Episode 2 - Dr. Stan Dale: Inspiring Intimate Relationships
Sex, Love and Intimacy : Episode Two
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Chip August: Welcome to Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m your host, Chip August and today I’m talking to Stan Dale. Stan’s a dear friend of mine that I’ve known for seventeen years now and one of my favorite teachers. Stan is the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of The Human Awareness Institute, which is an organization, which puts on workshops about love and intimacy and sexuality. He does it worldwide. Stan’s been doing this since 1968, I believe. He’s a speaker. He’s an author. He’s a workshop leader and just a terrifically interesting guy. So, welcome Stan Dale.
Stan Dale: I’m sure glad you’re on my side.
Stan Dale: Thanks for having me on your show. What I do and what I’ve been doing is taking the garbage out. I love being called the garbage man, Stan the garbage man. All these years, people have been trying to say, “What is right about me?” “Do I do anything right?” not only in the field of human sexuality, but in everything. In relating, in speaking and where did we learn? From people who have preceded us. Where did they learn? Keeps going back, back, back. So I found that there’s a lot of ignorance in the world. My major job is helping people take the garbage out if they want to. Garbage is the stuff that we learn that is not true.
First of all, in the field of human sexuality, what is sex? I just leave that answer, who knows? Who knows what human sexuality is. Who taught you? Who said so? And I find that most of the people find that there’s nothing there that really would prohibit them if they just didn’t listen to the garbage.
Chip August: What is sex? Come on. Doesn’t everybody know what sex is? Isn’t really sex, two people who want to get some sexual release. They want to exercise their lust. I mean, everybody knows what sex is, don’t they?
Stan Dale: Roughly eight billion people on this planet and, no, they don’t because each person has their own individual idea of what sex is. You can even get twins, they don’t know what the other partner really feels or really thinks about sex. Sex is so big and so small. So big because it’s anything you want it to be. It can be just holding each other. That could be very sexual for some people. They can have full orgasms for that. Sex is much bigger because the wide range of human sexuality goes from intercourse to outercourse. Most of the people think sex is intercourse. Well, it is if that’s what you want at that time. But, what I’ve learned is that sex is so much more individuated. That’s the best way of saying it. That if I were to, and I did, I actually was on a cruise ship one day. I had the microphone and tape recorder and I asked people, “what is sex?”. Well, it went everywhere from, “It’s a fuck” to a long dissertation that took almost a half hour. I just kept the tape recorder going. It was amazing because out of that I learned a lot from her. This one woman was just going on and on. The brilliance of the sunlight and the moonlight and the candlelight and just on for ages about what sex was for her. I never heard that long a definition and I’d been in the field of human sexuality for a long time.
So, what I realized is that each individual has their own unique idea. Where did I learn any of this? Well, I was fortunate enough to be one of the only human beings to live in a Geisha house.
Chip August: You lived in a Geisha house? I didn’t even think the women lived in Geisha houses.
Stan Dale: Truth is they don’t. Nobody lives in a Geisha house. The Geishas don’t even live in the Geisha house. It’s only the so-called Demi [sp] Geishas, the women who are there to serve the Geisha and they are in essence like a Geisha. So, what happened was that Keenan Wynn, the movie actor, was filming a motion picture at this Geisha house. Because I was in radio and television, I was invited to attend this cast party. I thought, Wow, a cast party, a Geisha house, Wow, I’m going to have a great time. When I got there, it was a boring party. It was one of these Hollywood slap-on-the-back smoke-a-lot-of-cigars and b-s-ing party and I decided I didn’t want to be there. So, I left the party and walked around the facility of the Geisha house. Well, A kid from Bronx, New York looking up at this gorgeous, I mean, it was absolutely the most gorgeous place I have ever seen. To this day, it still is one of the most gorgeous places I’d ever seen. It had waterfalls, coy ponds. It was beautiful. All the trees and the forestry that was there just magnificent.
I just walked around and this elderly Japanese man comes up to me and he starts speaking Japanese and I said, “ I don’t speak Japanese” and he signaled me to wait. He got an interpreter, came back with the interpreter and I love saying for the next three hours I fell in love with our former enemy. He had been in the Japanese army. He had killed American soldiers. He was a soldier in the Japanese army.
