January 31, 2017

Is Your Relationship Your Heroin?

This week, it is a great honor to introduce you to my dear friend and colleague, Fawn Gilmore Kraut. She is an amazing relationship coach and this month is going to be sharing some of her best thoughts about relationships, dating, and connection. While Fawn primarily works with single women, I believe what she shares can be of help to anyone seeking to find a love that lasts.

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It was an honest but rather scary admission.

“He is like heroin to me,” she said again and again. I shuddered inside but was glad at what she was finally seeing. For some time, the symptoms had shown up like flashing neon signs in her language and behavior.

“He’s been under so much stress.”

Some of her ongoing excuses for his self-indulgent behavior.

“I still miss him. His good side.”

Good side? He routinely abused her physically and mentally for years.

“I am pretty sure that I am co-dependent!”

You think?!

“Help!”

It’s on the way!

This college educated, mother of three was addicted. Not to drugs, porn, or hoarding. Oh no. This unusually sympathetic mother had gotten herself addicted to the very difficult man she married – and she was far from alone on that score.

Relationship addiction is real. It can happen more easily that we realize. Known for his work with chemical dependency, Canadian physician Gabor Maté reveals that the source of an addiction is unresolved pain. The addiction is our coping mechanism to cover up the pain that lies awake in the shadows.

Unfortunately, the more we run from our pain, the more painful life becomes. Like an infected wound, our emotional pain operates in our body much the same as a physical injury, often becoming quite crippling.

Do you think you might be addicted to someone? Past relationship? Sibling? Even one of your children?


Well, here is some evidence that would indicate that you are a relationship addict:


* You call or reach out to the person practically every day. However, they rarely reach back.

* The person dominates your thinking. 

* You can’t get them out of your mind.

* You can’t function until you have some kind of contact with them.

* You make excuses for their behavior. You are blind to reality.

* You don’t care what it costs you to be in the relationship. You even overlook the negative consequences of your actions on yourself and others.

* The relationship affects everything else in your life. It prevents you from moving forward and growing as a healthy human being.

If you are addicted, what is the answer?

According to Dr. Mate, the antidote to addiction is to stop avoiding the pain. To become free, we need to process the source of the problem: our pain. Facing the pain we have been avoiding can be difficult but if we let the pain come to the surface and then, feeling it fully, express the pain in a safe manner with a compassionate person, we can begin the process of healing.

I know. Sometimes the pain has been buried so deep and for so long that you have no idea what it is or how to bring it into the light. In these situations, here is what I recommend to my clients.

First, remove the “drug.”

Stop the behavior that you are using to cover up the pain. Practically, this can mean cutting off all contact with the person. I am talking, “cold turkey.” Without rudeness or blame shifting. You simply stop calling, texting or commenting on Facebook. Whatever the behavior has been, you stop doing it.

Second, you allow your emotions to surface with someone else, preferably a good friend or compassionate professional who has their feet on the ground.

The key here is that your emotions will lead you to the source of your pain, if you are willing to let them surface. Many times our pain is rooted in fear such as fear of abandonment, rejection, or being alone.

Then, as the pain surfaces, you give yourself permission to grieve. However that might show up, anger, tears, screaming, whatever, you allow yourself to mourn.

Finally, when grieving is over, you release, let go, heal and move forward. You forsake the pain and its memories. You begin to rebuild your life with a stronger, healthier, and more hopeful outlook. You are much stronger than you ever realized.

Addicted to someone?

The great news is that, if you are willing, you can be free from behavior that keeps you locked up in the prison of the past.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever been addicted to someone? How did you get through it?

Sending you love,

Fawn


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Happy clients around the world call Fawn “Their relationship guru.”  For single professional women serious about creating an amazing life-long passionate love-affair, Fawn is their go-to expert to discover and claim their feminine power and attract great men who are ready to love, respect, and cherish them. Clients learn to radiate their unique confidence, love, and beauty in a powerful way that makes them irresistible to the men who are the perfect match for them. With confidence and joy — and with her inspired guidance and support — they learn to repel the men who only want to use them, and magnetize and inspire real, quality men into their lives to create real and lasting love for a lifetime.

Fawn spent most of her twenties and thirties with a series of dead-end relationships and broken hearts. When she was almost forty, after one last devastating heart-break, she decided she needed to start taking responsibility for her relationships with men and the pain she was creating. (Either that or become …a nun!) She began working with a coach who ever so gently asked her the questions that opened her eyes and her heart. Within a year, at the age of 40, she married the love of her life and they’re still going strong.

After years of informal coaching and transformational work, Fawn graduated from the prestigious Coaches Training Institute as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

She is passionate about women finding real passionate love while being true to their authentic unique selves.

Learn more at www.fawngilmorekraut.com.

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January 9, 2017

Shame, Pleasure and Performance: Men and Sex

This week, we continue our series with Caffyn Jesse who explores the limitations that we put on male sexuality.

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In the cultural construction of gender, men seem to have more permission to be sexual. This “permission” is actually a very narrow prescription: to be sexual with young women, to be sexual with hard penises, to be sexual in ways that assert the power and authority of phallic masculinity.

How terrible this is for boys and men! In identifying with phallic masculinity, they are meant to become unfeeling, hard and closed. What then of the actual body, that still feels, fears and wants?

