Images of Desire: Finding Your Natural Sensual Self in Today's Image Filled Society

Images of Desire: Finding Your Natural Sensual Self in Today's Image Filled Society

by Jaqueline Lapa Sussman

We all have secret images within us—as unique as our fingertips—which can transform us into the carefree sexual beings we were born to be. We can uncover those primary images in our own minds because natural sensuality can be self-taught. Images of Desire can unlock what you need to know to find the natural, primal, sensual you . . . and elicit

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We all have secret images within us—as unique as our fingertips—which can transform us into the carefree sexual beings we were born to be. We can uncover those primary images in our own minds because natural sensuality can be self-taught. Images of Desire can unlock what you need to know to find the natural, primal, sensual you . . . and elicit the same sensuality from the person you love.

Today, many people's images of sexuality have been shaped by television, magazines, fashion, and advertising, and so no longer arise naturally from their core selves. Eidetic images—the natural images encoded in the brain—have been buried under those imposed layers of false imagery.

When used correctly, eidetic images can heal and enhance one's natural sensual abilities, allowing the true sensual self to flourish free of the images imposed on us by society. Images of Desire can reveal the sexual potential we have buried and free us to experience our most genuine emotions—joy, sensual pleasure, love, and passion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An approach which enables the patient to cut through the mind/body problem and deal with the essential unity, which is himself as a human being."—The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

"Eidetics is an exciting and ingenious way of getting to conflict areas."—Contemporary Psychology

"Unmatched in the clinical literature...a methological advance."—The American Journal of Psychiatry

Library Journal
This provocative title does not disappoint. Psychotherapist Sussman, director of the National and International Imagery Association, defines sensuality as "the inner warmth that radiates from some people and makes them objects of desire"; it is vastly different from the soulless and shameful conception of sex that the mass media, organized religion, and misinformed parents disseminate. Via Sussman's 40 exercises with eidetic imagery (visions locked in the subconscious), men and women of all ages can reverse the negative effects of those forces by replacing negative images with positive ones to tap their "original sensuality." Throughout, Sussman cites mythological gods and goddesses to illustrate why people act the way they do. An Appendix of Images is also included. Despite the lack of an extensive list of references, this work is a worthwhile addition to the field of sexuality. Recommended for self-help collections in public libraries. Elizabeth Goeters, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Dunwoody Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Images Series, #1
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.04(d)

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Images of Desire

Finding Your Natural Sensual Self In Today's Image-Filled Society

By Jacqueline Lapa Sussman

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2001 Jaqueline Lapa Sussman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-312-86911-3


A Return to Natural Sensuality

Sensuality is the inner warmth that radiates from some people and makes them objects of desire. Sensuality is not the sex appeal generated by the contemporary social icons of a "hot body." That is a short-term, artificial, outer image. Sensuality is a deeper, longer lasting, and richer essence that appeals to the opposite sex, a warm spirit that we carry within.

A sensuous person is a warm soul. This warm appeal is in all of us at birth, but many of us have lost it because of the layers of false images that have been instilled in us by society.

People are sensual when they feel sensual. What we feel inside is radiated to the world. But too many of us are sending the wrong signals because we have been brainwashed with false images of sensuality, images that have smothered our natural sexuality.

We entered this world warm, naked, and sensuous, unashamed and unencumbered by hang-ups. From that time on, our natural sensuality was altered by our parents, peers, and misdirected influences from our culture. Because we have fallen from grace from our own original sensual spirit, we carry subliminal attitudes and body language that turn off — rather than on — people we are attracted to. And yet it is still there, our God-given, natural capacity for pleasure in our physical body and mind.

Many men grow up to believe that a woman's sexual appeal is somehow wrapped up in the contours of her body. I have heard women in their twenties rate a man's sexiness in the same way. These individuals are out of touch with their own sensuality.

We are a civilization of people hungry for sensual love while drowning in an ocean of sexual frenzy. Never before have so many women and men been so sexually fixated and emotionally unfulfilled. What was once a good-night kiss is now expected to go much further than that, yet we are emotionally starved while being sexually saturated. The sex being marketed to us by every medium has a pornographic quality. It conflicts with the true nature of our sensuality.

