Sex Alchemist Kuel Category Expert: Ronda Ray
Hello Kuel Life readers!
“So much of what we will walk through is the untangling of shame around pleasure, eroticism, and sex.”
I am thrilled to begin this ongoing conversation about pleasure. About pleasure as our birthright. That we are born pleasure givers and pleasure seekers. There is no expiration date on pleasure. And that, yes, as women we are literally Built for Pleasure! Will you join me?
We will wander into various topics around pleasure and sex. However, we will also spend time together exploring the role of culture, society, and religion. Even our family has a way of creating hurdles that can keep us from fully exploring one of the most profound ways to connect with another human.
Many of these hurdles are messages created around shame. So much of what we will walk through is the untangling of shame around pleasure, eroticism, and sex.
“And, if they do know, they fear talking with their partner about their desires.”
Built for Pleasure:
Let’s acknowledge that yes, it’s true, hurdles often come from places and people full of good intentions. Some hurdles come from repeating historical patterns that have been unexamined. And that perpetuates old and harmful thinking. Let’s just be bold and say it, some of the shame messages are absolutely meant to hijack. In other words, control the agency we are meant to have over ourselves.
Lots of progress has been made to evolve past these old ways, but still today, women aren’t always comfortable talking with their closest friends, or even their partners, about their sexual desires and fantasies.
Often women (and yes, men, too) know they aren’t satisfied. They feel something is missing, but not sure what it is. And, if they do know, they fear talking with their partner about their desires.
“Many are relying on old teachings to help them resolve their new questions and new thinking.”
I’ve talked to many women, and men, who are simply trying to figure it out. Some are in decades-long marriages, some are in committed relationships, others are more interested in casual dating. A handful is on a dating sabbatical right now to regroup after a breakup. A few are quite a bit younger than midlife, and some are close to 80.
What they all have in common is they want better and more pleasurable sexual experiences. They want their needs met. And if they have one, they want to meet the needs of their partner. They all have questions. Many are relying on old teachings to help them resolve their new questions and new thinking. They now realize what they always relied on no longer serves them—if it ever did.
“The shame is rooted in trauma, family, or religious teachings or some combination.”
Fear The Reaction:
There is a fear of asking. Searching the internet for answers is scary. Therefore, there’s an embarrassment about ‘getting caught’ reading books or listening to podcasts about sexuality to learn more.
Many wonder if they’re the only one who feels the way they do. They wonder about going to therapy but are afraid the therapist will judge them. And they fear the reaction if anyone knows they are curios about sex, pleasure, desires, and fantasies.
In every single case, there is a shame story. Moreover, the shame is rooted in trauma, family, or religious teachings, or some combination.
In addition, experiencing trauma myself—ranging from two sexual assaults before age 13, to surviving a violent rape at 22, to navigating unwanted workplace sexual advances, I can relate to the shame and confusion around sex and pleasure that trauma brings.
“Yet, there are things we can do to return to our inborn pleasure mindset.”
These were all traumatic events that were related to sex in some way. Cultural and social norms kept me silent. I mention these events only as a way to establish that I’ve been in the dark places and have found that these horrible things didn’t have to hold me hostage for all my life. But, I had to decide not to live in that place of fear and shame.
It wasn’t easy to understand that pleasure is my birthright as it is yours. In addition, there are things we can do to return to our inborn pleasure mindset.
In conclusion, we all live on a spectrum vacillating between trauma and joy, between love and fear. Most of us are very familiar with both ends of that spectrum. We navigate well enough to be somewhere in the middlemost of the time. That may be good enough.
This Is Alchemy:
Similarly, I believe there is more. Recognizing the fallacy of, and moving beyond, much of what we were taught, we will find ourselves closer to joy. Closer to those areas that are filled with boundless potential waiting in each of us.
This doesn’t mean we ignore the trauma and shame. It’s about integrating all of our life experiences to create something new, something even more beautiful than we could ever imagine. Overall, this is transformation. This is alchemy.
About the Author:
Ronda is an Alchemist—she takes conventional thinking, social, and cultural norms around Sex, Intimacy, and Pleasure and turns them on their heads!
She has a passion to help women (and more than a few men) reconnect to Pleasure and reawaken the truth of Pleasure as Our Birthright—yes, this is true for each and everyone of us. The awareness that there is no expiration date on pleasure has been helpful for women of all ages to realize they are built for pleasure—yes, this is true in the most literal sense: Women. Are. Built. For. Pleasure.
You can connect with Ronda by email at [email protected]. This is where she loves receiving comments and currently schedules appointments.