Yogic Bliss and Sexual Healing, an Erotic Memoir/Self-Help Book

Yogic Bliss and Sexual Healing“What happens when something in your desire shifts or changes, something that you believed defined you? What happens when you’re afraid? What happens when you desire or love where you shouldn’t? What happens if you don’t desire where you love? Or if you don’t love where you desire?”

Fanny Press’ newest red-hot release is Yogic Bliss and Sexual Healing (144 pp, $14.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-441-6), an erotic memoir/self-help book by Autumn Needles.

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** Also available on KINDLE and other ebook versions on SMASHWORDS **

Read Autumn Needles’ Blog

Autumn Needles draws from the philosophy of yoga and lessons from her own life to contemplate body awareness and image, sex and sexuality, and how we shift through layers of belief, desire and taboo in search of truth. Weaving her observations with personal stories—raw and honest, silly and sexy—Autumn suggests ways to explore our own inner landscapes to surmount our boundaries and fears. Look elsewhere for a guide to tantric yoga or sexual acrobatics. This courageous little book is a must-read for sexually adventurous truth-seekers.

“I have always had the feeling that we are working from a script, either consciously or unconsciously, when we talk to one another on certain topics,” Autumn says. “Sex and sexuality, body image and comfort, relationships—these are all particular areas that we carefully dance around in highly choreographed ways. I can’t keep from sniffing around looking for the truth beneath the script … When I see so many people hurting—because they hate their bodies or because they are confused and conflicted about sex or because they can’t seem to find the right kind of relationship—I want to make that better somehow, or at least to give people a door into a different way of thinking.  For me, the door was thoughtful exploration using yogic principles as a guide. I hope Yogic Bliss and Sexual Healing provides some relief or comfort to others, or at least a fun, thought-provoking read.”

Autumn Needles, RYT, began practicing yoga at age 12 for its physical healing properties and was hooked by its calming and centering effects as well as for its integrative life philosophy.  She received her yoga instructor certification from the Nosara Yoga Institute in 2006 and has been teaching ever since. The core of her personal beliefs is to live fully and pleasurably within her body and to move with joy and gratitude. She owns Home Body Yoga in Seattle, where she lives with her primary partner, Jamie.

Here is an excerpt:

“Maybe we grow up feeling that some activity is particularly shameful. That feeling could destroy a relationship, or it could make the sex really hot, extra sexy because of the taboo. We may not be able to re-shape our sexual territory, but we can look closely at what made it how it is, really look at the landmarks and draw ourselves a better, clearer map. Then decide how we want to use it. Do we want to avoid certain places because they seem a little too dangerous? Or do we want the adrenaline rush of extreme sex? Do we want to explore some areas by talking with friends or our lovers or a therapist? Or do we want to create a fetish of desire around it? Everyone will have a different take on it, each landscape is unique and what you choose to do with your map will be as well. Your choices in the past may have been blindly guided by others in your world but now that you have a map, you can choose your own direction for your very own reasons. Your choices may not be my choices but that doesn’t matter. They belong to you, as mine belong to me.

“I keep coming back to this idea of forming a safe place to play together. I believe that when we come together in love and intimacy in some ways we are practicing our yoga together. Yoga in the sense of what the word itself actually means, yoking together, becoming something larger and whole. In order to do that, we need an agreement. We agree to be present and witness one another. In other words, we leave our beliefs behind and we simply watch what actually happens, the reality of it, physically, energetically, emotionally. We agree to leave the inner censor behind. Play requires freedom of creativity and a sense of permission. Even more, then, it is important not to allow any other form of censorship within our safe space, so all of the societal attitudes we’ve absorbed need to stay behind. This is our private place together. Bullies, keep out! No judgment, just curiosity. Isn’t this interesting what happens when we do this together? We agree that when things go wrong somehow, we still hold one another in love and safety, observing and learning from even the mistakes we make together. We make a space together safe from the intrusions of the outside world.”

***

“I’m working a volunteer shift at the local sex-positive club, making coffee and putting out snacks to prepare for the party. One of the men who attended the orientation is following me around. We don’t usually allow people to hang around between orientation and the party to give ourselves space and time to set up, but for some reason I’ve since forgotten we’ve made an exception. He is eager to help me, to talk to me. He asks about what I’m into and whether I have plans for later. I can almost feel the waves of hunger coming off him and I struggle not to push him away.

“Later at the party as I work my shift and wander around to talk with people, help new people feel comfortable, I get several more invitations from needy men. I recognize the hunger. They are filled with a secret need, something they’ve kept hidden for so long that it is hidden even from themselves. They know only that they are hungry, but they have forgotten what they hunger for. They see me but they don’t know me yet. They don’t know themselves. They are being devoured by the hunger and are desperate to be rid of the feeling of being eaten from the inside out. The only thing they can imagine (Can they really imagine anything right now? Only the hunger is real.) is that eating someone else might somehow ease the suffering, fill them up.

“What interests me is that many people come to this club believing that the mere act of changing their venue will heal them. But this hunger is something no human can satisfy. Searching for something to feed that hunger is a losing proposition. In some way though they are right to come here, because here at least they will find people who are interested in sitting with sex, and with everything that attends it and its desire. We talk about sitting in meditation because the idea is that we literally just sit and observe ourselves.  Frequently, people go to places where they can meditate together in a group. I recently came across a rather novel idea for me, which was that contemplation is not necessarily a solitary pursuit, that in fact contemplation requires people working together as a social unit. Our larger social unit has created this strangely unhealthy and untruthful concept of sex and sexuality, but maybe by forming a new social unit committed to observing itself more clearly around these issues, thinking about them and sharing insight with one another we can deconstruct our old unhealthy ideas.

“So here among this community, perhaps these men can sit with their hunger long enough to allow it, understanding that, once they begin to pull out their more concrete earthly desires from the overwhelming yearning, they are among people who will be able to see them and accept them and help them achieve their desires. I believe that sometimes that funny little map we’ve drawn over ourselves and lived by, if it is too far off from the reality of the landscape of who we really are, creates a feeling of invisibility, of being unseen and unrecognized. Even we have a hard time seeing it ourselves but it just feels wrong, and more so over time, until the hunger overtakes us. We have no box to check off and we want it, we yearn for it. I believe it’s a hunger to just be who we are, which no one else can feed for us. With a chance to just sit with it and observe it from our center, with other people holding space for us with their own heartfelt desire to be with who we really are, we can relax into the hunger rather than having it drive us blindly.

“I believe that people want to connect with one another. We want to know each other in some way. We want to create something bigger together, whether it’s an intimate life-sharing relationship of some sort, or simply building bonds together as a society that gets along, creating an easier flow of life. The easiest place for us to do that is to begin where there is shared experience. But what happens when the supposedly shared experience is exactly what defines you as different?”

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