Five Ways to Take Your Sex Life to the Next Level

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Does your sex life fulfill ALL of your fantasies? Are you enjoying the best sex of your life? Or is there something more you dream of and wish for?

No matter how awesome the sex you are currently having, there is the possibility for more. But more what?

As a sexologist and sex educator, a lot of people want me to help them improve their sex lives. Many of those people imagine that I will tell them about a new pill, potion or position. It seems everyone wants a quick fix – something which will magically transform boredom and routine into a thrilling joy ride of coital bliss. And sometimes those pills, potions and positions can accomplish just that – for the short term.

But eventually, even new thrills can become empty and boring.  And predictably, the search usually resumes for something new and exciting to fulfill our fantasies of what sex should be like.

Does this mean we are doomed to a life of uninspired sexual routine or, conversely, the endless pursuit of one momentary sexual high after another?

No. It all depends upon the erotic path you choose.

If you are willing to invest as much time and effort in your sex life as you do in your favorite sport or hobby, sex can be catapulted into a high art form which has the potential to exceed your wildest dreams.

But be forewarned that the price of admission into this rarified sexual reality can be more than some are willing to pay.

Do I have your attention?  Then by all means, read on . . .

Sex, like much of the rest of life, is shaped by our intentions as well as our technique. If your approach toward sex is oriented to simply having fun, then your sexual experiences will tend to be more superficial than heart centered.

But if you combine your sexuality with your spirituality, you can open erotic doors which transcend the mundane and literally launch you into a world defined by other dimensions.

Although an erotic journey of this nature can involve a variety of teachings and practices, I have outlined five of the most basic elements designed to take your sex to the next level:

1. Perfect Your Touch

You can touch something or you can touch your own desire. When you allow your hands and your finger tips to find their pleasure, your touch will naturally create pleasure in the person you are touching. Shift your focus from how you are touching and how you imagine your lover feels and allow the pure joy of touching to excite your senses.

The energy in your body radiates past the confines of your skin. Learn to sense this energy by holding the palms of your hands about a half inch to an inch apart and gently push at the space in between your hands. Notice how it feels when your hands come close to each other and how it feels as they move away. Can you feel the energy generated by the palms of your hands?  This is what you want to touch your lover with. You want to learn to direct that energy so that your touch extends past your fingertips.

2. Master Your Breath

Everyone breathes deeper and more frequently when they are sexually aroused. But unfortunately, many of us have learned to hold our breath when we orgasm. For some, holding the breath seemed like a wise way to avoid making noise and getting “caught” masturbating or having sex when we were younger. It can take some practice to unlearn this habit. But it is important that you allow yourself to breathe while you orgasm if you want to take your sexual pleasure to the next level. If you learn to breathe during your arousal and through your orgasms, you may be surprised how receptive your body is to continued arousal and multiple orgasms.

Conscious breathing exercises including some yoga practices and meditation techniques are an excellent way to master the art of breathing yourself to an ecstatic state of being. When you know how to raise your sexual excitement with your breath, your ability to experience pleasure is enlarged. Plus another benefit is an increased ability to connect with another person intimately. The breath unleashes emotions and when we breathe deeply, we feel our emotions more intensely. Allowing these emotions to surface during sex creates a more intense sexual and emotional sharing.

3. Expand Your Consciousness

Not only do meditation and yoga provide conscious breathing techniques which can enhance the enjoyment of sex, meditation and yoga can also expand your ability to sustain your awareness and focus. The ability to stay present with yourself, your lover and your pleasure is a crucial feature of heightened states of sexual arousal. Sex which is deprived of these deeper abilities is not nearly as satisfying as sex which occurs in a state of expanded awareness.

It may seem counterintuitive, but more awareness and more pleasure can be very confronting and even frightening  until you become familiar with the emotional terrain. A torrent of buried emotions can surface creating confusion and fear. That is why step four, which follows, is so important!

