Conscious Connecting

“Emotional mastery does not mean that you need to be in a state of absolute peace, equanimity, joy and bliss all the time. Rather emotional mastery is the ability of allowing yourself to full experience your full emotional range and recognizing that these emotions do exist within you. However this does not mean that when you get sad or angry you will throw yourself on the floor and start screaming like a 4 year old child. Adults can develop the skill of becoming emotionally fit and ultimately taping into what is known as the “witness consciousness” where you simply witness without identification whatever is happening for or to you.”
~Ascended Relationships

There’s many many reasons that people can come to explore non-monogamy.We search for multiple loving partners for biological reasons, for emotional reasons. Some people, like me, feel they were always this way to some degree. Seeking an antidote for unsatisfying long-term relationships can also be a catalyst for leaping into polyamory- or as I like to think of it, honest and responsible non-monogamy. Sometimes we just want to feel loved and adored by everyone, and can’t stand to turn anyone away. Some folks are just afraid of commitment. And sometimes its a combination of several of these reasons- and others. 

When I began my explorations in polyamory, I desired for people to love me. I thought, as many people new to polyamory do, that I would slowly build up a collection of partners- one or two primaries and a host of secondaries. That perception quickly changed.

In early 2012 I dated a man who I fell head over heels for. I thought I had found a primary partner when- on our first night together- we were already talking about partnership. I was devastated when the relationship ended a whole six weeks later.

artistic catharsis

artistic catharsis

It was in the aftermath of this, while over dramatically wailing on the ground and asking myself “Why?” (as only a theatre major can) and furiously channeling my emotions into paint on the canvas (as only an angsty artist can),  that I had a revelation. All the time while I was married, and during all the explorations of dating I had done since separating from my husband- I had been seeking love externally.

Now, I have battled with depression for years. Struggles financial, emotional and health-wise make it all too easy to feel down and to seek external validation. I realised that in the midst of all that, I had forgotten how to love myself. Furthermore, in an attempt to emotionally bypass the deeper things going on within my psyche, I was becoming enamored with multiple external distractions, seeking human crutches on to which to lean my wounded heart and spirit. I resolved that I didn’t want to do that any more. I decided that rather than seek a primary partner externally, that I needed to be my own primary partner.

Pursuing relationships- any relationship, let alone polyamorous ones- purely in search of more people to love you is not a healthy approach. it’s one that I’ve certainly done at times, and I observed that it was symptomatic of unresolved emotional states within myself. I realised that we can’t be coming at it from a place of feeling that we lack love. And the only way to do that is develop an absolutely kick-ass relationship with one’ self, to be able to love yourself even when you are totally alone.

Growing up within a yoga tradition, I was taught, “Love yourself, honor yourself, God dwells within you, as you.”  The teachings I was brought up with were about evolving into greater self awareness. Based on the philosophy of traditional Tantra (not to be confused with Western “Tantra”), self awareness comes from not hiding from any single aspect of one’s self. It is about exploring and embracing both our shadow selves and our light. Or, as author Jeff Brown puts it, “Transcend nothing, include everything.”

"Theologue"

Having looked outside of myself for love, and experienced the momentary validation that comes from someone else telling me, “You are Beautiful,” “You are wonderful”, “I love you”, I’ve come to find that all that is, is validation. It’s not Love. It’s all light and rainbows, and never any shadow. I find the shadows when I can be completely present to my experiences. And I experience the strongest sensations of Love as flowing from within myself. The time I spend with lovers can become a meditation on Love, allowing the novelty of passion to find expression in each breath. It’s my own means of adoration and devotion to the beauty I see in the person- or people- I am with. And, when I am with a lover, I want to be one hundred and fifty percent present with them. I want them to be able to be one hundred and fifty percent present with me. I don’t want my mind to be wandering elsewhere. I want to be IN that moment with them- not in the past, not in the future, but right there, breathing their breath, responding to them, dancing that dance. And when that dance moves and shifts and I am alone, or with another lover, I want to be just as present to that moment.

