What is Sexual Healing?
Sexuality is an integral part of being human. It is nature. It should be simple, but it isn't always like that. Guilt or shame about sex, negativity about our own body, anxiety or annoyance in intimacy or relationships, dissatisfaction with our sex life, or simply longing for more intimacy, love and joy - who hasn’t got their share of these uneasy bits?
Healing sexuality goes beyond sexual health. It goes beyond trauma healing. It is about thriving. Sexual healing means to become natural with sex again, at all levels of the body, mind and soul. It is natural to be open to pleasure and ecstasy, with joy, ease and harmony, without resistance nor clinging - whether or not we are single, partnered up, or in open relationships.
Sexual Healing by all means
Healing is a path of personal growth that encompasses every aspect of our existence. Sexual healing may come on top of our mind. Or maybe there are other priorities at the moment. No matter what, at some point, we would need to look honestly at this essential piece of ourselves.
Healing for the Body
All experience conditions how the body perceives and responds. With repeated or prolonged negative experience, or the lack of positive ones, the body gets used to contractions and tension and loses its ability to open to pleasure. Or, it may even shut down and become numb. For example, vaginismus and vulvodynia are commonly caused by chronic painful intercourse. Or the body can never feel satisfied, and keep craving for more or stronger stimulus to feel alive.
Sexual healing is about restoring our body to its original sensitive and responsive state. The original body is relaxed and ready to sense and respond to everything. It softens and enlivens with pleasure. In response to pain, it contracts and gets ready for action to cease the suffering. Then, it relaxes, discharges any remaining tension, and become ready again. With the proper practices, often the body can gradually become more sensitive and responsive in the present moment again.
Healing with Feelings
Most emotional energy is actually generated from the memories stored in us. What is happening right now only evokes it. It is natural, and the emotions can be a powerful driving force. However, the intensity of the sentiments that arise in relation to our intimate partners, or the feelings involved in sexuality, are often more challenging to handle, such as jealousy, anxiety, or obsession. It can even feel overwhelming, or even paralysing. A lot of sexual dysfunctions are psychological in origin, for example, premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction can be related to performance anxiety.
Sexual healing is about integrating the emotions that is evoked in us by sex and intimacy. Recognising what triggers us is important, because it helps us take up the responsibility for our own feelings. It is not about suppression nor control, but about acknowledging how we feel, honouring ourselves, our experience and memories, and letting go of what we are ready to let go. When the emotional charges are lessened, what was once a source of anxiety can perhaps bring excitment again, the fear of the unknown may turn into curiosity, and the pain of obsessions would transmute into the fire of passion.
Healing the Mind
A lot of our first ideas about sex and sexuality came from our parents, peers, and the media. We learnt about what is normal or devious, and what is attractiveness and desirability. We formed concepts, attitudes and behavior about dating and sex. We discovered our sexual preferences and orientations and those of the others. We try to conform to the norms, or we try to reject and rebel against it. We measure, we value or devalue ourselves accordingly. We judge and we are judged. Body dysmorphia is a case in point, sometimes with imbalance sex drives too, whereas pornography has brainwashed generations about what sex is.
What we need to recognise is that most ideas about sexuality change from culture to culture, and have been evolving over time. They framed us and shaped our attitudes and behaviours towards sex. The first step in healing ourselves from these ideas is to to look inward sincerely and discern how we have been influenced. We may not need to start a sexual revolution, but we definitely do not need to suffer from or be enslaved by social constructs.
Healing our Relationships
What we are and what we hold inside, we bring into our relationships. Fear and anger lurks behind jealousy and control. Mistrust or dishonesty feeds itself and corrodes communications. Shame and guilt perpetuates dependency and dishonesty. Frustrations come from expectations unfulfilled. Resentment and regret grew from disillusionment. These feelings and thoughts sometimes creep up and overwhelm us, blocking tenderness and love, and obscures the most important fact - that it matters only because we care about each other.
