How Our Sexual and Intimacy Patterns are Rooted in Childhood Relational Imprints with Mike Lousada

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Mike and I met here in Southern California years ago when he was visiting from London, invited to speak about Psychosexual Somatics Therapy.  I resonated with his synthesis of psychotherapy, bodywork, sexual energy & healing, and the relational field, and found great resemblance in PST’s approach of repairing ruptures sequentially from our early developmental years and the approach of Somatic Sexual Wholeness.  Personally, I’ve appreciated Mike’s integrity and open-hearted professionalism as he and Louise continue to bring this pioneering work to greater audiences and practitioners worldwide.  

Today’s Guest: 

Mike Lousada’s passion is to support the evolution of consciousness, using the lens of sex and intimacy as the gateway to rapid personal transformation.  He is a qualified counsellor, clinical sexologist and sex coach, and bodyworker.  His works ranges from mentoring men towards the deep masculine, to supporting individuals and couples with sex and intimacy issues.  It includes coaching, therapy, bodywork and shamanic practices.  

He is the founder of Psychosexual Somatics® Therapy (PST).  He is trained as a Psychosynthesis counsellor, bodyworker and clinical sexologist amongst other things.  His studies in these fields and in trauma therapy and neuroscience have contributed to the creation of PST.  He has taught workshops around the world for the past decade, including at California’s Esalen Institute and in Moscow together with his wife and co-therapist, Dr. Louise Mazanti.  They both have private practices in London and around the world working with individuals and couples, supporting them to regain personal power, embodiment, intimacy and sexual connection.

Together they are co-authors of the Hay House published book, Real Sex: Why everything you learned about sex is wrong (2017).

We Explore:

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“When we’re addressing sexual issues, they’re really caused by dysregulation of the nervous system, which in turn are either caused by event trauma or attachment/developmental trauma…”. 

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How repairing ruptures, based on unmet childhood needs, sequentially, can invite a return to the sexual innocence of our nature. 

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How embracing the shadow and the light within our sexual nature is essential to experiencing the transpersonal.  

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How balancing resourcing and vulnerability – titrating between safety and unintegrated material – allows the client to never not be conscious of their own experiences and invites the integration of past wounding.

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How all traumas involve ruptures in the relational field – and because the wounding was relational, how the restoration needs to be relational.

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How PST practitioners use their own body to track the experiences of the client – to witness and see the client’s unseen and previously unrecognized experiences.

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How the disruption & disconnection of our relationship with the feminine is reflected in our treatment of our planet and nature.

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How “performance is what happens when we don’t have a strong relationship with pleasure”. 

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 body worker and creator of Somatic Sexual Wholeness. In this episode, we explore how our current sexual and intimacy patterns are often rooted in our childhood relational imprints. How can we effectively hold space to resolve any ruptures from these young experiences in order to explore our sexual essence with a trusting heart and empowered vulnerable presence. At the end of the episode, Mike leads us through a somatic exercise for listening to those disconnected parts of our body, calling for our presence and integration enjoy today.

Rahi: We're really, really excited and thrilled to be inviting someone who I've really, really appreciated and admired over the years. Mike Lousada, who has created a real pioneering body of work called psychosexual somatics, and it is a culmination and synthesis of his decades of experience in various forms of psychotherapy, including psychosynthesis and clinical sexology, various forms of bodywork, as well as his, experience in shamanism, tantra, energy work, et cetera. I think he's got a real curious mind and really at the heart of it wants to get to the root of, how we can resolve issues really around life and using sexuality as a window,, to address some of these root issues that are pervasive in our, in our human family. So Mike, welcome to the show. I'm really happy that you're here.

Rahi: Thanks for having me on. Sure, sure. So Mike, there there's a lot we can talk about, I want to start by - I think it'll be informative for listeners to get a sense of the evolution of your work, because it's really been informed by really interesting modalities and certainly psychotherapies as well as body work and other things around how to restore our healthy sexuality. And, for those of you who are listening and are familiar with Naomi Wolf's pioneering Vagina - Mike was the tantric practitioner who really kind of woke up her sexuality and kind of changed the trajectory of her sexual embodiment. But that was many, many years ago and psycho somatic, excuse me, psychosexual somatics now, I mean, it's gotten to the point where there's accreditation by universities and in London it's been incorporated in different hospital programs because it really does address, the dysregulation in our nervous system caused by childhood intimacy wounding. So it's, it's such an arc. I would love for you to share what were some of the deepest influences that shaped psychosexual somatics to what it is today.

