I am in love with a text called the Erotic Mind by Dr. Morin. It was a turn-on, a mind f@%k. The text has had a profound effect on my thinking, my writing, my coaching practice, and my life. Before I started reading the text, I thought that I had a fascination with sex and sexuality; however, I was wrong. I am not interested in sex at all. (That didn’t come out right.) What I mean to say is that I am interested in so much more than the act of sex. I am interested in the meanings we place on sex and sexuality. I am interested in how culture and oppression affect human sex and sexuality. I am interested in the contradictory emotions connected to some our biggest turn-ons. I am interested in the art created for and inspired by sex. I am interested in the dark sides of sex. I am interested in the healing properties of reflecting on and knowing our “core sexual themes”. My friends, from reading this text, I now know that I am fascinated, not just with sex, but with eroticism. I study sex and eroticism scientifically. I am a sexologist. Using Dr. Morin’s research, others’, and my own research, I accessed the power of my eroticism, which in turn gave me greater access to my spirituality, creativity, physical body, and psyche.
There was a time that I thought the nasty ‘ish that I wanted to do with my lovers was wrong. Good girls DO NOT scream out, “Do not put it in my good girl hole! Put it in my naughty hole!” Well, at least that is what I told myself, and I wanted to be a good guy. Good guys do not even dare ask good girls about pushing their erotic limits, but now I know that pushing the erotic limits with a partner is one of the healthiest things lovers can do for each other. I am very thankful that I have met women who have stretched my sexual limitations. Moreover, I am truly blessed that I have a wife with whom I must keep pace and who excites me as well as pushes my limits. They accepted what I lusted after, and some of them taught me the difference between having a lust-filled relationship and a love-filled relationship. Additionally, they taught me that I love relationships in which love and lust overlap to a great extent (Thank the Universe for my wife.) I know this because I have reflected and used creativity to reveal my, what Dr. Morin calls, core erotic themes; moreover, I have helped clients do the same. In my own practice and research I have begun to use the term Core Erotic Myths, (based on Dr. Jack Morin’s theory and Dr. Stanley Krippner’s theories concerning mythology) which hold the key to our most secret insides, the secrets we even try to keep hidden from ourselves. In other words, our core erotic myth is a combination of the cultural, psychic, spiritual, and erotic stories we create to understand our erotic worlds and the world at large, to protect ourselves from harm, and to make life decisions, many of which made unconsciously.
For instance, many of my clients have come to me after having a string of bad relationships. I can empathize with those who seem to repeat a bad relationship over and over again. Repeating bad relationships, Dr. Morin points out, may come from an eroticized self-image; in other words, one may repeat bad relationships because at the core of their being they may feel unworthy, guilty, in need of punishment, or many number of things. A lesbian client of mine who had been molested came to work with me. I was honored to help in here healing process, for she let me into a world that many men do not see. Stacey was an educated African American woman who repeated having bad relationships, first with men, then with women. She kept giving of herself to the point of exhaustion. In our coaching sessions, Stacey revealed that she had been molested and that her mother had been complicit in the abuse from ignoring it to assisting in it. She had gone to a psychiatrist to deal with the abuse as an adult and felt that she had successfully dealt with a painful part of her life.
Stacey and I used Dr. Morin’s survey to explore her erotic world and her Core Erotic Theme. We creatively explored the erotic mythology that filled her life. Stacey was molested at an early age, pre-teens, and she was confused about enjoying some of the sexual acts while she was molested. It is not uncommon for the body to involuntarily react in a positive sexual manner even when the acts are unwanted and oppressive. Moreover, she said that she became good at pleasing her abusers, so the abuse would stop quickly. This Stacey knew logically; on the other hand, her unconscious mind kept calling her nasty and dirty. She was “over” being molested, but she still unconsciously felt guilty about “enjoying” it. Her Core Erotic Myth told that she needed to be punished and that she didn’t deserve to enjoy sex now:
“Sex is not a game for me. It is not pleasurable,” said Stacey.
“It’s never pleasurable? What attracts you to a lover or partner?” I asked in reply.
“…I like women who I seduce.”
“Was this true when you dated men?”
She thought for a moment or two, “…Yes. I think so.”
“Can you name the things you like about seducing?” Stacey didn’t answer right away. She looked to me as if she did have an answer but was unsure about how to say it. “I like the feeling of winning over someone who is not interested in me. Most of my relationships start with someone who is not interested in me other than sexually.” Tears rolled down Stacey’s face.
I believe this was a turning point for her and for me. This was a turning point for her because she realized the contradictory nature of her core erotic myth. Her relationships start with someone she has to “win over”. She realized that in her life that there where many men and women that found her attractive, but the past molestation seemly infused a feeling of not deserving love into her core erotic myth. Thus, she was always attracted to people who may not be truly attracted to her but were willing to have sex with her.
This moment was groundbreaking for me, for it was an introduction into concentrating on eroticism and creativity as an entry point into holistic well-being. Additionally, the moment showed me how important Dr. Morin’s concepts are to how I practice sex coaching and to how I view eroticism. It led me to other works focused the erotic world and to my present stance that owning our erotic world is an act of liberation.
My core erotic myth is focused on healing. As Dr. Morin points out, our present erotic patterns are often connected to unconscious obstacles created in childhood. My mother was depressed after my father left. She became sexless in many ways: She didn’t date, go out, or seek the attention of men it seemed to me. She also fell into depressions at times. I always acted as a listener to my mother, and I shape my personality into the child who I thought she wanted; who I thought would help bring healing and joy into her life. In my adult life the trend continued. I became that the black man who would be the man for the black woman, which included being the perfect lover. I had to be the perfect lover, but I also had to be good, clean, and respectful. Good black women didn’t want naughty, nasty boys; moreover, I would not date outside of my race. How can I be a savior of black women if I date outside of my race? I am sure missed many opportunities for love and great sexual experiences because of this point of view. Also, I repressed my truly nasty side, an act that left me sexually unsatisfied for much of my adult life, and now I am consciously as nasty as I want to be or as reserved as I want to be; My Choice.The main reasons I love Dr. Morin’s Erotic Mind are, one, the text provides researcher, educators, and therapists focused on healing and the erotic a theoretical framework that broadens and deepens the discussions surrounding eroticism. Two, the text provided me with practical information to use as a healer. Three, the text is invaluable in helping one reflect on his or her erotic world.
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