Enlightened people have sexual urges
Body therapist: "Sexual energy is a basic vital force"
Body therapist: "Sexual energy is a basic vital force"
With advice, massage and seminars, Barbara Schmid enables a deeper relationship to one's own body perception and sexuality. For the Lucerne body therapist, sexual power is much more than just a means of instinctual satisfaction.
They offer consultations, massages and seminars “for a fulfilling sexuality and relationship”. Doesn't sex automatically make you happy?
Barbara Schmid: Whether sex makes you happy or not has to do with how sex connects with your own body, with the feeling, with the heart. If sex is purely a discharge of instincts, it is rarely sustainably exhilarating or fulfilling.
What is fulfilling sexuality for you?
When I can feel, live and share my sensuality and sexual power with pleasure. The prerequisite for this is that I feel comfortable in my body and can relax. Then I can be in the moment with open senses and in connection with myself and the other person. But I don't want to restrict the experience of fulfilling sexuality. Sexual energy can have various expressions. For example, when I'm out and about in nature, feeling the wind on my skin or my body while hiking in the mountains, it also has to do with sensuality, physicality and vitality. Dancing also lives from this sexual energy that flows through the body.
How does the topic of sexuality manifest itself in our society today? What do you perceive?
Sexuality is less taboo and tainted with morals, as our parents experienced and passed on. Today sexuality is freer.
On the other hand, society has become sexualized, which leads to new levels of suffering.
Eroticism and sex are omnipresent in advertising. All imaginable sex practices can be consumed on the porn channels on the Internet. The possibility of having new forms of relationships and quick sex dating has also multiplied with the Internet. We are exposed to extreme flooding that must be learned to deal with.
Are you talking about suffering?
The level of suffering has shifted. It used to be created by taboos and morals. Today it is the maxim of performance. Even young people are beginning to standardize with fitness, diet and operations.
They find their ideals in advertising, on social media channels and in porn.
They suggest how to look and what to do in order to be desirable. This pressure to perform has increased enormously. Here it is the flawless body, there it is the images and ideas transferred from porn. But this inundation does not give us an answer to the crucial question: What is right for me? What is good for me? What corresponds to my being?
How necessary is sexual energy for our wellbeing?
It is a basic vital force and much more than just the self-centered pleasure between two people. It is through it that we come into the world, it connects us with the body and with life.
Sexual energy is a life force with which we are inevitably connected from conception to death.
It creates and shapes our lives and is not only limited to the time we are sexually active. It expresses itself differently depending on the phase of life. When we are cut off or blocked from this force, we become more insecure and may try to compensate for it. If we are connected and grounded with it, the sexual energy can give us confidence and liveliness.
Why do people come to you for advice or massage?
For example, there are couples who have not had sex for a long time and see their relationship threatened as a result. Often they say:
"We are a good couple, but we have a difficult time with sexuality, now something has to change."
I also have exhausted people who have lost their lust and sexuality due to all the pressure to perform in their work and everyday life. Or women who want to find a new approach to sexuality due to a vaginal disease or a traumatic birth. Others come because they want to be fed. Women and men who are in no relationship and have a need for sensuality and touch. Some say that while they are solo they want to find out more about themselves and get to know each other better so that they can meet new and richer when the time is right. Finally, there are also those who have experienced sexual abuse and want to come to terms with it in this way.
How do you proceed?
Different from case to case. I mostly approach the issues through body-integrating advice. This means that I do not touch directly, but instead guide the clients to pay attention to what happens in the body during the conversation, what feelings and body perceptions arise. The body has a memory, and I tie in with this wisdom. Depending on the situation, I combine the consultation with a massage. Often a topic emerges from the touch that was not initially in the foreground, but is central so that a change can take place. I often hear statements like:
"I've talked a lot about it, but now I can feel it too."
You describe your massages as "tantric". Tantra massages are also offered in the sex trade. The difference with you?
What the different tantric offerings have in common is that the sexual energy is integrated. During the tantric massage the whole body is touched. But my tantric massage is not a sexual service in the sense of pure pleasure, including reciprocity. I do not touch to sexually arouse as much as possible and to enable a great orgasm.
It's about helping people to perceive themselves as physical, sensual, sexual beings.
Can you elaborate on that?
If I touch someone, my orientation is that this person is allowed to feel like a sensual sexual being - completely natural and natural. That he neither has to do anything nor conform to an ideal.
Mindful and unintentional are terms that you often use in connection with touch and massage. Why this in particular?
Mindful means to respect a person and to touch them respectfully. This has a lot to do with slowness and appreciation and also with being able to consciously perceive yourself and others. When we are dealing with lust and sensuality, we are usually fast on the lust highway.
Touching without intention means that we have no intention of causing pleasure and excitement. But it's also not about preventing something.
The crux of the matter is that you can hardly explain this quality of touch. You don't understand it until you've experienced it. It's an experience we usually don't know because when we are feeling sensual and sexual it quickly comes down to arousal and penetration. But simply perceiving the desire to relax, to enjoy without intention or goal, that can open up new spaces of experience.
