In perusing this website, you may have seen in the ‘Services’ menu a mention of Mindful Erotic Practice. This refers to our approach to a commitment to generating and spreading sexual energy through the body on a regular, if not daily, basis. Like practicing a musical instrument or a sport, the more quality time you devote to it, the better it gets. It is the conscious setting aside of time for self-pleasure but it is not necessarily masturbation per se. In my mind, in my body, it includes so many things other than stroking my cock or focusing all the attention on my genitals. There is significant preparation time and other elements (like setting aside a sacred place or a sacred time) that contribute greatly to your practice and those elements could be quite individual to you. (See the previous blog entry, May is Masturbation Month for further info).
Allow me to quote my mentor, Caffyn Jesse about this practice: “We can effect neuroplastic change by noticing and staying with our pleasure, slowing it down, and enriching it with our attention and commitment. Notice what we are feeling in body and soul. Absorb it. Breathe it in. In this way we gradually change the structure of our brains and develop a neurological allegiance to authentic pleasure.”
Through the science of neuroplasticity we’re beginning to recognize that the brain can re-organize itself and is capable of creating new neural connections throughout our lives. The research in this field is relatively new but it has already been discovered that we can kick-start these new neural pathways by recognizing pleasure, slowing down and savoring it! The more we practice these mindful techniques, the more our brain opens to the positivity of pleasure and turns away from negative thoughts and feelings. Let’s face it: we tend almost naturally to the negative. It’s part of our built-in ‘fight or flight’ response to danger, being ever aware and sensitive to all of the things that can go wrong in our world and in our lives. Why not counteract that tendency by fully entering into pleasure…slowly and with our entire physical and spiritual being?
Recognize pleasure: run your hands lightly over your entire body. What tingles? What doesn’t tingle? Follow the tingle! What gives your body pleasure? Find the erotic points on your body that truly give you juicy, yummy pleasure. Can you identify them? Do you know which spots respond to lingering touch and which don’t? If drawing a finger up the inside of your elbow titillates you, revel in it! Celebrate it! If putting a dab of lube on your finger and circling that sensitive spot just below and underneath the glans of your penis (the frenulum) excites you, go for it! Notice it and name it! Remember it!
Slow down: I can’t say enough about this. Slowing down offers the greatest rewards in pleasurable experiences, especially in sexual pleasure. Going slow gives us the opportunity to connect with body sensations so that we can remember and return to them when we desire to. Slowing down is critical to mindfulness, noticing with full heart and befriending those sensations so that we can always find them. Again, like practicing an instrument, slow practice guarantees physical fluidity, a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment and solid memory for later performance.
Savor it: after a great practice session with your pleasure, always (always, ALWAYS!) take time to savor the feelings and the experience. This is akin to afterglow with a partner but I think it can be even deeper and more significant when it’s a savoring of something that you’ve given to yourself. Give yourself a good ten minutes of savoring time after your self-pleasure or mindful erotic practice. Breathe it in and love on yourself. Go ahead. You deserve it, it’s your birthright, so take it!
One of the exciting things about my study in somatic sex education has been the honor of experiencing communal mindful erotic practice. No mutual touching, just the blessing of self-pleasuring with other like-minded folks, breathing together, exploring together, pleasuring together and, finally, savoring together. I hope to establish such an experience through my private practice very soon. Maybe you’d like to join? Let me know!