If you wanted to enhance your wellbeing or get super fit, what would you do? Perhaps go to a gym, hire an expert personal trainer, watch videos, or ask advice from friends. You wouldn’t imagine that it would happen overnight. You know that it’s an ongoing practice.
So why is it that so many folks imagine having spectacular sex when they do little to cultivate their capacity for pleasure?
The belief that “sex is natural” is a great limitation on the imagination. It is true as far as being driven by the biological impulse. But let’s face it, most people do not engage in sexual acts for the purpose of procreation. You might be having solo sex, your genital match might not be baby-making, or you may be engaging in erotic experience for a whole host of motivations, such as connection and intimacy.
Sex is natural and pleasure is available to every human being. Yet in a curious paradox, when you bring form to the practice of pleasure, it supports greater flow. You can exercise for ecstasy.
Currently I am on a writing course with the wonderful Eva Weaver. As we journey week by week, I am struck by the parallels between the creative writing process and erotic experience.
Popular culture suggests that inspiration just comes out of nowhere, and creative expression simply flows spontaneously. However, as budding writers we are encouraged to devote ourselves to our craft – making time and space for the discipline of writing. Sometimes it feels like there’s no time in the day, sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s downright frustrating. And yet I keep turning up. Tending to my writer self.
How could you tend to your lover self?
Practising pleasure doesn’t tend to look like what most people imagine when they hear the word “sex”. No partner is required. Even if you have a lover or partner, it is valuable to develop your own erotic aliveness so that you have something to share with them.
The Rishi Isometrics* are an ancient practice for cultivating awareness of the subtle energy body, based on a principle of tension and release. Many folks are walking around in a state of chronic tension – physical and mental – without even realising it. Whilst it might sound strange to deliberately create stress in the body, when we do this consciously, it can become easier to perceive relaxation. You don’t know what you’re holding onto until you let it go.
Why not try it right now… here in this moment.
Take a deep full breath in. As you breath in, create a tension in your body by squeezing as many muscles as you can… scrunch up your face, squeeze your fists, clench your buttocks and tense your toes. Hold the breath and hold the tension. When you feel like you’re about to explode, release the breath and release the tension. Notice how you feel… track the sensations in your body… tingling, stillness, warmth, cool, whatever is arising for you… notice it. (If you don’t feel anything the first time, give it another go. It can take a few tries to feel it.)
I’ve shared this practice with many of my private clients and they love how simple yet powerful these five exercises can be. It only takes fifteen minutes to do the whole sequence. It might just boost your energy for life – and your lover. Enjoy!
* Gratitude to the lineage holders of Ipsalu Tantra for this practice.