For many of us, I think it is fundamental societal-induced shame and guilt that make us feel uncomfortable in the presence of erotic energy with partners.
This is especially so if we, ourselves, are not feeling that erotically charged in that moment.
Due to social norms, we think we also need to be in a simultaneous erotic trance when engaged in partnered sex. I think this false notion forms the crux of many of our so-called sexual dysfunctions and other sexual problems in bed.
What about simply taking turns in giving and receiving erotic pleasure with a partner? I think that as long as we are giving the gift of erotic pleasure to our partner with full consent and a full heart, we, ourselves, can find erotic joy in doing so. And then when it comes time to receive an erotic touch from a partner, that touch feels so much more pleasurable when it is given with full consent and a full heart as well.
I think it is reciprocity in giving and receiving pleasure that is key here and that simultaneous erotic states for both partners is not really that important. Simultaneous erotic enjoyment is still possible, but I don’t see it as completely necessary to the enjoyment of great, satisfying sex with a great partner’s connection.
Sexual performance is not important here either. There are many varying ways to provide pleasure to a partner. It is not contingent upon having an erection or being able to have intercourse. Experimentation, having fun, and seeking pleasure in a myriad of ways is on the table. There is no need for prescribed routines and expectations that so often lead to anxiety, disappointment, and loss of confidence and self-esteem.
Switch the notion of sexual performance to sexual exploration, and then the stress and agony regarding the situation is released.
These are some of the biggest lessons in my training as a somatic sex educator to date. I am no longer fearful, resentful, uncomfortable, or creeped out about being in the presence of erotic energy when I do so with full consent and a full heart.
I see it now as a playground, a place to have fun, explore, and seek greater connection with my partner.
The feeling of enjoyment in the willingness to offer this wonderful life-affirming gift of pleasure to another person is so totally awesome. It is a completely joyful and liberating experience for someone like me who spent a lifetime shrouded in all the possible shadow sides of sexuality, both personally and also throughout my whole career. I spent 30 years immersed in issues of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation with respect to my former social services work.
It’s like receiving a “get out of prison” card, a brand-new permission slip, and a flip of the switch in my head regarding my whole way of thinking about sexuality and sexual experiences.
My name is Wendy Scheirich, a Somatic Sex Educator, now happy and excited in my elder years to be teaching and spreading the joy about healthy, healing, and pleasure-focused sexuality.