4. Delve Deeper

The best sex is connected to our hearts and therefore our emotions. As you become more aware and emotionally connected to yourself and your lover, you will no doubt become more attuned to irritations, frustrations and fears as well. This is the part which can be frightening to many people. This is where many will turn away from this immensely satisfying erotic journey in preference of something “safer” and necessarily more superficial. But there is nothing to fear. The truth is that you were carrying these emotions inside of yourself before you became aware of them. Now that you sense your true feelings, you simply need to learn healthy ways to deal with them.

There are many resources you can draw from to learn to navigate newly discovered emotions. The tools which can help you express yourself honestly and compassionately with another human being include non-violent communication techniques and active listening skills. These are best learned with the help of a trained professional such as a therapist or relationship coach. Investing in your communication and intimacy is one of the most powerful ways to take your sex life to the next level.

5. Create Sacred Space

Taking sex to the next level requires the space for that sex to occur. A special place and setting can be achieved in a variety of ways which appeal to the five senses. Experiment with incense, sensual music, candlelight and perhaps an altar. But don’t stop there. Create sacred space for your erotic journey by allowing ample time.

Most people allow about 30 minutes for sex including foreplay. The average length of intercourse is just 3 to 7 minutes. How sad. Sex shouldn’t be a race or a fast food drive-through. Sex needs time to develop into the mind-blowing experience we all crave. Begin by setting aside a minimum of one hour for lovemaking. As you increase your capacities for intimacy and pleasure, you may find your sexual encounters lasting for hours!

Rest assured, I have personal experience with all five of these steps. And I know it is common to have some resistance to change, even when that change can usher in the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.

I thought I had seen it all, done it all and, I might add, very, very well. But fortunately there is no limit to the heights which can be attained on an erotic path married to a spiritual journey. When I found the courage to diverge from genitally focused sex and allow my pleasure to merge with my heart, my spirit learned to soar in ways I never dreamt possible.

The Doorway to the Divine referred to by the ancients opened for me and I will never be the same. What words can describe what I have experienced on this new sexual road? There is no language for this new sexuality and that’s no doubt best because if I could describe it, it would be limited by the words I would use. Instead, my breath expands into this new dimension and takes my soul on an ever expanding journey into the unknown.

Where pleasure meets the deepest longings of my heart is where I find my identity merging with my Beloved’s, and a third entity I can only refer to as God. An ache which has been my constant companion since my earliest memories, finds satiation for once. But that is a small part of what is happening.

My sense of self is shifting. I no longer feel defined by the limits of this body. And I know what it means to inhabit a place which is ecstatic and timeless. I want to report where I have been and what I have felt but words feel silly in the face of so much splendor.

Making love has been transformed into a prayer as my Beloved merges with me in the most delicious way imaginable. My fingers trace his body and his orgasm enters my soul with the beauty of a thousand shooting stars speeding through space.

There is only love and love is all that is.    

Sober Escort?

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The first sober escort I ever met was Maria. She was a spunky, sexy brunette who attended my home group. She worked a good program and still had a hard time staying sober for more than a few months at a time. Maria felt prostitution was an impediment to her sobriety and it was her wish to quit the business someday soon. I eventually lost track of her so I have no idea if she ever did quit prostitution nor do I know if she was able to sustain any long-term sobriety.

But I certainly recall the resistance I felt inside myself when some members of twelve step recovery assumed that certain professions or sexual orientations are inconsistent with a life of sobriety.

 

Read the rest on The Fix

Veronica Monet: In Her Own Words

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Nearly three decades ago, I entered a life of sobriety, which catapulted me onto a path of spiritual growth and service. There have been many steps along this journey. First I hosted a local cable TV show on which I interviewed hundreds of guests about a variety of topics which called to me over the course of five years. Eventually I found my own voice as an activist for women’s empowerment and sexual rights.

 

I became a popular spokesperson for these causes. At first I was on discussion panels and then in front of classrooms. But before long, I was sought after for major newspaper, magazine, radio and television interviews. I spoke from personal experience about my own healing journey as an incest/rape survivor and a recovered alcoholic/addict. I was angry and outspoken, but the media loved me. And over time, I learned to  deliver a more sophisticated message which even incorporated a sense of humor.

