One woman’s story of moving from a “don’t talk about sex” childhood to a sexually disconnected adulthood, then finally discovering Tantra, energy work, and her own sexual desire and power.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S2E32 | Erotic Biography: Sex, Energy, and Tantra"
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Sondra Vallery: Working with a partner, it's a real dance. It's all a process. It's not like, you know, "Do step one before you do step two." It is learning your own energy, and feeling your own emotions and energy, and how that changes from moment to moment, because we're constantly changing. And then, also perceiving that in your partner, and how the two interact. So, really feeling the change in their flow of energy from moment to moment as well.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversation, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator Karen Yates. Today, I interview a friend about their experience at Tantra school, and discuss sexual energy. Keep listening.
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Hey, folks. As some of you may know, but maybe not all of you, I began my more formal sexual explorations in Tantra before I became a somatic sex educator. What is Tantra? If you ask various people in the Tantra world, you most likely will get a multiplicity of answers, as there are a few kinds. There is the more formal, classical Tantra, which is called Shaivism, that comes from an Indian tradition hundreds of years ago; as well as Buddhist Tantra, from generally the same time frame. Both are concerned with non-duality, or oneness, and have scriptures that can be studied, as well as meditation practices.
That's not what this episode is about. The Tantra we'll be hearing about today is known more as "Neo-Tantra," and it came out of the 1960s, as the Western world began grasping, adapting, and amending the concepts and traditions of the East, and moving them into the sexual arena. A lot of the Tantra workshops you see advertised these days are Neo-Tantra in nature. And sometimes they also blend in Taoism, taoist sexual practices as well, which come from China. Neo-Tantra, in the past few years, has come under fire, such as reported consent violations by notable teachers, as well as Tantra's typical hetero model of being taught. One exception to this is Barbara Carrellas's workshops, and their book "Urban Tantra," which I highly recommend. Some Neo-Tantra methods, though, can serve as a framework for people to learn how to identify and cultivate a flow of sexual energy, and use and share that energetic flow with partners. For me personally, studying Tantra was a turning point moment in my life, since through the practice, I was able to become more self-empowered, and energetically aware.
Today, within the scope of erotic biography, I'll be interviewing a friend who went to the same Tantra school I did, about her journey. Sondra Vallery isn't a Tantra teacher or an expert with clients. Sondra — not her real name — is a former scientist, now an analyst, who has a regular nine-to-five job with a big corporation. Thus the "not her real name bit." What I love about her story is that she made the decision to go down the path of sexual exploration, found Tantra, began working with energy sexually, and in daily life, and found a new world opening up to her. Enjoy.
Sondra Vallery: Thank you for having me, Karen.
Karen Yates: It's very exciting to have you here. I want to hear your journey. So, first, do you mind talking a little bit about your upbringing and how sexuality was viewed?
Sondra Vallery: It was very much a closed affair. It was not something that was openly talked about. In fact, it was really repressed. I remember, we would take these road trips as a kid. And we would listen to a book on tape. And anytime there was some sort of sex scene or allusion to sex, my dad would want to turn it off. And I, of course, was really interested to hear what was going on. And I think my brother and my mom didn't mind it either. But it was sort of like, 'This is not a thing that we even really discuss here.'
Karen Yates: Okay, so I'm imagining you all in the car, books on tape, here comes a sex scene. Now, what did you do? Did your dad and mom forward through the sex scene? If the sex scene was long, what happened? Or did you just stop?
Sondra Vallery: Well, actually, usually my mom won out. We would listen to it, and my dad would just be unhappy about it. So that was nice, because then it also related to the story, too, in some plots. So I'm grateful at least that that my mom was fine with listening to it as well.
Karen Yates: So what happened when you started going through puberty and adolescence? You know, was sex talked about? I mean, did your mother even take you aside? How did you find out— your face!
Sondra Vallery: I found out about it in sex ed in school. And I had the impression that other kids there had already known — like, they had gotten the talk from their parents. But I hadn't. And at the time, I was... I was a little old — I was, like, maybe 11 or so. And at the time, it was sort of a gag reflex, but also curious. I mean, I think — then later, it was like, the next year, then it started to change. Like, 'Oh, this is something I'm curious about, because it's natural.' So...
Karen Yates: Right, right. And of course, like, the sex education was very heterosexual.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. And it was a Catholic school.
Karen Yates: Okay. Okay. So how is it framed?
Sondra Vallery: It was framed as you know, the creation in marriage, and that was the bounds of where it's appropriate. And between a man and a woman, and for the purposes of procreation. And maybe to bond, but you know, mainly the former.
