Podcast

Mindful Porn Use & How It Can Be Healing with Sexologist Joseph Kramer

Sexologist and ex-Jesuit, Joseph Kramer, Ph.D. is the founder of Body Electric School for Massage as well as Sexological Bodywork. Over the years, Joseph’s ushered in the next wave of Sexological Bodywork practitioners who offer sexual healing, such as Jaiya from Sex, Love, and Goop fame.

He also created a variety of educational videos with Annie Sprinkle that teaches the practice of erotic massage. It’s this technique that led him to create the Body Electric School burning the onset of the AIDS epidemic.

Plus, Joseph is a well of knowledge on the topic of mindful porn use and there’s so much to learn from him and his story this week on LadiOPEN Podcast.


Show Notes

Welcome back to Laid Open podcast. I’m your host Charna Cassell. And today I’m really excited to have my guest Joseph Kramer with me. He’s a new friends that I met through Annie Sprinkle. And it was divine intervention that I got to sit next to him and he overheard me giving eco sex advice during this performance clinic book launch for Annie and after sharing a meal of vegan food and hanging some caulk art we became fast friends welcome Joseph.

Thank you Charna. Thank you, thank you, nice introduction, which you completely deserve. So a little about Joseph. Joseph Kramer is the foremost teacher of erotic bodywork in the world. In 1984, he founded the Body Electric school in Oakland, California, where he trained 1000s of professional massage therapist, erotic body workers and somatic educators. In 1992, he started the arrow spirit Research Institute, a think tank exploring somatic sex education. In 2003, Joseph founded the new legal profession of sex, illogical body work. He offers professional trainings all over the world and California, Europe, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. And you can find more information about his courses and lots of videos that he’s made over the years through a series of links that I will be posting on my website. So good to see you.

Good to see you. What should we talk about today?

Well, I’m thinking that we can talk about embodied porn watching, which is a topic I know, near and dear to your heart. And I would love to hear more about your thoughts and the practices that you have offered people over the years around this topic. It a good topic.

So what what does embodied sexuality education mean to you, first of all, so I started out as the massage therapist, and I had a massage school, and I had no intention of getting involved with sex. Like this is in the 1980s and aids hit San Francisco. And so I knew massage and I’d thought safe sex way of relating is erotic massage also. So I developed an erotic massage. And I still had no intention of really diving into sucks being a sex educator. But this was my first experience I got to see in teaching classes, embodied sexuality, I got to see what this felt this structure of massage that I was teaching Swedish massage, acupressure offers, what arousal added to it and how, at this point, gay and bisexual men were, were the most people in the class just got to see, well, this is really something and I developed the massage. I knew that I had to get that Eddie are embodied sexuality needs to clean out as many as possible habits that as long as we’re in a habit, we are are some habit that we are not fully in the experience. So as much as we can get rid of habit. And the fact that HIV was in SEMA gave me the opportunity I was a Taoist already in the Dallas are not big on ejaculation. But I called this massage Dallas to writing massage and suggested and suggested when Pete before people came that there would be no ejaculation. So starting in 1984 85 and four years, all the men who came and later women with short, you know an orgasm, but all the men who came they already had knew that they were not going to go towards a choc elation. This is a big deal. Because I think the biggest habit of sex is what I call the governing habit of sex is this wanting a little bit more and more and more and wanting orgasm Jack Ulation release. But it’s this wanting this desire. And it’s subconscious. And it’s, it’s our motivation. And it’s the evolutionary thrust. And it’s also, that’s what it is. But it’s a habit still. And as long as we’re on that track, we’re not, we’re not totally enjoying what is in the present moment. So first thing that happened is all these people showing up. And I mean, a lot of people started showing up. I, I figured in 10 years, the next 10 years after 1984, I taught over 10,000 men in classes, teaching erotic massage, mostly two day classes put somewhere as long as two weeks. And, and then I did individual sessions where I taught this and offered this, but all of these men came remarkably, with the idea that I’m going to have a sexual experience that’s not involved with release with orgasm, that I think really changed and made me value. This is an erotic place of education.

