Sensual Love Secrets for Couples: The Four Freedoms of Body, Mind, Heart & Soul

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Sensual Love Secrets for Couples will lead you and your lover to transcendence and ecstasy by awakening your four freedoms: body, mind, heart, and soul. Once you experience these freedoms, you and your lover will share in the boundless energy of sexual pleasure and unconditional love. Link and Copeland reveal how couples can keep a sense of discovery, pleasure, and appreciation alive in a committed relationship by connecting with and exploring ...
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Overview

Sensual Love Secrets for Couples will lead you and your lover to transcendence and ecstasy by awakening your four freedoms: body, mind, heart, and soul. Once you experience these freedoms, you and your lover will share in the boundless energy of sexual pleasure and unconditional love. Link and Copeland reveal how couples can keep a sense of discovery, pleasure, and appreciation alive in a committed relationship by connecting with and exploring each other on all four levels.

This sensual guide features nearly one hundred playful acts that reveal the proven secrets and techniques of total sexual intimacy and freedom:
              •  Circulate sexual energy                                                             •  Declare your deepest desires
              •  Stimulate numerous pleasure points                                         •   Make sacred space for sex
              •  Exchangedreams                                                                      •  Ignite Kundalini energy
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The titular four freedoms are the four aspects of self, and the heart of this book is made up of exercises for developing each aspect alone and in harmony with one's partner—sensually, socially, and sexually. The exercises are creative, playful, serious, and sometimes unusual, such as rewriting a recipe in sexual imagery to create an appetizing and erotic poem. Link and Copeland (coauthors, Soul Sex), a Canadian couple who have run Tantra workshops for a decade, are well grounded in Eastern mysticism and its Western interpreters; their bibliography is excellent. Unfortunately, there are no illustrations. This book would be a helpful read for a new or reawakening couple of any age. Not a key purchase but a nice addition for public libraries.
—Martha Cornog Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738709659
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Al Link & Pala Copeland (Ottawa, Canada) have been leading retreats on sacred loving for ten years. As experts on the subject of sexuality and Tantra, they have appeared on radio and television and have contributed to many publications, such as Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Body and Soul, and the Wall Street Journal.
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Read an Excerpt

part 1

The four freedoms

The desire to love someone through and through and to be
loved that way in return, for a lifetime, burns in almost every
heart. Although we are all truly worthy of such love, it is not
something that will usually happen by itself. A superb relationship,
one that satisfies and stimulates to the core, is an extraordinary
accomplishment, comparable to supreme achievement
in realms of business, the arts, science, and sports. Such relationships
are rare not because people lack the capacity for loving
but because they don't know how to make the shift from
falling in love to sustaining that love over many years by creating
and recreating it again and again.

You might believe that continuously creating love is an impossibly
daunting task. Perhaps you've been through painful unions
before, and your heart is battered and broken. Or your present
relationship, although comfortable, has become just a little boring,
stuck in a rut of mundane sameness. Then again, you might
be at the outset of a wondrous romance and only slightly haunted
by a nagging suspicion that your passion will eventually fade. Whatever your present circumstances,
do not allow preconceptions and fears to impede your heart's aspirations. Living a
lifelong, passionate, and intimate union is not a complicated undertaking. On the contrary, it
is quite simple and well within your abilities. The fundamental requirement? Rediscover and
reunite your Four Freedoms: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. These Four Freedoms are the essence
of humannature-yours and everyone else's.

The First Freedom: BODY
Awaken your senses. See, hear, smell, taste, and feel love. Know your body as a divine temple
of love, carrier of your soul, manifestation of God and Goddess. Become truly at home
in your body, at ease and at peace in your skin. Allow yourself to experience physical pleasure.
Feed yourself and all those around you with sublime, intimate, human touch. You are
your body. Your body is freedom.

The Second Freedom: MIND
There are no limits. All limits are self-imposed. Change thought from your master to your
powerful servant, a tool of your liberation. Turn your thinking on, and turn it off, when
you want to. You have power over what you think about. You also have power over how you
think about what you think about. Connect with your higher self for guidance and direction.
You are your mind. Your mind is freedom.

