Episode 39: Sex as a Powerful Path of Awakening with Dr. Johanina Wikoff

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In this show, hear Patti talk to Dr. Johanina Wikoff, a couples counselor, and well-known, widely-experienced, widely-read Tantra teacher who is passionate about her lineage, Kashmiri Shaivism, and its teachings.  Discover how she has found a way to bridge the gap between the esoteric writings of illumination, ecstasy, and transcendence, and, the bliss of embodiment through orgasm.  Discover Johanina’s amazing upbringing.  Get her observations from her recent trip to a World Congress on Spirituality in India on differences between Eastern and Western means of practicing transcendence in the body, and why Johanina feels that Western practitioners may have an edge!  Johanina describes orgasm, and gives us some practical examples of how to spread orgasm through the body. Drs. Patti and Johanina go into an amazing riff on just what is orgasm, what is it feel like, and why and how it changes as we age?  This alone is so priceless, that you may want to hear the show many times over! Learn that orgasm, for those who seek awakening through spirituality, can be so much more than just sex.  Learn the differences that men and women cope with when seeking to experience awakens sex with one another, and how to navigate those differences.  Listen as Drs. Patti and Johanina role-play a couple wanting more enlightened sex. This episode will truly uplift your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul. It may also inspire you to begin practicing new ways to awaken to more types of orgasmic, awakened pleasure, starting today!

Transcript

In this amazing show learn about divinely embodied sex
How you can start breathing orgasmic energy to expand
And how orgasmic energies can change from day to day as well as over the years

My mother would explain the sex act
My mother would so oh no its not yuck at all its really beautiful
And you’re going to love it
And and so we did
You know its that its just that simple her simple reverence and honoring that was so much more than the act
Becoming a sawdoo, a wandering spiritual teacher is very respected and honorable profession for young men and for older people who leave their families and become sunyasons, wandering spiritual seekers
And asexuality is a big part of that

So the practices, the beauty of these practices is to sensitize us to make us more refined energetically
So that when we make love its expressed there the orgasm that we feel in sex is more profound
But also our lives are more profound
The experience of you and I sitting together and our mutual recognition of this state is a blissful orgasmic experience without being to woowoo I mean it is

If you’re a spiritually oriented person you could come in the doorway of spirituality but if your sexually repressed or your emotionally repressed you’re going to need to do at some point the physical emotional psychological war.

Dr Patti Taylor: Welcome to the expanded love making show I’m your host Dr. Patty Taylor of expanded lovemaking.com and I teach you how to give and receive more pleasure than you ever dreamed possible.Today on the show we are talking about sex as a powerful path of awakening
How often have you had sex and suspected that you could be experiencing so much more
Wouldn’t you love to have more transcendent sex
Here to share more about this is today’s guest Dr. Johanina Wikoff

Johanina Wikoff: Hi Patty its great to be here with you.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah its great to have you here.