Right? Well, what’s what’s really important that you’re saying, I think that it would like revolutionize straight sex also, right? I mean, like, you’re, you as you said, you mostly had gay and bisexual male clients initially. And what so part of the heteronormative sexual experience is penis and vagina. Men ejaculate. And there’s so much not just habit, I would say, but agenda driven. And a lot of what your work is, is, is being in sensation and luxuriating in sensation and breathing in and pausing and being with it’s like taking a stroll versus running towards a goal. Right? Yep. And I love this. You know, I’m, I’m very much an advocate for practice. And to get out of a habit, you need to practice something new. Right. And that is a lot of what you were teaching people.

You know, although this started for gay and bisexual men, yeah, it was such a powerful medium, this approach to erotic massage that it’s spread well, first, and just three or four years afterwards, I met Annie sprinkle, and we became lovers. And together, we developed this massage on her body for her also, and then started teaching it. So we then made videos. And those two videos of the male genital massage and the female general massage became the template for massage all over the world, especially in Europe. And Tantra massage and all the Margot Anons sky dancing torture classes. All kinds of tantra picked up these two massages. And there’s actually then in terms of they were called the Yoni massage and lingam massage. But before that, there was not as I didn’t, I didn’t call them that, but that’s what, that’s what minus our massages were. And so we made videos that made this available that people don’t have to come in to a class because not a lot of people want to take off clothes in front of other people, right? But they could do this with their lovers, their friends, their partners, gay, straight, whatever. So those are available in there, those same videos plus another 100 hours of stuff are available on websites that I have that you’re so why don’t you Why don’t you just name them, we’ll come back to them and repeat them later. But fire in the valley is go ahead and that’s that’s female genital massage and it’s, it’s not a massage of the whole body. This is a massage for the genitals and and then male genital massage is fire on the mountain. And these two massages are on my, my website is erotic massage.com So it’s on that that website but when I started teaching this massage, something else happened I knew as a man that often insects, I put another habit was to go off into fantasy or to go off into distraction. Or, and one of the biggest distractions if it’s not fantasy, is to go into your partner and forget your own self. And I thought no, this is a massage that these There’s so much death, the San Francisco Oakland Bay Area was really horrible. There was so much death and fear of this disease, I wanted people to have an experience of their own body. This is in their mind, how can I keep their mind here. And I added that the masoorie guided the person on the table in different rhythms of breathing. And what I’ve found is as long as that that person is breathing along with you, they are not off fantasizing because their attention takes it takes being there. Yeah, we actually had a great little technique, because some people would go away. But when they would go away, they would stop breathing, their breath would go away. And we had to think then the masoorie, stop touching, and the stimulation and the erotic massage stopped, and all of a sudden, the person was start breathing again. So this habit of wanting more and wanting release, we interrupted that in this habit of going away, which I didn’t interrupt. And we also recommended blindfolds these are classes, people did come with partners, but for the most part, they just came in, and worked on people they didn’t know. And so they were blind fools. So that this wasn’t about your partner. This was about you, focusing on you on the sensuality of what’s going on in your body. And so the,

Oh, I was just gonna say that we know one of the things and I feel almost moved to tears when I think about it, but that you’re bringing the service and that there was so much collective trauma at the time and so much death and loss, and that your focus was so much about like so someone could be dissociating, thinking about a friend who’s died recently. And that the focus is on how do you stay with your own experience of vitality, right? So there’s a arousal but it’s vitality, it’s about affirming life. And so that this was really a prac, a life affirming practice in the face of so much loss. That’s really beautiful.

The other thing I noticed from myself and from others is that the way we touch ourselves that we learn starting at puberty, and when masturbate tends to be very narrow, you can have a couple of ways that we find the best spots, the best strokes, and the best way of doing this. And as a massage therapist, this was a massage school, I knew strokes for all parts of the body. So I thought of this is really important to massage all parts of the genitals. This was especially important when we got to female genital massage, you know that. And so all the erectile tissue, the kidneys and crannies, so to speak. And that gave a novelty for attention. Oh, that’s feels good. Oh, this feels good. There’s all this different, different strokes and touching. And while they’re breathing, so they’re breathing and, and the breathing keeps them present. But the breathing also gave a level of oxygen and all this.

