I recently realized just how fortunate I am to never have been abused, or raped, or sexually traumatized in any way. I was never frigid, nor was there ever any sexual dysfunction in my former marriage. I speak with countless women who have experienced some sort of abuse – either physical, sexual, or emotional, often at the hands of authority figures, or those they loved and trusted the most. This really comes as no surprise when you review the statistics compiled by the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. RAINN studies reveal the following:
- A sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes on average in the U.S.
- 44% of victims are under the age of 18, and 80% are under 30.
- Approximately 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
- 54% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.
With this in mind, you may think that someone like me, or you, who has never been sexually victimized, has no need for sexual healing. I recently discovered that is not the case. In fact, during a recent appearance on Naked Talk Radio when asked ‘who needs sexual healing’, I replied with, ‘the entire planet’. If you’ve been following my Hump Days posts, you know I make no secret of my feelings that the U.S. in particular, needs a major attitude adjustment when it comes to sex in general.
So what is sexual healing, and how can we all benefit from it? Here’s what Marvin Gaye had to say in a very well-known song:
And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us….
Well I already know that it’s good for us, but in my own words, I’ll share with you what I learned in a recent meeting with a local Daka. ‘Daka’ is the term for a certified Tantra instructor and sexual healing coach. First, let’s define Tantra, since people are constantly asking me what it is. According to the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Tantric Sex, the term ‘tantra’ actually translates to ‘expansion through awareness’. The practice of Tantric sex utilizes breath, sound, and movement to quiet the mind and activate sexual energy. And just as Daka Dan explained to me, this practice is also used to heal and sometimes uncover painful experiences from the past that are often stored in the sexual centers of the body – even past hurts that may not necessarily be of a sexual nature.
Daka Dan compared what he does for his clients to the work of a massage therapist. This made complete sense to me since I am pretty much a ‘massage junkie’. Especially since my addiction to massage is more of a medical necessity than a self-indulgent luxury. There are so many people in our culture who are shut-down sexually or are sexually-inhibited for a variety of reasons, including sexual or emotional trauma, dysfunctional relationships, religious beliefs, or simply social stigma. In our society, we are finally embracing the idea that keeping ourselves healthy is a better idea than popping a pill when we become ill. In the past ten years or so, we are finally recognizing the benefits of massage as a means to relieve stress, decrease our chances of injury, and improve our overall well-being. If you think of sexual healing or Tantric practice in the same way, the possibilities of improved relationship health, whether it be with ourselves or another (or others), are endless. This idea really plays well with my viewpoint that if we were all having more frequent and gratifying sexual experiences, the world would be a happier place indeed.
Dan Powers (Daka Dan) together with his partner Elizabeth Wood, an experienced Sex Therapist and certified Tantra educator, co-mingled their experience and vision into a collaborative effort called SensualU. According to their website, they provide both individuals and couples with resources necessary to awaken their sensuality, fully experience their sexual potential, and maximize the pleasure derived from intimate relationships, including the one with self. And if you are one of the many who have roadblocks due to sexual trauma, they will help you identify and break through them first. From my own experience, I can tell you that there’s definitely something to this. I left my session feeling peaceful, serene, empowered, and rejuvenated. I actually felt better than I do after a 90 minute massage. It was kind of like checking my 50 pounds of baggage after schlepping it all over the airport for the last 20 years or so.
I know Marvin knew how to ‘get it on’, but it’s obvious he knew nothing about Tantra when he wrote these lyrics, projecting the responsibility for his ‘healing’ on his lover:
I gotta have sexual healing darling
Cos’ I’m all alone
And I need sexual healing darling
Till you come back home
Please don’t procrastinate
It’s not good to masturbate
I know that last statement’s not true.
If you’re ready for a little sexual healing you can find more information at Dakadan.com or SensualU.com.Patti Sommer (aka Patti Cakes) is a relationship, dating, & sexual empowerment coach and freelance writer. Patti also conducts workshops and is available for speaking engagements on these topics. She has appeared on numerous radio shows as co-host & guest. Patti has an open-minded, non-judgmental approach to sexuality regardless of lifestyle choice or sexual preference. To schedule coaching sessions with Patti or read more of her articles go to www.empoweredsex.com. In her spare time Miss Patti Cakes occasionally performs burlesque and sexy standup comedy. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EmpoweredSex to stay informed of public appearances.