Trigger warning. This post contains commentary that is anti-religious.
I believe in God. But is my God the same as anyone else’s? What is God? Not who is God, but what?
Organised religion, religion itself, has long been problematic for me. From my boredom in the pews or the enforcement of Sunday School as just one more way my mother could “correct” me, my behaviour, control me, to a childhood in a Christian school, there was plenty to rebel against. But rebellion is easy, it is a passive force. No, my rejection of religion stems from something deeper. The unconscious cynicism of one group which asserts control over another. Access to knowledge and the dispensation of faith as favours, corrupts completely. All those evil, unspeakable, blood-soaked deeds committed in the name of faith. They continue to this day, despite the creed.
Using faith as an excuse to persecute, bully, or harm, as a way to create the ‘other’ is beyond shameful. It is taking something beautiful and powerful and corrupting it absolutely—just the opposite of how it is being used. If you have faith, regardless of what it is, then you have a special responsibility to the world around you to not use that faith to judge, criticise or alienate yourself from others, but rather to heal and support.
One pocket of my ancestors, mostly put to death for their beliefs (thank goodness at least one of them got away), the Albigensians, first documented crusade, Christians against Christians, had little to do with faith and everything to do with power. Threaten power and you are in for a world of hurt. And in just one further unsettling example of how existential our lives can be, my business school class contained a descendant of one of the most blood-thirsty leaders of that crusade, the very person who laid siege to my family, wiped out the people, despoiled the countryside, dispossessed from our lands, and sent us bound and chained to a religious court where we were forced to renounce our faith, stripped naked, branded, hair cut off, and imprisoned. Pardoned, yet dispossessed, our order disbanded and wiped out, meeting and living on only in secrecy. It is hard to imagine something more “biblical” as a source of existential pain than to imagine yourself dispossessed and your enemy gorging themselves at your table, in your home, with everything that you spent a lifetime creating.
When I think of organised religion, I cannot help but separate the crimes against humanity perpetrated in its name (s). These are not historic relics. The sex abuse scandals which plague the Christian church, for example, have not yet found the antiseptic light of truth. How could I possibly align myself with an institution that is plagued by so much rot and hypocrisy?
Of course, issues such as these are not confined to Christianity. I don’t wish to take pot shots at everyone’s faith, but all of the major religions have fresh blood on their hands. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews. And you have to ask yourself why. Why? Perhaps, inherent in the creation of any group based on faith, a kind of glue for a community, positing those outside the group as ‘other’ is an inevitable by-product. We all know that casting others as ‘other’ is simply the anteroom to disdain, dislike, even hate. The purpose of propaganda in war time is to feed this feeling, to make people want to fight, to exterminate, to wipe out, to drive away…when we feel ‘other’ about someone, it makes it easier to turn away from them, to wish them all, and to not feel guilty about it.
Of course, there are some beautiful things which come from religion, though these do not need the intercession of a fellow human between any of us and God. These include charity, community, a safety net. But those good things also contain the seeds of their own downfall. The flipside of charity is a need to keep up with the Jones’s, to have in order to give, expressed in material terms. The flipside of community is exclusion, clubiness, the ‘other’ regarding those who don’t belong. And after all, why should we accept that scripture, the word and teachings of God, as interpreted by another fellow human, are devoid of self-interest, of any of these contaminating influences? Why should we accept the rules, opinions, the sermons of others masking themselves as universal truths, rules, or laws? It seems suspect, and perhaps with a grain of salt is the only way.
You might ask, “but how can you profess to have faith with views such as these?” My godless brother ridiculed me the night that he nearly punched me out for having a “personal God”. But this is true. I do have a personal connection with God. And my God is mine. Yours is yours. How I believe God to be is mutable, and since I don’t know, but only feel, this is quite understandable.
To have faith is to know. I have never not known. I feel God everywhere. In all of us, in all things, in the forces all around us. The content of my belief matters little—though it interests me greatly, I wouldn’t presume to bore you. What matters is that faith is the cornerstone of spirituality. And spirituality is about the ‘how of life’, in a sense, the wake we make as we slice through the waves. How we navigate both calm and tempestuous times, no matter the destination, no matter our fellow travellers. Spirituality is the keystone to how we conduct ourselves.
