Autism is a superpower, and it’s hard to love…

Autism is a superpower, and it’s hard to love…

Some days, it’s tough LOVING someone with autism. Some days, it’s tough BEING someone with autism. And here I am, trying to do both.

Loving someone with autism, I get so frustrated, with all the ways they want pattern, predictability, focus and routine. What lack of adventure, what dearth of novelty! Being someone with autism, I get superpowered by choosing familiarity and peace, and savouring contentment. I don’t need gratuitous anxieties to make me feel more alive! I’m so alive! And we both know how overstimulation is my kryptonite….

Loving someone with autism can be so lonely. Are they really that self-centered and oblivious? Being someone with autism, I feel the superpower of self-centeredness. I align with quantum physical reality to be my very own centre of the universe. I want that for you, too.

Loving someone with autism means I get outraged, some days, by their lack of interest in cultural narratives of worthiness and unworthiness. Don’t they know – they should at least be trying to be more worthy of love – more attractive, convenient, sensitive, honoring – or at least, more minimally aware of me? Being someone with autism, I feel the superpower of my disinterest, in all the cultural stories about how I (or you) can be more (or less) worthy to live, love and be loved. I only care what feels right for me. I want that for you too.

I know neurodivergence is one key, for me. Neuro-weirdness feels like part of my power. Autism resources me in my work, in sacred intimacy, in my erotic friendships and ever-evolving intimacies. I can be an outlaw in love with other outlaws. We can keep wanting and evolving resonant connection, without getting too distracted by the dominator culture’s stories, rules and roles. And yes, there is fear and frustration. It’s really tough, some days, to be loving in ways that land, and to feel loved.

New Online Program on Sacred Intimacy

I am shyly offering an online course – sharing my life’s work… at a radically low introductory price. Intimacy educators support people in:

  • practicing empowered choice and voice
  • understanding the neural learning zone
  • addressing sexual trauma and neglect
  • finding sexual healing and well-being

You will learn to tend people’s bodies while supporting their souls, with:

  • trauma-informed touch
  • sensual massage
  • genital mapping, massage and de-armouring
  • transformative erotic rituals

E-book covers from the Intimacy Educator program with Caffyn Jesse: Empowering Choice and Voice, The Neural Learning Zone, Sensual Massage

Gender reassignment without surgery….

I see gender as a galaxy of possibilities, and also a ridiculous social construct. The either-or binary has such powerful and punishing consequences. I feel myself as neither male or female; I am a genderqueer person. But in a journey last month I connected in a new way with the woman of me. I experienced a sense of “Gender Reassignment Without Surgery.”

When I was a young erotic explorer, I learned to access erotic energy by tuning into the “boy” of me – it is my familiar path to arousal and orgasm. Being in sacred, erotic, psychedelic space with my friend Paula Stromberg seems to evoke a new longing in me. I soften and open into an experience of erotic energy that is softer, and more internal. There are profound physical effects; my pelvis opens into wanting and welcoming penetration, after decades of being clamped shut with muscle contraction and vulvodynia.

Desire connects me with the little girl I was, six decades ago – curious, innocent, and so traumatized….

It is a new way of being, that is evoked in me – a way of being fused in warm, soft connection with other beings, and with the planet, through my open core. It is profoundly erotic, but there’s no trajectory pointing toward amplified arousal and orgasm. Ecstasy just is.

Maybe my longing is grounded in a discernment between male and female that predates gender stereotypes, rules and roles. Melting and opening, I connect with the Mitochondrial DNA, back to the Mitochondrial Eve who is our common ancestor. In a deep cellular sense, we are all connected through a matrilineal line that joins us with every form of life, throughout the biosphere. (The discernment between matrilineal and patrilineal lines is real, and people of all gonadal configurations embody it.)

There is a sense of a biophysical melting, softening into ecstatic interbeing. And I want more! I long for the companionship, help, patience and play that will coax me into softening and opening my core.

Free E-Book: Sensual Man

Free Download: Sensual Man Revised edition

In my work as a sacred intimate, I share erotic touch with people of all genders. Through this work, I’ve enjoyed all the ways that men are sexually: soft and hard; penetrable and penetrating; gay, straight, and bi; cisgender, genderqueer and trans; able-bodied and disabled, and every size and shape you can imagine. I joke that I probably see more penises in a week than many other people see in a whole lifetime. And for every man I’ve worked with, the exercises and approaches I share here have felt joyfully transformative. Working with men has been so healing for me. As a child and young woman, I was traumatized by people with penises. I experienced sexual violence, harassment and very bad sex. Men used their genitals as weapons, and they wounded me. When men connect sensuously with their own erotic energy, I see them become careful and nuanced with their genitals. They can enjoy and offer soulful, authentic pleasures. I feel personal healing here. There is also cultural transformation. We resist harmful gender stereotypes, and all the ways they limit love, as we learn to enjoy more pleasures.