Johanina Wikoff: Thanks

Dr. Patti Taylor: Great, well let me tell you a little bit about Johanina she is a widely known speaker and author of the best selling book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kama Sutra” She has a background in Reichien psychotherapy and is a renowned couples therapist and kantra teacher she weaves together lineage based teaching from the kashmiri shaivist tantric tradition and brings in meditation body oriented inquiry and tantric perspective into her counseling and groups. She has a private practice in person and by phone from the bay area of California. I think our listeners will love this show because so many of us have a deep longing for fulfillment that can be reached through expanded states of consciousness via orgasm and other tantric practices so today Johanina will share with us we can identify and enjoy genuine lineage based tantra and she will give us some simple ideas to practice on our own maybe some examples to from your own practice and coaching. So lets get started Um I love your background in tantra and you’ve had some really great exposure to some really amazing teachers so maybe we could get started by your telling us a little of your background
Johanina Wikoff: Well my first teacher was my mother who was an usual woman in the sense that in 1939 she set out to become educated about sexuality and she came back from her honeymoon and she said well if I’m gonna be making love then I really want to know how to have a lot of pleasure how to enjoy myself and she found and enlightened gynecologist and she began to take courses and eventually became the organizer for this gynecologist. When I was a little girl growing up my mother was the woman who other women sent their daughters to, to learn about the birds and the bees and so I would bring the little girls home and my mother would tell us she would read from the Kotex company book on the birds and the bees. But then she’d take off and she would talk about sexual love and when I could see what she wasn’t saying was that my mother had a great deal reverence for sex and for sexual love and it came through. And when a girl would invariably say oh yuck when my mother would explain the sex act my mother would say oh no its not yuck at all its really beautiful and you’re going to love it and so we did. You know its that its just that simple her simple reverence and honoring of sexuality that was so much more than the act it was her spirit and her sense of the spirit of lovemaking came through. So I went out in the world I went out into the 60’s and the 70’s into a period of time where we were free to have sex the way we wanted to, and with whom we wanted and it wasn’t bound by relationship and or fear of pregnancy

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow that just sends chills down my spine because I know we live in a culture where I don’t think many of us got that kind of upbringing and I know we were talking earlier and you were saying you just got back from India and you said that entire culture doesn’t have what you noticed you just came back from presenting at the worldwide conference on spirituality and you don’t even think their culture has a real appreciation for the embodiment of sexuality even though they teach tantra so that’s a very precious thing. Could you tell us a little bit more about the embodiment part and the need to have that embodiment?

Johanina Wikoff: Just to kind of segway for a moment back to what you were saying even though the Indian and the Hindu teachings the tantric teachings are rich in sexual metaphor and imagery. In India there is a bias toward a kind of asexuality becoming a sawdoo a wandering spiritual teacher is very respected. It’s a very respected and honorable profession for young men and older people who leave their families and become sunyasons wandering spiritual seekers and asexuality is a big part of that. Its very curious how that has happened. And at the same time in India and I think this is relevant because our culture has a slightly different parallel to this. In the videos and in the media and in Bollywood sexuality is um people are undulating and very seductive and provocative and yet in the culture there is nowhere to go with that energy. Its another version of our own distortion around sexuality and how we see sex all around us sex sells in our culture it’s you know a major draw. If you want to move a product then you make it sexually attractive. And yet we are still carrying the imprint of our own sexual repression.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So what I find so delightful about talking with you is how you have fallen in love with these phenomenally beautiful tantric teachings and brought them alive with a richness and marry them with the embodiment and sort of put the sexuality and the gorgeousness back in and also kind of found a way to use the teachings to kind of go into a transcendent state. Is that the way do you think these tantric teachings were intended back when they were originally written did something happen you know along the way to cause a disconnect I mean I agree with you I find those tantric teachings that way to but you know people like you are bringing them back to life it seems

Johanina Wikoff: well I you know I think that my own love affair with these teachings reflects something that we all share which is a longing for the divine. Um our the world that we live in has so little of the sacred . Our culture our programming is to consume and unfortunately if we consume and achieve gratification of that is very temporary and deep down we have this longing for something sacred something enduring which is I think what takes us to romantic love and to the sexual expression of romantic love
Dr. Patti Taylor: So could you give us an example of something of the sacred teachings that also might lead us to something divine.

Johanina Wikoff: Well in the tantric teachings of the Kashmiri teachings which are the earliest tantric teachings the um the practices are to awaken the spirituality that lives in your body and in our being so the recognition of the energy that we are. They call it in one of the lineages spanda which means sacred tremor and if we are paying good attention and if we are really present when we are making love we notice that orgasm is the sacred tremor. And the amazing thing is in the way that the reason that I love these teachings is the recognition that the sacred tremor is not only available to us I orgasm but it is what we are all the time. That we are when we are completely relaxed and present in a very sensitive way to what’s going on in us our bodies , our thoughts, our feelings, our tremoring. There is a pulsation in us that is what we are orgasm is one expression sexual orgasm is on expression of that but you could say that we are spiritually and emotionally pulsating in the same way that orgasm happens all the time we just don’t notice it so the practices the beauty of these practices is to sensitize us to make us more refined energetically so that when we make love its expressed there the orgasm that we feel in ex is more profound and also our lives are more profound the experience of you and I sitting together and our mutual recognition of this state is a blissful orgasmic experience without being to woowoo I mean it is

Dr. Patti Taylor: Right well how you do anything is how you do everything right.

