The Ethical Slut Gets “THE BIG ONE” /// Kundalini Orgasm Eclipses S&M

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Ugh. Isn’t talking about cultural imperialism and appropriation such a drag?!?!

One of our cohorts (X) sent in an article by Janet W. Hardy, author of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures, titled “My Tantric ‘Awakening’ Turned Me Off Sex,” which discusses her venture into the world of tantric sex. Since I haven’t had a chance to digest it, I’m passing along X’s email sent with the link. [NOTE: The reference to D/s relationships has to do with something we’ve been working on but have yet to “flesh” out yet]:

“Hey, Babs. Originally I was going to send you this article because it was by a S/M practitioner who was studying tantra, so I thought she might be the person you’ve been looking for to speak to D/s stuff on the babaratz. The writer is the author of “The Ethical Slut.” I think you’re familiar with that book, right? If not, it’s a big-deal feminist-sex-posi-polyamory bible. Anyway, as I read the through the article, I realized she’s not a yoga focused person, and refers to the concept of kundalini energy as “woo-woo,” so maybe was not the person you’d be looking for.

But by the end of the article I mostly I felt kind of judgy of what I see as the writer’s limited perspective on the potentials of spiritual awakening, but I’m also interested in it because though she doesn’t describe it (because I think she doesn’t understand it in this way), she touches on the conflict of reaching an advanced spiritual state while living in the modern world. She more explicitly gets to, though again doesn’t seem to understand it the way I want her too, the nostalgia of leaving a practice behind you because you have in fact moved past it. So, interesting questions of growing up.”

So far, what Ive taken from the piece has mostly to do with the author’s post-expansion experiences of being on the outside of her own physical experience. Becoming a bit more “witness,” if you will. I’m sure many of us have had that experience, and I’m always interested when people have it without knowing it was coming.

I do, however, find her cynicism to be abhorrent (I am against cynicism), and her atheism (see comments) to be stupendously unfortunate (as I see “atheism” to be more dogmatic than religious fundamentalism). Other than that, I’m into this article. Enjoy!

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13 comments

  1. I caught this too on Salon, fascinating. Adyashanti says , consciousness doesn’t care who it wakes up in, I felt this was a prime example of that, most of us are trying a little harder to say the least! I think it’s a great thing to have your expectations foiled, so enlightening.

  2. Yoga Whelp

    Another sex addict who hit bottom, and realized the fallacy of her quest.” I think it’s embarrassing, and yet another cautionary tale of going into sacred spiritual matters alone, pretending you can wing it. Yawn.

    • Garuda

      Hit bottom or energy overload?…It sounds as if a circuit or to went into overvolt. Perhaps what she refers to as zero libido is actually normal adult libido. Only now the memory has installed fear of overvolt because of the K energy. Ishvara Pranidana is your companion on this journey because it is a lonely trail and it is easy to fall into darkness. ॐ

  3. Garuda

    It sounds as though the author was fiercely fighting against her direct experience. That’s a good first step into the looney bin. To say you dont believe in Kundalini, while you are going through it is crazy making. DM counseled me in the midst of my K and he simply reassured me that everything was unfolding as it was meant to, to relax and let the changes that K brings happen as they will. Life as I knew it was crumbling around me. I guess it needed to at that moment. If I took anything away from my experience, it would be that with the wisdom I have gained, I may be able to assist another who is going through the struggle of unfolding. It can be a rough ass metamorphosis.

  4. I guess, like everything else, it boils down to intention. Tantra was never developed in the first place to enable sex addicts and it was never for “fun”. In fact, if you went into Tantra with that mindset, the old teachers would say you were courting trouble and playing with fire as this lady found out. I’m all for sexual exploration but I wonder if some of these recreational tantra enthusiasts realize that and how heavy this stuff really can be?

    • Yoga Whelp

      They WANT it heavy. It’s like being an erotic drama queen. You act up and out — and get off, too, and bless it all with your spiritual halo of immaculate stupidity. Hopefully you don’t get raped or get HIV or an STD in the process. Many of these people are chemically imbalanced and functionally incapable of true partnership.

      Chogyam Trunpa, among others, was extremely clear on keeping Westerners away from the deeper mysteries of the Tantra — but of course, Americans, especially, have a “DIY” complex, about matters large and small, and in large matters, that sometimes becomes a “DYI” — Do Yourself In — complex.

      On the other hand, if it thins the herd a bit, maybe that’s a good thing?

  5. It could be explained to her in simple Newtonian terms, every action has an equal and oposite reaction, that doesn’t seem too woowoo.

  6. you do , but she might not.

  7. FWIW, I do not identify as an atheist, and think it interesting that you’ve decided that I am one. (In fact, I have serious issues with the new breed of antireligious fundamentalist atheists.) If anyone asks, I tell them I’m a mystical agnostic: I don’t believe in believing in things. Nor do I think I’m unusually cynical. I am someone wo prefers the empirical to the experiential, but I’m not sure if there’s a word for that since “skeptic” has been co-opted by the New Atheist crowd.

    If you’re looking for someone with expertise in both kundalini matters and D/s, I recommend getting in touch with F.R.R. Mallory, author of “Extreme Space.”

    Best,
    Janet Hardy

    • Hi, Janet! Thanks for checking in. I think this sentence “I am in the position of the hardcore atheist who has received a convincing visit from a big, deep-voiced guy who says his name is ‘God’” was read as you identifying as “atheist.” Although, we’d never suppose you to be a part of the New Atheist crowd specific. What an unfortunate lot that would be. (I put in a strikethrough to note this discrepancy).

      Thanks for the Mallory tip. I’m aware of the book. Though our interest in D/s and yoga has to do specifically with using the voluntary D/s relationship as a model for a voluntary Guru/student relationship—one that has continued to come under fire in “the West.”

      Just an idea.

      • Ah. I thought it was clear that the “visitation” sentencr was intended as metaphorical, but I guess not.

        I’m no expert in D/s – I’m about as skeptical about it as I am about kundalini, in fact, in the “OK if it makes you happy but I don’t get it” way; my own kinks run to ecstatic painplay and intense but short-term roleplaying – but my impression from years in the scene is that D/s relationships can vary very widely, from harsh/punitive/looks-abusive-to-outsiders to sweet/cherishing/nurturing, and a lot of other directions as well. Insofar as large chunks of US culture tend to be intolerant of imbalances of power of any kind, i’m not sure they’d understand D/s any better than they do guru/student. Journeyman/apprentice, perhaps? – I think that relationship, since it has a clearcut goal and a clear path to the point where the apprentice becomes a journeyman herself, might be a closer analogy and more palatable. Just a thought.

        Best,
        Janet

  8. Joy

    I like your article!
    Thank your for it it!
    Joy

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