Watch Your Ass: an unusual shortcut to mind-body relaxation (Better Humans)

Originally posted in Better Humans

Over the past few years I’ve become well acquainted with my inner asshole. I don’t mean the metaphorical part of my psyche that’s a jerk, I mean my literal, physical, anatomical butt. I’ve been observing how the state of my rear affects my communication, sex, mood, and life. Let’s start with the basics:

We subconsciously clench our muscles as an attempt to gain control over our situations.

When we see someone whose shoulders are permanently hiked up, we can make the educated guess that their mind is stressed. Same goes for when we see someone repeatedly clenching their hands.

Mental stress and physical tension are co-variant. An increase in either typically increases the other.

When we feel overwhelmed, clenching muscles gives a false sense of control because of the feeling of exertion. (Even if we’re not exerting against anything but ourselves.) The hardest part about learning to ride a bike as a child isn’t balance, it’s learning to not clench our bodies against the prospect of falling.

We all know that the more we can stay relaxed physically, the more we can handle mentally. The anal sphincters get clenched most often unconsciously because they are hidden from view. They are also one of the most important muscle groups to keep relaxed.

The anal muscles are like the master valve for sensation in your body.

When I started paying attention to my rear, I realized I clenched my butt every few minutes. Just about anything uncomfortable caused it to contract:

  • Emotional dismay: irritation, annoyance, judgment, embarrassment.
  • Intellectualizing: trying to figure out problems or organize convoluted information.
  • Physically Exertion: awkward yoga poses, high rep exercise.
  • Sex: pulling for climax, whenever sensation gets really high.

When someone is a “tight ass” we already know that means they are rigid or resistant to spontaneity. This is more literal than many realize.

Sphincter muscles are like valves in a water system. They are designed to open when our body wants something to pass through, and close when our body doesn’t.

The only good times to clench our rear sphincter is 1) to hold in excrement, or 2) prevent something unwanted from entering. Any other times we clench we are reducing circulation and reducing the flow of sensation.

It’s a final attempt to resist our circumstances: if we can’t control them, we can stop ourselves from feeling them.

My clients who have had sexual problems almost always realize they have been unconsciously clenching their rear almost all day. Clenching is a way to literally reduce your feeling in your body.

Just as it’s near impossible to run slowly while pumping our arms quickly, it’s difficult to do anything gracefully with a clenched butt. An acting teacher told me: “The ability to relax the sphincter in performance leads to more freedom and availability in one’s work.”

Learning to keep that muscle group allows us to feel more and move and think with more flow. Here’s what we ought to know about the anatomy:

We have two sphincters back there

If you were a good student in 9th Grade Bio, you may remember that our anus is made of two sphincters that permit passage through the colon like the alternating locks of the Panama Canal. (Which you’d understand if you were a good student in 8th Grade History.)

The Outer Sphincter is well within our control. We contract it to hold in a fart. We relax it to take in a thermometer (hopefully.) Most don’t realize the Inner can continue clench even after the Outer has been relaxed.

For a more specific instruction on locating and relaxing the Inner Sphincter, watch this video (It’s kind of SFW, tell your boss it will make you more clear-headed at work):

A quick tutorial. (Kind of SFW. There’s nothing more explicit than the preview above.)

I remember attempting anal sex with past lovers and being confused when her ass seemed relaxed from the outside, yet I couldn’t get in. She wanted to appear trusting and open, but the truth was she didn’t feel safe enough to be that vulnerable with me in such a way.

It’s a nice little metaphor: Your visible anatomy seems open, but you’re secretly closed on the inside.

Relaxing the Inner Sphincter feels much more vulnerable. To truly relax is to truly all the world in; to surrender control. It requires a level of faith and trust in your circumstances. It’s far more psychological than physical, (and perhaps more spiritual than psychological).

