The biochemistry of ecstasy

Taoist Erotic Massage awakens the neural network

Caffyn Jesse knows how to massage tension all the way out.

Taoist Erotic Massage awakens the neural network

A couple feels fractured because she wants more sex than he does. A pre-operative transsexual wonders how to explore possibilities for pleasure. A woman is gripped by an erotic obsession. A man struggles with premature ejaculation problems. There is one practice that can open new possibilities for all of these people, and many more: Taoist Erotic Massage.

Taoist Erotic Massage is full-body massage that can include prolonged and creative genital stimulation. Recipients are encouraged to breathe deeply, relaxing into the sensation. The massage is typically climaxed with a staccato breathing pattern, a full-body clench and release, and a period of meditation.

We are used to “donut massages” that bring healing and pleasure to every area of the body except the genitals. Such massages can be wonderful, but inasmuch as they communicate the message that our genitals are untouchable, they do harm. In a culture that shames sexual feeling and confines its expression to the dissatisfying realms of romance and appetite, many people learn to numb out pleasure and aliveness in the genitals and surrounding tissues.

This abnegation of feeling creates what sexologists call “the Genital Hole.” Taoist Erotic Massage explores the range of sensation that is possible, waking the neural network. Such touch can assist us in bringing aliveness to this core part of ourselves, expanding the capacity for feeling, and giving erotic energy an honoured role in our bodies and our lives.

Experiencing full-body touch without having to be concerned about a partner’s pleasure, the person receiving reaches a deep state of internal awareness. Practitioners of this art can access an inner certainty, along with profound pleasure and ecstatic states. For partners, sharing this practice can be deeply bonding, allowing those with divergent desires to meet in a place of bliss.

For survivors of sexual abuse and others who feel cut off from erotic empowerment, navigating desire and communicating choice in highly charged sexual exchanges can feel impossible. Taoist Erotic Massage provides an arena in which the person receiving can stay safe and focused. All touch is directed by the receiver, who is encouraged to breathe into body sensation and decide, moment to moment, what their body wants.

Recently I was working with a woman who had been violently and repeatedly abused as a child. I waited patiently beside the massage table for her direction. More than 30 minutes passed by. Finally she asked if I would draw the outline of her body with my hand.

Pleasure itself is healing. Learning to choose pleasure instead of suffering is the first key to erotic empowerment. Pleasure is also a pathway to spirit. As the body relaxes in a full-body massage it releases hormones that facilitate feelings of love, bonding and trust. With sexual stimulation, we produce a cascade of powerful endorphins that build a feeling of bliss. This is the biochemistry of ecstasy. With prana pumps engaged by prolonged deep breathing, the heart opens, energy spirals through the chakras, and we can experience ecstatic unity with the divine in ourselves and others. “This is about integrating spirit at the cellular level,” one of my teachers says.

Taoist Erotic Massage was first developed in the1980s by Dr. Joseph Kramer of the Body Electric School. Combining the ancient wisdom of Tantra and Taoist sexual cultivation with the insights of western sexology, psychology and neurobiology, this is a powerful practice that can evolve and integrate body, mind, spirit and emotions. No matter where you are on your personal journey of erotic empowerment, Taoist Erotic Massage is a technology that can assist you in knowing and experiencing your capacity for joy. M

Caffyn Jesse is a somatic sex educator and Certified Sexological Bodyworker with a practice on Salt Spring Island. See her website at http://www.erospirit.ca

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