What are we normalising?
It is surely a complex world we live in.
There's a new Australian 4 part series on SBS on Thursday night called The Hunting, which has prompted this post as I saw the first episode last Thursday evening. Woh... It's a chilling reminder of what our teenagers are currently faced with in teenage sex and relationships and demands the viewer to see things from every angle. What is 'normalised' in popular culture doesn't make it healthy or ok.
There is so much for teenagers and parents to deal with these days - porn, gender identity, body image, suicide, depression, anxiety. Not to mention our own mental health issues.
I must say when I embarked on this journey of teaching tantra, I was confronted by the male expectation and undercurrent of male privilege in the whole field. I had male teachers contacting me to 'get together'. In my mid to late '40s, I'd been through enough. I'd seen enough hurt around me. By then, I'd already made a powerful pact with myself that I was going to be 'clean' when it came to sexuality.
To be honest, I felt meek as a tantra teacher back then starting out, like I didn't belong to the club. I felt like I didn't live up to the image that I should. I felt I didn't really hold much ground, because I didn't 'do' all that stuff. I felt unconfident as a female voice because our message wasn't really fitting in with the status quo of the time.
But ten years on now and it's a different story. I have lived it, taught it for that time and it's deeply embedded. And I've become convinced that there is so much distortion around sex that is normalised in our culture, so subtly and we don't question it - and so much in the alternative field that can be misinterpreted, misconstrued in sexuality, in the name of 'growth'.
But things are changing and stories like The Hunting courageously need to be told.
I am seeing men step forward, one by one, good men are adding their voice to this. There's a new breed of men on the rise. The good men that come to our retreats, the good men that I meet every day. Men of heart, who want the best for women, for men and their children. And not to mention, like my co-presenter, Gene.
Things are changing. Here is one father's simple guide to teaching his boys respect for girls
And seeing the men at The Making Love Retreat, over and over, these last ten years, where I get to witness the most intimate of vulnerable moments and conversations. This gives me enormous courage when I see the light that goes on in the men, or their heart melts for his beloved as she opens up before his eyes, or that he softens in his heart and body and allows her in.
I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. That's why education about sex that is actually helpful, empowering, and speaks of LOVE, not just sex, speaks of SENSITIVITY, not just sensation, that can be an antidote to what's out there is just medicine for the soul of humanity.
If you want to catch up on last week's episode, ready to watch tomorrow night's (or tonight, if you're reading this on Thursday), I highly recommend you go to SBS on demand - you can watch from anywhere in the world. It's an education it and of itself. Please note - there is nudity and confronting themes throughout the series.
This production is a strong voice and we can add our little voices by questioning what we are 'normalising' in sex and relationships in our OWN relationships and consequently with our kids.
And if it's your time, to come this May, we are holding The Making Love Retreat again. Love to see you there.
"I am so grateful for having given ourselves the gift of this sacred space and time to reinvent and reinvigorate our marriage. Thank you Janet for 'walking the talk', for your loving presence, faith and guidance."
- Anne, Making Love Retreat, April 2019