I’m not non monogamous because I seek love or validation in myself. I want to be in multiple romantic relationships because I experience so much love within me to be shared that I would loose my mind if I tried to hold it back.

ghmirrormirrorreflectionofmysoul-1I consciously seek people that I can build a connection with. Whether it’s someone I see for dates regularly, enjoy a more ‘low key’ yet passionate connection with, spend hours exchanging ideas with, or someone I get to share cuddles with perhaps only once in a few months, what I desire most is a connecting of hearts, a meeting of minds, and an exchange of mutual inspiration that stimulates creativity. Conscious connections nurture us. They inspire us, and they hold up mirrors for us as we continue to evolve our relationships to ourselves.

Being present with one person like this requires a lot of self work. A lot of releasing fears based on past experiences. A lot of surrendering of future fantasies. Being fully present with multiple partners-  it’s not for the faint of heart.

I’ve been engaged proactively in this process with myself now for over two years- tearing down the masks and the habits that hold me back from being present, and discovering new and exciting layers of my individuality. I no longer want to tone down the intensity that seems innate to my personality. Having grown weary of being ‘not me’, I’m learning how to un-zip this wildly present orgasmic Me.

That isn’t to say that I don’t fall in to a pattern of desiring validation. When I’m depressed, or under the weather, or just plain exhausted and want to hear “I love you”, “You are beautiful”, “You are wonderful”, I know that I don’t have to jump on OkCupid to find someone to tell me that. I can tell me that. And the friends and lovers in my life can tell me that too.

I remind myself every day to Love. I love to love. Perhaps I am simply in love with Love itself, seeking other lovers to share the delights of the moment with. I seek new and beautiful ways to love my self, and love others.

 

Orgasmic Odyssey

The female orgasm is a fascinating thing.

I find there is so much diversity to orgasms. They can range from small tremors, to full body tectonic shifting earthquakes, to explosive eruptions that ripple through the landscape. And this diversity really fascinates me. Whilst I have been able to give myself those planetary-scale gushing orgasms, very rarely has someone else been able to give them to me. ElkFeather did. Noel did. Often times I have come close, only for it to give way into a cascade of what I term ‘laugh-gasms’ and those are still plenty enjoyable in their own way. Still, I’ve gotten used to the fact full on polar-shifts might happen, or not, and even if they don’t, I’m still having fun. Mentally holding on to the idea that I want to experience one of those full-body shockwaves seems to get in the way of actually experiencing it. Which brings me to the catalyst for this article, because in the course of 24 hours, I had two separate tsunamis, with two different people.

I had a very interesting experience with a guy who, for the sake of the blog, we’ll call Haru. I’ve met him twice before, once last summer, and then again at a social event a few weeks ago. We’d connected over some common interests, and I found him quite fascinating. Glancing over his profile on Fetlife once, I remember feeling that unavoidable eyebrow raise of hrm, this could be interesting to explore.

Well, explore we did.
nakednessAfter seeing each other at this social event, we arranged to hang out for the evening, trading some massage. Amongst the many things I know in life, I know a thing or two about massage, as does he. The very platonic connection developed into something quite more than that very quickly. Something about the shared ability of being present to one another’s bodies. See, giving massage, touching another person’s skin from a massage point of view, requires a lot of ‘listening’ to the body. You have to tune in to understand some of the subtleties going on underneath the surface. This gave a beautiful foundation for a more powerful, trusting connection to evolve.

There are many ways in which what we shared was incredibly lovely, but one thing that stands out for me in the uniqueness of the experience, and as key to how I opened up to the full orgasm, is the loving affection he gave my belly. I have experienced a lot of trauma around my abdomen. Many years of painful ovarian cysts, two miscarriages, upsetting medical procedures and diagnostic tests, and the psychosomatic holding of emotions in my core that have related strongly to my mother and all the pain of her judgements against me: that subtle unseen umbilical chord that I have been seeking to sever in my quest for the full expression of my independent self.

I cannot emphasize enough just how healing it felt to have so much nurturing and sensual attention paid to my belly. It was incredibly profound, and there was a beautiful sense of joy and ecstasy that came from being ‘seen’ in that moment- being seen and experienced, not for the scars and wounding I have held, but for the light and potential within me.