How would you describe it?
They are experiences that go far beyond instinct satisfaction. We get a feeling of being accepted with everything we are and have, including the vulnerable sides. People sometimes say - even if it sounds a bit esoteric: they felt touched in their hearts and souls.
Do you associate your offers with a spiritual background?
I am not conveying a spiritual concept. If the person feels in the here and now and completely anchored in the body, connections to a force that is greater than the human material will open up by themselves. Therefore, my offer can enable a spiritual experience: The feeling of being connected with heaven and earth, with yourself and the world. An inkling of the healing and the sacred, both of which are also inherent in sexuality.
Couples have not had sex with each other in years. Men consume porn and soon no longer know how to do it properly. External relationships compensate for what no longer works in marriage. Can your work help?
All of the examples indicate that those affected are no longer (physically) connected to themselves or to the other person.
It is important to develop self-contact and learn self-regulation.
Create space for contact, closeness and sensuality and not allow yourself to be determined by images and ideas, as is the case with pornography.
How do you work with couples who have lost sexual contact?
Through conversations as well as touch and massage, they get a framework in which they can meet each other anew instead of further evading each other or simply playing their usual program. It really helps that couples take time for each other again. The theme is always: relax without having to do anything.
Establishing (physical) contact without being forced to do anything.
With the bodyworker Armin Müller you offer seminars with tantric massage. Are they all lying naked in the room and massaging each other?
The heart of these seminars is learning tantric massage, as a «tool» to experience the natural physicality, sensuality and sexual power and thus to relax. The participants are introduced to the massage step by step.
They don't just lie there naked.
It is important to create a trusting atmosphere in which boundaries can also be expressed. Humor is also important. We guide, pay attention to respect, slowness and appreciation.
Are there situations that you do not accept or where you intervene?
Our instructions help to create an appreciative basic atmosphere. We intervene when someone massages without empathy, is not involved, shows little respect or when they touch the intimate areas as quickly as possible. We also encourage the men and women who are being massaged to report if they feel uncomfortable.
Not all people feel so free or relaxed about going naked in a group.
For most of the participants, it is a great challenge to show yourself naked in a group. That takes courage, makes you vulnerable and at the same time can be very liberating. Treating ourselves respectfully without the usual protection of our clothes connects us with the naturalness of our bodies. We experience that everyone is in the same boat, however our bodies are shaped. And in our seminars there is no compulsion to be naked. We leave it up to the individual how many clothes they take off or whether they cover themselves up during the massage. Saying yes or no clearly strengthens self-confidence.
In your seminars people meet who do not know each other and who engage with each other with firm contact. How do you put the massage pairs together?
A trusting atmosphere is essential. Only then do we let the people choose some of them themselves, and sometimes we draw lots. Basically, couples can choose to massage each other or choose another partner.
Maybe someone is reluctant to be chosen or does not feel comfortable with the partner?
Choosing and being elected is also part of sexuality. How do we deal with rejection? Do I dare to say yes or no? A lot can be experienced and learned there.
Is there recurring feedback from participants?
People become more confident and relaxed. Many report that they integrate the new experiences into their sexuality and are less exposed to certain ideas.
So do the experiences have an effect in everyday life?
An experience that goes through the body supports sustainability. You felt and experienced something and not just mentally acted out it. Often people receive impulses that they then stick to. Some say that they can now approach people much more clearly and confidently at work, for example.
Why did you make sensuality and sexuality your profession?
I grew up in a conservative and Catholic environment. As a child I was shy. I felt like an "ugly duckling". As a young woman I was curious, felt a vitality, but could not live that much. I was tough and on my own. With a mix of curiosity and suffering, I attended a tantra seminar. The combination of body awareness, dance, massage, sensuality and liveliness appealed to me. It was like coming home. This experience has brought me further like nothing else. That's why I followed this trail. With appropriate training and further education, I stayed true to this direction.
What are you doing in your spare time?
My work with people is close and intense. I find a balance in nature: I love the mountains and the water in summer and winter. Nature is one of my greatest sources of strength. I also recently resumed artistic work: I follow my creative impulses and experiment with color and aesthetics.
Barbara Schmid was born in 1973 in Schüpfheim. She grew up on a farm with four siblings. After completing a commercial training, she completed the higher technical school for social pedagogy in Zurich and later the integrative counseling training at the IBP Institute (Integration Body Psychotherapy) Winterthur. She worked in various professional fields Social pedagogy and as a job coach and built up her own consultancy.
Barbara Schmid later completed training in the areas of massage and sexual counseling. For five years she has been focusing on her integrative Counseling and massage practice with a focus on sexuality. Together with the tantra masseur and sexological bodyworker Armin Müller, she offers under "Paths of Aliveness" Seminars in the field of touch and massage. There the tantric massage as a "tool" conveyed to experience the natural physicality, sensuality and sexual power. Barbara Schmid lives in Meggen and lives in a fulfilling relationship. (pb)
Further information: www.erbluehen.ch; www.lebendigkeit.ch
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