By Rob Moore
With all the intense astrology afoot recently, not the least of which includes being between eclipses, I feel like some self-indulgent navel gazing might hit the spot right now. As much as I mean taking some time to check in with ourselves, I also mean quite literally checking out our navels.
I might be inclined to take it somewhat further, though. Further than the navel. Further than the gazing. Feeling somewhat put through the ringer myself lately, I was genuinely inspired to look this weekend at giving ourselves what we need.
Then when I heard Eric’s mention of the numerous conjunctions to the Moon over the past few days, I took that as a signpost I was indeed on a solid course. Of particular interest to me was Eric’s in-depth look at the Moon-Ceres conjunction and its connection to how we nourish ourselves. Not just with food. Emotionally, sexually, and in all ways.
Anyone who has taken steps to embrace who they are at their very center will tell you how gratifying and empowering it feels. Well, the same principle applies to embracing our physical selves. Among the gratifying changes is a deepening appreciation for our sexual experiences. Whether we’re talking two or more participants or just one.
First, a little backstory about my own years of self-appreciation. Most articles about sex and relating that I see out there assume everyone is in a relationship. And if not, then we certainly must be looking for one. The last time I was in a bar, more than a few times I got, “How can you be single? What’s the story, dude?”
The story is I found relatively early in my life that I actually enjoy being on my own. As much as I relish connecting with others physically, emotionally and energetically, I have always valued my alone time tremendously.
Once it became clear I don’t care for functions centered around who’s who and who they’re with, nor for small talk that goes nowhere — all in the name of having a date on Friday night — I settled completely into the role of being happily single. I will, however, be the first to admit it takes some balls to arrive at that big showy event with just you, yourself and thou. After a few times, though, it kinda gets to be its own rush.
It was no small thing that I had some valuable encouragement early on by a popular socialite Libra. After almost two years of running into each other, he turned to me one night and said, “I’ve been wanting to tell you how much I think you rock. You’re like this mystery loner man. I see you everywhere. At parties, walking down the street, in lecture halls… you always look so comfortable. Damn, man, I want some of that.”
Gratifying as it was to have achieved ‘comfortable in my own skin’ status, there were parts of me wrapped by that skin that I had yet to get genuinely okay with. Or more accurately, even consider getting okay with.
I’m just recalling as I write this that it wasn’t long after that uplifting Libran compliment that I had to see the doctor about something on my ass. We’re not just talking ass, either… sphincter land. As it turned out, I had to squat over a hand mirror twice a day to apply medicine to a very tiny portion of Mr. Starfish.
Blargh! How I cringed at having to undertake this disgusting labor of Hercules.
I had never been an ‘ass man’ even when others’ rears were the asset in question. I mean, I wasn’t averse to going there on some hottie while in the throes of passion but it just wasn’t my go-to place. And due to many unpleasant early sexual experiences, I was not a fan of others trying to get on with me back there.
Anyway, I managed to get through those seven days of squatting, looking and applying. It wasn’t long, however, before I wound up having to go through the whole ritual again. This time, though, it was bugging the hell outta me that looking at my own rectum was causing so much inner turmoil.
In the late 1980s I was introduced to Louise Hay and her now infamous campaign to love ourselves. I adored Louise Hay. I secretly played her guided meditations over and over and over again. She was the embodiment of total acceptance and a voice of nurturing love I desperately needed to hear.
One of my favorite Louise Hay points is that babies pee on themselves and play with their own poo, all the while laughing and laughing because shame has yet to cast its forbidding shadow. I could see clearly, therefore, the value and basic birthright of embracing every part of ourselves fully.
But I always hit certain walls with her requests. She was big on mirror work, ever instructing us to look at ourselves while affirming how wonderful we were. And it didn’t stop there. Every single body part was to be gazed upon and loved and thanked for its functions. I agreed with the goal. It was the airy-fairy approach combined with genitals and anuses that made me feel disingenuous and sort of creepy.
Now, with this mirror on the floor reflecting back my own nether regions, it struck me that to come to some real acceptance I needed to consider what I actually did like about it. Or what I thought was interesting or whatever. Just something to get the positive vibes flowing.
Well, truth was I thought that asshole I was looking at was kinda freaky and a little wrong. But wrong in a way that was sorta hot. I wouldn’t want to get a photo of it with my family for the mantle. I could, though, imagine letting somebody else I thought was hot look at it. Or touch it. Or do other stuff that was kinda wrong and hot and yet felt good at the same time.
After sticking with this line of consideration for a bit, it occurred to me that getting okay with our weird parts and weird turn-ons is still self-acceptance. Maybe even a multiplicity of acceptance layers are in there, involving body parts, left-of-center interests, others into freaky interests, showing, seeing, touching… oh, for sure… lots of layers of acceptance going on there.
Please know this wasn’t like some grand epiphany for me after which I set out to find all the freaky and hot places on myself in an effort to be some super self-accepting sex human. I instead found this sort of self-exploration and appraisal became my way of responding to barriers as they came up.
Slowly, over time, I have reconsidered my feelings and viewpoints about my ball sack, my legs, the way my buns hang kinda flappy-like at the base, my armpits, even the scents I naturally produce.
I was satisfied to keep these aspects of my body and my self quietly in the dark for much of my life. That never prevented me from hooking up or making connections or experiencing mind-blowing sex. I discovered, though, how much more deeply gratifying sex can be when I’m comfortable enough with myself to let go into another person. Feeling okay about my holes and personal places, I now feel more inclined to find out what’s going on with theirs.
The last few days, though, I have been quite satisfied taking care of my personal places on my own. Have you felt a similar pull within yourself? May I suggest starting with your navel?
I’m glad to have one at all. Major surgery closed it up for a long time and I thought it was gone forever. But it’s back. As is my happy trail, which has always made me and others quite happy. I like how it feels. I think the way it leads down, down, down is kinda hot.
So, what do you like about your navel?