From Religion to Spirituality
The segue from religion to spirituality is an important one, as many people rely on religion to provide a spiritual framework for their lives. It is better than nothing. But looking without for something that should come from within is a form of abdication that does not bode well for the fulfilment of one’s own potential. I can’t help but think that the confession box exists for the sinner, that they are in a co-dependent relationship that serves no one.
In other words, recognising that we carry God within us, is the first and most important step to enlightenment. Next, is recognising that how we conduct ourselves in life is the most perfect expression of our manifestation as humans on this earth. Loving kindness and good energy is simply bring God to the surface. I am studying horse-whispering. It is not possible to connect with animals in this way unless you can be with them fully present, without guile, and fully spiritual.
Though I have always had an extraordinary bond with horses, it never occurred to me that this was tempered by my aesthetic love for them, and how their energy “mothered” me as a child. The whinnies of recognition and nuzzling were demonstrations of joy and connection that greeted me every day when I walked into the stables. It was one of the only times when little that I felt truly in myself. My most powerful therapist, a true witch, and one I don’t get to see often as it requires me to be in her physical presence, guided me towards formal study of horse-whispering.
As a former beekeeper, I learned that other species, bees, can “hear us”, feel us, and tune into our mental energy. With the right mindset it is possible to be with bees and without netting and work on the hives. With the right mindset it is possible to guide a swarm of bees. And who has a dog or a cat and doesn’t believe that “we understand each other”. Have you ever cried with your pet and thought, “you are the only one who understands me?” You can laugh at me all you want, but it’s true. Many of us have been there.
God is innate
The conceptual play between this heading and the idea that God exists in all things is intended. I am not saying that spirituality or faith are innate, but God is. Whether we “choose” to recognise God’s presence may be conscious. It certainly happens for some people and not for others. It is also certain that many people conflate religion with faith, and this mix-up serves no one well. Howsoever a person finds God is of no consequence; what matters is what they do with it.
Taking the crucial step away from the teachings of someone else to the feeling of faith inside of us is the key step towards liberation, freedom, living in joy, attaining grace, letting go of the ego, finding ourselves only to know that finding is the same as losing—that we lose ourselves within the folds of ourselves at the moment when we truly find ourselves. This is the discovery of God, the cradle of faith.
In other words, we all ‘have it’. Sadly, some of us deny ourselves this path. Or just never see it. Never believe it. Don’t believe that we are so fortunate. Whatever the reason. And I don’t mix atheism with this. There are a great many atheists who are profoundly spiritual people. And even atheists who are not consciously spiritual conduct themselves in ways that speak to a deep harmony that is born of faith.
In other words, that which is “God” is already there. It is us. And the acceptance of God is nothing less than the acceptance of ourselves, a prerequisite for harmony, happiness, and enlightenment, no matter what we call it.
Human decency is innate. Altruism is innate. And this is true of all species, not just humans.
Spirituality as our God-language
Our ability to converse with the world around us is mechanical at root…those with language of any kind can connect. What takes connection beyond mechanics is spirituality. Being present as we engage, fully present, listening with every atom of our attention, is founded on this principle.
[Two weird by-products of oestrogen that I have noticed lately are that my ADD is “worse” in many ways—my compulsive writing of notes to myself to keep myself organised, my running errands but forgetting to bring the things I need to accomplish them, my constant losing of my stuff. But also my ability to listen to someone, to be present. Oh, and one other. Sub-space has become much more accessible—as in it takes almost nothing to trigger it in me].
This means that faith, its nature, what it tells us about the world around us, is a form of fluency. When we are spiritually connected to ourselves, we are much more connected to the world around us. Finding that inner strength, self-knowledge, self-awareness simultaneously makes us more ‘solid’ but also more diffuse, aware of our surroundings, aware of the situation in which we find ourselves, aware of all of the energy being exchanged between us and the people we are talking to.
This is deeply enriching. Inner strength serves a vital purpose in life. It helps us to engage with the world in a way that is not just better for ourselves but is enriching for everything we come in contact with. Making the world a better place begins with self-awareness, and self-awareness is founded on a spiritual connection with the self, on faith.
When I think of how this feels in the body, it feels very strongly of how I often felt when I was young, between the ages of 5 and 10, filled with hope, energy, curiosity, and love, all facets bound up in the concept of innocence. In those days, that feeling coursed through me. Today, I can tap into it through meditation, quiet time, self-reflection. Above all, it is a time of heightened sensitivity. It is not ironic that I was peak ADD in those days. And ADD is all about heightened sensitivity.