Consider your anus. If there’s one thing you can focus on today that would benefit your mind-body performance, it’s relaxing your rear. Watch the video above if it seems difficult. Don’t be surprised if it becomes an emotional challenge. Who knows what you’ve been resisting?

7 Points On Playing with Your Darkside (BadWitch.es)

7 Points On Playing with Your Darkside (BadWitch.es)

Her bitching yields to a mixture of confusion and terror that match her words: “What, what are you doing?” I release my clench from the steering wheel and turn to her to resume our quarrel, but not with speech..

This is not an article about talking it out.

The headlights illuminate the cloud of dust from the abrupt turn off the country road. It’s 3am. We’re on a dirt patch between the road and the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere.

My left hand unbuckles her passenger side seat belt while my right seizes the roots of her hair. That hand pulls her across my lap while my left opens the driver side door to let her head poke out.

This is not an article about how to treat your significant other.

I proceed to spank her. Hard enough that she vocalizes pain. Soft enough that she’s willing to feel it. After a particularly flush tolchok she yelps “Ok!” in the same tone of a child who just got tagged in hide and seek. She contorts around to look at me. We both laugh.

This is not an article about how to win friends and influence people, the virtues of  domestic civility, nor the metamorphosis of 21st century Feminism. (Ok, maybe it is a little about the next wave of Feminism.)

At 3am in upstate New York, my girlfriend and I were driving to a campsite where our friends were. We were cranky. We argued. At the time of this writing I honestly don’t remember what the argument was about. Whatever it was about was not really what it was about. What it really was about and what this article is about, is playing with darkness.

There’s a lot of talk of “shadow work” in healing circles, and “curing” chaotic behavior in psychology, not to mention religion. While great material on darkness does exist, I find a lot of it overly complicated, counter-beneficial, and BORING.

Here’s what we really need to know about playing with the dark:

1. The difference between Light and Dark is Approval

Is choking one’s lover during sex a dark impulse? What about punching someone who insults you? Eating sugar at 2am? Leaving the toilet seat up?

Depends on whom you ask.

What’s considered the ultimate taboo to one, may be completely banal to another. Darkness is subjective. A thing is “dark” to an individual if he or she doesn’t fully approve of it. In other words, the person feels some sort of shame.

We feel shame when we don’t want to see something that’s there. Hence, we put it in the “dark.”

Read the full article on BadWitch.es...

Why Witches Should Make Their Beds (BadWitch.es)

Why Witches Should Make Their Beds (BadWitch.es)

Up until about a year ago, you could not convince me to make a bed. It was more than laziness. I actively refused to. It made no sense that one should bother “making” what one would soon be messed up again. As a child, this argument extended with my mother to overall philosophy on room cleanliness.

I liked having my toys and books scattered. I knew where everything was, and even back then I felt that disorder and chaos were representative of my personality. Over my last decade of both intentionally and unintentionally studying energy, I’ve realized how the organization of space has a huge effect on a person’s creativity, mood, and ability to
affect reality. This is especially important for those who are sensitive to that which exists beyond the mundane.

In other words, bad witches need to make their beds. Here’s why:

1. Arranging materials practices Intention

While it is certainly possible that a bunch of paper and office supplies thrown at a desk could fall in an organized manner, we all know the likelihood of that is slim to nil. When we see neatly organized paper and supplies on a desk we assume that someone intended for it to look just like that.

A creator is one who wants to see his or her intentions expressed in the world. Anytime we make a bed or organize our things, we are doing just that. Making a bed may not seem as significant as creating art or manifesting an unlikely circumstance, but the mental procedure is exactly the same.

The more precisely we organize our space, the more specific we are in realizing our desires.

Read the rest on Bad Witches

A Dick and His Man: Insights on Men's Shame Around Sexuality

A Dick and His Man: Insights on Men's Shame Around Sexuality

“Well, I want have a lot of sex. Wild sex. Wide variety of experiences. Like, um, threesomes and stuff. Lots of women. Um, hot women. Yeah, er, but after that I want to settle down with a good girl, like one girl that I love.”

