How Joseph Kramer’s Lucid Erotic States Created the Body Electric School and Sexological Bodywork.


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I had first heard about the founder of The Body Electric School, Joseph Kramer, during my first BE week-end workshop involving the conscious generation, circulation and application of extended heightened arousal states for re-birthing when I was 24.  For the entire following week, my body was in a heightened state of aliveness and arousal.  It set me on a course of exploring taoist and tantric arts over the following decades.  

Some 25 years later, I finally had the opportunity to meet Joseph in person when he spoke as a guest in my Sexological Bodywork training at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, where the 15 of us trainees were learning, receiving and facilitating many of the somatic sexuality practices Joseph had developed and taught for decades.  Since then, it’s always been a pleasure to have the privilege of sharing space and experiences with Joseph – in webinars, zoom calls, or virtual exchanges and continue to explore such wisdom and teachings of the soma.

All of Joseph Kramer’s Web-Links:

Homestudy Course in Sexological Bodywork;

Joseph’s Sex Education Blog:

Joseph’s Best Of Body Wisdom Newsletter:

Joseph Kramer founded two seminal institutions that have produced 1000s of somatic sex educators, sexological bodyworkers and sacred intimates all over the world, namely, The Body Electric School of Massage and Rebirthing, approved to train professionals in California in 1984, and the profession of Sexological Bodywork, approved as a profession by the State of California in 2003.  Today there are 7 Sexological Bodywork trainings all over the world, and Body Electric School events, virtual and in-person workshops and trainings all over the US. 

Before completing massage school and practicing as a massage therapist, Joseph completed his Master of Divinity degree in Berkeley.  This was after serving as head of the religion department at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, all-girls Catholic school in NYC and after entering the Jesuit order where he spent ten years studying, teaching and preparing to become a Catholic priest.  Although he left the Jesuits before ordination, Joseph found his vocation as a teacher embracing the Jesuit motto, “to be a person for others” – his early work focused on weaving together sexuality and spirituality. 

We explore: 


How Joseph entered the Jesuit order in 1965 after having savored a practice of “touching aliveness” via long-distance running and solo sex, only to have to abide by the rule of not touching anyone else.


How breath-work, shiatsu, and acupressure were integral parts of the Body Electric curriculum exploring communication from the tips of a giver’s finger to the receiver’s body.


How The Body Electric School was founded during a pivotal time in the AIDS crisis, exploring sexual arousal via touch that was not only genital-focussed, but whole-body focussed whilst refraining from ejaculation. 


How the field of Sexological Bodywork, approved in California in 2003, served as another vehicle to teach people how to awaken erotic energy and bring people back to their body. 


How sustained and lucid streams of sexual arousal played a pivotal role in Joseph’s understanding of how to create Body Electric classes & curriculum and the new profession of Sexological Bodywork.


How prolonged stimulation was cultivated in Body Electric classes to avoid the spread of HIV via semen with everyone agreeing to refrain from ejaculation.


How Erotic Massage Dancing evolved from touch from giver to receiver – to the receiver guiding their own arousal involving their own hands – to adding breath, sound and movement, rather than being still.  (More at


How couples who develop unsatisfying sexual habits with each other can often find it easier to create new habits with practitioners with whom they haven’t established any patterns. 


How vital and joyous it is to cultivate and relish solo sex rituals to expand one’s capacity for extraordinary human experiences.

Rahi: Welcome to Organic Sexuality, where we explore the restoration of pleasure, the reclamation of sexual sovereignty, and the realization of our embodied sexual nature. An invitation to honor the pleasures of your body by embodying the pleasures of your nature. I'm your host, Rahi Chun. I'm a certified somatic sex educator, sexological bodyworker, and creator of Somatic Sexual Wholeness. Today, it's a special honor to welcome Joseph Kramer to the podcast - pioneering founder of not one, but two seminal institutions of somatic sexual wellness, namely the Body Electric School established in 1984, and the field of sexological bodywork approved by the state of California in 2003, and now offered worldwide by seven different institutes in seven different countries. Joseph shares his fascinating journey of entering the Jesuit order, where touching others,was not allowed - later founding a massage school and then creating the curriculum for the Body Electric School during lucid streams of heightened erotic arousal. And how encouraging extended states of prolonged embodied pleasure was an inspiration for developing the field of sexological bodywork. Those of us privileged to be in the field of sexological bodywork and somatic sex education have an enormous gratitude for all of his leadership service and teachings in somatic wisdom over the last many decades.

Rahi: I am deeply honored and very excited to invite, uh, Joseph Kramer to the podcast, uh, today. Uh, in many ways, an interview with Joseph should have been the inaugural podcast for something called Organic Sexuality. Um, Joseph Kramer founded two seminal institutions that have produced literally thousands of somatic sex educators, sexological bodyworkers, and sacred intimates all over the world. Namely, the Body Electric School of Massage and Rebirthing - approved to train professionals in California in 1984, and the profession and field of sexological bodywork, um, which was approved as a profession by the state of California in 2003. So we've just crossed the two-decade mark. Today. There are seven sexological bodyworker trainings all over the world, uh, at which three of them, Joseph is on faculty now and Body Electric School events, virtual and in-person workshops and trainings all over the United States. Um, before completing massage school and practicing as a massage therapist and, and teaching at creating his own massage school, Joseph completed his master of divinity degree at Berkeley. This was after serving as head of the religion department at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls Catholic school in New York City. And after entering the Jesuit order where he spent 10 years studying, teaching and preparing to become a Catholic priest, although he left the Jesuits before ordination, Joseph found his vocation as a teacher embracing the Jesuit motto to be a person for others. Joseph, thank you so much for joining us today.

