Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beforeplay

The first time I stared into the face of a wet coochie, we sat together looking at each other, she with moist anticipation and I with dry-mouthed terror.  We had a staring contest (I lost.).  I kinda stabbed at her with my tongue a little bit, making sure she wouldn’t attack me.  I didn’t know what to do.  I hadn’t got the manual.  Moreover, smelling her sweet musk was like watching the Twin Towers fall: I was living a moment I would never forget for the rest of my life. 


Now the young lady who owned this fine coochie, Staci, gave me my first sexual experience that included more than one person.  Staci was an older girl, I guess seventeen or eighteen.  I may have been fifteen or sixteen.  I suppose the age didn’t really matter.  What did matter was that I was scared to death.  Not only was that my penis’ first public appearance outside of a boy’s bathroom or peeing in an alley, but also I was totally surprised.  Staci just met me and wanted me.  She was experienced and not afraid to show it.  I had never met a young lady like her prior to that moment.  She even shared that she had had a threesome with two men.  I was amazed, and until then, I had never been that afraid outside of a fistfight that I knew I was bound to lose.  In many ways, I wanted to run and say no, but I thought to myself running away from sure sex is not what men do.  Hence there I lay there, staring down a vagina, caught in Beforeplay, that magical, scary moment before one performs oral sex on another for the first time.  I have never stared down the barrel of a penis; however, I must assume that Beforeplay exist there too. Beforeplay sucked for me.  Hell, I am sure that I was a horrible lay.  Pee-pee no worky when scared. 

In my coaching practice, I have found that fear dictates much of our lives.  In other words, our best selves often never emerge, for fear stops us from being uniquely ourselves.  Our sexual lives are no different than the rest of our lives.  Fear is a dream killa of intimacy and sexual fun.  In addition, if we want to get over our sexual fears, we have to take responsibility for them. 

The author of The Art of Sex Coaching Dr. Patti Britton states that fears such as poor sexual performance and body image affect women and men; singles and couples; homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, and queer folk; and folk of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.  Fear of poor performance and body image can destroy sexual pleasure and end relationships.  Two of my best clients come into mind when I think about how fear affects sexual enjoyment and complicates relationships: Melissa and Timothy.

Melissa

Mellissa is a beautiful Latino woman in her early forties.  When I first saw this woman, I thought that she was one of the most confident women I had ever met.  She was stylish, a successful entrepreneur, and maintained a beautiful figure.  Mellissa came to me because she was withholding sex from her husband.  Mellissa and her husband were married for seven years, and their sex life was not satisfying to either one of them.  As a matter of fact, they hardly made love at all for the last three years.   Melissa knew if something did not change, they would not be together much longer.  Melissa loved her husband.   

I give all of my clients intake forms that provide me with a little history, whether they want life or sex coaching.   From her responses and from further discussion, I found that Mellissa had lost her confidence in the bedroom with her husband.  Three years prior to coming to my office, Melissa’s husband complained about how she performed oral sex while receiving oral sex.  He did not put his comments in the terms, “I like it when you _______,” so he could direct her to what he liked.  Instead, he told Melissa what she was doing wrong.  From that moment on, sex became mechanical for Melissa.  It became less enjoyable for her, so she avoided sex. 

Fear of poor performance changed what Melissa thought of herself.   At one time, Melissa was very proud about how she performed oral sex.  She never had complaints before her husband.  As a matter of fact, she had gotten rave reviews in the past.  We both laughed when she shared that fact with me.  I asked if her husband would join us for couple’s coaching.  Melissa said that he would not.  We focused on her.  The process of coaching, unlike therapy, focuses on the client’s wishes, the present day, and the future.  Reviewing the past can be very important in moving forward at times.  On the other hand, acknowledging, accepting, and letting go of the past can sometimes be the most powerful action anyone can take on his or her own behalf.

I asked Melissa, “What do you want to feel like when you’re with your husband sexually?”  I asked her that particular question for two reasons: First, I wanted to focus Melissa on what she could control, how she felt.  B….  Just kidding.  Second, the question gives Melissa permission to dream about her ideal future.  Dreaming about our ideals is important because from ideals, we have the ability to create personal visions, goals, and action plans towards the lives we seek. 

Melissa was a great client because she did the work necessary for her to change her life into what she wanted.  In response to my question, Melissa stared into space.  I stayed quite.  Five to ten minutes may have passed when Melissa began to speak.

