My university social biology professor says, "Sperm is cheap. Psychotherapy is expensive." I couldn't agree more.
I grew up in the meat packing district of Manhattan's West Village in the 70's, so it makes sense that at the age of 11, my mom introduced me to her tantric master. She wanted to make sure she raised a son who was an excellent lover.
My first lesson: orgasm control.
Tantric master taught me to pulse, and contract the muscles around the anus and urethra the closer I get to orgasm - stopping myself just short of release - relaxing into the sweet orgasmic feelings. I am to accompany this with deep breaths, vocalization, and shaking of my body.
By looking deeply into your lover's eyes, he explained, you share in the sustained pleasure.
Scientifically, a sloppy cocktail of oxytocin and dopamine - along with the brain's mirror neurons - allows our partners to ride along as we reprogram our neurology for more and more pleasure.
But as the tantric master continued, he also also taught me something that would cause me years of sexual trauma, confusion, and therapy. "Men," he said, "have only a limited number of orgasms in their lives. You must master self-control now, before you die an early death from over-ejaculating"
This really freaked me out. Badly. The next day I told my best friend Aaron what tantra man said. Aaron suddenly felt clammy, queezy, weak.
I felt relief.
Then Aaron blurted out a secret: he had been ejaculating 5 times a day since he was nine. For him this was news of tragic teen suicides - not by hanging, or razor blades, or even drugs - but by lotion and hand curled - rubbing a frantic rhythm of release, culminating in a pool of cum, sweat, and death.
Tears quietly rolled down Aaron's cheeks. I wanted to say something comforting, like "it will be OK", or, "at least you can ejaculate." But instead, "dead man walking" was all that came out as I patted him on the shoulder and sunk my head. This whole idea of cum control really messed with my brain. Aaron's too.
Culturally, spiritually, and biblically, we're taught that cum is a most precious life force essence to be conserved at all cost, and that God will punish you severely for "spilling your seed." Tantra man's teaching was simply a variation on this theme; overcome the animal to enter the gates of heaven.
Later in life, I completely de-mythologized this myth by self-pleasuring and ejaculating three times a day for three weeks. Much to my surprise, I hit new levels of peace, energy, and focus. That's right, I ejaculated my way to inner peace. Put that on your bumper sticker.
Orgasms are our birthright. If we are feeling shame, fear, constriction, or guilt - especially around ejaculation - male or female - then it's time we change our psychological landscape and make a move towards the expansion of pleasure, happiness, peace.
Orgasms are good. Sperm is cheap. Let's set our pleasure free.
Aaron recently Facebook friended me. Apparently, he's still alive.
What was your experience with childhood self pleasure?