Karen Yates: So, no talk about masturbation.
Sondra Vallery: There was, actually. Yes, yeah.
Karen Yates: Was it evil? Were you hellbound?
Sondra Vallery: It was, in the book. But it was interesting, because I lived in a fairly progressive area, too. So it's like, the views were mixed. It wasn't really hardline Catholic. So we had some of the hardline Catholic materials, but when that was brought up — because for some reason, in the fifth grade, which was when I learned about it, they had it, and then in the seventh grade, they redid the sex ed, in case you forgot or something. [laughs]
Karen Yates: In case it slipped your mind.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. And then when we got to the section about masturbation in the book, the whole class started laughing out loud. So it was like, yes, it was being told that this is not okay. But it was really like, 'Yeah, but... we've all done it by now.' Or most people had done it by now, or something.
Karen Yates: What were your early sexual experiences? Were they difficult? Were they easy?
Sondra Vallery: I'd say that it was overall a thing that I thought, like in high school, that it was something that other people do, but that I can't. And then I was also very emotionally shut down — which is, you know, related to a whole bunch of other childhood stuff. But I was curious, and wanted to date and have a boyfriend, but it was also a thing that, you know, I felt was a little bit out of reach. It was like fantasy. When I actually started to have sex in college, that's more where I became aware of the emotional shutdown piece. And it really felt like, you know, fantasy was always better than the reality. And I'm not talking about some fantastical thing where I'm imagining some man with eight dicks and, you know... Just even like, fantasizing about what one would consider like, quote-unquote, vanilla sex, it was always better than what I was actually having, because I couldn't feel.
Karen Yates: You couldn't actually feel penetration.
Sondra Vallery: I could feel it, but there was, like, zero emotional involvement, or even sensation. A lot of it was numb. There were periods of time in my 20s where I didn't even pursue it, because it was like, well, this is really not that great for me.
Karen Yates: So, when you perceived that you were numb, or maybe disconnected, was there a sense that this was just the way it was for you, and that this was not going to change?
Sondra Vallery: Very much so. My mindset at the time was like, 'Oh, my body is different from other people's. I just don't feel these things that my friends do.'
Karen Yates: Did you have any ongoing sexual relationships?
Sondra Vallery: I did. I had a boyfriend in college that lasted — I guess, you know, at that time, the longest was like, maybe several months. And then I had some other relationships and like, throughout my 20s, of like, up to a year and a half.
Karen Yates: Did anything happen that led you to Tantra?
Sondra Vallery: I was going through a period when I was in grad school, where all of these things that I was mentioning, hanging over from childhood, were just really coming to the surface. And it was like, okay, I need to address this now. So I started in, like, a normal talk therapy, and was, you know, getting some good results. And I even, at one point, started dating a bunch more. And I remember the first time that I slept with three guys in the span of a week. And then there was a lot of shame that came up like, 'Oh, I'm kind of a ho...' And so there was like, working through all of that, and therapy. And then I joined this meet-up group, actually, for — it was a women's and relationship group. And a Tantra teacher came. And this woman just had some grace and strength and wisdom that was just, you know, emanating from her. This real, like, inner beauty. And I was like, 'Whoa... I want that.' And then she said that she had gotten more healing from Tantra than she had in 10 years of talk therapy. And so I was like, alright, sign me up. And then there was a weekend workshop that fall, and I signed up for it right away.
Karen Yates: You went to this workshop — were you apprehensive? Did you think, like, what am I doing?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, a little bit. I was more excited. And then I got there, and I cried the whole time. I felt like I was, like, back to day one of therapy, because it just brought up some of these issues in a different light. But I was so happy that I had gone. Actually, one of the instructors afterwards had said that she was a little concerned that I would just leave. But I was really enjoying what I was hearing. But it was just like, kind of processing through all of what I was feeling, and realizing all of that numbness that I'd had before.
Karen Yates: So what was being said that was bringing up stuff? Or what was being done that was bringing up stuff for you?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, so we first — actually asked some of the questions you had asked me earlier, about, like, how was sexuality communicated and viewed in childhood? And, you know, they broke us out into groups of three people and started talking about it. And then I just started — the tears just started coming then.
Karen Yates: So it was really this idea of sharing with other people maybe more openly, than...?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. And really uncovering things that I had felt some shame about earlier.
Karen Yates: And was this your first taste of working with energy? Or did you even get to that point in the workshop?
