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!