Today, I read a great post by the awesome sexual health writer August McLaughlin in which she responded to a HuffPo piece about why couples need to schedule sex — with one of the reasons being to boost the man’s ego. In her response piece, August gives her reasons why a couple might not want to have regularly scheduled sex — she advocates having sex when you want to, and her points regarding that particular HuffPo scenario are solid. Women should not feel compelled to have sex just to soothe a man’s delicate ego. We put up with enough of that outside the bedroom. But the concept of scheduled sex actually ties in to my own orgasmic practice and my approach with helping others realize their orgasmic potential.
I wholeheartedly endorse regularly scheduled sex, especially at the beginning of a relationship, as long as both people enter the process honestly and equally. When a couple has made the leap from hand-holding to sex, there is so much to learn about each other’s bodies. The newness of the relationship should make arousal very easy with all those lovey-dovey hormones drowning your brain in bliss-vibes. Once the relationship is established, life and work and kids tend to take priority. That alone is a great reason to have regularly scheduled sex-time, to make sure you have that consistent connection that centers you both back to why you’re together in the first place.
And before dissenters blast me with “But sex shouldn’t be the basis of the relationship!” Well, then, you’ll have to explain 500 million years of evolutionary procreation and a big chunk of human biology, anthropology, psychology, and sexology. Sex is imperative to a good relationship, and at the foundation of both sex and the relationship is communication. Bad sex can often be attributed to bad communication. And even if you can’t have traditional sexual activity due to a disability or medical condition, there are alternatives; so yes, persons with disabilities can have enjoyable, satisfying sexual experiences. My point is that lovemaking can improve with regularly scheduled “training sessions”, or as I call them, “awakening sessions”. (Remember, part of the definition of “arouse” is “to awaken”.)
Sex with yourself as well as with a new partner should be scheduled to happen on a regular schedule, preferably daily. Unless you’re blessed to have an Orgasm Faery guarantee your arousal and climax, regular sexual activity is required to keep the body in orgasm-mode. The intent of the “awakening sessions” is to awaken the body and your capacity for increasing your orgasmic response.
The word “orgasm” comes from the Greek orgasmos and means “to swell”, therefore true orgasm is NOT the sudden release at the end of arousal. Technically, orgasm is happening throughout arousal with the climax being a sudden swelling and release of muscular tension. For many, this release is very physical, but for some this release is full-body and emotional as well. This is most confusing for men, who associate orgasm with ejaculation, even though these are different actions from different parts of the autonomic nervous system. High school sex education classes still teach that men “must” orgasm to expel semen for procreation. This is wrong — ejaculation is required for expelling sperm. Ask any man who’s ever needed Viagra, and he can tell you that orgasmic pleasure and ejaculation are not necessarily one and the same. (But that is a whole other blog post.) Because of the misperception of what orgasm actually is, men especially miss out on many orgasms during the arousal period because they don’t know to separate the subtle orgasm response from the explosive ejaculatory reflex. Men who have mastered non-ejaculatory climax orgasms love being able to have multiple climatic orgasms in one lovemaking session.
This brings me to another point. Get rid of the goal of orgasm. Men are taught to be very goal-oriented, which is why they can miss so many good feelings during the journey to climax. Men also are under the incorrect myth that women have more capacity for sexual arousal and more orgasms than men. This is not true on the subtle body level. Men have the same capacity as women for hours of orgasmic bliss, especially if the man has learned ejaculation control. If so, the whole session is a swelling of pleasure, wave after wave of orgasms, and multiple climatic experiences with no refractory period necessary. The orgasms just keep building until he’s ready to stop.
But how do you get to that point of awakening? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. How do you work that practice into your busy life? Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Because I come from a Tantrik perspective, I am an advocate of regular, scheduled practice for a number of reasons but mainly because awakening the subtle body is a meditative practice for me.