Johanina Wikoff: Exactly yes

Dr. Patti Taylor: Right, So Um where might one begin learning about these practices. Our listeners for example.

Johanina Wikoff: Now are we talking about sexual practices or are we talking about spiritual practices I think this is an important distinction because here in the west in the last 25- 30 years we have created a modern tantric movement that really draws primarily from sacred sexual traditions its based in in how we expand and deepen not only the loving embrace but the loving relationship and there is some wonderful avenues that people can travel to learn more about themselves more about pleasure more about connection and intimacy but the spiritual teachings are another road so far I would say up to this time. my work is really building a bridge between the traditional lineage based spiritual traditions and the relationship and sexually oriented sacred sexuality traditions.

Dr. Patti Taylor: yeah it seems like we’ve had a lot of in the west oddly enough the body based here’s how to move and grind your pelvis and eye gaze and breath we’ve sort of dropped out the spiritual part. So where would one start reading and learning more about the spiritual side to bring that in

Johanina Wikoff: well I think its important to know who you are some people come in the doorway of the sexual and they wouldn’t be drawn to the tantric teachings just for meditation but thy have a glimpse in sexuality and sex as we know is a profound portal for expanded consciousness and for dissolving egoic personality but if we keep coming back to sex to try and find that opening again we’re gonna be disappointed we’re gonna have lots of good sex but if what we’re longing for is the fulfillment the souls fulfillment then going to the spiritual teachings ultimately is going to lead us to a more reliable path to ultimate fulfillment it doesn’t really matter. If you’re a spiritually oriented person you could come in the doorway of spirituality but if your sexually repressed or your emotionally repressed you’re going to need to do at some point the physical, emotional, psychological work. Otherwise there is going to be places in you that aren’t available to you and if you want the whole nine yards you want the full life then its important to understand what is it that keeps me from not only sexual fulfillment, but fulfillment in my job and fulfillment in my relationship
Dr. Patti Taylor: Ok well we’re gonna get back. I want some details still on maybe some books and stuff to read but I also want some practices and just want to draw this out a little further in any case we’re gonna take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Dr. Patti Taylor and I’m with Johanina Wikoff. You can find more about Dr. Johanina by going to her website www.johaninawikoff.com

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well we’re back and I’m Dr Patti Taylor talking to Dr. Johanina Wikoff about sex as a powerful path to awakening. So before the break we were talking about Johanina’s viewpoints on sex and transcendence and why you might want to go the spiritual path after a while or maybe you just always were that kind of a person. Anyway Johanina I want to ask you about just some practices on how we might start getting there. What are some practices that our listeners might start in their life?

Johanina Wikoff: well I think with what is available and profound for everyone is to open your eyes and to make love with your eyes particularly at the moment of orgasm. So often people will close their eyes they’ll actually clench their muscles they’ll tighten up and if we open our eyes and we really see who is there with us this is a profoundly intimate experience its shockingly intimate sometimes.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah I find in the beginning I start with my eyes close and its only when really getting open and vulnerable and then I love to have my eyes open.

Johanina Wikoff: yeah, So I think I people try that they will not only see a great deal about themselves they will see more of their partners

Dr. Patti Taylor: now you are a Reichien. Wilhelm Reich was one ofd the early father and pioneers of orgasmic

Johanina Wikoff: awareness

Dr. Patti Taylor: awareness, yes so we have you sitting here I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask you to share with us some Reichien breath work practices.