I felt empowered to take charge more than I have done with new partners before, and, in a balanced expression of myself as a switch, got to explore a little more of my dominant side, taking charge whilst staying in tune with Haru’s body too.

Like Orion, Haru chooses to abstain from intercourse, a choice I find incredibly fascinating, and enjoyable for all the creativity it opens me up to. The foreplay is no longer foreplay. It’s just play. And play can go on for ever, and constantly evolve.

There’s a lot of fun to be had when the more obvious source of physical satisfaction isn’t available to you.

SUZ_3793I’ve been musing for a while about how I feel some orgasms through different parts of my nervous system- the nerve plexuses along the spine seem to ‘fire’ off in different ways with different orgasms. In the past few months I had been slowly progressing- in my own orgasmic practice as well as with partners- from a ‘root’ centered experience, to sacral, and then, in my night with Haru, I finally felt the orgasm travel all the way to the solar plexus nerve centre for the first time. It was really very incredible. There was a huge release of emotions, and joy. The synergy of that moment was incredibly lovely, and very special. In my exploration of my more polysexual side, my connection with him is something that I think will have room to be explored again- and in the meantime, I have opened myself up to a new and very nourishing friendship. We spooned and cuddled and sighed all night.

The following evening I had a date and sleepover at Orion’s.

Now, Orion and I haven’t had sex since last December. In fact, we haven’t been very sexual with one another for a few months. Partly due to physical energy, mental distractions, space, and just not feeling that either of us wanted to force something if we didn’t feel it was natural.

Exploring the possibilities of a relationship with no attachment to expectations, we’ve both been growing into a new level of comfort with the ‘unknowing’ of what might happen when we hang out. A date with Orion could mean anything: geeking out over sci-fi, sharing mongolian barbecue, a deep conversation about spirituality and/or polyamory and/or the nature of the universe. It could be soft warm cuddles, or hot sexy makeouts. Dessert could be gelato- or, it could be me. Neither of us holds one another to an expectation or obligation of things, and the way we have developed of communicating about it is quite neat.

Well, on this occasion, right from when I arrived at his place, we couldn’t keep our hands or mouths off each other  It was hot. Orion likes the image of lions pouncing on one another, and I think this is really accurate. It is playful, and because there’s no expectation or feeling of obligation to one another, it becomes a very freeing and liberating experience to not actually know where this is leading, or of how far we will be ready to go from moment to moment.

I told him about my experience the night before and how amazing I felt afterwards. As Orion gets to know me more, and gets to interact with my other partners, he’s been enjoying the experience of compersion more, and he seemed incredibly happy to hear about the fun night I had had. Cooling things down a bit with dinner and watching a movie together, we transitioned into conversation about life, the universe, and everything, before moving seamlessly back into a passionate flow of things. Then came that moment of ‘Is it bedtime, or do we keep making out?’ to which the answer seemed obvious.

We pulled shirts off. We pulled pants off. We kissed softly. We kissed roughly. We played with that rhythm of building anticipation and then cooling off just enough that the rush back into things built up the excitement and anticipation even further than it was before. It was fun, creative, without any agenda. We communicated playfully about what we were doing. Does it feel better at Warp 10, or Warp 5? God that communication is powerful when it can happen with ease. When you trust your own body and trust your partner, when you experience the liberating power of being seen and heard for who you are and what you love at that core, primal level of your being… few experiences  in life, that I know of, can compare to that.

Erotic lingerie

Orion was playful, commanding, respectful, exciting, calm, and gleeful as he explored me anew. He approached my body from this beautiful space of wanting to know more about it, wanting to understand it- not in an intellectual way- but in a kinaesthetic and tactile way. It was incredibly hot.

There’s a phenomena that I can only describe as a pre-orgasmic possession: the moments where my brain totally shuts off, and I am fully and wholly in my body. My body moves of its own accord, naturally. Squirming, sighing with my whole breath, reverberating spontaneous sound through every part of me. There’s no more thinking in that state. There’s just doing. And I’ve been asked questions in that state and, though I hear them, and as hot as it is to communicate back and forth about what’s happening, when that moment comes along, I can’t think to answer with any intellectual capacity. Yet, my body speaks the answer. My body responds. My body communicates. I become fully present to the moment at hand.