Men and women have had their natural sensuality smothered by false images. Sensuality isn't a brand of perfume, silicone in breasts, penile implants, or bathing suits that let it all hang out. It's not something you pump up at the gym or buy at the lingerie counter.

Nor does beauty equate with sensuality. Physical attractiveness and sensuality are not the same, but our society has put such an emphasis on superficial outer beauty and sex has been so commercialized — and impersonalized — that most of us have been dulled emotionally. We may vary in physical appearance — few of us are the stuff of magazine covers. It's not a question of how good-looking we are; the world is full of people who have happy, passionate, sensuous sex lives but couldn't get through the door to a beauty contest.

But that natural, sensual warmth we were born with is still within us, ready to be drawn to the surface to be rediscovered and used.

People who are not sensuous have lost touch with the sensuality they were born with. It became tarnished as their sexuality was shaped by their parents and society. Few of us are aware that we are carrying this supression that causes us to feel inadequate or to freeze up, sending the wrong signals rather than expressing our honest passion.

We can reclaim our original nature through eidetic imaging, the science of emotions that is on the cutting edge of psychology. The process treats the brain like a computer. The brain stores and processes information in the form of "images" that commonly run through our minds like film clips. With imaging techniques, we are able to replace negative images (the baggage we carry) with positive ones that permit us to glow with our natural sensuality. The first step to reclaiming our natural sensuality lies in our desires, and imaging can help us discover them.

What are your desires? Are you looking for a permanent, loving relationship? Are you in a relationship that needs to have passion infused back into it? Do you want to make yourself more desirable? Become a better lover? Or do you want to experience the divine, the spiritual aspect of sex that most of us never achieve?

Some people just want to be ravished. Some want to be savored, their body caressed by sensitive, knowing hands. Some want a deep experience of spiritual merging with another.

What are you looking for?

Take a moment. Imagine that you are with your ideal lover. Let the scene play out in your mind like a movie.

What are you doing to each other? How do you feel?

In this image of desire, there is a key, a clue, to what you are looking for about yourself and your sensuality. But you will not find the answer to your quest, your desires, in fantasy. Fantasizing doesn't bring about the necessary insight that you need to understand why you can't achieve your desires and what you can do to obtain them.

The key to change, to achieving our desires, is found internally, in our minds, and in a form that is similar to the fantasy lover we just imagined. These images are "film clips" in our minds, but they are not scenes we invent. Instead, they are part of our memory bank.

Let's assume you want a loving relationship with someone but have not been able to achieve it. Rather than imagining a fantasy that won't help you achieve your desires, you can access your memory bank and see in your mind's eye an actual scene in which you spoke to the person. The actual scene, a visual film clip from your memory bank, is called an eidetic image. All of your interactions with other people and situations are filed away in the memory bank of your mind. Just as we scan a computer disk to bring up information we've registered, we are able to call forth our actual experiences from our memory and examine them. From that examination, we gain insights and new perceptions about ourselves and other people. Once we understand who we are and how our present sensuality was formed, we can make changes.

Let's do an eidetic image so you can see how simple the process is. Relax for a moment in a quiet spot. Now, keeping your eyes open or closed (obviously, you will need to open them to read these instructions), see your parents standing before you in your mind's eye.

Examine the image for a moment. Who is on the left and who is on the right side as you look at them?

Now see whether you get a feeling of personal warmth from your parents' bodies. Whose body gives you a better feeling of personal warmth? What kind of feeling does the other parent's body give?

Concentrate on your mother's body. How do you feel? Now concentrate on your father's body. How do you feel?

Images of our parents are prime images imprinted in our minds. For most people, the image of their mother has been imprinted on the right side and their father on the left.

The fact that your parents had a certain body temperature in your images of them, and a position (left or right), has significance in terms of your connection to them and to your own connectiveness to the world and your personal life force. No matter how old we are, no matter how long we have been away from them, we tend to unconsciously emulate our parents — or to react in the opposite way. As we get more involved in imaging and practice, we will discover that things as simple as the body temperature of our parents and their position in our mind's eye have influenced how we deal with the world.

