Part Three: Relational Pleasure
Those bound by passion are bound more tightly than all others. 
Those liberated by passion are liberated more quickly than all others.
-Ju Mipam 19th C Nyingma

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Before we focus on ways to cultivate pleasure, I want to mention the most common ways we decrease pleasure:

unresolved relationship issues
anxiety 
negative emotions
chronic or overwhelming stress
depression, grief, sadness
misaligned/insufficient emotion, physical, and mental stimulation for arousal 

In this course we are exploring some of these possible blocks, but we are not tending as much to healing emotional challenges or unresolved relationship issues. It is helpful to take note of any of the above, so you know what may be getting in the way of experiencing pleasure and arousal. Feel free to a book session with me if you want to delve into these areas, as alas, we can not relate to these in such a general way. 

Ways to grow pleasure

 

I. TRUST

Our partner must be trustworthy, and we must trust ourselves to experience pleasure. Without this, we can’t fully offer ourselves to the moment. This allows the mystery and exposure that pleasure can awaken in us to be safely experienced and expressed. Ofcourse trust has it’s own evolution, and is not black and white. We are all in process in this realm, depending on even the day or circumstance. 

To trust our partner means we know their intentions come from a kind and true place. Their actions line up with their words and if they make mistakes, which we all do, they show up to remedy them. They are empathetic and compassionate towards us and as the relationship unfolds, there is still an interest in understanding your feelings and experience. There will always be ruptures in relationship and how we relate to them is what strengthens the bonds of trust. 

We also need to trust ourselves. Trust our mind and heart, which is why we are exploring our shadows around sexuality and doing mind training aka meditation, so we become familiar with our self further. How our body feels while intimate, can be a signifier of the level of self and relational trust we have in that given moment.

Trust unfolds over time within ourself and in partnership. We learn the textures of trust and what we need to feel trust, through continually deepening in intimacy. 

II. PLEASURE IS A CHOICE

Going to keep saying it because we have to rewire our minds to know we have choice in what we do. We choose pleasure. We choose to give it. We choose to receive it. We see that pleasure is a gift of having a human body. Certainly the ways we please will shift as our desires, bodies, capacities, health, relationships shift, but that is okay. We still find ways to welcome pleasure. The welcome and recognizing it is a choice are essential. Because think of your days. How often do you turn away from the possibility of pleasure: creating it or welcoming it? We are essential in making room for the possibility of pleasure. Pleasure doesn’t just show up on our doorstep because it is founded on a choice in perspective. Choose pleasure, welcome it. 

 

III. PLEASURE DEEPENS OVER TIME

Many of us fear that the longer we are in relationships the less intimacy we will have. Once again this is a choice. Studies have shown, when we resolve what decreases pleasure and nurture what increases pleasure, sex and pleasure only gets better because rather than trying to be in the honeymoon phase with all the anxiety attached to it, we deepen in trust. With that comes a greater possibility of blossoming opening in blissful awakening penetrating love. And psychological maturity allows our sexuality to mature. So our sexual prime (not genital) is often much later in life, sixties and onwards, if we nurture it. 

IV. GIVE EVERYTHING, LEAVE NOTHING

With pleasure we give everything up. All of our tricks and games. We say, take everything, all of me. Everything I own, everything I think I am. Everything I thought I was and everything I think I want. We offer it up to our lover, to the whole universe, to everyone who needs joy and love, to every cell of existence. We become the beacon of bliss in all directions. 

Yet the trick is we stay in ourselves. We don’t abandon our connection to being-ness. We remain connected to the source of life, source energy, awareness. 

If we do abandon our awareness and connection to source, then we love in ways where our life force wanes, clarity dims, and we may have poor boundaries energetically and emotionally. 

V. HEART OPEN

When our hearts our open, we are naturally safer and more trustworthy. Energy moves between hearts and we are feeling rather than in the head. Often when we are in the heart, we can find more space and we are more intuitive of our lover’s states. Ofcourse this is important in intimacy, so we can see how our lover is receiving our touch and presence and we can adjust. When our heart is open we can let our sense of connection determine our behavior. 

VI. GENUINE TO MOMENT’S CALL

We grow in pleasure by not feeling we have to be any way in the moment. We take our time, teasing our lover, taking them in, feeling our own body against theirs. Flirting with the world. Not feeling bound by outer notions of how we should appear, move, do. If we feel called to do or be done by our lover, we welcome that fully. If we want to taste drop by the drop the salt off their lips, or we keep getting drawn by to their glorious nipples or our own, we return there. Called by the moment, called by the force of energy moving in our body and between our bodies. We grow in pleasure through our daily life doing the same thing: being awake towards what the moment is calling in us. Relaxing and sensing, trusting our heart and body. 

VII. SELF & LOVER PERFECT

We started to explore this in the last section and so here we will expand on it. 

View our embodiment and the embodiment of our lover as holy temples. A holy temple can be any form that has the sensation of sacredness. We want to bow down in humility, adoration and our hearts feel open, warm, our body stretches out in surrender, we do not clench our fists or toes, we feel safe and seen, we open in that awe. 

