John Ballew (above) is a therapist, bodyworker, and educator who lives in Atlanta and teaches workshops for the Body Electric School. (He and I for many years co-facilitated a program in Italy for gay men called “Come to Your Senses.”) He’s got a workshop coming up that focuses on anal pleasure for men, and the mini-essay he circulated is such a good introduction to this topic that I wanted to share it here.
What is it about anal sensuality that is taboo for some people, unknown for folks, and such a delight for still others? We’re talking about a part of our body that commands our attention – yet some of us prefer not to think about. We can’t really see this part of our body directly, though many of us have certainly tried! While we are in touch with this part of ourselves every day of our lives, it retains a certain mystery, doesn’t it?
Our buttocks are rich in meaning as well as nerve endings. Psychoanalysts say that as children, mastering control of the anal muscle is the earliest experience humans have of asserting mastery in the world. (It certainly makes parents happy when they do.) That’s the start of a lifetime of emotional associations associated with anal experiences.
Celebrating the Body Erotic is in many ways a class that cultivates male yang energy. Anal sex and anal sensuality are ways of exploring the counterpart: male yin. While male yin may be cultivated by being the receptive partner in intercourse, that isn’t the only way. Sensual touch and erotic exploration can also nurture yin.
The Body Electric School brings important values to anal bodywork. Anal touch is about sensuality, not performance; penetration is a possibility, not a goal. Safety and hygiene are important concerns. And because buttocks and buttholes are best treated with great tender loving care, we learn to love ourselves and our bodies more fully when we receive, and to develop great skill in what I call “listening touch” when we give. This is no small thing. Indeed, we can’t love our whole bodies unless we love everything about our butts as well.
The Body Electric School is happy to offer In the Valley of Delight, a wide-ranging exploration of anal touch that welcomes both “beginners” and those who already enjoy anal sensuality. The next Into the Valley of Delight program will be offered at Easton Mountain April 18-21.
For more information or questions, contact John by clicking here.