Aria Persei

Filtering ❣ On the way to Remembrance

On healing from intimacy issues, neglect, sexual trauma and shame

While there is a real boom around workshops in ‘sacred’ or tantric sexuality, there is no doubt it’s important to open the space to discuss these major themes in our lives. Nevertheless, it’s very rare to find ourselves in the presence of a safe container to access the vulnerability of sexual wounds and be able to release them in a space where there is no dynamic of power. Too often as well, the emphasis is put on pleasure, bliss or a purely mechanical way to approach sexuality. Nowadays, many tantric teachings have been distorted, while at the same time, the wide range of emotions at game during such healing processes has been oversimplified.

Julia Vaya-May works as a bodyworker specialised in sexual trauma and de-armouring, I met her during Being Gatherings in 2017 where I chose to work with her with a one-on-one Vortex Healing session. Julia combines everything that she has learned and gathered on her own healing path in her own practice. Sexual energy is connected to everything else. Symptoms that erupt in the field of sexuality will then be the entry point to access a deeper trauma : « intimacy trauma or emotional neglect during childhood very often translates into sexual issues ». During any bodywork session the body is going to be the one which speaks. Liberating trauma allows the body and the consciousness to become less numb, less densified and access deeper and deeper layers of the human experience. Sexual energy is not only what we categorize as having a sexual character, it’s all around us and in us : « it’s no different than waking up in the morning with a big smile, smelling and connecting through our senses to the rain, connecting to the joy of waking up to a new day full of possibilities. This is sexual energy and this energy needs to circulate and to be embodied ».

Many people just don’t have any space in their lives where they can talk about sexuality. For men especially, showing signs of vulnerability can be a very difficult exercice, not to mention vulnerability in the field of their sexuality: « some people who are facing big intimacy issues aren’t ready to take a long session of 4 to 5 hours. It’s too much for them. I also offer shorter sessions focusing on self discovery. Men have nobody to speak about sex with, neither their friends, nor their partners. And because of the pressure of performance, it’s hard for them to drop into vulnerability. The majority of people weren’t met in their physical needs of touch while they were children. It causes a physical shut down and makes it hard to relate on deeper emotional levels with partners and the entourage. During a consultation, I am tracing certain things, see where they are struggling. I noticed that they can surrender more to the process when they have a cognitive understanding of it. When the mind understands, it can relax and allow the body to drop into the space: this is safe, this is how it works and this is how our biology works. » The first time Julia received bodywork was very cathartic for her, it was a life changing experience and had a big influence on her next relationships: « I released a memory of sexual abuse. Images started to come into my mind. It was the first time that, while my body was accessing and releasing something, my mind was not under control. Even my voice changed during the process. No matter how much yoga I did and how dedicated I was, I became flexible, except for my hips, an area in which my body wasn’t opening much. The reason is sexual trauma was sitting there. »

Nowadays, a lot of tools and gadgets are intended to create more loosh and division, especially between men and women. Working on becoming conscious on the real motives behind our every action is crucial. Julia says: « When we practice conscious touch, I receive a lot of information about my clients. Are they trying to please me, are they trying to take for themselves ? What are their intentions ? I am extremely alert and checking on every little single movement. I am not here to force anything to happen, the mind might say that it’s time for a release but the body might say otherwise ». Lately, Julia has been studying trauma therapy and neurosciences that respect the rythm of the body. It does influence the way she works with sexual trauma: « for those who are conditioned to go into fight mode, using trigger points that will cause a reaction of pain might be helpful. For those who tend to go into freeze mode, pain doens’t work at all: they need to go slow, to be nurtured and held in a safe space so they can open up and release emotions. It’s not about pushing beyond boundaries. » Another part of the work might consists to eye-gaze, which is incredibly intimate work: « eye-gazing is difficult for many people. Let’s be seen, let’s just be here and now. That’s often the start for the release of emotions. »

The shame around sexuality

When their young children start to explore the physical sensation of their genitals, many parents are confronted with their own shame around sexuality: « children around the age of 2 or 3-year old start to discover their genitals. It’s not hormonal. They are starting to discover that this part of their body feels nicer than their knee for example. More nerve are ending there and it’s generally more pleasant. They are acting innocently. But parents tend to panick when they observe this behaviour from their 2-year old. It’s often the first moment parents start to shame their children. They might not say anything but the mother will for example physically push away the child ». It’s in fact more of a sensual expression than a sexual one. This projection of shame can be an important moment to come back to: « there is a lot of shame and guilt around sexual organs which are still often considered as dirty. My work is to come back to their conception as a trully sacred place. » Looking back, the first way I could start acknowledging my own shame was when I was feeling ashamed in front of the behaviours of others. So it first started with the same kind of projection, me projecting my own shame onto someone else, for me to become able to access what shame felt like and to become able to work with how and what shame feels like inside my own body. From then, I began to be able to recognize how everyone is policing each other through shame programs. I became able to shield myself from these projections of shame. As we work on deprogramming shame, we are becoming less easily manipulated.

Sexuality is a very strong motivation factor for most people: « once it hits sexuality, that’s it. Because men are often conditioned to believe they have to be performant in that field, for the first time, they will start to pay close attention to what’s going on. » It’s like the soul is embushing the terrestrial self for some higher lessons: « in my work, my motivation is to see how someone’s life can be changed in one session. Women can access their potential of creativity, their wild sexual nature. Sexual pleasure is not the goal but is often a by product of the work. In my practice, in any practice, it’s important to stay aligned and approach others on terms of equality. We don’t know what’s right for others. I call it being empty. » We are all different puzzles.

Julia Vaya-May (link) offers different treatments, including pelvic floor therapy, Vortex Healing and sexual de-armouring. She has a practice in Hammersmith, London ; Chiang Mai and Koh Phangan ; +447760193337,

In my exploration of non-dualism, meditation, yoga, shamanism, conscious sexuality and different schools of Tantra, I’ve identified the profound effect that states of trust, safety and emotional intimacy have on the physical body. The personal healing journey became a calling to share my knowledge and experience – Julia Vaya-May





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