 “I want to come into our bedroom and know that I please him, and of course, I want to be pleased as well.  I love feeling confident in bed.  I want to grab his thing and show him who the boss is.”  Melissa laughed with enjoyment and embarrassment.  We both laughed.  I asked Melissa was there anything that she could do to make her vision come true.  She thought for a moment and nodded yes.

“Would it help you to write down your thoughts?”  I asked.

“Yes it would.”  She was leaning forward in her chair.   I hoped eager to begin as I handed her a pad and pen.  She scribbled quickly and, when done, looked up with wide eyes.

“Do you want to share?”

“I do.”  Melissa cleared her throat and shared the following:

·         I can practice and imagine how I want to act in bed with my husband.

·         I can ask him what he likes, so I know.

·         I can look for resources about performing oral sex.

·         I can talk to my close friends.

·         I can teach him what I like.

Melissa and I spent the next 30 to 40 minutes going over each possible choice.  We weighed the pros and the cons of each.  At the end of the exercise, I asked to which choice(s) would she be willing to commit.  Melissa wasn’t sure how her husband would respond, but she really wanted them to talk and to teach each other about what they both liked sexually.    This was risky because Melissa’s husband did not have to respond in manner that she liked.

            I encouraged and congratulated her on the work she did during our session.  Our next meeting, two weeks later, was lively and hopeful.  Melissa talked to her husband, and he responded positively.  Melissa stated he wanted to learn more about her and what she enjoyed; he also wanted to share what he enjoyed with her.  They had not started their exploration yet.  However, they were going to get away the coming weekend, just the two of them.  They would begin their exploration in earnest then.  She knew she was a good learner, and she really was eager to teach him some things.  The most important feeling that arose in Melissa was that she started to feel intimate and safe again. 

Timothy

Timothy is white male in his late thirties and openly gay.  Timothy and his partner had been together for 10 years and lived together for eight.  They were very much in love; however, for the last year so, their sex life had dropped dramatically….



Part II of Beforeplay will appear on Friday, August 5th, 2011.

For a free coaching session, in person or at a distance, email Dr. T. at nwachi@tafariconsulting.com or call 336.662.7777.  Your servant Dr. Nwachi Tafari

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who the French Toast....?

