TANTRIC LOVE AND DISABILITY
THE JOY OF TANTRIC LOVE FOR EVERYONE.
The release of endorphins can create a euphoric “natural high” and encourage relaxation as well as energy and intimacy. To me as a blind person, it seems hardly necessary to labour the point that sex, joy, and the release of such energy should be available to all, regardless of disability. There are lots of reasons why this does not happen:
It is challenging for parents to allow or encourage the disabled off-spring to go after a decent sex life. My mum never had the courage to sit down with me and do the sex chat but she, with great embarrassment, tried to guide me to use a rag in bed when I was masturbating and soiling the sheets. I was totally unaware of what could be seen and the embarrassment was mutual and my shame grew.
The institutional environment makes it difficult for individual staff members, however understanding, especially at this time in our history, when we are possibly rightly so preoccupied with the potential for unfortunate events or something similar. If I publicly admitted in this book, that I have slept with two blind women, my fellow church friends would be appalled. Actually, I am twice married to lasses who can’t see so I plead guilty as charged.
Over the years, I have worked professionally amongst people with little or no sight and other disabilities and I have never been able to speak up for the sexual freedom I believe in. In my early days as a teacher in a residential school, a young lady over 18 years of age was expelled for ‘mucking about with a young adult lad. To my shame I failed to speak up for her, even though she very much needed to be able to continue her education.
When working for the Department of Employment, I was specifically asked by a 30-year-old single man who could not read or write, How he should go about getting a ‘naughty massage’. I ducked it again. And later, when I was head teacher of a special needs school, I pompously felt that, in my position living in a posh town, I made no attempt to significantly advocate a serious sex education policy.
So shame on me and on others in authority too. It looks like people with disabilities can miss out by default. It is not that there is an anti-sex policy. It’s just that some or most of us lack the courage to face issues and implement or permit sexual activity to happen. It is as if masturbation is a dirty word – something that nice normal able people don’t do; whereas massaging the private parts improves blood flow health and wellbeing generally and, truth be told, is on the way to being a normal and universal pastime.
SOME DO SOME DON’T SOME WILL SOME WON’T
This booklet is certainly not for everyone who has a disability. Some of what I have written may well apply to people who think they are able. No generalisations. No assumptions. For some of us, sex is always there in our minds and bodies. I understand that for others this is not the case. It’s fine either way or in every way. We are all individuals.
I am sorry if you are offended by some views expressed. Remember you are free to read or not read. But if you care about the total needs of people with disabilities, somehow an understanding of sex has to be on your agenda. You have to take a view on what is normal/acceptable and what crosses a moral or cultural red line. If you read the booklet, you have to regard the author as somewhere on a spectrum of perversion or insightfulness.I regard myself as someone striving to shine a light on an extremely difficult subject. I have come late in life to study and experience a little of Tantric thinking and behaviour after a lifetime of suppression and cowardice.
A person who is sexually disabled or who is not bothered about sex is very different from the person who is sexually handicapped – handicapped or prevented from sexual fulfilment by the attitudes and practices of society and significant influencers in their lives in particular. Disabled people are far from being sexually disabled but are too often sexually handicapped. We need to take care not to pile on the list of disabilities by sexually handicapping those we care about.
SEX AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Growing up as a child not able to see what is going on all around or lacking the normal abilities to run about, play and join in, seems to invite you to spend more time preoccupied with your own body and mind. There comes a time when, as you explore yourself, your hands find delightful sensations around your tummy and between the legs. The between the legs pleasures vastly outstrip anything around you that you can’t see or play with. Before long you are self-learning to maximise the pleasures by trial and error.
It seems to be the luck of the draw what sort of adults you have in your life. Some weald the power of shame and punishment to drive you into pleasuring yourself only in the secret bed environment; others will try to explain that there is a time and place for such pleasure. I have known disabled children’s hands to be tied or clothing provided that prevent hands from reaching their private parts. I have known parents and carers who give a big hug and say quietly “not here my darling’ and, of course, the whole educational plan is to integrate each child with what is going on in the world around him and draw him out of his introversion.
Few of us can openly talk about playing with our private parts in a relaxed or detached manner. But my experience tells me that many with disabilities form the body pleasure habit as youngsters, enjoy it sufficiently for it to remain as a habit throughout life. Just like the rest of us, you could say. Those who are fortunate enough to later find a close relationship with another might well further enjoy mutually handling each other even where penetrative sexual intercourse is not possible. But the childhood experience is never far away, peeping over the shoulder causing confusion and shame. The trouble is that as a disabled child you don’t know what is normal, what is OK and what is not. You are over-dependent on your parent or carer whom you have to please and not offend. Sometimes, such adults take on an almost god-like posture and, at that stage, you have no idea that they are just humans like yourself who go to the toilet, eat food, have families and grew up in ignorance too.
When I was a little lad, I spent a good deal of time in hospital. Once, my feet ripped the sheet. Another time I wet the bed. Much later, when I was a student, I made a mess on the sheets possibly most nights but did not realise the stain showed.
