This week, I have been in The South with my girlfriend, visiting her family. Both of us have discussed the copious amounts of judgmentalness and sexual repression that is so self-evident here.
Not from family and friends, but from strangers, people we don’t know and never will see again, who seem obsessed with the way we walk, talk, dress, and hold ourselves. “Y’all aren’t from here, are you?” is the most common question we get, spoken with a smug subtext of "Y'all are going to hell."
We sat at a stoplight, next to a huge billboard of yet another white man with a stern expression and tight, non-existent lips, dressed in a suit and tie, selling salvation insurance, and wondered, why is it so many people are obsessed with what our genitals are doing at any given moment? Why is The South so filled with genital domination and suppression? What are people trying to protect us from?
It started me thinking of one of the most important and freeing moments in my life: the moment I realized that god didn’t give a damn about my genitals and what I did with them.
Having come from a background of extensive tantric training–including learning to master my orgasm by the time I was 12 years old– I was very conflicted about masturbation. It really sucked. I actually kept a journal of the exact time and date that I would masturbate all through my early teens. It was really hard on me. I felt like a drug addict. I was trying to control my sexual desire, but it was so challenging. I would masturbate, and end up feeling like a total, complete, miserable failure.
When I was 14, I lived with a mentally ill, “born again” Southern Baptist stepmother who daily searched my room for porn and drugs. I had a formidable collection of the former, not the latter. It was a continuous porno cat and mouse game with my stepmother - one that I generally lost. One day she found my secret compartment. It was filled with hundreds of pictures I had painstakingly cut out. It was my best of the best collection of images. She promptly burned them all and threw me out of the house.
This created so much guilt and stress, and I erroneously thought that masturbation was the cause of me getting evicted. I truly believed god, or at least the universe, was punishing me for me being such an orgasmic-self-control failure. This horrible guilt and shame about masturbation and ejaculation continued, and even escalated over the years.
Seeking solace from spiritual elders, and spiritual teachers, I realized how negative and repressed they all were around sex. They let me know that both they and god were very concerned about proper action of my genitals. Though I was looking for guidance and comfort, what I got was more shame.
I felt like my spiritual life was being destroyed by my burning sexual desires.
It’s a long story about how I worked my way out of this, and I won’t burden you with the details right now, but suffice to say, through meditation, my own blend of rational tantra, and critical thinking, I pulled myself out of this terrible spiral.
Which brings me to the moment that I knew I was truly free of sexual suppression and repression. I lay on my living room floor, in Sedona, Arizona and I did this amazing thing. I surrounded myself with my entire porn collection - which included some 50 magazines– and savored all the amazing photos. I let myself breathe and feel the excitement and pleasure of the moment. I massaged my entire body with coconut oil, and began a wonderful, noisy, naughty, delicious self pleasure session that went on for the better part of two hours. Something inside of me had finally shifted for good. For the first time in my life, I experienced guilt free pleasure.
When I did finally orgasm, I laughed and cried. I knew, absolutely, I was free of the shame and guilt and the punishing, sex-negative god that had lived in my head and stolen my life for so many years.