 Touching is one way to create holistic change in ourselves and in others.  However a physical touch is not the only way to create holistic change.  The list of things that change us goes on till infinity: Being in concert with your God, walking among nature, helping others, finding a spiritual mentor, a kiss, a shag, coaching or being coached…   Every moment can birth possibility that brings about holistic change.  I suppose no change is bad or good ultimately, but at times our lives can feel like a championship run or hell on earth during change.  I have experienced both sets of feelings through my personal evolution, and I have coached others while they journey between bliss and damnation.  A personal touch I remember vividly is a visit to a White Castle in Hempstead, New York after a night of clubbing.
            I was with my boys: A-Dollar, Ant Live, and T-Money (I love 80s Hip Hop nicknames.  I am surprised we didn’t have a “Somebody Ski” in the crew.).  We had to be coming from Union Square in Manhattan or Club Zanzibar in New Jersey, maybe The Garage.  From where ever we were coming, we had to be danced out ‘cause we profiled little, danced a lot.  We always did.  Music brought me a freedom and individuality that I didn’t feel at home or school.  That freedom I translated into dance. Moreover, the late 80s and early 90s in New York were vibrant times musically.  Hip Hop like Public Enemy and Leaders of the New School emerged from my neighborhood in Long Island, and my brother spun Hip Hop and House wax since the beginning of dee jaying.  The clubs held diverse mixtures of people with whom I rarely had the opportunity to chill regularly.  I knew Latinos, the African Americans, the stick-up kids, the house heads and b-boys and b-girls that might be found in any given club, but I had never partied with Asian folk, lesbians, whites, gay men, and many other folk. 
Music changed my inexperience.  Some of the clubs I went to in Manhattan, New Jersey, and DC, particularly where House Music was played, drew all kinds of folk in to Jack their bodies: “They may be white; they may be black; they may be Jew or Gentile…” (From the House Hit entitled My House http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NSn5RfxoXs).  They all jacked their bodies.  I’d hit the club with thick soled shoes, nerd glasses, and a gold streak in my hair (washable).  I danced in ways that revealed my feminine side as well as my masculine side.  I was a true street dancer.  I danced for freedom; I danced to loose myself, and when a Soul Clap started to dance with the beats, the club was one living entity with many different stories, looks, and realities, like specialized cells forming one body.  Cells don’t judge; they just work until they don’t. 
Some of the best clubs had unisex bathrooms and catered to folk from the LGBTQ communities on certain nights, which, coincidentally, were also the nights that the best music was spun and the best live performances took place.  Hence if I wanted to hear the best music, I often entered worlds that weren’t mine by orientation and, at times, by ethnicity and race.  However, “Jack brings nations and nations of Jackers together.” 
When the music stopped and I crossed the line back into my neighborhood, I did not bring the same freedom and universal love of humans to the rest of my life.  I am sure that very few people have thought of White Castle, particularly the one in Hempstead, New York, as a place of holistic revelation.  Maybe Mecca, not White Castle. 
On the other hand, holistic change can come from anywhere, from anybody.  For me, holistic change came in the form of a bum.  I say bum because I thought of him as a bum when I first saw him.  I mean who the French Toast did I think I was?  When I saw him, all I could think of were the three hats he was wearing, one of which was a St. Patrick’s Day party hat.  Bums in New York during the 80s were fixtures.  They were part of the d├ęcor of New York like floral patterns and chair molding.  I am surprised I noticed him at all.  When I first saw him, Ant-Live (still love those nicknames) was yelling through the bulletproof glass between customers and employees: “Damn!  What the hell (He probably said fuck.) is taking so long?  Yall catchin the fish!?”  I went from laughing at my homey to laughing at the St. Patty’s hat.  My boys thought the three-hat wearing bum was funny too, so we snapped on 'ol dude (Verb; Past Tense of snap; defined as " to make fun of” for folks not in the know), and he hears us.  I am not sure if he knew who started snapping, but he fixed his eyes on me, stood up from his bench in the Castle, and walked toward me.
            I often believe the creator made me to listen and observe in the service of humanity because, too often to ignore, folk talk to me to teach me or to be heard.  The bum walked up to me, looked in my face and, asked, “How old are you?”
            “Eighteen.”  I'm sure I was still smiling.
            “When I was your age, I was in Vietnam.  I watched many of my friend die,” the man said in response.  I talked to the gentleman until the White Castle’s employees caught the fish and gave us the face food, constipation fixers.  I do not remember all that he and I discussed, but I do remember imagining being him and seeing friends die in quick succession as he spoke.  I thought about being a warrior then coming home and trying to return to being a man in a changing world, one that changed while I was away.  I thought about how I would have changed.  Sugar Honey Iced Tea! Who the French toast did I think I was?  Whoever I thought I was didn’t exactly exist anymore.  I can’t say that I changed overnight, but I did change: I realized that I knew nothing, that life would keep surprising me in amazing ways.
            I am: Nothing…, everything…, a human.  This is the philosophy that I now bring to coaching, to life.  Since I met the man in White Castle, I have had more than one family member have no home.  I fought personal addictions and still battle depression.  Although there are laws to live by, myths we have created about people we see, and realities we learned from our parents, friends, lovers, and enemies, the world can and does change with a Touch.  When we least expect it, the world, our learned realities, go from being certain to being nonsense.  The old rules no longer apply. Sometime the change happens so quickly that we humans lose balance.  Our lives become a tightrope walk without a net.  Every step we take feels measured, thought out, and under duress.
My White Castle touch didn’t cause me to lose balance, yet it did set me on a divergent path.  At this very moment, I am on a never-ending path of discovery.  My coaching, writing, and research celebrate life, love, spirituality, and sexual freedom.  I celebrate my life and all humans.  Now I don’t see bums.  I see hard stories and unlimited possibilities.  If only I had asked him his name, I could then tell you who helped me realize who the French Toast I am.

For a free coaching session email Dr. T. at nwachi@tafariconsulting.com or call 336.662.7777.  Your servant Dr. Nwachi Tafari

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Becoming Bi-Sexual

A Brenda and Brandon came to me with an interesting issue.  After fifteen years of marriage, she admitted to herself and her husband that she is bisexual.  They came to me feeling confused and tired.

I truly empathized with them both, for both of their lives, their worlds changed in an instance.  Neither of them knew what the next move should be.  When they came to me, they desired to know what happens next….  One of the tenets of good coaching is to have the absolute belief in clients, to believe that they already have the answers for the present and the future.  However, all humans miss the trees because of the forest sometimes. 