Sondra Vallery: I did not really make that connection within that particular workshop. It was, like, my first intro to everything. I was just like, oh my God — my mind was so blown, I was so excited about all of it. And just even, you know, doing these intimate exercises with other people — and I don't even necessarily mean... Intimate can have clothes on, too. So we would, you know, do these intense kind of sharing exercises as well, that were challenging for me. But the real inflection point with energy is that I continued with the the Tantra work, and then I met you at a later workshop. And then I did three 10-day workshops that were kind of teacher trainings, but then also a lot of folks like me, who were just interested for their personal life as well.
Karen Yates: There were a lot of tears for you in this first Tantra workshop. And what I know, because we had pretty much the same trajectory, but at different points — for me, it was one of the first times, not the absolute first time, but one of the first times that I was in a large group of people where sex was being discussed so openly.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah.
Karen Yates: And that was amazing and liberating. And you could just see everybody looking at each other. Like "Oh my God!"
Sondra Vallery: And truly seeing each other.
Karen Yates: Yes, that was the other part of it. It's this combination of, we're talking about sex, but it is not in a come-on sort of way.
Sondra Vallery: It's like, this thing that should be normal is being talked about as normal.
Karen Yates: Yeah.And then you add the energy component, and things get really crazy, because then it's like, oh my god, we're talking about sex, the conversation's being normalized, and now we're talking about energy.
Sondra Vallery: Right.
Karen Yates: You know, it becomes just like... Wow. There's a lot getting put on the table right now.
Sondra Vallery: Absolutely. And there's so many layers to it to discover.
Karen Yates: [to audience] We then discussed Sondra's experience at the Tantra school that we both attended in the U.S. West Coast. The teacher training revolved around students learning how to give Tantra sessions, which had a specific framework.
Okay, so let's talk a little bit about the Tantra session — like what's going on?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, so we were primarily in the school focused on healing. It was, you know, multi-stage kind of process, in asense. So you'd have, like, a conversation and intake conversation beforehand, and asking the person that is receiving the session what they would like to get out of it, you know, how they would want to feel afterwards and, you know, some questions about anything that they might be addressing, or coming up for them at that time. So then, if you're giving the session, you can take all of those pieces in mind. So it's important to know these things going in, for the giver to know these things before even laying hands on someone.
Karen Yates: So when you say "giver," what does that mean?
Sondra Vallery: So giver is facilitating the session. They would be doing a massage, and it's for the receiver. And it's whatever the receiver would like, within the bounds of a container. So you would set your boundaries ahead of time. And that really can give a sense of freedom, because it takes the guesswork out of what is okay and what is not okay. And the receiver's job is to just receive and notice their pleasure, acknowledge whatever comes up and happens for them, and ask for what they want in that container.
Karen Yates: But not to try to pleasure the giver.
Sondra Vallery: Exactly.
Karen Yates: It's not that kind of — it's not a back and forth. It's not an exchange, if you will.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. It's like, oh, you massaged my back and that felt really nice. Well, I'm going to rub your leg while while you're, you know, rubbing my leg. It's for the receiver, and facilitating the experience for them. Because it's really about the receiver's pleasure, and what the receiver would like, and what they're experiencing.
Karen Yates: So for, say, a couple that wants to do the work, there's obviously not the intake form. It's more letting your partner be in a state where they don't have to give back, so it's fully for them.
Sondra Vallery: Yes, right. And they can relax into that.
Karen Yates: [to audience] We'll return to my interview with Sandra Vallery in a moment. Wild & Sublime is also sponsored in part by our Sublime Supporter, Chicago-based Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you, at fullcolorlifetherapy.com. If you would like to be a Sublime Supporter, showcasing you and your business and supporting us at the same time, contact us at .
We'll now return to our interview. In this next portion, Sondra talks about one of her first transformative practice sessions at Tantra school, receiving sexual and energetic touch from another student. And a note: In many Tantra schools and workshops, the vulva and vagina are referred to by the Sanskrit word "Yoni," and the penis is referred to as the "Lingam."
But I want to get back to your direct experience within the session. What were you going through?
Sondra Vallery: One of the things that I had growing up was a lot of issues around trust, and with my dad. And doing this work, I did not think that I could work with an older man, or, you know, receive a session, or it was just not — it was out of the picture. So the first 10-day workshop that I did, we would draw Tarot cards out of a deck to find who we would be paired with for exercises. And for each time, each of the four official practice sessions, I drew a man who was old enough to be my father. So it was really drawing the perfect teacher.
