Tantra, Boundary Violations, Sexual Misconduct, and Power Dynamics
Following post is contributed by our member teaher Amrita Grace
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The eruption of sexual misconduct and boundary violations has, not surprisingly, impacted the world of tantra and spirituality. As a master teacher of Sacred Sexual Awakening and Healing®, I’ve long been aware of tantra and “spiritual” sexuality practitioners who bring their own wounding into their work and who do more harm than good. Even those with the best of intentions for healing often have not done enough of their own shadow work, which must be an ongoing process.
It can be especially challenging to untangle boundary violations in the western tantra world, where the teachings are often focused on sexual techniques and exchanges. It can be confusing, especially for beginners, to have clarity on their own boundaries when they are learning how to generate and circulate sexual energy. When violations happen, it’s easy to excuse them as part of the practices. It can all seem a little fuzzy. But it does not have to be.
Many tantra and spiritual sexuality practitioners (of all genders) come into the work because they want to heal their own sexual wounding. Often, they do not get far enough along in their own healing before they decide they can start helping others. Some come in because they are attracted to the “taboo” aspect of the work or to get in on the “action.” They get cocky and overly confident and consider themselves “experts.”
More Harm Than Good
I think one of the biggest mistakes overly confident practitioners make is that they underestimate the power of sexual energy to create unseen energetic bonds between people. When sexual energy is exchanged in a session, something much bigger is being created. When the session is over and the exchange is supposedly complete, those energetic bonds don’t just go away. All people, but women especially, can be re-wounded and traumatized by generating and then abruptly cutting off this powerful connection.
Power Imbalance Dynamics
I have seen male practitioners using their charm, good looks, and sexiness to attract women as “clients,” making them feel like cherished lovers and then “dumping” them at the end of the session after the money is paid, sometimes very substantial amounts of money. Or perhaps a series of sessions where the client gets totally “hooked” on the practitioner and sometimes even falls in love. It doesn’t matter what kind of agreements were made or intake forms signed, it’s up to the practitioner (whether male or female) to hold CLEAN, CLEAR space for the client to have their own experience. It’s up to the practitioner to hold professional boundaries at all times for the vulnerable client. Period.
It’s not just male practitioners, either, although male clients get “hooked” for different reasons. There female practitioners using their beauty and sexiness to make their living as well. Because tantra and spiritual sexuality is an unregulated field, there are no established requirements or standards for education, practice-hours, or professional conduct. (The exception to this being sexual surrogacy and Sexological Bodyworkers).
I myself came into the sacred sexual awakening and healing because I desperately needed it. I was lucky to find my way to a very high-integrity school and receive my 2-year certification and 4-year apprenticeship with a teacher who had clear boundaries and held her students to very high standards and ethics. I also encountered teachers along the path who did not hold clear boundaries and saw the impact of that on others and felt it in my own being. It took me years of practice and study to fully manage my own boundaries and to be able to hold safe, clear space for others. To this day, I am vigilant about stalking my own shadows and maintaining the highest integrity and ethics in my teachings.
Crystal Clear Boundaries
My own philosophy in my work is that there are clear, distinct roles in sexual healing. There’s a facilitator and a receiver, and sometimes, a witness. There is clear intention that there will be no “exchange” of sexual energy. The facilitator holds a safe, sacred container for the receiver to have her own experience, whatever that might be. The receiver may be processing anger or rage, or she may be experiencing the awakening of her sexual energy, and it all belongs to her.
Presence – The Feminine Way
The way I teach this work, the facilitator comes into pure, empty presence and holds clean, clear space with intention for the greatest good of the receiver. The facilitator’s only engagement is with herself, keeping herself grounded and fully present. It’s a deeply magical space that allows the receiver to have a pure, unadulterated experience of HER OWN ENERGY. Whether she is laughing, crying, screaming, sounding, or silent, it’s all about her. The presence, clarity, and emptiness of the facilitator allow the receiver to be guided by her own soul to her perfect healing, expansion, and integration.
The Feminine Sexual Empowerment Re-Evolution
The Sacred Feminine Mystery School® is on the leading edge of this Re-Evolution. High-quality Sacred Sexual Awakening and Healing® teachings are needed by people of all ages and genders. The Feminine is leading the way, and that’s why a highly-trained and experiences staff are training WOMEN to work with ALL GENDERS as Certified Spiritual Sexual Educators® with the highest standards and ethics in the field. We are paving the way for a world where the cultural sexual shadow is safely HEALING and TRANSFORMING into something new. We are forging new pathways of connection and relationship between the masculine and the feminine. As we all heal from the abuses of the past, we are visioning and creating a New Reality. Are you with me?
Love & blessings, Amrita
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