When I think of the particular joy I felt in the presence of the FSSW I recently met and played with, it was born from this. Connecting with innocent wonder. And being able to close my eyes, to touch, to kiss, to be touched, kissed and to surrender to hours of sensual joy without the burden of direction, expectation, a desired outcome, was its own source of joy. In other words, what was so fulfilling about it, what gave such deep satisfaction from the experience, was entering it and living it with nothing beyond the richness of connecting intimately with another human.
Gabor Maté, in his book Scattered Minds, spoke of ADD as a propensity. We are born with a sensitivity, but it is our circumstances that bring it out. This speaks to my truth. Attachment and attunement, critical to the ADD child, were lacking for me. The mother-child relationship is the most important in this dynamic, and the potential development of ADD symptoms. And this might explain why symptoms of ADD are intensifying under oestrogen, as oestrogen is most definitely intensifying my ability to listen, to feel, to be present (albeit with distractions).
One of the areas of practice I have been working on is a kind of somatic therapy that involves a mix of energy work, touch, and talk. Not immodestly, I say that I appear to be ‘good’ at it. This is defined by the connection that arises between me and the person I am touching, and the surfacing of powerful emotions. Since I began this practice, I have felt an increasing sense that my hands have eyes. That I can ‘see’ into someone as my hands connect with them. While it takes years to qualify in it, and I likely will, I am already ‘doing’ it with willing guinea pigs. In keeping with the theme of this post, that the organised aspects of the method serve more to create separation from other methods than by helping the practitioner find a collection of approaches which help evolve one’s practice. Hence, all of this other ‘stuff’.
Last night at Kundalini yoga, I felt incredible energy surging through my hands as we went through some of the exercises. I came to Kundalini yoga through its connection to shakti, to female energy, seeking to learn my own new body and its spiritual feelings. I am glad that the entire group is female. These things are all connected.
Kundalini is a practice which helps improve our ability to connect with our own energy, with ourselves. It is a practice which is not spiritual, but which helps our ability to engage with ourselves in a spiritual way. It is about fluency in communion with our own bodies and psyche. It is a form of grounded-ness. Just as a full box of cornflakes gradually settles when gently shaken to only 2/3s full, as the flakes settle into themselves, so too Kundalini helps us settle into ourselves. And this plays out over the days after session.
Perhaps, God is energy. Perhaps, spiritual practice helps develop our fluency with this energy. Perhaps, it develops our fluency with the world around us, with those we encounter. Perhaps spirituality is all about connection. You need not be a horse to feel the connection.
Tantra is exactly about this energy. In the West, on the heels of people like Sting who talk about all-night sessions of tantric sex, the word Tantra conjures up those images. But the origins of Tantra are spiritual. It is a Western conceit to put spirituality and sexuality as opposites. There is no continuum between the two. Sexuality is a part of spirituality. It is organised religion which has taught that sexuality is impure, that sexual feelings are worthy of shame. Why? Because we all have them, and what better way to goad the goats into the corral than to simultaneously offer salvation as to show sin and shame…”if you aren’t aspired to join the flock, we will shame you in.”
Confession. I was drawn into Tantra out of a desire to understand my increasingly ‘female’ body. The transformation of my skin into a giant sexual organ which facilitates human and erotic connection took me there. I have Tantric “massage” on the brain. Also, as a dick-less hero, with an unknown vagina lying in my future, and as someone who is wired for slavery, being pleasing in bed is a minimum for me. How can I connect with someone spiritually, emotionally, if I cannot, do not, please them?
An Aside: The fear of becoming sexually irrelevant
This is a monster aside, but the transgender sexual experience is a massive unknown for me. My libido is very different. Gone is the deeply affirming erection and the pleasures of attendant arousal. Instead, this has been replaced by almost immediate triggering of sub-space and a desire for physical contact, touch, and emotional intimacy. Will I experience an orgasm ever again? Do I really need a vagina? Could I live with a vulva and clitoris instead? After all, if I don’t want a man, what need have for a vaginal canal?
