Here are a few stories of what is possible when we work on our relationships with our bodies, with nature, and when we intentionally build new skills and release shame:
A text I received:
A man that I had some uncomfortable interactions with last year reached out after months of silence and acted as if everything was peachy keen between us. I responded with telling him about the first instance where I felt uncomfortable, which regretfully was 1 year ago and never said anything. I expressed how I felt and stated that I was no longer interested in continuing connection. I was kind and direct.
After sending, that voice of how mean I am, and 'this is why I'm alone' came up, but I remained firm in the message without sending another.
AND, it opened up a beautiful conversation of him thanking me for expressing how I feel, how much he values communications, and how he admires how clear mine is !? , and ultimately furthered a deeper conversation. I am so glad I did this!
I feel empowered, and like it is easy and good to express how I feel, and that I can, and am attracting authentic relationships! ❤️
An email I received:
I'm not sure how I came upon your website and your work. But I have been intrigued and curious about what I can learn and how I can expand my understanding and experience with the sensual and erotic. And I've been particularly captivated about your level of comfort with being nude and natural. Being naked was definitely taboo for me in my upbringing and I suppose there are remnants of it still with me. I've never been particularly comfortable with being nude albeit in front of others or even with sleeping nude, and certainly not in public spaces. I suppose my conservative upbringing made nakedness something for which to be afraid, shameful, and feared. Seeing you so openly and unabashedly share your natural beauty with others, and your work around erotic play, has perhaps altered my views and understanding.
So, I am in Florida for a few weeks for a winter break of warmth and relaxation. And I discovered there is a clothing-optional beach nearby. I decided to take a risk and visit it. I was quite nervous. How would others react to this older man showing up alone? Would I be viewed with suspicion and caution? How would be aging body compare to others gathered on the beach? Would I be embarrassed? All those thoughts and more were going through I mind as I hesitantly walked down the long path from the parking lot to the beach area.
It was an amazing experience. While it did feel a bit strange to be there alone, I just said to myself "fuck it" and took my clothes off. I absolutely loved being outside, next to the ocean that I love so much, completely naked. I loved feeling the sunshine and wind against my skin. I felt so free and liberated.
I went for a walk along the ocean as the water washed upon my feet. After about 5 minutes, it felt completely natural; I had no apprehension or concern. I suppose since it's Florida, it was mostly an older crowd (my guess is the average age was late 50s) although there were younger people as well. It was probably 70% male and almost all the women had male companions with them. And there was every imaginable body size and shape. I loved it. I loved seeing all the bodies. I enjoyed seeing people who, by societal standards, are overweight, wrinkly, and old...they looked so beautiful. I was so thankful that, regardless of body shape and size, there was a place for everyone, anyone to be free and unashamed. Admittedly, I certainly enjoyed seeing naked women walking around and it there was an element of erotic and sensuality. At the same time, I was surprised at how unsexual it was. Walking among a large group of naked people, myself included, felt very natural. I didn't stay long, only about 30 minutes, as there are parts of me that have never seen the sun and I certainly didn't want to get sunburned in the wrong places even though I had on plenty of sunscreen. I enjoyed being there so much, I've been three times so far and I plan to visit as much as I can while I'm here.
So, I want to thank you for fostering, nurturing, and waking up this side of me. Thank you for helping to give me the courage to risk being naked. And thank you for helping me see and experience nakedness and the sensual/erotic without feelings of shame. This experience has been a gift...thank you for it. You are truly a friend at heart.
An email I received:
“An experience like I’d never known before. Being held. Being turned on. Being scared. Being sad. Being held. Being turned on.”
It’s interesting to me that I said things like co-regulation and re-patterning to describe what was happening yesterday. Makes sense to me, because science is the frame by which I tend to relate most easily to the world.
But something deeper is happening. It’s healing. Remembering what it feels like to be truly safe in the arms of a woman. In the arms of my partner (for the agreed time). Feeling our bodies independently and together. It was hot and blissful and sometimes challenging, but it never felt wrong. Yes, there are rational explanations for what’s happening. And there is magic too. It feels like a sacred space. A sacred space big enough and safe enough to invite in the profane.
Maybe this is why conscious kink appeals to me. I’ve mentioned how a lot of my trauma might be pre-verbal or before that. But there’s a lot of pain from my childhood that I remember vividly and that still constrains me in the present. Memories in which I wasn’t able to stand up for myself, I felt unattractive or ugly, so awkward no one would want to be with me, etc.
These little children in me, the stewards of this pain, I believe they need to see me today. I want them to feel me. The man I am today and the man I am becoming. To remember, together, what a healthy relationship is. That’s what was happening yesterday. There is more space in my belly where my anxiety lives. Something shifted.
And I feel ready, even eager to go into these memories and feel those feelings with a safe person. Go into my darkness with my light and the light of another. Witness my pain fully and kick out all the demons that don’t belong to me. I journaled last night - “this is a way to dance with demons.” My shame, my feelings of my unworthiness, my anxiety - as confusing and hurtful as these energies can sometimes be in me, they are mine. They are mine to work with and love and heal. And - I sense there’s plenty of shit in here that doesn’t belong to me, never belonged to me, can go back to where it came from. Any story that I ever believed that diminished me can go back. I know better now. I’m ready to clean house.
You helped me feel so much yesterday, Sarah. Allowed me to express so much. So much that I couldn’t put into words. Your energy was like an oasis after wandering the desert. I felt passion with you and for you. That raw desire. And I could feel your excitement.
It’s so strange feeling these feelings and not following them to the same conclusion. Not riding down the hill. And yet, boundaries. Part of me is confounded by, disappointed in getting aroused and not taking the ride. Because that part of me is used to seeing sex as a linear process with an end goal. But we were already at the goal! My cock is…actively processing this. There’s so much more space than I realized between arousal and orgasm. And the reason we were able to play in that space so effectively was boundaries. I get that on a rational level, at least! I trust you and I trust the process. It feels so good and right to reconnect to my feelings in this way.
Looking forward to working and playing together again soon!