Thursday, 31 May 2012

Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

After a weekend's revelry at this fantastic event, I am home, spent, full of gorgeous, healing, creative inspiration and more than a handful of delicious memories dancing through me.

There is a huge part of me that has really missed 'playing' in fetish clubs, and in fact missed just being around what I lovingly refer to as my 'tribe', my kind of people, people who know their sexuality, celebrate it and enjoy it respectfully, with consent and very much in control of their own boundaries. As a woman who has experienced a huge range of sexual expression through my life, I find it a joy to be around others who are open, non judgmental and considerate of that expression in others. The Night Of The Senses Ball, organised by the ever devoted Tuppy Owens, raises money for the fantastic charity Outsiders which highlights the sexual and personal needs and desires of people with disabilities. All of her events are fully accessible and the services offered within them equally so. I had the pleasure of working in the Tantra Temple this year where a good percentage of our visitors were disabled, wheelchair users. Not just that, but kinky disabled wheelchair users!

So as the evening progressed, and I took my breaks from the delights of the Temple, I got to play in the dungeon for a while. Now some of you may wonder what on earth anyone gets from this kind of play, yet it remains true that high street chains like Ann Summers see an increasing growth in what I call 'light bondage' toys and clothing. Someone, somewhere is getting this urge! As for me, well, the pleasure of the sensations I can explore through consenting BDSM can quite easily take me into ecstatic states of heightened awareness. I love the feel of the flogger on my skin, the heavy thump that gradually builds to a tantalising soreness, still bearable though. The cane and the crop, so much sharper, so much more stingy and more inclined to make me tense my muscles in some paradoxical anticipation/fear, and the 'misery stick', a sensation I've not previously known which was so incredible it felt almost like a sharp electric shock coursing through me, leaving me breathless with joy.

The further into the sensations I go, the further into feeling and the further into my body, the more I unlock, the more pleasure, the more history, the more healing, and at the same time the greater the sense of my own boundaries and strength. It's a psychological playground, an emotional arena, not for the faint of heart or spirit but definitely worth the chance you may take to see what's in there. It may not be for everyone, but as my parents said whenever I refused my peas, how can you know you don't like it unless you try it?!!

If you're in the North West of Manchester this coming month, why not try for yourself, in a safe, supported environment what it feels like; ask the questions you've never dared to ask? We will be hosting the fabulous Popping Your Kinky Cherry with the equally fabulous London Faerie , and I for one, am VERY excited about this! Why not come and join us...see for yourself, feel for yourself, ask for yourself. I promise you will not leave disappointed!

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Three Keys

Tantra; sexual pleasure and exquisite intimacy for grown ups or sex marathons for pop stars? What is it and what do you know about it?

For me, the discovery of tantra was like coming home; it answered in me a deep calling that I'd been longing for and never before found. It made perfect sense. It saw the marriage of my beliefs around spirituality, sexuality and sensuality come crashing at me like one of those full body orgasms I'd only ever heard about but never quite experienced, and then there it was.

The practice of tantric sex is actually not really about 'practising tantric sex', more that you just allow the possibility of becoming much more conscious and present in your body and in your connection to either your partner/s or your self in your sexual explorations. That's to say you don't get a "to do" manual but you do get lots of really useful and important tips on deepening your ability to really feel your sexual energy, to raise it and to use it to benefit your health, well being, your sense of self and your vitality on every level. I guess it's like anything else that you commit to studying, only probably quite a lot more fun whilst you're in the learning stages than say...learning about car mechanics (unless you happen to be a little kinky about cars that is!)

Basically, we've been having sex for a very long time. Somewhere along the way, many of us got loaded with messages driven by guilt, fear and shame about that, and we began to hide parts of ourselves that we may have felt more freely able to express before we decided that these negative messages we'd been given must have been 'true'. At the same time, our own sexual expression became distorted through our own investment in keeping other parts of ourselves hidden, riddled with false notions that we are not okay, that we are somehow 'less than' due to the constant barrage of media representations of love, lust and romance; in fact of just being human within a complex western culture. Here is what we aspire to right? (see below)

But most of us don't look like the photo above, don't want what the photo represents, don't live like that, or have that kid of lifestyle/body/money/skin color etc etc....but it is what we should want according to the popular press. Hell when my brother got married one well dressed guest sidled over to me asking the classic "is it you next then?" and when I answered that on the contrary, it was not what I wanted at all, he took one look at my tattoos and henna dyed hair and replied "no, I shouldn't think it is dear" and I was royally snubbed for not wanting what everyone is supposed to want!

So, for me, tantra and the liberated exploration of intimacy and sexuality has been a bloody goddess-send! I love men! I adore women and I love sex! I love peeling back layer upon layer of my own sexual expression and the possibility of it and I know that there is so much more to learn. It's taken me half my life to get to this point and damn fine that I did before I got lost in dry humping, headache city or porno-rama fakeness! Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking porn per se but it cannot be the only outlet for sexual fantasies or we'd be well out of balance!

In tantra, the 3 keys to great sex are really very simple: breath, movement and voice but you'd be surprised how many of us are not even getting that simple formula 'right'. It's true that any kind of sex will most likely mean you're breathing and moving at the very least (don't get me started!!) only here we're talking about conscious breathing and conscious movement. As for voice, well I shriek like a banshee (Mr Bellocq recently said I would concern the parking warden on the National Trust car park if I didn't tone it down a bit and I can honestly say it was a first to be mid cum and have parking regulations brought into the equation!) yes, I shriek and I speak and I moan and groan and I cannot actually find my sexual self without my voice for the most part. So yes, I want the dirty, filthy, tender, loving, sassy, noisy, connected, sweaty, soft, hard, pounding, gentle sex that is all of our birthrights should we wish to take up that mantle. Tantra is offering me that full range of expression....check out shakti tantra for a great place to start, I recommend them most highly. There are many schools and teachers out there, find the one that's right for you. You could do worse for yourself than open your heart and your mind (and your legs will certainly follow!)

more on tantra to come....meantime, have fun, respect and stay smutty!