 

Giving keynote presentations in University and college settings, I discovered not only that I had an activist message to convey, but also that I carried in my heart a great love for my audiences. This changed everything and I became less angry and more empathic. People often came up after my talks with tears in their eyes requesting a hug and expressing confusion as to what was happening to them. I knew I was touching them in deeply personal places. And I knew that the larger topic, the one we were not speaking about directly, was something central to the human condition.

 

Eventually it became apparent to me that my audiences were deeply moved by the fact that I created a safe place for them to explore their shame without feeling judged. Shame had been a feature of my early life growing up in a religious cult, and as an adult I was committed to moving past that crippling emotion and realizing my full potential as a joyful being. I invited my audiences to share in that with me and many of them found this to be a powerful gift.

 

As part of my refusal to allow shame to dictate the course of my life, I had entered into a very controversial profession after graduating from college and after getting sober. My path would shock many while simultaneously empowering me to deepen my healing and spiritual development in ways I might never have anticipated.

 

I didn’t enter into becoming a high-end escort lightly. As a college graduate who spent seven years working in corporate settings, and as someone who had been clean and sober for a number of years, I questioned whether this was in integrity with my spiritual path. Rather than refer to conventional thinking on the matter, I turned to my innermost knowing and quite frankly prayed my ass off.

 

As well, a great deal of research and training went into my decision and because of this deliberate planning I enjoyed a very successful fourteen years in the profession. As part of my unique interpretation of what it meant to me to be an escort, I incorporated my spiritual journey into my professional pursuits, learning ways to heal and love my clients. This involved helping them to release repressed emotions and express their truth in a shame free setting.

 

I cared for my clients and I found great fulfillment in my work as a high-end escort. So why did I leave the profession in 2004, at a time when I was regularly making $15,000 a date?

 

For three reasons.

 

First, I was tired of dealing with law enforcement. The last few years of an otherwise glamorous career as an escort were marred by an arrest for prostitution. This was followed quickly by an audit by the IRS which I passed with flying colors since I had always paid my taxes. As a prominent voice for the sex worker rights movement, I could look forward to continued harassment by law enforcement.

 

Second, I decided to stop escorting because I had grown bored of working with my clothes off. I enjoyed helping my clients feel and explore their emotions. It had created a lot of healing for me and my clients to be sure. But it had outlived its usefulness and I was ready to touch my clients’ hearts without touching their genitals.

 

Finally, I never intended for escorting to be a lifelong pursuit. Contrary to popular stereotype, there are many sexy and successful women over 50 working as high end escorts. But that wasn’t and isn’t my calling. From an early age, I entertained fantasies of writing professionally, and had somehow come to know that I was meant to be a published author by the age of 45. And so I quit my very lucrative escorting job at age 44, and moved into a little mountain cabin to write a book. I had no book deal. I just felt in my bones that it was meant to be.

 

True to my intuitions, I did get a publishing contract and I authored my first book at age 45.In 2005 my first book, Sex Secrets of Escorts, was published by a major East Coast publishing house (Alpha Books, division of Penguin Books). Rather than write a tell-all to titillate my readers, I wrote a sex manual with plenty of commentary about healthy boundaries, communication and reversing gender roles in the bedroom.

 

But while the book deal came easily to me, the transition from high-end escort to couples’ coach was at first more challenging. The stigmas attached to my former profession are great. I could have changed my name in order to reinvent myself, but I wanted to unashamedly share the special insights and wisdoms which have come to me through this uncommon path.

 

I am fortunate to now have a thriving clientele who seek my coaching acumen for the emotional, spiritual and sexual issues which complicate their lives.

 

As a sex and relationship coach, I reveal challenging things about myself and thereby model a lack of shame.  This opens the way for my clients to be candid and share things with me that they often have never said aloud nor told another living person. My clients feel safe to share their past and their truth., because they are assured that I will be accepting and non-judgmental. I also maintain a sense of humor about things that many people take far too seriously. This frees my clients to laugh about things they might have spent years feeling ashamed of.