In my practice as a somatic sex educator, I see men who suffer intense shame because they are experiencing one of the common sexual dysfunctions: premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, inhibited ejaculation. Or they feel shame because they are tuned in to the joys of anal eroticism, and have no permission to explore this in their lives. Other men suffer because they want no more of the sterile connections they have had with others and feel turned off sex. Some men feel extremely sexual, but have no place to express this. If they have been circumcised, they may carry trauma and scar tissue that inhibits intimacy. Some men feel compulsive and addicted in their masturbation practices, others feel inhibited and joyless. Some men feel shame about homosexual experiences and desire. They feel shame about penis size and function. They can feel intense shame, grief, fear and paradoxical desires when contending with a personal history of anal rape. 

There are so many ways that men are wounded sexually, and yet we live in a culture in which there is no permission for men to explore, express and grieve how they are wounded around sex.

As lovers of men, we can learn to touch in ways that honor the whole body, and make no demand. Men have nerves that may respond with pleasure to internal stimulation, just as women do. Nerves in the external genitals can often feel great pleasure whether the penis is hard or soft. 

Men don’t need a hard penis to be wonderful lovers. They don’t need to interact in ways that assert masculine authority and repudiate anal eroticism. We can learn to honour men in their softness, sensitivity, inwardness and vulnerability – and to touch in ways that celebrate every penis of every size and shape as beautiful in its unique configuration. 


We can offer the embodied insight that the a penis is not a phallus—not—or not only—a symbol of power and privilege—but a sensitive, vulnerable, soft compilation of tissue, nerves, blood and skin. We can invite quiet contemplation of sexual sensation, and celebrate wild expressions of sexual pleasure. There are few men who do not find this form of erotic interaction healing, affirming, and liberating.

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Caffyn Jesse is a Certified Somatic Sex educator and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker who supports diverse people on their journey to sexual wholeness. 

People from around the world visit her Salt Spring Island studio, where Caffyn offers workshops and coaching. She teaches an Intimacy Educator training and the Certified Sexological Bodywork – Somatic Sex Educator training in Canada. 

She is the author of Science for Sexual Happiness and Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure. See her website at www.erospirit.ca and order her books at Amazon online.

January 3, 2017

Circumcision: Honoring and Healing the Wounds

This week, we begin our series with the powerful and amazing Caffyn Jesse. She will be sharing with us expert perspective on sexual healing, particularly focusing on male sexuality as this is a topic that often goes unaddressed. We start off by taking a look at the trauma of circumcision.

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Inside the womb, a fetus touches and plays with genitals, enjoying arousal and orgasmic sensation. Self-pleasure in utero is an important contributor to nervous system development. When babies are born, what happens to all this erotic aliveness? As many as 3/4 of all infant boys in the USA and 1/3 of infant boys in Canada are subjected to a violent genital surgery, with profound effects on individuals, and our whole society.

On the infant’s tiny penis, the foreskin does not retract as it does on an adult penis. It must be forcibly peeled away from the glans. The newborn is immobilized, and a clamp is used to forcibly separate tissues in this most sensitive area in the human body. The foreskin is then sliced down, crushed and cut away. Circumcision is bloody and excruciatingly painful. It is performed without general anesthesia, since anesthetizing a tiny baby is very dangerous. The surgery leaves an open wound that forms scar tissue over 7-10 days.

In recent decades, neuroscientists have studied the effect of early life trauma on a child’s developing nervous system. Infant trauma can be held in the body throughout life, causing physical and emotional distress and dysregulation. Traumatized people often feel upset and angry, or withdrawn and numb, without knowing why. How many of the characteristics associated with masculinity are really the residual effects of this widespread infant trauma?

Circumcision destroys the most sensitive parts of the penis. The foreskin is a complex organ with many specialized nerves and functions. People who are circumcised lose the nerve endings that most appreciate delicate touch. In adults, the foreskin glides up and down over the glans during arousal, providing thrilling sensations from tens of thousands of nerve endings. Foreskin also protects the moist glans of the penis, like eyelids protect our eyes…but with a lot more pleasure. The glans and inner foreskin of the penis are naturally moist and exquisitely sensitive. A circumcised penis forms scar tissue. The skin is keratinized, tough and dry. (Keratin cells on the surface are no longer alive. They have no nucleus or organelles.)

Because people who have lost the foreskin have lost so many nerve endings, they usually require much harder, faster stimulation to access arousal and orgasm. This can be so difficult for people in their relationships. 

Infant foreskins are sometimes sold to biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies. They are used in the production of wrinkle creams, collagen injections and burn treatments.

Many adults who were circumcised as infants do not feel wounded, and they can simply and happily enjoy their genitals as they are. This is wonderful. People who do carry the trauma in some way may need support, counseling and coaching to find their way to healing and wholeness.

Rachel’s program can help address the psychological effects of circumcision. Physical work with scar tissue can complement this program, helping men recover sensitivity and expand sexual sensation while releasing embodied trauma. Partial foreskin restoration is also possible through these means. An extensive program on how to do scar tissue work for circumcision will be available for free on my website later this month.

Please contact me at http://www.erospirit.ca/contact/ if you would like to be notified.

And be sure to come back next week when I'll be discussing, "Shame, Pleasure and Performance: Men and Sex".

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Caffyn Jesse is a Certified Somatic Sex educator and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker who supports diverse people on their journey to sexual wholeness. 

People from around the world visit her Salt Spring Island studio, where Caffyn offers workshops and coaching. She teaches an Intimacy Educator training and the Certified Sexological Bodywork – Somatic Sex Educator training in Canada. 

She is the author of Science for Sexual Happiness and Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure. See her website at www.erospirit.ca and order her books at Amazon online.

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