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  How to Be Your Most Erotic, Embodied Self
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How to Be Your Most Erotic, Embodied Self

Somatic Sex Educator Kiana Reeves reveals the key to ecstatic states


Somatic Sex Educator Kiana Reeves believes all connection derives from being here, now. She muses, “It's where all pleasure derives from: all ecstatic states come from being able to be present in the moment.”

This ability to be present opens up endless opportunities for erotic exploration. But erotic doesn’t necessarily mean sexual. Rather, Reeves offers multiple pathways to more pleasurable experiences: “Our relationships with food can be highly erotic. You can have the most sensual, enjoyable, pleasurable experience eating and feeling the way that the water touches your tongue or how your lips wrap around the sandwich. These very mundane things that become suddenly ecstatic.”

What Is the Work of Somatic Sexology?

Living intimate lives means getting close to what we feel connected to: the feel of leather, a warm breeze, holding hands with someone we love.

But if you feel repressed in your erotic desires, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many of us have experienced not having the space, breadth, and depth to love what we love. So we build armor around or turn the volume down on being present with our expression. Parts of us that were rejected by peers or parents or culture atrophied our self-exploration.

Reeves has a pathway back to our pleasure. It begins with noticing and expressing our feelings through practices such as breathwork, pleasurable movement or simply “just laying on the floor and feeling your body and bringing attention to where the sensation or where the emotion is the most present. And then literally giving yourself at least 15 minutes to sound, to breathe and to move with it.”

Being with what is doesn’t stop with what feels good. Reeves also offers guidance if you struggle to get in touch with more challenging emotions like grief or anger. She suggests, “If you put your body in a posture that evokes what anger might look like, because we've forgotten the pathway of anger, where you clench your fist and you start to growl and you start to make noise, the body remembers how to do it even if your mind doesn't. And so this is where embodiment comes in, your mind is not running this show. Your mind is catching up, your mind is your memory, creating new neural pathways.” 

What Does It Mean to Be Vulnerable in Sex?

What do anger and grief have to do with your intimate life, especially your romantic and sex life? Reeves notes,  “If your nervous system is chronically dysregulated, chronically upregulated, or you're in a bit of a state of freeze or fight or flight or fawn … what these practices start to do is unwind the stuff that's in your periphery that absolutely shapes your vision of how you see the world. So, if we take this into partnership … you might be more fearful of a relationship. You might be interpreting interactions through a particular lens of how to protect yourself or how to avoid heartbreak or looking for ways they might hurt you. That stuff gets in the way of us being present with what actually is. It colors how we see our relationships in the present moment. And so being able to be with what is, is a practice of being able to be present and intimate and available for true intimacy.”

That doesn’t mean you need to be fully embodied and in touch with your deepest expression of yourself before you relate with someone else.

Instead, Reeves says readiness doesn’t come from being fully healed, but rather a willingness to be aware and deeply vulnerable. She suggests we ask ourselves, “Am I willing to look at myself? Am I willing to look at my habits and my patterns and the things I'm bringing in here subconsciously? And am I willing to be super vulnerable with this person, with this partner to receive feedback and reflection and vice versa? And if that's the case, if you're really in a place of self-awareness, then you'll be getting clear signs if you truly are available for a relationship or if you do need to do healing work. And I think there are times for both.”

Kiana believes expressing our fears and insecurities openly with a willing partner can lead to more profound connections— including more satisfying sex.

She says, “Being able to feel great sex at the heart is being able to be with what is and be in full expression and be able to feel. And the more you can expand your feeling capacity, the more pleasure is available to you, the more connection is available to be with a partner and the more you are likely to reach states of ecstasy or bliss or touching the divine, touching that which is beyond our day to day life—which is, I think, why people want to have sex.”

Can You Do Somatic Healing Yourself? 

It’s easy to focus our attention on all of the ways our deepest needs aren’t being met, and if we’re partnered, we may end up pointing our finger at the other person.

Before getting into the blame game, Reeves suggests starting with a self-inquiry: “How am I contributing, really? Where am I not standing in my own eroticism? Where am I not fulfilling my own sexual needs? Where am I not leaning into you and touching you and loving you or am I judging you? And you start to look at it. You go, this is relational. That's why they call it a relationship, is because we're just always bouncing off each other's deepest needs and deepest wounds.” 

This brings us back to the beginning of our conversation around embodiment.

Reeves wants us to be able to embody our full range of energetic expression. She says, “If I'm attracted to someone because they have a really dark, sexy, juicy energy and I feel that come alive in me, it's because my dark, sexy, juicy energy wants and needs to be felt badly. And so then I take it to my mat, and I bring that to myself, and I bring that to my partner. And I don't make them responsible for making me feel that way, but I invite them to play in that space.”

Awareness and presence is how we consciously choose to embody our most intimate desires. We need to be with what is, in all its messy, inconvenient complexity, in order to fully express ourselves. Reeves cautions, “Unless we have a highly developed relationship with our internal world and experience, we're constantly going to be trying to modify things out of our control and bumping up against the things that we maybe don't even know are happening.

Taking ownership of our desire means noticing where we’re looking outside of ourselves to fulfill an internal need. Reeves offers that these longings are showing us a part of ourselves that is dormant and wanting to awaken. And she says the other person “will not do that for you. Maybe they will show it to you, but they're not the activation factor. You are the activation factor.”

Sara Russell is MUD\WTR's Trends w/ Benefits podcast host. 

Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

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