The Third Freedom: HEART
Heal your broken heart. Open your healed heart. Give and receive love easily, naturally,
spontaneously, and unconditionally. Discover your lover within. Love yourself. Accept yourself.
Forgive yourself. Know that you are worthy of love. Acknowledge and welcome the love
of others. Dare to be the great lover you are. You are your heart. Your heart is freedom.

The Fourth Freedom: SOUL
Your body, mind, and heart are windows to your soul. Soul transcends space and time. It
is outside of cause and effect. Soul is complete and perfect. When you communicate with
your higher self, with God and Goddess, you are communicating with Soul. Soul has your
body, mind, and heart within it. Soul is what you are. Your soul is part of the Soul. Your
soul is freedom.

The First Freedom:

body

Body Marvels
Your body is an extraordinary organism: an electrical, chemical, and
mechanical marvel. Its trillions of individual cells array themselves in
complex combinations to produce the physical wonder that is at once
uniquely you and at the same time like every other human being. Bodies
have more exciting bits and carry out more strenuous tasks than you've
probably ever imagined. For instance, although you've not likely counted
them, five million hairs sprout from the 36 to 60 square feet (3.3 to 5.6
square meters) of durable, waterproof covering you know as skin. Beneath
this living overcoat are three types of muscles, your "movers and
shakers," more than 600 in all, which connect to, and are supported by,
the 206 bones forming your skeleton. This lightweight framework is not
only flexible, but also incredibly strong. Your thigh bones, for example,
are pound for pound stronger than reinforced concrete.

Throughout your body, intricate delivery systems transport nutrients
and information for survival and action. Every day your heart
beats 100,000 times, pumping 300 quarts (284 liters) of blood per hour
through 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) of blood vessels, keeping
you warm, nourishing your cells, removing waste, and destroying
harmful substances. Your internal communication network, the nervous
system, controls and coordinates most of your body's activities
with electrical impulses that travel at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour (400 kilometers
per hour). Much slower and longer lasting are the chemical reactions governed by your hormonal
system that affect when and how you grow, the density of your bones, the intensity of
your sex drive, and the onset of puberty, menopause, and andropause.

Not only does your body keep you functioning fairly smoothly throughout your allotted
lifespan, but it also carries within it the keys to ensure survival of future generations.
At birth, a woman's ovaries already cradle up to two million eggs, any of which can mature
to mate with one of the more than several hundred million sperm a typical man produces
daily. The result of this passionate joining is a zygote that, although smaller than the head of
a pin, contains every bit of the genetic information needed to create a new, one-of-a-kind
human being.

All of this boisterous activity requires energy derived from oxygen and food. In a lifetime,
the average person will breathe about 75 million gallons (285 million liters) of air and
consume up to 50 tons (45 metric tons) of food. Built-in taste and aroma sensors entice
you to feed your body. Nine thousand taste buds adorn your tongue, beguiling you with five
distinct flavors and their thousands of combined permutations. The ten million olfactory
receptacles in your nose can distinguish 10,000 separate scents.

Your body is a sensory cornucopia. In addition to taste and smell, sight, sound, and touch
contribute to the wealth of sensate experience available to you. Your eyes can identify ten
million different colors. Your ears can hear more than 400,000 unique sounds. Your skin
has thousands of miniscule, highly sensitive receptors that make it a head-to-toe communication
source more eloquent than words.3

Sensual Nutrition
Your body is a remarkable gift from the Creator, a vehicle through which the spiritual can
experience the material. That is what a body is for. As spirit in physical form, you can celebrate
and explore the sensory joys of this gift. Come to your senses-all of them. Absorb
right here, right now, what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Direct sensory stimulation
is nourishment for your body-sensual nutrition, another kind of food without which it
cannot thrive and be free. The freedom of the senses is the freedom to experience pleasure
and feel desire, to know you are truly alive.

Body Freedom enables you to behold and be warmed by the brightest light of all: the
consuming light of love shining from your sweetheart's eyes. It allows you to revel in the
husky whispers and throaty moans that are music to a lover's ears. To freely devour suc-
culent kisses from pouty lips tasting of fruit and honey. To sniff hungrily and absorb the
distinctive scent that is uniquely your beloved's. To touch and touch and touch with fingers,
palms, lips, and tongues, then to lie at ease in each other's arms, safe, secure, sympathetic,
blessed . . .