Of course, all human beings are wired slightly differently. The female anatomy can vary greatly from one woman to the next. Naomi Wolf talks at length in her book Vagina: A New Biography about this. We really are all unique and fascinating creatures. I say this with a fair bit of experience in giving women orgasms myself. We are delightfully complicated. And, never underestimate the significance of the head space someone is in, the stress they may be experiencing, how hydrated they are, how healthy they are, how their hormones are functioning.

556040_360662704040340_1319064682_nI wonder how the experience of orgasm may be similar or different for men. I’ve certainly noticed amongst men I have been with who identify closer to bisexual or gender queer, they seem to experience orgasms differently from men who identify as more straight or as purely masculine. I want to explore this more and develop a better understanding of it.

Is there a formula for the female orgasm?

Perhaps.

Keep exploring. Keep communicating. Keep sharing. Build trust. Share love and affection. Be creative. Don’t think of your partner as obligated to give you anything, and don’t obligate yourself to give them anything either. Be healthy. Take your time. Listen. Nurture a perspective that can stay in the moment. And then, where it goes, is where it goes.

Dancing with Detachment and Devotion

“As spiritual searchers we need to become freer and freer of the attachment to our own smallness in which we get occupied with me-me-me … If we … attune our mind to …  indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy. Also recalling our own experiences in which we acted generously or with compassion for the simple delight of it without expectation of any gain can give us more confidence in the existence of a deeper goodness from which we may deviate.”
~Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra
“Relationships aren’t about making you happy, they are about making you conscious.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Perhaps one of the greatest unspoken challenges in my polyamarous lifestyle is this: the dance of balancing incredible attraction with a level of detatchment.

When I am with a lover, I want to be one hundred and fifty percent present with them. I don’t want my mind to be wondering elsewhere. I want to be IN that moment with them- not in the past, not in the future, but right there, breathing their breath, responding to them, dancing that dance. And when that dance moves and shifts and I am alone, or with another lover, I want to be just as present to that moment.

Its possibly one of the most challenging things to train yourself to do. It requires this wierd level of detatchment from expectations whilst giving myself wholly to the moment at hand. I’m not with someone thinking “this will go somewhere”, or “I can’t wait until.” No. I’m there, in that moment with them, as much as I can be. Its a dynamic and powerful practice in self discipline.

It has been said that the purpose of yoga is the quietening of the ‘fluctuations of the mind.’ For many yogis and similarly minded students, this means a quiet mind. Maybe going into a private room and freeing yourself of distractions in order to meditate. Perhaps giving up posessions, or sensual indulgences. Living in austerity. Living in celibacy. Absolute detachment from the state of the mind.

I consider myself a ‘yogi’, except that I have instinctively chosen a different approach, one that I’m only now beginning to understand yet alone be able to articulate.
In the book “Tantra Illuminated”, a fantastic book that covers the history and origins of tantra (as in, tantra before it became a sex-thing), author Christopher Wallis writes:
“Being predominantly aware of our awareness comes about ether spontaneously or through Spiritual practices. We do have spontaneous experiences … from time to time … Perhaps realizing you are falling in love… In these moments, we feel expanded, our awareness is intensified… these moments… are tiny imitations of our inner potency… If the false mental constructs about ourselves are dissolved the Heart will stand revealed in its fullness.”
This is like a hyper-awareness. Rather than detatching from the mind and body, its a state of being fully aware of the mind and body. Rather like living in a constant state of mini-orgasm.
As author Jeff Brown puts it, “Transcend nothing, include everything.”
I experience the strongest sensations of love as flowing from within myself. The time I spend with partners/lovers/flovers is a meditation on Love, allowing the novelty of love and passion to find expression in each breath. It’s my own means of adoration and devotion to the beauty I see in the person- or people- I am with.

I’m not poly because I seek love or validation in myself. I’m polyamarous because I experience so much love within me to be shared that I cannot hold it back.