We started talking about everything. Talking about children, talking about relationships, talking about life and death and everything that I never talked with another human being about before. As we were talking, it’s like wow. It was this big wow, I didn’t realize this, I’d never heard of that before, on and on and on for so many things. I looked at my watch and I realized, “I’ve got to get back to base” and I said, “Excuse me I’ve got to get back to my base” and he said to me words that I can never ever forget, “I would like for you to come live in my house”. I looked at him and I went, “so would I, but I’m a private in the Army, I don’t think I’ll be able to”. He just stopped me and he looked at me and he said, “you will find a way” and I went, “thank you”.
Chip August: So, let me get this straight. You’re in Japan. You’re in the Army. What is this, the 1950’s or something, and a guy who owns a Geisha house is inviting you to come live in the Geisha house and telling you, you’ll just find a way. Did this work?
Stan Dale: Well, what happened was the most amazing thing in the world. I thought what a wonderful, nice Japanese guy, “thank you very much”. I bowed to him. I said, “Good bye”. About a week later, the four-star General Lemnitzer, in charge of all of Asia, calls me into his office. Now, Lemnitzer was about seven feet tall and he’s had his desk on risers. So, when I walked into the office, immediately, I felt like a little shrimp. His voice made mine sound like a Soprano. He boomed at me, “Dale I want you to do a radio program for me. I want you to interview the men and women in my command and make a radio program.” And I said, “Yes, sir. I’d be delighted to sir.” I’m standing there looking at this god of mine and I said, “but you know sir, I can’t live on base and do that program”. He looked at me and said, “Dale, you can live anywhere you want to. Will you do the program?” Of course, needless to say, I bowed and scraped and kissed his feet. Saluted, said, “Yes, sir. I will give you a wonderful program sir” and left.
Low and behold, I ran back to the Geisha house and sought out the owner and I said, “Did you mean what you said?” and he said, “Yes, of course”. So, for the next seven months, I lived, Private First Class Stan Dale, living in a Geisha house. What I learned is why my life has been as powerful as it’s been.
Chip August: Okay, so what did you learn living in a Geisha house for seven months?
Stan Dale: I learned that the western idea of human sexuality is about as skewed as can be. We are locked in a box that we haven’t got the slightest idea what we’re doing when it comes to the field of sexuality.
I realize I love acronyms and the acronym, for instance, of HAI means Human Awareness Institute, which is yes in Japanese. That was simple. It was like, “oh, wow, I like that”. I realized also, it’s life in Hebrew and then, exploring a little further, it’s also the ocean, the sea in Chinese. Shang Hai is the city by the sea. So, as I’m exploring all of this, I realize SEX: Sacred Energy Exchange; Spiritual Energy Exchange; Sweet Energy Exchange. My darling [xxx] calls it, Stan’s [sp] Energy Exchange. Then, you can use anything you want to, like Far Out Energy Exchange. Put anything you want to in there and make it your energy exchange because, after all, what we are is energy. We’re like the sun. We’re energy and how do you feel when you’re energized? Well, energized. Like his sun, he’s shining. And for me, that’s why the sun shines twenty-four seven. For me, no matter what I’m doing, no matter how I’m doing it, I just do it wonderfully. One of the things I learned that I practice every day with my darling wife, is I kiss her feet every single morning. I’m usually the one that wakes up first. So, I kneel by the bedside and I kiss her feet. Not as a ritual, not because I have to, but because that’s exactly what I want to do. I ask people, how do you start your day? Why don’t you kiss your own feet if you don’t have a partner? It’s easy to do. Kiss your hands. You don’t have to be an acrobat just be spiritual with yourself, sensual with yourself.
Chip August: So, you literally, get on your knees and kiss your wife’s feet every morning?
Stan Dale: Every morning. It’s such a delicious feeling. When she wakes up, she kisses my heart. We hold each other. We start our day in such a beautiful, romantic, spiritual way, that there really is nothing to equal it and that’s how our day progresses.