Sadly, you might not perceive your body as a biological marvel, a sensory gateway, the
temple of your soul. Like many, you might have forgotten your Body Freedom, been indoctrinated
to view your body as ugly and sinful, a prison4 that will never be beautiful enough
or strong enough, will never measure up no matter what you do, that constantly betrays
you with its shameful desires and ultimately keeps you separate and lonely.

All bodies are naturally beautiful, because they are the earthly home of your eternal soul,
but this is not likely the message you most often hear. Your body perception is under attack
on multiple fronts. For instance, many religious teachings perpetuate negative body images,
either decrying the body as unclean and shameful or dismissing it as a distraction from
higher purposes. If you want spiritual purity, you are exhorted to ignore your body's wants
and wishes.

From a commercial perspective, no body is ever quite beautiful enough. You are bulldozed
into seeing your physical self as an ongoing renovation project. From skin tone to hair color,
from breast and penis size to length of leg and girth of waist, from laugh-lines to crow's feet,
there's always room for improvement. Under continued social pressure, you might come to
see your body through tainted eyes, developing an emotionally and physically damaging dissatisfaction
with your natural form. You might give yourself and others sabotaging messages
that continue to erode your Body Freedom.

Desire for the "perfect" body might lead you into life-threatening eating disorders, as
it has about seven million women and one million men in the United States.5 Or it might
entice you into the cosmetic surgeon's office for procedures ranging from Botox injections
to chemical peels, from liposuction to breast augmentation, from hair transplants to facelifts.
Cosmetic procedures are multiplying by leaps and bounds. In 2005 alone, American
cosmetic surgeons performed more than 11.5 million procedures, up a whopping 444 percent
from 1997.6 Perhaps you might even be tempted to join the ranks of thousands in
both the United States and Britain who apply to be a contestant on reality shows such as
Extreme Makeover. These very popular television series feature the ultimate in body redesign,
employing teams of specialistsplastic surgeons, eye surgeons, cosmetic dentists, hair and
makeup artists, stylists, and personal trainersto radically alter a participant's appearance.

The premise, as outlined on ABC's website, is to give participants "a truly Cinderella-like
experience by changing your looks completely in an effort to transform your life and destiny,
and to make your dreams come true."7

People try to make their bodies beautiful so that others will love them, admire them, reward
them, and accept them. It would be better to learn simply to love your body and so to
become free and lovable in it. However, it's often easier to blame your equipment and try to
make it conform to someone else's ideal than to learn about it, listen to it, and honor it for
yourself.

Body Pleasure and Relationship
Fortunately, a mate relationship gives you a perfect arena in which to learn to overcome your
negative body conditioning and to celebrate your body's desires. When you are in a loving
relationship, consciously sharing your body with another, you can become more at ease in
your skin. Under the adoring gaze and lusty caresses of your mate, you can learn to know
your beauty from the inside out. A fulfilling sex life assists you in feeling beautiful through
channels that are both chemical (mood-altering endorphins) and emotional (the intimacy of
desire). If you feel beautiful, you are.

As integral aspects of deep connection between lovers, pleasure, touching, and sex gain
moral legitimacy and spiritual character in the context of a monogamous relationship. Monogamous
relationships provide a cocoon of commitment, a safe haven for learning the ways
of Body Freedom. Consider, for example, touch as one of the most basic sources of pleasure.
Touch isn't optional for a good relationship, it's essential. Studies dating back more
than fifty years document that without touch, human beings do not thrive.8 Without touch,
you can become emotionally withdrawn and physically and psychically ill. The absence of
pleasure might induce emotional instability, possibly correlated with addiction, and encourage
abusive, violent behavior.9 Relationships give you permission to explore touching in
intimate ways that range from tenderly affectionate to passionately sexual. Physical pleasure
becomes socially acceptable within the context of a relationship.

Affectionate touch and satisfying sex nourish you and your relationship. Sensual nutrition
is not just in your head, and it's definitely more than skin-deep. As Lou Reed sings, "I
think it's chemical." When you give and receive loving, sensual touch, endorphins and oxytocin
surge through your system. Not only do these powerful chemicals make you feel great
while you're caressing, but they also fuel the desire for more touches later. By upping your
touch quotient, you can satisfy more than just your partner's skin hunger; stress release,
comfort, relaxation, and healing are all at your fingertips.

