LOST LOVE

kamasutraWell over a millennium ago, Indian Hinduism treated sex as an art, a science and a spiritual practice. It was not considered a remnant of some dark and ancient bestial behavior, but rather a civilizing force. As such they wrote extensive treatises on how to elevate their sexual potential.

The most famous pieces of Indian literature on sex are the Kamasutra (aphorisms on love) and the Kamashrastra (from kama “pleasure”, and shastra “skill”). This collection of explicit sexual writings, both spiritual and practical, covered most aspects of human courtship and intercourse. The Kamasutra is thought to have been written in its final form sometime between the third and fifth century AD, a period of Indian history when sex epitomized love, pleasure, synergy and happiness. It was a successful strategy, which begs the question why around the 11th or 12th century, India took a conservative turn toward decreased freedom for women and a proscription against premarital and extramarital sex. They wrote a new sex manual suitable for their new order.

In Jewish law, sex is not considered intrinsically sinful or shameful when conducted in marriage, nor is it a necessary evil for the purpose of procreation. Sex is considered a private and holy act between a husband and wife. The residue of sex (as with any lost bodily fluid) was considered ritually unclean outside the body, and required ablution. Perhaps this is how sex became cast as a dirty act, forming an imprint in our brain that must somehow be removed.

Christianity re-emphasized the Jewish attitudes on sexuality with two new concepts. First, there was the reiterated idea that marriage was absolutely exclusive and indissoluble, placing further guidance on divorce and expanding on the reasons and principles behind those laws.

Second, in Old Testament times marriage was almost universal, in continuity with the total matrimony in Eden, but in the New Testament, the trajectory is extended forward to the goal of no marriage in the new heavens and new earth (see Matthew 22). Practically therefore the new age after Jesus now has marriage as only normative, but celibacy is a valuable gift in and of itself.

In present time, it feels as though our free will and identities have been stolen from us. My understanding from birth has been that each of us has a free spirit and entitled to create and live a chosen fruitful life of discovery, adventure, productivity and happiness, without meddlers and the dictates of a false society. This period of an open attitude towards sex reflects love, pleasure, synergy and happiness in their culture.
It was necessary to have a sexual revolution and the reason we pioneered Sandstone Retreat, which became known as the hub of the sexual revolution.

In 1972 we went so far as to create the Sandstone Movie for viewers to look in on members happily living an alternate lifestyle. It just happened that our principals were in sync with Hindu principals and expression of an open attitude towards sex reflects love, pleasure, synergy and happiness in the culture. The Sandstone Movie (only one of a kind) has been re-released on https://www.indieflix.com site. Just go there register (free) and search for “Sandstone.” Enjoy this rare event.

What I learned from pioneering multiple relationships

polyamory

Feeling your Feelings
“The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings”
-Gita Bellin

Imagine a mirror that in every way is like a fun house mirror, except that its purpose is not to make you laugh—it is to make you weep. Its curves distort nudity into nakedness, desire into lust, friendliness into the slavery of seeking approval, and success into an addiction to work. It was a looking glass curved by ego, bent by culture, warped by shame. I had stared into that mirror far too long, until my inner self had begun to match the unflattering curves of the glass.

Before it was too late, I turned in horror and went in search of the real me. For good, bad, or ugly, I had to find my true face. And it was in rejecting the status quo—more particularly in building with John the sanctuary of Sandstone Resort, that I discovered my authentic and real self. John liked my real face, and he guided me—gently at times, insistently at others—to see it the way he saw it. Nakedness returned to nudity, lust to desire, and the work ethic into a sense of adventure.

We wrested a bit of breathing room away from the prevailing culture, a natural haven that would support a positive, alternate way of living, through the power path to my heart. The heart is five hundred times more powerful than our brain. It is less distracted and more focused.
Choosing to enhance our life experiences to include multiple relationships moved our daily lives into unchartered territory. For me, opening my heart and being honest with more than my primary relationship with John was difficult. We had carefully established trust and a strong bond with one another. Would I be able to trust others where intimacy was involved? Several more unanswered questions arose; can I love more than one person at a time? How will I overcome jealousy, possessiveness and guilt? And finally, how will I grow into a real desirable human being who can live in the present moment? I am an inner-directed person so what others think doesn’t make a lot of difference to me. How I felt surely did matter to my Inner peace.

