A couple of weekends ago, Ginna Clark (Director of the NEI certificate program in Human Sexuality) and I, co-taught a weekend course entitled “Touch and Embodiment.” Discussions included the history of sex therapy in the United States, what interrupts, coopts and/or numbs personal and interpersonal pleasure, and how to practice embodiment.
Through conversation, sensorial exercises, gesture, mindful engagement with nature, as well as group art making, the multi-dimensions of embodiment and the concept of touch were explored.
While it was a large group of students (24), I believe that we created a space that could hold the spectrum of experience and needs (personal and professional), in the room.
As adrienne maree brown (2019) states in “Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good”: “…it must become an incredible pleasure to be able to be honest, expect to be whole, and to know that we are in a community that will hold us accountable and change with us.” and “I believe our imaginations—particularly the parts of our imaginations that hold what we most desire, what brings us pleasure, what makes us scream yes—are where we must seed the future, turn toward justice and liberation, and reprogram ourselves to desire sexually and erotically empowered lives.”
As (hopefully) experienced in this weekend class, the honesty of one’s body, which has traversed many experiences, can offer insight and a bridge towards interpersonal connection. Pleasure, awareness of what one is attracted to and repulsed by, as well as the experience of witnessing embodiment and being witnessed in a group format can be empowering, and a “turn toward justice and liberation.”