In my personal life, I publicly refer to people I’m romantically involved with as “my lover”. The word “partner” feels too dull, the label “girlfriend”¹ feels too juvenile. But “lover” seems to reek of sex, and I want to make people to think about lesbians having sex. Lesbians have been de-sexed in the mainstream imagination, despite all the lady-centric queer porn that exists in the world. Upon meeting my boo, I don’t want people to think “roommate” or—god forbid—“Lesbian Bed Death”. I don’t want them to conjure up images of me & my babe in flannel pjs drinking tea, surrounded by our collection of cats. I want their mind’s eye to immediately jump to naked, sweaty bodies, breasts & cunts writhing against each other in mind-blowing ecstasy on sticky lube & cum-drenched sheets (or on the floor, or on the kitchen table, or on the, well you get the idea).
That is completely different from the sort of images I want to invoke when discussing my private practice, The Enstatic Body™. I don’t want my clients or potential clients to think that having sex with me is a part of our work together. Because it’s not. While there may be times when the client is nude, and I may have my hands or other parts of my (clothed) body on their genitals or other parts of their body², our naked sweaty bodies rubbing against each other will never be a stop on that particular journey.
Some potential clients who were hoping for sex have just confused sexual desire with sensual or erotic (spiritual) hunger, and once that confusion is uncovered & the real need is named, everything is copacetic. But in general I’ve found I prefer not to attract the type of cishet³ men who think I’m being coy or using code to disguise offering sex (not because they’re cishet men—I don’t discriminate—but because they are looking for an “experience” rather than “transformation” & are not willing to do the personal work transformation requires & because I don’t have sex with my clients & it is infuriating & draining trying to session with someone who neither believes what I say nor respects my boundaries). And some potential clients get scared away because they think “Sacred Intimacy” means that we have to have sex as part of their transformative work.
So because I didn’t want to confuse people, I’ve not acknowledged the presence of The Lover in the session/work, neither to my clients, nor—up until recently—to myself.
But The Lover does have a role in erotic healing. It is an essential part of helping someone access their erotic energy & guiding them to use it to transform their lives.
Technically a “lover” is simply “one who loves”. And our lovers do more than just have sex with us—that’s how we distinguish them from “fuckbuddies” or “friends with benefits”—they are still our lovers when we are not actually engaged in sexytimes. Our lovers are witnesses to our deep vulnerability. Our lovers cherish us & want the best for us always & often put our needs before their own (it is possible to do this in a healthy way). Our lovers nurture us, provide a welcoming sanctuary from the often harsh world outside, & encourage us when we’re stuck. And when it seems like nothing can be done, our lovers just hold us & let us know we’re not going through this alone.
I’ve come to believe that to do my best by you, it is my duty to love you. To love you not in the abstract, but in reality. To love all of your technicolor, messy, glorious, wondrous parts; and to love you in your entirety. To witness your struggle: to acknowledge both your pain, and how far you’ve come despite it. To believe you can achieve your goals. To make sure you know above all else, you’re not in this alone.
So yes, in addition to your Tour Guide to Eros, and your Teacher of Possibilities, and your Priestess leading you to The Divine; I am also your Lover. It would be impossible not to be: I believe that Love, as much as Pleasure, is a powerful healing force. And it is my great honor to wield it in service to you.
¹ I’ve started using “my theyfriend” sometimes for lovers who are not men but don’t identify with the societal box labeled “woman”; to shake up listeners’ binary thinking & because I want it to become part of standard queer lexicon (so please, feel free to use it too).
² I sometimes utilize chakra-to-chakra touch in a session: for example, my heart chakra on your sacral chakra; or my 3rd eye on your solar plexus chakra.
³ cishet =“cisgender heterosexual”: a straight person who agrees with the gender assignment they were given at birth.