Orgasm is a learned response, and your body needs regular practice to become proficient. Yes, there are times when orgasm happens by itself, but that is not the case for most women, considering so many women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex. Orgasm is a dual response: the physical body and the subtle body. Most men know how to jerk off, and most women know how to rub their clit to soreness. That does not ensure an ecstatic experience. I think we’ve all experienced at some time or another the physical orgasm that was just located to the genitals, and we somehow felt disappointed.
Today, in fact, is the day my daughter heads back to school, and I am finally alone at home again, something I don’t have on a regular basis when school is out for summer. Every summer since my initial awakening, my practice is minimal to non-existent due to privacy issues (thin walls … I’m loud). During these nearly three months of little to no practice, I can most definitely tell a difference in my arousal levels, my “swelling” responses, and the intensity of my climaxes. I still have spontaneous orgasms and my stealth O’s, but going nearly three months without my super-orgasms is like being accustomed to a daily round of the 1812 Overture but having to settle for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star instead. Not cool! Thank goddess, school is back on!
No one would tell a wannabe concert pianist that he should practice only when he really has the urge to play. He would never become proficient enough to call himself a concert pianist, much less to play a gig at Carnegie Hall without dedicated, routine practice. When it comes to orgasms, we have to practice regularly, learning how to play our body as an instrument of pleasure the way a musician plays a piano or oboe or guitar with expertise and ease.
As I teach my clients, the subtle body is the real wonder when it comes to orgasmic fulfillment. But awakening the subtle body requires specific steps done repeatedly and routinely over a span of time. Yes, you schedule your orgasm-awakening sessions the same way you schedule your daily shower or your gym workout or having dinner ready by a certain time. Have your sessions at the same time, preferably daily, but at least three times per week, and under the same circumstances. As with any exercise, routine repetition allows the body and more importantly THE MONKEY MIND to know, “Oh, we’re doing this now. Okay,” and settling into that higher bliss state begins to happen more quickly and more effortlessly. Then, when you’re in the moment with a partner, you have a reference for where you want to be in your arousal and you can get there more quickly — you’ve done your practice, practice, practice, and now you’re ready for Carnegie Hall. Orgasm becomes not just one major release, i.e., climax, but a true swelling of sensations and experiences that grow and expand exponentially for hours if you want, until you’re ready to come down from that higher bliss state; and even then the long, slow descent can be as throbbing, undulating, and breathtaking as the journey upward.
When we do not practice our sexual-ness and sensual-ness and awakening-ness in a dedicated, routine practice, our sexual response lessens. Regular arousal can even lessen. Arousal and even vaginal fluid are dependent upon hormones; if you neglect keeping your hormones happy, your hormones won’t be there to keep you happy.
For most people, their sexual “practice” is sporadic, and yet they expect Carnegie Hall-worthy orgasms to result. And when the arousal and/or the climax is less than what was hoped for, people often turn to other means of artificially increasing the odds via vibrators and/or porn, neither of which helps your body awaken to its own amazing potential. Vibrators can damage the nerves, and porn keeps you in your fantasies in your head when your focus should be entirely on your body and the awakening responses to stimulation.
For a couple, scheduling regular awakening sessions can be a much-needed time to learn each other’s bodies. After all, do you automagically know what to do with a penis if you’ve never had lots of time to play with one? Do you know what to do with a vagina if you’ve never had a languid evening to explore inside one? An awakening session is for the awakening — orgasm may or may not happen. However, the more you do it, the more likely spontaneous orgasms will be a regular part of the experience. This greatly benefits the orgasmic response during lovemaking as well as deepening the bond between partners. No stress, just exploration and awakening. Though, I would be very surprised if such juicy exploration and discovery didn’t lead to sex. (Enjoy!)
In some Tantric traditions, scheduling sex on a daily basis is an important part of learning and growing and sharing. Some teachers have clients set aside a week or 14 days or even 21 days to do nothing but make love. If they aren’t going to the bathroom or eating a meal, they’re making love. There is something deeply intimate and intense that happens when you are that committed to being so connected with another person. For most people, this kind of “sexcation” is impossible to arrange, but it is possible to schedule that hour per day when it’s just the two of you: awakening, sharing, and loving.
