Touching Intimacy – Sacred Nude & Erotic Practices

Often, when we think about nudity, we associate it with sex. Mention of nude or Skyclad Yoga often gets met with raised eyebrows or comments like “Oh, it must an orgy!”.

Having created opportunities for people to participate in Skyclad Yoga for 8 years, I have seen no sign of the sexual mayhem people seem to fear or be suspicious of. What I have witnessed and heard has been that people overcome body issues & shame, they love being unencumbered by clothing, have a greater sense of spirit, grow in their physical understanding and have more awareness of how they take care of themselves, they appreciate the beauty of being in a room with other nude people for yoga practice. People appreciate in themselves the range of being that can take place in the nude, Skyclad, in the skin we were born in. It feels like a mature community of authentic, spiritual and sensual people emerges.

Yes, I too can see the erotic potential in the offerings I make, and I am interested in swimming in that sacred pool too.

When I studied Sexological Bodywork with Joseph Kramer and Ellen Heed I became aware and inspired by the growth and transformation which occurred when communal erotic experiences were practiced. We, an All Genders and All Orientations group, engaged in conversations about boundaries and safety. Agreements were made amongst participants about how we witnessed, do we share touch or is it a personal exploration in a communal setting? Boundaries and agreements could shift from practice to practice and there is always the individual who determines what level of participation suits them that day. Personal safety is foremost and boundaries are respected. These conversations in themselves resulted in healing wounds of sexual shame and silence, deepened understandings that we can have boundaries, we are not there for others desires… unless we agree to play that way. This is personal empowerment.

When I opened up Skyclad offerings to include Men’s Massage Night and 3-Circles workshops, or when I started working with women at Back to the Body retreats, some interesting observations started to surface.

Nudity and sex in our culture is like a huge Fur Ball, we lack the understanding of nuance and the beautiful subtlties that can exist in the realm between being naked and that all feared place where everyone loses control. It’s this place where intimacy is in abundance.

It’s an abyss in our culture’s confused relationship to sex where sexual images sell yet honest conversation or practical sex education in an online immediate gratification world, seems nonexistent. How strange, the very act which is (over?) populating planet earth, can hardly be faced and yet it’s very act can be the deepest expression of Love we can know.

In that abyss, when we present ourselves naked and vulnerable what shows up is the peeling away of shame, guilt, doubt, disgust, ignorance, hetero and homophobia. Like the layers of an onion. What replaces those layers, or stories, are community, energy, tears, creativity, connection, laughter, acceptance and permission. We see that all of us have vulnerabilities which almost immediately diminishes the power that they hold over us.

Social nudity and sacred communal sensual and erotic exploration has the capacity to reveal that we are one, our bodies are whole and beautiful, we are all vulnerable, sensitive and loveable. This results in a calming of our nervous system and connects us to each other, and each other to the earth. Grounded, we replace old beliefs with new understandings of ourselves and OURSELVES.

image source:nudehiking.tumblr.com

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