In today's wellness collab we have Shelby - Tate Major.
She has been teaching yoga & meditation internationally since 2014. In her final year of graduate studies in Mental Health Counseling specializing in holistic psychology, she has been creating content for brands by educating her followers on how they can improve their physical & mental health through practice & products.
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From a young age, I found myself very interested in things of a sexual nature. I would have dreams about certain experiences, or feel certain sexual negative and positive energy emanating off people. I later learned this was because of sexual abuse I faced at a young age which when unresolved turned into a form of sexual addiction as a teen and early adult. Once I realized it was a sexual addiction and got the proper help through therapy and the 12-step program, I had taken such an in depth look at what my sexual energy meant to me and why it was so important to guard that energy away from the wrong people. I did yoga teacher trainings, incorporating tantra, I did meditation training, I studied trauma and addiction and eventually went back to grad school for mental health counseling. My teachings are now an amalgamation of all the things I've learned across all of these experiences and it's my way of giving the world what I wish I had as a young, sexually active, confused woman.
What is sexual energy and how can we connect with it?
To me, sexual energy is similar to what is called prana or life force energy in yogic philosophy. This is a life-giving force of energy which pulses through the entire body. Our sexual energy is working within us, through our body and spirit, at all times. We are made from the beautiful act of sex and instead of shying away from it, I believe it's crucial to embrace the presence of this energy in everything.
The first step to connecting it is recognizing that power within yourself. If you haven't gotten down with yourself and a mirror, some oils, and a diagram of your anatomy, then I'm gonna need you to do that. So often we expect men or our partners to just know how to please us, but we haven't done the work to even understand how our own body works. Pleasure is different for everyone and some people can do things others can't when it comes to sex so it's important to explore that.
Why is there so much shame/stigma about sex and how can we overcome it?
This is such a loaded question because since the beginning of time sex and our naked bodies have been seen as a taboo topic. Which to me, never made sense, because we are all created from sex and brought into this world in our beautiful bare, naked form. Sex is something everyone does (when they are of age, or for some of us, well before that) and I believe that when we have proper education around anatomy, pleasure and safe sex we eliminate a lot of problems with unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual abuse or trauma.
I wish I could give you a reason for "why" but what I try to focus on is how to overcome it. Staggeringly high numbers of women have dealt with some kind of sexual abuse and trauma, and while the numbers aren't as high for men, I believe it's because of the stigma attached not because men aren't experiencing it. So that's really the first thing you need to address if you're trying to have better sex.
What are the health benefits of masturbation/orgasm?
There are so many! The reason why I talk so much about masturbating is because in doing my work, I learned how many women are uncertain if they've ever had an orgasm or what it feels like. I find most women haven't even explored their own body and this makes them self conscious when they are engaging in any kind of partner play. It's this insecurity that actually stops them from reaching climax, alone or with someone else. When people learn the enjoyment behind giving yourself love (masturbating) and see it as a beautiful experience, it changes the way they are able to feel pleasure and experience that pleasure with others.
Research shows that orgasms help improve the immune system, they help you to get better sleep, they help with pain relief, they improve your mood through the release of oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and prolactin. Not to mention they help you feel more connected to yourself and your partner. There's even studies that show they help you to have better skin and hair. Really just endless reasons that you should be having orgasms as often as possible.
What are the different types of orgasms and how can we have them?
There are multiple parts of your body that can be stimulated to orgasm; your clitoris, penetrative or gspot orgasms, nipple orgasms and anal or prostate orgasms. But what I like to discuss are the two lesser known types of orgasms classified as implosive and explosive. An explosive orgasm is the common orgasm most people are aware of, it's the explosion of ejaculate, that clear moment of genital release. This peak pleasure or quick release is typically followed by a dip in energy, think of it as when you collapse on top of your partner in satisfaction.
However, the far superior type of orgasm is the implosive orgasm, the one people often don't know about because it's not characteristic of the typical pump and release, male dominated sex technique. This full body orgasm is experienced when we employ a technique called edging. This means letting the pressure and sexual energy build, and instead of allowing it to release, we move positions, change the pattern, prolong the experience, allowing that pleasure to build. When we delay gratification, the energy can actually be channeled throughout the entire body. Tantric philosophy believes it ends back in the brain, aiding in higher consciousness. In fact, the most important sex organ we have is the brain, because it can make or break our sexual practice. I mean, how often have you let a pesky thought creep in and derail your orgasm?
What is masturbation meditation?
This is the perfect follow up to the discussion we just had about the brain being the most important sex organ. To my knowledge, it's something I've created because it is two of my favorite things on this planet for finding my truth and connecting to my highest self. Everytime I teach my masturbate to meditate class, 100% of the students admit that thoughts get in the way of their pleasure practice, alone or with others. When we aren't fully present in the moment, our monkey mind comes in and fills us with insecurities about our looks or our skills in bed, or maybe even our to-do list and anxieties of the day. What I teach is how to bring mindfulness into the bedroom so that we can avoid that. When we find that awareness of the pleasure in every single area of our body we are able to achieve this union of the body, mind and sexual energy spirit that makes an orgasm better than one can ever imagine. Once we know what it feels like to find that peace, stillness and presence, we can mimic it in a meditation practice. In fact, it was on my vipassana meditation retreat, a 10 day silent meditation retreat where we practiced meditation for 10+ hours a day, that I was able to orgasm for the first time solely from my mind. I was blown away and started doing research to find out that I was not alone in this and that not only can other people do it, but I can teach others how to do it!
Ways to connect with you
Can’t skip daily habit?
Mindfulness. I'm not one for structure or routine so this can be many, many different things but as long as I engage in one of my mindfulness techniques for the day, I feel like I can show up as my best self. This can be meditation, journaling, prayer, yoga, EFT/tapping, pranayama/breathwork, a run or walk, something that allows me to be in tune with the present moment and listen to a little intuition and guidance.
The two that changed my life that I always recommend to people to read over and over are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Often in self help books or new age philosophy books you'll find that they are all saying the same things, just in different ways. These are the ways that they feel most connected to the teachings or that they think you will learn the teachings the best. The Four Agreements is a great place to start because it's very simple and straightforward, a code of conduct that frees you from the limits and confines of human suffering. The Power of Now is much more in depth, in fact I've read this one so many times and it's heavy but full of so many nuggets of truth that I get a different thing out of it every single time.
What makes you feel at peace?
Sticking to my practices. Some days it's hard and I don't want to do them but that's what I love about having so many different mindfulness techniques. It doesn't have to be the same every day but as long as I take some time to be present (embracing the Power of Now), I find that peace.
No one is paying attention to you as much as you think so do whatever you want.
Favorite skincare tool?
I am a sucker for my NuFace microcurrent facial toning device. I haven't actually tried the gua sha or facial cupping or facial massages so I can't really compare it but for a lazy girl hack that thing works wonders.