Since there were not any handbook or guide maps into multiple relationships, John and I set about to invite attractive and quality people, whom we met in our daily course of business, to visit, have discussions and show them our plan. We proposed to create an intimate group that would model an alternate lifestyle. Much like the theoretical concepts that Robert H Rimmer based his novels on, i.e.: The Harrad Experiment and The Rebellion of Yale Marratt. When John and I met up with Robert and shared with him that we were, in actuality, living his futurist novel concepts, he was quite surprised.

We relied on nightly therapeutic, extended family group sessions, to answer some of the same questions that I posed and more. It was necessary to examine old attitudes, perceptions and beliefs to see which ones were relevant and which ones should be tossed. Our sessions were conducted more like a fireside chat in the nude to keep us honest and truthful, with spontaneous sex occurring when the desire arose. The group consisted of three males and four females to keep the ratio of more estrogen to testosterone balance while adding more of a feminine touch and feel.

Our group bonding created synergy and fulfilled the basic needs required to have a stronger primary relationship bond. My dear beloved, John always said if you want to keep a marriage together, create a bigger one.

Bare Facts II

Bare FactsAt Sandstone the party goers were first checked in at the door, which faced into a crowded nude gathering in the living room. Part of their entry was a clothed walk through the dining room, then the kitchen and down the stairs to the famous ballroom. At the far end of this dimly-lighted room with posh red carpet they could sink their bare feet into, was a clothes rack where they could unveil themselves (optional) and hang their clothes up neatly.

Now they had options, either stay in the dimly lit ballroom at the bar or on a comfortable mattress in front of the fireplace or head back upstairs and mingle with old timers who were completely comfortable being in the nude. Believe or not, most went back up the stairs to mingle and probably have dinner. One great benefit of being nude; we didn’t need to be concerned about spilling drink or food, it washed off our body without a trace. (Needless to say, that was a tradeoff where hot or iced drinks were concerned!)

Of course, women with small breasts felt self-conscious and questioned GOD about why he had short changed them. Those women retaliated and (in the coming decades) went for the latest high-tech enhancements to come out of Silicone Valley.
Still they eagerly shed their clothing…down to the underpants. Taking off the underpants for some would only come when they felt comfortable enough, and not vulnerable in the environment. Soon they removed the underpants because they felt over dressed, and were surprised that no one stared at them.

The major concern for men was measuring up to the next guy. Was his cock too small or was it too large? Ultimately, it did not make a bit of difference because in the end it was a matter of how he used it to pleasure women. The size of their cock turned out to be the least of their concern. Another concern was being embarrassed walking around with an erection. Not a concern either. The real discovery came when all tensions were removed. it was hard to acquire an erection in such an open, honest and free environment like Sandstone. It often took time to build confidence in this new laid back environment. Sandstone’s environment helped by passively soaking up all the toxic body shame like one of those absorbent pads they advertise on TV, keeping it safely away from the skin.

For those of us that lived at Sandstone on a full time basis, it was utter drudgery having to put on clothes to go downtown grocery shopping or take care of other chores. In the summer clothes were hot and sticky to wear and generally uncomfortable. That’s when it became clear how nudity is a cultural rather than moral phenomenon—we had quickly retrained ourselves to feel awkward ADDING clothing. If we learned anything at Sandstone, it was that culture is something we create, and the things we create ought to bring us joy. Body shame should have been discarded as a bad, outmoded idea along with bellbottom jeans and lime green polyester leisure suits.

Bare Facts, Part One

Bare FactsBARE FACTS
Revealing antics from Sandstone

Many children go through a period when they are afraid of the dark. It stops the moment they realize that it’s merely daytime with the light missing. Nudity is merely life with the clothes missing.