Joseph: Thank you. I'm glad to be here. I'm, I'm in awe of Mm-Hmm. of human capacity and touching the aliveness that's here and the different forms of aliveness. Mm-Hmm.

Rahi: . Mm-Hmm. . Well, let's, let's start with what you just mentioned, the touching aliveness. Um, you know, you know, as we talked about before we started recording, it is very preliminary to understand the capacity of the states of consciousness that can open up with the intention of touch and the different kinds and quality of touch. When you started your massage school, it sounds like that was like a principle or one of the main things you wanted your students to really embody in their sensei experience. Could you say a little bit about what that capacity for our consciousness and our embodiment to alter and expand through touching aliveness?

Joseph: Yes, thank you for this opportunity. Um, I, one thing we're, we're talking about is languaging. Mm-Hmm. , how do we name some things? And there's, especially when, when we get into areas of feeling states in the body and sensations, we're at a loss often, and there's a, a poverty there. Um, I early on, read Walt Whitman, and one of his, many of his phrases, um, just came into my body. But one of them was the, the, the line. "Many people know I sing the body electric" - and the body electric said something to me, there is, that's, I felt this vibration in my body. This is how I felt aliveness. And I go, yes, there is this aliveness. And most of my life I've been a long-distance runner, slow, easy, but long distance. And this is kind of like a meditation. And in that running or in my early days of solo sex with myself or with partners, I would feel this or just feeling wonderful on any day in my body, but noticing me, I would feel my own how I am alive.

Joseph: And then I got this word, body electric, and I go, yes, it's like an electricity that moves through my system. This, this, this gives us the circulation too, that it can move, there could be parts of our body that don't have much of this feeling and parts that have more of this feeling. So, I, I, when I was 17, I joined the Jesuits, this Roman Catholic religious order, and I was there for 10 years till I was 27, 28. And an amazing education in those years. But one of the first rules we got in, when I joined the novitiate, it was two years of silence except one hour in the evening we could speak. This was our formation at the beginning, 1965. And the, the rule, and if we had to speak during the day, we had to speak Latin. And the rule was no low, re do not touch, you cannot touch anyone else.

Joseph: That, that was the main rule. And so, going into this, my years as a Jesuit, although of course I touched people, but the bottom line was don't touch. And so this is, I'm sure this is , is one of the reasons that I left that, that path. Yes. You know, but, but it's because touch became so important for me and the touch, the electricity of touch. And I remember studying acupressure, not acupuncture, but acupressure, and finding that one, the tip of one of my fingers on somebody. I could just hold it and start to communicate and feel and amazing things just with one finger. And I, I love doing this, or two fingers, two places on the body. So I, when I came to start my school, I go, the obvious name of the school is Body Electric. Yes. And so I named it Body Electric.

Joseph: Um, for that, it was just this s aliveness and part of the school involved breathing. We had breath work classes, and we had classes in people with life-threatening illnesses, how to deal with that. We had cla, we had certainly, um, shiatsu, which dealt with, with, uh, uh, finger pressure and rhythms on the body, and certainly, or, uh, massage of, of the body. But for me, it was passing on this, the amazing qualities of touch. And, and I thought the more that people touch, the more they would notice the different qualities. Let's just put it that way. And so I have to say, till this day, I'm 76, I, when I meet people who are massage therapists, I quiz them because I think these are people who have spent a great deal, especially people who've done this for many years. They spent a lot of time touching.

Joseph: What, what have they learned? What are they communicating? What's, what are their skills? And I feel their hands, Mm-Hmm. , the hands get turned on in different ways. Mm-Hmm. . So it's this touching aliveness. And there's one more thing. I've always had trouble focusing attention. And as an adult, I found out, um, uh, a DD, you know, it's, it's attention deficit, and I have some of this, but when I'm touching, I could focus intensely. There was this, oh my God. And I've done, I figure 5,000 sessions, um, in my life. And I don't remember being upset or worried about distractions when I was doing those sessions. When I'm touching someone, I'm paying attention, and I'm, if I'm not paying attention to the, the exact qualities of the touch, I'm paying attention to the awesomeness of just being able to touch Mm-Hmm. . So that, that was, it was kind of like my gift, my way of being in the world was the importance of touch.

Joseph: And so I, I started as a massage therapist and then went into massage school that would kind of foster this. And I had no intention, by the way, of moving this into sex or sexual touch. I never wanted to be a sex educator. I'm kind of a, um, an introvert, and that seemed a little too extrovert. But in introvert was, was this massage. The school was an Oakland, and San Francisco is one of the places that AIDS first really hit. Right. And, um, as a gay male identified, identified male, I go, I know a skill that can be of assistance here, because touch does not communicate. HIV. So I started to teach with trepidation, I have to say erotic massage classes for gay and bisexual men. And this caught on. A lot of, a lot of people came to these classes, um, including, I invited people with aids.

