The Intelligence In Our Full Pleasure
We are taught some dangerous mis-truths about our sexuality. And when I say ‘taught’ I certainly don’t mean literally. For no one ever actually sits down with us and teaches us about this energy or how to touch ourselves when we are children and we are learning. The touch we find our way into as children, as babies, is intelligent. Playful. Far-reaching. It’s whimsical and circular. We move here and then there. The touch we find our way into as we become more aware of ourselves and our sex is the touch we are ‘taught’ by a culture fundamentally structured by shame of our humanity, that teaches us to want and need the most superficial of things in an erroneous effort to receive the most (unspoken) essential things. Yet we are not taught about essential. We are taught about immediate gratification. ‘Just make me stop wanting right now.’ ‘Make this wanting, this emptiness go away NOW’ we think. But we don’t actually know this is what we’re thinking because we’re bathing in a cultural sea of wants that aren’t named and essential needs that are neither identified nor met. When we learn how to touch ourselves in overtly sexual ways, to get to the pay-off of the chemical wash of rightness, peace and safety, we use all the information we’ve learned about everything else. The way make love follows the same mantra that guides us in our daily lives. By and large, as adults we learn a few tried and true practices. Females learn to touch (or apply intense vibration to) the very tip or glans of our clitoris and males learn to stroke, fast and hard, the very tip or frenulum of their penises. The rest of the body does not exist here.
The other day I was gifted with a spontaneous visit from my arborist. The very same man who arrived at The Center three years ago and stood in the front yard with me, looking at the beautiful twisted pine tree – the one I called him over to chop down so I could plant a big vegetable garden. The very same arborist who took one look at the tree and said, “You couldn’t pay me enough to chop this tree down. It’s beautiful. It’s ReWilded...what you talk about on your website.” This arborist – a wild, assured, young, tattooed, scientist of a tree-climbing muscled stallion single-father of a wild-crafting 5 year old girl – it was this man, who had read my website before coming over to talk with me about trees, who delighted me with a surprise visit just the other day. As he climbed the tall ladder to get the best apples, and we ate them and talked about life, as we walked the property and he intermittently gave me information about various trees and what I might be watching for, as we stood in awe (always, we, everyone on this land, always stands in awe under the two cottonwoods, outrageous cathedral beauty), we got caught up on our lives, I learning essential things about gratitude and breath. Prayer. And then we arrived at the two dwarf pears that I and two of the more righteous men in my life: Simon and Jeremy, planted last Fall, one of which actually fruited eight pears this summer and almost broke in half doing it. This wild-arborist-man knelt down and tugged at the irrigation lines circling the root ball of the tree. “Move these out. You need to move these out. The tree needs to search for its water or else it won’t grow. It will just stay right where it is, never spread its root system out. Make it search for the nourishment just enough.” Then he tugged at the straps holding the trunk upright and in place. “And loosen these too. They need to learn how to withstand the wind. Don’t take them away. Just loosen them”
And in that moment so much was remembered to me. I say it this way because I already knew one version of what he was talking about. And somehow, the way he said it, combined with the between-the-worlds nature of life these days at least in my neck of the universe, had me remember other things so fundamental about our human experience. Things besides tree care. Things besides what one might imagine one would discuss with one's arborist. Just landed in me like a gnossis. Like an ‘of course.’
If we are not safe, we cannot grow. But if we are too close-in, to comfortable, we cannot grow either. It is a perfect intelligent balance. If we do not grow we will never offer our gifts, our fruits. If we do not offer our gifts, if we do not fruit, we experience the deepest human pain imaginable. Meaninglessness. Here we become this thing we’ve labeled ‘Depressed’ but really it’s not a pathology, it’s a desperate intelligent call for aliveness, to be found by The World, to be important to those important to us.
And this is true in our sexuality as well. We are taught, through the mechanism of silence, and the overt gesture of shame, to simply find what ‘works’ and not branch out. Branching out happens when we’re safe enough and uncomfortable enough in our current experience. At the very most we are taught to use our sexuality to simply feel basically good about ourselves. To feel benign. To grab the overt chemistry and not dive deeper. Quite practically we are taught, by a lack of mentoring, to go straight for the glans of our extraordinary organs – and nothing more – and get the orgasm and get out. Here there is habitual behavior like nothing else in our human experience. The chemistry is compelling and the feeling of momentary rightness is sometimes the only rightness many of us experience. And, over years of practice, this habitual process we have with our pleasure leaves behind vast quantities of erotic, emotional intelligence and vital aliveness that we must have in order to step into our greatest expression.
Touch more of yourself. If you are right-handed, only use your left hand. If you are always on your back, try lying on your belly. If you can’t imagine self-pleasuring in front of your partner or your best friend, by all means, run, don’t walk, to this experience. If you have a story that it’s disgusting, private, etc. Realize that this is simply shame. Gently push at these bindings, and see what lies at the other side. Our pleasure, the unique way we each express ourselves here, is some of the most glorious information we can have about ourselves and each other. Why on earth would we not want to be witnessed and known here? If indeed what we’re doing is generating the energy fundamental to all Life, then why on earth would we not want to learn how each other does this? Why would we not have reverent institutions whose hallowed halls were dedicated to the exploration of our extraordinary human expression of this numinous, ineffable fundamental element.
Move the irrigation out further. Loosen your straps. Make yourself reach just outside your comfort zone. Risk making a mistake. Risk imagining you’ve got greatness in your veins, greatness your people need. Risk the necessary temporary frustration of learning a new way, perhaps a slightly more layered way. Like the fox, take a route that is a bit longer, that implicates you ever-more in the complex and interwoven expression of Life.