The Yoga of Sexuality

Remember the first time you walked in to yoga class? The uncertainty, the strange smell, the uncomfortableness of the postures, other people looking like they knew what they were doing and effortlessly moving from one posture to another. Then trying to keep up with what the teacher was doing and then maybe the class included your first Om or meditation? And the busy mind telling you, you weren’t doing it right and a bit of embarrassment or shyness.

And yet there was something that made you go back.

And then each class, you relaxed a bit more, began to notice new sensations, enjoyed your breath and could use your breathing to enhance a posture or quieten your mind. And gradually you noticed your movement smoothing and your Om becoming more confident.  And as the time went on the benefits of yoga became more apparent in your life and now you love it.

In many ways once we begin to see pleasure and natural sensuality as a practice like yoga, we can begin to approach it with a whole new level of interest. Admitting we’re not sure how to do it and need some guidance, is where it can begin. After all, none of us have learned how to do this. And neither have our partners and there’s not many studios around to sign up for sexuality classes.   But what if it was just as widespread and natural as yoga?

As in yoga, focus on breath, movement and sound, have parallels in pleasure. We can begin to slow down and notice more. With focus on the breath we can learn how to use it to heighten excitement or to find peace. Moving our bodies allows us to let our energy build and flow.  And we can get more confident about touch, changing poses and trying new things with a little more confidence and bravery. And once we begin to use sound and our voice we can communicate more about what we’re feeling and wanting, which builds trust and connection with a partner.

So, just like yoga, its sometimes taking the first brave step that can lead us into a whole new world of awareness. And once we’ve taken that step, a world of possibility, permission, expansion and pleasure await. Mindfulness and intention matter as much in the bedroom as the yoga class and are best explored with an open beginners mind.

Admitting you have an earthly body with desires is important - your body is you. Your genitals are just as much a part of you as your toes. It’s all part of the divine in you and to ignore a part of you or to be self critical is missing the point of self acceptance and forgiveness.  Pushing our bodies can be interesting for a while but what if you could love your animal body in your practice, making an exploration and acceptance of your sensuality and eroticism your exploration. 

It may seem an unusual focus when often we want to be spiritually connected and the body can be a place of fear or loathing. Exploring your sexuality is also part of your wholeness. Accepting your shadow, the seemingly unacceptable side of our human nature is as much a spiritual practice, as connecting with the higher realms. The power of sexuality for healing is vast. We learn a lot about compassion through heartbreak and loss in relationships. We can blame others for our repeated mistakes or losses or we can choose to see them as a gift, guiding us to a fuller expression of love.

Keeping our hearts open to love again is simply a choice. We’re here on the earth to let life flow through us. The way we connect with kindness, passion and love to ourselves and others is just as important as how we connect to the angels. It’s all yoga and mindfulness of a fascinating rewarding subject. Your body is you. Your sexuality is you. Enjoy it in all it’s divine and earthly aspects

The Fine Art of Giving and Taking: Part 1

The Fine Art of Giving and Taking: Part 1

How many times have you felt that you wanted to give but been disappointed that the other doesn't want what you suggest?   How many times have you really received what you truly wanted? Do you know what you want to experience? Do you? Can you really ask? 

It seems there’s so much confusion about  Giving and Receiving.  Examples include; I really want to Give, can I go down on you? Would you like a hug? Here’s a gift for you (so you can join me in my hobby or dress up in something I like).

I’ve talked to many many men who feel they want to Give but their partner has closed down; illness, children, menopause and work are the main reasons offered. 

I then talk to so many women who’ve switched off because it’s the same old thing time after time and they're bored or feeling the pressure to perform. And also, they don’t know what there is to want, or how to express it.

This misunderstanding about Giving is both subtle and sad, and leads to a heartbreaking ebbing away of enthusiasm and passion on both sides.

Dating, Sex and The Silver Separators

Dating, Sex and The Silver Separators

This is for Woman Hour on 6.8.18 where I was featured with dating advice for a 67 years young woman wanting to go into the dating world again. 

"At my age? I'm happy on my own? Never again. I'd rather have a cup of tea"

What if the above, that are so commonly said, simply aren't true? What if in later life and on your terms, you could create the best and most supportive relationship of your life and explore intimacy again. This time with a renewed sense of self and and an ease you didn't feel first time around?

What’s a Certified Sexological Bodyworker?

What’s a Certified Sexological Bodyworker?

It might be easier to start with what we’re not.  We’re not sex therapists, escorts, tantric masseurs or counsellors and we don’t offer those services as part of Sexological Bodywork. The difference between a ‘CSB’ and any of those is is worth explaining and its about the lack of ‘doing to you’ or ‘fixing you’. We believe you’re not broken, you’re having a natural life experience which can shift with the right support. 