Joseph: I wanted, I said, even if you have HIV, you're welcome in these classes. And that meant anybody who came knew that they were in this mix. Right. And out of that, what happened there is, I, I got to start, I got to pay attention to a different quality of touch. And that is touch of sexual arousal. What is sexual arousal in the body, both on the genitals, but throughout the body. And that's what I've been exploring for many years. So, uh, mm-Hmm. , and you mentioned two professions. I just want to throw it in here. I thought there are people like me whose special gift is touching. And I called, I first named people who had that gift, um, sacred, intimate, who were there with people for their transformation, but through touch and sacred, intimate, I developed this during the AIDS era, when it was, when there was no cure.

Joseph: And so sacred intimates were also trained to be there with people as they died. So there were like midwives to the dying. But then as this evolved, lots of people became erotic masseurs. And, uh, touch became very more, uh, widespread. I, but illegal in the United States, still illegal to do this. So that's where I, um, pushed and kind of created sexological bodywork and got the state of California to approve this as a profession in California. So, but it, but sexological bodywork was, again, another vehicle to teach people, um, to, to touch people in a variety of ways, but also erotically to awaken the potentials of, I found sexual, I found sexual arousal as a motivation to pay attention to your body. Mm-Hmm. . And we're in this big era, we're in this era of disembodiment where people are more and more, uh, their attention is elsewhere.

Joseph: They're in, they're in their, the virtual. And so this idea of touching erotically was to help people to come back and to feel their bodies. So, so that's, and it wasn't necessarily to go the, the place of tantra, which was to come into your body and to touch another's body and to become one with that. And I felt there was lots that was happening, but I felt there was a stage before that, that those two bodies coming together would be even better if people had a sense of their own body and what was their own body electric, what was going on in their own body, then came together. Mm-Hmm. You know, the structure of my

Rahi: History. . Yeah. It's really, it's, it's really fascinating. Joseph. Um, you know, what stands out for me is during your 10 years of preparing to be a Jesuit priest, the, the, the withholding of touch. I, I'm really curious whether that heightened your sensitivity and attunement to touch, because it sounds like that is just one of your, uh, natural gifts is, you know, and when you talk about how touch for you is a communication between you, your sensate focus and the other person's sensate reception, uh, that's, that's a, that's a perspective and experience of touch that I don't think, you know, a lot of people have that it is an actual communication, you know, but it actually is. And then to explore the different ways of communicating through touch naturally invites this kind of discovery of all the different ways that touch can communicate from the sensate focus to different states of arousal.

Rahi: Um, it's really great to hear all of that. And also the fact that you were a long-distance runner, which, because I, because in my mind I was like, how, how did Joseph develop all of this understanding about breath and how breath infuses the body with sensation and aliveness? And now that makes so much sense. Um, I wanna, I wanna read something that I picked up from, I think it was one of your blogs or somewhere, um, that I think is really, really important and speaks to so much about your downloads and, and your, your body of work, the services that you've been providing. So this is a quote from you. "My Body electric classes were created during states of sustained sexual arousal, Taoist erotic massage, the big draw, and dozens of other erotic teaching structures came to me during this glorious state. The idea, and even the details necessary for creating the new profession of sexological body work were birthed in lucid streams of sexual arousal."

Rahi: "For most of my life, I have made important decisions by accessing my body wisdom in an aroused state...." So this speaks to that extraordinary human embodied state that is available to all of us, that I think all people, uh, all, you know, embodied human forms would love to access more of if they knew how. And it sounds like the downloads of the how came to you exactly during these glorious states of Mm-Hmm. of sexual arousal. Um, I'm wondering if you could speak to what states of consciousness open up for you when you are in these lucid states? Because I, I concur with you. I get ideas and how to teach and things of that sort during these states, but I've never engaged in a conversation with someone about what actually opens up in your consciousness during these, during these states.

Joseph: S So, first of all, I, I think if I had to talk, name my profession right now, I'm a somatic sex educator. So the term somatic has come into the culture in the last 20 years as being body-based. And, um, your question, so how did I get so into my body if I was a Catholic boy who was repressed and all this? Um, and there were two things. One is from age 13, I ran every day, probably till 60 years old, and my knees were a little, and every day meant, uh, 28, uh, days of the month, you know, not I, and it might be in the, and it would be about an hour or an hour and a half, 10 miles often. Um, so that was one thing. And I, I felt I had to do this. It was a way of just feeling clear and in my body.

Joseph: So there was, there, and during this time, a lot came through my mind. I just, there were just things that happened and I paid attention. The other thing, the other body base thing that I did was more, uh, edgy, I think edgy for me, because as a Catholic boy, masturbation was a sin. And it was a sin that if you don't go to confession and confess this, you can go to hell. And I believe this. And yet I was so drawn to touch myself and crave this, that I would have to say I regularly masturbated regularly and regularly went to confession as a Catholic boy. But the, this, this masturbation was, um, it's, it was a, it was a different consciousness. And I have to say, I think that consciousness was what helped me escape the closed world of being a Catholic and believing all the stuff, even though I went into the Jesuits.

Joseph: So I went into the Jesuits, and I knew that I had to stop my habit or my regular masturbation, which I did. But it was, I've written about this a couple places. I remember the last weekend before I entered the Jesuits, and I said, I'm gonna one more time. I know it's a mortal sin and all this, but I'm never gonna ever have sex again. I remember masturbating and saying, I have to, I wanna remember what this feels like. I, I was doing this whole thing. And then I came and I go, well, that's it. I'm, tomorrow, I'm entering the Jesuits, you know, I'm going out to the seminary. But an hour later, I go, well, you're going to confession later, so you should do one more time and one more time. And that day, I just masturbated. I had no intention of continuing doing it, but I did many times.