We will probe ourselves and our relationship with our lovers (by lover, I mean spouse, significant other, or someone we desire but haven't yet connected with). We will examine how our parents, culture, and other factors shaped our sexuality. In doing these and dozens of other images, you will gain enormous insight into your own sensuality and the sensuality of those you desire.

We will know our full potential only after we peel off those negative images that get in our way.

Unfortunately, even if you had the nicest parents and most comfortable circumstances, you will have to unearth and resuscitate the marvelous person who is you, the person you were at birth before layers of fear and self-doubt coated you or left you at war with your emotions. To be the best you can, you need to rediscover yourself.

Sometimes the negative images seem subtle or too simplistic.

Let me give some examples from my own life.

When I was about four, my girlfriend and I were playing "doctor" with a friend named Tommy. Checking his body, we discovered something different, and we found it interesting because we didn't have one. So we decided to put toothpaste, the "medicine" we were using, on Tommy's special part. He was lying naked, and we were rubbing toothpaste on him when my mother came in and yelled, "What are you doing? Shame on you!"

That was the first time I felt shame about sexuality. Most of us experienced some sort of embarrassment during our sexual innocence. Usually it was triggered by a minor incident, but the parental attitude that caused the embarrassment is more subtly (and sometimes savagely) hammered into us for the first two decades of our lives. Later on, these "minor" incidents become land mines that explode in our inner mind when we deal with another person in a sexual way.

The second shame I felt was when I was five. My girlfriend Sylvia, who was a little older, had somehow watched her parents have sex, and she showed me a sexual position, simulating their movements. Of course, at that age I didn't understand what sex was. That night, when my father was putting me to bed, I said, "Look what Sylvia showed me," and rocked back and forth with my hips. I looked up at my father's face and saw shock and shame. I felt ashamed of myself, but did not know why.

That I can remember these "minor" incidents is an indication of how strongly they affected me.

Sometimes the emotional scarring is not that subtle. A woman in her thirties who consulted me was very uptight and controlled during lovemaking. She couldn't relax and was losing her lover because of it. Through imaging, she unraveled layers of her past, including many "minor" sexual incidents. She also realized the effect of a very major one.

As a girl, she was very confused about sexuality. Her parents were strict churchgoers, and she attended a religious school where girls got the impression that any sort of sexual contact was sinful. And yet she knew her parents hid pornographic magazines in their bedroom closet.

One morning, she masturbated before going to church, and so she went to Holy Communion feeling unbelievably guilty. She knew she had committed some kind of sin. She didn't know if it was a mortal sin, but she knew it was bad, that her purity was tainted, and that she didn't deserve a relationship with God.

Over twenty years later, those images of "tainted purity" were still controlling her sex life and smothering her sensuality.


During lunch in a restaurant with two associates, we quietly observed other diners.

At one table sat Ms. X, who appeared to be in her late thirties. She was well groomed in a midnight-blue business suit, and her hair had a fashionable blown-wet look. Her makeup and jewelry (a single strand of pearls) were in good taste. She wasn't the stuff of magazine covers, but she was stylish. She wore neither a wedding band nor a diamond ring, so we assumed she was single or divorced.

Ms. X struck all three of us as a woman who wouldn't have a problem attracting a man — but who probably would have a problem establishing an ongoing, romantic, fulfilling relationship. Even though she was outwardly attractive, there was a hollowness about her. She lacked sensual appeal. As we talked further about women who have "it," we acknowledged that they exude a sense of inner mystery that Ms. X did not have.

Women hold the mystery of all life. Within a woman, life springs forth, develops, grows, and emerges fully formed. The secret of this mystery is that she contains knowledge of both the masculine and feminine within her womb. Within its shape is an opening or space formed exactly in the configuration of his phallus. Thus, she contains the All, the totality of all life, by having both the male and female structures, physical and psychological, within her. She is whole and already unified. Males can only experience this wholeness by coming into her. He has knowledge of only the masculine, of himself. By coming into her, only then can he know both sides of creation and complete himself. This is the secret of her allure. This is why men desire to come home to her ... to experience the totality of life through sexual union with her. For this reason women are held in glory and pursued to the ends of the earth. This is the secret of her power, her beauty and of her magnetic draw.