I have no true idea. But my instinct says to proceed. That having a vagina, even if it is one created by a surgeon, is a part of this journey. That my fantasy of having a woman inside of me, even if it is from a strap-on, is all about emotional connection. Will it feel as good as my occasional orgasms from being male were? I have no idea. I am told that they will be. I am also told that were I to play with myself now, it would be possible to bring myself to an orgasm that will be much longer and deeper than what I used to feel. I can’t bring myself to touch it in that way, though I suppose I should give it a try. As hard as it would be for me to do this, it would be much harder for me to ask someone else, let alone let them, do this to me.
And so, as I have contemplated ‘partner’, and my craving for human connection inevitably leads me to this place, I can’t help but think about being sexual with someone. I can’t have another sexless marriage. But I also already find myself thinking that it would be okay if she slept with a man. And that is on the one hand selling myself short. My current crush, the one who called me a “doormat” was perhaps right in this sense. I lack the energy to defend myself. And this seems to be getting worse.
As a ‘male’ there was more aggressive energy in me. My form of self-protection was either secrecy—you don’t need to protect what nobody else knows or can see—or aggression, the ‘best offence is a good defense’. Keep them at arm’s length. Neither of those strategies are healthy. They lead to shame, to a lack of human connection, to loneliness. Thank goodness they are gone.
Sexual Tantra and Yoni Massage
My favourite therapist is guiding me towards Tantra as a sexual practice, and towards yoni massage. It is a security blanket for me, but I am okay with that for the time being. It would be reassuring to know that I can please someone physically in ways that are orgasmically fulfilling even as I step away from all aspects of male sexuality. Yes, cxxk-centricity exists even in me, even if only from social expectation, though perhaps also a fear that our biological wiring is always present. In other words, I am not yet comfortable with my own future lesbianism.
I don’t normally write about things I haven’t done yet, but I have a trip planned that includes this learning. And in due time, it will likely find its way onto these pages.
The thing is, no matter how deeply I inhabit femininity through the changes to my own body, I will always look like a freak to society. To some, this will be beautiful. To me included. To others, however, and most hurtfully, it will look “wrong”.
My breasts, for example, have reached a size where there is no mistaking what they are. And they are gorgeous, the kind that I would have loved to encounter. As fresh as they are, they are as perky as the breasts of a young woman, brand new, and fully bouncy. But in a bikini on the beach, there is all of me to contend with, broad shoulders, soaring height, only slightly curved body, driven more by skinniness than by grand design.
I have wanted to be fully covered in tattoos for as long as I remember. Certainly, already in college I was fascinated by the “urban primitives”. In my case, this does not include the face. But everything else, yes. And this desire has come strongly to the fore as my transgender nature asserts herself. Yes, I am a freak, and I want you to know. Should you ever see me naked, you will know.
And thus, the process has begun.
My mother once remarked when I was young and shortly after I got my first tattoo, “are you angry at me?” Only a mother could feel her ownership of the skin of her child. I could never see past those words and understand until now. What I understand are my own actions and recognise that the desire to decorate my skin is about stepping into my freak.
It will cost me more to tattoo my body than it will to change sex. How about that? I find that mildly hilarious. Yes, the artist is good. And yes, it is one artist only, treating the entire body as her canvas. And yes, I feel so good about the third of me that she has already done. When I look at it, it inspires me to care for my body. I am chuffed for how she totally ignored the words in the brief that I had provided her and took the artistic freedom I had granted to her and come up with something unique and beautiful that is her vision. And to think that I am now a walking piece of her art is really a wonderful feeling.
Tattoos, Spirituality, the Third Sex, and Shamanism
Why a sidebar on tattoos? All of these disparate threads are part of the same tapestry. Tattoos have arisen in culture to mark and communicate, to delineate and channel. They indicate belonging to a tribe. They have been an outward reflection of an inner landscape. They are a form of communication. Telling a story. Wearing our heart on our shirt sleeves has become wearing our souls on our skin.
Transgender people in “primitive” cultures (I much prefer the words “grounded” or “natural” or “indigenous”) have long existed and occupied a position of respect. They were shamans. It was believed that their spirit was more complex and more in tune with the shadow world. I do not yet claim these energies for myself, or demand anything from anyone. But these things I know:
- I was born a witch, and have felt that power since first conscious memory;
- My ancestry is laced with witches, including three I know of who were put to death for it (and this makes me doubly conscious of the honour that I have in being here);
- The “ability” I have to sense energy is palpable and real and is not common to my fellow humans;
- I very often see things before they happen, and whether that is to do with manifestation or seeing is not known to me, but is very real;
- This business of etheric threads is strong enough to literally pull me into unplanned encounters which needed to be.
