"The fact that I do hold back is somewhat of a surprise and I wonder if other women too feel the burden of fear of pregnancy. Being a woman is an amazing experience and f*ck I love being a woman! The sensuality and fluidity of this body provides an amazing vehicle to travel through life with."
I have carried around a fear in my sexual encounters my whole life and until yesterday, I didn’t even know it was there. I have recently started dating again and when the lovely man I’m currently seeing told me that he has had a vasectomy I nearly jumped on him in excitement. I didn’t realise that my whole adult life I have held a fear of becoming unexpectedly pregnant.
Now, I’m very lucky, I have three beautiful daughters and becoming pregnant was as easy as a sneeze for me, but like my friend said, “that news is not so exciting when you wanted babies.” And that makes me sad for my amazingly wonderful friends who haven't had the same opportunity to be a mother, but me, I’m done with pregnancy, babies and raising little people. There was a time when I would have had another baby, but since having two teenagers in the house, it effectively stopped any of that desire for more babies! Teenagers make the best birth control…ever!
This whole experience has provided me with one thing: relief. The weight of responsibility for contraception is no longer mine. There is no fear of a pregnancy that we didn’t consciously co-create and that provides a whole new space for freedom in sex for me. I no longer need to hold back (once we’ve been cleared for sexually transmitted infections of course).
The fact that I do hold back is somewhat of a surprise and I wonder if other women too feel the burden of fear of pregnancy. Being a woman is an amazing experience and fuck I love being a woman! The sensuality and fluidity of this body provides an amazing vehicle to travel through life with. I have met a number of women who, post-menopause, say they have the best sex of their life in their 50s and 60s and I once saw a study which reflected that. When there is no need to worry about pregnancy or STIs, both parties have a freedom of just being in the moment without that niggling fear in the back of the mind about an unexpected person arriving in nine months’ time.
But where does this fear originate? I imagine that learning as a young child about where babies come from was a bit of a shock, but in our cultural and social practices and even our language, it is the woman “getting pregnant”, questions such as “what are you going to do about the pregnancy” and ultimately it is the woman’s womb which houses the little being. It is the woman who usually takes responsibility for the contraceptive pill, IUD or implant in her body, messing up her hormones and natural cycles or in my case, tracking my cycle to monitor fertile window.
A few months ago I started a conversation on a social media page about what women do for contraception and they aren’t really great options if you want to stay, for want of a better word, “organic.” Their answers ranged from the withdrawal method, to the hormonal options above to condoms during the fertile period. That’s not to say that I’m unaware of the side effects for men of vasectomy, ultimately it is each man’s decision what he does with his body, but most of the choices are about protecting the woman from pregnancy through changing her body, not his. Ultimately, each person needs to make the best decision for themselves and their own circumstances, but for me in this connection, it feels like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders.
Our sexuality is an amazing vessel for self-expression and when we have fears within our sexuality, it holds us back from going deeper within ourselves, with another and the moment. Every lover we have, we should treat like the God or Goddess that they are and we should expect nothing less than the same treatment from them.
With him and regardless of how long our connection goes for, I’m going to enjoy the new surrender and freedom that I feel about my sexuality. It has opened up a whole new world of exploration, a whole new world that reminds me how much fear that I’ve been holding onto in sex, no matter how subconscious and with him now that I don’t need to worry about babies arriving unexpectedly and frees me to simply be in the moment, without fear, expectation or worry and treat him like the God that he is.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016
"When we strip back the layers of the human experience, we find underneath scared little boys and girls wondering “What the fuck is life about?” “Why am I here?” and a massive vulnerability that is within us all. When we are in a fighting mode; fighting about race, religion or politics, we don’t have time or space to be vulnerable. We don’t have time or space to do the inner work that creates massive spiritual growth."
Judgement. We all do it.
We judge others for their appearance, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or otherwise, social status, their ability to hold an advanced yoga asana with a smile on their face. I’m sure someone is judging this blog as something that they could write better. Good for you.
Some part of us enjoys the judgement. It gives us a frame of reference for the world, it helps us figure out our place in the world, it gives us a sense of freedom of speech to judge others, we have a belief that it’s our right to judge others.
So we do.
We elevate ourselves above other people to make our ego feel good. We justify the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody as an Aboriginal issue. We justify the bullying and mistreatment of the Trans- community as “they’re just different”. We justify the exclusion of 1.3 million Muslims as terrorists as “protecting the community”. We justify. We justify. We justify.
So, how is that working out for us?
Given the current political racial tensions in Australia, US and parts of Europe, I’d say it’s not working out well at all.
Recently I started my yoga teacher training with an incredible organisation. They produce teachers of high quality and expertise. I have found myself in a little judgement bubble where I feel judged by my peers about my asana and where I notice myself judging both my peers and tutors for a lack of connection to devotional yogic practice. I acknowledge this in me and that it’s my issue. I know that this judgment is the tricky ego, trying to create separation between me and my peers. I haven’t cleared it yet. It is still there. But now I can acknowledge it so when it comes up, I can be the witness.
Looking at a global perspective, here in Australia we are seeing massive racism and divisive opinions about race and particularly around Muslims in our communities. It is not helpful to a cohesive society and in-fact can be destructive and violent against “minority” groups (even though 1 in 7 human beings on Earth identifies as Muslim).
Regardless of the issue, my interest is in what is driving this divisiveness. Of course there are political agendas at play here, but underneath it all, in each individual, what is the payoff for judgement, for having a fiercely-held position. What is that position hiding? What is it protecting? Why do we feel that we have to have an opinion or a stance on something?
When we strip back the layers of the human experience, we find underneath scared little boys and girls wondering “What the fuck is life about?” “Why am I here?” and a massive vulnerability that is within us all. When we are in a fighting mode; fighting about race, religion or politics, we don’t have time or space to be vulnerable. We don’t have time or space to do the inner work that creates massive spiritual growth.
But who am I to judge? Like my girlfriend and wise mentor Shely from Expanding Realities reminded me, it really is none of my business at what point people are on their spiritual journey “Let it go…it’s not your job to change them. Or feed it with your focus.” She suggested that I could “Bless em…move on…you’re giving your energy away…” and she’s right. Every time we judge, we take our energy away from ourselves and out to an external issue, person or an opinion we come outside of ourselves for some sense of self. We lose our balance and as a result, lose ourselves. See one of my recent videos about this here or below.
Loving Donald Trump or Pauline Hanson and their supporters would have to be one of the most difficult things to do for me, so when I find myself in frustration, I have this affirmation: “Inhale love, exhale compassion,” whenever I see hate or violence on the newsfeed. I connect to the source and breathe up the love from the Earth to my heart and exhale it out into the world as compassion. If I can do this for global events that trigger a reaction, I surely can do it for my judging mind in my yoga training. Judgement is a friend of the ego and I would rather be led by love than by the ego mind.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016