Johanina Wikoff: there is a practice I wouldn’t call it strictly Reichien its its um probably a marriage between a Reichien perspective and tantric perspective which is focusing on the breath synchronizing the breath with the partners breathing together and breathing particularly into the belly letting the belly soft and noticing when we tighten up in lovemaking as the charge the sexual charge builds often people will tighten up in anticipation of the orgasm fear of the orgasm not happening and the more we can practice the softening of your bodies in particular our bellies and breathing helps us to do that and then at the moment of orgasm and this doesn’t have mutual orgasm it could one or the other or it could be mutual at the moment of orgasm when the charge is at its peak releasing the striving for more. that we have an orgasm and also at that point releasing the breathe and extending the exhale. And what happens at that point is we the orgasmic threshold expands

Dr. Patti Taylor: So its sort of like could you sort of demonstrate that sound /

Johanina Wikoff: Well I think that the sound of this is the sound of release it’s the ahhhhhhhhh its goes all the way down into the belly and into e pelvis it’s a long extended exhale.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow that sounds like uh I’d like to practice that a lot

Johanina Wikoff: I think it can be a lot of fun to practice and also surprisingly enlightening to discover that our usual pattern of reaching of reaching for more pleasure is actually when we release that habit or that tendency to reach for more and we let go something else happens that’s so um expansive. Orgasm can be very focused and pointed or it can be an experience of our dissolving our boundaries. And merging into the absolute.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So um, Are your uh orgasmic experiences more and more profound as you continue to practice this?

Johanina Wikoff: I would say that the orgasm for me as a woman in her 60’s now that orgasm has changed over the years its been my sexual has been a continuum that keeps morphing and changing and um the energy I think through spiritual as in the last 15 year the orgasmic energy is available to me in many ways. Not just through sex.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So what are some of those ways?

Johanina Wikoff: Well I think you know I’ve been noticing lately as I’ve been teaching about sex is that when I’m talking about sex is that my whole body starts to vibrate. And tingle as it does in the orgasmic response so I find that um just talking about sex or think about sex or being in the presence of someone who is really energetically embodied brings that awareness up for me so I think that the sexual response. As we age and as we become more refined in our sexual practice and our meditation practice. In our awareness of energy that orgasmic energy becomes more available subtle queus on call.

Dr. Patti Taylor: and how about the bliss states? Do they get more and more what?

Johanina Wikoff: I don’t think its possible to separate the bliss state from those states I think when we’re talking about orgasmic energy we are talking we’re not talking about getting off or climax we’re talking about exploring the field of orgasm which is one with bliss which is one with that ecstatic sweet blissful yummy state that we don’t want to get off we just want to hang out and explore and find out what its like and come back to and um and yeah.

Dr. Patti Taylor: wow Sounds like a real expanded orgasmic states there.

Johanina Wikoff: yeah

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well nice to know me and a few 100 thousand listeners aren’t the only ones doing it. You’re having a good time up there in Petaluma and San Francisco.

Johanina Wikoff: Yes Indeed

Dr. Patti Taylor: So um what can our listeners do to maybe support their partners in being more orgasmic

Johanina Wikoff: This is a good question. I think we all want to experience these states. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having a radio show like this and there wouldn’t be all of the books that are available to us so there is this longing that we share for this state. I think one of the things that couples can do is to really talk about sex in a way that they’re exploring what it is that they really long for. So sometimes we will um keep having sex in a particular way because that’s what we’ve learned it comes from our conditioning. But sex that is truly orgasmic that is truly expansive and really fulfilling comes from the souls expression. So learning how to touch each other in ways that are deeply intimate that don’t necessarily that aren’t designed to get you off but really to connect in that place to find to talk about what it is that you really long for what it is that you really want how do you want to be touched not just for pleasure but so that your heart melts so that you feel like you can swim in that field of orgasmic energy I think communication about that is really important

Dr. Patti Taylor: Mm yes communication that sounds beautiful maybe even show the person this is what I love

Johanina Wikoff: yeah, absolutely show if you want to be kissed in a particular way I find that giving that to your partner so that they can experience what it is that you want let me show you how I love to be kissed I mean we like that we want to give our partners pleasure and we want to know what our partners want so demonstrating that is I think a really lovely way and bypasses some of the difficulties that can happen when you’re asking for what you want.