Contrary to the stereotypes that men primarily want sexual touching and
women mostly want affectionate touching, both forms are equally important
for enduring, satisfying relationships. Men and women alike crave nonsexual
touching. Owing as much to cultural conditioning as to physiological makeup,
men are usually more accustomed to intimate touching that is sexual. But once
they experience it, men love to be touched in nonsexual ways as well. Such
caresses help break through times of low self-esteem, fear, and doubt. With a tender hug or
gentle pat, you can give comfort and acceptance and create a strong, loving bond that goes
beyond the physical. When touching is only sexual, however, you might feel that you are being
solicited to perform sexually or that you are valued primarily as a sexual object.

If you already touch each other frequently, keep doing it. If you don't, begin now--today.
You can start simply by bestowing an encouraging squeeze of the shoulder as your partner
attends to a household chore, by exchanging a hug as you leave for work, or by sitting
side-by-side holding hands and snuggling toes as you watch TV.

Casual, unfocused caresses while you're essentially engaged in some other activity, like
watching a movie, can be delightful, but for the most part remember to put conscious attention
into your touch. Be completely present. Bring your mind, heart, and
soul in. Do not allow yourself to fall into absent-minded habitual strokes that
carry no meaning. Are you all there when you embrace your partner? Or is
part of you at the office, grocery store, hockey game, or committee meeting?
Become fully aware of the messages you give with your rubs, pats, and hugs.

Mate relationships include sexual caresses as well as compassionate and comradely ones.
If you don't have sex, then it's a different kind of union-platonic-more akin to friendship
than marriage. Mate relationships make sex permissible and safe both physically and emotionally.
In a committed relationship, sex is elevated. It gains moral force because it becomes
not only a source of great physical pleasure but also a key expression of love.
Economists David Blanch-flower and Andrew Oswald suggest that the happiest people are
those getting the most sex, and that sex has a bigger influence on happiness than money.
Their conclusions are based on data from a random sample of sixteen thousand adult Americans.
They claim that "increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent
to the amount of happiness generated by getting an additional $50,000 in income . . .
and a lasting marriage equates to happiness generated by getting an extra $100,000 each
year. Divorce, meanwhile, translates to a happiness depletion of $66,000 annually."10 Another
study by researchers at Georgia State University concludes that involuntarily celibate

Although most couples want a really good sex life, many are afraid that it's unattainable
because they personally don't know how to create it. They bury their sexual dreams under
the weight of misinformation that says, "Sex is something you should just naturally
know how to do because you're in a body." However, even though your
body desires and has the potential for sublime sex, it doesn't automatically
know the artistry of lovemaking. You must teach the body. Like any great art,
the art of sexual ecstasy must be learned. Sexual knowledge and skill develop
over a lifetime. If you travel through your sexual life in a learning mode, then
your sexual experience will continue to improve over the years. It will grow with you as
you grow.

Transforming Your Sexuality
As a couple, you can extend the passion and satisfaction of your sexual life by evolving your
regular sex into sacred sex. For thousands of years, and in a variety of cultures, sacred sex
practices have affirmed the core message that sex is goodnamely, an integral part of life
connecting you to yourself, to your partner, and to the Divine. Sacred sex shifts the focus of
sex from achieving orgasm to union and pleasure. Lovemaking is expanded beyond the
common understanding of sex as intercourse to include all manner of intimate contact. Sacred
sex is a practical way to balance the purely physiological differences between men and
women. Women gain the time their bodies need to be thoroughly aroused and totally satis-
fied in addition to receiving the affection and emotional connection they want. Men receive
lots of explicit sexual activity, but, because intercourse is interspersed with other forms of
sensual play, they are able to last long enough for their lovers' gratification. Both partners
experience greater pleasure and intimacy.

In sacred sex, you honor your body as a temple for your spirit and offer it
as a gift to your lover. This approach sanctifies your body, asserting its beauty
and magnificence. Shame and guilt disappear as you move beyond repression
and give yourself permission to experience all your senses at every moment.