Joseph: 'cause I said, this is the last time. Right? So that, that's just the opening, that this was a place that was an alternate reality, this state in my body. And I didn't real like running. I just naturally happened upon running and happened upon masturbating. I have to think. Um, and I continued running during my Jesuit years, and that was, that was my embodiment. I think that, but I recognized the lack of embodiment from touch and from sexual arousal, and having the gift of celibacy. It was called the gift of celibacy. I recognized during those years, you know, I don't think I have the gift of celibacy. Mm. Like, it's not easy. Mm-Hmm. . So, when I left the Jesuits, it became a time of reconnecting to my arousal and to touch, and it was quite amazing. Um, now to get to your, what are the qualities of this?

Joseph: Um, because it was a separate thing. It was, it was like a, I would go into another realm, and I didn't, fanta I've never been somebody to Fantas, I don't fantasize very much, which really guided my sex education in, in teaching people. If you're paying attention to your own body rather than going off into some fantasy, it can be a different experience. Right. So let's try that. So, but I would, I was paying attention, and what I found is running and sexual stimulation awakens my body in different ways. So there's just as this morning, I breathe fast breath, and that awakened my body. And it, there's an alertness that comes and, and it's, um, it's soil for things to grow out of. And I, I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but I'm, I'm allowing, I'm creating a space where other things can happen in my mind, in my brain and my body.

Joseph: Um, but I do know that masturbation has especially prolonged where I'm just in a state and often breathing and, um, maintaining and not going higher, not trying to get to orgasm, release. It's just the state where things can happen and come to me. And I started doing this, taking notes, actually. And then, then after I, when I got into massage among my friends, I wanted to try a ro I love massage. I love the state of someone else pleasuring and paying attention to this. And with my intimates, I, we worked with arousal. And so when I was aroused and someone's arousing me, I was noticing, and then I think it's just a note. I, it was, it was out of this noticing that it wasn't just sensations. There was ideas that came up and thoughts, and they had a certain, um, uh, importance. Like, oh, that was, oh, that's a really good idea.

Joseph: Mm-Hmm. . And actually, in my erotic massages, I often had a, a pad. It was way, a yellow pad and a paper. And if I didn't write it down, I asked my masseus, stop and write these words down so I would remember Wow. And write this down. So there were, there were always times of paying attention. And I, my best massur for a year, I remember him saying, I don't like doing this writing. I think you should let go of this and just focus on the sensations in your body. But no, this was another realm that ideas came to me of what I should try and, uh, kind of their visions of it was like a vision. When I read about the vision quest of, of Native Americans, I thought, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm in this state where images come to me or ideas come to me.

Joseph: And as I became a teacher, I, some of the things that I was doing, new ideas about what I was doing would come to me. Or if I was working on a client who came to me regularly, and he was coming, I'd be in this state. And the I, an idea would come on how to work on his body or her body, or their body. And it was so, it was, um, so I don't know the exact qualities, but I do know that I, um, the, the best states were where I was quiet in the body, even though when I ran, I did other things. It was more when I was quieter and the arousal kind of moved around my body. It was streamings of arousal. Mm-Hmm. and things came up.

Rahi: Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. I think there's so much similarity to what you're speaking about, about those aliveness states of running long distance, the arousal states of erotic energy in the body, uh, when you're not chasing, you know, after an orgasm or some set of, you know, some something beyond you. Um, and, and even the states of psychedelics where there is, uh, I don't wanna say heightened, but, but different states of aliveness that, that are beyond the normal kind of neural pathway grooves of the way you think. Yes. Right? Yes. Um, you know, as you say, what you shared made me think of the, um, one of the medium articles that you've written. You, you talk about, um, the most influential and harmful habit of sex, sometimes called the governing habit of sex is the mindless pursuit of orgasm and release. This wanting or craving of orgasm release is a dopamine, dopamine driven neurological process that gives rise in endurance to all of our other sexual habits. And, uh, it is a mindless pursuit. You are not, you know, you're kind of chasing after something that is not your current embodied state. And it does lead to, um, sexual habits that are, that are not ideal. Mm-Hmm. , um, it seems like in your teachings with the body electric and sexological body work, it is so much about being present to your state of aliveness and embodied, heightened states of arousal and Yeah. And what can expand in your realm of experience as a result of that?

Joseph: I, I told you, I decided when I ran this massage school that I should teach erotic massage for gay and bisexual men. And I started doing this. And in the massage, I was a bit worried because HIV was in semen Mm-Hmm. . And so I thought, oh, I can't have. This massage has to be separate from, uhhuh . So I came to a thing where it's prolonged stimulation, but not taking people toward. And in my individual sessions, when I advertised, um, anywhere I advertised non ejaculatory erotic massage. So people who came, there was an agreement, men that they were not going to. And this work for women also, they were important, but came into my life in a different way because it wasn't about safe sex education. Mm-Hmm. But anyway, I had this non ejaculatory and I started, people had to learn to just savor being in a body, savor, savor the aliveness, and be with the aliveness.