Yeah, right? Well, well, that what you’re saying is important. And I just want to highlight that this piece about as you bring more breath into the body, it increases sensation, like the more oxygen in your tissue, and your body feels like you can feel tingling, just from sitting you don’t touch anything, just from breath alone, you awaken all the meridians and the the senses in your system. And I really love the practice of like you’re saying, you know, you’re touching. And if you see you’re attuned enough, the massage therapist or your partner is attuned enough to notice is this person starting to dissociate or go away. I’m going to take my hands away, and let that look. Give them a moment to come back to the present moment and come back to their breath. And this is something that, you know, you can do on your intern your own practice. Notice like, Oh, have I gone away pause, read, you know, GRI Collect yourself or with your if you’re with a partner, you can do the same thing. Right?

Well, well, we as humans, we tend to go away a lot. Yeah, just all day long. This is distractions and I’m glad for the for the increased emphasis on mindfulness today in in therapy in sex everywhere, but we tend to go away and and the hard thing is that when we go away most of the time, we don’t know that we’ve gone away you know that we’re not really right here. But but we had if somebody was breathing, we knew they were there. Anyway this this went on for these massages went on for an hour to an hour and a half. So these men and and had all this variety of touching their body, their breathing their kind of moving, you can’t stay still, if this is happening, but you’re lying on a massage table. And I actually had in classes, people’s change, every 10 minutes, a new move to another table. So you had different touches and different people touching you anyway, after an hour, we I didn’t think that I had learned in a breath class clench of the whole body. And that was called the big draw. And we just, so the ending was breathing, and a clench of all the muscles of the body. And we knew this was kind of a quiet, this is the ending of the massage and you hold it, you hold it, and you let go and just relax and covered with a sheet. And there was always 15 minutes then, of time. This is another habit that people have, when they have sex and calm or something, they usually start something else, you know, here, you were right here with the experience. And, and there was a lot of stimulation and upregulation, of course, with the breathing and the erotic touch. But afterwards, there’s this fall in the neural firing in your body. And it’s this deep, profound, quiet time. And what was amazing is the experiences that people had, in that 15 minutes. And this is still true today, Body Electric offers this classes. If you’re with a partner, I think your attention is about connecting with that partner, even after the massage that might be but if you’re not, if this is just an experience that was offered to you, there’s a variety of things that can happen. And the main one was a sense of clarity that lasted from that for days. And people made big decisions. And I have done research since that. Well, I’ve seen hundreds of people voices 1000s, actually. And there’s there’s, there’s there are there is some science behind this because of the the sex a lot, the sex hormones kind of calm down, and they cause a little bit of a fog. So there’s a clarity that comes in and prolactin. But anyway, there was clarity, which people were amazed and other people just felt at one that they felt a unity with themselves. Almost nobody who came to my class had had an hour of erotic stimulation. Yeah, without really our without fantasy.

Yeah. Well, one of the things that’s I’m curious about that’s beautiful, you something that you said it is kind of pointing to this as I was thinking about how when you have how connecting sexes and when you have an orgasmic or sensual experience with someone you feel closer to them. And you can even fall in love with someone that you don’t even like through sex. And here, the focus is so internal. And yes, there’s someone who’s assisting you in that. But to have all of those hormones and all of those feelings and sensations and turn it inward. I’m imagining that it really deepens self love. Like you’re opening and expanding, and then you’re feeling positive towards yourself, right? 

Yes, there was, there was after each massage, I would say how is that people sit up on the table and speak their experiences that they wanted. And many people had religious experiences they felt they felt unity, or they felt like they voiced Jesus and God and Buddha and others. Others had visionary experiences of they just went off into some places and some almost psychedelic experiences, though that happens, you know, colors and this just peacefulness and quiet, tremendous peace. But it was a consequential time after this. Right? So this is this is a little bit of an introduction, because how I’ve been looking for situations where people can really learn and do some preparation, learn about their own erotic self. And this was an experience. A lot of people didn’t call the sex. You know, it’s I mean, it was something else other than sex, although there was a arousal everywhere and seldom did men. ejaculation. Okay, this, this became such an important vehicle that I decided I wanted to do more and more of this and explore it. And so this got me into sex and teaching sex more. And I liked this because it didn’t cost a lot you could learn that’s why I made videos, you could go get a video and learn this and do this. And what happened in these classes is hundreds, literally hundreds of people go, I want to do this as a profession, I want to offer this experience all over the United States and Europe. And so body electrode massage, as it was called in those days, and lots of sex workers, all kinds of people. And after, after the first four years, this was men and women came into these classes. So people were out there doing this, and my pain was this important work and was taking people to a wonderful place. But it was illegal to charge money and do this. And I was doing this and other people were doing was illegal, you can be busted as a sex worker, right? So I pushed, I’m really into circumcision. There’s a lot of people who do service and sexual service. And you could be a sex therapist, but I think some people are sex workers, because it’s a it’s a way they’re of service, literally. So I wanted to create something like that. And I, I found a way in the early 2000s, through the Institute for Advanced Study of human sexuality. And the California State Department of Consumer Affairs, I proposed a profession called Sex illogical bodywork that offered this experience and others, the person at the school who had to submit it to the state said, they’re never going to allow this, because you touched genitals, this is, this is prostitution. And I spent three months crafting a description of this profession, not for anyone else. But for people who work in an office in Sacramento, who I didn’t know. And it went through. And when they saw this, they wanted to see the videos, the videos that I had made, they wanted to see everything and they looked at it. And they approved this profession.