Claiming Your Body Freedom
Divesting yourself of your body's armor, so that you can be fully at ease in your body and
share it completely with your beloved, requires learning a few new things and unlearning
some old ones. In addition to the common misperceptions already mentioned (people naturally
know how to make love, and touch is optional), you'll come up against others. You'll
need to replace limiting, sabotaging notions with body-affirming and relationship-building
ideas. This transformation includes:

Letting go of "Pleasure, touching, and sex are dangerous, bad, and sinful" and affirming
that "Pleasure, touching, and sex are biological, emotional, and spiritual needssensual
nutrition."

Shifting "My lover is responsible for my pleasure" to "I am responsible for my pleasure."
No matter how skilled, adoring, or attentive your partner may be, unless you allow
yourself to be open to pleasure, you won't experience it.

Transforming "My partner should know how and when I like to be touchedsexually and
nonsexually" into "I have to let my partner know what I like and need." Very few are
mind readers when it comes to lovemaking, and sex is one place where you don't follow
the golden rule of "Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you." Everyone
has individual preferences for loving touch, so push past your barriers of shame, guilt,
or embarrassment and ask for what you want.

Changing "Sexual touching is the most intimate touching" into "Nonsexual touching is just
as intimate as sexual touching." Intimate describes the quality of your touch, not the activity
itself. Intimacy goes far beyond the physical. The deepest intimacy is grounded in
an emotional, energetic, and spiritual connection that you can cultivate through both
sexual and nonsexual touch.

Modifying "Young, hard bodies have the best sex" to "Bodies have better sex as they age."
Sexual mastery evolves over a lifetime of learning, because great sex requires knowledge
and practice. Our culture says young bodies are the sexiest, but simple physical
attractiveness doesn't provide the emotional maturity and self-confidence that are essential
elements of extraordinary sex.

Qualifying the notion that "Great sex is primarily a matter of physical technique" into
the realization that "Great sex combines physical technique with emotional and energetic
connection." While skill is definitely an asset in lovemaking, an open heart and
a willingness to surrender to your lover makes the difference between sex as pleasant
pastime and sex as ecstatic experience.

The best way to learnand unlearn is to take action. Remember that your Body Freedom
is your responsibility. It is neither mandatory nor automatic. You can claim your Body
Freedom with the following actions:
1. Pay attention to your body. Listen to what it tells you about how it feels and what it
wants and needs to function at its best, such as good food, enough rest, adequate exercise,
and sensory delight.
2. Identify the body-negative messages you give yourself, that others give you, and that
you give to others. Replace them with body-positive communication.
3. Touch your mate with tenderness, respect, and caring every day.
4. Change your sexual focus from performance and orgasm to pleasure and union. Dare
to learn how to make your sex an ecstatic art.

Claiming your Body Freedom will bring passion and intimacy to your relationship. It will
help you feel more secure, more in tune with the natural rhythm of life, and more appreciative
of the world's sensory pleasures. You'll discover with paradoxical delight that while your
body makes you a unique and separate individual, it is also the perfect medium for merging
utterly with another.




All of this boisterous activity requires energy derived from oxygen and food. In a lifetime,
the average person will breathe about 75 million gallons (285 million liters) of air and
consume up to 50 tons (45 metric tons) of food. Built-in taste and aroma sensors entice
you to feed your body. Nine thousand taste buds adorn your tongue, beguiling you with five
distinct flavors and their thousands of combined permutations. The ten million olfactory
receptacles in your nose can distinguish 10,000 separate scents.

Your body is a sensory cornucopia. In addition to taste and smell, sight, sound, and touch
contribute to the wealth of sensate experience available to you. Your eyes can identify ten
million different colors. Your ears can hear more than 400,000 unique sounds. Your skin
has thousands of miniscule, highly sensitive receptors that make it a head-to-toe communication
source more eloquent than words.3

Sensual Nutrition
Your body is a remarkable gift from the Creator, a vehicle through which the spiritual can
experience the material. That is what a body is for. As spirit in physical form, you can celebrate
and explore the sensory joys of this gift. Come to your senses-all of them. Absorb
right here, right now, what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Direct sensory stimulation
is nourishment for your body-sensual nutrition, another kind of food without which it
cannot thrive and be free. The freedom of the senses is the freedom to experience pleasure
and feel desire, to know you are truly alive.