Joseph: And that changed what happened in Body Electric. And by the way, for 40 years, body Electric has been teaching that same massage. Mm-Hmm. they still do today without. Mm-Hmm. . And so, I don't know any, any group, any, anybody that's done that much. Um, and I've talked to people and what happens when people have this prolonged an hour of arousal Mm-Hmm. in a body electric class, somebody who's had no intention of this, probably never experienced an hour of this type of arousal. They, there's a quiet afterwards where I, I love the pause. Mm-Hmm. , you know, the pause and paying attention and amazing things happen. And I got all kinds of feedback a week later or two weeks later that I've made really good decisions this week. Mm. I got out of a relationship that I needed to get out of for six months, or I'm changing my job.

Joseph: Mm-Hmm. . So clarity came from this state to many people. Mm-Hmm. . And again, some people said it was quite a spiritual experience. Mm-Hmm. . I, I, I never, I don't ever say anything. I mean, I have my view, my languaging Mm-Hmm. . But they had, they had exceptional human experiences through arousal. So it wasn't just me. Mm-Hmm. . The, the, the preliminary was there. My sadness about my whole body electric experience was that I was in this period offering this experience, and it was having amazing, uh, results in people. But I didn't have this idea that I want to teach people how to do this separate from coming to this class. I didn't teach it as a practice. Mm-Hmm. . And that's, and, and that was my, I think it worked for what it did. Mm-Hmm. . But it didn't start a whole movement among gay men and others about massage.

Joseph: For some of them it did, you know, I'd say 10%. But people said, that was one of the most extraordinary erotic experiences of my life. This, this erotic massage. And then they would not get another erotic massage. That was great. I had that body electric class. Hmm. What's sexological body work? And what I'm trying now is to teach people through, it's through practice. You can Mm-Hmm. access this regularly with others, with your partners, or with with friends, et cetera. Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. . But I found that this prolonged erotic experience, it's our aliveness, teaches us, you know, our body teaches us, there's things interoception. It comes from within Mm-Hmm. . And, uh, so we just have to pay attention.

Rahi: Yeah. I wonder, I mean, two things, you know, one, I did wonder how the evolution happened from, uh, teaching and guiding the body electric to the field of sexological body work. So you just kind of, you know, responded to, to that. 'cause you wanted people to actually go home and have a regular practice of these extended states of, of e aliveness and arousal. Um, you know, I, I often wonder whether, whether these expanded states of arousal start to de arm or melt the resistance to receiving be, you know, because they're greater, greater states. You know, it certainly changes our breathing patterns. It certainly changes our, um, you know, I'm sure our neurochemistry and, and, and all sorts of other things that happen chemically. Um, and, uh, yeah. I, I think it is such a gift to, you know, all genders, but especially to like heterosexual couples because there's such a mismatch of arousal patterns between vulva owners and owners that this really teaches, you know, the owners to luxuriate and to revel in these extended states of arousal, uh, without, I wanna touch upon this term, savoring arousal, savoring states of sexual, this is also from, I think from your course savoring states of sexual arousal helps us disrupt our dopamine driven craving orgasm mode and other limiting sexual arousal habits.

Rahi: Um, it's so bizarre to me that the norm is owners going for the because so much kind. I mean, it's like the party ends after that. And , I mean, I've always, I've always seen it that way. And, you know, rather than circulating it or breathing to expand, you know, which is what we do in the Taoist erotic massage. Um, because just as we're speaking, there are so many states of enhanced, extraordinary, embodied states of arousal and consciousness that are available that it's, it's almost like a cosmic joke. It's almost like the message was, you know, ill guided. And so, so much of mainstream society is now practicing this ill guided go for the.

Joseph: And the opposite way of saying it's a wasted potential. Here's the potential that's not being used. Mm-Hmm. that we have. I do think this is a bit more difficult. Say a couple's been together for five years and they go, we're gonna take a tantra class and we're gonna learn this. And they learn breathing together and looking in each other's eyes and going into these prolonged states. And I think this is a path of learning, but what I've found is that people in relationships have enormous amounts of habits in the way they relate in their attention and in their bodies. And they're un they're unaware of the habits. And so, though, so, so the, if it's a heterosexual couple, if the man took a class or was with someone that they weren't related to, and they were introduced to this, they could, they, they don't have any habits that they have.

Joseph: Right. They could, they could learn and be with it. And, uh, their partner Mm-Hmm. could also do the same and then they could come together. Mm-Hmm. . And I find, I think it's more difficult. Mm-Hmm. , and I heard this over and over in teaching, even in sexological body work, where people say, you know, I tried this with my partner and we just couldn't. Mm. We have, and it's, there's habitual ways of being and trust and Mm-Hmm. that are not even understood. Mm-Hmm. , um, Mm-Hmm. . So that's where coming to a professional Yes. Or are, uh, uh, someone else Mm-Hmm. third party. And this is why taking classes, some couples go and they, they do exercises and practices with other people in the class because they don't have any history.

Rahi: Right.

Joseph: So. Right, right.

