Sexual Patterns & Inhibitions Established
As a child growing up many of your adult sexual patterns were determined. They were incorporated into your thinking by the myths about sex, for example, that sex was only for procreation. Or the idea that sex and nudity were dirty. For many these ideas live deep within our subconscious and still influence our sexual responses today.
Childhood experiences producing inhibitions/fear/shame/guilt:
Nudity--parental punishment or reprimand.
Memories of punishment, reprimand or disapproval regarding any area
of body function, sexual feelings or activities. Note: there is often a fear
of punishment even when it doesn't come in any overt way, resulting from a general
negative attitude of parents or other significant adults and/or a sense of guilt
on the child's part, however vague.
Masturbation - parental punishment or reprimand.
Adolescent or teen sex (petting or more) in the dark, the back seat
of the Buick, etc.
Childhood sexual play/experimentation (playing "house" or
Seeing parental patterns of negative attitudes and response: fathers
controlling/abusing mothers in a general sense (the macho "caveman" syndrome);
other stereotyped gender roles.
Pornography - Playboy under the bed or Playgirl in the closet..
Bisexuality: children sometimes have mild or strong physical attractions
to or relationships with the same sex, which produce questions and confusion.
Adult experiences fulfilling childhood inhibitions: Anxiety
about being touched -- from either abuse or neglect; fear of failure in
sexual performance (typically male); fear of not pleasing partner
(typically female); preoccupation with technique (typically male); difficulty in
expressing oneself or discussing sexual/emotional feelings (probably dominantly
male); problems in creating friendships with the opposite sex (even with
a regular partner) and not just a relationship of control or sex with
partners; anxiety about bisexuality.
These problems often inhibit true emotional/physical intimacy and
not just sexual functioning.
Its Time For YOU to Be In Charge
But you can start managing your own life now...not continue to let your parents, society or childhood experiences manage your future sexual fulfillment and deny you potentially very meaningful human connections.
The good news is you have the opportunity to erase the "forbidden
tapes" and make mature adult decisions based on new experiences and breaking
the barriers that may inhibit you from new experiences. You have the opportunity
to design a new lifestyle and sexual options for yourself based on your ADULT preferences
and desires as a couple.
Only Decide For Yourself To Break Barriers
In confronting inhibitions only Do it for yourself Not for your mate. As I said in a memo sent after the first group meeting: To the couples where the men are very open and want their mates to enjoy sex with others but the women are very hesitant: This is perhaps the toughest situation. The concern, of course, is whether the women are wanting to be "healed" of sexual hesitations just to please their mates. Do the women really want to be "fixed" as the mates would like? As a man jokingly said, "Here's my wife with her inhibitions - fix her." I suggest that many women who have been "healed" from prior inhibitions go on to find much more fulfilling, positive, empowering sexuality. However, it is important for us leaders that it's the woman's (or it can also be the man that has the inhibitions) choice that they really DO want to be "healed", or "liberated from past programming", and not just share sexually with others to please their partner.
In other words, not being open sexually or open to nudity is not really
a "problem that needs fixing" unless you really want to try and change
your attitude. The "healing" may occur by positive empowering experiences
based on trust and love. Again my question for the women (or men) to discuss with
their mates is: "Do I have a problem that needs healing or do you love me enough
to accept me as I am without trying to change me to have your own sexual fantasies
fulfilled?" We believe in CHOICE, not false agreement to please your mate.
Now, if being "healed" is really what you desire, hopefully the experience
of the leaders and others will provide a safe place where that healing can take
place. I have personally seen such "healing" in Stan Dale Workshops and
have counseled women individually who have overcome their fears and past programming
to become much more fulfilled in their relationships. But I first want to be sure
there is a "problem" that you want to overcome! In Liberated Christians
the distinction from a swing club is that here, with the help of everyone in the
group, you are going to spend a lot of time experiencing love and real intimacy,
not just becoming a raging sex machine. We are just as interested in your heart,
soul and emotions as your hormones.
You May Choose Discomfort
Only DO what you CHOOSE to do, but we encourage you to perhaps be uncomfortable at times and allow yourself new experiences in order to decide if they are right for you. You might be very favorably surprised by your emotions afterwards.
DISCUSS Honestly With Your Partner
It's great when couples are in agreement on desired paths. However, it is also possible partners will have different goals and feelings. As in other areas in relationships you need to honestly discuss these differences in love.
Be Open To EXPERIENCE New Situations.
We suggest this group may be a safe place to explore your feelings and allow your self sometimes scary experiences in intimacy, drawing encouragement, knowledge and support from each other.
