I am often asked "What is it like for you on the table? What goes on inside of you when you receive and participate in hands-on one-way touch erotic 'healing'?"
The first thing that comes to mind is that the idea of not being able to have these transformative experiences in my life throws me into a panic. The practice of erotic embodiment on the massage table has been a place of healing, self-expression, and pure joy.
But people want to know; "What is the experience?" How has all of this changed me? After all, I spent most of my life without any of this, as most people have.
Well, lately, I am finding myself occasionally praying softly and gently to myself. I was never much of a praying kind of girl. I didn't grow up in a Temple or a Church. But I think I would have liked the rituals. Much of what I love about the practices we engage in between the practitioner and client is about rituals. Sometimes, I feel as though I am placing myself on an altar. I never thought of myself as spiritual, and through touch, movement, breath and sound and pleasure through my flesh - I am able to touch parts of myself and energies beyond me that is full of mystery for me.
My prayer or trance state is a kind of a meditation. The practice started for me when I was finally able to connect my Spirit to my Desire. And by connecting them, it was like tying a string to a kite and I began to fly. The connection was knitted together for me through a practice of self- acceptance, that only happened when I realized that this body just as it was, had the capability of bringing me great pleasure. Slowly and safely in sacred space with a caring and loving heart on the altar of a massage table. I am bare. I am anointed with oils and I swear sometimes I even believe that there are blessings said for my well bearing. Yes, this can be a holy AND erotic experience.
There are few things as vulnerable and open as a naked human being waiting to be touched.
There we lay with all our perceived beauty and imperfections. So open. You can almost hear the yearning. "Be kind to me." "Be gentle" "I am fragile". There are few places where a greater opportunity for heart expansion, soul opening, personal empowerment...healing and pleasure can happen. Where a person can truly learn to unite all of themselves and bring forth pieces of themselves that they never could in the past. Perhaps pieces of themselves that they never even knew were there before. This happens through human connection.
It is perhaps sex magic or soul magic or love magic that is brought forth through the trained hands, heart and mind of another who is holding the space for that opportunity to happen. Yes, I believe if the client feels safe enough then all kinds of magic can happen.
For me, it can be a primal place of self-expression or a place of being held kindly and seen with love by myself and through the eyes and hands of another.
The table can be a place of tenderness. It can be a place of passion. It can be a place of anger or sadness, discovery and laughter. Or simply of stillness. It can be the confessional, the womb and a place of rebirth. All of this has happened for me on the table. I place great trust in the hands that hold me.
I desire presence and the knowing that the practitioner is going to hold me. I need to be able to go where I go and know that even when my soul touches scary places -- that my practitioner is there for me.
I am no different than any other person. When I am the practitioner...I hold that space as firmly as I would want it held for me. For me, the hours that I have spent naked on a table has helped me get to know my Desire and my Spirit. I don't know that they knew each other before I started to do this work/play/magic. And without their full knowledge of each other, I could not fully actualize who I am meant to be in this world. My Desire laid just simmering for years. Just below my skin. And my Spirit simply bounced around, seeking without grounding or without focus. But on the altar, through breath and sound and touch and pleasure; my Spirit was introduced to my Desire and they gained the full knowledge of each other.
Perhaps like Eve eating the Apple of Knowledge, but instead of being thrown out of the Garden of Eden -- I found it and walked inside of it for the first time. My Spirit was not scared of any of it. My Spirit rose up from the deepest parts of me and took my Desire to a place of freedom and let it flow like the sweet juice of watermelon spilling down my chin.
Sometimes I pray during sessions.
I have never shared this, I always thought it would sound silly. But often in the beginning of a session, when I am receiving touch. I have never taken communion, but I imagine that communion could feel like this. When you take in an offering, and sometimes my practitioner's touch feels like an offering; this is about as close to Communion as this girl has ever gotten.
My prayers are simple made-up prayers about self-acceptance, and courage or forgiveness. Sometimes it is a prayer for the session itself as I offer myself up to expansion...to the unknown. This is what goes on most of the time inside of me. I am connecting to my own Desire, my own Body. and my own Spirit. And these connections have never been stronger.
Sometimes, I revel in the joy of it. I have so much less fear in me than I used to have....and it is all about knitting all of the parts of me together and welcoming all of my parts. Even the ugly parts, the angry parts and the parts that have felt left and hurt.
Sometimes people laugh at my commitment to the practice of getting on the table to receive and to offer this work to others. It seems "so sexy", like being in a candy shop. How can I explain the courage it has taken me and others to show up week after week after week. What this journey continues to be for me and what it has offered my life. I am doing so many things that I would never have done in the past! And I am so unafraid. I know how I look. How imperfect I am. How I do not have the perfect body, the perfect anything, but inside of me; my Desire and Spirit are dancing together.
And this is what time on the altar of somatic practices has done for me. This is the offering and the experience.
I hope there is something here for you.
Loving you from here, Pamela Madsen