I’ve heard some version of the above statement hundreds of times from single men from a wide range of ages. Some would say that the paradigm of “sow wild oats in your youth, then settle down with a good girl” is a practical way for the modern man to experience both sexual pleasure and loving connection in his lifetime. However such a paradigm implies a disconnection between sex and love; “The good girl (read: sexually inhibited) you want to marry, is different than the girl you want to sleep with.”

Besides the obvious slut-shaming in the implication, the paradigm demonstrates an element that causes pain to men themselves in various areas of their life. I’ve seen this element as the root cause of sexual dysfunctions, lukewarm relationships, anxiety, and all sorts of self-sabotage. Almost all men are afflicted with it at some point in their lives and most don’t even realize they have had it:

Shame of sexuality.

As long as a man carries shame around his sex, he is unable to be his true self. A shameful man is victimized by the desires of his loins rather than empowered by them. Conversely, a man who is free of shame can have the sex, relationships, and creative life that he wants. Here are a few insights around men’s sexual shame:

 

The desire for sexual prowess is really a desire to be felt

A good place to start with a man’s sexual shame is with his sexual organ. Nothing symbolizes male virility like the phallus. Man to man comparison can elicit shame in men whose organ isn’t above average. But it’s not really the size for the sake of size that men want. A BDSM master I studied with put it this way, “No man really cares about having a ten inch dick. It’s the thought that ‘if I had a big dick, then she’d really feel me.’”

If you ask the same man if he would still care about his dick size if he knew he could send women into sexual ecstasy with ease, he’d probably say no. Dick size shame goes along with “not lasting long enough,” “not being experienced enough,” and “not getting her off” as ways a man can express his insecurity around being felt. Beneath the typical male bravado around sexual prowess is a deeper desire to have an effect on the world.

That men tend to be more drawn to pornography than women highlights this fact. Watching a video of someone experiencing pleasure tricks the brain into thinking “she’s coming because of me.” This simulates the experience of connection, a dire human need.

The Spoon [POEM] (RebelleSociety)

The Spoon [POEM] (RebelleSociety)

Dear God,

I am resentful at the spoon.

I have fear I will not eat without it.

I have fear you will not see to it that I’m fed.

I have fear I’ll sweat, and fret,

and cry instead.

I have fear I would not choose

to wake up on my own,

so your circumstances force me to.

 

I’m on to you.

It doesn’t take enlightenment

to realize it’s cold out here.

How did you convince me

to leave my womb?

Oh right,

Well, I’ll gladly welcome a Caesarian

out of this existence.

I’m telling you,

I’m ready to go back.

As in,

I am ready for salvation,

lay it on me.

Where can I find you?

Shall I read another philosophy book?

Attend another weekend seminar

with the self-help junkies?

 

Or perhaps in play with another person,

one whose body fits well into mine.

Who also gives me good excuses

to act the fool, prodigal son, the king of swords.

To learn as a tarot card is played,

it must be discarded,

stripping away layer after layer

to find the onion has no core.

With faces pressed so deeply

into each other that you can’t tell

whose tears are whose.

 

Read the rest on Rebelle...

How To Argue With a Woman in a Way That She'll Love

How To Argue With a Woman in a Way That She'll Love

Man in current civilization has few hazards to deal with. Most of us are safe from predators (if you’re not, you’re reading the wrong how-to article), we don’t have to worry about the plague, and we can buy a grass-fed steak from Whole Foods without having to sharpen a spear and trek out into the savannah. One danger that has stood the test of time is females of our species. Particularly when it comes to fighting. Most men do not know how to argue properly.

As many probably do, I grew up believing that conflict of any kind was evil. If a man and a woman are arguing, their relationship must be dysfunctional. The reality is, while fighting isn’t necessarily a good thing, it is a mark of some level of intimacy. You don’t get into yelling matches with the barista at Starbucks (if you do, again, you’re reading the wrong how-to), you fight with people you’re close with. A fight itself is intimate. Both parties are taking off their polite masks to let their true emotions pour out.  Conflict can be a catalyst for intimacy.