Mike : Yeah, thanks Rahi. That's a, that's a beautiful introduction. Appreciate it. The journey for me really started when I decided to start studying psychotherapy on the one hand, and tantra and Taoist sexual practices on the other. And I could see that in both of those areas, that was really rich, fruitful material, but there was also something that I felt wasn't addressed in each field. So I started to do something that sat somewhere in between the two, and working with back in those days, working with quite sexual practices that I'd got from my tantric trainings, but implementing some understanding of attachment theory from psychotherapy. And then I quickly realized that as soon as you start working with sexuality, you're going to be working with trauma. The two sadly go hand in hand in the culture, right? So, I trained up as a trauma therapist, somatic trauma therapist as well.

Mike : And that really changed completely the direction of my work, because what I realized was over time, that when we are addressing sexual issues that are really caused by dysregulation of the nervous system, which in turn is caused by either event trauma or attachment developmental trauma. So if you want to deal with the sexual issue, which is what the client is presenting with, yes, there are some practical steps around kind of coaching and technique and stuff like that that you can do, - but if.. that's really a kind of band-aid in a way. If you really want to address the issue, at a deeper level, you have to go back to those roots of the issue and look at those different developmental or event trauma things that have happened. And when you do that and you do it in an embodied way, that's what I found really creates lasting change - because it's my belief that when you're working with the mind, the feelings, and the body simultaneously - all three together, that's when you have a really rapid transformation. And I think that's when you have positive neural growth, which creates behavioral change. Because one of the downsides of working just with the mind is that people can understand the roots of their issues, but unless they have a felt experience of changing it through embodiment, it's probably nothing more than useful, interesting information. It doesn't actually change behavior. So ultimately, behavioral change is what I'm interested in supporting for the client. And that comes, that comes through embodiment as far as I'm concerned.

Rahi: So it sounds like quickly, you discovered that really the dysregulated nervous system from childhood ruptures were - it could be threaded all the way up to our adult intimacy challenges and really addressing the roots of them kind of, is not only addressing - well the root of the issue, but also, I dunno how to say this in words, but it's almost like restoring or repairing the foundation of a building - It's like everything that lies on top of it starts to align and make sense.

Mike : Absolutely. It's, it's putting the foundations in is a really nice way to describe it. It's also coming back to coming back to a kind of innocence and purity, an essence quality of our deep being that gets of course, you know, fragmented, or it gets distorted through various ruptures that we have as we go through life. And it's really bringing us back to the essential quality of our beingness. When I'm, when I'm thinking about working with clients, I feel like the journey is to bring them home to themselves. And that coming home to yourself is coming home into your body. And as we come home to ourselves, it's a little bit like a plane coming down to land. We go through layers of experience, which like layers of cloud, if you like - for that plane landing. And those layers of cloud are of course, you know, memory, emotional trauma that's stored in our system.

Mike : And things that we've, we've probably avoided. What we tend to do is we kind of, the plane comes down to land. We start to come into a body and then we touch something we don't want to, and then we go, okay, I'll go up again. I didn't like to go down there. So finding a way that's really gentle to take people into those processes. And one of the things that I am really passionate by is doing this work with gentleness. I absolutely, I'm not a fan of kind of in bodywork de armoring or of intense catharsis. These things seem to have very limited effect in terms of behavioral change. They feel good sometimes when we get a big dopamine hit from, you know, screaming out or rage or doing whatever, but ultimately they don't seem to create behavioral change. So what I found is that loving presence is the thing that really kind of softens and melts those defenses, enables people to go down through that, so that those layers -- and at some point, the experience changes from, I'm coming down into my body experiencing things that are unpleasant and uncomfortable and difficult, challenging to - I feel alive in my body. And of course, some of that aliveness can feel like sexual energy or is sexual energy, but really it's just that essential life force energy that people are returning to in that process.

