I'm writing this because I'm deeply grieved, angry and frustrated. I hear so many stories of women who have gone to a male sexual 'healer' who have ended up having sexual intercourse with the practitioner because he said it would heal them. That it would affirm their femininity by opening up to the sacred masculine or some such rubbish, when intercourse was not discussed prior to the session beginning.
It angers me greatly to hear that male practitioners actively do this to women who are sexually vulnerable and in search of ways to empower themselves sexually. While it may not be rape in a technical sense, I don't know, my belief is that coercing a person into sexual activity, whatever their gender, is still rape on some level. To get a vulnerable woman aroused to such a degree that she doesn't physically want to say no, whether because she's just horny in the moment or because she doesn't want to be seen as weak or prudish or any other such thing in the moment is not something I can see as empowering. To me it's just Ego. And I believe many people still see ego as something that is only associated with pride. The ego is also capable of amazing love. As I'm writing this I'm aware of my own egoic sense of justice.
As a man I feel such a deep sense of grief that women continually allow these men to get away with their actions. I would ask; was intercourse agreed to (contracted) before the session started? Did you have an authentic (mind, body and soul combined) yes when consenting to intercourse? Did you feel empowered afterward? Did the practitioner state his own needs/wants/desires in asking for or suggesting intercourse? Did you feel respected, met/seen and honoured as a person? Did you have a greater sense of what was right/good for you than he did? If you confronted him afterward, did he say that you were confronting him because of your 'stuff'? Did he at least practice safe sex?
If there was a no to any of the above questions then to my mind what happened was rape. I'm very aware of a thing called vicarious trauma – trauma that is suggested by a third party which then becomes real – and my intention is not to create that, so if you are authentically, lovingly or intellectually happy with your experience then I am truly happy for you. If however there is lingering doubt I would suggest you talk to a non-biased professional about it. To be convinced by someone that viewing a rape, or coercion, is a loving act is hardly empowering and it will resurface at some point in life when least expected or desired.
Another way to check your experience is; if you were to meet a man at a social gathering, a club or party, yoga studio, 5 rhythms etc, and his only sexual 'qualification' was that he knew some Tantra, and then you had the exact same experience with him, would you feel the same way as after your session with your practitioner? Remember, a practitioner is still a person underneath their profession.
So what is empowerment? To me it is simply the ability to make a conscious choice in response to any given situation in the moment. By telling someone what they need or what's good for them is merely enabling rather than empowering. Psychology, psychiatry, western medicine, governments, corporations etc all tell people what is best for them and yet people (as a mass) tend to rebel, but individually most just bleat along with their heads down because they've been told to. So why is it that sexual practitioners, especially the so-called aware ones are still telling clients what's best, changing the course of sessions just to insert part of their body into an available orifice? I see this as nothing more than the practitioner maintaining his (or her) power over the client in this situation. I lose a lot of first time clients because I don't pander to their desire to be led. I call them on their response-ability by giving them choice around what happens in a session and this tends to freak them out because in this society choice is rarely something that people are actively given, let alone encouraged to act from. This is why I'm studying psychotherapy, to be able to do this gently. To my mind choice is the first step toward freedom.
My frustration around this issue is that as a practitioner that is only interested in the clients' desired outcome, I find it unethical to want to have intercourse with my clients. This doesn't mean that I don't feel aroused at times, I do, and I also know how to channel that arousal back to my client without the need to satisfy my own desires. Bringing my cock into the picture doesn't even feel right, and yet it seems that many women almost want to be coerced into these sorts of sexual engagements – at least judging by the frequency of the stories. When I talk to women, clients or not, most of them can't stand the thought of being taken advantage of in that way, yet it still happens.
It also seems that the way to make money in this profession and be well respected is to do exactly that. I don't get it. So, do I continue on, being the 'good guy' extolling virtues such as integrity, respect and honour in a world that seems not to understand their meaning? Do I go to these other practitioners and ask them for training in how to get away with rape, make it seem like love, and get paid for it? Or do I just quit the profession altogether and do some menial job for the rest of my life? (I won't be quitting)
I'm aware that this has been aimed mostly at women receiving from men and that this also applies to men receiving from women, yet most men would welcome the opportunity for sex – as a huge generalisation. Even as an experienced practitioner there have been times when I am receiving from a female colleague that I would be hard pressed to say no if she were to offer, yet I would, just because that's who I am. I'd certainly discuss it after the session but would remain true to the agreements laid down as to what happened during the session. Not easy, but not impossible either. The other side of this coin is what happens if the female client decides she wants intercourse half way through the session and initiates the possibility. To me, it's simple. Stick to the contract and discuss it afterward. Again, empower the client into sticking to their contracts. Changing one's mind just because of horniness is hardly an empowered choice. It could be, but highly unlikely in a session situation.
I've taken my time writing this so that I can reflect and find the lesson in this for me as well. What I'm realising is that it seems easier to take the 'hard road' and learn the tough lessons. That's been the case in my life at least. Now I like to approach things from a Keep It Simply Simple stance, and I believe in ease and grace. I'm still angry, still sad and frustrated. I don't know how to say sexual growth can be had without the need for coercion, and that everyone has the right to say no in a way that will actually land. Maybe my ego wants softer men in the world and women who can find their 'masculine goddess' so we can all skip naked through a field of daisies together and then fuck our brains out - as equals – when we choose???? I just think there has to be another way that all men in this field, rather than a (growing) few, can work professionally with women on a sexual level without the need to coerce or use their cocks – unless they're offering that up front and there is full choice for all concerned.