Approach the awakening session as an active meditation. Allow and receive. Let the subtle body do its thing. Relearn what it means to orgasm and feel pleasure. Soon, you’ll have orgasms while walking down the street, shopping at the grocery store, standing in line at the post office. You’ll have laugh-gasms, heart-gasms, foot-gasms, scalp-gasms, face-gasms, arm-gasms, soul-gasms, and more-gasms — all of which will enrich your lovemaking as a couple. As you progress with your daily, scheduled practice, you will learn a whole new respect for the wisdom of the body as it takes you to levels of pleasure that are unimaginable until you actually experience them. Have you ever had a climatic orgasm so powerful, you could feel that you were the universe? You could feel all of eternity with your fingertips? I have. And you can, too.
Now, get out your calendar and commit to daily awakening sessions for at least a week, but preferably for one month. You’ll be amazed how you’ve grown orgasmically in so short a time!
Aroused and practicing,
Today is June 21, 2014, and it marks 18 years since I self-initiated as a witch. The ritual took place in my backyard with a number of fellow witch-friends in attendance, along with too many mosquitoes and June Bugs to count.
I had been on this road to witchdom for a couple of years, having searched for a spiritual tradition that was in keeping with my ancient Gaelic ancestors. I was even in a coven for a while, but their tradition was American eclectic and had way too much Wicca and ceremonial hogwash for my tastes. Unofficially, I had been on this path my whole life; it had only been a couple years prior to my self-initiation that I had begun to take on the mantle of witch and pagan.
As I related in my Samhain post, being a witch in reality is nothing like what TV and movies pretend it is. “Witch” is usually used as an insult, particularly against women. This past Samhain, I bought a sign that says, “You say I’m a Witch … like it’s a bad thing.” And for me, the word “witch” is utterly fabulous.
The word witch is thought to derive from a Germanic root word that alternately can mean “to be strong” and/or “to know” or “to be wise”. The term witch was used to refer to the local wise woman, the woman who knew the healing arts, midwivery, burial preparations, and often, relationship advice. Witches were the keepers of arcane knowledge from birth to death, and that scared the men in charge of Europe’s misogynistic religion and governments. Insecure men have always feared women’s ability to create life, and that fear was never greater than in the centuries of patriarchal rule before modern science could explain some of the mysteries of human biology.
I have often said that someday I hope to be able to call myself, fully, a witch — to truly be a wise woman. I’ve found that it takes much more than just calling yourself a witch to actually be a true witch. I’m not talking about covens and initiations either. You’re a person who strives to live in a wise way, a beauty way, the “Red Road”, according to the laws of Nature and Karma, or you don’t.
Many arguments can be made over who is a real witch and who isn’t. That’s another reason I left a coven and ventured out on my own. I just wanted to do what felt right to me and was in keeping with my Irish and Scottish heritage. Along the way, I’ve studied many religions, and I’m particularly smitten with the teachings of Indian religions as they pertain to enlightenment, reincarnation, and expansion of universal consciousness. While I will call myself an Energist, for reasons I’ll explain in another post, there is no actual name for what I do — it’s just Trish Witchyness.
Recently, an instructor from Pittsburgh University interviewed me for some doctoral work he is doing. He wanted to know about my spiritual path and how I do my “thang” as a solitary witch. We talked for several hours over the course of a few days, and it was a great conversation that brought back many memories along my journey.
I recounted a tale from when I was a child, about seven years old, when my mother wanted me to stop making mud pies in the backyard to get ready for church. I asked why we had to go to church. She said it was to worship god in his house. I asked her why we had to go to church to worship god because a church was made by men while the earth and water I was concocting into mud pies was actually made by god. Furious that I was questioning her religious bullshit, she growled for me to get inside and get cleaned up, and away to man’s building we went.
When I was nine, I was forced to become Catholic. I knew instinctively the church was evil. Maybe it was a past-life memory of being burned at the stake or something … or being an observant child, I could see through the hypocrisy and the double standards of the Catholic church when my mother, the recreational martyr, fell for all of it hook, line, and sinker. One day when I was 10, I asked one of the priests, “Which is worse: always to believe and never to question, or always to question and never to believe?” He sputtered, clearly unable to answer me, then a moment later began spewing some dogmatic drivel that I could tell even he knew was inadequate.