- My dabblings with energy work have demonstrated “talent”, which appears to grow as I grow and learn.
So, I will study these things, committing myself to an ascetic life. I will let go of material things and begin to simplify. I am a white witch, though I have much training ahead of me. What amazes me is how my teachers seem to appear to me—I don’t even need to look.
The tattoo that has begun to envelop my body tells a story of my physical and spiritual life. It is a manifestation of kundalini energy and the divine feminine. I am honoured to wear it on my skin, and I shall endeavour to ensure this body respects the art that has been entrusted to me. And yes, it does speak of who I am and what my meaning is. To my mother, the answer should therefore be, “I want you to see me as I am.”
[And for those of you who love to read about Tattoos and how erotic and sexy they can be, and love a spot of crime fiction, the Japanese writer Akimitsu Takagi has written what is perhaps the most beautiful description of a tattoo and its power of all time. His book, The Tattoo Murder Case has just been reprinted and reissued and is once again widely available.]
Sexuality as language
The things which arouse us stem from an inner erotic landscape forged in the depths of our psyches. Some of it innate, certainly tied to our sex and sexuality, its shape is mutable, circumstantial, and largely subconscious. In the West, we regard Tantra as dichomotous, either purely sensual-sexual or spiritual. But the origins of the concept are about wholeness, a complete energy.
Our sexual energy is indubitably one of the most powerful ones we have. It is raw and primordial. It is also so inexplicably bound up with love that it is almost impossible to untangle the two. Whilst we have been taught that it is of our physical bodies, of the earth, and therefore guttural, animal, and base, the truth is that it is just as much a part of the spirit world as it is of the physical world.
The language that our sexuality represents is designed to give voice to this inner world, that speaks completely about who we are. And we are not just our bodies. Our bodies are but vessels to our spiritual selves. Sexual desire is not some road tax that our bodies exact on our souls as payback for providing a container. No. It is a part of our soul, and how we connect with our fellow humans.
The meaning of life is truly love, its expression, and its feeling. Sexuality is one of the main ways that these connections are made. Exploring our sexuality is therefore not at all dirty or sinful, but rather a means for achieving greater consciousness. Expressing kink in a consensual way is a means of accessing aspects of ourselves that there may be no other way to reach. And this is more true the more extreme the kink, the more far from the tree that the apple has fallen. Take your pick on “extreme” practices and seek to understand the ‘why’.
Trigger Warning. The next paragraph discusses such an example.
A fellow blogger once wrote about the practice of coprophagia, the practice of eating feces. I picked up the thread on a post of my own. The point is not whether you do it, whether you like to do it, whether you are disgusted by it…what matters is what is the root motivation of a person who finds this arousing. Ex-mistress rather eloquently put it in describing it as the ultimate symbol of submission, of sacrifice. The “I will do anything for you” idea. There may be also some of what babies do when they put things into their mouths, exploration; or what some primitive cultures believed about consuming the hearts of their vanquished enemies, that by eating ‘you’ they assume your properties. In other words, if you are a person who does this and enjoys this, expressing it gives you the opportunity to better understand where it comes from, why it exists, and thereby better understanding yourself.
And a sceptical reader might say, but isn’t that what therapy is for? And yes, that is what is therapy is for. But as someone who has spent a lot of time in therapy, and who has profited mightily from it, I know that I learned more, and more quickly under the lash than I did on the therapist’s couch. It is not an either/or, but sometimes therapy just can’t reach as deep. And honestly, the very fact that something is therapy has a connotation of fixing something, a kind of judging, no matter how soft the eyes. What was so therapeutic for me about playing with a domme in the weeds of my own sexual landscape was that she laughed and smiled and pranced and made me feel it was all right for the first time in my life…and talking about it with a therapist is just not the same as doing it with someone who doesn’t judge you, doesn’t make you feel disgusting or shamed, and who can speak with you articulately about it. Please don’t misunderstand, both have their place, and both belong hand-in-hand. By pairing therapy with BDSM one can cover real ground at pace.
