Befriend your body. Rewrite the story of your life.

You’ll want to slow down to read this.

Sit back. Take a long, deep breath in and let it trickle out of your lungs as if it were the one and only exhalation you were ever to enjoy.

In just a breath, you have witnessed the wisdom of the erotic.

Now let it bloom inside you like the first flowers of May.

Uncoupling

Before we can go any deeper, we have to decouple two misconceptions about the erotic. This wisdom is as often misplaced as it is given the wrong name, and nothing can have its power until it rests in its proper throne.

The first two bodies I will peel apart in this treatise are those of the erotic and sex. Sure, they are kissing cousins. Sometimes bedfellows. But they are not the same.

Where sex is an act, the erotic is the energizing force behind all acts, including sex. Where sex is often seen as a path to orgasm, the erotic is the playspace in which pleasure of all kinds – including orgasm – can manifest, if one’s desires invite it.

Sex is doing. The erotic is being. There’s a clear difference.

Adding to the Body Count

The second body I will pull from this dogpile is the trickster that fools us in all areas of life – the illusion of control.

Though we so badly want to, we cannot control the erotic. Just like we cannot hold vapor in our hands, we cannot tell the erotic what it can and cannot do. Though many forces tell us to keep a lid on it – to close our legs, shut our mouths, and keep our hands to ourselves – the erotic leads us where it leads us. It is undeniably powerful in its ability to draw us to and away from people, places, and things.

If anything, the erotic controls us. Though we might not always know it is what we are seeking, we are always on the hunt for it. The reason we call it by the wrong name, debase it, and try to remove its shine is because it is illusive and refuses to submit. Yet the erotic is life force itself. Why would we attempt to contain that?

The reason is simple – because this energy is big. It is a pulsing, pounding might that is the reason behind all forms of creation. We are often afraid of what we cannot control.

But what’s more is that we have few models for how to manage something of this potency. Those who do wrestle with this energy effectively are pushed to the fringes, misnamed, and debased. So if we want to learn, we must be willing to look at the edges of polite society, the places where sex and spirit meet to create something even greater.

Create Me

Creation is the goal of the erotic. This is why I call it by other names – life force, prana, qi, the biological urge to continue the species, the power of the muse. You’ll find that all of it is of the same origin – that age-old desire to make something new out of something old.

Good creation, like good sex, requires us to toss one primary offering in its fire – our absolute presence. This is what allows the energy of the erotic to enter any encounter, whether it’s a walk in the woods, a bite of a delicious meal, or playing a song that moves emotional mountains – the erotic does what it does best when it receives our full attention.

When we are present, the erotic steps out of the shadows and asks us for a dance. You’ll see this in sex, art, friendship – without presence, all of these are mechanical acts, a thrusting of pistons and grinding of gears. But with presence, original ideas come about that make others sit up and notice.

Which is why I asked you to slow down to read this.

Slow Down

Any good lover knows that pacing is important. If we move too quickly, we get sloppy. Hastily made decisions result in convenience rather than artistry. When we slow down, we regain our eyesight, steady our footing, and read the room appropriately. With that, we can focus our attention on what is alive before us and see clearly when something needs space to go fallow.

The slowing down that I ask of you in exploring this power can be physical, but isn’t necessarily so. This is an important point to illuminate, because each of us has had a moment of clarity in the middle of a raging battlefield and that, too, is the erotic at work.

But outside of physical pacing, the slowness is more of a sense of internal ease. One that can languidly seek what is most alive in our field without needing to capture it. Instead, this inner relaxation is magnetic, drawing the erotic to one’s form just as a flower turns toward a bee.

Godfuck

It’s never clear where you’ll find the erotic, but one thing is clear, it will find you. I say this from experience – I discovered the erotic in the oddest of places.

It was in a meditation hall during the years when I was immersed in a strict ashram-style spiritual community. The teacher shunned sexual expression of any kind. It was unholy to even dance there. Partners were housed in separate rooms to avoid any possible overlapping of the dirtiest parts of our bodies. Yet the very thing she sought to stamp out in us is what came alive for me in a process that can only be called holy.

There I learned the practices to engage mulabandha, the holy lock at the base of the pelvis. For those who are seasoned yoga practitioners, you know this place and you know the practices. For those who are unseasoned, let me assure you, you also know this place, even if you don’t know how to make it work for you.

I learned to harness the energy of mulabandha, to breathe into it, to pull and release, pull and release, to meditate on that place that sits in the triangle between my legs until I could see a deep red light forming there that connected my animal to my spiritual. Here, for the first time in my life, I dropped into a deep state of surrender that left me breathless, attuned, and filled with desire to build a life that followed this kind of passion.

If the goal of yoga practices like these are to know god in us, I’d say I came to know god quite well. Some might say in the Biblical sense.

Bless Me, Father

If I’m committing blasphemy then let me die on this cross, because I will shout until my death that god is the best lover I’ve ever had. When the erotic is present in my spiritual and mundane worlds, I can experience divine love making without any form of sexual touch. I experience it when I’m watching a hummingbird flutter in my garden. I experience it when I am writing something that feels aligned to the message I want to put out in the world. And, of course, I can experience it in the touch and words of the lovers I will remember for the rest of my life.

The others, may they get a reminder of how to follow what’s holy.

Take Me Now

Let this be what you take from me today as you draw one last, slow breath in: when you commit yourself to tracking what is most alive in every space, place, or person in which you find yourself entangled, you will learn how to harness the erotic and ride its back to your liberation.

But make no mistake this is not about doing only what you want to do. Hedonism gets old eventually, so focus instead on both dancing joyously for what comes easily, as well as excavating the energy of hard things and molding them into a golden crown.

As you learn to ride the waves of this electric godstuff, you’ll become a better lover. To yourself, to others who are able to welcome your gifts, and, perhaps most importantly, to whatever you desire to form from the particular lump of wet clay that has been set upon your table.

Look for this mythical creature called the erotic. Once you know what its essence tastes like as it enters your body, go forth and multiply your life.

 

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