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Creating Safe Spaces for Surrender and Intimacy

In my work as a sex + trauma therapist, I have the honor of getting to witness individuals in their vulnerable states. The fear that arises when they’ve never told a single soul a story that they are about to tell me. Trembling on the couch afraid that what they say will impact my judgment about them + threaten our therapeutic relationship. Sometimes clients clench, fidget, avoid eye contact, break down in tears. Still, they lean into fear + share, feel, express.

And they are held. By me, not physically, but with my unwavering presence + compassion.

Then I watch their nervous systems settle, their breathing regulate, their eyes finding mine, and a sigh escaping their lungs. All signs that they feel safe again.

While this may appear to be a simple solution of their doing, there are many technical skills I’m consciously achieving to foster depth in their surrender.

I’m not saying words to bring them out of their discomfort. I’m not minimizing or bypassing their pain with some spiritual antidote like “it all has a purpose” or that “they will be ok in the end” or “it’s ok.”

I think many people go into a response of comforting to make them “feel safe” again. Maybe “save” them from the pain by attempting to make them calm down or shift out. This is a cultural issue where we’ve labeled specific emotions as bad + now have an internal agenda to get rid of them. I also believe we’ve become less equipped to tolerate distress.

The client does not FEEL safe. By the definition of vulnerability--there is the potential of harm. In this case, we can see the evidence of the client not FEELING safe by their tremors, tears, eye contact avoidance, or fidgeting.

The container of my office or myself IS safe; however. And that is a very different + crucial concept to know + create, here.

Lucy Felding coined the term “bounded chaos”.

In order to experience your highest expression of yourself, your fullest potential in s.x + eroticism, we need to BE safe to feel the full intensity of energy + feeling. It doesn’t FEEL safe anytime we lean into our edges of what we’ve known ourselves to be. It doesn’t FEEL safe to test our k!nks out in front of another person. It doesn’t FEEL safe embodying a new persona, a new power role, or even surrendering into our pleasure fully.

But THAT’s the nature of the unknown + the exploration of our being.


“What’s going to happen to me?”

However, if we are safe, and a deep part of us knows this, then we can unravel beautifully. Meeting a new reference point of rich feeling + expression that we can integrate.

In the art of rope bondage you may not necessarily feel safe as someone is restricting your movements; however, with the deep presence, attunement, + careful consideration, of the person who binds you, you can relax into pleasure or other emotions + feel held. You ARE safe. THAT is when bondage transforms from simply being technically tied up to energetically erotic.

In my upcoming couples retreat with @colettepervette I will present to you my exact model for facilitating your lover’s surrender using principles of what I’ve learned as a therapist + my understanding of the nervous system.

Join us in July at Love + Leather.

SPACE IS LIMITED to curate a small intimate container for exploration.

Disclaimer: This class is for educational purposes only. We are not providing health advice or recommendations that you engage in illegal activity. This is not intended to provide psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, psychotherapy, psychedelic substances, referrals, or medical advice. Ingesting psychedelic compounds is never completely safe. Adverse effects can occur from ingesting psychedelic drugs, including PTSD or seizures. Please discuss with your medical provider about health fit + any medications that might interfere. These medicines are not safe for all consumers. We are providing harm reduction information to seekers interested in safely working with it. We do not advocate for, endorse, or intend for this report to be used to violate federal law.


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