Our modesty is one area where our minds are way ahead of our hearts. We tacitly agree that every cell in our body contains the full set of genetic code for our journey from a fertilized egg to a bewhiskered octogenarian. That means, oddly enough, that our genitals contain the genetic blueprint for our brains, our eyes, and our lungs. Likewise every neuron in our brain contains the genetic blueprint for our most intimate nether regions. Feeling uncomfortable thinking about that? Perhaps I’d best not mention where the blood supplying your brain was five minutes ago. Yes, there are legitimate practical and cultural reasons for wearing clothes, but dividing the body into naughty and nice zones ain’t one of them!

Dividing up the body into public and private areas is a cultural thing. You can shake a Muslim’s hand when you meet him but not slap his back. 19th century women were loose if they showed a man their ankle. It isn’t a sensitivity they were born with, for as we all know toddlers have no conception of private areas. Once I saw one of the neighbors’ kids escape from a bath and send his two-year-old birthday suit into public exhibition with his exasperated mother in hot pursuit.

For most, experiencing nudity for the first time feels awkward—as if you had too few clothes or too much anatomy. Oddly enough, the feeling of missing something even extends to wearing contact lenses for the first time while you periodically try to adjust glasses that aren’t there. It’s natural to feel vulnerable and self-conscious without our armor on, wondering if we measure up to the others. Habits, conditioning and learning are a program that over a little time we can become comfortable with. For the ones growing up in a family where nudity was accepted, they were comfortable at Sandstone (from the beginning) as ducks in water.

To be continued…

Nudity vs. Nakedness

“What is dirt?” goes the old quip. The punch line is, “soil that goes where it’s not wanted.” Nakedness is an adverse reaction to nudity. Nakedness is the shame people feel when who they are and what they are stand side by side.

It is somewhat easy to deal with external nakedness—the reactions of others. Dealing with internal nakedness—the panic and shame we feel when our curtain is drawn and the sunlight falls unchecked upon our human heritage—is somewhat harder to deal with.

The body and spirit were partners to the ancient Egyptians. In their afterlife, the worthy live again when their soul is reunited with a body cured of mortality. Centuries later a belief arose among another great civilization—the Ancient Greeks—in which two great gods strove for control of the universe. One represented darkness and matter, the other light and spirit. To these people, body shame was a wise counsel of the God of Light that all flesh is mortal, corrupting, and distracting.

At Sandstone, we believed the mind and spirit worked independently as appropriate and at the same time interconnected in a dance of harmony, a state of synergy, a mutually beneficial symbiosis.

Each reflect the other and also have their independent input. The body has its own awareness and you can listen to its knowing provided through feelings; it doesn’t have the agenda of ego so in its own way is wiser.

One belief we held at Sandstone was that our body performs incredible tasks and must be cherished.  Our spiritual responsibility is to care for our body with respect, kindness and compassion. We believed that man is basically good and saw nothing shameful about our humanity.

Nude exposure of our bodies, when in appropriate settings, keeps us enlightened, honest and truthful.  A nude person finds it impossible to lie to themselves and others. A clothed person finds it easy to lie thinking their clothing will cover up the lie. Also Nudity eliminates aggressive and abusive behavior.

Sexual repression continues a black cloud over nudity, love and sexuality. Being in the nude does not advertise come have sex with me.  Love does not exist because we have sex.  Linking together, Love, Nudity and sex just makes for a lot of chaos, confusion, and a faulty premise.

In the early 70’s we at Sandstone were placed in the position of having to defend our first amendment rights.  The citation issued was for three or more persons, not family members, exposing our nude bodies to one another.  The court ruled; it was our First Amendment right and dismissed the case.

Through the act of appearing Nude, say at a Nudist Park or a designated beach we can become more aware of our body and will be motivated to change how we appear to ourselves. When we have (common) body shame or a tendency to eat so much and not be sensitive towards our bodily appearance, nudity acts as a great neutralizer and guides us to overcome such negative attacks on ourselves.