Relationship arguments are the hottest because there is the most potential there. Fighting with a woman you care about doesn’t have to be a hazard. It’s actually an opportunity for deeper intimacy (and really hot make-up sex.) Follow these guidelines next time you argue with your woman and have her love you for it.

 

First, remember that its a game

An argument is a game in the most basic sense. Two players, you and her, act to affect and be at the effect of the other. Actually the argument is a small game within a much larger game that is your relationship, in whatever capacity. Even larger is the game you play with women as a whole, which only a certain caliber of man knows how to play.

To “play” doesn’t necessarily mean to take it lightly, it means to respond to every moment and let it take its course as opposed to treating it as “work.” Instead of trying to make something happen,  just try to keep the ball in the air. You might even find arguing to be fun.

Listen to Her Emotions Before Her Words

Many guys in an argument get caught in the trap of pointing out holes in her logic. Relationship arguments are emotional, not logical. Trying to prove her wrong factually is the wrong game. Even if you win, you lose.

Your argument is probably of some nonsense anyway. It’s quite rare that an argument between lovers is over something that actually matters. Beneath the story and circumstance you’ll see all arguments are some sort of emotional request.

For instance, once a woman told me something to the effect of “You’re not man enough to handle me.” I had the immediately impulse to say something...

Magic Mornings: How to start your day with more creativity, serenity, and insight

Magic Mornings: How to start your day with more creativity, serenity, and insight

Each morning our return to waking life is marked by a unique mental state. In those first minutes of our day, our minds are in an estuary between the dream world and 3rd dimensional consciousness. Like an aquatic estuary, it’s ripe with nutrients and lifeforms that you can’t find anywhere else. This in-between state of the mind can be used for greater creativity, serenity, and flow.

For many years I squandered these golden minutes. Being overly concerned with productivity had me immediately sprint to my daily to do list. In my sports and military-focused past, the first task of the day was literally running. Those familiar with Eastern medicine or sports-performance know that intense physical effort upon awakening is bad for the body. The same is true for the mind.

Like an engine, or a muscle group, your mind runs a lot smoother if it’s allowed to gradually warm up.

Inversely, going from sleep to mental sprinting can send the nervous system into Fight or Flight mode. When I look around New York City subway cars during the morning rush I can see the overactive adrenals on many commuters’ faces: quick blinking, dark circles and saggy skin. Even the jerky way many people move in the morning suggests that they didn't let their systems warm up properly. This causes a mental fog that often requires caffeine to cut through, which in turn stresses out the nervous system even more.

Meditation has become quite popular in the business world for it’s ability to train the mind towards clarity of thought. In a pinch, the ability to enter a meditative state can “reset” the a mis-calibrated mind. However we don’t need to sit on a cushion and close our eyes to find that state, we’re already in when we first wake up.

Hypnotists do their work by getting subjects to enter lower frequency brain waves states. The lower our brain wave frequency, the more easily we can access our subconscious, the more suggestible we are, and therefore the more effectively we can change affect behavior. Just like metal, the mind can be molded more easily in a volatile (fluid) state than a fixed (solid) one. That is why children learn life lessons better from fables, rather than from explicit commands. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” sticks a lot better than “Lying to Get Attention is a Bad Idea.”

Those of us with a penchant for productivity tend to jump out of the volatile brainwave states (Theta 4–8Hz & Delta 1–3 Hz) of sleep straight into the fixed state of alert consciousness (Beta 14–30 Hz). In the Beta State the attention focus is on processing the data from our five senses. This is best suited for tangible thought and action. When our minds are fixed, we are most in control, but also the least creative.

By paying attention while waking up, we can bridge the gap between waking life the creative unconscious.