Chip August: When did you get this idea of kissing your partner’s feet each morning? Have you done that forever? From the first moment you met her? Where you embarrassed to suggest it? How did this come about?
Stan Dale: You know, that’s a good question. I don’t know how it came about. It was one of those natural things. She was lying there one day. I looked at her. I love the way she sleeps by the way. She sleeps so soundly. She does that best of all. I mean, when she goes to sleep, she goes to sleep. Let me tell you. She was lying there and I just saw that beautiful naked body and I started kissing her feet and then I kissed her butt and then she turned over and we kissed each other and held each other. It was such a delicious, marvelous, warm, loving experience and it’s not stopped. I mean, we miss it. There are times when I travel and she’s other places, but it’s not because we have to. It hasn’t even become a ritual because we can live without it but our days are much better with it.
Chip August: What a lovely thought. I just try to think about every couple that’s out there, if they would just embrace that idea, of just starting each day with that level of reverence and honoring and just how much less anger and violence there would be in relationships. What a lovely image.
Stan Dale: Anger is a sense of powerlessness. What happens is that when people feel powerless, they scream, they rant, they hit, they do all sorts of things to feel powerful. Well, that’s the wrong thing. It’s exactly the opposite, which is why we’re at war because we throw punches, we throw bombs and they’re going to throw it right back at us. But, instead of that, if we indeed approach with the fact that I choose to be loved twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a choice. Love is a choice. It’s not an emotion. You know, it’s like when you feel good and it has this loving feeling it’s because the endorphins are flowing, because your body is relaxed. It’s getting endorphins. It’s feeling good all over this loving feeling. What happens when you’re angry and you’re choosing violence, then the body gives you the adrenaline and we become adrenaline junkies. That’s what’s happened. We have become adrenaline junkies. That we keep on reaching out for the punch that we get from adrenaline and so we scream, we holler and then we throw bombs and all those other things.
How does world peace happen? One person at a time. One person who loves himself first, because that’s the beginning. People say, “Well, I don’t love myself”. Well, why not? Why don’t you love yourself? Where do you get the message that you’re not lovable? When you were a little baby, more or less, I guess you were loved. When little babies come, everybody goes, “Oooh, Aahh”, how beautiful, how wonderful.
What happens, because we pick up all the lousy messages from all those other people, is that we start hating ourselves. We compare ourselves to other people. Never, ever do that because each and every person has their place in life, whatever it is. But, if you compare yourself, you’re always going to find somebody who’s better than you or whatever. When you realize, “No, I am perfect just the way I am and I intend to show that all the time”. And that’s why I choose to be the happy sunlight and some people get sick of me and say, “Come on for god sakes, act like you’re human..”. Well, I can actually tell a joke that I told my interns one day that I feel rotten, “Oh God, what a rotten night I had, what a rotten day I’m having” and it was really interesting that they were starting to say, “Oh my God, you really are human”. After a while of this, I stopped and I said, “I’m pulling your leg. You mean to tell me I’ve got to be sick in order for me to be human? I’ve got to feel like crap in order for me to feel human, to be human?” I said, “No.” I said, “You realize what a bias that is?” It’s a horrible bias. It doesn’t allow people who feel naturally good, to be good. My darling Janette, she feels good. She’s a natural, which is why I was attracted to her from the very first I looked in her eyes and all of a sudden something went “Boom, this is a natural”. From that day, which we just celebrated, our 30th anniversary, it’s amazing. We really have been that way with each other over and over, day by day by day.
Chip August: Well, I can think of about then thousand questions to ask you after all that, but I think we should take a short break to support our sponsors. This is Chip August and I’m with Stan Dale and we’re here talking about Sex, Love and Intimacy and we’ll be right back.
Chip August: We’re back. I’m Chip August. I’m talking with Stan Dale and before the break you were talking just about everything. I’m kind of curious how you go from being a service man in Japan living in a Geisha house to leading love, intimacy and sexuality workshops all around the world. How did that happen?