The most attractive woman is one who values and loves life first. She conveys a feeling that she has everything in her. She feels desirable. The man sees in her eyes that she "has it." When she sees in his eyes that he is attracted to her, then she gets turned on to him. She is the source of the attraction.

Women who know this are the most sensually attractive. They instinctively know their value first, and then they value the man. If they think the man is more desirable than themselves, they lose their appeal. Women have it. Most cartoons and love stories have the man chasing the woman because she is the one with the desired sensual mystery. And the secret is that she has knowledge psychically deep inside, of both her and him.

Women who are comfortable with their role as the physical and spiritual home for a man's sensuality are warm and lush within, and this warmth radiates from them. They have a knowing confidence. And men instinctively pick up on the mysterious aura around these sensuous women.

Women who are ill at ease with being home for a man's emotionality are not in harmony with their feminine sensuality. They may think that they are hot stuff. They may think that every man they meet wants to bed them — and they might be right. Many of these women have fabulous bodies, and some appear frequently on the covers of fashion magazines.

But even if they attract men, either they can't keep them or they don't want the type of man they attract. They have cold sex lives, not because they were born empty of sensuality, but because their natural feminine essence has been dispelled by life's negative events.

The male is designed by nature to unify and bond with the female physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The sexual organs — the vagina and the penis — are made for each other, but they are merely vehicles given to us to make the connection to each other's spirit. A man wants to go "home" because he wants to join with a woman and find ultimate peace and joy within himself, and he does this by resting in her.

By nature, a man is always looking to bond spiritually with a woman. And a woman is designed to be known by a man.

When a woman feels comfortable about her sensuality, she is comfortable being "home" for the male part. Because it is how nature meant her to be, a woman filled by the male essence finds the experience deeply pleasurable and satisfying. She knows that her lover is the vehicle that will take them both to the gods. A woman who enjoys being home for a man, by his presence, knows the mystery of her femininity, that she is the temple at which a man comes to worship.

What made it obvious from watching Ms. X that she would not be comfortable being "home" for a man? Sensuality is by definition a matter of the senses, and the aura surrounding her was not one that appeared inviting. She would have had this almost subliminal coolness even if we had seen her wearing a bikini on a beach in Tahiti.

We're not psychic, but we have treated so many women like Ms. X that we could draw some generalities about her that would not be too far from the mark. Watching her, her body language and her mannerisms, and hearing her voice, it struck us that despite her pleasant appearance, she was not a woman who knew how to unite spiritually with a male. She was not a warm soul or a warm bedmate, because she lacked the radiance with which women who are in tune with their sensuality glow. This woman was outwardly attractive but inwardly empty.

"My mother was slightly obese," my male associate confided, "yet she radiated a sexual warmth that attracted my father, who was a slender, well-built man. Her weight increased after my father died, but men were still attracted to her."

Ms. X was not glowing confidently because she seemed too tense and controlled rather than at ease with her spirit and body. Appearances are very important, but all the beauty money can buy won't get us true love. No matter how much a woman thinks she is comfortable about sex and her relationship with men, obvious and subliminal signals coming from her can eventually turn off most men.


Excerpted from Images of Desire by Jacqueline Lapa Sussman. Copyright © 2001 Jaqueline Lapa Sussman. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Jaqueline Sussman was born in Brooklyn, NY and at the age of one moved with her family to Caracas, Venezuela where she lived for ten years before returning to the United States. She has lived in California, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, where she now lives with her husband, son and daughter in college, and two dogs. Jaqueline earned her BA from San Jose State University and her Masters in Counseling at Long Island University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Eidetic Image Psychology. For the past twenty years she has worked closely with Dr. Akhter Ahsen, founder and internationally renowned leader in the field of Eidetic Imagery.

Jaqueline has always been interested in and focused upon helping people achieve their deepest fulfillment and potential in life. For over twenty years she has maintained a private practice in New York City and in Connecticut. She has worked with leaders in business, education, government, medicine and professional sports, is the author of two books and scores of articles, conducts workshops throughout the U. S., and is associated with the Journal of Mental Imagery.

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