It’s not possible to write about Body Electric without raising eyebrows, without risk.
Because as soon as you say, or write, the words “erotic massage” a whole suite of judgements jump into our head. Or at least they did into mine.
Hippy shit. Psycho babble. Key parties, pervy pooves and creepy crap. And that’s just for starters.
So the first thing you’ve got to do if you want to get a handle on Body Electric is to turn off that inner critic. We also need to agree that eroticism and sex are inter-related but they’re not the same thing.
Sex, mostly, is about genital contact that leads to orgasm or ejaculation. A very basic definition, I know. But bear with me…
Eroticism, on the other hand, is not focussed on genitals. It’s about the erogenous zones that exist across our bodies and within our minds, and it’s about the actions or objects that activate those zones.
Over the weekend just passed, I participated in a Celebrating the Body Electric program with a group of 20 men and it was freaking amazing.
I’ve never parachuted, because I think the laws of gravity are more powerful than rope and silk. But I imagine the feeling you get after a parachute jump would be similar to how we felt at the end of last weekend.
We checked-in on Friday night as strangers to each other. Over the next 48 hours, we learnt about intimacy, trust and honesty. We learnt how to generate and sustain our erotic energy, and how to give and receive erotic pleasure without erections and/or ejaculation.
Not really. It was challenging and sometimes scary. It took us way beyond our comfort zone. And I have to admit to plotting my escape at least once or twice in the first 24 hours.
Thankfully, my internal critic was overwhelmed by the sheer bloody thrill of engaging with other men in ways that we rarely do in our everyday lives.
So why did I do it?
I want to re-establish my sex life. Previously, sex was a no-brainer. But as you know, that all changed after prostate cancer surgery. Without semen, and without an erection, I was feeling well and truly mansacked. My sex life, if that’s what you’d call it, was now medicalised, dysfunctional and dissatisfying.
Body Electric is not a magic cure. But it did significantly broaden my horizons and lead me back in the world of possibilities.
For the past year or two, I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Expressing pent-up frustration, anger and sadness.
My dentist made a mouthguard to wear to minimise the damage, and that kind of worked. Well, it addressed the symptoms, at least, but not the cause…
The thing is, that mouthguard has sat untouched on my bedside table since I got home on Sunday night.
Seems like there’s nothing like a bit of erotic energy to beat the daily grind.