Stan Dale: Well, when I came back from Japan, I went back to being Stan the record man, Stan, actually, the all night record man. I was on from midnight to five. I’m doing a regular disc jockey type of show and I realize that I’m also, once in a while, talking about my experiences in Japan. What I learned about this and that, about life and about sexuality. All of sudden the phone starts ringing and, while the records are playing, I answer some of the calls and talk to some of the people off mic. It was amazing, the questions they were asking, the experiences that they were sharing. I thought, wow, this would make a fantastic radio program. So, I went to management and I kept on saying, “look, these are going to be fabulous things if I could put some of them on the air. Do we have the technology to put these people who are on telephones on mic?” “No, no no, you’re a disc jockey, shut up, play music”. And this actually was a battle. It kept going on and on for a few weeks. Until finally, I was averaging tons of phone calls and management was contacted by the phone company and said, “what are you guys doing up there that you are knocking some of our stations out of wack? So many incoming calls?” and my manager said, “You’re kidding, what’s going on?” So, he got the whole thing from the phone company and he started listening and he said, “well, okay, I’ll tell you what, put on a few calls but make them short and play a lot of music. Don’t forget you’re a disc jockey.” Okay, I did that for a little bit. The phones were now increasing to where we were averaging a hundred thousand phone calls a night and management went, “you’ve got to be kidding me. Okay, so maybe you don’t have to play music, you can take the phone calls.”
That actually was the very first psychological telephone talk program anywhere in the world that we’re aware of. It became the number one show all over and people were calling in, until I finally made the horrible mistake of saying, on some phone call, some questioning where we were talking about everything, that I didn’t think Mayor Daly should run again. This was about his fourth term in office and I said he shouldn’t run again. I get called in by the manager and he said, “you stupid son of a b, I don’t believe you said that. Don’t you realize we are the Chicago Federation of Labor, W-C-F-L, Chicago Federation of Labor.” I said, “Yeah, so what.” And he said, “We support Mayor Daly.” And I said, “Oh boy, I wish I had a tape recorder.” I said, “so you’re firing me because I said I don’t think Mayor Daly should run again. Don’t you realize we do these disclaimers every fifteen minutes? The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station, management or even of me, but that they are aired.” And he said, “it doesn’t matter, you’re fired”. And so I went into a blue funk and thought my life was over. Fortunately, it wasn’t because I got hired by another radio station and started doing the real telephone talk radio program. It became so famous that I then rented the hall, the… Oh, I forgot the name of the hall now. It was this big auditorium. We had fifteen hundred people show up. We did the first “Day and Day of Loving” which was the first workshop.
Chip August: Now, what year was this? You rented a hall in Chicago and fifteen hundred people when?
Stan Dale: 1968. Yeah. It was just unbelievable. What happened was that these people just wanted more and more and more. So, I got ballrooms. It kept going on. Virtually every weekend was another program and five hundred people would show up. It was amazing. It was my gift, as my workshops are, they’re a gift to humanity. I didn’t charge for that, to this very day. As my accountants keep on batting me in the head, I still don’t make any money from the workshops because what they charge us to rent, like for instance Harbor Hot Springs or the various other places around the world that we do our workshops, they charge us, our cooks charge us, you know and whatever. So, I need to charge people whatever because I’m not a millionaire. What goes on is that these workshops are attractive to the widest variety of human beings. We even have scholarship funds thanks to our interns who do very creative things because they want people to get what they’ve gotten from these programs and what they’ve gotten is amazing work.
Chip August: Let’s talk about these workshops for a little bit. Now, as I understand it, given that I also lead them, these are weekend workshops. They’re weekend residential workshops. The Human Awareness Institute puts these workshops on all around the world. They’re in Northern California, in Western Michigan, between Detroit and Chicago, in the Brookshire Mountains, between New York and Boston, outside of London, in Northwestern Germany, in Australia. I think there have been some in Switzerland and in Japan. So, this is pretty much around the world here. What does somebody get from coming to one of these weekend workshops?
