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

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.

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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
• Exchange dreams • 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 human nature-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.

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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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