Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2015

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Page 15 of 43

By Wendy Strgar "His expression pulls at that dark part of me, buried in the depths of my belly—my libido, woken and tamed by him, but even now, insatiable." ~E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey T he main characters in Fifty Shades of Grey, the book and fi lm that has shifted the mainstream consciousness of sexuality, are a virginal stu- dent unaware of her own beauty and a deeply troubled young billionaire who channels his childhood pain into a fringe sexual lifestyle that verges on violence. The plot twists and turns around submission and dominance, one of the oldest and most common fantasy themes in human history. How this story captivated the attention of millions re- veals the singular most signifi cant truth of our collective human sex drive: our access and witness to our fantasies is where our sexual motor either revs up or languishes. What is most riveting in the story is probably as individual as each of the millions of readers: romanticized acts of forced entry, the mysterious neurological cross-wiring of pain and pleasure, or surrendering helplessly to the orgasmic release that holds greater force over us than even the most dominating lover. Sexuality that is simultaneously forbidden and commanded both terrifi es and tit- illates. These dynamics are not just fi ction. Our collective sexuality is replete with confused sex acts that should never have occurred, from date rape to incestuous touch, from sexual crimes of politics and war to the aggression of inappropriate fa- milial intimacy and workplace sexual harassment. It is our culturally correct sexual boundaries that are more fi c- tion than reality. Fifty Shades of Gray demonstrates the kinship between revulsion and attraction. The young woman's consent to a sexuality that en- gulfs her somehow normalizes our desires to move toward something we simultaneously long for and reject. She submits, endures profound pain, and even as her fear melts into unan- ticipated pleasure, remains the weak submissive. Rather than exploring the power derived from her pleasure, she is lost in codependence with her cruel lover. Their relationship dynam- ics are immature at best, fulfi lling our childlike yearning for happily-ever-after endings. In too many ways to name, Fifty Shades of Grey refl ects our sexual fantasies and anxieties. The fear of being normal sexu- ally is matched by the anxiety of not being enough. Religious stories of immaculate conception aside, what is virginal in each of us concerns our relationship to our own erotic self, which longs to sub- mit, to be forced into the intense pleasure we all sense living at our core of our being. Herein lies the trigger for the erotic mystery that comes with living in a body. Yet we also contain the mischievous, even cruel aspects of the violence that lies beside our sexual selves. Sexuality is often a jumble of raw confusion that mistakes consent and right, refusal and wrong in a myriad of circumstances that easily slip beyond our control. How many of us can't access our ability to experi- ence pleasure unless it is somehow forbidden? What angle of this story awakens your libido depends largely on your willingness to witness and experience your own erotic tales. We all have an inner erotic land- scape that reveals itself through story or fantasy. Our subconscious energies work beneath our cognitive awareness to create pleasure out of our deepest held pain and con- fl ict. When we give up suppressing our own fantasy story lines and are willing to give them our attention without fear or judgment, we are rewarded with the gem of our own eroticism. Perhaps our collective attention on a sexual fantasy that cuts to the core of the human pleasure/pain di- chotomy will help blaze a trail to an awakened erotic life of our own in which consent and curiosity reveal doorways to our capacity for sexual healing pleasure. —Wendy Strgar, writer, teacher and loveologist, is the founder and CEO at Good Clean Love, makers of Almost Naked 95 per- cent-organic lubricant. Fifty Shades of Erotic Consciousness WHERE FEAR & FANTASY COLLIDE whole living SEX TALK It is our culturally correct sexual boundaries that are more fi ction than reality. 16 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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