Rahi: Well, it makes so much sense because when we are repairing the ruptures from our childhood, the body can revert back to the lack of emotional support or the lack of physical support that existed when those ruptures occurred. And so that vulnerable child is still, within the psyche and needs that reassurance, needs that safe space held by the authority figure, by the world, by nature - you know, however you want to say it, that was not there when the rupture happened. So that gentle approach, it makes so much sense. And I think it's the reassurance that the tissues and the nervous system needs in order to touch into those unaddressed wounds and trauma.

Mike : Absolutely. It's a kind of energetic holding of these young parts and a reassurance that they're safe enough in this moment to allow themselves just to come to the surface, the parts that, you know, in IFS, internal family systems, they talk about parts of us that have been exiled. And these are the parts that we've buried because we can't allow ourselves to experience the feelings that they had. But when there is that loving presence, when the client is in agency about their own process, and they feel contained and supported, they know how to dial up, dial down the landscape of their emotions. Then these young exiled parts can come back and they can be reintegrated into the psyche. And all of that's also held at the bodily level - at the cellular level. Exactly. As you're saying in the nervous system and in the tissues.

Rahi: And, yeah, I find that so fascinating, just the human creatures that we are, that we store all of these memories in our body and cellular structure. I also really find that addressing the, when we approach the healing process, sequentially - in repairing the ruptures from childhood on, it's like, their behavior, it's like the initial sexual behaviors can make sense to the client based on what is being repaired in the childhood deficits.

Mike : What do you mean by the sexual behaviors? Perhaps you could clarify that.

Rahi: Sure, sure. So it's like, I feel like based on those, those childhood wounds that happen when we're infants affect our personality in a way where we then, figure out what strategies work to get attention, to get love, to feel safe. And those tend to play out when we're exploring our sexuality and our teenage years absolutely. - which then can create imprints with our chemicals and hormones, which then lead into our adult years.

Mike : What I - of course there's a lot of priming that comes from our early childhood or teenage sexual experiences, and our exploration of our sexual energy in our body - all of that. But what I also realized is that most people are using sexual energy at quite a basic level, because they're using it really to repair unmet childhood needs - to make - to validate themselves, to create a sense of connection that they were lacking in infancy, perhaps. So a lot of people are using sexual energy in that way. And it's very much kind of - at the self small self, the ego. And then of course, there's a level beyond that, which is the sexual energy in its purer form, which is about connecting to spirit about, you know, opening to the life force, integrating, I think also the masculine and feminine within oneself and coming back to wholeness. So there's, for me -there's a whole kind of ladder of different levels of sexual energy and how we use it - that I find really interesting.

Rahi: Yes, yes. It reminds me of how kind of.. I mean, you're a father, so, you know.. infants are really whole with their universe. I mean, there's a, I mean, so many things that reflect healthy sexuality in our adulthood we can see is the nature of our beings when we're very young, you know, the sense of presence, the sense of wholeness, the openness to sensation, the uninhibited expression of what the body wants through the voice. Um, and to me, when I read through Real Sex, which is Mike and his wife, Dr. Louise Mazanti's book, it was really an invitation to explore and embody and return to that sexual innocence - that sense of curiosity, and really listening for how the life force wants to move through our bodies. Yeah. But yes, I mean, to your point, I think Mike, I feel like sexuality is become like a bargaining chip in our, in our current culture. You know, whether it's to self-affirm an identity or to get, get something, whether it's just feeling more secure in a relationship.

Mike : Yeah. There's a lot of ways that we can use it to self-serve, but I think that that is only going to take us to a very limited range of possibilities that we can experience with sexual energy. And it's when we start to go beyond that, into the, into the transpersonal, that we can really start to have more expansive experiences that really show us for me, I feel like the true - that's the true nature of sexual energy. Yeah.

Rahi: Yeah. And the truer, I mean, it's the, - it's the invitation, for I think us as humans to feel in communion, not only with ourselves, but really with the world around us and stuff.

Mike : Yeah. It's not, you know, it's access to force that's far greater than ourself. And in doing so - that requires us to surrender the ego, requires us to surrender mind, and drop into that deeper spiritual transpersonal space. I think there's an important distinction between the innocence that you're talking about in childhood, the pre-personal, and the, and the transpersonal, because, in that infant stage, we don't have a sense of self. So there is a kind of oceanic oneness, but there's, there's no distinction. We then develop our ego identity, our selfhood, we move from the, from the pre personal to the personal, and then, you know, perhaps if we're on a spiritual journey, we start to move from the personal to the transpersonal. And it's in that transpersonal, the challenge of that transpersonal is integrating our wholeness, which is both the light and the dark.

