“Wisdom. Compassion. That snake is bound to bite ya.” ~ Sean Hayes, 33 Fool
I feel like I am burning in fire of my own fear.
All these little demons pour into my brain and whisper their frightening tales:
You’re not good enough.
You’ll never succeed.
You’re too old for this.
You’re no expert.
On and on the story goes until I am paralyzed in a sea of negativity.
But I have the (forgotten) key to freedom. And it not only supports me in daily life, but also works wonders in the bedroom:
“Seriously?” you ask. “Isn’t that some sort of hippy-dippy, Buddhist, spiritual thing?”
Well, yeah! Compassion shows up in Buddhist philosophy, but it’s a universal principle that serves all of us.
On the surface, compassion is the ability to feels another’s suffering and to be moved to alleviate the suffering. But it goes much deeper than that. When you feel yourself in the midst of your own suffering, you invite in healing by acknowledging and loving that part of yourself that is in pain. It reminds us that we are whole and perfect as we are when we have forgotten the steps to the gloriously messy dance of being human.
On a biological level, when we experience compassion, our heart rate slows and stress level decreases, we secrete more oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and we activate the parts of the brain that are also connected to empathy, caregiving and feelings of pleasure.
That’s right: pleasure.
Often while having sex, our grimy little demons arrive, spewing their poison into our ears (telling us that we are a fat loser, not orgasmic enough or can’t last more than five minutes) and cutting us off from pleasure.
The usual response is to reach for techniques or masks to cover the tender vulnerability yearning to rise.
We have been conditioned for achievement and external validation; so we grip harder, run faster or make a hasty retreat from anything that may threaten our fragile little ego’s perception of itself. Our climaxes have become trophies that we pass back and forth to each other, reminding us that we are “winners” in the bedroom and that we are “doing a good job.”
When we are covering for our own perceived shortcomings, we are blocking and numbing our own capacity to feel, both the pain and the pleasure. Or we become so sensitive that the slightest touch causes us to jump in our skin and do anything to get rid of the sensation (as in premature ejaculation).
Many of us are lying during sex.
We feel we don’t deserve what we want, so we don’t ask for it. Or we don’t know how to communicate it in a way that our partners can hear, understand and easily follow. Or we haven’t taken the time to cultivate an awareness of our desires and have no idea for what to ask.
We don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings, so we hold back from the truth until we either implode in a barren wasteland of sexlessness or explode in a vitriolic game of blame and victimhood.
I will tell you this: the best sex I’ve ever had was when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I just surrendered to the moment-to-moment unbridled expression emanating from my deepest truth.
I simply got naked, in every way possible, and revealed the burning treasure within.
I stopped performing and started feeling.
And when the voices arose, I had compassion for myself. I was honest. I told my lover that I was afraid that I wasn’t hot enough for him. I told her that I was afraid that my pussy smelled. I told him I was afraid that I would get too attached and that our relationship would get awkward.
Most of the time, this opportunity for compassion opened the door for my partner’s deepest fears and wounds to arise and be witnessed. The benefit was a level of intimacy that we would have never discovered had we stayed hidden behind our masks.
And any lover that couldn’t accept all of me—well, I tapped into my capacity for compassion and opened my heart wider to their pain (which he or she was obviously trying to mask) and my own feelings of rejection.
I blessed them, didn’t take it personally (as best I could) and walked away.
Compassion allows us to cast the net of acceptable experiences so wide that everything that arises is not a hindrance to our happiness but an opportunity for evolution. We become erotic alchemists and step into the tantra of everyday life. Every sigh, whisper and moan is born from our erotic truth. We relax our monkey minds, soften into presence and surrender into the delicious, erotic yearning that comes (wink, wink) when we are a “yes” to all of creation.
This is what it means to truly live an orgasmic life.
So next time you are feeling the need to reach for a technique or solution to your suffering, both in and out of the bedroom, see if you can simply step back and see your situation not as a “problem,” but as a chance for greater intimacy.
Remember your humanity, find compassionate acceptance and allow the gifts of your heart, hands and genitals to arise in service to your highest calling and deepest desire.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: all.consuming at Flickr