4 min

Becoming the lover I want

How a weekend of conscious, heart-centred wanking can change your life

“Look into my eyes. No, please, put the poppers away. When you enter my ass I want you to see my desire and uncertainty. When you thrust so deeply inside of me that the tip of your cock feels my heart pounding out the rhythm of our sex — stop.

“Hover above me until a drop of your sweat falls onto my quivering stomach. Lock my gaze to yours. Now, penetrate me with those eyes until you can see the edge of my soul searching for something bigger and more meaningful than your cock. Then, just breathe with me. Give my heart a moment to break open.”

I changed my life by asking for what I wanted. I had to go to summer camp for adults to learn how to do it.

Each morning me, my three queer girlfriends and a bunch of strangers struck out into the California Redwoods, doused each other with non-toxic bug spray and got naked together.

Our mission? Marry our soul with our desire. Homework involved returning to the main camp to practice asking for what we wanted.

Hating myself for being a brown-noser, I immediately saddled up to this handsome, older, unsuspecting drummer and asked him if he would take a shower with me. He laughed. He stared at me. Then he agreed. I almost shit myself.

Later that afternoon, we stepped into the communal shower room together when two of the hottest young men in camp walked in after us. All four of us chatted casually as we wet ourselves down. I gasped as I felt a strong pair of hands start to soap up my back and clean the crack of my ass. These three guys were straight.

“Cool,” said the kitchen boy as he noticed my hard-on.

The conversation continued as I turned and bathed my new friend.

Bolstered by my success, I asked more people for what I wanted. Chipping away at the walls of my well-defended eroticism, I finally figured out that desire teaches me about life and how to live it.

Thinking myself smarter than these dwindling fears, I then decided to request the tall sous-chef to say “no” to one of my erotic propositions at a later time. Curious and mildly confused, he agreed and trotted off with his girlfriend.

My plan was to eroticize his rejection. I figured if I could sensually and honestly say “thank you” to the person who denied my advances, I would rid myself of much sexual doubt and self-pity.

Two nights later I reapproached him. Confidently looking into his eyes I said, “Kitchen boy, in the spirit of asking for what I want, would you make love with me?” He gently laid his hands on my shoulders and tenderly said, “Robert no, not yet.” I screamed. The pushy bottom got properly topped.

While he has yet to consummate his promising tease, my heterosexual exercise partner helped grow up the adolescent queer-boy still lurking in me. Erotic desire is not always best satisfied on demand. Rather than blindly yield to his well-targeted arrows, we can always wrestle with Eros if not ever tame him.

Instead desire can be a north-pointing compass leading us into deeper, darker woods of vulnerability and risk. I may not always get what I want but I certainly won’t sit at home waiting for the adventure to begin. While Little Red Riding Hood may skip blindly down the path in hopes of bringing a smile to Grandma’s lips, she learns she doesn’t have to lift her skirt for just any old wolf.

My whole adult life I’ve been a serial monogamist who cheated on the side. I never learned to become the lover I wanted. Afraid of being alone I never really surrendered to the ache of my deepest yearnings. I settled for less a lot. I wasn’t mature enough to ask you what turned you on.

As my lesbian friends now remind me, sex is a dialogue full of heated foreplay and rough negotiations.

Celebrating The Body Erotic for men comes to Vancouver twice a year. So many people promise themselves the gift of this life-altering workshop and never give it. If I were a rich man I would send everyone I know and love to this weekend of conscious, heart-centred wanking.

Imagine a room full of naked men (or women) surrendering themselves to the rampant passions of their body and soul. I have yet to participate in a more playful, safe and intelligently healing space. All the really hard work happens between the time one decides to go and the time of actually showing up for registration.

My first experience with Body Electric connected my cock to my heart. As the music swelled and a team of sweet and sexy men massaged my body to a peak of erotic bliss, I erupted internally. When I came to I felt like a man for the first time in my queer adult life.

On another occasion I assisted as one of the several silent massage coaches. In the span of two days I learned more about what turns men on from those 25 participants than I had in my former life of failed relationships, tea-house quickies and one-night roll-overs.

Young, old, gay, bi, straight, fat, furred or trim, I effortlessly fell in love with every one of these guys. As each beautiful man experienced his own full body orgasm we stepped back and reverently witnessed many compassion-filled transformations. Each man in his own way ferociously claimed his erotic power. I wept with joy to see these men experience true ecstasy, many, like myself, for the very first time.

I am still learning how to pamper my erotic whims and desires, to reach into my fantasies before reaching for that fifth cookie. My own partner still merits better from me. I remind myself that if we really all deserve the kind of love we want, we first need to become the kind of lover we all deserve.