|credit: Peter Levine|
January 14, 2014
3 Exercises to Release Sexual Trauma & Reclaim Your Body
Here is part two of our six week series on sex, relationships, and healing sexual trauma with Ben and Jen Rode and Valerie Taormina.In the last article, we talked about how rampant sexual trauma is, and about how society in general is just plain awkward about sexuality. We also talked about why shifting the conversation from one of awkwardness to one of total and complete ownership will give all of us our power back. Today we’re going to be talking about how to clear shame and trauma from our body so we can begin the journey to stepping into our power and having the impact we were meant to have in the world.
Some of this stuff can be done on your own, but some will require a lover with some mastery in space holding. Having a husband, boyfriend or lover help work through any kind of trauma is extremely difficult because he’s emotionally invested (and rightly so) and it’s much easier to take things personally, and therefore get triggered. Also, she already has her story about who he is (and who she is), and he has his story about who she is (and who he is). Both parties start the work with preconceived ideas about the way the story is going to go based on information from the past, so it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for new actions or outcomes. Let me give you an example.
I married Jen a month after we met, and we started healing her sexual abuse almost immediately. As highly trained as I am, it took seven tries over the period of a couple months to actually have a breakthrough because we kept getting in our own way and blaming the other person. I was getting frustrated that she wasn’t listening to me or giving it her full effort, and she was getting triggered at me for pointing out the very things that needed to shift and then getting triggered when she would get triggered. It was a circus. My advice to the men: Be very VERY patient, and take NOTHING personally, even when you really want to. My advice to the women: Be very VERY patient, and take NOTHING personally, even when you really want to.
The first thing we always do when we get clients on the massage table is walk them through something we call “The Stop Technique”, where every 5-10 minutes or so, she says “Stop.” Then we stop, completely disconnecting. She gets a sense of what it feels like to have said “stop” and have had it be heard and respected.
Then, after sitting with it for a little bit, she finds the desire within herself and asks her lover to begin again. Most people’s natural instinct is to say something like, “Ok, you can start again,” but that implies that this is for someone other than herself, and that she is merely allowing it. We want her to be in a place where she is comfortable enough commanding it. It should sound like, “I want you to continue your massage,” or “Please continue where you left off.”
The stop technique can be used with a lover during foreplay and sex as a way for her to reclaim her power and her pleasure. I know it seems odd to think about telling your lover to “STOP,” I mean, you’ve been married forever and it’s obvious that she wants to be touched, right? Well, yes. AND, this will be the difference between her “allowing” the experience and her actively participating in it on a different level.
When she was sexually abused in her past, all she could do was allow the experience, and that becomes a pattern. Don’t be surprised if she a) says she doesn’t want to or need to say “stop,” b) forgets to say “stop” altogether, or c) breaks down into tears once she tries it. Saying “stop” can be extremely difficult for someone who has been conditioned to think that her body isn’t hers, and actually asking for pleasure can be extremely difficult for Everyone in this society. Keep practicing this one until you’ve mastered it!
Peter Levine, creator of the Somatic Experiencing program and author of, “Waking the Tiger” and several other books on trauma and sexual abuse defines a process called the Threat Response Cycle. He talks about how our instinct is to go into fight or flight when a threat presents itself, and if we can’t do either of those (as is often the case in early childhood sexual abuse), we go into the freeze response. The freeze response is what traps the trauma in our body, and becomes the pattern. If the person goes into fight or flight, it gives the Threat Response Cycle the opportunity to complete, and therefore return to a normal relaxed state of functioning in the world. If the body goes into the freeze response, the cycle doesn’t have the opportunity to complete itself, so the body is constantly in a heightened or lowered state of awareness.
A few signs this may be the case are: “numb” body or genitals, feeling “frozen” under perceived pressure or pleasure, or inability to connect deeply with oneself or others. In our sessions, a client will inevitably go into the freeze response and will simply not want to move or not be able to move. This is actually a great sign because it means she can now complete the cycle and be done with it forever. She does this by feeling the part of her body that feels the safest and the least stuck, and she allows that feeling to spread throughout her body, moving whatever she can. The goal is to eventually be in a full on temper tantrum screaming fit with legs and arms flailing uncontrollably. We have a formal term for this: “Losing your shit.”
You know you’ve completely rid yourself of any remnants of the freeze response when there is absolutely nothing holding you back in your body or your mind. In other words, you are “Losing your shit” at 100%, and not 80% or even 90%. Notice any and all reasons the mind will invent to not have to do this. A few common objections are, “I would look funny,” “I would sound funny,” and “I don’t want to because it would feel like a performance.” It’s worth it, I promise. You only have to do it once!
Those are two of the most important exercises we do, but another extremely important exercise we do is hypnotically regressing them back to before the first event ever happened, and get them in touch with the innocence of their inner child. From here, we take the good and leave the rest, fully integrating their inner child, which is extremely important for fun, creativity, self love, and full self-expression. Unfortunately, we won’t have the time to go into that or the other exercises here.
Once the body has been cleared of trauma, it’s time for “The Arousal Counting Exercise”, which helps her meditate on her pleasure, and go deeper into her body than she ever thought possible. It’s simple. Every ten seconds or every time the number changes, your mouth is going to open and a number is going to come out on a scale of 1-10. 1 being no arousal, 10 being full on orgasmic climax. This number is going to come from the body, NOT the head, so it will look like, “2, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4.” It will not look like, “Uuuummm… I think it’s a 5. No, it’s a 4. Well it was a 5, but then I…” That means you’re in your head. We want to minimize the story. The story doesn’t need to be there. We want to quiet the head so that the body can actually FEEL the pleasure.
The numbers will naturally fluctuate. It’s a good thing, I promise. Notice the thoughts that come into the head when the only instruction is to put 100% of your attention on the pleasure and count a number every 10 seconds or every time the number changes. Everything from “I’m not doing this right” and “I should be at a higher number” to “This is the stupidest exercise ever and I don’t want to do it. It’s pulling me out of my pleasure.” Master this one exercise and you will be able to orgasm any time you like.
The next three articles will be written by the amazing Valerie Taormina, and I’ll be back for the sixth and final blog post of the series where I’ll be talking about how to “Adjust Your Compass” to bring in the love you’ve been looking for and how “Old Paradigm” will try to drag you back once you step into your “New Paradigm,” and what can be done about it. Maybe I’ll even have room to talk about clearing everything out with 30 minutes of Gspot orgasm :)
Please practice the exercises above and post about your experience in the comments below. I will be happy to provide my encouragement as well as my insights! See you all soon!
Ben and Jen Rode are living their life purpose, helping women bring in their man, money and purpose and helping them to fully embody the divine feminine, while honoring and supporting the divine masculine. They have created their own healing modality that uses the state of orgasm to plant post-hypnotic suggestions or affirmations. They are continuing to tear down the restrictions that have been placed on female sexuality, and are paving the way for all kinds of sexual healers to emerge through their upcoming TV show. They are here to make sexual healing mainstream, and to normalize Explosive Sexual Healing by making it the next hypnotherapy, the next reiki, the next talk therapy.
Go to the website below and learn more about their transformational workshops.
Sign up for my free guide so you can stop spinning your wheels and instead navigate your way through each stage of recovery with ease and clarity. Get the support you need todayGET YOUR COPY