                Brenda and Brandon are educated and have two sons: 14 & 10.  They also rear a 12 year old daughter.  They have acquired many of the trappings of the material world.  Moreover, before Brenda reflected on her own sexuality, they both felt very settled together.  However, life is never static.  The band the Talking Heads  made a tune called Once in a Lifetime.  At the end of the song the lead singer, David Byrne, repeats the lines:  “Same as it ever was.  Same as it ever was.  Same as it ever was… (and whispers) until the twister comes.  Here comes the twister.”  The twister had come for Brenda and Brandon. 

                On a night out with her girlfriends, Brenda was approached by a beautiful woman while she stood next to the bar waiting for her drink.  Brenda herself a beautiful woman swayed to the music as her world changed.  This lovely lady walked up to Brenda placed her hand on Brenda’s hip and bent in close: “I think you are beautiful.  I would love to sit with you and talk.”  Brenda found herself sitting, talking, laughing, feeling sexy and attractive, and wanting to see this lady again.                 

                I entered the lives of Brenda and Brandon after Brenda had revealed her desire to be with a woman and after she actually had been intimate with another woman.  The two were confused about many things, but they were not confused about wanting to stay married.  Both of them wanted to keep the marriage together.  I coached the couple and each individual.  We agreed to enter a co-creative relationship.

Brenda
Brenda enjoyed being with women.  Moreover, in an ideal world she would be able to continue exploring her emerging sexuality.  However, she loved her sexual life with her husband and loved the man she married.  She did not want Brandon to sleep with other woman, and she wanted him to understand that being with a woman was not a rejection of him.  Her bisexual orientation was always with her; however, this was the first time she would admit it to herself.  Much of her family and friends would not understand.  As matter of fact, the only reason she felt safe enough to explore her hidden side is because Brandon is her best friend and accepted all of her.  Everyone else knows her as a stable, “straight-laced,” and dependable.  Being bi-sexual did not fit cleanly with the persona she had created for the world to see.

Brandon
Brandon felt insecure for the first time in their marriage, and though heterosexual, he wanted the ability to explore sexuality too, with other women, which was a point of conflict for the two.  Brandon had been in a threesome before they had married and saw this as a compromise.  Brandon was also torn: He was also jealous, but also knew that Brenda deserved to know her whole self, love her whole self.  Moreover, he was at a point where he did not know how to help or what to say. Moreover, Brandon admitted to Brenda and himself that he liked the idea of Brenda being with other women he just wanted to explore as well.

Together            
During our couple and individual sessions, both of them realized that they had a healthy sex life, but they had lost a lot of intimacy while pursuing education, raising kids, taking care of aging parents, and creating successful careers.  Moreover, Brandon and Brenda agreed that being bisexual was Brenda’s orientation; therefore, discussions concerning what was fair were hard to gauge because they were apples and oranges sexually.  In other words, since their orientations were different, they could not honestly describe a situation in which they both could explore sexually in a manner that they thought was ‘fair.’  Therefore, neither of them would have sexual experiences outside of the marriage.  Brenda and Brandon decided to create a plan and explore themselves as a couple as well as individuals.   Moreover, they realized that they could not “take it personal’ that they each were evolving individuals.  Lastly they agreed to be open to future change in their lives regardless of the nature of the change. 

                Another aspect of the coaching process was making a plan for dealing with any residual anger. Both of my clients were in pain.  I advised both to see a licensed counselor or psychiatrist if the pain was overwhelming or if they could not accept the past.  The process of coaching deals with the present and the future primarily.  Both Brenda and Brandon felt misunderstood; they both felt rejected.  To their credit they developed a plan to sit in other shoes.  Separately they journaled about what it must feel like to be each other.  They focused on the advantages and disadvantages, the good and the bad of each other’s lives and transformations.  From this exercise, the two became much more empathetic.             

                This particular couple successfully used coaching as a method to weather transformation in their marriage.    Though our couching sessions, Brenda and Brandon still take the time to be empathic to each other’s individual needs and plan different opportunities to increase their intimacy.  Transformations are not uncommon in relationships, all relationships.  Health, economic security, individual needs, the death of loved ones, etcetera: change any aspect of our lives may cause fear, confusion, and pain, acquiring professional coaching is one way to maintain balance and plan for the tomorrow you envision .



Brief Info on Talk Heads
http://www.facebook.com/browse/?type=page_fans&page_id=235812943114139&ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes#!/pages/Talking-Heads/109821855711598

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sexual Confusion

From my personal experiences and experiences with various clients, I realize that sexual confusion is very common. There are many reasons for feeling confused or awkward about sexuality.