 

I also have a gift for understanding both the male and female perspective. That is probably due to the fact that as a woman I am quite comfortable with masculine as well as feminine energies. But whatever the reasons, my clients are often surprised how well I understand their experience regardless of their gender. For me, bridging the so-called gender gap comes second nature. And that makes it possible for me to facilitate very powerful role plays for heterosexual couples.

 

Both men and women have suffered greatly because of popular myths which teach us that we cannot understand the “opposite sex.” Instead of studying our partners as if they are aliens from another planet, it is imperative that we learn how to build bridges which can span the current gender divide.

 

Rigid beliefs about how males and females are supposed to feel and behave breed shame in all of us. This shame not only burdens us with feelings of low self-worth. Shame also bends our personalities into unnatural and reactive perversions of our true selves, so that we are no longer able to access the full measure of our creativity and optimism. Weighed down by shame, we are more likely to exhibit cynicism and anti-social behaviors. In this way, shame creates a social fabric which is emotionally shut down and violent.

 

Whether we experience shame about our gender, our race, our sexual orientation, our sexual behavior and/or fantasies, our socio-economic status, our educational level, our monetary success or lack thereof, the results are the same.  Shame lowers our self-esteem and infects our relationships with secrecy and distrust.

 

Sexual shame is perhaps the most entrenched and the most often defended. But all forms of shame create a society which is fear based instead of sourced in joy. Because I am passionate about creating a world where each of us is afforded the opportunity to fully express our unique gifts, I am passionate about eliminating shame.

 

I invite you to explore The Shame Free Zone. Here, you will find tools and resources to free yourself from the tyranny of shame and move toward a fuller expression of your truth and your gifts. Please explore the many free resources including an online community forum where you can connect with others. And feel free to contact me directly (Veronica@TheShameFreeZone.com), especially if you wish to take advantage of my skill sets and insights over the phone or in person.

 

 

 

 

 

Slut Shaming and Whore Bashing

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The threat of slut shaming and whore bashing hangs over the head of every woman alive, shaping her interactions with others into a reaction instead of a true response, perverting authentic sexual desire into a defensive stance against being seen as a “slut,” or a “whore.”

As a sex-positive feminist I ache to merge the concepts of the Whore and the Madonna so women everywhere can heal from this dangerous and preposterous split. As whole beings, women have the right to claim their intellectual power and their bold expression of sexuality without apology, without feeling somehow torn between these equally important aspects of themselves. I am out to prove that women can simultaneously be intelligent, sexy, dignified and powerful without adopting patriarchal dogma or sacrificing our connection to our nurturing and intuitive side.

Such a cultural shift would mean that the next time a woman runs for president, we would spend more time analyzing her political platform than her fashion sense. It would mean that Hilary Clinton could express herself as a mildly sexual being without being mercilessly condemned in the press for wearing a blouse with a low neckline.

Moving past our collective fear of the “whore” would free untold psychic, emotional and creative energies in at least half the world’s population. Imagine all those women fully empowered to further much needed solutions to the world’s problems. Yet, it is only sexually empowered individuals who possess all their power.

Being sexually empowered does not mean taking up pole dancing or wearing lipstick, although if that adds a sense of empowerment to your life, go for it. It does mean redirecting much needed energy away from defending one’s sexual purity or honor. It does mean celebrating the sexual fire in one’s soul without fear of being perceived as being “too” sexy, or flirtatious or alluring or “loose.”

Some seemingly disparate things are actually part of one oppressive whole.  Those things include persecuting prostitutes, blaming rape victims, curtailing reproductive freedom, labeling women sluts and whores, sorting the “good” girls from the “bad” girls, arresting midwives and burning witches. In my view, these are each aspects of the patriarchy’s relentless efforts to eliminate the feminine. 

These perpetrations also extend to men in the form of bullying, gay bashing, circumcision and the raping of men’s spirits so that many men cannot feel anything but sexual desire and anger.  On both counts, it is the feminine aspect as well as pleasure and joy which are being mercilessly mutilated.

In about two weeks I will be launching a brand new version of my website, The Shame Free Zone, where among other resources you will discover tools for healing shame and an online community forum where you can connect with others who want to heal shame. Please stay tuned!