The enormous pressure on men to “get it up, get it in and get off” makes sex ridiculously brief, rough, and unsatisfying! Men suffer shame and humiliation when they ejaculate unintentionally. They feel embarrassment and confusion when they don’t get hard. There is deep frustration when they experience inhibited ejaculation. If surgery (or the absence of surgery, or a thousand other reasons) makes erection inaccessible, men stop being sexual! Partners also feel ashamed, disappointed, frustrated and confused. The exercises and understandings in this program create an alternative erotic environment, where erection and ejaculation can come and go without limiting a sexual experience. Many alternatives to penetrative sex are joyfully explored. Once we learn this approach, we will never return to old punishing and limiting paradigms! Relationships can blossom, and joys keep multiplying throughout our lives.Image shows book pages that include genital anatomy drawings by Caffyn Jesse and an exercise titled "Touch Yourself Differently"

The DSM describes so many sexual disorders. I have not met a single person who didn’t suffer from one or more of them! Almost all cisgender men experience “premature ejaculation” at some point in their lives. Traditional treatments include desensitizing creams, distracting thoughts, pills that muffle sexual feeling, and physical techniques that block ejaculation. These methods are not only ineffective – they cause great harm. After using such techniques for years, men feel numb inside, and turned off sex. They suffer from erectile dysfunction. Traditional treatments for erectile dysfunction involve medicines that can be dangerous, and have harmful or painful side effects. The exercises in this program work in opposite ways. Instead of numbing, we build sensitivity. Instead of erection-enhancing drugs, we choose erection-enhancing pleasures – while simultaneously exploring creative alternatives.

Transgender men suffering from gender dysphoria reach for medical interventions (hormonal and/or surgical) that help them look and feel like cisgender men. But most get no education or experience connecting sensuously with their genitals. Many are left wondering if they are “man enough” to be a passionate and desirable lover. The exercises in this program address this issue – without guiding anyone how to better conform to gender stereotypes. Instead, I invite us all to explore and invent creative ways we can joyfully deconstruct those stereotypes, with loving touch and expanded ecstasies.

Men’s sexual health is suffering. Many men experience numbness or pain in scars from circumcision. One in nine men get diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, while benign prostatic hyperplasia affects up to 90 percent of men with prostates. Many men struggle with anxiety and suicidality. The pleasurable practices in this program are life-affirming. They enhance genital pleasures, pelvic floor health, prostate health and overall sexual health. They help address genital numbness and genital pain. They help us better belong to our sexuality, in all its wonderful diversity, and belong to many ways of exploring and expressing erotic joy.

There is so much suffering and heartache among men and their sexual partners. But there is a simple solution – let’s learn to enjoy more pleasure! By training our bodies to enjoy more pleasure, we learn to amplify, contain and savour sexual energy. For men with biological penises, this means that erection often becomes more accessible. Ejaculation can be more intentional. Integrating anal pleasures, we address prostate health. With soft-penis pleasures, we can stop genital numbness and pain. Learning different ways to pleasure a partner, we expand erotic possibilities. We can feel relaxed and sensual in any erotic encounter – whether or not erection is available, and whether or not we have a biological penis. Learning takes only a few days of conscious commitment to pleasurable practices. Once these basic principles are understood, this new knowledge can be confidently embodied. We can continue to learn and grow throughout our lives, in the joyful exploration of ever-expanding erotic possibilities.

There are 15 exercises described here. You can do the exercises sequentially or randomly. You can do a different one each day, or find an exercise you especially enjoy, and do it every day. I encourage you to have a look at the whole program, and approach it in any way that can be pleasurably integrated into your life. Each exercise should be fun. 15 days with these practices are guaranteed to be transformative. And I know you won’t want to stop using these techniques just because a “problem” is fixed. Your pleasure capacity will grow and grow with ongoing, joyful practice.

This book is a revise of an e-book I created in 2013 called “Orgasmic Mastery for Men.” It is available as a free download: Sensual Man. It includes links to video and audio files. It is offered as a way we can work and play to transform heteropatriarchy, inside and between us. I’d love to hear how it works or doesn’t work for you.