One bad experience does not necessarily mean future experiences will be bad. For example, a woman may be forced into swinging by a former mate and swear that she will never do it again. But in a new situation with a more loving gentle mate who encourages you to explore but on YOUR terms, the result could be positive.
We Encourage But Don't Not Push You
The tough issue for us as leaders, is not to push you too far into something you really don't want to do. But we want to help you keep that small, frightened child buried deep within your past from getting in the way of what might be more fulfilling in your relationships with other wonderful human beings.
Women Not Just Homemakers
One of the most common inhibiting past ideas to overcome is that many women have stayed at home and kept their sexuality underground and under control. The idea has been to get married, raise a family and please your husband. Forget about your own sexual fulfillment, passion and sensuality. But of course a truly loving mate sincerely wants you to be fulfilled.
Men Breaking Macho Barriers
For some men, the past macho stereotype ideas also need to be overcome. Being a stud or having wild sex may be your fantasy but often the woman wants more love, tender intimacy and sensuality along with great orgasms. As a man I found that I enjoy the tender stroking, holding a woman's body and lovingly caressing just as much as I enjoy thrusting sex.
Some men learn this as they become older and can no longer be the
thrusting studs of their youth. Sometimes men are devastated when they experience
temporary impotence which often occurs by age 40. But some women prefer older men
because they have learned to become better lovers - in ways that are often more
satisfying to women than a raging penis.
We have to realize that some people have physical problems that prevent them from enjoying touch. For example, I've been involved in an Internet medical forum with people who have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). For both children and adults that have the condition, a very common problem is extreme sensitivity to touch. For example, many say that before they can wear a new shirt they have to cut off the tag since it feels like sandpaper on their neck. Often light touch is painful so in massage they have to have harder, deeper strokes. Medications can relieve the skin sensitivity but usually only for half a day. I bring this up as an example of physical conditions we need to be knowledgeable about and sensitive to.
Sex Should Be Fun !
Sexuality should be a combination of fun, play, passion as well as deep intimate caring for the soul, spirit and emotions of your partner as well as physical fulfillment. We don't want to make sex totally serious either. It should also be fun.
Explore Your Sexuality
I suggest you consider being open to exploring your own sexuality with those you trust as well as your mate. Different people not only provide different stimulation and sexual variety but if you are open to sharing with others you can greatly enhance your own understanding of your emotional as well as sexual responses.
The Sexual "Wild Woman" Is Natural
Today's culture is very different from many in the past. There are historic writings about female sexuality that show that women, not men, were often more sexually active in past cultures. In some societies women were highly orgasmic and indulged in orgastic parties, having sex with many men for the women's enjoyment. Physically this makes much more sense since women's sexual response usually is much more long lasting than that of most men.
We plan to introduce some ideas from Eastern cultures such as in Tantra
and the Tao, including intimate positions and different sexual techniques for both
men and women.
It is interesting to note that studies of sexual responses in higher
primates, whose sexual anatomy is similar to the human female, shows that having
no cultural restrictions such as humans do, primate females have sex from 20 to
50 times a day at the peak of their fertile period. They will use one male until
he is exhausted and then move to attract the next. Physically the human female has
this same capacity...to exhaust males.
Many human studies have shown that an active, fulfilling sex life
is physically and emotionally very beneficial for both men and women.
We Support Open Relationships
In addition to encouraging sharing of high touch, emotional and physical intimacy and sexuality with your prime partner or spouse, Liberated Christians is accepting of sexual activity outside your prime relationship for those who want it, in honest, nonexplotive relationships. Sex is, for some of us, a very important aspect of existence as human beings and expresses, along with tender caring touch, our spiritual love for other persons in multiple or extended-family type relationships.
Fellowship Groups For All
In our Fellowship groups we have a combination of those who have broken past barriers, those who never had the negative sexual inhibitions to start with and those who are scarred to death about sexuality emotionally but are here because they intellectually are open or perhaps wanting to explore. Some of you women are comfortable swinging nude at the pole at Sociables with "hundreds" watching but exposing your self in a small group of friends may be much more difficult. I suggest this might relate to fear of intimacy perhaps due to past negative experiences. For many people, intimacy can be a frightening experience. While many people talk about wanting to have intimacy, too often we become terrified when we actually face it. Real intimacy requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to share feelings, to be truly honest with oneself and others. But intimacy also opens oneself to being hurt, so many people are afraid to chance it. But you need to trust and feel safe to be intimate. Hopefully, we can provide some of that trust in the group.