Mike : So for me, it's also really important to embrace not only the kind of, you know, the orgasmic bliss and joy, but also the shadow. And I think it's only when we can embrace both of those sides, that we really have the possibility to step into the fullness of the transpersonal. Not engaging with the shadow is, is it can be a spiritual bypass, so we can have, you know, expansive States of consciousness through whatever means, but unless we do our personal work and unless we integrate the shadow - unless we look at both the beauty and the horror of the world and of the universe, I think we're, we're missing a very important trick.

Rahi: Yes, yes,. So, to kind of dovetail off of that, Mike, the importance of really taking ownership of our shadow, especially around sexuality, because we see the expression of the shadow side really everywhere in our culture, I would love for our listeners to get a sense of the process that you take clients through, whether it's through a session, a series of sessions, and whether the taking ownership of one's shadow is a part of that, because that's kind of, I mean, it's like everyone's ready for something different, and I would love for our listeners to get a sense of the sequencing of the process.

Mike : Yeah. Thank you. It's so varied of course, for each individual client, but just, if I talk more about the, kind of, the idea of the modality of psychosexual somatics, it's really, I mean, first we start with an intake session and the assessment, because any kind of embodiment work is going to potentially trigger quite intense reactions and, access memory, emotion that's been stored in there. So we need to make sure that the client has sufficient resources to be able to manage the process for themselves. And then it's the invitation to start to understand where - where the blocks are, whether things aren't working and then to help them to go into the process of feeling that through the body. So following the impulse of the body - to go into contraction, for example, or,, you know, to go into the fight reaction, whatever's there for them.

Mike : And then working with that and seeing what's underneath that - looking, going deeper into the layers of vulnerability and then balancing this resourcing and vulnerability, and a lot of the work - Louise and I run a coaching training program, which we're doing online, which, all the work is, is about embodiment. So there's no hands-on touch,, body work in that process, but it's all about getting the client into the body, feeling what's there. And what happens of course in the body is that the body has this impulse when we connect back to difficult and challenging memories, and we tend to edit that - we tend not to give ourselves permission to complete it. So it remains kind of stuck in our system - there's a half movement, and then a stop - there's an accelerator and a brake. And by allowing the client to go into the process fully in a very gentle way - it enables them to complete that cycle.

Mike : The important thing is that unlike a kind of approach, which is cathartic, the thing about,, that I found that's really important is you go in, take the client in a little way and then make sure that they know the way back. And then the next time they can go in a little deeper and know their way back, deeper and know the way back. And so there's a titration that's happening. There's a pendulation that's happening. And the client never goes into a place where they aren't conscious of the experience they're having, and being able to be the witness consciousness, observing that whilst at the same time, having the experience. Because it's when we go to fully into things and, you know, we beat the cushions in our cathartic rage or whatever - we lose ourselves in that, and we lose consciousness, and we need to keep that thread of consciousness. So we know the way back because it's that knowing the way back that allows the client to integrate what they've experienced and what they've learned from the process.

Rahi: Yeah, so the pace and the gradualness at which you hold the space is like, I mean, I, I liken it to a child feeling safe to come back home, after venturing out and exploring more of the, you know, the territory of their nature that they, that they instinctively had an impulse to do at one point, but that was interrupted from doing so, yeah, so that they can, you know, really restore that, not only the organic impulse and feel safe and encouraged to do so, but explore the terrains of their body or their sexuality in the way that they instinctively and authentically desired.

Mike : What you're saying is really important, Rahi, because all of these traumas are really about ruptures of the, in the relational field. There's either too much invasion or there's the absence and abandonment and neglect. That's kind of fundamentally the, if you want to boil, you know, human issues down to those kind of binary situations, that's one way to look at it. And so because the wounding is relational, the restoration and the healing needs to be relational as well. What that means in psychosexual somatics is that we are not the blank slate therapist that is just sitting there pretending that there's nothing going on, but we're allowing ourselves to be impacted by the client's experience while they're sharing, and we're using most importantly, we're using our own body as an instrument - self as instrument, not physically in terms of interaction with the client, but in terms of the information that my inner landscape, my emotions, my sensations are giving me and using that as a means of tracking what's happening in the client's experience - and sharing that sometimes with the client - well, I noticed that I dissociate when you talk about this thing, is that something that's happening for you right now?