When I was in junior high school in Long Island, New York during the mid-80s, I can't say that I was the most confident person on the planet. At the time, I was crazy about a dark-skinned young lady. She was one of my best friends. Although I did want more, it was great to be friends with a beautiful and intelligent girl. She loved to laugh and accepted me as I was. In retrospect, I know that I am lucky to have had such a friend, for she comforted me during a moment of extreme confusion. However, at the time, I wanted affection and sexual contact; moreover, I think my serious, poetic, romantic attitude was intense in a time when having fun was more important.

            I use walk to the weed spot in Roosevelt from my house in Uniondale, not because it was the only one I knew of, but because it was the best weed I had smoked at the time. I put on my favorite Addidas, the white strips on burgundy sued. They matched my nylon Addidas suit: burgundy bottoms and the light grey and burgundy jacket. On this particular night, I wore no shirt under the jacket, a burgundy dewrag, and few gold accessories. I was a million-bucks fresh like Slick Rick. I had taken the time to look good because my home girl’s house was on the way to the spot. I thought I would cop some weed and come back smoke some with Miss Beautiful Black.

            I made it to the spot without incident walked to a deli on Nassau Road. I wanted rolling paper. When I entered the store, I noticed a fair-skinned African American gentlemen buying beer. I think I noticed him because I didn’t like his clothes. He looked like he didn’t care to me, hard to explain. He looked like he had put too little energy into thinking about what he his appearance (at least to my young mind). He clothes were ill fitting and ill matched. Short bristle covered his face. He bought his beer and went about his way. I bought my papers and went about mine. On the way to Miss Beautiful’s house, I rolled a joint, trying to get some confidence up I guess. I heard a voice say, “I give you a beer if you smoke a joint with me.” I turned to see the unkempt dude. I wondered for a moment if he were a cop. I took a good look: He was too fat to be a cop I concluded.

“Yeah. Okay.” I rolled another joint, lit it, and passed it to dude. He passed me a beer and started talking: “You going to college?”

“I guess,” I said. I looked at Mr. Scruffy and thought if I go to college and do not look any better than he did, then Hell to the Naw for college! I was about fifteen, and I was sure about much. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do after high school. I wasn’t sure about how to get a pretty girl look my way. I wasn’t sure if dealing drugs was the best way to make money. I was not sure what type of man I wanted to be.

“I got my way paid for.” Scruffy continued, “A white lawyer paid my way through school. I used to suck his dick, and he would pay my way through college.” I passed the joint and looked at him good again. He was a couple heads taller than I, and he outweighed me by plenty. I felt afraid and vulnerable.

“Do you want to make some money? I will pay you if you let me suck my dick,” Mr. Scruffy continued. I guess I am a greedy ass because I immediately thought to myself: How much? As soon as those thoughts entered my head, I felt guilty and confused and even more scared. I had never thought about being with a man. Why hadn’t I immediately run? Why had I thought about money? For some reason, I thought to treat the situation as if my world wasn’t spinning. I simply said no. I keep smoking and drinking as we walked. I do not remember listening to anything else. I had already escaped to inside of my own head.

“This is my block. Do you want to come with me and watch some movies?” I snapped back to consciousness with his question. A simple “no” was my answer again. He turned down his block. I walked, threw the beer, and let tears roll down my eyes. When I reached my friend’s house, I cried some more and told her what happened. I cried and she listened. I do not think it was snot-bubble crying, but I think it was at least ugly-face crying. Miss Beautiful was the best friend for whom I could have asked.  On the other hand, I felt very ashamed talking to her.

Tears flowed as I walked home. I wondered if this man had seen anything in me for to approach me. Did I feel awkward towards women because I suppose to be with men? I wasn’t attracted to men: confused.  Confusion about one’s own sexuality can come from many sources:

· Molestation,

· New and unexpected sexual desires and feelings,

· Exposure to new experiences and people, and

· Growing knowledge of one’s own sexual orientation.

I am not going to attempt to list all the reasons one might feel sexual confusion. However, if your feelings ever become so intense that you feel like hurting yourself or another seek the help of a professional therapist or counselor. A life or sexual coach like myself can help you understand your present and plan a future that brings sexual confidence, pleasure, and fulfillment.  Sexual Confusion is common.  All humans have moments of being unsure.  The key is to continue to love self; then confusion becomes adventure.