Tantra therapy does not mean sexual freedom, but they do has something in common. Sexual freedom is extremely important and it involves freedom of choice and freedom from oppression, shame, guilt and judgments for all persons engaging in their sexual expression. If their expression impedes or imposes in any way on another person then this cannot be sexual freedom. This I feel is an important dictum as very often-sexual freedom is taken as freedom of sexual expression in all its shapes and colors without thought of anyone else. Perhaps this is non conscious sexual freedom expression but can be traumatizing for people to experience and re-traumatizing and very representative of an original sexual wound perhaps as a result of sexual oppression which gives rise to the desire for sexual freedom in the first place.
Sexual freedom may encourage and support ancient practices and lifestyle choices such as swinging (recreational sex with others), polyamorous (multiple lovers), and Bdsm (Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism), which are all very interesting topics in themselves. Tantra Therapy would not be so concerned about supporting, encouraging or discouraging such practices but would be more concerned with any underline dynamics and reenactments within those practices. Within these practices one can experience great sexual freedom and pleasure. However bringing consciousness to our sexual fantasies and expressions in Tantra therapy can unravel many reenactments that may have been guised as sexual freedoms and free sexual expressions but were actually facilitating a lack of a deeper freedom in ones own life. A freedom from the trauma of the past. Freedom that will allow for great positive change in our lives.
Whatever else can be said about our many and varied sexual proclivities, it is clear that they are derived from a past that is deeply embedded in our personalities and colors the ways that we choose to view and relate to our world on a daily basis. From the standpoint of clinical listening, it seems useful to consider most compulsions, perversions, addictions and fetishes as a search for body – mind states that were once deeply satisfying and that have become somehow lost in our adult lives. All our compulsions, addictions, perversions and fetishes symbolically mark important experiences of deep satisfaction or frustration in our earliest relationships.
Like symbols in dreams, our repetitive sexual fantasies and enactments stand as psychological representations of truly important parts of ourselves that deserve to be cherished, understood, and lived in the most fulfilling ways possible. Knowing about and respecting our personal symbols and representations and how they arise from our bodies and persist in our personalities, relationships, and sexuality is a vital part of self-realization of therapy.
But, simply surrendering to powerful compulsions, addictions and fetishes – Internet or not – does little more that to repeat the ways our first loves satisfied or frustrated us. The real problem with “acting out” is that it is living in past relationships rather than present ones. Finding others who share our fetishistic interests may do much to spice up our sexual encounters, to relieve our sense of isolation and shame, or to make us feel less deviant, but channeling our energies and investments toward ever more exciting, perverse and addictive fetishistic enactments leaves us progressively more removed from real relationships and from the frustrations and fulfillments offered by living life in the present in a real world of relating people.
Persistently living out repetitive sexual fantasies and enactments denies our human capacity to achieve growth and transformation through real and novel kinds of personal relationships in which a mutual investment in, understanding of, and caring for the emotional well being of the other is paramount. Whatever approach a therapist chooses, let us hope that it honors and calls for elucidation of the clients various personal meanings implicit in or represented by his particular sexual preferences, fetishes, fantasies and enactments. The psychotherapeutic balancing act is ideally carries on between recognizing the past loves and past love frustrations as represented in a person’s sexual preference and enactments and then encouraging participation in real, exciting, and novel relationships that have the power to generate many kinds of human inspiration, growth and transformation.