Mike : And so they feel seen in that - they know that their experience is witnessed. They know that it's also impacted the other person. And so that starts to repair the relational field. And that I think is where, you know, where the healing really occurs - this embodiment or this combination of embodiment and the relational field - feels so essential to me.

Rahi: Yeah. As you're speaking, Mike, I mean it makes so much sense and it's like a new story of what's possible relationally gets imprinted into the client's body and their senses - replacing the old. And I mean, that's so powerful whether, because we're always projecting and especially projecting onto authority figures and, the power of... You know, I do work with a group in Europe. Uh, they're called de armoring arts, not to trigger you cause it's not hard dearmouring... cause it is soft dearmouring, but there's an emphasis on - they call it re-parenting, but essentially it is the opportunities to re-imprint, given that we are authority figures, whether we take that role on or not, we can easily be perceived as so, and, you know, just a tremendous opportunity to create new stories in the relational aspect of how the body experiences a relational intimacy.

Mike : Yeah. I really appreciate that you brought in this authority aspect of the dynamic between a practitioner and the client, because it's absolutely there. There's always going to be projection. And, you know, in so many cases, that's going to be projection with the authority onto the practitioner. And that's why it's so essential that we really get conscious about that relational field. And also that we get really conscious about what, what the shadow motivations are for working in the field, particularly of sexuality, because of course, as we've alluded to earlier, there's so much potential shadow, that we can use in terms of our need to get - feelings of empowerment, validation, attachment, connection, all of these things - we can use sexual energy in a really unhealthy way. And it's one of the things that I've been really passionate about when we train our practitioners is we actually have them write an essay on their shadow motivations for working with sexuality.

Mike : So, I mean, for me, for example, when I was first working with sexuality, one of the things that from my childhood was that - of course I wanted validation from the feminine and my mother was quite absent. I didn't really get that. So every time a client told me I'm doing a good job or how amazing I am as a practitioner, that was mommy telling me I was a good boy. And then of course the problem arises when well, what happens if mummy inverted commas, doesn't tell me I'm a good boy. What if I make a mistake in the session, then my little boy is going to get triggered potentially. So you really need to be conscious about these triggers. And of course, it's quite an obvious example, but they can be very subtle. And you really need to understand your own wounds, your own needs, your own shadows - in order to be able to be as clear and centered, space holder for the client as you can. And that's really important to be in service of the client that way.

Rahi: Yeah, I would say it's, that clean space holding is probably one of the most important aspects I would say, of practitioners, because I'm of the belief that if somewhere in the unconscious or subconscious - the client can pick up the intention of the practitioner, as well as their sense of safety. And so, you know, I'm imagining that, that it will magnetize, whatever shadowy aspect is being held in the space, and conversely - that pure innocence of the child really restoring their sense of sovereignty will also be picked up by the unconscious, the possibility and an invitation for that.

Mike : Yeah. All those dynamics get magnified in the coaching room or in the therapy room because of the intensity of the experience - because the client's touching into deep vulnerable places, or they're accessing their likeness. It really is like turning up the volume on all of these things. So one needs to be really mindful about it.

Rahi: Yeah. I so agree. I feel like it speaks to how powerful our initial imprints are when we're so vulnerable as infants and children, and as the client needs to go back, you know, as you said earlier, go back home and feel safe in it. It it's kind of that level of vulnerability -it's like the vulnerability of a child, like restoring - restoring the trust of a child in that space holding

Mike : It's absolutely. I mean, the restoration is to go back and hold the vulnerability for the client - to hold the vulnerability of that child and to be resourced enough, to be able to that supported and guided by the coach, therapist, practitioner, whatever you want to call them. Yeah. But it takes huge courage for clients to do that as well.