For some of you there are emotional blocks that are getting in the
way or making you shy or hesitant. It may simply be normal nervousness due to the
new experience and your uncertainty about your reaction. That is a very normal reaction.
I was scared to death driving up the LONG drive way at Elysium in Los Angles where
I had my first experience in public nudity. For others the block may be deeper and
could involve abuse issues or guilt from religious teachings.
Whether we are born again Christians....or we feel we were born just
right the first time...we are all influenced by the Christian view of sexuality
in our society. Therefore, I think it is important for all...Christian or not...to
understand what the bible REALLY DOES AND DOES NOT say about sexual issues.
Intimacy, The Bible & Sex
What Is Loving Intimacy ?
Loving intimacy is the social, emotional, spiritual and physical sharing of oneself with a partner in ways which create closeness, honest communications and communion. Intimacy involves the sharing of deep feeling (not necessarily verbal) through tactile (touch) and visual stimulation, using our bodies as well as spirits to comfort and pleasure one another. This intimacy has value in itself and may or may not lead to erotic activity.
Some Thoughts On Dealing With Sexual Fear
and Guilt Which Inhibits Intimacy
The ideas of fear, guilt and punishment appeared several times in the examples of inhibitions we mentioned. A lot could be said about these elements, especially from a Christian point of view. Something else involved here that may be originally Christian, although it may appear in various forms in the emotional life of our culture, is the issue of forgiveness.
We won't go into these ideas in terms of Christian belief except to
say that it is God himself who makes us sexual and causes us to seek sexual intimacy;
consequently the fear and guilt we feel is not from God. Nor is God the source of
the punishment or disapproval we feel from others, whether from parents, preachers,
priests, popes or others.
There is no need for forgiveness if the behavior is not against
the law of love that we talk about in our biblical discussions. We are not abnormal
or sinful simply because we want to explore and experience non-abusive sexual expression.
So, we must understand that if that kind of exploration is or has been our intent
or practice, whether conscious and deliberate or subconscious (as is especially
true for children and youth), then we need not worry about God's punishment and
we can begin a healing process from the punishment or disapproval of parents or
What The Bible Teaches About Sex
God made us sexual (Genesis 1-2)
We are to follow the law of love in sexual matters, as in all else. Romans 13:8-10: "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; you shall not covet'; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Loves does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."
We are not to covet or steal another person's partner (adultery).
(But this has nothing to do with either having a sexual fantasy about another person's
partner nor with sharing sexually with another's partner with agreement and permission.)
We are not to engage in sexual practices that are harmful or abusive,
physically, emotionally or spiritually, to anyone else or to ourselves ("formication");
i.e. we are to be loving (Romans 13 again). This, incidentally, could be
called the theological basis of Liberated Christians' one rule: "No" means
What The Bible Doesn't Teach About Sex
There is no prohibition on what we know as premarital sex, post-marital sex or extra-marital sex among consenting partners.
There is no prohibition on adolescent or teenage sexual sharing. Here
it is the responsibility of parents to properly instruct their children about how
to love and how to live responsibly.
There are no grounds in the Bible for teaching sexual abstinence as
a unique litmus test for spiritual "purity", as traditional Christianity
has done throughout the centuries. While there is, of course, such a thing as sexual
sin, i.e. abusive, selfish, unloving sexual attitudes or actions, there is no special
or unusual emphasis on sexual sin in the Bible as there has been in historic Christianity.
Some Conclusions On Sexuality And Intimacy
It can be reasonably concluded that the sexual ethic of traditional Christianity is an artificial, repressive and legalistic ethic which ignores both our God-given natures and the law of love. Thus, this ethic is an abusive ethic in its basic nature which hurts rather than heals people. It is also an ineffective ethic which does not even accomplish its intended purpose of sexual repression, but rather drives sexual expression underground and into the shadows of ignorance. It is an ethic which is based on misinterpretation and false application of the biblical text and on cultural and philosophical biases imported into Christian teaching from other sources.
The driving of sexual expression underground by religious repression
is at least part of the stimulus to the ignorance, irresponsible behavior and tease
and titillation which characterize our society. It is the viewing of sexuality in
these ways that has prevented the learning of true intimacy, even in partnerships
which may experience great sex.