Being present with one person like this requires a lot of self work. A lot of releasing fears based on past experiences. A lot of surrendering of future fantasies. Being fully present with multiple partners-  it’s not for the faint of heart.

I’ve been engaged proactively in this process with myself now for over two years- tearing down the masks and the habits that hold me back from being present, and discovering new and exciting layers of my individuality. I no longer want to tone down the intensity that seems innate to my personality. Having grown weary of being ‘not me’, I’m learning how to un-zip this wildly present orgasmic Me.

I love to love. Perhaps I am simply in love with Love itself, seeking other lovers to share the delights of the moment with.

Kickin’ it Kinky

At one point on my OkCupid profile I described myself as something like vanilla ice cream with white chocolate and raspberry swirls, aspiring to be drizzled in butterscotch and meringue pieces.

I’ve got a fun and creative side that has only started to be explored sexually in the last year. There’s all different shades of kinky, its true, and a question that keeps coming up for me is- am I kinky?

I read some blogs that are UBER kinky. I read kinky porn sexy stories. Heck, I’ve been known to enjoy some BDSM porn every now again (especially if its all girls). Almost all of it though seems a little impersonal, and whilst I can get excited as an observer, I find it challenging to get into on a real-life level because so much of who I am is about connecting with lovers on a very personal and profound level.

Rope- I love it. There’s something fun about getting stuck, and its very liberating to experience a freedom within that. Blindfolds, a change in sensory awareness are also fun. And I love to dress up, whether its with the intention of having sex, or not. Chains and collars and whips and paddles and all that jazz? That I’m not so sure about. I mean, it might do something for me. I can’t say I’ve tried everything out yet (and I’ll try anything twice before I decide if its for me or not). The whole handcuffs thing and sexy oil massages…  the only time I really really tried the handcuffs and massaging thing was with my ex husband, and, if you’re one of my twenty adoring hardcore fans, you’ll have read about our unsuccessful ventures into bondage in a previous post. That stuff just doesn’t get me going. And, whilst I’ve often enjoyed being talked dirty to, its a stretch for me to think of anything dirty to say back to my partner- mainly because my brain seems to loose its language capacity when I’m really enjoying myself!

Really, I think I’m more of a tantric kinkster. If, that is, that’s a thing. If its not, I’m making it a thing, as of now.

I went searching at a local new age bookstore for books on Sacred Tantra. All the books I found were either too ‘hippy dippy’- with photos of hemp wearing new age rainbows-and-light folks dancing and leaping through their chakras pre and post orgasm (dude, I can do that already, I don’t need a book)- or they were all science and no spirit- with diagrams and photos of positions and of how the breathing patterns should move and for how long you breathe into each centre, like a scientific manual. Actually they weren’t too dissimilar to the Kama Sutra. If you ever pick up the original text of the Kama Sutra, I dare you to read a bit out loud with your best David Attenborough voice- its really just a scientific commentary on human mating practices, rather than the actual nature of intimacy and energetic connecting that happens during lovemaking. I did find a couple of interesting books that attempted to put a neuvo-spiritual spin on the tantric spiritual and sex practices, with some simple excercises to try out (like eye gazing with your partner during intercourse) and yet lacked the spiritual backbone, and so they skipped over what, to me, is the real gold in the treasure trove that I feel sure is there.

I want a tantra that is sacred and sexual, that’s grounded and enlightening, that teaches you about your body and soul, as well as reveals your partner’s body and soul. Teasing and intimate, present and fun.The kind of pure living-in-the-moment and breathing-creativity that grants you the experience of orgasming with the whole universe. Delicious and decadent. Liberating lovemaking.

I asked Orion about this conundrum of mine. He’s far more experienced in this stuff than I am- hence why he’s my personal rope tutor.

“There’s only two things you need to be kinky,” he said, “Presence, and Imagination.”

Really?

I think I can do that.

Perhaps one of my strengths as a lover is in being creative, and in applying myself to relationships much the same way I do to my creative endeavours- constantly seeking out my edges and daring to traverse them in whatever way works the best for me. Courageously catapulting myself into uncharted territory of tantalizing tantric tenderness.

So here I am, forging my own style of tantric kink.

That might need to be a blog all of its own….