Dr. Patti Taylor: that’s true and uh keeps it very current and fresh

Johanina Wikoff: playful

Dr. Patti Taylor: because its never the same as what it was like you said you know you’re in your 60’s although I never would have guessed. You look as vibrant and young and beautiful as ever so I guess that’s what happens when you’re profoundly orgasmic. Its always changing and always new and I think I love what you said don’t assume that you know the rut you are in yesterday is the one you want to be in today

Johanina Wikoff: Yeah I would assume that the rut that how you know orgasm is a great metaphor because no matter how great the orgasm is or how we think we’re gonna try and get back to the great orgasm we had its never the same twice.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Like jumping in the same river twice you really can’t

Johanina Wikoff: It’s impossible and that is a metaphor for our lives and our relationships if whatever happened, happened its gone if we can stay in the moment and stay present there is a beautiful connection that happens and the connections is really the oneness of our beings and the desire for unity happens in the moment it doesn’t happen in the past.

Dr. Patti Taylor: That is so true and so beautiful and I know speaking for myself I never have the same orgasm twice one day its like I’m climbing the walls and the next day its so subtle its like a flea tiptoeing on beetle juice makes more noise than I do

Johanina Wikoff: yeah I know I have the same experience that um my orgasm has become so subtle and I think I wonder you because I am over 60 is this a product of my hormones and then I’ll be surprised at another that the orgasm is just as strong as its ever been

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well I think as we get older we just train our nerves and our sensitivity to just expand right out to the far edges of the galaxy

Johanina Wikoff: And I think its also important to recognize that as we get older sex is not hormonally driven and that’s why I think the spirituality, the peace of our spirituality and our spiritual longing becomes stronger and the sexual response becomes more subtle and refined in that.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow well that’s great I love think about I never thought about that but I guess as the hormones go away it just makes a lot of room for all that nuance and you know there is only so many square feet in a clitoris or a cock the but there is infinity with the spiritual

Johanina Wikoff: yeah we are unlimited unbounded within ourselves and when we bring that, that openness that playfulness that creativity which is our is the natural our natural essential when we bring that into the loving embrace its, its you know its unknown what can happen.

Dr. Patti Taylor: no wonder people want to have transcendent sex well we are gonna take a short break to support our sponsors and this is Dr. Patti Taylor and I’m with Johanina Wikoff. So you can find our more about Dr. Johanina by going to her website www.johaninawikoff.com

Dr. Patti Taylor: We’re back and I’m Dr. Patti Taylor. And we are talking to Johanina Wikoff about sex as a powerful path to transcendence. Lets talk about men and women and some differences.

Johanina Wikoff: one of the differences that um between men and women that I’m aware of is that women are more naturally what I would call in their essential sexual nature they are more emotionally tuned into their um to themselves and to um uh foreplay and erotic um erotic play and men are more uh focused on the outcome of sex and so often the women isn’t really being fulfilled and its hard to um hard to communicate that to a man because often men are sensitive and their egos get wounded so I think that for men to learn how to make love the way a women makes love is very useful its very challenging but I think its very important.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So lets do a little role play

Johanina Wikoff: Ok

Dr. Patti Taylor: ok um. Well honey was that um well that was great for me wow you’re just amazing um wasn’t that awesome?