The most common block, especially for women is body issues and nudity. All women think of themselves as either too fat, too skinny too small breasted, too large breasted, too hairy or whatever. One of the powerful results of clothing optional activities, as most men and women soon learn, is that IT DOESN'T MATTER what your body image is. No one is perfect and the real issue is respect for the beauty of the body as God created it, not concentrating on the imperfections we all have. Nudity helps most people be more comfortable with themselves and others and allows experience in caring intimacy without having to be sexual. Desensitization to nudity usually occurs quite quickly, but for some comfort with nudity is a continuing process that takes time.
I recall the young women at a Stan Dale Workshop who was the last
one to overcome her nudity barriers. But finally we heard this scream of excitement
and she enthusiastically broke thru her barrier as her bra and patties came flying
across the room.
Also you learn about and accept those with various skin conditions,
missing breasts or other body parts and just except them for themselves, not as
oddities. The hard part is taking the first step to expose oneself for others to
accept. But once it's done it is usually a very rewarding experience.
Sexual Abuse Blocks
For those who have blocks due to sexual abuse, we hope to replace some of the terrible experiences resulting from male selfishness and lust with good experiences based on love, tenderness and seeking your pleasure. It is important for sexual abuse victims to realize that you might be allowing your self to be abused today by retaining the inhibitions and fears from your abuse in the past. You need to decide who is going to be in control of your life....YOU or your Abuser who still may be making you reject what could be good healing experiences. Yes, it is a risk. Everything in life is a risk and you are seldom fulfilled and successful as a human without taking risks. But take the risks only where you feel you can trust others and have the best opportunity for a favorable outcome.
For others, you didn't have any abuse but simply didn't have much
good touch and non- sexual intimacy growing up and may still not have acquired good
For others, you are already wonderful intimate lovers and simply enjoy
or want to enjoy sharing positive intimacy with others.
What I hope we can do over the next few meetings is start what I call
a love process - start exploring some human interactions with each other beyond
just sex, beyond orgasms and intercourse. We hope to introduce in various ways a
kind of sensuality which blends love for each other, interacting with your spirits
and the deeper sensuality that for so many is much more fulfilling than just sex.
Group Intimacy Experiences
At each meeting our plan is to discuss some issues, get to know each other by honestly discussing important issues and most importantly start to bring the intellectual acceptance of ideas into practice with intimacy exercises which hopefully will help break barriers for some, and just be enjoyable to others.
Touch As Children
Few people receive the kind of hugging and touching they need as children to be emotionally heathy. Most of us were raised by parents who themselves received too little physical caressing and affection and who consequently found being affectionate uncomfortable. For example, I only recall seeing my parents hug once in my entire childhood. They never slept in the same bed or had any physical contact. For some strange reason however, I developed a very high desire for good intimate touch. For most who are deprived of good intimate touch as a child, they don't learn as adults the skills to be affectionate and tender during sex.
For some, intimate hugging and caressing can fill in the affection
gaps that occurred in childhood. For others, who already have good intimacy skills
it is simply enjoyable interaction with another loving human soul. I recall a Stan
Dale experience where we were just hugging and caressing each other. The young woman,
who was my partner, was in tears. To her I represented her father who had died and
with whom she had never had good physical contact. She wished she could have been
free just to hug and hold him and be held by him, just as I was holding her. I was
able in a way to allow her to release her emotional need to be close to an older
man as had never been the case with her father.
In "intimate" hugging, your focus should be on relaxing and capturing the warmth and intimacy of your body interlaced with your partner's. For some men this is harder than for women. For many men affection in childhood was seldom physical since parents were so concerned about turning their sons into sissies. For many men it is a lot easier just to have sex than to be intimate. However in our generation many men are learning how fulfilling loving intimacy really is. The good news is that even if you didn't have good role models as a child, you can learn intimacy skills as an adult.
Intimate hugging can be the first step in making a connection with
another person. It can be meaningful and a little sensual but without concerns about
sex. Think about the warmth of your partner, think about how this person has the
same fears, emotions, desire for love from others as you do. Try and get into the
moment with your partner without feeling embarrassed, just by holding and loving
that person as a unique human soul.
Classic: Grandma, who was living with her daughter's family, let
her 11-year-old grandson in from school. "What did you learn today?" she
"Sex education. All about penises and vaginas and intercourse
and stuff," he replied matter-of- factly.
The old woman was shocked and reported the conversation to her daughter.
"Mom, this is the Nineties. These days it's part of the curriculum."
A few hours later the grandmother was reading when her daughter announced
that dinner was ready. Grandmother walked past her grandson's bedroom and noticed
him on his bed, vigorously masturbating. "Sonny," the old woman said,
"when you're finished with your homework, come downstairs to eat."
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