When we feel upset during intimacy and in relationship, it is often showing us what we are holding within ourselves. Healing our relationships is a lot about healing our own ideas and emotions, and supporting our partner to deal with theirs. When we can drop these weight, our hands and heart would feel more freedom in receiving and giving love and care again.
Healing from Trauma
The consequences of trauma show up at all levels mentioned above, but more severely. Neglect or abuse endured in childhood, abusive relationships, sexual abuse or violence all leave their marks on our body and our psyche. Wounds do not heal necessarily on its own.
In another article Tantric Healing for Trauma, we explore this topic of tantra and trauma healing in more details:
Tantric Massage helps healing Intimacy
Apart from sex therapies, sex counselling and sexual coaching, authentic tantra and tantric massage is a very effective support when you are ready to work on healing sexuality and intimacy.
However, not all tantric massages would involve healing, not all tantra are authentic. Below are some of the pillars of Tantric Healing Bodywork that make it unique and therapeutic.
Tantric Healing Bodywork helps you to anchor your awareness in your physical body. It is more than a massage. It is a somatic practice. It is a therapy. You are encouraged to observe any information arising within you while being touched. Touch on the genitals and the whole pelvis, buttocks and abdomen is crucial in this work for sexual healing. So is the skin, because the skin is the largest sensory organ, and for many, it is the second sexual organ. With embodiment, your capacity for sensing expands, thus It can feel particularly sensual and erotic. It is a positive and nourishing experience for the body. On the other hand, bodily imprints of less comfortable feelings or thoughts may also emerge for you to process.
This is a practice of relaxed contemplation. It is a meditation in an embodied way. Tantra embraces sensual and sexual energies, thoughts and emotions, which makes this unique and different from other healing modalities. During a session, you will learn techniques and practices in initiating and maintaining relaxation and concentration simultaneously throughout the whole process. In this state of consciousness, without attachment nor resistance, integration can happen. You would be welcoming everything that enters your field of consciousness. Without clenching or holding, letting it go, or letting it be. What may pass will pass, what may stay will stay.
This bodywork is based on awareness. Clear consent and boundaries are discussed, agreed upon and upheld throughout the process. It provides you with a strong container for your self-exploration. You are supported to maintain your internal awareness consistently to contemplate any information that arises within you, may it be sensations, ideas, memories, images, etc. Some of the information might be intense, some might be familiar, some might be unknown to you. All is for you to process. My presence is centred upon you and provides a neutral and powerful support to your healing process.
A safe environment is created from our first contact. All communications and information remains confidential. A sacred space is crafted for the healing process to unfold during a session as well. You are welcomed and received as you are, with openness and non-judgement. A consultation and warm up exercises are designed to guide you into the practice. The pace is oriented towards exploration. Each session is a unique process, while care and tenderness is always the undertone to support your healing.
There is no destination nor pressure to achieve anything. It is a journey of your self-discovery, healing and growth. When there is no fixed goal, our true needs find the space to be felt. When there is no forcing, the natural healing tendency of the body expresses itself. Whatever comes up or not during a session, may it be guilt from the pleasure or resistance to the pain, or anything in between, you contemplate, letting go of what you can, and accepting what is, without tormenting yourselves once again with what you think should be. Tantra is compassionate.
Can everyone benefit from sexual healing?
Sexual healing is a process. It not only involves unravellig what we have gone through, but also, it can be a life-long journey of expansion and growth. Whatever stage you are in currently, if you want to explore a body-based and client-centred approach of sexual healing, Tantric Healing Bodywork can support you.
Everyone is unique
The benefits that Tantric Healing Bodywork brings can be different for everyone or even every session. Some people resolved some major emotional blocks with even just one session. Some realised that their body becomes more open and softer after a few sessions. Some got a nourishing or energizing experience. Some got the impetus and new body memories to support them to change their sexual patterns. Some discovered and reconnected a forgotten piece of themselves. Some got inspriations for their healing journey, their life or a new direction. And often, we did not know in advance what we would discover.