China’s Hooligan Sparrow, the Persecution of Sex and How It Affects You

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Meet Hooligan Sparrow. Her real name is Ye Haiyan and she has been raising hell in China. Known mostly as a blogger and feminist activist, Ye has created quite a stir in her country of origin because of her outspoken and controversial grassroots tactics. Last year, she worked in a brothel where sexual intercourse costs under $3 US dollars, but Ye chose to do it for free. Why? In her own words:

“Beginning now, I am providing free sexual services for rural migrant workers. First of all, this is to prevent them from being caught and legally robbed by police. Secondly, this is to serve the sexual needs of the grassroots and help relieve social pressure. Thirdly, I want to create a sharp contrast between my love for the grassroots and the cruelty of the government. I hope that they will be touched by my action, which will end tomorrow.”

Ye Haiyan’s activism includes sex worker rights but it is much broader than that. In addition to working to increase HIV/AIDS awareness, she also works to protect girls and women from sexual abuse. Her most recent activism involved protesting an elementary school in Wanning City which is located in the Hainan Province of China, where six girls were raped by the school principal and one other government employee.

Ms. Ye’s protests have led to her arrest more than once but she seems committed to defending sexual freedom as well as freedom from sexual abuse, regardless of the price. In her blog, she states ” this fight is against the persecution of sex!” I find her words quite compelling because I believe laws which outlaw adult, consensual sex, create a culture of sexual shame and which can lead to many forms of sexual abuse.

However, the prevailing conversation about sex seems split between protection from sex or its unfettered expression. Those who see sexual freedom as a slippery slope leading to a lack of protections for the vulnerable lobby for more laws in defense of the innocent. They tend to dominate discourse in the US. On the other side of the argument are a few rebellious souls striving to secure sex as a right which the state cannot infringe upon.

But must we envision the sexual landscape so polarized and divided? Isn’t it possible that freedom from sexual abuse and a sexual bill of rights might not only co-exist but inform and enhance each other?

In fact, I don’t think we can have one without the other. As long as these two agendas militate against each other, neither objective is achieved. Instead, we need to find our balance between sexual freedoms and protections just as we do with any other topic pertaining to rights and responsibilities. It would seem a sensible approach might be defined as permitting anything which is adult, consensual behavior.

This month has seen several major wins for sexual freedom and protections. I invite you to celebrate these with me as each one applies to you personally even if it seems unlikely to impact your personal life at first blush. The fact is that sexual freedoms and protections impact all of us in ways which may not be readily apparent.

For instance, June marks the ten year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Ruling, Lawrence versus Texas which, in the words of Lambda Legal’s Jon W. Davidson, ” declared laws criminalizing oral and anal sex between consenting adults to be unconstitutional and flung open the doors to equality for LGBT people around the nation.” Lawrence versus Texas has been cited approximately 700 times by our nation’s courts and it was a critical factor in repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as well as reversing DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

In addition to striking down DOMA, on June 26th the Supreme Court also refused to rule on a case pertaining to California’s Proposition 8 which effectively made same-sex marriage legal in that state. California’s Governor Jerry Brown has ordered all counties to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples immediately. This weekend, cities like San Francisco are not only celebrating Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride, they are celebrating legal recognition of their love and their lives.

Most likely, even if you are straight, someone you know is gay or lesbian. Perhaps it is a neighbor, co-worker, friend, relative or loved one? Maybe they have no desire to become legally married, but laws which permit same-sex marriage still affect their life in a positive way by paving the way for equal treatment in other sectors of society. Just as Lawrence versus Texas, a ruling which only pertained to oral and anal sex, has played a vital role in changing laws about gays in the military as well as same-sex marriage, so too will this month’s Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage lead to other important gains for people who happen to love differently than the majority does.

