The secret to a fulfilling relationship and satisfying sex is one and the same. If you want to keep your relationship fresh and growing you need to devote yourself to cultivating intimacy – with yourself – and with your partner, on a daily basis.
-Pyasa Neko Siff
We have a new Guest Expert to feature today! Pyasa Neko Siff is a certified somatic sexologist, shamanic practitioner, ceremonialist, and the author of the Intimacy Adventure Playbook. What an amazing set of talents, isn’t it? That’s what drew me to Pyasa, her experiences and trainings in all these different aspects, felt like a perfect fit for our series of Expert Episodes. Why? Because we believe at Pillow – that we all have something to learn – not just from the traditional psychologist, but also from those who work in other modalities of healing.
Pyasa facilitates workshops, ceremonies, and, sessions worldwide. For the last decade, she has been passionately empowering others to connect more deeply with their authentic self-expression by helping them release non-beneficial conditioning and sexual traumas. Pyasa brings her love, insight, and presence to her work, creating a safe container for her clients to deeply explore themselves. She draws upon multiple perspectives from her professional training and life experience; her modalities include somatic and embodied learning, mindfulness and meditation, visualization, and earth-based wisdom practices. Based upon the needs of each client, she weaves together an individualized approach that best supports them to access their own wisdom and inner resources so they are free to live their full potential, and deepen their experience of pleasure and embodiment.
In our upcoming episode, Dance of Sensuality, Pyasa will help couples go through a fun and sexy exploration into intimacy with dance. The purpose of this episode being the topic of Body Shame. Here Pyasa shares her perspective of the concept of Body Shame:
“Shame is the intense feeling that we are bad in some intrinsic way and in that in order to be loved and accepted – we need fixing. When we dislike our bodies, feeling they are in some way flawed, we call this ‘body shame’. Shame around the natural expression of our bodies’ sensuality/sexuality will also fall under this category.
Mass media makes a considerable contribution to the development of body shame; it’s impossible not to be influenced by the ridiculous standards they present – most of which today aren’t even authentic depictions for either men or women. When you take a historical look at Western female beauty standards throughout time, you will find they are constantly changing. In recent history, flat chests were “in” during the time of the flapper, next came the buxom figure of the 50’s, followed by a reversal of this ideal with the rail-thin anorexic look of the 60’s. Things looked hopeful for having realistic representations of women’s bodies ten years ago when the fashion industry started to depict plus-sized models, though, rather quickly, the sizes defined as ‘plus’ dropped from between size 12-18 to the standards of today which are between sizes 6-14. How can anyone keep up? It’s truly futile! According to studies, 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment per day and 95% of men say they are dissatisfied with their bodies in some way. If we search to confirm our beauty according to the mass media trends, we might each be considered ‘beautiful’ for one decade of our lives … maybe.
Regardless of how body shame originates for each individual, when we take it on, it inevitably leads us to disengage from our bodies and/or spend vast amounts of time criticizing and trying to change it. Essentially, we end up shutting down, hiding our light and dampening our natural erotic energy. Ultimately, this impacts our ability to share intimacy, vulnerability, and to enjoy pleasure. As an example of how this plays out … when we feel ashamed to be naked in front of our partners, we are often being distracted by thoughts of how our bodies look at various angles in the light of day; when this happens it’s difficult to simply let go and be present to the pleasure of sexual arousal. Pleasure happens when we allow ourselves to get lost in the moment, fully present and surrendered to our senses. Pleasure happens when we focus on how it FEELS to be in our body rather than on how we LOOK. This is what it means to be embodied. When we come back to ourselves and discover how much pleasure is available to us through the vehicle of our bodies, it’s hard not to fall in love with it!
As a somatic sexologist, there are many ways I assist others to reclaim their innate erotic self, one of my favorites is a playful exercise that uses the medium of dance. I invite you to explore the ‘Dance of Sensuality’ episode I have offered to Pillow. Allow yourself to connect with your sensuous nature and share to it with your partner. Try leaning into the edge of any fear or discomfort that might arise with this exploration; by this I don’t mean to stress yourself unnecessarily, but, for you to move a bit beyond the stagnation that comes from your normal security and comfort zone – which if you have body shame – you know already is not a comfortable place to be either! Give yourself permission to be seen and enjoy being in your body; liberate your beauty for the highest good, for yourself, for your partner and for the world. The world needs more pleasure and dancing beauties!”
On March 14th, Pyasa will release her new 6 week online course: The In-Bodied-Love Program – overcome body shame and revolutionize your life.
In partnership with us, she is offering a special promotion just for Pillow subscribers to sign up and save 25%. You can use the promo code Pillow to participate in her online program, promo available until APRIL 8th!
Check out Pyasa’s playbook through Amazon. It’s perfect material for more ways to explore exercises with your partner.