Karen Yates: Was that weird?
Sondra Vallery: It didn't feel creepy-weird. I was well aware that this was my own issues, and that, you know, everyone there was safe, and that, you know, I had drawn really wonderful people. I just couldn't get over like, 'Okay, and now you're going to touch my yoni.' But what was really wonderful there, too, was that there was another woman there as well. And that sisterhood really made me feel safe, and be able to open up that first time I was really, really needing that. But after having had those experiences, it really healed that within me, that it's like, you know, I may not want to date a man that's old enough to be my father, but I can trust this type of person.
Karen Yates: Right? It doesn't have to be like automatic response to the situation, right?
Sondra Vallery: Right.
Karen Yates: I know I think about when I related on another episode, just how deep some of the healing was for me as well, in real childhood trauma, some of which I wasn't even able to articulate. I think we see Tantra, as you know, all about pleasure, and it can be, but there's another aspect to it. And we were in teacher training, so it was like working with people to help move energy, and work through blockages.
Sondra Vallery: Absolutely. And I want to come back to that pleasure point as well. Because I think that can also be equally as healing.
Karen Yates: Mm hmm.
Sondra Vallery: That was kind of the first-time experience of owning my pleasure, and owning my sexuality, and really asking for what I want. And like, oh, now I even know what I do want! And it was a really empowering, wonderful thing that can really relate to life in general.
Karen Yates: Yeah, absolutely. Like, the more we become connected to our body, the more we know what we want, and can articulate that.
[to listener] One of the things that strikes me as I listen again to this interview, is that somatically what can happen physically during these sessions is a resetting of the nervous system from past patterning. I then asked Sandra more about Tantra sessions, which were taught primarily as massage-based.
Sondra Vallery: So physically, for women's receiving, it would be an external massage on the outside of the yoni, and then also inside. And for men, it's the prostate. So just having even somebody touch you there, in a nonsexual and also nonclinical way — because those are really the two types of touch we get on our genitalia, is either clinical or sexual — and just have it, you know, be cared for. And, you know, I could just really feel, like, an opening up in my body, and really starting to feel more things.
Karen Yates: Yeah. So it's more of a benevolent regard, via the hands.
Sondra Vallery: Yes.
Karen Yates: And the hands conducting energy, through conscious awareness, for the most part.
Sondra Vallery: Absolutely, yeah. And I had the opportunity to work, too, with some folks that had been practicing Tantra for years. And you could really see the level of mastery they have at moving and reacting to what the receiver is giving them, and moving that all around. So it's really, really beautiful practice.
Karen Yates: There's always this point, really, of getting permission.
Sondra Vallery: Yes.
Karen Yates: Which I always thought was so critical for internal work. Whether it be the vagina or the rectum, right?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. And noticing when it's ready. When your yoni is ready, when the anus is ready, and — or "rosebud,"as we called it in school.
Karen Yates: For yourself as a receiver.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, and honoring that yes, or honoring that no, if it's like, 'Hey, I need a little bit more time to warm up." You know, really honoring that. There's so many times, even sexually and non-sexually in life, where we override our feelings. We're like, yeah, I need to get this done now, I really don't feel like it, so I'm going to do it. But in a Tantra session, especially in those very meaningful areas of our body, it's so important to honor that 'no.'
Karen Yates: Yeah, you know, you're you're making me realize that that was really the first point, in my life I think, that I realized like, oh, yeah, the moment of penetration, whether it be by finger or penis, or toy, that is a moment that I have to acknowledge, around giving permission. First to myself, checking in. I think so often, people are not really checking in with themselves.
Sondra Vallery: Right. Or we see examples, or in porn, where it all happens so fast, or even in a movie in a sex scene. But that's really not what it's like in real life. And just noticing that in yourself, when your body is saying, 'I need some more time.'
Karen Yates: So talk a little bit about within a session how energy moves.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. So when doing the massage piece, we incorporate a lot of breathwork as well. And that can also be at a time when you're having penetration, either the yoni or the rectum, or playing, massaging the lingam. The breathwork can really help to move energy, and also releasing with sound. So we would, you know, breathe in, and then release with sound. And that really was something for me that was helping me to notice and feel more sensations. And I think in some ways, just that resonance helps to dislodge some stuff. And so really, it can change moment to moment, and there'll be times where I would just start crying and releasing stuff. And I didn't even necessarily know why.
Karen Yates: Right? Yeah. Because it's the person who is giving the session is actually helping the recipient—
Sondra Vallery: Process.