Rahi: Yeah. There's a, there's a lack of, um, associations or wiring with the person or the pattern and the, there are new neural pathways that can, that can, that can create, be created with a different partner or a different practitioner. I want to ask you, I mean, we touched a little bit about different breathing strategies, because I feel like, you know, again, it, it makes so much sense to me now that knowing you were a long distance runner for so many years, that breath was like an integral part of your state of embodiment and to access states of embodiment, um, breath. You know, it's, I feel like the different techniques of breath and breathing are almost like different musical instruments to bring into a symphony of how the energy can Right. Can play the body. Um, and it is so, such an integral part. I'm sure your, your experience as a runner informed your, uh, understanding of breath work. But it's, it feels like you've also taken upon yourself to kind of use your body as a lab and try out different breathing techniques. I remember when we did, um, you know, during covid you, you facilitated kind of these pods forming and you, you started at it out by leading us in the resonance frequency breathing. Um, can you speak to kind of your, the evolution of your understanding of breath work as it relates to how it can play different energies in our body?

Joseph: Certainly. I've gotten a lot of different understandings of different periods in my life, and I'd like to touch on three, but early on it was, the breathing of running is, was really important because it becomes a, um, it's a second nature. And I remember, I, I live near hills, the, the, the Oakland hills. And when I'd run from my house and toward the hills, I would start breathing before I got to the hills of faster breath. 'cause I knew I needed that. I don't like being out of breath. Mm-Hmm. . That's that idea. So I started learning about breath with running, but I took a training in quote rebirthing breath, ah, at least one year in 1979. Mm-Hmm. . So right as I was going to massage school, and I had, I had no real idea that this was gonna hook up necessarily with, I didn't, I didn't, uh, I, a friend of mine was doing it, and I said, I do it, this, this class with him. And then I invited my breath teacher to teach breath at body electric. Mm-Hmm. . And it would this, but the fast that was this fest circular breathing. So it was no pause at the top or the bottom of the breath. So it's,

Joseph: I see, you know, that breath, and it could be slower or faster. And what I found with that breathing is that when I, I didn't understand, I understood that if I did this, it had, i, I felt a lightness and a different feeling in my body. So it was kind of a, another a a pleasurable state. So when I was creating this erotic massage, um, I thought, let's weave together this breathing. Mm-Hmm. , what I didn't understand was if, especially with men, if they were breathing a rhythm, it that they don't normally breathe, they couldn't go off into fantasy. Mm-Hmm. . So as long as you're breathing, you have to stay present. Mm-Hmm. to your body. Mm-Hmm. if you're in this rhythm. And especially at the beginning. Um, so I think the breath kept people present and paid attention. Mm-Hmm. , you had to pay attention to your body. That these were things that I just lucked at. I thought, that's

Rahi: Amazing.

Joseph: I know. Mm-Hmm. . But the, then I realized that breath is one of the most habitual things we do. There's all kinds of habitual breaths that when we're nervous, we breathe a certain way. Our, we don't even, we're not even aware how our breath changes, but, but it's unconscious, most of it. So I real, so it came to me that if I want to change habits in my body, if I change my breath Mm-Hmm. , if I'm, whatever I'm doing, whether it's a slow breath or fast breath, I'm changing my habits and or that habit of breathing. Yeah. Yes. And that if you change one thing in your body, it's also connected. It starts shifting and changing a lot. Right. And I'd like to give an example of this in, I've never really emphasized slow breath a lot. The, the residents frequency breathing I've been doing since covid Mm-Hmm.

Joseph: is about five and a half seconds of an inhale and five and a half seconds of an exhale about in that category. And there's lots of tapes on YouTube for people who like to explore residents frequency breathing. It's quite wonderful. But about two years ago, so I started really looking at diaphragmatic breathing and the idea of breathing in and the diaphragm on the inhale pushing down, and then the opposite. And I started doing this and playing with it, laying down. And, and what happened is I wanted to feel the inhale when it pushed down to push down on my belly in the insides my intestines. I wanted to feel that pushing all the way to my pelvic floor. Hmm. And it took me, I had done this, I'd had some breath training with this years ago, but I never followed up on it. But I did several months of this.

Joseph: And I got to that. I could on the inhale push, and I could even feel a slight opening of my anal sphincter that I would push all the way down and come back and push. Uh, so the inhale was a, and I was, I was mostly did this on the floor with my knees up, with my feet flat on the floor and my knees up. And I did this again and again. And I then started to try this with sexual arousal in an erotic massage situation. And what I found is that my breath was moving the inside of my body. And this gave a different feeling to arousal. My arousal was kind of playing in this slow breath this.

Joseph: And it came to me that yes, if the inside of my belly and everything is kind of static mm-Hmm. , and I'm aroused, there's not, there, there's more potential if it's, if there's a lot of movement. And so I really got into this, um, uh, this breathing Mm-Hmm. . And I went online and found vi videos of, of actually looking at the what's going on and what's, and tried to imagine in my mind, so I could see it even more. But that's, that was my, of the last two years, that was an exploration of a breath that I now can breathe all the way down and I can stand and do this breath now and push down and kind of feel it all the way to, to my pelvic floor and then back up. And there's a fluidity that I have as an older man that I didn't have Hmm.

Joseph: Um, before I started this, my be, there's a fluidity in the bottom half of my torso. So, and when I read more about the anatomy of this, and I know some, but there is, there's supposed to be a movement ability of, of the, of the intestines and the Mm-Hmm. the different organs. There's this slight movement, but it, it can get really, um, you know, tight. And, and so I think I've loosened up the inside of my body. Yeah. And that feels good. But I'm also, it also is positive in sex too. It's, Mm-Hmm. , I can feel just a slow breath. I used to do fast breath to move erotic energy and feel erotic pleasure. I usually don't say energy. I say erotic. I say sexual excitement. Mm-Hmm. , I usually to move the sexual excitement around, moving all the way down into my pelvis. And I, I feel a whole, even as I'm telling you this, I'm my body's lighting up that Yeah. This is some new thing that's happened recently that's

Rahi: So

Joseph: Exciting. That I'm happy with. Yeah. That I'm really happy with.

