Sexuality as a healing force
Tantric massage and tantric therapy sessions offer the unique opportunity for clients to experience receiving different types of touch, including erotic touch. In our culture, the experience of feeling sexual energy in the body is often reserved only for romantic relationships. At the same time, historically sexual energy has been honoured as a sacred and transformative force in many cultures. Many ancient cultures celebrated sexuality, and the scope and reasons for feeling arousal went far beyond a two person romantic relationship.
1. Erotic touch can help to heal the relationship we have with sexual energy
There are many conflicting messages for people of all genders in our culture regarding feeling sexual energy in the body. Our expression of sexuality is often shamed for being too much, or too little, or just too ‘out of line’ with what is considered to be the norm. Many people have had childhood experiences of being told off by caregivers for self-pleasuring, being ‘indecent’ if they were naked, or trying to obtain information about sexuality.
As a result, many of us grow up with beliefs that there is something wrong with expressing our sexual selves, and we may feel shame or guilt around it. We may find it difficult to ask for what we want, or even to know what it is we want in the first place, expecting our partners to magically know our bodies better than we do.
Experiencing erotic touch in the safe container of a tantric therapy session can allow many of these repressed feelings and beliefs to surface and be witnessed. Over time, as they leave or become integrated, more pleasure can be experienced as the nervous system learns that feeling sexual arousal is safe. Welcoming and valuing sexual energy can be a deeply healing experience for many.
2. Heal from the trauma of sexual abuse
It can be difficult to access and experience sexual energy for those who have been victims of sexual abuse. When they do so, it can be tied in with feeling fear, rage and other uncomfortable emotions. There is often physical pain present in the body which can become tense and armoured as a result. Read more about de-armouring.
Gently and over time, these clients can be helped to feel safe again in their bodies, to separate pleasure from pain, and to let go of feelings of self-blame and shame which are often present. The window of tolerance of pleasure can be gradually expanded, coupled with re-connecting with feelings of self-worth in order to allow that pleasure in.
3. Learn that we are worthy of pleasure
Many of us can limit our own pleasure because we have learnt to give to others first, believe that we are not worthy of something good happening to us, or because we fear asking for what we really want.
Through receiving erotic touch, we are able to learn to choose pleasure over any discomfort we may be feeling. Pleasure invites us to open up to feeling more gratitude, joy and connection in the body and in our life.
4. Relax the body and regulate the Autonomic Nervous System
Feeling pleasure through the raising of sexual energy in the body can be deeply healing and relaxing. Pleasure helps to regulate the ANS. This is the system responsible for regulating the functions of the body which are performed unconsciously, such as the heartbeat and digestion. When we feel pleasure the message we give to our body is that we are safe, and all is OK around us. When we can access states of deep pleasure and relaxation, a lot of tension can be let go from the body. We can learn to let go and enter states of surrender.
5. Get to know your body through greater mindfulness
Another benefit of a tantric healing session is that the client is invited to connect more deeply with their own body. This is done through building greater mindfulness. The client is then able to start to identify areas of pleasure and discomfort, as they become more embodied. The client is coached to start to be able to ask for what they want – such as the kind of touch that feels good to them. In this way, clients are able to start to own their pleasure and eroticism.
The focus is on building pleasure and arousal from within, and to move away from relying on any external stimuli. Clients are supported in learning to express themselves and their desires, including ‘yeses’ ‘nos’ and ‘maybes’, so they no longer have to tolerate anything which is unwanted by them. As clients get to know their bodies better, those who struggle to accept their physical self can learn to start to love their body.
6. Release oxytocin
Oxytocin is a hormone that is released when humans experience touch, hugging and orgasms. It is a ‘feel good’ hormone. In studies done on monkeys, the prevalence of oxytocin showed to be associated with reducing the stress response. Receiving erotic touch can help to down-regulate the stress response in the body.
Safety and consent/ boundaries
All sessions are carried out following a consultation with the client, which includes a clear explanation of consent and boundaries for both the client and therapist. The therapist checks-in with the client on a regular basis, and the client is invited to start to own their own pleasure and desire by sharing what they do, or do not, want.
All clients are met with love, respect and non-judgment. Sessions are tailor-made to suit each individual person’s preferences and requirements. I offer sessions in Teesside/ North Yorkshire (within easy driving distance of Leeds, Newcastle, York & Durham), and London. Read more about tantric massage treatments.
Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure by Caffyn Jesse
Trauma: A Practical Guide for Working with Body and Soul by Christiane Pelmas