Why are we so scared of pleasure?

In my exploration of Neo Tantra and Taoist Sexual Energy work it’s been fascinating how people’s belief
systems about pleasure and sexual energy/life force/kundalini hold them back from exploring that energy with consciousness. (NB sexual energy does NOT have to involve having sex! This is a misconception many people have)
You’d think that all experiences that have the possibility of learning more about yourself in a conscious and consensual environment would hold value, yet so often there’s still a distinct line in the sand surrounding pleasure.

So much of what brings us pleasure is shamed.

If I say my illness, my pain brought me understanding and insight, I’m seen as being inspirational, motivational etc.

We have a reward system for pain. We associate it strongly with discipline (and it certainly can be part of discipline) and we use it without shame in “no pain, no gain” type philosophies.

Pain is not shameful, it elicits empathy, attention and love. Sometimes we may turn from another’s pain if it’s very emotional or has what we see as “negative” emotions attached to it.

But pleasure? Oh that’s another story. Surrounded by fear, guilt and shame unless experienced within certain societal parameters.

Even in the tantra and yoga circles, so much is still exercising pain through the body to be able to “earn” pleasure. At a Neo Tantra retreat I attended I kept asking why we were transmuting pain into pleasure when there are ways to access pleasure breakthroughs immediately.
What I learned was if people think they’ve “earned” their pleasure through disciplined practice they can find a permission slip or an allowance for it, whereas if they go immediately through the pleasure doorway there’s often guilt that gets in the way!

Yet, pleasure is what we chase. Secretively. From the diet breaking treat, to the vegan eating sneaky hamburgers to the porn visits we delete from our browsers.
So our pleasure ends up being unbalanced, shameful, even aberrant as it moves into the deep shadow of our beings.
Instead of enjoying the chocolate, the beautifully cooked meal, the nap on a sunny afternoon, the book inhaled when work could be done, the beautiful orgasm, we generally shame or severely limit pleasure.

Instead of balance. Or flow.

Surrender to pleasure is certainly not deemed spiritual in many circles.

Yet, my spiritual awakening was through a body experience of surrender to pleasure. I left my body, I travelled through layers of conscious awareness that were previously unknown to me. It was my spiritual awakening beyond anything I had understood before.

We are taught, depending on the location and cultural beliefs of where we grow up what to believe.

Breaking free of the beliefs that don’t work for us anymore, sometimes involves a paradigm shift of creating a different form of balance.

Being willing to explore so many more forms of human experience, including pleasure with awareness.

This needs to include our sexuality and sexual energy.

If we look at the amount of sexual abuse and personal agenda within the sexual energy realm of spirituality, it’s clear that there’s a deep disconnect, and once again, fear,guilt and shame. There are so many stories of spatial teachers who abuse their students, their authority with so many different spiritual paths.

There are many forms of utilizing sexual energy in the body ranging between discipline and surrender that work individually for people (one path does not suit all) ranging from sexual energy transmutation through practice with conscious celibacy through to polyamory and monogamy. Techniques to raise and use this energy with the breath, frequency, connection with self or consensual others.

Finding our life force energy with pleasure and love is a beautiful human experience, and whether you’re Christian or Buddhist, Muslim or Taoist or any combination of belief systems, there’s a way for you to find pleasure and surrender in balance within your human experience without falling victim to fear/shame and guilt.

We can learn so much through pain AND pleasure when living in flow.

Where are you afraid of pleasure?
Where are you avoiding a conscious awakening of it?
Where are you praising pain in your life that’s out of balance because you feel you are only worthy of pain?
Where are you confusing discipline and pain?

Anne-Marie Clulow – Founder of Intimacy Coach International