Rahi: Enormous. And I, that's what I'm constantly just humbled by is, you know, is the courage that it takes to revisit these really, uh, yeah. These incredible, incredible early experiences. Mike, I want to, I want to shift - .. and, you know, it's yeah, I appreciate the deep respect that, you know, I feel from you - in recognizing that, because it is I think amongst the most sacred of experiences we're able to witness as space holders. It's just incredible. Um, I wanna bring in the role that reclaiming one's voice has in restoring one's sexuality - whether that's reclaiming one's voice around asserting the boundaries of the body, or reclaiming one's voice around expressing what wasn't possible to express and now can be expressed. I feel like in your work, from what I've seen, that that's, there's an intrical part of that

Mike : Voice is such an essential expression of selfhood. And of course, it's, it's so often, our voice that gets suppressed. When we are told not to make too much noise, or we feel shame about, for example, our sexuality, and we can't express and communicate our dissatisfaction of our childhood with anger or, you know, challenging parental authority. So voice is really key. And of course, you know, voice is vibration. It's creating resonance in the body. What I find is really, really powerful and important is supporting clients to feel the deep place in their body, their womb space - they've got that, their balls and letting the voice come from that place, because when the voice comes from that place, it carries an embodied authority with it. And so many people are kind of closing their throat, squeaking their voice, not really embodying.

Mike : and then they're surprised when they're stopped or their No doesn't have authority, but when it comes from that deeply embodied place, it comes with real power. It comes with authority. And so no means no, and there's no questioning that when you hear that from someone who's speaking it from an embodied place. So for me, absolutely essential, both in terms of putting up safe boundaries, but also in terms of awakening the vibrational aliveliness of the body as well. It's also just simply about permission - permission to be, permission to fill the space with one's sound, with one's voice, the one's being, so it goes to a very deep level, I think.

Rahi: Yeah, but I really love how you're framing it, that the voice does come from deep within the body, that it is an expression of the body - as opposed to an expression from the intellect, which has its place, but when it does come from kind of a - an instinctive bodily response or reaction, there's a sense of reclaiming that I think the body experiences, because its voice is being expressed and it's like - what may have gotten interrupted as you alluded to in our childhood conditioning, finally kind of gets, can have, can be reconditioned. And there's, again, a new story that's imprinted in the body.

Mike : There's something important about that internal and external congruence. If the voice comes from deep in the body, that our inner experience, our inner truth, is expressed and communicated out in the world. And so often there's a disconnect between those two things. And of course that creates all sorts of problems. Um, so we really need to come back. For me, also, another idea is that it's about coming into alignment, the inner and the outer experience coming into alignment, mind and body coming into alignment, and coming into alignment between self and other, and ultimately between self and nature, or self and the spirit, self and the divine. So we need to come back as a species, we've also come out of alignment in so many ways. And I think this is a sidebar, but it feels important to me. I feel like the reason that we're able to abuse the planet in the way that we have been - is because we've become disembodied. Because if we're really embodied and we really feel, we really taste the air that we breathe, we really taste the water that we drink and the food that we put into our bodies, we're going to say, I don't want to be in a polluted city.

Mike : I don't want to be eating something that's full of chemicals or hormones, and our body knows that. And when we come into our body fully, we come into alignment with the environment because we don't exist separate from the environment . We exist, because we are able to walk on the earth, breathe,the air, drink the water. And so our body and the environment are really just mirrored extensions of one another. And we need to come back into connection into alignment with that. And when we, when we come into our body, we come into the closer truth of alignment with the planet. And it feels like that's just like so important right now. There's maybe nothing more important to be honest.

Rahi: Yeah. Yeah. I so agree. I feel like, I mean, as you were speaking, I was inspired by recognizing that, you know, I think we're just taking from the earth because we do feel malnourished, not food wise, but in our senses, like, I feel like we are not feeling ourselves. We are not. And, you know, if, when we, when we can, when we do just drink in from our senses, how nourishing and how full we can feel, but that sense of lack that's in our, well, the sense of lack combined with just the kind of capitalistic materialistic paradigm - or I don't know how to say it, kind of the time we happened to be living in now, is like we are looking to fill something that can be filled from our, just being with our senses.

Mike : Yeah. I think what you're alluding to at a kind of archetypal level is that connection to the feminine principle, whether you call that the mother energy or the great mother or nature, we've disrupted our relationship with the feminine in culture. And so we have desensitized ourselves, we've undernourished ourselves. And so, yes, there's a longing to kind of ravish the feminine, whether that's in a sexual way, in a lot of, you know, the old masculine culture or whether that's ravishing the planet, because of this lack of respect for it, there's a lot there's disconnect from it. And I think when we, when we really come into connection with that, when there's more balance of harmony between masculine and feminine, then I think, you know, we'll, we'll have a different relationship with the planet as well.