Body Freedom enables you to behold and be warmed by the brightest light of all: the
consuming light of love shining from your sweetheart's eyes. It allows you to revel in the
husky whispers and throaty moans that are music to a lover's ears. To freely devour suc-
culent kisses from pouty lips tasting of fruit and honey. To sniff hungrily and absorb the
distinctive scent that is uniquely your beloved's. To touch and touch and touch with fingers,
palms, lips, and tongues, then to lie at ease in each other's arms, safe, secure, sympathetic,
blessed . . .

Sadly, you might not perceive your body as a biological marvel, a sensory gateway, the
temple of your soul. Like many, you might have forgotten your Body Freedom, been indoctrinated
to view your body as ugly and sinful, a prison4 that will never be beautiful enough
or strong enough, will never measure up no matter what you do, that constantly betrays
you with its shameful desires and ultimately keeps you separate and lonely.

All bodies are naturally beautiful, because they are the earthly home of your eternal soul,
but this is not likely the message you most often hear. Your body perception is under attack
on multiple fronts. For instance, many religious teachings perpetuate negative body images,
either decrying the body as unclean and shameful or dismissing it as a distraction from
higher purposes. If you want spiritual purity, you are exhorted to ignore your body's wants
and wishes.

From a commercial perspective, no body is ever quite beautiful enough. You are bulldozed
into seeing your physical self as an ongoing renovation project. From skin tone to hair color,
from breast and penis size to length of leg and girth of waist, from laugh-lines to crow's feet,
there's always room for improvement. Under continued social pressure, you might come to
see your body through tainted eyes, developing an emotionally and physically damaging dissatisfaction
with your natural form. You might give yourself and others sabotaging messages
that continue to erode your Body Freedom.

Desire for the "perfect" body might lead you into life-threatening eating disorders, as
it has about seven million women and one million men in the United States.5 Or it might
entice you into the cosmetic surgeon's office for procedures ranging from Botox injections
to chemical peels, from liposuction to breast augmentation, from hair transplants to facelifts.
Cosmetic procedures are multiplying by leaps and bounds. In 2005 alone, American
cosmetic surgeons performed more than 11.5 million procedures, up a whopping 444 percent
from 1997.6 Perhaps you might even be tempted to join the ranks of thousands in
both the United States and Britain who apply to be a contestant on reality shows such as
Extreme Makeover. These very popular television series feature the ultimate in body redesign,
employing teams of specialistsplastic surgeons, eye surgeons, cosmetic dentists, hair and
makeup artists, stylists, and personal trainersto radically alter a participant's appearance.

The premise, as outlined on ABC's website, is to give participants "a truly Cinderella-like
experience by changing your looks completely in an effort to transform your life and destiny,
and to make your dreams come true."7

People try to make their bodies beautiful so that others will love them, admire them, reward
them, and accept them. It would be better to learn simply to love your body and so to
become free and lovable in it. However, it's often easier to blame your equipment and try to
make it conform to someone else's ideal than to learn about it, listen to it, and honor it for
yourself.

Body Pleasure and Relationship
Fortunately, a mate relationship gives you a perfect arena in which to learn to overcome your
negative body conditioning and to celebrate your body's desires. When you are in a loving
relationship, consciously sharing your body with another, you can become more at ease in
your skin. Under the adoring gaze and lusty caresses of your mate, you can learn to know
your beauty from the inside out. A fulfilling sex life assists you in feeling beautiful through
channels that are both chemical (mood-altering endorphins) and emotional (the intimacy of
desire). If you feel beautiful, you are.

As integral aspects of deep connection between lovers, pleasure, touching, and sex gain
moral legitimacy and spiritual character in the context of a monogamous relationship. Monogamous
relationships provide a cocoon of commitment, a safe haven for learning the ways
of Body Freedom. Consider, for example, touch as one of the most basic sources of pleasure.
Touch isn't optional for a good relationship, it's essential. Studies dating back more
than fifty years document that without touch, human beings do not thrive.8 Without touch,
you can become emotionally withdrawn and physically and psychically ill. The absence of
pleasure might induce emotional instability, possibly correlated with addiction, and encourage
abusive, violent behavior.9 Relationships give you permission to explore touching in
intimate ways that range from tenderly affectionate to passionately sexual. Physical pleasure
becomes socially acceptable within the context of a relationship.