Stan Dale: What someone gets when they come to the workshop, by the way the U.K. is also one of the biggest places they’re growing by leaps and bounds, they get their life back. In the simplest terms, they actually get their life back. Because what we’ve found, and why I call it the Human Awareness Institute, is that most people aren’t aware of the prison that they live in. In every form and every sense of the word. If you really stop and check your day, why do you do what you do everyday? When you go to the office, are you happy? I’ve asked that question of thousands of people and I find that very few are really happy. There are some, of course, that are happy, but the vast majority are not really happy. They’re just making a living. And I point out to them, I don’t think you’re making a living, it sounds like you’re making a dying. What goes on is that when people become aware of their choices that they make and the way that they live their lives, they have other ways that can be more of what they wanted. And what do they want? They want connection. They want relationships. They want meaningful relationships. But, if you don’t know what a relationship is, how do you achieve that? How do you become a person who can speak to another person when you can’t even speak to yourself? And if you think that you’re not beautiful, that you’re not acceptable and you want somebody to accept you and love you then what I say is you’re probably giving the other person damaged property. If you don’t love you and you don’t think that you’re lovable, then what do you think the other person is going to think about you? And that’s what goes on.
Most people, as a friend of mine said, they’re not in a relationship, they are in a relation-dingy. Dingy is a little row boat you take out to the ship. The ship is big, it’s wide, it’s got a lot of space. There’s a lot of creativity that you can put in that relation-ship.
Chip August: We’re going to talk a little more about this relationship stuff, but I want to take a short break. Give a chance for our sponsors to get a little support here. This is Chip August and I’m with Stan Dale and we’ll be right back.
Chip August: This is Chip August. This is Sex, Love and Intimacy. I’m talking with one of my friends, great workshop leader, great speaker, great author, Stan Dale. We were just talking about relationship before the break. When you start talking about relation-ships versus relation-dingys, some part of my brain goes into, are you saying that my relationship with my wife should include a lot of other people? What do you mean when you when you talk about a ship? What do you mean really?
Stan Dale: No, it doesn’t have to include anybody and can include whatever you want. As both of you say, “why don’t we try this or why don’t we do that?” A lot of people have mistakenly said that we’re for open relationships. No, that’s not true, but we do support that if that’s what people want. What our workshops are really about is choice. If we really wanted to change the name of the workshop, we’d call the workshop the Choice Workshop.
What choices do you make and why do you make them? Most people haven’t got the foggiest idea why they make them. They make them because that’s what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to live this way, they’re supposed to do this, they’re supposed to do that. Okay, if that works for you, go ahead and do it because you’re a choice. One of the most difficult things that I have to get people to realize is I really mean it. At workshop, you are totally one thousand percent at choice. I love that we’ll give them an exercise and they’ll come right back at me and said, “I had no choice there”. I said, “Oh, what did I do that you had no choice?” And that’s not the case as you know.
People will come up with all of this and when they get that “Aha!” experience, that’s why I do the work I do because when I watch in people’s eyes that “Aha!” experience, it’s like, yes, thank you. If there’s a God, that’s wonderful. Whatever there is, thank you for that experience.
Chip August: That whole question of choices, I think it’s one of the most eye opening experiences that people have in the work. There’s so little in our life where we feel we’re at choice and I notice that when I talk to people at workshops and when I talk to people in my private practice, there’s a very strong tendency for people to feel that they’re victims. I have to do this job because I have to pay my bills. I have to be with this partner because I promised I would be with this partner for life. I have to do this for my children. I have to, I have to, I have to… That idea that you can live a life of choice, I think for a lot of people is actually really frightening. I think it’s scary. It puts them out on the skinny branches.
Stan Dale: Absolutely. It’s the most scary thing there is, which is why it’s the most difficult thing, because people have no training for that. That’s why I would make it mandatory if I could. Not because I am the founder of this work. I’d make it mandatory for everyone, for everyone from the beginnings of school, especially in high school. Kids go to high school and they look around, they see what other kids are doing and what’s in and what’s out, who the right people to be with and all that garbage. So, of course, they follow along. They watch TV and the computer and they think that’s the way it is. No, that’s not the way it is. The way it is, is the way you want it to be. But, who’s going to give you that permission. Who’s going to give you that training? Who’s going to give you the support and the understanding, which is what you will get at the workshop. You’ll get all of that and, it still amazes me where people will leave a workshop, and then ten years later they come back and they said, “you know, you were right. That ten years ago when you said this, this and this, you were right but I couldn’t admit it then. And I had to wait ten years in order for it to sink in. So, I’m here because of what you said ten years ago.” Can you imagine? That’s a pretty awesome thing.