And then they asked for appointments, I’m sure.

I don’t think so I don’t think so. But you know, at the end of my proposal to the state I wrote, This is 2003. I said, according to the World Health Organization, 20 million people died of HIV. And most of it has been sexually transmitted. And there are 30 million people out in the world who have HIV, and most of it has been sexually transmitted. We need to explore new ways of educating people sexually. That is one of the intentions of this profession. Brilliant, I hope, I hope that influence because it’s true.

Well, I’m interested to hear you talk some about the use of sex, illogical body work in healing, from trauma, and you know, creating, like, you’ve spoken about a whole relationship to sexuality, and using it as a mindfulness practice, and a presence practice. And, you know, a lot of my listeners also have trauma and their history most most humans have trauma in their history.

So this is important. Even though these were horrible times people with AIDS came and took my classes. Right, right. Right. And this focus on Oh, horrible This is so my intention has always been to help people have better sex. And I, when people come to me, or when I heard people say, I have this trauma have listened to go, I’m really sorry. So tell me about the best section overhead. And then I would go there and let’s use that to have better sex. So this is the core of sex logical bodywork. But to do that, we need to be trauma informed, we need to understand that a person needs to be safe and and they need to not be acted on too much. And they need to be you need to be in conversation with people. So this is all part of sex logical bodywork training, and we need to know when to refer people to on therapist, because we do not fix people. If people want better sex than to come to a sex logical body repair and I set this up so that it’s not an ongoing thing. It’s sex logical body workers help you with practices, but you have to do it. You have to learn this. And so it’s learning better sucks. And there’s the the the profession in the last 18 years right 10 years has expanded hugely there’s still people who do Taoist erotic massage of course, but this is a small part of sex logical body work now. And another part I would just like to to bring up that you started this con versation width is one thing that I’ve learned for people having better sex is, the best way to do that is while you’re having sex to learn it then while you’re aroused, so, arousal is the time when people learn how you can learn some really good things in my view. And we just so happened in the last 20 years to have poured arrived free on the internet in huge amounts. And there’s a huge negative stigma. We all know about porn and porn addiction. But I have to tell you, I’m a sexologist, I’m, I’m a sex educator. And I think it’s wonderful to be able to see what I study. And I think no other profession is told a doctors and told you can’t watch you know, somebody you can’t you can’t see somebody’s arm or leg. It’s are so many studying animals. There’s somebody studying anything. They look at it, they use it, but we’re not supposed to look at it. Really? That’s right. I’ll tell you my problem with porn watching. Is the intention of porn. Porn is to, it’s to grab your attention and arouse you those two things. That’s what, that’s why people make foreign when they want to sell it, sell things, but the core of porn is to grab your attention and arouse you. There’s a problem here, because if what happens is, people masturbate to porn, they’re aroused, but their attention has been grabbed. And they forget their bodies, right? And that people have some people watch porn every day, masturbate every day. And by the way, this can happen also, just people in their mind in their own mind, but billions of orgasms happen that are I would call paltry. I’m not worried about sex addiction and all this. In fact, I think this path that I’m going to mention, is really an alternative to this. It’s really quite wonderful in that is, if you can watch porn, while enjoying your body and aware of your body, in the way that those people on the erotic massage table were just awakened. They had an experience that was extraordinary. So here is, here’s how you can find something you’d like to watch. You’re watching it. And I have developed ways to help people have great porn watching experiences. And it’s very easy. At first I was people made fun of this. And I liked the making fun. They called some of my ideas, porn yoga, the things to do while you’re watching porn. Yes. So and you can go go to porn yoga.com I’m just telling everyone, and it’s a free site that has the two major techniques I’m going to tell you right now videos shows you how to use them, etc, men and women, all that stuff.

