I have found myself in an uncomfortable situation yet again. I catch myself at times like this and think, look at me…how the hell did I get here? What am I doing? What is going to happen? I am feeling excited and nervous and vulnerable.
I recall this happening a number of times over the past few years: at an improv class in the city; showing up to 5 rhythms in Fitzroy North; arriving to meet 40 strangers in Costa Rica; and now at a workshop about Tantra and sexuality in Collingwood.
One of the organisers of this workshop is Caitlyn Cook. I have met Caitlyn a few times before – she has interviewed me on The Huddle Podcast and we both go to The Weekly Service (see conversation with Cam Elliott). This helps me to feel a little more comfort, although I don’t really know what I am in for. Will I have to get nude? Will all of my insecurities be on display? What is Tantra anyway? Why am I here again?
The reason I was there is because my own sexuality has been something I have repressed and controlled and wanted to keep compartmentalised in my life. The connection between my sexuality and other parts of my life, like love and creativity, were things that had to be kept separate. I did not trust my sexual urgings. I did not think they were good and positive and could enhance all of my life. I was here to start to break down those barriers and to find out what could happen when they did.
The workshop was excellent. There was no nudity, not touching, no exposing of my deepest and darkest insecurities. Instead there was a gentle movement towards understanding and exploring different parts of my identity: gender; sexual attraction and expression; the interplay of male and female archetypes; and feeling the movement of my body through expressive dance.
Caitlyn of course is my guest for this week. I have been looking for a way to continue this conversation about sexuality following on from my conversation last year with Eyal Matsulah.
It is people like Caitlyn that have enabled me to soften and embrace my own sexuality. To learn to be my own lover, and to be, as Caitlyn puts it, sex-positive.
Caitlyn has a way of taking things that can be awkward, inaccessible and intangible, and making them safe, fun and empowering.
In our conversation she talks openly about her own journey of discovering tantra – through being a sexual pioneer in her teens, to conforming to what a women should be in her early twenties, to now embracing all that her sexual positivity brings.
This is a topic that brings shame and pain for many of us, and I hope that through listening to our conversation you may experience a degree movement towards the fun and joy sex can bring to your life.
Here are links to some of the things we discussed in this conversation, and how to find out more about Caitlyn:
Esther Perel on the secret to desire in a long-term relationship:
As self-pleasure practice from Caitlyn.
Free monthly Tantric homeplay practices from Caitlyn.
Caitlyn on Facebook.
Caitlyn on Instagram.