Karen Yates: Process, coaching them through the breathing, coaching them through the the sound-making. So it's like, you as the receiver don't have to like think, 'What am I doing?' It's like you're being held, really, within this session. You know, the other thing I want to ask you is, you used to be a scientist, and you worked in a lab, correct?
Sondra Vallery: I did. Yeah. Doing experiments.
Karen Yates: Doing experiments on bugs, right?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah.
Karen Yates: Being schooled in the sciences, did you find, like, "this is weird, I'm starting to accept the idea of energy"? Or did you already always sort of know it was there?
Sondra Vallery: I think on some level, I always knew it was there, but I wasn't paying attention to it. But I also — just even the the connection between science and this energy, which in a lot of ways can be considered, quote-unquote, 'woo woo,' really, it was the experience, having the personal experiences. And then once I started getting more into energy work, trying different things out — so really, in a lot of ways, there's an element still of experimentation. So in science, you know, we have hypotheses, and we prove or disprove them through doing experiments and repeating them over time. And that's really the same thing that I've been doing when exploring energy work, is trying something out, seeing how it changes over time. Maybe there's a particular practice that doesn't resonate with me, but then there's another practice that really does. So it's that buildup over time, where it was like, yeah, this is a real thing, a real phenomenon, and it's extremely powerful.
Karen Yates: You know, becoming aware of energy, and subtle energy, doesn't happen immediately. Someone, one of the teachers, was like, it sort of is a fake it 'till you make it kind of thing.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah.
Karen Yates: You just have to buy into the fact there is energy, and eventually you will be feeling it. I mean, that's certainly what happened to me.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, for sure. And I think for me as well, it's like an attunement thing. You know, even if you're listening to some music you can hear it no matter where you are in your apartment or home. If you put on a high volume, you're going to hear it, you're going to pay attention. But if you put it a very low volume, you may only be able to hear it if you're nearby the speaker or something, and you may not notice it if you're distracted. So it's the same sort of thing with energy. At the very beginning of the journey, and when I was even still coming to the decision in myself like, yes, this is real, and it exists, feeling a large amount of it. Like for example, when everyone is together in the Tantra school, there's a lot of energy running, and I'm only now a couple years into really studying and practicing energy work, but I've seen over that time, just how my attunement to just subtle changes within myself has occurred. So now I can perceive, you know, how does the word 'problem' sound, versus the word 'challenge.' Like, I can instantly feel the difference in how I feel about that. And framing something as a challenge instead of a problem just makes me a lot more excited about that. And I can use that excitement to find a solution. So that's just an example of fine-tunement that that develops over time.
Karen Yates: So talk a little bit about energy within the body, and what you know — especially, like, working with a partner sexually.
Sondra Vallery: Working with a partner is a real dance. And it's all a process. It's not like, you know, 'Do step one before you do step two.' It is learning your own energy, and feeling your own emotions and energy, and how that changes from moment to moment, because we're constantly changing. And then also perceiving that in your partner, and how the two interact. So, in the context of a Tantra session, if I'm giving a session to someone, then I'll be very aware of both visual cues — like, do they appear tense? Or are they enjoying this and wanting more? And of course, asking for the verbal — like, how is this for you? Is there anything else that you would like now? But, you know, really feeling the change in their flow of energy from moment to moment as well.
Karen Yates: So what would you say to someone around masturbation and feeling energy? Like, when you masturbate, do you feel energy running through your body?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, absolutely. I personally feel it — the concentration, of course, on my yoni and clitoris, and where I'm stimulating. But I could also feel it all the way up the front side of my body, and through my legs, too. It just feels like a tingly feeling.
Karen Yates: Right? And I mean, that's actually one way — I mean, someone might say, 'Oh, well, maybe that's just sensation.' But there is a quality, right?
Sondra Vallery: Yes.
Karen Yates: And that's maybe a great way to just even begin the process of noticing your own sexual energy, right?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, absolutely. And how does it feel today? How does it feel tomorrow when I masturbate? How do I feel if I'm using my fingers, versus if I'm involving a toy? So there's a real lot that can be explored.
Karen Yates: Do you actually consciously manipulate your sexual energy as you're you're masturbating, or as you're with a partner?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah. Sometimes incorporating breathwork can really help with that.
Karen Yates: Explain a little bit about that.
Sondra Vallery: A lot of times — and this is likely true for other people — when I masturbate, it can be a really quick buildup to release. And in that case, if I hold my breath, then it just all is over really quick. And it's like, oh, that was nice, but I wish it lasted longer. So, consciously breathing through the whole process can help to not only feel more sensations, but then also last a little bit longer for each orgasm.