Johanina Wikoff: Yeah it was really great I really love it and I loved it and I loved how into me you were and how turned on you were. It really turned me on and you know something that would turn me on even more is if you slowed down if we just tried like making love with you going really slow as slow as I go even and touching me for longer and taking pleasure and my response and not having a goal of intercourse for a long time I would like that could we try that sometime where we just we made love and we touched each other and we aroused each other for a long time longer maybe even an hour or even longer where it wasn’t about getting off its just about seeing how much pleasure we can get, give share between us and then as the pleasure gets stronger and more intense we just breath together and we enjoy that and see what that’s like it might be really fun what do you think?

Dr. Patti Taylor: are you kidding I kidding I must be dreaming are you really I had no idea you would want that I mean my only consideration is I’m not sure I’d know what to do I had no idea you would want that you always seem to be in such a hurry to end things.

Johanina Wikoff: Well, I, you know I think that I learned to make love in a certain way with you because that’s what I heard that men like you know an so I’ve, I’ve you know trained myself to have an orgasm right away but I think there might be more for me and I think there might be more for us. So how about if I show you how I would like to be made love to? What if I make love to you the way I would like to be made love to?

Dr. Patti Taylor: Oh yeah well I must be dreaming haha. I think that sounds like a great offer and what man would say no to that .

Johanina Wikoff : I think it’s a good idea.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yea so you do that kind of couples work right I’m guessing

Johanina Wikoff: I do work with couples about half of my practice is with couples and I also work with women and I work with men who want to create um better relationships who are also looking at the spiritual connection in their lives want to create that and also couples that are looking at relationship as a spiritual way of spiritually transforming themselves.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well that sounds really beautiful. I know we talked about this earlier but what are some good books that you could recommend for our listeners we will put this on your episode page at the end of the show and don’t shy away from it being long names or to complicated just from your hear be honest what are some books that you think would be great to read that you just happen to like that are your favorite books for spiritual

Johanina Wikoff: If someone wants to, a good introduction to the Kashmiri spanda teachings I think that Daniel Odier’s books the Tantric Quest and Desire are very readable for everyone. And very interesting and delightful if people um get a taste of tantra and they want to go deeper
The Doctrine of Vibration is a wonderful tristus on the tantric the Kashmiri lineage of spanda. Um there’s my book on um the Kama Sutra which is more than the Kama Sutra it’s really a um encyclopedia on love an sex and relationship as well. Those are some books I like.

Dr. Patti Taylor: And you’re being modest it’s the Complete Idiot’s guide to the Kama Sutra. So we should ignore the title I guess

Johanina Wikoff: Well the idiot’s guide is a wonderful series of books that are um on every subject so this one is just one of those.

Dr Patti Taylor: And you’re obviously brilliant if you buy it. Since you wrote it and you’re obviously a very brilliant woman so whats the title again

Johanina Wikoff: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Kama Sutra.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Ok So that might be a good one to start. it’s a very memorable title right

Johanina Wikoff: Its easy to find its an orange book and its in all of the major bookstores. And online

Dr. Patti Taylor: Right so um so this is bringing us to the end of our show I do have one final question for you um what would you like to leave as a final thought for our listener’s as an inspiring end of the show.

Johanina Wikoff: I feel we live in an amazing time with an um where all of the doors are open to us to um awaken to our true nature and to evolve as human beings and to create a new world where there is peace where there is wholeness where the earth is cared for I feel this is our legacy this is what we’re being asked to live up to right now.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow well thank you very very optimistic and inspirational message so this does bring us to the end of our show and this is Dr. Patti Taylor and I’ve been talking with Johanina Wikoff. Again you can find out more by going to her website www.johaninawikoff.com please send me email at [email protected] for texts and transcripts of this show and other shows on the personal life media network please visit our website www.personallifemedia.com and if you haven’t already please be sure to subscribe to the expanded love making show. Also please visit me, Dr. Patti Taylor, at www.expandedlovemaking.com where you can join my mailing list and find out more about my products, services and events. So this is your host, Dr. Patti Taylor, that’s all for now I remain you and ever expanded lovemaking. I’ll see you next week.