Similarly, ex-Mistress spoke of the female submissive and her need to be dominated, a topic which was politically very difficult for me to accept. Her description of a submissive woman expressing these feelings as a way to take control in a society that offers it little, was an eye opener.
In other words, finding a healthy and safe container for each of us to express our sexuality, no matter what consensual form it takes, is a beautiful exercise in healing, in self-expression, in grounded-ness, in finding ourselves. In being present. And that is the most important thing of all. For when we are truly present, our noses are no longer pressed up against the glass, but we are well and truly in life.
A great and unexpected session with my core therapist
All through the chaos of my current life my main therapist has been with me, marking the changes, following me, listening, guiding me when needed. In a way, that constancy is a bit like friendship, but as she said when we first started, “I can either be your friend or your therapist, but you can’t have it both ways.” I chose therapist, but I appreciated having the choice.
She is one of the people providing me letters of support for gender transition surgery. In a conversation ostensibly about that, we drifted into other areas. I live as I write—if you are in conversation with me, you will know that we will wander everywhere. Somehow, we got onto the topic of all the changes that are taking place in my body whether I would ever be a ‘she’, would I change my name. Apart from now smelling delicious (I don’t smell like a boy at all anymore, even at my sweatiest, post-exercise worst), my skin is so utterly different. Sensitive and alive.
But these positives are small in comparison to the changes that are taking place in my sexuality, in my personality, in what I need emotionally. For one, although I was already drifting this way, I have become an extrovert. For those familiar with the Myers-Briggs type indicator or other similar diagnostics, you will know that an extrovert draws energy from interactions with other people, whereas an introvert draws energy from themselves, from time alone. I used to be an introvert, and have been changing my entire adult life, but this change is super-pronounced. I crave human company.
Apart from the impossibility of physical arousal—at least genital in the obvious sense (but there is something different going on down there—I do still get aroused, but the feeling is somehow deeper, below tissue, still between my legs, but almost as if it is in my guts)—I do still crave just as intensely the kind of fulfilment that comes from arousal. Except I know that this cannot come any longer from genital experiences. I hope this changes but have no idea. I don’t know if I can trust my trans sisters either, for they have a vested interest in the stories they tell from the other side of the operational divide. I’m scared. But I am also willing to take the leap without knowing whether true sexual arousal or fulfilment will ever return.
So how does that happen? An emotional bond, an energetic exchange, a gentle caress, cuddling, curiosity, an innocent and soft exploration of each other’s bodies, of one another’s energies. Of really great conversation that is deep, open, honest, without guile, and meaningful. And to have this without expectation, to be present for it, is every bit as fulfilling as the big ‘O’, only quite different. Since this can only happen for me with women, thankfully I am finding that many women who were friends who might have held back from me no longer do so, and as a result I have many wonderful friendships that have deepened immeasurably because I am no longer a man.
I’ve written a few times about not feeling submissive anymore. Also about how one of the women I have been getting to know, playing with in a most innocent way, called me the Italian word for doormat. This was playful and fun, and while I rebel against this statement, and say ‘never’, I realise that it is true, at least now. What made me realise that? My inability to get down in the gutter and tussle with my wife. There are plenty of nasty things I know I could do to get back at her. But somehow that kind of fight isn’t in me anymore.
But the pro-Domme I met who helped me say goodbye to my male persona said it best, “and yet you’re still here, aren’t you?” and that right before putting me through the paces in a way that I had never experienced before. But its true. I am no longer looking to submit. I don’t get aroused by it in the same way. I don’t think of myself as a submissive anymore. I am attending an important BDSM event, and old me would have gone as a sub, and wanted to be demonstrably owned. Instead I am going as neither domme nor sub, but as an observer, and wondering whether the way I dressed to go to the Torture Garden Pride Party, as a dominatrix, is closer to my feelings than I have been willing to admit.
Weirdest of all is that sub-space has suddenly become much more accessible to me. Not in the same deep way as it used to, but in the sense that I can be with someone I am attracted to, and the sexual energy can be crackling, and I can feel her desire to command me, to take control, even if this is totally unspoken, unknown. When I feel the dominant beast awakening in a woman, my energy naturally responds. There needn’t be even a whiff of kink.
I accept that I am a slave. To what I am not sure yet. Not ‘to whom’. The path to enlightenment and bliss requires surrender, to leave ego at the door, to quiet the mind, to let go of the rational self and to step into our animal nature. This is tantra, this is sexuality, and it is spirituality. The slave, the baby are just archetypes, forms of surrender before the divine, a force which for me is profoundly feminine and nurturing.