So you know, because one of the issues that happens with porn that you touched on is the level of not only self disconnection, right? dissociation from self, and just this kind of disembodied agenda focus, like, I’m gonna get off. But also what happens is, when that is the basis for people’s sexual evolution or development, they then take that into bed with their partners. And there can be again, like this immediate gratification, disconnection from how you engage intimately. And what you’re proposing is a way to reconnect and actually use porn. Like, watch it great, it’s there. But But use it as a practice for self connection. And then you take that whatever you practice you then you carry it into other aspects of your life.

Totally, totally. And in fact, I, I’m really part of my heart is that there are millions of young men I’m not aware of this with young women but young men who recognize that watching porn for so long hasn’t hasn’t educated them, or having sex with a partner for talking to a partner for moving and they’re going to therapist in other places. And the biggest thing that is offered them is you need abstinence from the porn stopping porn. That’s the number one thing and I would like to suggest from sex illogical bodywork perspective, somatic perspective. I have another way that I have tried for 15 years. I’m quite amazing. And I recommend people try this if you’re watching porn, and want to change how you watch porn, I recommend always watching standing up, stand up, move your computer up. And you’re standing and watching and you’re just standing but you’re kind of moving, you’re swaying, your knees have to be slightly bent. There’s nothing, no specific movements. And now you’re masturbating and watching porn. What happens when you’re masturbating, whether you’re using a vibrator or stroking your penis, and you’re watching moving on the screen is there’s naturally rhythms that come, you start, the rhythms can’t come in if you’re lying on a bed or sitting down. The other thing that happens is there’s a lot of tension that people have around sucks. And it doesn’t go anywhere. If you’re lying down, or sitting down. When you’re standing. This this kind of moves tension out of your body. So masturbation, so porn, yoga is good for getting rid of tension. But so you’re watching the porn asked, moving and feeling your body. But I go feeling your body? How? So here’s, here’s my second suggestion. There’s only two every couple of minutes, every three or four minutes. And depends how long you watch porn. Some people watch porn for quite a while, every three or four minutes, take five, pause for five breaths to notice your own body. You could when I first started doing this trip ago, but I’ve I’ve missed something on the screen. That’s what that little pause button is. You could just pause the porn. And then you do five breaths. It’s somebody else said I probably just fibrosis too long. Okay, two breaths. But the point is, come back and notice your own body. What happens is you’re masturbating. There’s sexual excitement flowing throughout your body, you’re standing, it’s really an interesting time, like those men on the massage table. It’s like, wow, but your attention is in the porn. So just for a bit, you notice your own body. And after five breaths stood, I go back to the port. And I call this the pendulum that you you, you Your attention is a habit Your attention is a habit, right and your habit is to stay with the porn. The same thing is true with a movie television, I recommend people do the standing, they don’t know not to masturbate, but to bring their attention back to their body every once in a while while they’re watching. So this is what I call Go ahead, you’re gonna say something?

Well, I was just gonna say, you know, I’ve watched I’ve watched a bunch of videos on your website. And one of the things that I liked, there was a guy that, you know, he’s keeping a journal of his experience, and he would do body scans. Right. So they’re a body scan is something that a somatic therapist will very commonly encourage their clients to do, or yoga teacher will encourage their students to do. And he was able to find a part of his body where there wasn’t arousal, right. And then he was able to integrate it was under the I think integrating arousal section of your website. Yes. And he was able to, you know, bring arousal to an area where there, it was blank, or he was able to feel his collarbones in an area that he’s never noticed when he’s masturbating before and then suddenly could feel how open and erotic this part of his body that is normally neglected is. And I really, really appreciated that.

Yeah, so that was check. I know that video. First of all, I call this a leverage practice, just stand up. Because it’s a very small movement on your part, you watch porn every day, you watch. And even if you don’t want to do this everyday, have it every other day. Or you try this sometimes, and it feels awkward at first because you don’t usually stand up, you don’t usually do this, you usually do something that’s a lot more relaxed. But But anyway, it’s a leverage practice. What leverage means here is this small movement, moving out of stillness and all this has amazing consequences over time. And over time, I mean, 10 sessions, and all of a sudden you’re into it. And standing and moving is way more like having sex, which is a dance having sex with someone is a dance and lying still and stroking your penis or using a vibrator or it, you know, isn’t a lot like sex. Right? This is this is getting the body engaged involved.

