Shifting Sexual Harassment: A Conversation with Freddy Zental

I was introduced to Tantra and sexual meditation in my early teens. Having just discovered my sexual self, Tantric meditation practices allowed me to experience a deeper, more profound connection with my sexual energy. Yet, I still had a lot of learning to do. It wasn’t until decades later that I discovered how I had collapsed emotional connection with sexual expression.

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A New Awareness

Learn to cultivate a deeper listening to our sexuality and we can become more connected

Recently, there has been a lot in the news around sexual harassment via the #MeToo movement. I think that this is part of a “critical mass” of change afoot in regards to how men and women relate. For men, we’ve been lauded for our sexual prowess, encouraged to go after what we want even if it requires a bit of force or persistence. This is how we’ve been socialized and most of us haven’t given it too much thought.

If we learn to cultivate a deeper listening to our sexuality, we can become more connected with our emotions

Photo by XiXinXing on Shutterstock

The #MeToo movement provides an opportunity for us men to start looking at our unconscious conditioning around sexuality and see how this affects our relationships, including the relationship with ourselves. If we learn to cultivate a deeper listening to our sexuality, we can become more connected with our emotions (something that men have been trained out of!) and our intuition. We can gain more authority over our impulses and learn to redirect our sexual energy into all aspects of our lives!

“The #MeToo movement provides an opportunity for us men to start looking at our unconscious conditioning around sexuality and see how this affects our relationships, including the relationship with ourselves.”

I’ve had a lot of my own learning about how to relate consciously in the sexual realm. I was an athlete in high school and had gotten used to a very male, testosterone driven environment. Furthermore, my home life was quite open and my parents freely talked about sex. Nothing was hidden and I was pretty unencumbered. These experiences lead me to situations where I was giving women attention they didn’t necessarily want. For example, I would feel attracted to a woman and wanted to touch her in some way, such as hugging. In my mind I thought, “What’s the harm? We’re both attracted to each other so what’s not to like?” What I didn’t realize was that many people weren’t as open with their sexuality as I was. Without knowing it, I was putting my sexual energy on someone who didn’t want it. To shift this, I had to become more conscious with my sexual energy.

I had to become more conscious with my sexual energy.

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Shift 1

Discover missing connections

The first shift I went through was discovering that I had a strong need and desire for emotional connection. When I was two years old I was not around my mom very much. So there was a part of me that missed and wanted a mother. What I didn’t realize was that I was unconsciously seeking out this connection through my sexual encounters. This happens often to men. We are taught to repress our emotions so that often the only intimacy we really have is through sex and romantically relating. We come dependent on a partner for something they cannot give, such as motherly love in my case. What I came to discover was that this missing connection was affecting the way I was projecting my sexual energy. This was very subtle and took me years to uncover. Once I realized it, though, I sought to find that love within myself and I no longer needed to get it from someone outside of me. My sexual energy became “clearer,” meaning I had no hidden agendas.

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Shift 2

Master one’s sexual energy and impulse

The second shift is learning to master one’s sexual energy and impulse. Through my Tantric Practice I learned how to feel my arousal without needing to act on it. Using the conscious breath, I can circulate my aroused sexual energy feeling good on the inside and simply leaving it at that. I can choose not to express the energy I was feeling towards a woman and just sensing the pleasant sensation of attraction. I didn’t need to give her a hug or do anything else. What ultimately opened up for me through these shifts was choice instead of being at the affect of my sexual drive or some emotional need.

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Where to Go from Here

Familiarize yourself with three key practices

“OK, Freddy,” you may be saying. “All of this sounds great but how do I start?” Learning to become more aware of and skillful with your sexual-emotional drives and impulses, I suggest that you initially familiarize yourself with three key practices to begin with: The Conscious Breath, the Witness State of Mind and Energetic Awareness. Through these practices men can learn how to become emotionally aware and begin to master their sexual energy. This particular moment in time with its revelation of traumatic experiences of sexual harassment can then be turned into teachable moments. We men can heal ourselves, our relationships and create a new future.

To learn more about the Three Key Practices and how to Channel Your Creative Energy, go to Tantra for Men.

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