Rahi: You know, the other thing I'm recognizing is because there is such a consistency to the 5.5 seconds in 5.5 seconds out, it's like, if you wanna upregulate and bring more aliveness, you can do the upregulating breath. But then if you wanna prolong the states of that extraordinary aliveness, it seems to me that the resonance breathing will support that because it is so consistent in a very downregulated breathing rhythm.

Joseph: In fact, I, I use, uh, resident frequency breathing as a, uh, diaphragmatic breathing now. Mm. I 5.5 down, and I kind of arch my back and do all this and move my pelvis. So there's this pelvic rocking Mm. That I do with the, with the residents frequency breathing and the pushing. Mm-Hmm. So I've used that. Well, mm-Hmm. . Yes. Mm-Hmm,

Rahi: Awesome. You know, there, I, I want to, um, I wanna ask you about the erotic massage dancing, because it feels to me like the erotic massage dancing is bringing together all of these elements, you know, the touch, aliveness, the breathing, the, the attention, the savoring. Um, how did the erotic massage dancing evolve in the way that you've, that you've taught it, that, that you teach it?

Joseph: So whatever I've done, I've watched and said, what could be a little addition here or there? And at it. So I've been doing, I have been doing erotic massage for many years, and there's a people who I do erotic massage on. Some people are very still, but they're, they're breathing. I always had people breathe. Mm-Hmm. . But some moved more. Mm. Their body started getting into it. And I thought, you know, there's more, I, there's something about this. Mm-Hmm. about not being kind of like a corpse receiving Mm-Hmm. , there is something about being in the stillness, but there's also something about waking up your whole body and engaging your whole body. So, um, where this came from is erotic massage, as I taught it at Body Electric and all was similar to giving a massage, uh, a non-sexual massage. And that means a person receives, and I give Mm-Hmm.

Joseph: . And they have an experience, and I thought there's something wrong with this. Mm-Hmm. , I want the person to engage, and that they're part of giving themselves this experience, and they're guiding the experience, even I see. They're saying, do this and, and guiding their arousal and being involved, and their hands are involved. Mm-Hmm. , I like aari massage dancing is that I'm facil, I'm giving a massage guided by the person that I'm touching. Mm-Hmm. . And they are, their hands are involved. Mm-Hmm. their breathing is involved. They can change it. I can give suggestions. And at the beginning when people haven't had any experience with this, certainly I'm kind of guiding most of it. Mm-Hmm. . But what happens is when people are aroused and they're moving that arousal, well, the term circulates, but it moves to different parts of the body. Right.

Joseph: And the, the neurology all more, the neurology is turned on. The, the neuro, the neurons are firing and, and their hands are involved, they're engaged, they're responsible. Mm-Hmm. . And then it's, that's more, that's more, um, usable in sex with others. Mm-Hmm. , I think being still in receiving erotic touch and having a really interesting experience doesn't carry over as much. Mm-Hmm. with the partner, which is really a dance. So that's where the dancing part came in. I thought, wait, we don't want just a massage like the stillness of a Swedish massage. Right. Putting on the table. We want somebody who's dancing Mm-Hmm. What's happening in their body. And they're touching and they're breathing and they're moving. And then this also is available to them in their own solo sex. They can dance and move and breathe. Yes. In fact, a version of the erotic massage dancing, I teach for people who like to watch porn.

Joseph: Right. And I say, good, I'm, I don't have, my problem with watching porn is that porn grabs your attention and it's in the porn. And if you're masturbating your attention's in the porn and not very much in your body. Right. So I say, what if you watch standing up? Mm-Hmm. . And if people are standing up, they, they naturally start to move and engage as they're watching. Their attention is still there, but more of their attention has to come back here. Mm-Hmm. . And so it's a similar, it's a standing version of this. Mm. And the experience of watching porn becomes less

Rahi: Passive.

Joseph: Yeah. Less passive active. And, and then, um, like I've been used, I've used myself, I haven't Mm-Hmm. , it's Wow. Mm-Hmm. . And, and what happens sometimes is there's so much going on in somebody's body, so they let go of the porn for a while, and they're in their body. They're like, wait, this is way more interesting to pay attention to this. Mm-Hmm. , that doesn't happen when you're lying down or sitting down. Mm-Hmm. , you know, it happens when you're standing. So erotic massage, dancing, either standing or sitting. And if, if I might say I have a free website about teaching, um, that, that standing Mm-Hmm. , it's called embodied porn

Rahi: Embodied porn Okay.

Joseph: And there's, and there's videos on there that show people standing Mm-Hmm. and doing, there's exercises and it's all, it's all explained. Yes. Mm-Hmm. .

Rahi: Yeah. I just, I I think there's, I mean, one standing up is more akin to kind of our, our, it's like, it's just kind of what you're saying, the transferable somatic imprints between being passive on your back can only be, it's quite limited when you're engaging with your liver. Right. Quite limited. Yeah. Yeah. As opposed to the new somatic imprints when you are standing embodied, engaging not only with yourself, but, but, uh, there's a relational dynamic as well. And so a relational, both active dynamic where you are kind of the instigator of your experiences, which is really, really, uh, you know, just empowering imprints to, to wire with your, your extraordinary embodied states of arousal.