Intimacy Matters

Intimacy Matters

Sexual intimacy can be the glue that holds relationships together, it’s so precious to love and be loved in life. And to mean something to someone. Yet in a couple it can be easy to let intimacy slide. 

And there are various valid reasons for it; kids, jobs, menopause, are the ones I hear the most often from men wondering why his wife has “closed down”

From women the story is different…the kids and jobs reasons remain, yet also thrown into the mix is not knowing what we want, resentments, unskilled touch, a lack of sexual confidence to initiate, the pressure to perform, an aversion to living up to fantasy.  And finally boredom with the same old routine thing. So really, why bother turning up?

Correspondingly a little part of everyone’s soul shrinks with each turning away. The most important things are the hardest to talk about and once the gap in the bed widens, talking about sex becomes tricky if not impossible. Everyone finds this hard, even new lovers. Intimacy is at the heart of the matter and a longing for something we might have a sense of yet rarely experienced. 

Good In Bed?

Good In Bed?

In Nick Roeg’s film ‘Insignificance’, there’s a great scene where Albert Einstein and Marilyn Munro are in bed together. It’s striking, because we don’t expect people like Einstein - geniuses who live in their head - to be any good at sex. They’re just good at thinking.

But here’s the thing: in sex, if nothing else, you’re Einstein. Most of us are. Except, instead of thinking new things, we’re all thinking the same things, over and over:

“Am I doing it right? Will he or she like me? That’s not working. Is it? I feel fat.  If I do this will she let me do that? Am I allowed? What shall I do next?  I feel rejected. I'm confused about what to do. I'm going to come too soon/not at all. An I taking too long? Do I smell nice?  Does s/he really like this?  I don't like that but I don't know how to say without upsetting him. Am I too soft/hard? Have I gone too far?

Familiar?

So what can we do to break the anxiety of performance? What is this mysterious thing of ‘being good in bed?’

Everyday Devotion

Everyday Devotion

‘I adore you.’

‘I choose you.’ 

‘Thank you for being in my life.’ 

How many times have you heard that? Or said that? 

Devotion is a rather beautiful and slightly old-fashioned word isn’t it? In a world where sex is commoditised and judged on performance, the quiet art of devotion doesn’t get much of a look in. 

Yet my instinct is we’re missing something. Imagine if someone turned up in your life who you couldn’t have expected and, without you having to do too much, simply loves you. And you them. It’s such a gift.

I’m not talking about all the spiritual stuff of worshipping the goddess here; I’m talking about simple admiration, respect, friendliness and seeing the wonder of another human being who you hold in the highest regard. Who you speak to with love and whose happiness you care about.

For women: the journey to sharing ourselves

For women: the journey to sharing ourselves

As women, we don’t know what we want because we don’t know what’s possible.

Not only that, but we’re scared that if we did know what is possible, we wouldn’t be heard, our desires would be dismissed, or we would be shamed.

We’re scared and in the dark about our sweetness and our wildness, scared of ourselves and our edges, and scared to be vulnerable in case we turn out to be weak or boring. We are scared to be too passionate in case we’re 'too much', so we close down and give up, feel misunderstood, sad and disconnected.

From my experience in working with men and with couples, I can say with certainty that men want us to know what is possible. What's more, they are delighted when we ask for what we want.

Sex school for grown ups: The great universal challenge

Sex school for grown ups: The great universal challenge

It's stating the obvious, but none of us have been to sex school. To make matters worse, we’ve been touched by other people who haven’t either, so we’ve all experienced connection without too much skill, variety or loving communication.

It's no wonder sex becomes a battleground or a place of shame, confusion and isolation. This is tragic, because our hearts have such high hopes for love and connection. 

While I haven't been to sex school as such, I have spent years of my lift studying Tantra, sacred sexuality, sexological bodywork and conscious kink. I’ve learned so much about myself through these teachings. I've learned to connect with my body, my feelings and my underlying drivers. My learning wasn't focused on sex as it’s generally thought of (penetration), but on a broader picture of connection, developing increased confidence in knowing what suits me and an ease and willingness to talk about it. I’ve picked up some wonderful sensual touch and pleasuring skills on the way, but that’s almost been incidental. 

All of this has got me wondering: if sex school did exist, what could we all benefit from learning? 

Breaking the habit of a lifetime: A life without porn

Breaking the habit of a lifetime: A life without porn

In this guest post, one of Alison's clients reflects on the role of sex coaching in addressing a complex but common issue: porn-induced erectile dysfunction.

Like many people in their thirties, pornography has been part of my life since my teenage years.

Back then, much of what I knew about sex came from watching porn on the internet, and until my twenties I was far more familiar with the world of fantasy than I was with real sexual interactions or intimacy.

As I grew older and entered long-term relationships, my sex life developed in what might be described as a normal way. But the availability of pornography increased to the point where I was never more than a swipe of my phone away from videos depicting almost anything I could imagine wanting to see.