God-feeling through sex
The disservice to self I have perpetrated for the last 15 years in abstaining from sex with my wife is great. It was to deny myself the most important aspects of spiritual growth, of communion, of at least an attempt at presence. Yes, there are other ways to achieve these states, but it is in partnership of this kind that one travels further, faster. To be beside ourselves is exactly the goal. What better way than to make the “beast with two backs”?
Organised religion tends to reward pious thinking, to focus on the sphere of the mind. And yet, on close examination, faith is born from heart-feeling. We know. Not, ‘we imagine’. And that kind of knowing is deep, essential (of essence as opposed to necessary), existential, instinctual. This takes us closer to the animal in us, our innate wiring. To some, the idea of wiring speaks of rational processes, but what is the soul’s relationship to the body’s wiring if not its essential blueprint?
Our instinctual landscape is the world of the heart. And the world of the heart is what puts us closest to nature. Feeling the world around us, though our entire social structure seems founded on tearing us away from this, has to be one of the keys to bliss. As I study energy work, discovering more and more viscerally that everything is energy, the truth of this becomes ever more present.
And if we linger here for a moment, what higher form of communion might exist between two people than through an exchange of energy? With nothing else. Just a gentle feeling of energetic exchange. I had a taste of this with an FSSW. Seeking nothing, just shutting down my mind and experiencing, there was something deeply enriching about it. I have it with some of my friends, simply by sitting next to them. There are times in silence we can just feel one another without any fuss. I also feel this way with my pets, with animals more generally. It is this same feeling that one has when horse-whispering—when we are fully present we are at our most ‘wild’, and at our most wild we are finally understood, seen, naked. Sex need not be sexual at all. It can be completely spiritual, just as wild and animal. I have tasted this recently, more and more, coming to realise that what we do when we connect sexually is far better left without direction. Erotic touch is its own language, and a bit like a blind-folded round on the Ouija Board, can take us to the most extraordinary places.
Self-knowledge through sexuality and God bless sex workers
Big surprise. Shame has no place in sexuality. The origins of shame lie in the internalised-socialised processing of desire. Letting go of that shame starts with understanding the roots of desire in ourselves, where it comes from, why it is there, but far more importantly is finding a path towards rejecting the social stigma that we have attached to it.
I owe a life debt to sex workers in general. Apart from finding them generally wonderfully congenial companions, they have helped me to process on both a rational and emotional level what motivated me. The wisdom of the sex worker is divine; the path is littered with sacrifice and as such is a noble calling (even when some of its marketing is so nakedly material). Why on earth spending 20 minutes in the arms of Ex-Mistress as I suckled on a bottle cradled in her arms served to unleash my liberation shall forever remain a mystery. What strength came from whatever was in the drink and from inside myself matters not, what matters is what happened next.
What matters even more is that I was compelled to seek this world out. Not her, or any other one person. The various “catfish” dommes I played with during lockdown did just as much. Equally, this lingering dysphoria, this knowing that my own survival as a human could not be assured until and unless I let the genie out of the bottle. No therapy could have done that. It is nothing short of a miracle. May such miracles come to every reader, no matter the path.
I am so fired up about the future, it is hard to describe, but it informs the present. The journey itself has become joyful. Every day holds new discoveries for me, in physical, spiritual, and sexual ways. It is truly delectable.
My ways of connecting with people have multiplied, and each new way enriches my life, and the people I connect to in ways that surprise me. The less I expect of others, the less I ask, the more I seem to receive. The bounty of the universe comes to those who don’t look for it. The cynic says, “a bank will only lend to you when you don’t need the money.” That is so true of our material, physical lives. But the opposite is true for our spiritual selves. The more we learn that “need” is an illusion, the more fulfilling everything becomes. Is that a function of having a smaller cup? Not at all. The less we need the bigger the cup grows, becomes a bowl, and soon spills over.
My thirst for learning and new experiences grows. Courses here, courses there, finding my gurus, my teachers, and new friends. Reiki. Witchcraft. Energy work. Touch. Tantra. Yoga. Kundalini. Sex. Volunteer-work. Charitable giving. Yummy.
Thanks for reading such a long post!