I hated the Catholic church, I hated my mother, I hated Catholic school, I despised it all. When I was 17, I graduated from Catholic school, and I vowed never to return to the church. I almost did not attend my best friend’s wedding because it was a wedding mass. So was my sister’s.
At age 17, my life changed when I met an American Indian ballet dancer at a major competition. His poetry about his spirit animal connected directly to the heart of me. But I’m not Indian. He suggested I begin searching for answers with my heritage, and so my journey into the incredible world of the Gaelic people and spirituality began. I knew I was home as I learned more and more about pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland. Even with the invasion of Christianity on the Gaelic peoples, many of the traditional stories and customs had survived. Considering how much of the pagan culture was absorbed and outright stolen by the Christian church, finding the links back to pre-Christian European spirituality is doable and documentable.
When I was 21, I volunteered with a ballet company in New Orleans. One day, I decided to go inside a huge cathedral — St. Patrick’s, I think it was. I went to one of the last pews and knelt. And waited. And waited. And waited. I looked around. Nothing. I bowed my head. Nothing. I looked at the shiny brass and gold trinkets, and the porcelain statues, and the stained glass, and the wooden reproduction of Jesus on the cross. And felt nothing. I began crying. Because I felt nothing. I left. Still crying. I wanted to belong somewhere, and this was never going to be it.
I didn’t have a name for what I was or what I believed at that time. About a year later, a theatre friend asked if I’d heard of Wicca. I hadn’t, but when I looked into it at the library and bookstore (this was pre-internet), I resonated with some of what I read, but not all of it. Some of Wicca seemed as regimented and hierarchical as the dogmatic church I despised. Turns out that Wicca was founded by two former Anglicans. And as another friend used to joke, “Episcopal is just Catholic with an ‘E’.”
It was that journey (and the dawn of the internet) that allowed me to find other soul-path querents who go by many names: Wicca, Witches, Pagans, Neo-Pagans, Druids, Eclectic, Ceremonial Witches, Asatru, etc. Too many to list. The coven didn’t work out, but it allowed me to see what I didn’t want on my path. I left in the Spring, and it was that Summer Solstice that I held my self-initiation in my backyard on June 21, 1996.
Walking the witchy path has not been easy, especially considering I live in Mississippi. Being “out of the broom closet” has been a challenge from Day 1. I have endured personal taunts and threats, rude comments left on my vehicle (thanks to my “Born Again Pagan” bumper sticker) whenever I went to the store, work, the post office, the gas station. I even lost a job because I wasn’t Christian. But like any other closet a person chooses to come out of, being free trumps being a slave to the ignorance of others, especially here in the Bible Belt.
I composed a musical, Witchcraze, to correlate the terrorizing good ol’ boys of the Bush regime with the torturous witch trial masterminds of 1692 Salem. Having studied in depth the arrest warrants, the trial transcripts, and the re-trial transcripts, I can say for a fact that nothing I have endured comes close to what was done to the women of previous centuries, when “witch” was a label that carried heinous torture and a death sentence.
So, I’m a witch. And I’m a pagan. And an Energist. And a tarot card reader. And a Libra. And a Tatrika and yogini. And a composer, and a nerd, and a bookworm, and a Democrat, and a Streisand devotee, and a single-mom, and a wannabe chef and cafe-owner, and a kettlebell enthusiast, and I’m right-handed. Pick any of those labels, and someone is going to have a problem with me because of how they perceive that word and what they think it stands for.
I am a writer: a lover of words and sounds and syllables. I know what “witch” means, and to me, witch is a beautiful word. Witch is a sacred word. Witch is a word women (and men) have died for, and it is a word I choose for my goal in this lifetime: to be a wise woman, to be a strong woman, to live a life of expansion and understanding. Most of all, hearing or seeing the word witch makes me feel something. I feel a connection to all the women (and men) who defied oligarchical, elitist oppression to live and die free as freethinkers and religious and political dissenters. And that makes my activist heart proud.