Karen Yates: Yeah. The deeper the breathing, the more you will sustain the orgasm — and that is whether you have a penis or a vagina. That's a proven Tantric method. [laughs]
Sondra Vallery: And you can have orgasms that don't even involve your genitalia.
Karen Yates: That's right.
Sondra Vallery: One of the orgasmic pathways that we have in the body is the vagus nerve, which goes down the front of your body. I actually, with a Tantra practice partner, had a really cool session one time, where he was just dipping his hand towards — like, right above the vagus nerve in my different energy centers, because we worked with the chakra system too, in Tantra school. And then I could just feel this wave of, like, orgasmic energy, and I was like, yelling and screaming, and he wasn't even touching my yoni or my clitoris, or anything. And it was still this like, really lovely, orgasmic-energetic experience.
Karen Yates: Yeah. I mean, the non-genitally-located orgasms are pretty mind-blowing when you start having them, because it's like, wow, why isn't anyone talking about this???
Sondra Vallery: This is so cool!
Karen Yates: Right, it is. It's very, very cool. You don't even have to take your clothes off.
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Karen Yates: [to the listener] I want to jump in here to say that if you have only one goal in life, it should be learning how to have an energy orgasm. Okay, back to the interview.
[to Sondra] Going forward here, do you anticipate — like, it just continuing to be an unfolding journey?
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's delving into my own sexual energy and peace too, a bit more. So I feel like I've healed a lot of aspects, but I feel like there's still some pieces that need addressing. And then, like, to explore in more intentional partnership as well.
Karen Yates: Like, a consistent partner to do this kind of exploration with...
Sondra Vallery: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, too, as the journey evolves, I'm going to come I'm back to Tantra in the future, and really have this whole other perspective and depth to the practice that I wasn't getting when I was just starting out.
Karen Yates: Yeah, I completely agree with you. I feel the same way, because my energetic practice is changing as well. And it's like, a continual process of integration. I mean, I think the sexual journey in general is an ongoing discovery. But then if you're working with energy and becoming acclimated, it's the same sort of process. It's about getting to know yourself better. We get to know ourselves better sexually, we get to know our bodies better. We change over time, but we're also integrating new experiences. And I think the same thing is true when you're working in an energetic capacity as well.
Sondra Vallery: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, and it all, of course, ties together in one's life. And I feel like sometimes, you know, you work with a certain direction, whatever that may be, and it may get you — you know, you plateau for a moment, and it gets you kind of as far. And then you go off and explore something else, and then just bring it back all together. And then it can just take you even further with the first practice, or whatever you're exploring.
Karen Yates: I think there's this sense of, oh, we shroud a lot of this in, like, mystical terms. Like, there may be some people on the planet having this kind of sex, or this sort of interaction, but I'm certainly never going to experience something like that. And then when you start experiencing it, you're like, 'Wow.'
Sondra Vallery: Right.
Karen Yates: I mean, what do you say? It's like, yes, there's places in the world that teach folks how to do this. There are so many places you can learn how to do things. It's incredible.
Sondra Vallery: Absolutely. It's really something that I could never expect to have experienced. And I didn't even know that was something available in life, an experience like that. And, you know, that really ties back to the beginning of my story, and a sense of feeling like, oh, this thing is not available to me. And really, like, how much that has changed, and really how it applies to the rest of life as well. It's like, just opening up and dreaming of the possibilities, both sexual and in general.
Karen Yates: I love it. Thank you so much, Sandra.
Sondra Vallery: Thank you so much for having me, Karen. It's been a real pleasure.
Karen Yates: For those of you interested in Tantra, or who want to learn more about it, check out the book, "Urban Tantra" in our Bookshop affiliate link in our show notes. And, have a friend interested in Tantra? Send them this episode. If you want to explore your energy, biofield tuning may be for you. Biofield tuning uses frequency to help repattern your bioelectric field, and can support you in getting out of stuck behaviors and feel better. You can work with me in person in Chicago, or remotely from any area in the world. Or attend my weekly group biofield sessions on Zoom on a variety of topics. For more information, go to karen-yates.com. That link is in the show notes.
Well, that's it, folks. I'm sure we will be coming back to energy as it relates to sexuality in the future. Have a very pleasurable week. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
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- Urban Tantra on Bookshop – a great book on Tantra!
- Energy orgasms – Barbara Carrellas guides you through a downloadable meditation
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