When I ripped the sheets, I was terrified; much more terrified than I was about the eye operation itself. When I wet the bed, I felt the disgrace to my core. When I later thought about my student nights, I felt shame: ‘What must Jessie, who cleaned my room, have thought about me!!!
When you are a child or youngster, you can so easily blame yourself for things that are never your fault. When you are a disabled child, you are more observed by adults and more dependent on them. But the facts may only become known to you later in life. The sheets ripped because they were warn-out and my legs, even in temper, were not strong enough to tear them. My bed was wet in hospital because some chemicals put into my body to calm me down relaxed my normal control of the piddling mechanism.
But the shame associated with bodily fluids can persist and spoil some of the joy of giving and receiving love-making skills. It seems to me that bodily fluids are at the very heart of our beings. We need to wee, wee and we need to ejaculate if possible. Sometimes we need another human being to help us wee and sometimes we might need another human being to help us ejaculate, whether we are disabled, helpless or not. We know how agonising it is when we can’t wee; For some, it might be just as emotionally agonising not to be sexually fulfilled.
Such matters are more than a challenge for parents and carers on whom adult disabled people depend. The first step is to begin to understand what might be going on. Getting rid of bodily fluids is healing, productive, joyful and very normal. It is at the heart of a good sense of self-esteem and confidence. It most likely helps keep those endorphins flowing and generates a better more stable emotionally balanced life.
LOOK NO HANDS
The cry of a happy able child riding a bike dangerously but some disabled children live their whole lives with no effective hand abilities. I knew two teenagers badly affected by Cerebral Palsy In my classroom their hand functions meant that they could do little in the way of holding things, manipulating clothing and there was no way they could physically write. One day they were both in the sick room together with Flu. The school nurse found them cuddled up in bed together. We viewed them as almost helpless but, obviously, where there is a will there is a way. Fortunately, nurse Dorothy understood human needs and behaviour and there was no fuss.
The truth is that we don’t know what goes on in the head of seemingly helpless young people, or people of any age and they as often as not cannot tell us because of mental or physical disabilities. There may be no correlation between intelligence level, emotional awareness and sex drive. We could be seen to be doing everything possible to encourage a person with disabilities to fulfil their potential while ignoring the very thing that turns them on given the opportunity. To have the desire to be handled and loved when your hands don’t work for you and there is no offer of sexual love from others would be to compound the disabilities and deprive a human being of his or her birth right
I used to visit young people in long stay hospitals as an education advisor on matters related to little or no sight. I was forthcoming with my guidance on lighting or non-visual methods; but sometimes I was asked why a patient would strip while seemingly not being able to dress and undress as part of an education programme when requested to do so. I think I knew the answer but lacked the courage to share my knowledge and experience. Growing up, I loved to undress during the day and pleasure myself. Why I was not ‘caught’ and punished, I have no idea. Even as a student I occasionally went secretly away from the main living quarters. If I had been spotted I would have been labelled a pervert and the shame of public knowledge would have broken me. We sadly do hear of young people taking their lives because pictures of their naked bodies have been shared amongst their peers. So the long stay hospital
patients, who could not read, write or even speak, maybe were communicating their sexual needs to us and we, not they, failed to play our part in the communication exercise.
THE NAMING OF THE PARTS
There are words in this section that may cause offence and I apologise if this is so. But if we are dealing with people with learning difficulties or people who are denied access to facts, we do need to say things as they are and clear up the sad usage of words they will hear from others.
Our sex organs have lots of names; some OK, some just crude and horrible. The woman’s sex organ is crudely called a cunt, fanny or pussy. If you love and respect the woman, you would want a nicer name. People who love each other sometimes invent a name such as lady or nest. No one else knows about such private loving names. Medical people call the woman’s sex organ the vagina which is sort of clinical and detached.
The man’s sex organ is crudely sometimes called the cock, willy or dick and in the same way loving couples can invent a name known only to themselves. Medical people talk about the penis.
Masturbation also has a range of names. Wanking is the commonest but there are quite funny descriptions such as bashing the bishop. I quite like pleasuring oneself. It might help to think of masturbation as massaging an important area of the body. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Massaging is a very healthy, healing and good thing to do.
The act of two people having sex together is best known as sexual intercourse and crude descriptions include shagging, fucking and bonking. Love-making is about two people sharing body pleasures including the sex act when there is love and affection between them. The tantric view is that there is far more to learn then just having penetrating sex: Far more than putting the man’s thing into the lady’s thing.
From now on, though we are going to introduce new words based around making a Tantric journey of discovery about our bodies and minds and the part sex can play. We don’t want crudeness and we want something more than medical words. For starters, the tantric word for the woman’s sex organ is Yoni and the word for the man’s sex organ is Lingam. These words and all the tantric words we will use from now on imply love openness and a huge respect and unconditional love between two human beings.