Aroused and witchy,
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by Trish Causey
Originally published on my Trish4Congress’ blog.
In February 2014, I entered this race because the idea of Steven Palazzo running unopposed made me nauseous. As an activist, I knew little of the inside political arena. I couldn’t get much help because there was a possibility of other candidates putting in and those with the Party didn’t want to show favoritism. I understood that. So I did the best I could with what I had and what I felt was right. I was just going to be me. And I knew this was uphill. My daughter even asked if I were going to vote for myself, and I said, “Of course. It might be the only vote I get.”
I wanted to run because the idea of the same (or yet another) GOP puppet having control over legislation that affects my body and my bedroom just pissed me off. I wanted to run for office because I wanted to see if there were other progressives like me, stranded on dwindling life-rafts in this deep, scary Red GOP Sea. I have always loved my home state of Mississippi, but I have never fit in. I’ve wanted to be on Broadway since I was 11, and I’ve wanted to “Be the Change” since I was 13. These two divergent paths have always been at the core of what I wanted to do with my life. So my life didn’t follow the usual “script” that so many other people followed. Yet, every chance I had to leave Mississippi, I didn’t; I stayed. Except for three months I lived in Memphis, and it was just like Mississippi.
My love of Broadway musicals led me to create Musical Theatre Magazine. My activism led me to create ArousedWoman, a site, blog, radio show, and an upcoming project all of which focus on women’s issues and women’s rights. “Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken”, and I felt it was perfect for my activism for women’s rights. ArousedWoman(TM) was borne out of the horrible misogyny of the 2012 campaigns that gave rise to Romney, and “legitimate rape”, and “binders full of women”, et al. With Palazzo’s horrible voting record, I had to do something, so in 2013, I began throwing around the idea of running for Congress. Years ago, I used to make the joke, “When I’m Governor of Mississippi…” and explain some egregiously progressive, liberal change I would enact to benefit the People and support social justice. In September 2013, ” When I run for Congress…” was becoming a reality, and one that I liked very much.
I had to raise the money for the $200 candidate fee because I am a poor single mom, the epitome of the “struggling artist”. In 2011, I worked as a writer for two companies in New York, but I lost one job to the economy later that year and lost the other to reorganization in July 2013. Since then, I have worked hard to build my theatre magazine from scratch. I live below the poverty line. For the most part, it’s okay. My daughter and I live very simply — no car, no TV. The only time it is hard is when my daughter needs extra money for a field trip at school — that kind of thing has to be budgeted in. Or when my daughter wants to do something after school but can’t unless she can find a ride because I can’t pick her up.
When I say, I understand what Mississippians are going through, I actually mean it.
After I put in for my candidacy, an email was sent out to local Dems, looking for a “well-funded, viable candidate”. This incensed me at the time, but as I introduced myself to more and more people, the first two words out of their mouths were always, “What’s your platform, and how much money do you have?” I soon learned that the entire conceivability to win was based on money. Raising money is not something I wanted to do. I raised a little and felt guilty doing it.
Every day, I wanted to quit because the more I learned about politics — even on this level — was disturbing and disappointing. Frankly, it seemed pointless because there are political machinations in play that cannot be undone single-handedly. But then someone would reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter and say how glad they were to see me running. And so every day, I had renewed energy for the idea of the process, while I rather loathed the process itself.
Because I am not financially invested in politics or the projects that politicians bend rules to protect or instigate, I felt a freedom to be me. I said what I felt and how I felt it. I am an activist and an artist, after all. I’m accustomed to my First Amendment privileges. Some people were taken aback by that. Someone in politics saying what they actually feel? Quelle surprise!