Make Water

In the midst of an extended drought, I am glad to say that I spent all day with a loving friend, synthesizing water. When we devote 7 hours to erotic play (instead the 7 minutes that is average, in North America), it is truly astonishing how much water gets born through our cellular processes. Ejaculate, injaculate (we have to pee a lot), sweat and tears – newborn water comes to join the hydrosphere. Our love-making is wanted and needed, by the intricate emergent system of the biosphere. Stress-based cellular systems synthesize energy in a different way, that produces toxins. Why don’t we stop the war inside and between us, and make water? I’ve been such a busy evangelist of embodied love. I’ve “worked hard” to help others see what joy we can share, through our living and loving. I’ve written about the science of cellular processes; I’ve taught the arts of intimacy. But I realized, yesterday, how all my “work” probably matters very little, compared with the water I make, when I stop work long enough to enjoy and embody it.


What is Law?

In envisioning transformative justice, how do we contend with the concept of “law”? There is law as a system of rules, roles and penalties that serves a means of social control, in human societies. And then, there is the pattern language of the natural world – laws of physics, chemistry and biology. As a student of nature’s pattern language, I experience a powerful sense of excitement – and molecular realignment – whenever I encounter human words and ways that feel aligned with natural law. I experience the emergence of what adrienne marie brown identifies as: “the whole world/learning/from within.”

Under capitalism and colonialism, human laws are used to preserve property and belonging for a favoured few; they reward “outsourcing” environmental costs to future generations; they enforce prejudice and mete out punishments. Through my life, I’ve participated in “progressive” movements for social change that look to reform such laws, and make social worlds more equitable and inclusive. Struggles for civil rights, gender equality, gay marriage, Indigenous land rights, environmental justice, reproduction rights, sex workers’ rights – the list goes on and on. Such law reforms take decades of focused commitment and struggle. And it’s not like we can achieve some longed-for reform, and then sit back and celebrate. Everywhere across the world, there is backlash, resistance, reversals, and the persistent use of law to enforce inequity and injustice. But at a workshop by Kathi Camelleri this month, I was guided into an embodied experience of Village structured according to an older, truer law. Camelleri had us find and feel what it might be, to live according to a law of love, respect, kindness and generosity, in a pre-contact Indigenous Village.


Camelleri showed us how a Village could weave a social world where each child feels welcomed and wanted – we each and all know we are a sacred gift. She had us move around the room, assuming different roles in a Village organized to affirm and foster each precious one, in their uniqueness. Children, parents, aunties, uncles, elders and hunter-protectors all had roles to play. (And of course we all play different roles, in many ways, on different days….) And once we saw and felt how a Village once was – or could be – structured, Camelleri said, “You see. We know how to do this.”

The workshop brought me home to the very first Village I’ve ever wanted to come home to. It showed how we could embody a way of being and belonging that feels so right, that once we learn it, we already know it’s true. We can feel how we already trust and embody this law, in every way we can, each time we honour the uniqueness of all we love, live and defend. This is law that emerges from the quantum structure of the universe. It expresses the internal structure of the psyche. It is true to our cellular structure. It is our DNA. It is pre-binary and non-binary. And so, no colonial culture can ever change it.

Colonial heteropatriarchy tried to go against natural law, and teach that “Uniqueness doesn’t matter.” But – even after centuries of violence – we know: uniqueness is exactly what matters. It is the very structure of matter. We are each unique; we are not alone in it. Cherishing uniqueness is a path of resonant belonging: to ourselves, each other, and this one planet, in this singular universe, at this never before, never-again moment in time.

After the Village workshop, I felt filled with passionate and compassionate commitment – to live according to the law of love, respect, kindness and generosity. And I felt hope, because I could feel a molecular realignment within and around me. With that, I could envision the possibility of rapid, unpredictable social change. Could laws we live by suddenly transform, as we become aligned with natural law? It feels like “the whole world/learning/from within.” It is a joyous homecoming.

Those who read my words are often people who have been hurt or diminished by the system of laws that govern our world – laws erected out of fear, and used to oppress. Can we go beneath the fear and conditioning, and connect with natural laws? What natural laws do you align yourself with? This might be in direct opposition to the laws of the land, that are created to control and enclose wildness.

