Holding space for male vulnerabilityMay 31, 2023
One of the great losses in the heteronormative standard story of sex is that female sexuality is considered to be complex and mysterious whilst male sexuality is considered to be simple and obvious*
What might be closer to "truth" is that there is something profoundly mysterious about the potential of our sexual energy and something essentially simple about what is needed to open to that potential. In a nutshell - a sense of safety and being welcome.
In this moment, I'm feeling moved to speak to what I consider an injustice to men and male sexuality when female practitioners don't consider a deeper understanding of the male body and energetics worthy of their study and attention. Where the vulnerability of the male sexual experience - and yes there is vulnerability for those in male bodies - is denied or dismissed. Not given permission to emerge and be held and received.
When female practitioners treat men and male sexuality as simple and obvious, they are unwittingly contributing to a culture of hurt and harm. And yes, I've seen it. Men coming to me feeling broken and confused after so-called a "Tantric massage" from a woman who treated them with subtle yet palpable contempt. Being pushed through a massage experience as if they were in a sausage-making machine without time to feel fully in choice about the experience. Or even knowing that choice was an option.
There is an orientation in offering touch-based sexuality work that truly honours the one who is receiving. It emerges from within the one who is giving. It arises from a place of inner sanctity that doesn't need to be harsh or forceful to exude authority. It gives permission to bring vulnerability and open into a wider range of expression. Without any words it says, "You are welcome".
Offering that outer space comes from our own inner work. This weekend I'm hosting a workshop in Trauma-Informed Practice: A Basic Toolkit for Sexuality Practitioners in collaboration with my friend and colleague Sara Bhavani.
Bhavani is more specialised in trauma awareness practices and psychosexual somatic work and offers accessible knowledge and practices for people who work with bodies. The skills and information Bhavani shares are truly part of new paradigm culture that honours body wisdom, choice and consent.
I want to extend a particular invitation to women who work with men. If you're thinking "This isn't relevant to me or my work" then think again. You may just have a blind spot that is causing harm to you, your clients and your business.
Let’s support one another in being and doing better.
* I am intentionally using binary definitions here as befits the topic of the wounding between those who identify as men and women. I speak from personal and professional experience based on what I observe. This is not to exclude or deny the spectrum of sexual expressions or orientations; simply reflecting on a piece that I can see from here.
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