Things were going swimmingly as I ran my campaign by myself, until politics itself reared its ugly head. My opponent, the current candidate for the general election, made strange, passive aggressive comments about me on his Facebook page, but I had only met him a few days prior. As one Facebook viewer commented, he seemed to be taking cues from Palazzo. So it was very disheartening to see this sort of political play within the Democratic campaign. Silly me. I thought the dirty stuff wouldn’t happen until one of us went up against the GOP candidate. He deleted the comments, but I took screen shots, so I have it on record.
Fast forward to the past few days in which people all over the Democrat and left leaners’ Facebook pages were debating whether to vote Democrat or cross over to sink Palazzo by voting for Taylor in the Republican primary. It has been a whirlwind of hypotheses on which would result in a better outcome…. because apparently Democrats voting for Democrats is deemed unnecessary by some.
There were many angry words within the Democrats the past week or so, and this likewise was sad to see. Every single rights’ group I have ever worked with has fallen apart due to in-fighting: name-calling, labeling, inability to understand another’s perspective. Why do you think the right-wing is so successful? They are united in their narrow focus of protecting their power and their wealth for their little bubble. Activism caves in to in-fighting for the very quality that makes activists so strong — our diversity! Of course, we will disagree! We have so many diverse backgrounds and experiences that we have many choice personal stories to engage and learn from. THAT is the ONLY way we will ultimately defeat the united front that is the GOP.
Even with the Tea Party faction finally losing its stranglehold on the “stupid party”, the GOP is still rich and powerful. Instead of using our differences against each other, we should use our different but equal experiences as bricks in a foundation on which to build up our activist groups. THAT is how we create change that will rise up through society to our government. Government does not exist to be proactive for the People. The politicians are representatives; they take their cues from We, the People. And when We, the People don’t give a rat’s ass to vote or are too busy arguing amongst ourselves within our little groups, the united stupid party wins and the People lose.
Which brings us to tonight’s results for the 2014 midterms’ primary election for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Democrats reportedly crossed over to vote for Taylor, while Republicans crossed over to vote for my opponent. I will consider this to be a sign the Republicans were scared that someone like me could whip Palazzo’s ass in the general.
When the final tally came in, I had 44.6% of the vote. I wish I had had enough votes to go to the general, but that is not to be.
I have to remember that for most of these voters, I came out of nowhere just 4 months ago. I’ve been told that my running in this election has changed the political landscape of Mississippi. I’ve been told that my running has encouraged other progressives and liberals in my district to be more outspoken, now that they know they are not alone in this Red Sea.
I have to remember that I am unlike ANY candidate who has ever run for Congressional office in Mississippi. I was up front about my ArousedWoman activism, and my bisexuality, and my non-Christian, pagan beliefs. AND I AM A WOMAN. And I got a whopping 44.6% of the votes. Just today, I got calls from people in Taylor’s home turf, Hancock County, to tell me how glad they were to be able to vote for me.
At 44.6% (4,848 votes), I guess I did okay for a loudmouth, non-Christian, bisexual, pagan female candidate in Mississippi. Is this Red Sea looking a little purple, now?
I’ve already been asked if I will run for State office next year. If I recall, the people in my area really like their State legislators. But here is what you need to know….
I learned a lot from this process. I already knew that every major change in our society began with a grassroots movement within the People. Change trickles UP, not downward. And now I know why. The People must be awakened in order for government to awaken to the needs of the People (remember, “to stir to action, to awaken”?). As long as half the People are asleep in their bubble, the rest of us will suffer for their narrow-minded bigotries, while they decry our refusal to settle for oppression at the hands of crony capitalism, religion-infused politics, and good-ol’-boy games.
If I run for another office, I will be even MORE loud and proud about my activism for women. I will be even MORE persistent with fighting for equality and non-discrimination. And I will be even MORE up-in-your-face about saving Mississippi from the tentacles of the rabid GOP monstrosity that seeks to pull us under every time we catch a gasp of air in this Red Sea.
I will NEVER back down from the GOP’s misogyny, racism, homophobia, and selfish egotism. EVER.
If you want to support my activism, make a tax-deductible donation to my radio show.
But don’t ask me to run unless you’re really ready for my brand of full-throttle activism.
Until then, I love you all. Thank you so much for your love and support.