A New Year's Prayer: Sexual Healing between Men and Women


I try to avoid the news as much as possible (see my Oct. 11 blog post), but the #Metoo campaign has broken through.  Over Christmas week, I read Selma Hayek's horrifying story of abuse in the New York Times ("Harvey Weinstein is My Monster Too").  As many others have already said, this is a necessary, belated and heartbreaking moment in our culture: speaking out about sexual and power abuse as perpetrated by . . . men.

Integral to my calling as a teacher and practitioner of Sacred Daoist Sexuality, is the desire to bring healing to our sexuality; particularly the sexuality between women and men.  When I feel the winds of the firestorm of revelations and deep confessions of sexual victimhood at the hands of men, I think: our men are so sexually wounded.  How did such a distortion of respect and shared power come to be?  And this is not just a symptom of Western culture. The mutilation of women's genitals in African cultures, the binding of feet in Chinese culture, etc etc.  A long, horrific line of abuse perpetrated mainly by men.

But we abuse boys and men as well, sexually and emotionally.  The common first experience of a newborn boy in this culture?  To have the sensitive skin that protects his even more sensitive penis, cut off--either ritually or medically.  Our culture accepts this as a norm.  And yet if these infants were ritually touched sexually, this would be considered a crime.

There are just so many layers to how we have hurt each other sexually.

There is something that concerns me deeply about all this and that is: a kind of sexism I hear my female friends express against men.  For example, a female friend whose male friend is going through a terrible divorce:  "I don't like to say anything bad about a woman but. . . " she starts to tell me.  Wait a minute.  Why not?  Women can be dreadful as well!  And the other implication of that statement: "It's ok to say bad things about men." 

My daughter, recounted a young man at college who expressed surprise about a woman traveling the world by herself.   "He's so misogynistic!"  she says.  "Are you sure?"  I ask.  "Maybe he's intimidated by traveling the world alone--and is impressed that she can."

There is a bumper sticker about capital punishment: "Why do we teach people that killing people is wrong by killing people?"

I ask: "Why do we teach people that discriminating against gender is wrong by discriminating against gender"? 

Rather than go down any further down this rabbit hole, I want to return to that sexual healing.  We have got to reach out with even more love, space and possibility across gender assumptions.  I would even say this is the most insidious of bigotry--we all accept the gender generalizations that we make all the time.  And so, it divides us continually.

On February 4th, I am offering my first men's Sacred Daoist Sexuality workshop, "How to Make Love to a Woman".  It has been a dream and an idea that has been percolating for over two years.  I will share what I know of the complex differences and similarities of our sexual anatomy and sexual responses, as well as the sacred self-cultivation practices that fly in the face of our Western experience of sex.  Such a coming together is naturally vulnerable--for the participants, as well as myself--as it should be. But this will be my prayer for what is possible in intimacy and connection between the sexes: that we need each other to experience a level of physical, emotional and spiritual ecstasy that, no matter our devotion to our self pleasure and practice, can only be achieved in union with another.

Yes, this is a big agenda.  But it will be a simple three-hour class. 

Learning some anatomy, practicing qigong to come into rooted presence, introducing the microcosmic orbit practice to cultivate and circulate energy, all within a container of sacrality:  the understanding that practicing the sexual arts is a spiritual calling and commitment to the beauty of being human.  And the truth we often deny:  we need each other (Hmm--this is cropping up as a theme of mine.  See Dec 10 blog post).  There'll be conversation, questions, and sharing too. 

If you are a man reading this, I hope you'll consider attending.  If you know a man, I hope you will share this with him.  This will be a small class of no more than six men and I am requiring preregistration. Learn more here.

Blessings to all on the New Year--to new understandings of our sexuality, to our compassion towards and need of each other!