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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thanksgiving Week

So Much Ghandi, So little time

“BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world,” was one of Ghandi’s many important and insightful messages. It was quoted by Sir Ben Kingsley, the actor who portrayed the great man in the Academy Award winning film Ghandi, as I sat in the audience at a Hollywood party given by Ted Turner (or, at least, that’s what was written on the invitation). It also read “hosted by Sir Ben Kingsley in honor of Dr. Mani Bhaumik,” but first a little bit more about Ted. Now, I didn’t expect Ted Turner to be waiting for me as I walked into the ballroom, but I did expect him to show up. After all, who gives a party and goes MIA? Alas, Ted had something better to do and sent his condolences via satellite. Don’t you just love modern day technology? If only I could invent a way for lovers to caress and kiss each other over the internet. Hmm…I wonder if John Lennon could’ve imagined that. Anyway, back to the party. Celebrities who attended included Paris Hilton’s parents (without Paris), Peter Falk (or as I like to call him, Columbo), Angie Dickinson of Policewoman fame, and a few others whose faces looked familiar but whose names I can’t remember. As I mentioned before, Sir Ben Kingsley did show up and was an entertaining and stimulating speaker. That was the good news. The bad news is that after Sir Ben, other speakers were not so polished and articulate. I was getting increasingly hungry, but dinner wouldn’t be served until after everyone had spoken so I tried to applaud as often and as loud as humanly possible. It should be mentioned here that the honoree, Dr. Mani Bhaumik, received his honor for outstanding contributions to science and humanity for inventing Lasik eye surgery, and for writing his latest book, Code Name God. Yet, somehow, that got lost in all the theatrics. Well, it was a Hollywood party. After dinner, nourished and revived, I looked forward to getting my complimentary goodie bag with Dr. Mani’s new book in it, but alas, another disappointment. The bags and the books were all gone and so was I.

Tantric Sex in Newcastle

Traveling to new places and lecturing to large groups of people is one of the great perks in my profession. Newcastle, New Hampshire was no exception. Admittedly, I’d rather go to a different continent like Asia - for example, I loved lecturing in Vietnam, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong. Even Africa, although I got food poisoning there, was a tremendous bang…literally. And then there is Europe, of course. Spain was fun, Turkey was exciting, and Cyprus was romantic. Norway and Sweden were cold (but the people were hot), Hungary was particularly memorable for me because that’s where I was born, and the pastries were amazing in Austria. And then, there’s Newcastle, New Hampshire. I arrived at my beautiful five star resort hotel at midnight and was ready to lecture early the next morning. My first seminar was entitled, Passion Power. It is a seminar geared towards couples who want to enhance their intimacy. My favorite part of this seminar is when I ask couples how well they really know each other. For example, do you know what your lover’s answers would be to the following questions?

  1. What would he/she say is their best physical feature?
  2. What do you think are their strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What is their life philosophy?
  4. What would he/she say were three of the most significant times in their relationship?
  5. What is their greatest possession?

Not so easy, is it? Passion Power is a popular seminar of mine because it comes with a workbook for couples to go home and reconnect with each other emotionally and physically; to let them work on their relationship long after my seminar.

After Passion Power, I gave another seminar entitled, How To Talk To Your Kids About Love And Sex. Parents with kids ranging from toddlers to teens attended. My intention with this particular seminar is to get parents to talk openly and honestly about love and sex and to prepare their children for all the sexual feelings and physiological changes they will go through. Not an easy task when the parents are more inhibited about sex than their kids. However, by the end of the seminar, I had them role-playing with each other and laughing.

That night after dinner, I gave my Tantric Sex seminar to over 100 guests while they were finishing their deserts. I love teaching a subject that is completely foreign and Tantra is one of those inspiring topics that really can push the envelope. I created the first ever Tantric Lovers game for couples to experience and learn Tantra and achieve that “ultimate” connection. It was supposed to be launched just before I left for my seminar and I had planned to give some of my games away, but unfortunately they were not ready. Incidentally, many people have the wrong idea about what Tantra is and is not, so the first thing I do is to teach them some Tantric words like Temple, which means body, Pillows of Compassion which are breasts, and, well, you get the idea, the words are poetic rather than graphic or sexual. When I asked my eager audience what they thought the word Kundalini meant, one man jumped up and shouted, ‘Secretary of State”, and everyone burst out laughing. I guess you had to be there. Incidentally it means sexual energy. The next step was for me to define the different kinds of Tantra. There’s Black Tantra (used to manipulate others, not something that was going to be included in my presentation), White Tantra, which is about meditation, healing and releasing emotion (all very nice but not what I was going to talk about), and Red Tantra, which was to be the focus of my night. Red, as a colour, is for passion, and Red Tantra is all about exchanging yin (female) and yang (male) energy to worship your lover. So as the night went on, I had couples worshipping each other through the various Tantric elements like, breath, movement, sound, intention and attention. The night ended with everyone feeling closer, except for me. I went to bed alone. Well, not exactly. I do have my TriGasm. After 2 days of non-stop lecturing, it was nice to fly back to LA in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Cross Dressing on Turkey Day

I rarely see clients on holidays, but Thanksgiving was a quiet day. I didn’t have plans until dinner, so I agreed to see Mark and his wife, Linda - a couple I had seen before. Mark had a predominant fantasy involving cross-dressing, and Linda was none too happy about his bending gender roles. However, she finally accepted it as long as it stayed in the bedroom or, shall I say, their bedroom.

Mark was a strong ultra-masculine man, while Linda was a pretty, petite woman. As they sat down in front of me, I realized they had a big problem because Linda was weeping. Before I had a chance to ask anything, she blurted out, “Dr. Ava he wants to dress in drag in front of my family tonight and I won’t go to Thanksgiving dinner with him like that.” Therapists should never allow themselves to be used by one party against another. Mark was clearly overstepping the boundaries they had agreed upon. For Linda, this was a deal breaker. “What’s going on, Mark?” I asked. “I want to feel free to dress as I want. It’s not about sexual role playing anymore; it’s about me being comfortable in front of other people when I’m dressed as a woman,” he exclaimed. I looked at both of them, calmly and serenely, and thought to myself, obviously, this was going to take a lot more than a one-hour session. But, I wanted to resolve their immediate problem and so I had an idea. “How about a little compromise here? Mark, I’m sure you can understand Linda’s concerns about how her family may react to you showing up in women’s clothing, so why don’t you wear women’s panties and stockings under your trousers? You’ll still feel the same rush that you get from cross-dressing, but you won’t embarrass Linda or her family.” Mark and Linda looked at each other with what looked like a contemptuous glance, then back at me. “Oh, I don’t…” But, before Linda could finish her sentence, Mark interrupted her and nodded, “Alright Dr. Ava, if that’s what you suggest, I’ll do it just to keep the peace.” Although still visibly unhappy, Linda looked somewhat relieved. I reminded her that nobody would know that he was wearing women’s panties but her. She thanked me, but, somehow, I don’t think she looked forward to Thanksgiving dinner.

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