Affectionate touch and satisfying sex nourish you and your relationship. Sensual nutrition
is not just in your head, and it's definitely more than skin-deep. As Lou Reed sings, "I
think it's chemical." When you give and receive loving, sensual touch, endorphins and oxytocin
surge through your system. Not only do these powerful chemicals make you feel great
while you're caressing, but they also fuel the desire for more touches later. By upping your
touch quotient, you can satisfy more than just your partner's skin hunger; stress release,
comfort, relaxation, and healing are all at your fingertips.

Contrary to the stereotypes that men primarily want sexual touching and
women mostly want affectionate touching, both forms are equally important
for enduring, satisfying relationships. Men and women alike crave nonsexual
touching. Owing as much to cultural conditioning as to physiological makeup,
men are usually more accustomed to intimate touching that is sexual. But once
they experience it, men love to be touched in nonsexual ways as well. Such
caresses help break through times of low self-esteem, fear, and doubt. With a tender hug or
gentle pat, you can give comfort and acceptance and create a strong, loving bond that goes
beyond the physical. When touching is only sexual, however, you might feel that you are being
solicited to perform sexually or that you are valued primarily as a sexual object.

If you already touch each other frequently, keep doing it. If you don't, begin now--today.
You can start simply by bestowing an encouraging squeeze of the shoulder as your partner
attends to a household chore, by exchanging a hug as you leave for work, or by sitting
side-by-side holding hands and snuggling toes as you watch TV.

Casual, unfocused caresses while you're essentially engaged in some other activity, like
watching a movie, can be delightful, but for the most part remember to put conscious attention
into your touch. Be completely present. Bring your mind, heart, and
soul in. Do not allow yourself to fall into absent-minded habitual strokes that
carry no meaning. Are you all there when you embrace your partner? Or is
part of you at the office, grocery store, hockey game, or committee meeting?
Become fully aware of the messages you give with your rubs, pats, and hugs.

Mate relationships include sexual caresses as well as compassionate and comradely ones.
If you don't have sex, then it's a different kind of union-platonic-more akin to friendship
than marriage. Mate relationships make sex permissible and safe both physically and emotionally.
In a committed relationship, sex is elevated. It gains moral force because it becomes
not only a source of great physical pleasure but also a key expression of love.
Economists David Blanch-flower and Andrew Oswald suggest that the happiest people are
those getting the most sex, and that sex has a bigger influence on happiness than money.
Their conclusions are based on data from a random sample of sixteen thousand adult Americans.
They claim that "increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent
to the amount of happiness generated by getting an additional $50,000 in income . . .
and a lasting marriage equates to happiness generated by getting an extra $100,000 each
year. Divorce, meanwhile, translates to a happiness depletion of $66,000 annually."10 Another
study by researchers at Georgia State University concludes that involuntarily celibate

Although most couples want a really good sex life, many are afraid that it's unattainable
because they personally don't know how to create it. They bury their sexual dreams under
the weight of misinformation that says, "Sex is something you should just naturally
know how to do because you're in a body." However, even though your
body desires and has the potential for sublime sex, it doesn't automatically
know the artistry of lovemaking. You must teach the body. Like any great art,
the art of sexual ecstasy must be learned. Sexual knowledge and skill develop
over a lifetime. If you travel through your sexual life in a learning mode, then
your sexual experience will continue to improve over the years. It will grow with you as
you grow.

Transforming Your Sexuality
As a couple, you can extend the passion and satisfaction of your sexual life by evolving your
regular sex into sacred sex. For thousands of years, and in a variety of cultures, sacred sex
practices have affirmed the core message that sex is goodnamely, an integral part of life
connecting you to yourself, to your partner, and to the Divine. Sacred sex shifts the focus of
sex from achieving orgasm to union and pleasure. Lovemaking is expanded beyond the
common understanding of sex as intercourse to include all manner of intimate contact. Sacred
sex is a practical way to balance the purely physiological differences between men and
women. Women gain the time their bodies need to be thoroughly aroused and totally satis-
fied in addition to receiving the affection and emotional connection they want. Men receive
lots of explicit sexual activity, but, because intercourse is interspersed with other forms of
sensual play, they are able to last long enough for their lovers' gratification. Both partners
experience greater pleasure and intimacy.