There’s a along those lines. So if there are listeners out there who have meditate it often you go to like a Zen, you know, if you’re in a Zen retreat, or have a passion of retreat, and there may be this focus this idea that we have to be still right that we’re meditating, we have our eyes open or closed, and we have to be still. And I’ve also meditated in ways where it’s like you allow your body naturally, if you’re standing a dynamic, you’re in a dynamic state, right, we’re on a spinning planet, we’re not going to be completely still there is micro movement. And if you even if you are trying to sit in stillness, you often find like, your body sways or moves in a circle, or my head moves back and forth, or all these things. And I’ve, when I meditate, I allow shaking or move Dino quivers, or whatever it is, Energy wants to move through us. And so I allow that to happen. And it’s the same thing during sex, right? Or any kind of erotic practice.

Yes, so. So there’s on these two techniques, I would say, would take you into a place for good, that’s all you need to know. You don’t need a therapist, you don’t need a guide. But you will go deeper and deeper into this. Because when you bring your attention back to your body, it’s like, oh, my body feels pretty good. I’m in a tree, I’m in a state and orgasmic state, or my, as you say, parts of my body are feeling good. Or I’m going to stroke myself to touch myself in a different way, or go a little bit higher, lower. But there’s this plane. And then going back to the porn, what I had found in coaching people and is, is they 10 need to learn to use porn Well, and what I mean by that, they use porn for arousal. And then, when the arouses in the body, they play with that and savor it. They don’t need to watch the porn as much. Because some, it’s often the sensations in the body are like, better than what you’re watching. It’s like, oh my god, this is great. I’m here for a while, then I go back to the porn. And I want a little I call it like, I call it sipping water people, they it’s instead of guzzling the bottle you’re sipping and playing with it, and using the arousal so this is this is this is a learning place for learning other techniques you need to learn things so some people have videos of their some people actually do this type of thing with a partner who is also masturbating through zoom or something, but you’re moving and you’re and you’re playing so you’re learning to not not some often watching porn and masturbating there’s a rigidity of the body, right there’s a rigidity in the upper chest because you’re holding a vibrator or stroking your penis and that that constricts breathing and there’s there’s actually online I found therapist who works specially with people who have tension from too much a master vide. You know, this is that’s crazy. And in fact, I I went further this for another podcast, but I call it hands free masturbation. I, I have people anchor of a fleshlight, which you’ve been thrust into and watch porn. So they’re standing and they’re dancing in the thrusting. Or they have a Hitachi magic wand and they anchor vulva level, and they’re pushing into it and playing with it while they’re watching porn. So it becomes then the chest is open, the hands are free, free massage herself. It’s hands free masturbation. So I gave a whole section on one of my websites and in on this one, so So just wanted to say to use you started this by asking about a rhotic situations that that really allow us to explore arrows. And one that I started, one that I found 30 years ago is erotic massage. I still think that’s a wonderful place. And, and another I think is oran watching porn. There’s so much to learn. Some, like one guy that and I have videos on my site of one guy who watches porn to get aroused and then he he he paints right there ones on, he’s standing up his painting, and he’s thrusting into a flashlight to keep his arousal going, but he’s painting other people use so you’re you’re following your bliss, you’re learning new ways to masturbate and use the arouse So, instead of just in your head, you can still watch any porn you like. Yeah, yeah, you know, you’re still that’s your stimulation?

Well, it’s you know, there’s this there’s this known connection in the second chakra between create sexual self expression and creative self expression. So I love the idea that this guy is like, he’s connecting the tool, he’s fueling the two it’s not an either or what about what about people who’ve come to you and they’re very numb, like I get, I get a number of clients who they can’t access or feel their PC, their pelvic floor muscles are there even like may they may not even be able to feel their body unless my hand is literally on their chest. And so what you know when with the with the people on the very numb spectrum of things.

