessions people describe this absence to me in many different ways. Here are some –
- Like a small potted plant on a TV in the living room
- Like a hot dry desert
- Like a heavy damp mist
- Like a small frightened child
But the basic principle, is that though it might seem “not much” is happening – i.e. there is an absence of pleasure – that it is safe to assume that within the “not much” there will actually be a lot going on. And our first step is to become deeply acquainted with what that is.
Step 2: having come to a deeper sense of what is, then finding then what is really needed:
The peak orgasm model
Generally we have an idea of orgasm in our culture, as an arc of building pleasure that reaches a peak and then releases. The nature of this arc – rather like climbing a mountain, tends to invite an approach of trying, coming near, turning up the volume of our trying, almost there, try a little bit harder harder till – YESSSSS! – finally, we have reached the peak and come down again…Next
Recognise that pattern?
The peak orgasm model – deeply present in our cultural and collective representations of sex – tends to dictate the rhythm and pacing of our sexual experiences. And we will touch or act in ways whether consciously or unconsciously, designed to chase that shape. Because it is what we collectively conceive sex to be.
We need to become more imaginative and listening with our touch, to meet what is, rather than touching to go somewhere we believe we should be. Much of how we behave in our sexual encounters, whether alone or with another, is informed by this unconscious assumption of how sex is.
This isn’t how sex is at all, it is how it CAN BE… but this is just one possible map of many.
It can be good to look (as I have) at different teachings to offer different conceptualisations. Everything from tantra, OM meditation, Taoist sexual practices, Quodoshka to name but a few, can help us come up with new ways of conceptualising and experiencing our sexual pleasure. But I notice (myself guilty of this at times too!) that having learned another map, we then think “yes, this is it!”. We assume that because this map seems to work better than the last one, that it is the absolute truth. But it isn’t – it’s just another map, one that opens us to an experience different to the one that we had before.
What I really LOVE are maps that offer a framework to guide us to a new experience, but that are loose enough so that the destination reached is unique to each experiencer. Maps that do not dictate what happens, but create the conditions that invite us to find something new ourselves. And that something new can keep growing and evolving with us, changing each day organically with our mood, our menstrual cycle, how much or little time we have available for an experience, whether we are alone, or with one or more lovers.
5 rhythms dance if you know it, is such a map. Inspired by 5 rhythms, I created a map of touch for meeting our genitals and (full body) arousal that uses the elements as a guide. The map evolved from many teachings I have received, and is intended to offer alternative possibilities that heartily include, but are not limited to, the climb / peak / descend orgasm experience.