From Shame to Self-Love

I was talking with Kai this week about the Solo Tantra workshop that’s coming up on the 11/12th May and it helped to clarify for me why I want to take part in this and why I want to share this work with others.

My teens were spent in a state of total denial and confusion about who I was attracted to. As a teen I felt attraction to other boys around me and my male teachers, but I could not allow myself to know that this was what I wanted so shut down and just hoped it would go away, that one day I would suddenly wake up and be ‘normal’.  Even in my fantasies I had to imagine a man and women and then secretly look at the man as I wanked! Even in the privacy of my own head I could not allow myself to be true to who I was! And in my outer life I was just in total denial.

I used to hope that if I did one day have sex with a man it would make me realise I had been mistaken and I would suddenly realise I was really attracted to women. I first had sex with a man when I was 19 and after so many years of denial and shame I found it really difficult to fully enjoy it and relax into the experience. In fact I froze and could not cum, even though I had no problem on my own. This set a pattern for my subsequent experiences so sex and anxiety soon became the same thing.

Then I learnt to meditate and through a misguided spiritual idealism I became celibate. From the age of 22 – 34 I avoided all sex, even wanking was not allowed as I lived as a Buddhist monk and total celibacy was expected.

On leaving the monastery aged 34 I was once more in the world of sex and relationships. And it was a struggle. I would freeze, get performance anxiety, not know what it was I truly wanted, pursue casual sex but then feel empty as I really wanted connection but then fear entering relationships and so feel ambivalent about dating. Over the years I’ve learnt to recognise this fear of relationship being a fear of being overwhelmed by the other. As one therapist used to say “we are wounded in relationship and we heal in relationship”, so whatever it is that relationships bring up for you offers a chance for you to have a mirror to look at the wounds that past relationships and childhood experiences created, and how to heal them.

Over the years I’ve attended various workshops and teachings to see how I can reclaim this sense of sex being a healthy and nourishing part of my life and how to find a deeper connection to others rather than withdraw. Working with Kai Helmich a few years ago really helped me to come into a deeper connection to my body and feel more free and when he offered to run this workshop to share tools in how to release shame and connect to self-love I was really excited to take part and share it with others.

I notice my own dysfunctional patterns at work, how they keep me from having the intimacy I really want: leaving a guy feeling emotionally empty, pulling away from intimacy or getting anxious about not being good enough. I really hope that if you feel the same you may find this workshop of help. There are others who have, in Kai’s words “their foot fully on the accelerator”. For you sex is easy, you can loose yourself in it and fully enjoy it, but it may start to feel that it is compulsive behaviour, that sex is driving you rather than you choosing to have sex. Somewhere between the extremes of fearful avoidance of sexual energy and compulsive pursuits of sexual encounters lies an experience of happy embodiment, shame free sensuality and nourishing contact. A place where you can feel embodied rather than dissociate, where you feel safe and where you can open to bliss.

Kai Helmich has spoken of the workshop he’s leading as being a way to connect with more bliss and to experience our sexual energy as a spiritual force within us rather than something to deny or feel shame about, or that just drives us into habitual behaviour that does not serve our real well being, so I’m so excited to be taking part next weekend and hope it may speak to you as well.

 

 

I know some people will have discomfort about getting undressed or doing any self-pleasuring work with others around so the workshop is in two parts. Saturday will be clothed and will not include any self-pleasuring practices. It will offer all of the tools to help with finding this deeper connection your self, exploring what your dysfunctional patterns are and how to find a greater sense of freedom, ease and bliss.

Sunday brings in an undressing ritual and guidance in self-love practices where we really explore how to shift from whatever our usual pattern of relating to our body is into one that is based in a connection from the heart. So that we can shift from the old patterns into a new one of nourishing ourselves through touch. You’ll have your own area or ‘nest’ made of duvet and pillows and there will not be physical interaction with others on the workshop.

There was a request to reduce the price to the early bird amount as people could not afford it so the price for the two days is now £210 or for Saturday only £160 with the option to pay £50 and continue onto Sunday. If you cannot afford this please ask me for a reduced rate.

To book onto the Solo Tantra Weekend click here

Kai will also be offering 1-1 sessions on Friday and Monday and if this is of interest to you please contact him here

This is not a masturbation workshop. Masturbation is often about getting as quickly as possible to a climax. Or it is associated with guilt as we may watch porn to get aroused or feel it is somehow not healthy. Instead this is about learning how to rest into your body and enjoy the sensations without needing to get to any fixed end or objective or have any external stimuli to arouse us. In that sense it is a workshop on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ where you connect deeply to your sexual energy from within and perhaps even feel this energy to be a universal force.

And if the workshop is not the way for you to explore this, there is the 8 week mindfulness course starting this Thursday which offers another way to bring awareness to any dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaving and from a place of awareness make an informed choice about how to relate to your inner world of thoughts and feelings. The course has a strong focus on bringing awareness into the body and some have found this to be transformational in their lives as they learn for the first time to be fully in their body and hear the messages their body has for them. Various people have described the course as “life changing”. There are more details below or click here The tools on the 8 week course have brought a much greater sense of freedom to me in how I live and care for my own mental health and well being.

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