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Joseph Kramer profile

2004-04-21 20:17:41.07083+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

East Bay Express piece on Joseph Kramer, known for founding The Body Electric school and who got the California Department of Consumer Affairs to approve a certificate program in "Sexological Bodywork" (although I'm not seeing such a thing on the California Department of Consumer Affairs site). Interesting for the notes on Kramer's attempts to redefine the boundaries between sex work and massage, and for the take of the author of the article:

And that's when it dawned on me. Whether out of fear or circumstance, Kramer has effectively inverted the mental and physical dimensions of sex. Whereas many of us have sex lives that are physically simple but emotionally complex, Kramer has attempted to reverse that order. With all of his emphasis on specific strokes, breathing, and personal, nonpartner engagement, he has tried to transform sex into an act that is physically demanding, but interpersonally safe.

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Bay Area Consumerism and advertising Physiology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-21 22:24:30.425969+00 by: meuon [edit history]

What do you call it when it is BOTH physically and emotionally complex/demanding, yet from an enjoyable perspective?

And sniping remark aside, it's an interesting piece.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-22 01:30:08.515496+00 by: Shawn

And what if it's neither? I looked at The Body Electric a few years back. Aside from the spiritual overtones, the biggest thing that turned me off was that it seemed too much like work to fit with my own preferred definition of sex: A recreational activity.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-25 17:07:17.418645+00 by: polly

the titles of the workshops sound interesting..."lusty crone"...i like that!

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-25 19:58:12.989797+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shawn, your comment sparked a realization about some of my dissatisfaction with the neo-tantra think this speaks to some of the issues with the neo-tantra movement that I mentioned a few weeks ago: I'm seeking a stronger sense of emotional connection with my partner, sometimes that can expand into a sense of spiritual feeling, and I believe that a lot of the techniques and rituals espoused by those folks can help acheive that. But the techniques and rituals do not automatically em accomplish that, they can only augment the feelings, and often that sense of spiritual rightness is mistaken for that emotional connection.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-26 03:20:37.481952+00 by: meuon

"Emotional Connection into Spiritual Feeling" - Of course, being the smart aleck I want to quip "screaming 'Oh God!' does not work for an atheist does it"?

Nancy's not as comfortable sharing things online as I am, so I'm not going to get into detail, but I have to say that when it's right.. it's right. I did not know how good, how 'two-way synchronous' it could be and that I think for it truly to happen, it's not really about techniques and rituals, it's about that connection, that feeling of complete trust, acceptance and enjoyment of each other. I do not think the techniques and rituals CAN accomplish what you are looking for, althought it may enhance the existing connection. Don't get so caught up in the rituals and techniques that you forget to listen, feel and respond.. to be the feedback loop. Spiritual rightness has to be with you before you add sex to the equation.. not be the result of.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-26 18:17:20.07301+00 by: polly

i understand where dan is wanting to go with the emotional connection and meuon is working on the connection of spirituality, i thought i would share the relationship i had with my husband.

we connected emotionally and spiritually, but it took about 3 years before we were able to reach that point. it required a lot of trust and respect, but most of all, love. we became so wrapped up in each other, he knew me and accepted the way i was. i was a spoiled brat and a little irresponsible, especially when it came to money. but, he trusted me and knew that i would always do the right thing and i felt the same for him. i did love this man with my heart and soul.

loving someone that deeply doesn't come very often. i haven't met anyone since him that i could give my heart to unconditionally. it isn't that easy. but, you know, everything worth having takes time, lots of time. love, trust, it has to be unconditional before you can reach the spiritualness of love. dan, the emotional connection? you already have it. if your love is unconditional, the spiritual connection will follow.

why not follow your heart and keep your mind from getting bogged down in the neo tantra's, the rituals and all that mind boggling stuff. a loving relationship is simple and just grows deeper and better with time.

just keep giving....the relationship will become deeper and more meaningful.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-26 18:39:17.298544+00 by: Dan Lyke

I like looking to those things as reminders. It's super-easy in a long-term relationship to get into ruts. To think that a one-time request becomes the norm. To assume that boundaries and likes and dislikes remain static.

Looking to outside stimulus is a good reminder to renegotiate all of those things occasionally. To help get out of ruts, to realize that shortcuts which have evolved over the time aren't necessarily good.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-26 20:37:00.516932+00 by: meuon

Looking to outside stimulus is a good reminder to renegotiate all of those things occasionally - Agreed. It should be a catalyst, not the fuel.