Joseph: Yes. You know, a story about that, if I might, a short one, and that is, yeah. Somebody I was coaching Mm-Hmm. , I started coaching him when he was a teenager, but I, he came back and I was coaching him in this standing for, for watching porn. And he told me, he says, my girlfriend now says when, when I went have sex, she says, I'd really only like to have sex with you after, on the same, you know, in the af after you've done your Mm. Um, I used to call it porn yoga after you've done exercises, while you're watching porn. Mm-Hmm. so, or embodied porn watching. But she only wanted, she said, you're more alive then after you do that. Yeah. So, uh, and I thought, and he was, he was surprised. And I said, yeah,

Rahi: Makes sense. It makes total sense. So, so good. So good. Um, Joseph, I dunno if I ever shared this with you, but, um, my life as a somatic sex educator was deeply influenced by both the body electric and obviously sexological body work. Uh, when I was 23, I came across a three day body electric workshop where we, it was a rebirthing workshop using, uh, extraordinary states of, of embodied arousal. And it really put me on the path to wanting to know everything about these Mm-Hmm. extraordinary embodied states. So I have always, uh, body electric has always been like a, a really dear, dear place in my heart, uh, and in my body. And of course, um, you know, becoming a a, the field of sexological body work has, um, allowed so many of us to really honor our purpose in life in, in a very unique way. Um, and so I'm extremely grateful to all of your teachings and to the service that you've, um, yeah. To, to your service in the world. Thank you so much.

Joseph: It's, it's a rough job, but somebody has to do it. Yeah. Yeah. Not all things.

Rahi: Well, we're, we're so blessed. We're, so many of us are so blessed and, and, um, you know, I'm sure there are, you know, hundreds of people like me who've been, if not thousands, who've been so affected by your teachings and the way you have taken on the, that Jesuit motto, you know, of, of being, of service as a teacher and, um, who, who don't get the chance to interview you and express it to you in person, but know that there are legions of us around the world who are so grateful, um, for all that you've done. Uh, thank you. Um, I will have all of your, your links, uh, on the show notes. I know that, that recently you've offered a new course. Is it savoring arousal? Is that, is that the new course you launched this year?

Joseph: I've taught individual online courses. Mm-Hmm. of different names, and I, Mm-Hmm. , I don't have any one course, one that I do. I call it sustain sexual arousal. And it's to grab people's attention, they go sustain sexual arousal. Mm-Hmm. . But I find again, focusing on that arousal is a way of waking up and becoming embodied, and we need embodied rituals.

Rahi: Yes.

Joseph: I'm, I feel as we go more and more into the amazing world of virtual and what's happening is really, uh, conscious people need to have rituals that they can pull back, pull in, and wake up their body in a, in a short, in an hour. Mm-Hmm. or in an afternoon, once a week where they can remember their body and have access to it. And sex can be part of it. Psychedelics can be part of it. Exercise, but that's what I'm breathing. Yes. Mm-Hmm. . But I think it's really important for people to, to access the amazing things of the body and sustain sexual arousal is one of those.

Rahi: Um, but Joseph has so many websites and, um, so a lot of free education, a lot of sex education videos that are free on erotic, orgasmic, we mentioned embodied porn watching, um, yoga of And again, I'll have all of these links in the show notes so you can reach out to Joseph, start a ritual yourself, which I totally concur is really the secret to have some sort of regular practice. So your default embodied state of being has a different buzz and a different hum to it. Um, which is all available based on these, these practices that we've been discussing. Breath work focused attention, a savoring, um, touching aliveness. Um, Joseph, it, uh, it's such an honor to see you and to, uh, have this communal shared experience. I thank you so much for being with us today.

Joseph: Thank you for inviting me. This has been delightful.

Speaker 4: I,

Rahi: How is the material from this episode landing in your body right now? How would it be for you to explore, touch aliveness with yourself or with a partner or intimate friend on a regular basis? How about exploring resonance breathing during your next self pleasuring experience to expand into new arousal states during the five and a half second inhales and exhales, or exploring resonance breathing, or other styles of breathing during erotic massage dancing? What solo sex rituals would you be excited to cultivate on a regular basis for extraordinary human erotic experiences? Lings to all of Joseph Kramer's sites, including his master site, sexological are all included in the show notes. And to share appreciation for this podcast, please consider sharing a review on whichever podcast platform you are listening from. Until next time, take good care.

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About the Show

We explore the restoration of pleasure, the reclamation of sexual sovereignty, and the realization of our organic sexual wholeness. We engage with leading somatic therapists, sexologists & sexological bodyworkers, and holistic practitioners worldwide who provide practical wisdom from hands-on experiences of working with clients and their embodied sexuality. We invite a deep listening to the organic nature of the body, its sexual essence, and the bounty of wisdom embodied in its life force.

Rahi Chun
Creator: Somatic Sexual Wholeness

Rahi is fascinated by the intersection of sexuality, psychology, spirituality and their authentic embodiment. Based in Los Angeles, he is an avid traveler and loves exploring cultures, practices of embodiment, and healing modalities around the world.