So, as I said earlier, my focus and six logical Bodyworks focus isn’t fixing people but we want to go and my own my own situation. My own belief right now is that I’ve we’ve been through aids and AIDS is still here, a COVID is here right now. I think the epidemic the pandemic in the world, is this embodiment is numbness is not being in the body. I don’t think this is just some people. I think we all have this to some degree, and some to the huge degree so that we’re, we’re, we’re walking mummies. Zombies. The rise of Sandy stuff on television, I think, has to do with this because it’s people who don’t feel and don’t have any insight and are live and go alive. This is why I like a by the way, I do not recommend anybody start watching porn to do this exercise. I am suggesting people who watch porn can can use it in a new way. But this is one. So the erotic massage is a way that I worked with people with porn to wake up and feel more. And I like just massage. I recommend people get massage. But I think people need to exercise. A woman came to me with her boyfriend and she just had trouble. She wasn’t feeling anything. She was never having an orgasm. I said, do you exercise it on? She was 25 she says, Oh no, I don’t do that. They don’t walk, you don’t do anything. You have to you have to use your body that you don’t have to be such new sexual things. You can go for a walk, you can do yoga, run swim. So but we are becoming kind of the people who don’t, who don’t really don’t move very much.

It’s Have you seen Wally that that cartoon? There’s, there’s it’s kind of it, you know, it’s futuristic, and it’s an and it’s a great animated movie. But there’s near the end, there’s this whole thing of these what we become we become these people that are sedentary in these flying saucers drinking from Big Gulps, you know. And you know what you’re saying? And also to clarify, I know, you’re like, we don’t fix people. I don’t fix people. Maybe there’s some therapists out there that are interested in fixing people. But I’m absolutely interested in introducing people to self responsibility, and assisting them in finding the practices that might help themselves. But apps I have no interest in fixing anyone because I really difficult. It’s empower. I’m about empowering, empowering people.

Yeah. But to acknowledge numbness. Yeah. And the in the somatic area of we call this amnesia, that people have actually sensory amnesia, we’ve forgotten how to feel. And people another name for it is well, amnesia is a big one. Yeah, well,

And I think the importance there just to acknowledge for listeners who may relate to feeling very numb, is that it’s a safety strategy, right? It’s, it’s a response to an environment where it would have been too much to feel at a certain point, their emotions because they’re conditioned out of crying and feeling because they’re, you know, they’re men, or men in the south, or, you know, men of color and or it’s, it’s just the, the overwhelming emotions would have felt too big and too much, or the pain of the abuse, you know, whatever was happening, the body was not a safe place to be. So we So one strategy is to really go numb, and there are plenty of people who have had intense traumas that feel everything, like there’s a hyper vigilance in their whole nervous system in their in their cells. And so there’s just a whole continuum there. So there’s intelligence in the numbness, and I like this word of amnesia, because it’s like, oh, it’s been forgotten, but it can also be remembered.

Yes, I forgot. And I remembered and that’s, that’s what I see with porn people forget their bodies and And it’s kind of lazy sex actually, I think porn watching this lazy sex. And I record by the way of my my districts, I was not really into porn, most of my life and, and massage feeling my body. But I’m 75. So in my 60s Like, tempted 10 years ago, I started watching porn. And I go, Oh, this is so easy to get into. And I realized that this whole thing, wait, I’m forgetting my body. And so I developed this in my own body first, I started standing up and moving while I watch porn. And I do want to tell one more story. Yeah, it is. The first year that I was offering 15 years ago, offering coaching in this realm. I don’t know how he found out about me, but some teenager called me from Brazil. He was 19. He spoke English. And I coached him for about 25 sessions. And he was finishing college. And that was really wonderful. I mean, and I don’t, I would just ask him about what he didn’t suggest practices. Anyone else? So this is over a year maybe. And then I lost track of him about that was 15 years ago, yes, about five years later, I was teaching sex logical body work in Canada. And I, I looked at the class list. And he had enrolled in this Canadian training. And he came back and took a second year of enrollment. And he became this woke up his lift body, Soma, Soma body. And he now is, he has started a center in Brazil, with another partner, and he teaches sex logical body work in Brazil now. Yeah, five. But his awakening was how to use porn stand up, move, you know, shake out and shake as you say. There’s all kinds of other things you could do. Because it’s porn, yoga, there’s lots of assignments. But the only two are stand up, and, and bring your attention away from the porn every once in a while. Those two and what about because there’s a I know that you’ve worked a lot with breathwork that there’s so many breathing techniques and in Are there any that you would, I would love I always do an exercise it with every episode, and I guide people through something and it would be an honor to have you choose a breath practice to guide us through.