When we tap into what is wild in us, we are often breaking the law of the overculture, and going to the deeper sense of what feel like incontrovertible laws of the universe. We are aligning ourselves with what is. What are the deep, natural laws you want to live by? The law of singularity is one I cherish. And the law of hormesis – that too much stress creates harm and imbalance – but just enough stress creates learning and growth. In my studies of physics, chemistry and biology, I learned that Love is the law, at every level of existence. That is law I want to live by. What are you noticing, that wants to emerge through you, that feels irrevocable and deeply true?

Beyond the Window of Tolerance

I do think ecstasy is a key resource for social change. To push against what is socially valued, and ordinary, we need to expand our nervous system capacities. Instead of seeking safety, we need to build capacity to respond to danger with courageous commitment to one another, and to our values. With ecstatic practice, we start to inhabit the full spectrum of our nervous systems. We become resourced to build a counternormative relational world.

The “Window of Tolerance” is a key way to understand our nervous systems (originating with Dan Siegel). I have been inspired by Kai Cheng Thom’s “Window of Transformation” and our discussions of transformative vs restorative justice in making this new video describing how we can reach beyond the Window of Tolerance.

Psychedelic Medicine and Somatic Sexual Wellness

Emerging…. I feel bedraggled and vulnerably newborn, as I emerge from a week in ceremony. A small group of great souls came together, to explore a potential weave of somatic sexual wellness with psychedelic medicines. We all arrived as experienced spaceholders – all courageous, seasoned explorers of expanded dimensions of our personal and interpersonal neuroendocrine systems. We all already knew how to delight in difference, and tend to rupture with repair. We all were already oriented by our own trustworthy longings – for deep pleasure, and profound ecstasy.
Within this unique blend of lovership and leadership – a gathering that had never been before and will never be again – something extraordinary emerged. The molecules conspired. The rhythm of the biosphere found expression in hearts, breath, imagination and co-creation. Death and life made love within and around us, as they do in forest, soil, cells, souls, skin…. We found a path of ever-deepening differentiation within evermore unity. We each and all could shine, and reflect each other’s shining. Extraordinary experiences got woven with everyday frustrations, trauma triggers and ongoing commitment to care. As I reflect and rest, I feel as if I am resourced by many embodied experiences of life as it is meant to be. I find myself incubating mysterious, impossible new dreams.
For me, Eros is our sacred well, our inmost core. Psychedelics weave us into conscious connection with the web of life and death; we feel wanted and welcome. So the intersection of somatic sexual wellness and psychedelic medicines can be a place of powerful magic – but also of grave danger, and potential for major misattunements. Combining them is not for the under-resourced, inexperienced, or faint-of-heart. If this is a weave that calls to you, I hope you go carefully, finding your very own pace of trust, with those great souls who are your precious companions. I’d love to learn what you discover. Because I’m going to stay, and work and play at this intersection. For all the messiness and challenge, it also feels profoundly right….

Belonging to the Song

Every morning, at this time of year, the birds all sing, calling in their mates, and celebrating survival. It’s Spring! They listen for each other. With exquisitely sensitive hearing, they weave a symphony of sound…. even though there is always another kind of noise vibrating through the air. There’s a loud buzz of traffic from a nearby road. Airplanes fly overhead; there are distant chainsaws. Birds discern. Somehow, they ignore the noise, and listen to the music. They belong to the song.
I want to be like birds, as I attune to my intimate world, both human and non-human. How can I belong to the song?
Can I listen for the sweet music of each person I love, without getting distracted by all the noise? Can we keep on discerning what song only we can sing, in the weave of each particular us? What if I give my attention to the music, with more and more precision? I am inspired by the grove I’m perched in, in this photo. Trees of different species are entangled in an ongoing co-creation, and more birds sing.
photo by Billie Shirley Lorna Woods

Empathogens: The Science and the Magic

The etymology of “seminar” is “seed plot,” so I thought it a fitting description of what I am hoping for on Sunday, when I’m going to share something of my own experience with the psychedelic medicines called empathogens. I have concerns with the conversations we now find everywhere on drug-assisted therapies, and drug legalization. I have some science to share. I’ll describe my own experiments, exploring different ways to use the medicines, and offer some practices that resource me. These medicines light up both the serotonin and dopamine systems in our brains and bodies, so we feel both passion and peace, at the same time. Spoiler alert: we don’t actually need drugs to find this. These molecular messengers are part of every being in the biosphere, and the neuroendocrine systems within and between us. How can we use them in ways that help us belong to this global network of our true belonging? Instead, these medicines are getting mobilized to help people tolerate intolerable systems. Are we going to keep our trauma treatments confined to the very paradigms that created all this awful, ongoing trauma in the first place?

This seminar was recorded: here is a link