In High Sex, or Sacred Sexuality, one of the core principles is allowing yourself to feel Pleasure.
After all, how can we give another pleasure if we ourselves have never been pleasured? Our bodies have an infinite capacity to receive pleasure. The Buddha once called our bodies ‘pleasure vehicles.’ Your entire body is one big erogenous zone. When you focus only on the genitals and breasts, the primary erogenous zones, you deprive yourself of the entire feast that is awaiting you. There are many nuances to awakening the ‘pleasure body’ and the one I am speaking about today is ‘self pleasuring’ also called masturbation.
In Tantric Sex any negative ideas one might have with touching ones genitals for pleasure are healed. This is why you may hear masturbation often referred to as ‘self-pleasuring.’ Although the origin of the word masturbation actually has no relation to pleasure. The word means, to Masturbation” “mas” meaning male or masculine and “turbari” meaning to disturb or agitate, so it literally meant something along the lines of “to disturb one’s maleness”. As you can see the entomology of the word has no relation to pleasure at all. I think that over the decades because it involved touching the penis it became a slang word of sorts. Today of course masturbation is a common word referring to the stimulating of either male or female genitalia. But for the purposes of this article I will refrain from using the “m” word and stay with self-pleasuring.
For me when I recommend to someone they ‘self-pleasure’ it sounds so much warmer and more inviting. It implies that it is good and healthy to have pleasure and to feel pleasured by oneself. Self-pleasuring involves the whole body, not just parts of it. Self-pleasuring is much more of a personal ritual you give your self, just as if you were going on a date with someone very special, which you are.
Some of you might find it hard to believe that you can heal life-long feelings of guilt about giving yourself sexual pleasure. Some of you might find that you have not been able to give yourself an orgasm this way and so you have stopped trying. And some of you may have stopped self-pleasuring the moment you became a “couple”. Regardless of these reasons the act of self-pleasuring can be one of the most loving and accepting things you can do for yourself. In High Sex giving yourself pleasure is truly considered an act of great self-love which is fundamental to Tantra and is the fountainhead from which everything else flows.
Self-pleasuring is a natural activity. Alexander Lowen, founder of bioenergetic therapy, recalls a conversation with his teacher psychotherapist and sexologist Wilhelm Reich, in which Reich observed, “The patient who cannot masturbate with satisfaction has not completed his analytic therapy.” In other words the ability to give ones self pleasure is an indicator of self-acceptance.
This practice can help you heal guilt, fear and shame as well as open you up to loving yourself more. Learning how to give yourself pleasure is really an art form and when done as a self-loving ritual can be quite an amazing experience. Self-pleasuring can also help you to know what you like, and how you like to be touched so that you can tell your partner everything they need to know about you.
Self-pleasuring is also likely to improve your relationship with your lover because you won’t feel so dependent upon them for your sexual satisfaction. (The Art of Sexual Ecstasy)
I remember when I felt very dependent upon my partner for sex and at one time he just wasn’t wanting to have as much sex as I was wanting and suddenly I saw how dependent I had become on him for my sexual pleasure. That was really an eye opener!
Some of the benefits you get from practicing the self-pleasuring ritual taken from The Art of Sexual Ecstasy are:
- You will strengthen your trust and confidence in yourself as a sexually attractive individual
- You will discover that pleasuring yourself physically is an essential part of loving yourself emotionally
- You will bring together your sexual energy with your heart
Some women find that doing this exercise for a period of time accelerates the speed in which they can feel sexually aroused and that the arousal spreads beyond the genitals. (self-pleasuring for women) . For men it has helped them to be able to sustain their arousal and to control ejaculation by building up their energy. Then the release is more full bodied.
The Self Pleasuring Ritual in Margot Anand’s book, The Art of Sexual Ecstasy, is a wonderful ritual to try. I have recommended it often to clients both men and women. For women this may be a bit easier to do as we are given so much permission to take care of our physical bodies, but if you are a man I strongly encourage you to give this exercise a try and see what happens.
Whether you be a man or a woman I suggest that you give yourself permission to create a fabulous date with yourself and try out this new way of giving yourself pleasure. Who knows you may find that you are the best thing that ever happened to you.