If you can save one human life, what’s your worth life? I mean, what’s your worth in your life for saving one human being? I keep saying that because every human being who gets the garbage taken out, you’ve saved your life. You may have saved your children’s life, you may have saved your relationship’s life. Whatever it is, you definitely have saved your own life. Every single time a person saves their life, that is the work that was meant to be done on this planet. I want everyone, every single person who’s listening, to know it is possible. It doesn’t have to take ten years. It’s definitely in your reach right now.
Chip August: Okay, Stan the Garbage Man, one of the things my listeners like is they like some practical exercises or things they can do at home so that they can kind of put into practice some of the things you’re talking about. So, I’m wondering, in addition to kissing your partner’s feet every morning and perhaps kissing each others’ hearts, in addition to that, I’m wondering, is there an exercise, is there a technique, is there a tool, that my listeners can use that might actually either give them more choice in their life or give them more love in their life, or enhance their intimacy or improve their sexuality?
Stan Dale: Yes and it’s a very simple, beautiful thing. What I recommend to people is, first of all, take a couple of hours and block that time out. Shut off the telephones, make sure the kids are gone if there are any and just the two of you alone. In that time, get your favorite music. A piece of music or music, whatever selections you like and put it on automatic and let it play. Sit facing each other and it’s actually a position that you intertwine your legs and just look at each other’s face and then lovingly, one of you, start stroking the other person’s face. That person just receive, just take the loving strokes from head to toe and back up again. And you can get out of that position but start in the position of the ab-young [sp] position, which they use in Tantra. It’s a way of looking at each other’s eyes, breathing with each other and just breath. There’s no rush. You’re not going anywhere. There’s no something to achieve. You don’t have to achieve anything. Intimacy… In to me you see. That’s where I became aware, that’s what really the word “intimacy” means, in to me you see. And so often so many people don’t look in each others’ eyes. They don’t look and see. When I look at my darling’s face, it was like wow, what a face. And to this very day, when I look at her face, it’s like I call her my sun because the sun shines in her face every second I look there. And then start stroking. Stroke the whole body. You may want to kiss the feet, that’s where it’s perfect to put that into place, kiss the heart, kiss the forehead. Just kiss as much of your partner’s body as is humanly possible and just relax. Take it easy and then, when it’s possible, when it feels right, then the other partner strokes you in the same way that you’ve stroked your partner. It just becomes something magical. It’s like, what else is there? People really connect, heart to heart, body to body, soul to soul, by just doing that one exercise.
Chip August: It just sounds so beautiful. I’m talking to Stan Dale. Stan Dale is the head of the Human Awareness Institute. If you’re interested in the Human Awareness Institute and in the work that Stan does, why you can go to their website at www.hai.org that’s www.hai.org. If you’d like to send e-mail to me, the host, Chip August, why you can send e-mail to me at [email protected].
We’re almost out of time and I want to ask you one final question and what I’m really looking for here is sort of words to live by. A little epigram or a saying that somebody could tell themselves in those moments when they forget they’re at choice, or in those moments when they are ashamed of their sexuality, or in those moments when the garbage seems louder than the love. Do you have some words of wisdom or some thought that you’d sort of implant into people’s brain?
Stan Dale: Yeah, ask who said so. It’s about as simple as that. Who said so? And why do you give them that authority? Because they don’t know what they are talking about anymore than you do. So, just keep on saying, who said so? and then find the answer for yourself. The answer that fits for you.
Chip August: Well, thank you very much. I love that. I get why they call you the Garbage Man because you definitely take out the garbage. We’ve been talking to Stan Dale of the Human Awareness Institute. I want to thank you for joining us. For texts and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at www.personallifemedia.com.
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