Editor’s Note: Carla Sanders, a longtime Planet Waves reader and commenter going by “Diva Carla,” shares here some of her writing as a sex educator; she most recently contributed an essay to the 2016 annual edition, Vision Quest. We looks forward to your comments about the piece below. — Amanda P.
By Carla Sanders
I teach people how to have sexual pleasure.
Meanwhile, thousands of refugees are trapped in limbo between bombed out homelands, death squads, and closed borders.
Terrorists bomb restaurants, concerts, and shopping centers.
In the United States, home-grown terror, armed at the neighborhood gun shop, mows down adults and children at work, dancing and going to school.
Police murder of African-American men happens almost every day.
Rape is commonplace all over the world as a violent act of private or collective conquest.
This isn’t even counting natural disasters, disease, famine and climate change.
Media eats it up like news crack, and throws on gas on the tension and fans the flames.
As violence and desperation continue on all continents…
I am writing an article on foreplay.
I hear a whisper from my inner judge.
“Isn’t the quest for sexual pleasure and the ultimate orgasm a ‘first-world’ problem?”
Searching my Soul for the answer, it only takes a moment to see it, as if written in glowing red paint on a wall of a holy cave.
There is nothing more important than healing the wound that all of humanity carries in this tender place labeled “SEX.”
Cultures, religions and governments have split off sexuality from the rest of life, made it evil, tried to lock it in a box and throw away the key.
As a result people all over the world wander through life cut off from a core aspect of self. Individually and collectively, for generations, modern humans search for their lost parts and try to fill the void. What cannot be expressed freely as love and pleasure has a way of turning sideways and toxic. It becomes violence.
We see the effects in depression, dysfunction and violence in families, violence towards the environment, and violence in the streets. It becomes systematic rage, war, genocide. It spews forth hate as oppression of women, other ways of loving, other races and nationalities and religions.
We learn to suppress ourselves.
How can you help others if you are suppressing or struggling with your greatest power?
Look at that dark, silent little box where you were told to put your sexuality. Feel who you are. Feel where it hurts. Look at where the bandages are hiding your wounds (yes, that’s where the light enters).
Even if you are sexually open and have a great sex life, look anyway. You’ve put a piece of yourself, maybe a very large piece, inside that dark, secret box. There isn’t one of us on the planet who hasn’t felt this way.
That place where it hurts, or feels shameful, or like a failure or disappointment — that’s where the light is.
For now, just hold the box. No one will make you open it before you are ready.
Remember this: You are inside that box labeled ‘sex’.
If you’ve hidden away a piece of your Self in there, what else did you hide with it? What genius, what greatness, what love? How much work is it to hold yourself in, so that box stays closed?
Consider all these things, and what it’s costing you.
What is it costing all of us for you to hold your power in?
That’s why I write about foreplay — it is where where sex meets daily life and gets practical. Most of us experience sex through relationship, or desire to do so.
Foreplay is where we use our best erotic skills, intimate communication and creative love play for our own and our partner’s pleasure. It’s also where we rub up against each others’ wounds, expectations and secret hidden emotional triggers.
If over half the people having sex claim to be unhappy with their foreplay experience, then there are a lot of people who do not have full access to the power of their sexual life force. Something is locked away in that silent dark box. Sometimes just a little lovin’ or a little information will let it out. Sometimes more work, healing and education is required.
Foreplay is an erotic playground, and a sexual healing ground. If you are having trouble opening up the box where you’ve hidden your sexy communication skills and erotic confidence, practice your skills. If you don’t have a partner, practice foreplay with yourself. When you masturbate, give yourself as much erotic time and attention as you want to share with a lover, as much as you hope your lover will lavish on you.
Collectively we have a big mission — to live together peacefully on Earth. It is not an impossible mission if we each start the only place we can: within our own bodies and souls, soothing the sore spot where we are at war with ourselves. Love yourself into healing, and offer it to the people you are most intimate with: lovers, partners and self.
You are not a first-world problem. Neither is your sex life, or doing what it takes to enjoy your sex life more. Your pleasure — everyone’s pleasure collectively — is necessary to creating a more peaceful world.
Carla Sanders teaches sexual pleasure and orgasm, and guides women and men on their path of initiation. She believes that sexual expression is your birthright and an infinitely renewable personal power source. She lives in Maine where she swims, dances, stargazes and makes art. Her website is Orgasmicalchemy.com.