Rahi: Yes. Yeah. You know, it reminds me of this, from your book, Real Sex, there's a quote that I, that really stood out. And that I loved, and it speaks to what we're speaking of. So the quote that I loved is "Performance is what happens when we don't have a strong relationship with our pleasure." And the reason I was reminded of it is I feel like, because so much of our society isn't in touch with our bodily pleasures, our innate instinctive, you know, the rich depths of pleasure that we're capable of - people are trying to replace that sense of satisfaction by being good enough and performing out there and trying to acquire and, look good and all of that. Um, yeah.

Mike : Yeah. And yeah, I feel like, I feel like we both have so much to say, it's great. Yeah, no, please go ahead. Well, you know, performance is a mental construct, right? It's an idea that we have in our minds. And so as soon as we go into performance, we come out of the body, out of connection with physical pleasure, which is, you know, embodiment and pleasure that are, you know, one. And we come back into the mind, but of course we come out of the body because we've experienced some kind of disturbing, distressing emotion or experience that has been felt at the bodily level. And so we disconnect from our body, and we disconnect from the pain, but we also disconnect from the pleasure. So we're back to the whole thing about coming back down into the body, coming home, to land in yourself as an embodied being. And it requires us to look at the uncomfortable feelings that we've tried to be, trying to avoid. But the more we open to that, the more we open to our pleasure because we open to our wholeness. And I don't think you can really fully inhabit the pleasure of incarnation in being in the body, without also holding a space for the pain as well. We need to be able to hold both. If you can't hold the pain, you really can't hold the fullness of your pleasure I feel.

Rahi: Yeah. Because you're really speaking to the process of why that pain is still there because it's been hidden in the shadows that hasn't - its story hasn't been heard. It hasn't been felt. Um, and so it's almost like the pain or the numbness, if that may be the case in the body - is a reminder of material that still needs to be returned to - to really be given the proper space, attention, and loving really, you know,

Mike : Yeah. Everything that we need for our healing is in our body already. You know, my sense of what I do in my work is I'm not healing. I'm not even a therapist. I'm a guide that like a tour guide, that's showing the client the experience of their body - because maybe some of these places I know myself. And when we really tune into the body and listen to its wisdom, it has the, reparative, the restorative effects that we need. And the thing is that we just, you know, mostly we don't want to go into those places, but when you really listen to the body, it has everything you need right there.

Rahi: And this really speaks to the role of safety in the space, that it needs to be safe enough for the client, or for us to be able to listen for that - to that wisdom of the body that always knows. It just needs to feel, you know, sometimes the reassurance and the safety to go there.

Mike : Yeah. Because we have to remember that, you know, when we go into these deep, vulnerable places, we're really dealing with very young parts of the psyche. So really, I mean, most of these wounds happened before five years old, and certainly the attachment wounding. And so, you know, if you think about the part of the psyche of the client that's going to show up in the session room, it's going to be a young child - that young child needs to be treated with so much care, so much respect, so much sensitivity. They might be presenting as a 30, 40, 50 year old adult, but it really - emotionally, a part of them will be that very young child.

Rahi: Absolutely. Mike, I feel like we've come full circle in our conversation here. You know, we've come back to how critical and how, just essential it is to address, really the root of how the personality gets created, how we learn to compensate. And this really speaks to the performance aspect of our society. And the role performance has in sexual intimacy when those, when there's still fear and the wounds of the - of that very young person inside all of us adults - haven't been addressed and they feel not good enough, and they feel like they're going to be rejected or, or whatever the story.

Mike : Yeah. It's, it's essential.

Rahi: The irony, the irony, when I saw the quote is recognizing how, you know, I'm sure, I mean, we see this all the time in our field, but how sex can be in the way - it can get in the way of intimacy for so many clients who have that performative aspect wired in.

Mike : Yeah. It's just because someone is having a lot of sex doesn't... If a client comes in and says, I have sex every day, it doesn't tell you anything about what's going on for them, except a numerical statistic about how much they're having sex. And it doesn't tell you about quality. It doesn't tell you about connection. It doesn't tell you about pleasure. It doesn't tell you about meaning. So you really need to drill down into these things. And of course, if we're using sexual energy in a way that is objectifying of self or other - many people are objectifying themselves in that performative, sexual behaviors, as well as other people, then you're not in connection. And for me, ultimately, this is about coming back into connection,..connection to self, connection to others. Like I say, connection more broadly as well to nature and spirit.