The Supreme Court made another critical ruling about sex this month, when it decided that PEPFAR’s (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) requirement that private groups receiving federal funds adopt policies opposing prostitution, is unconstitutional and violates First Amendment Rights. The Obama administration argued that both prostitution and trafficking spread AIDS so the anti-prostitution pledge was reasonable, but as the Brazilian government so aptly illustrated when it declined $40 million in U.S. funds, working to stop the spread of AIDS without the cooperation of prostitutes doesn’t make sense. Brazil’s AIDS commissioner Pedro Chequer stated the obvious: “Sex workers are part of implementing our AIDS policy and deciding how to promote it. They are our partners. How could we ask prostitutes to take a position against themselves?”

Similarly, another illogical and counter-productive practice on the part of law enforcement is being challenged in New York’s state legislature. Known as the “No Condoms as Evidence” bill, A2736 passed the state Assembly and is on its way to the state Senate. Currently, New York police confiscate condoms during the equally controversial “stop and frisk” procedure where anyone a police officer suspects of a crime can be stopped and searched. Not only are condoms confiscated, thereby preventing the person carrying the condom to use it to prevent the spread of disease, but the condoms are being used as evidence of the intent to commit an act of prostitution. Of course plenty of people carry condoms who are not prostitutes, but it seems the health benefits of condoms are being ignored in the rush to effect convictions.

Unfortunately, New York is not the only state using condoms as evidence in prostitution cases. But activists in a variety of fields including AIDS prevention, LGBT outreach and sex worker rights organizations are celebrating this small victory in New York with hopes that the health implications will become more apparent to both politicians and the voting public throughout the nation.

The repercussions of creating barriers of any kind to the use of condoms should be obvious. Sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies effect society as a whole and negatively impact our individual lives by driving up health care and public assistance costs.

But the long-term negative effects of legislated “morality” elude some otherwise intelligent people. For instance, Texas is doing its darnedest to outlaw abortion. Despite the fact that the current government in that state will no doubt succeed in that endeavor, one brave soul waged a one-woman war against the forces of repression when Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis held her 13-hour filibuster derailing anti-choice legislation which was otherwise slated to pass the Texas Senate. In some respects, this may be a temporary victory, but given the level of acclaim and support her efforts have met with, it would seem that the reason and compassion contained in honoring a woman’s right to choose will eventually win out even in the state of Texas.

Which brings us to Ireland. I know that may seem like an unlikely segue. But June was also the month when $45 million was awarded to the approximately 770 survivors of the Magdalene Laundries. You might wonder what slave labor in a Catholic nunnery has to do with sexual freedoms and responsibilities. And I admit it will take a little explaining on my part. You see, the girls and women who found themselves confined within the walls of the Magdalene Laundries as slaves, were labeled “fallen women” for a variety of reasons including flirting with boys, losing their virginity, getting pregnant out of wedlock and sometimes, for working as prostitutes.

You might think such barbaric treatment would have been outlawed a long, long time ago. But the last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland was closed as recently as 1996. Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter made a formal and public apology to the women who survived forced silence, slave labor and physical and sexual abuse at the hands of these monstrous Catholic-run institutions. And he affirmed Ireland’s “commitment to respecting [their] dignity and human rights as full, equal members of our nation.”

That of course will do nothing to bring back the one in ten girls and women who died while incarcerated in a Magdalene Laundry. In fact, the reason this travesty came to light a couple of decades ago, was that a construction crew which was rebuilding on the former site of a laundry, uncovered a mass grave where “fallen girls and women” were buried like so much unclaimed garbage. The youngest girl to die in a laundry was just fifteen.

In the absence of any sexual bill of rights and steeped in sexual shame, human history is littered with the broken bodies and spirits of those who have failed to conform to a heterosexual, married, monogamous ideal. Often, even a hint of impropriety has justified the most egregious insults to dignity and decency. In the name of curtailing “sexual perversions,” all manner of ethical and moral perversions have been perpetrated against those whose only crime was what should have been considered the province of adult, consensual activities.

In the end, it really does not matter what your personal values pertaining to sex might be and how they might differ from those around you. What is key is that we find a way to live together respectfully. Whether you are gay or straight, conservative or liberal, monogamous or polyamorous, kinky or vanilla or somewhere in between these polar opposites, the rights we hold dear as members of the human community must apply equally to each and every one of us. If they don’t, we all lose.