Feeling shut down? How to reopen.Aug 11, 2023
In the realm of intimate relationships, the journey isn't always smooth sailing. For queer people, the challenges of reopening yourself after becoming shutdown can be particularly nuanced and sensitive. This article delves into the intricacies of rediscovering intimacy, drawing from the wisdom of tantra and tantric principles to offer a safe and transformative framework for reopening to a sexual partner.
Understanding the Shutdown: Why We Close Off
In the journey of relationships, it's common for people to experience moments of shutdown. Have you ever felt like turning away from your partner in bed? Or felt your thigh muscles tighten and your legs close? I know I have. These shutdowns can be triggered by various factors, such as past traumas, relationship conflicts, stress, or societal pressures.
The first thing to know is that it’s ok if you shutdown. There’s nothing wrong and your body and brain are doing a great job of self-preservation. Sometimes it works to reassess your current situation and check out here, in reality, if you this self preservation response is necessary now or is past based.
Note: being shut down is not the same as being asexual. People who are asexual never need fixing or ‘re-opening’ and in fact, never need to do tantric work which deals with sexual energy at all, unless they choose to for their own interest.
It’s essential to approach this situation with compassion and understanding, recognising that everyone's experiences are unique and valid.
Tantra's Embrace: A Path to Reconnection
The principles of tantra invite us to embrace our vulnerability with compassion. Rather than approaching reopening as a mere physical act, tantra encourages us to dive into our whole being, acknowledging and honoring our experience without judgment.
Sometimes we show up physically but it’s like we have left the building. We are not really there and are certainly not present and in the moment. Another place we can retreat to is in our heads. Our partner may feel like we are far away or not really there. Energetically we are not available.
Finding the pathway back to being here, in this present moment, where nothing bad is actually happening involves creating a safe pathway for yourself either by yourself or in communication with your partner.
By the way, if something bad is happening then you should leave as soon and safely as possible. Don’t apply these techniques in a harmful situation. Yoga philosophy teaches us ahimsa meaning non-harm and non-violence. Take heed and honour yourself.
The benefits of reconnection with our physical and energetic bodies, being here now, paves the way for a deeper and more fulfilling physical and spiritual union.
Communicate with Love and Empathy
Effective communication is the cornerstone of reopening energetically. In tantra, we are encouraged to communicate with love and empathy, creating a safe space where both partners feel heard and understood. Sometimes this is called holding space. We do this by actively listening. Notice what distracts you and gently bring yourself back to being present. This is the best way to practice being present- by noticing when you are not.
Notice any judgments, assessments and criticisms your brain offers up. Allow these thoughts to pass. Don’t hold onto them. Advice giving and unsolicited suggestions can also get in the way of creating a safe space for communication. Let go of all your ‘good ideas’ and allow your partner to share themselves and discover whatever they discover for themselves.
Openly sharing our feelings, desires, and fears fosters an environment of trust, enabling us to address any underlying issues that may have led to the shutdown.
Building a Foundation of Trust
Trust is the bedrock of any successful relationship. For queer people dealing with queer/lesbian bed death or similar challenges, rebuilding trust is essential. Tantra emphasises the importance of building trust through non-judgmental listening, mutual respect, and holding space for one another.
Someone in a position of receiving can only open if they trust the person who is giving. And they can only trust if the giving person is being trustworthy. The first place to start cultivating trustworthiness is by being present, then bringing your full presence.
Mindful Presence: Embracing the Here and Now
In tantra, presence is a powerful tool for reigniting the spark of intimacy. Being fully present in the moment allows us to connect with our partners on a deeper level, free from distractions and preconceived notions. By immersing ourselves in the here and now, we create space for intimacy to flourish.
Before we can open up to a partner, it's crucial to cultivate bucketloads of self-compassion. Tantra teaches us how to be at peace with ourselves before sharing our essence with another. Engaging in self-care practices and self-exploration can help us build a solid foundation of self-compassion, empowering us to open up ourselves to our partner.
As we navigate the complexities of reopening, it can help to remember that this is a sacred and transformative journey. By embracing the principles of tantra and cultivating empathy, trust, and self-compassion, we pave the way for authentic and fulfilling connections with our partners. May this path of rediscovering intimacy lead us to live our best lives, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within ourselves.
“Doing queer tantra with Danica really cracked me open in a good way in such a short time. Danica has a unique skill set – I scoured the internet looking for the type of content she delivers over a few months and really didn’t find much other than one or two interesting articles in publications from the USA. Thank you so much for everything so far.” - V
Remember, you're never alone on this journey. We are all here, embracing vulnerability and growth together, united by our desire to live wholeheartedly and love deeply. Let's walk this path hand in hand, supporting and uplifting one another as we navigate the landscapes of our hearts and souls.
P.S If you like this conversation, you’ll love the #1 problem that keeps queer, lesbian and non-binary couples from having a fulfilling sex life. Download your free gift now.
Hey there! 🌈 I'm Danica Lani, your empowering guide on a journey of self-discovery and liberation within the LGBTQIA+ community. 🌹✨ With over two decades of yoga practice and a decade of teaching experience, I've led transformative workshops on queer tantra for hundreds of queer-identifying women, non-binary, and trans individuals since 2014. My mission is to empower you to disappear bed death, be 100% at home in your own skin, and enjoy long, juicy, and fulfilling lives together. Join me on this journey of practicing tantra within a queer context and embracing our authentic selves! 🤗💖 #QueerTantra #EmpoweringLove #LGBTQIACommunity
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