Rahi: Yes. Yes, beautiful. So, Mike, I thank you for your time today. I want to make sure that people have a way to find you, so people, I mean, I'll list your links to the show notes, as well as a link to your book, which I have right here, it's "Real Sex" - published by Hay House, "Why everything you learned about sex is wrong." You know, there's so many - what I love about the book is, I mean, obviously it's, I so resonate with the principles of restoring our real sexual innocence and curiosity - really our essence, you know, as humans, and letting go of kind of these learned conditioned patterns and behaviors, but I also love - it's really full of somatic exercises. And I feel like so many of those exercises are about taking inventory, you know, body mapping, genital mapping, really becoming intimate with ourselves, so that we know that we are a treasure of sensation and exploration and intimacy, so that we can then come into partnership as a real, yeah.

Rahi: As you know, knowing the treasures that we are. Before we close Mike,, is there like a somatic exercise that listeners can practice that can deepen their sense of embodiment that you would like to offer or suggest?

Mike : Yeah, thank you. A really simple practice that I really, really love, and I see it having profound effects so often, is tuning into a part of your body that feels like it's calling for attention. It may feel energetically overcharged, or undercharged. It may be causing you physical pain, or you may just have a sense of - yeah, there's something here - tune into that part of your body, go with the impulse of it. So follow through with whatever that impulse is. If it's an impulse to contract, let yourself do that. If it's an impulse to expand, let yourself do that to move to the left, to the right, whatever it is, follow that impulse and go into it. Remember to keep breathing, stay there for a few seconds, 15, 20 seconds, then let yourself slowly and consciously come out of it and back into neutral and extend back through neutral into the opposite of the first position. Hold that, and then come back.

Mike : And then pendulate between the first and second positions. And each time we go in and go a little deeper into it, deepen the breath, deepen the physical movement or the posture of that position, and ask yourself if that part of me could talk, what would it say? Does it want something from me? Is there something that it needs from me? And as you deepen it, third time, maybe even fourth time ask yourself, what is the gift of this part? Where's the gold in this, in this movement, in this part of me, because our body is holding so much riches and gold, and the different aspects of self, they don't just show up in the psyche - they show up in the body as well. So we really need to get to know them. There's so much in this, the movement between the first and second positions creates a sense of integration - which at a deep felt sense can be so restorative and healing. So I love that. It's a simple practice. I actually, I run that practice every Tuesdays, five o'clock UK time as a free drop-in class on zoom. If you go to psychosexual somatics.com, you'll find a link to join up for it there. Um, but I love that practice and I see it have an astounding effect. It kind of astonishes me cause it's such a simple practice, but it works.

Rahi: That's beautiful. I love that. I feel like so many of these, so much of restoring and reclaiming our innocent state, they are - there's a simpleness to it and yet a profoundness, and their simplicity, because they're really returning to the nature of our, of our being.

Mike : Yeah, it's more about letting things drop away than adding layers of complexity. Then we come back to who we truly are.

Rahi: Yes, yes. So I will have those links in the show notes. It's psychosexual somatics.com. So it's every Tuesday, 5:00 PM, London time. Anyone can tune in, free for all. That's so wonderful. I love it. So generous of you. And then, also, Mike and his wife, Louise, they offer retreats and workshops and courses all over the world. Um, they've taught at Esalen here in California, Russia, all through Europe. And, it sounds like they're, the trainings are being offered online. So I'll have the links to Mike's website as well. And you can find out more about him there. Mike, thanks so much. It's been a great

Mike : Pleasure. Lovely to see you again,

Rahi: Notice how this exploration with Mike is landing in your body. And as you bring your awareness to your body and its senses, do you notice any messages your body might be wanting to share with you? In the next episode with Susanne Roursgaard, we explore the sacred and powerful practice of genital dearmoring - what causes Armour in the genitalia to form, it's affects on our sexuality and love-making, and ways of resolving this from the body. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share with your tribe, or leave a review. You can also download the free organic sexuality ebook@organicsexualitypodcast.com 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.