I’m at the national, annual AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Education, Counseling & Therapy). For years my colleagues and co-tantra educators separated themselves from this world of sex therapists and researchers. I was told that these conferences wouldn’t inform me or infuse me with anything; that folks here were straight and focused in their own worlds and couldn’t and wouldn’t come into mine. How not true!
There is a transformation going on in the world of science. Quantum physics dabbles in the circle that includes spirit now. And the world of sexual science is going there too. Fully a third of the workshops and talks had major components of spiritual enlightenment. The first two plenary sessions included the latest in women’s sexual research along with open and honest confirmation that spirit, healing and deep pleasure are what is the most important in finding one’s way in a sexually healthy lifestyle. Beverly Whipple, the pre-eminent researcher of women’s sexual response and brain activity, speaks these days of energy systems right along with pain and pleasure receptors. Gina Ogden is teaching transformative workshops based on the first ever survey investigating emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of sexuality as well as physical aspects of a whole-life system of ecstatic living. Healing the wounds we both carry in our minds and carry in our bodies has become a guiding principle here.
Gina’s workshop is a Goddess workshop in many ways. She uses the acronym ISIS for integrated sexuality into every aspect of life. Using the Native American model of the wheel she segments our sexual lives into Mental, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and ‘Center’ in the middle of the circle to hold and integrate the other four. Sex is a whole-life experience. It informs all the rest of our life systems.
Debra Halfner is a Jewess by birth but is a minister now, a theologian and a sex therapist. She gave a plenary that interpreted bible passages that embrace sex and she calls for a reformation in how we hold and see sex in our lives. Sexuality as the expression of the Divine is available to us in spirit and in religion. We are originally ‘blessed’ through our birth from the ecstasy of sex. She is reminding us to remember this and she is calling for a reclaiming of our rights to pleasure from the narrow interpretation given by the Christian conservative Right.
More to come…