Okay, so I’d like to guide you in a little practice, anybody who’s listening. And since the idea of watching porn is to stand up, you’ve been listening to this, I invite you to stand up but you’re not standing up. And and we’re going to do two different breathing patterns. One is faster, and one is slower. But I have people do this because I could tell a lot about them. And I’ll tell you this afterwards. But what I recommend is that you balance as much as possible on one foot drain. So good, nice feel. And then we’re going to do two different breaths when it’s a little bit faster breath, and it’s just one minute. It’s kind of a breath to the chest. It’s almost a pant that but it’s a relax on the exhale. So let’s let’s go a little bit faster for the last 20 seconds. And then just full deep breaths and relax a little sound on the exhale. And my favorite breath. like to end with this three of these breaths and see what we just did a deep breath, sound on the exhale. But at the end of the exhale, be available for a little bit of chuckle. Because when we relax, when that exhale happens, there, it’s just natural to do a little, it could be, it could be time for chuckling or laughing. So let’s see, we’ll do three of these. And again, if you’re if you can stay, you might move to the other foot, stay on one foot or the other foot or move back and forth. So three breaths. A second breath. And one more inhale through your nose and out through the mouth. All right, thank you. I hope that makes you feel good. And I often ask people if they can’t stand on one foot. It if you can stand on one foot. It’s kind of you’re not. They’re not aware of balance. There’s it’s a little bit you know, it says you’re a little bit off because we have a radar system proprioception, it’s called, that helps us balance. And so that’s a test that I kind of give. So you could give that to yourself at times. Thank you.

And then in that first, the first section of breathing, your breathing in and out your mouth, and then the last three breaths in through your nose out through your mouth.

And you can do in your nose, I actually liked doing in my nose and out the mouth, but I did in and out of the mouth, because you can hear it better. And it gives the rhythm. So inhale through the nose is quieter. I like I like so it’s, I guess you could hear that. You know, nose noises are kind of neat. There’s a negativity around nose noises in our society. So whatever.

There’s, there’s a beautiful book by pirenne. Bear that is, he’s a Sufi I studied with his son. He has more of a Sufi meditation practice. And it’s a book on elemental breathing. I’m sure I’m forgetting the name in this moment. But depending if you’re breathing through the nose, or through the mouth and out the mouth or out the nose, you’re engaging a different quality, right? That one might be fire. One might be water, one might be air and so it could be something fun to experiment with, and then see how it feels to you.

Yes, so it’s, thank you for this conversation.

Thank you so much, Joseph. I always enjoy our conversations. And it’s it’s been good to see you and hear more about your work. Thank you. And also, one last thing is, if people want to find you, you mentioned it a little bit earlier. Where are you on social media? If you want people to find out about your classes? Where can they find out about all of this?

You know, I think I think if somebody wants to find a sex illogical body worker who would guide them in one of these, ask them about erotic massage or ask them about, you know, porn, yoga, healthy porn watching. Not all sex, logical body workers to all this, but there’s, there’s a couple of 1000 Sex logical body workers in the world. So that’d be the place to go. And for the rest, I think I do recommend porn. yoga.com That’s all because it’s free videos are there and try it out. Try it out. And if you know somebody who likes porn a lot. You can like porn even more and enjoy it even more. So. Go for it.

Oh, so yeah, so it sounds like you know, it’s a harm reduction approach to helping someone come back. They’d have to give up their practice of watching porn, but they get to also connect to themselves in the process. One of the best parts of recording this podcast is meeting like minded people. In my professional and personal opinion. If you’re looking to enrich your masturbation and embodiment experience, Josephs website is a great resource to move beyond getting off. You can access Joseph Kramer’s videos at erotic massage.com and orgasmicyoga.com I send my clients there and I hope you find it useful too. This has been Laid Open podcast with your host Charna Cassell. Please join us again next week. If this show feels beneficial, we’d love if you would please rate and review it and share it with your friends so others can find us. If you have additional questions around sex and trauma, please submit them at charnacassell.com Follow me at Laid Open Podcast on Instagram and Facebook and read more about my work at passionatelife.org Take good care!

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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