Visualize our self and our lovers divine presence. See our lover as perfect. If we focus on the faults we can not focus on the pleasure. To experience pleasure we have to allow for unity.  Judgements create separation, a subject object bias, as we say: “You are this and there for I am something different” or vise versa. 

We are satisfied in love when we experience union because in the absolute there is no division. In the relative yes you have your body, I have mine, we are separate … yet consciousness, that which perceives and loves has no separation, it pervades all of existence. Don’t take this from me ofcourse, this requires our own personal exploration and this exploration is our life journey.  

And so this is why we become servants of love. Servants of union. The way we look and touch our lover and feel for our lover is how we look to whatever we deem the most precious … god, buddha, allah, the sky, flowers, animals etc. 

And if we can not find something to deem precious then that is our focus. To experience the perfection of our self. To find even a glimmer of it. This one spot on my leg … ooo how glorious. We can focus on one aspect of our lover. The way they smile. We begin with a crack of preciousness if we feel challenged and allow our attention to focus there and expand.  What we focus on naturally grows. Our awareness of preciousness, what is sacred, what touches us … will grow the more we place our attention on it. 

Remember perception is everything. Shift your perception a little and everything shifts with it. 

VIII. TRY SOMETHING NEW

To expand pleasure, we have to expand beyond usual tendencies. What are the ways we usually express ourselves intimately in our current or past relationships? What stops you from doing what you want sexually? Trying something different? Perhaps doing something that you have seen, heard or imagined that turns you on? 

IX. PLAY WITH ENERGY

In partnership we play with energies. That is literally what we are doing all day long. We are being an energetic expression and our lover (human or the world) is responding to our energy and playing off of that.


We can unfurl in pleasure in a totally luscious peony way where we just let our nectar face the sun and let the bees enjoy it, or we can do pleasure in a direct one pointed empty way, where we go for what we want, the nectar of our lover in all their ways of being, on a clear mission. We are dancing with both and both are needed. We choose which we state we are embodying in the moment, so we can fully go in. 

X. SHOW DESIRE

Someone truly desirous of their lover is a total turn on! Be ardent about how much you love, yearn for, want your partner. To love fearlessly take tremendous courage because we know with loving there is a risk of loss, rejection etc. And so it is sexy for someone to lean in and offer their raw heart to you. 

Ofcourse this has to come from a place of being grounded in our own energy. Remembering that key point about offering everything while remaining in our being-ness, our awareness. 

XI. INTENSIFY POLARITY

Opposites attract so we intensify the heat of pleasure and magnetism by holding opposite states. This is essential in long term partnership because we become more similar and can forget the energy and play it may take to create more polarity. The common ways to talk about polarity is one person is direct and clear and takes charge. The other is more available and receptive, surrendered, and trusting to the direction.

You may naturally know which partner leans towards being more direct and which one leads towards being more surrendered. But if not it’s good to ask each other what they like most if you don’t know and to explore both as well especially during sexual play. If you are generally dominant, be more submissive and vice versa. 

If you like surrendering, you like receiving without being in control. There is liberation in wanting to be taken as your lover wants to take you.

If you like being dominant, you like moving into your partner. Bringing them to their edge turns you on, you want to devour their essence and decide how to go about this.

To have polarity work, we have to have trust in whoever is taking the lead. And often what happens is lovers don’t have enough trust. Sometimes because there is a lack of trust in the person. Other times out of habit. We haven’t learned to risk trusting our lover so we keep ourselves together and always in charge. Then we have two people leading. Or two people that do not know what they want and so nothing happens, and the charge is lost. 

 Space is also essential to create polarity and intensify desire. Create space for the intensity and heat to build between you and your lover.

Note: We want the significance of our lover to be as important as the space. If we become too independent or too on top of eachother, then we lose connection and the fire. So you can pay attention to the dance of space, desire, polarity and connection.

XII. MISCHIEF

It is important to be a bit naughty and playful in the realm of intimacy. Once again this is soaked in pure intentions … like we aren’t trying to hurt anyone, or put anyone down … that is not what we are speaking of here. It is a playfulness and mischief that arises out of the spark of attraction. Like ooo, I like you so much, I want to play and first I’m going to ruffle your feathers a little bit and see how you react and see if we can burn this fire a bit stronger. 

Some of us are not good at play so we can practice at least finding humor in the world. That is a good start. Some of us are natural mischievous lovers who play all day long. I think this is a good reminder especially for anyone that takes relationships and life too seriously. 

XIII. APPRECIATION

Try to spend most of your time appreciating your lover. Finding every possible reason they are absolutely precious. For every negative thought in the mind, we have to counteract it with 4 positive thoughts to shift patterning. Often in relational dynamics we can dwell on what is not working. Appreciation is not only good for our health because it helps our heart be coherent which literally improves all aspects of our well-being, our intimate life will blossom in the warmth of appreciation. And why be in a partnership if we can’t find a million reason to appreciate our lover? Remember we are choosing to be in this partnership and so let’s choose to find and express through words, touch and the energy of our heart, how much we adore our lover.

 

 

Delightful Activity

Practice nurturing these pathways of pleasure and connection generators. Either choose one of these qualities each week to focus on, or explore one activity as long as you desire before moving on to another. 

Which one will you begin with?