5 Reasons We Ought to Tell People Off When We're Angry (ElephantJournal)

5 Reasons We Ought to Tell People Off When We're Angry (ElephantJournal)

We live in a gloves-on society.

We can sue someone for spilling coffee, call the cops when our neighbor plays music too loudly, but Bob forbid we tell a coworker “I find you annoying.”

From our earliest days in school, an implicit fear of conflict is embedded in us under the guise of “niceness” with phrases like “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That ingrained fear of conflict stays with most of us long after we’ve graduated from safety scissors to create the default preference to say nothing rather than risk someone an emotional boo-boo.

The truth is, it’s not even the nice thing to do.

Withholding irritations have serious negative consequences for us, the other person, and dare I say it, our entire society. When I work with clients to improve their relationships and sex lives, we often must start with identifying truths the client hasn’t expressed. Not expressing our “negative” emotions has a huge impact on our relationships and ability to feel.

Here are some of the reasons we ought to let it out.

On The Subject of Buttholes

On The Subject of Buttholes

Over the past few weeks I've become quite acquainted with my inner asshole. I don't mean the part of my psyche that's a jerk, I mean my literal, physical, anatomical asshole. I've been observing how the state of my rear affects my communication, sex, mood, and life. Let's start with the basics:

Tightening your ass is a method of numbing sensation

We use phrases like "you feel kind of tight," and "my boss is so anal" because we all inherently understand this psycho-somatic relationship.

I realized this week that I tighten throughout the day way more than I previously thought. Here are a few:

  • Emotional dismay: irritation, annoyance, judgment, jealousy.

  • Intellectualizing: trying to figure out problems or organize convoluted information.

  • Physically Exertion: awkward yoga poses, high rep exercise.

  • Sex: pulling for climax, whenever sensation gets really high.

Basically my butt involuntarily tightens anytime I'm out of agreement with my situation. Just like clamping down

 

The Daemon in Finite Play: A Spiritual Argument For Gridiron Football

The Daemon in Finite Play: A Spiritual Argument For Gridiron Football

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. In the morning I will give thanks for all my blessings as I drive to my parents’ house. In the evening I will carve a massive turkey for my family and family friends (my Dad’s a vegetarian.) But in between those two events, with much gratitude and glee, I will watch men in hard plastic helmets smash into each other while trying to move an oblong hunk of leather across a three hundred feet of turf.

I consider myself to be a sensitive, spiritually-minded man. And I love football. This seems to make me an anomaly.

Over the last few years of feeling-based study I’ve interacted with hundreds of men who I can roughly generalize in the sensitive-spiritual category. This group ranges from everyone ranging from energy-healers, shamans, and level 5 vegans to men who have a simple interest in spiritual development or some form of authentic-relating. Out of all these men, I’ve only met one who liked football.

I met him a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh. He likes the Steelers. I overhead his girlfriend saying “He’s such a conscious and sensitive man. I can’t believe he cares about football.”

On the other end, the guys who I grew up with watching football, “bros” and those similar, don’t give a blink about conscious spiritual development.

In investigating what causes this divide we need to look at what the game of American Gridiron Football is...

 

3 Non-Sexual Things That Affect a Man's Sex Life (SW)

3 Non-Sexual Things That Affect a Man's Sex Life (SW)

Men come to work with me when they want to have a better sex life. Sometimes they have some sort of sexual problem they want fixed. Sometimes they just want to experience sexual mastery. Often new clients are surprised that we end up not talking about sex much at all.

Sex is a microcosm for how we interact with the world. A guy can tell me about his sex life and I can infer everything I need to know about him as a whole. All of a person’s insecurities, mental conditioning, and deepest desires show up in the bedroom. I’m passionate about coaching people to have better sex lives because that in turn makes the entire emotional side of their lives better.

As above so below. The opposite is also true. There are certain things in your non-sexual life that have a huge impact on what you experience in bed. Here are 3...

Read more...