Monday, July 18, 2011

TEN of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

Burlesque at the Zoo Bar, Lincoln, NE
Recently Lisa and I visited a Burlesque show in Lincoln, NE at The Zoo Bar. We loved it! It was such a positive expression of women. Real women of every size and shape strutting thier erotic self to thier own music. Powerful to see, but even more powerful if you live it!

But how do you find that elusive sense of sexual pride and confidence? Wheres that little pill that makes you not afraid of sex in the light, or the nudist beach? How do you learn to love yourself, your body and sex without shame, nor guilt? Well like most of life the answer is NOT in a little pill nor is it a destination. Here are a few tips to ponder along the journey...

1. Be your own your first partner, before anyone else.
2. Learn to talk openly about sex.
3. Be honest. For real.
4. Ditch the drama. Save it for the movies.
5. Use and trust your own best judgment.
6. Respect your body and yourself.
7. Honor your feelings, even when it's a bummer.
8. Be your whole self, not just your sexual self.
9. Further your sexual education.
10. Enjoy yourself and your sexuality.

Check out Scarleteen for a detailed exploration of this list

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let Your Erotic Flag Fly

As a holistic practice we explore and honer our patients, religious and spiritual journeys. Often our patients share thier experience with some sort of disconnect with their faith; sometimes this is in relation to past sexual trauma or sexual dysfunction. Other times it is difficulty connecting thier understanding of a divine OTHER and a healthy expression of thier sexualtiy. This can be due to a lifetime of messages based on guilt and shame. Exploring a person's beliefs and values is essential to a balanced and integrative sexuality. Turner Professional Group has invited guest blogger, Carrah Quigley, to share her insight and expertise as a guest blogger on spirituality. 

Lately, I have been thinking about poet, Audre Lorde and her understanding of what the word erotic meant: “When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our work, our lives.” Audre’s understanding of the erotic had nothing to do with pornography or overt sexuality. It had to do with “lifeforce,” that slight electrical charge we have when we are centered, empowered and content. I also believe that this is not exclusively for women, but for all people to experience. The erotic, as defined here, is about taking your full self out into the world with confidence - the kind of empowerment which inspires others.
Maccu Picchu, Peru
As a spiritual counselor, Carrah aides others increating a spiritual life that is fulfilling and uniquely crafted to meet their personal needs,what she calls, “Spiritual Makeovers.” Over the last ten years, her awareness has alsoturned to helping those inflicted with spiritual wounds. With her academic knowledgeand intuitive counseling she provides a deeper understanding of how to heal wounds without abandoning faith. She holds a Master's Degreewith distinction, in Ecumenics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and a Bachelor's in Religious Studies from University of Arizona. She studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York and completed graduate courses in the History of Islam and Christianity at UMKC and Conflict Resolution Studies in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is currently studying to become a Certified Spiritual Counselor through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals .
There are subtle ways in which we shut down parts of ourselves when we enter certain environments. We may feel that people will only accept parts of who we are - that if they knew the “real” us or the “whole” story they would reject us or judge us. If we believe we are to fracture ourselves into sex life - business life - married life - parent life - son/daughter life, then how will we ever feel whole? Why do we invest so heavily in believing we will be shunned rather than expecting to be embraced?
What would happen if we connected together all of our separate selves and lived as full beings with our electric “lifeforce?” With nothing to hide and nothing to keep secret, would we be less stressed, less confined and more available to those around us? What is holding us back from living with “erotic power,” as Audre Lorde defines it? What would happen if we refused to hide and lived with all of our quirks and burps on the outside, readily available for view?
I believe this form of keeping secrets, fracturing, leads to distortion and destruction in our lives. Whatever it is that we hide or conceal from others is in direct proportion to how much we hide (or wish to hide) from our own consciousness. It is not so much that people will reject us, but that we have already rejected parts of who we are ourselves. I move that we begin to take small risks in opening these parts up to our friends and family; to move fully and boldly through the world without the exhausting methods of concealment and secrecy.

To conclude, I will once again refer to Miss Lorde and her wisdom, “Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a book- case, writing a poem, examining an idea.” Amen, Audre. May we all have the courage to fully express our fullest selves and to embrace our life force, to touch others and get that chain reaction total acceptance spread around the world. Joy is waiting.

- Carrah

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lisa Meyers, sex therapist, visits the Big Apple and meets Betty Dodson sexolgist pioneer

I recently went to New Your City to visit with one of the biggies in the sexology world, Betty Dodson, PhD. I had the opportunity to invite several human sexuality classmates from Widener University as well as my 77 year old cousin who is experiencing a rebirth of her own sexuality as a senior. We spent two and a half hours in the space where Betty has conducted individual sex coaching and her body sex workshops for the past 25 years. It was thrilling to talk with her about our field, the strides toward positive sexuality and pleasure, as well as how far we still have to go. I will never forget her telling us not to be afraid to “break the rules” and get people the help they need to enjoy sexual health and wellness!

I asked the others if they would be interested in contributing their own experiences of this day as guest bloggers, and here is the first entry from my friend, Rebecca:

Left to right:
Rebecca, Lisa Meyers, Kim, Kira,
Betty Dodson, PhD, Jina, Ben
Recently, I had the utmost honor of sitting at the feet of one of my heroes. This was easy to do, not only because she had floor pillows laid in an intentional yet comfortable circle, but because her doors were open and she was incredibly welcoming. When you've given as many people orgasms as 82 year-old pleasure-activist Betty Dodson has, you can really take a day off here and there. But Dodson and her business partner Carlin Ross don't seem to have any intention of slowing down their pace. The two of them regaled us with stories about male ego-stroking, giggled over throwing "whore" signs to one another, classified 70 as the new youth of old age, and casually discussed talking to google about getting a new "sex education" search term together so that education-seekers didn't get lumped in with the porn-seekers. It was a sunny living room brimmed with potential and a strange sort of familiarity and I never wanted our two-hours to be up. Yet, even when it was, leaving felt natural, as if hugging a friend you would soon get coffee with again. The visit, organized by Lisa Meyers of Turner Professional Group, was an inspiring chance to see the bravada of a women who has never stopped doing it her way; the kind of woman I strive to be and remain.