In sacred sex, you honor your body as a temple for your spirit and offer it
as a gift to your lover. This approach sanctifies your body, asserting its beauty
and magnificence. Shame and guilt disappear as you move beyond repression
and give yourself permission to experience all your senses at every moment.

Claiming Your Body Freedom
Divesting yourself of your body's armor, so that you can be fully at ease in your body and
share it completely with your beloved, requires learning a few new things and unlearning
some old ones. In addition to the common misperceptions already mentioned (people naturally
know how to make love, and touch is optional), you'll come up against others. You'll
need to replace limiting, sabotaging notions with body-affirming and relationship-building
ideas. This transformation includes:

Letting go of "Pleasure, touching, and sex are dangerous, bad, and sinful" and affirming
that "Pleasure, touching, and sex are biological, emotional, and spiritual needssensual
nutrition."

Shifting "My lover is responsible for my pleasure" to "I am responsible for my pleasure."
No matter how skilled, adoring, or attentive your partner may be, unless you allow
yourself to be open to pleasure, you won't experience it.

Transforming "My partner should know how and when I like to be touchedsexually and
nonsexually" into "I have to let my partner know what I like and need." Very few are
mind readers when it comes to lovemaking, and sex is one place where you don't follow
the golden rule of "Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you." Everyone
has individual preferences for loving touch, so push past your barriers of shame, guilt,
or embarrassment and ask for what you want.

Changing "Sexual touching is the most intimate touching" into "Nonsexual touching is just
as intimate as sexual touching." Intimate describes the quality of your touch, not the activity
itself. Intimacy goes far beyond the physical. The deepest intimacy is grounded in
an emotional, energetic, and spiritual connection that you can cultivate through both
sexual and nonsexual touch.

Modifying "Young, hard bodies have the best sex" to "Bodies have better sex as they age."
Sexual mastery evolves over a lifetime of learning, because great sex requires knowledge
and practice. Our culture says young bodies are the sexiest, but simple physical
attractiveness doesn't provide the emotional maturity and self-confidence that are essential
elements of extraordinary sex.

Qualifying the notion that "Great sex is primarily a matter of physical technique" into
the realization that "Great sex combines physical technique with emotional and energetic
connection." While skill is definitely an asset in lovemaking, an open heart and
a willingness to surrender to your lover makes the difference between sex as pleasant
pastime and sex as ecstatic experience.

The best way to learnand unlearnis to take action. Remember that your Body Freedom
is your responsibility. It is neither mandatory nor automatic. You can claim your Body
Freedom with the following actions:
1. Pay attention to your body. Listen to what it tells you about how it feels and what it
wants and needs to function at its best, such as good food, enough rest, adequate exercise,
and sensory delight.
2. Identify the body-negative messages you give yourself, that others give you, and that
you give to others. Replace them with body-positive communication.
3. Touch your mate with tenderness, respect, and caring every day.
4. Change your sexual focus from performance and orgasm to pleasure and union. Dare
to learn how to make your sex an ecstatic art.

Claiming your Body Freedom will bring passion and intimacy to your relationship. It will
help you feel more secure, more in tune with the natural rhythm of life, and more appreciative
of the world's sensory pleasures. You'll discover with paradoxical delight that while your
body makes you a unique and separate individual, it is also the perfect medium for merging
utterly with another.



Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Exercises viii

Introduction xi

Part 1

The Four Freedoms 1
The First Freedom: Body 3
The Second Freedom: Mind 11
The Third Freedom: Heart 21
The Fourth Freedom: Soul 33
Integrating Your Four Freedoms 41

Part 2

Four Freedoms Exercises 53
Body Freedom Exercises
To Do on Your Own 54
To Do Together 61
Mind Freedom Exercises
To Do on Your Own 80
To Do Together 91
Heart Freedom Exercises
To Do on Your Own 107
To Do Together 115
Soul Freedom Exercises
To Do on Your Own 131
To Do Together 139
Integration Exercises
To Do on Your Own 156
To Do Together 165

Notes 177

Recommended Reading 181

Works Consulted 197

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