So, if you think of your anus, how
does it feel? Tight, clamped, like a tight-assed expression of how you feel
about the world? That somehow you have to keep things out, and you'll only
release your hold on it when you feel like it? Or is it about keeping
And when you walk, do you hold your pelvis stiff
or do you let it rotate? Do you think that a twist to the pelvis, even a slight
one, when you walk, is feminine?
Do you clamp your buttocks together, or hold your
legs close together so your penis and testes are protected between them? Is your
pelvis tilted upwards or downwards? That will mostly depend on how curved your
back may be.
The likely answer to all these questions
is that you probably don't know. The way you use and hold your body is a
fundamental part of how you present yourself to the world - in fact, it is you,
in some sense. As such, you are unlikely to be very aware of what have become
unconscious muscular habit patterns: but they may be strangling or restricting
the expression of your sexuality.
Questions which might give you some insight into
these issues include: Were you ever ridiculed for staining your underwear with
natural bodily excretions as a child?
Was your sexuality invaded in some way? Were you
taught that your sexuality had to be kept hidden? Was the sight of your
genitals in your clothes commented upon?
Were you constantly told to stand up straight?
Was nudity permitted, forbidden or encouraged in your family? Was sex accepted
as a natural part of life, or was it strictly taboo?
And so on. I'm sure you get the idea - that we
respond to such implied non-acceptance (well, rejection, really) by adopting
muscular patterns which try to counter the aspects of ourselves apparently
unwanted by others.
In addition there are many sources of physical
"wounds" which lead to defensive bodily patterns: the hurt of an insensitive
touch on the testicles during babyhood when a boy's diapers are changed; the
pain of a penis being circumcised; the moving of a child's hands away from his
penis when he plays with it (a very natural thing to want to do!).
And more: the
negative reaction of parents (usually the mother) when a boy urinates in the air
while his diaper is removed and his penis uncovered; the traumas of toilet
training; the parents' reaction to the inevitable elimination "accidents" of childhood: all of these insults to the developing boy,
and many more as well, no doubt, are somehow incorporated into his attitude to
the world and his physical presentation later in life.
It may not even be too far-fetched to
assume that delayed ejaculation is
related to these patterns of holding in.
The issue ultimately becomes one of
control, of course: self-control, control of bodily feelings and functions. And
the best way to achieve total control is to become numb, not to feel.
This is why so many men (and women) are cut off from what their bodies are
doing. It's even been suggested that many men with an apparently small penis
have somehow concluded during childhood that they should keep their penis to
themselves, and the permanent drawing-in of their penis could be the
manifestation of this belief.
What constitutes acceptable social conduct
between males is well defined our culture, and intimate contact between men is
not usually a part of it, no matter how much men (or boys) may want it. Instead,
rough-housing, "friendly" punching, slapping, butt-grabbing, testicle-squeezing,
and so on, take the place of real intimacy.
So for some men at least, contact itself is
associated with the need to draw in and be protective of the penis and
R. Louis Schultz, in his book Out In
The Open: The Complete Male Pelvis, describes in great detail the muscles
around the male pelvis and how they may affect the appearance of the genitals
and the level of sensation in the penis, testicles and pelvis generally. [Buy
the book here from Amazon.com]
It's certainly the most detailed
analysis I can find of what can happen to the penis and testicles under the
influence of inhibitory muscular patterns (by which I mean patterns of muscular
activity which are about holding in or cutting off rather than the
healthy, uninhibited expression of feelings, thoughts, needs, wishes, desires
His comments on erections are especially
interesting, for he makes the point that when he is working with male clients
with the deep massage techniques which cause long-held tension patterns to break
up, they will often get an erection which cannot be attributed to sexual
The obvious implication is that we would be much
more sensuous and perhaps sexual if we didn't carry such tension in our minds
The less obvious implication is that the process
of emotional cutting-off is accompanied by some cutting-off of blood flow to the
Schultz also makes the point that many men
are so negatively conditioned that any non-sexual touch anywhere on the whole of
their abdomen will result in a protective start, a flinching and a drawing back.
Such inhibition denies men the chance of an orgasm which extends beyond their
genitals: the closing down of their sexuality means that their orgasm is
penis-centered, not whole body centered: he talks of the man's sexuality being constrained,
and represents this with the image of a metal jacket or diaper round the man's abdomen
and pelvis with an opening for the man's penis.
I am in fact sure that this response is generally very
common, and I suspect it comes form childhood sexual abuse, which as a precursor
of abdominal tightness must be a major factor. So I think Schultz is correct,
but I am not sure he has explicitly stated the connection between abdominal
tightness and the originating factor.
I would be interested to take this a stage
further and conduct interviews with men to establish what any link between childhood experiences and sexual problems
such as delayed ejaculation - see www.delayed-ejaculation.com for more on this.
Another key sign of inhibition and tension is
lack of flexibility in the movement of a man's pelvis. Men may actually be so
tight around their pelvis that, while having sex in the missionary position, for
example, they don't thrust with a rocking pelvis but actually do a kind of
press-up on their arms and legs.
The correct movement, one which speaks of
flexibility and lack of constriction, is seen when the hips rock forward with
the pubic bone leading.
When more flexible men are on their back during
sex the rocking motion of their pelvis is seen as their tailbone moves downwards
and their pubic bone moves headwards.
Their lower back lengthens and their abdominal
muscles contract. In these cases, the pelvis is free, and feelings can
reverberate through his body before, during and after the man's orgasm. Such
whole body orgasms are much more powerful than penis-centered orgasms.
One of the reasons, says Schultz, that men hold
their pelvic region rigid is that their early experiences of masturbation were
hurried and furtive. In adolescent masturbation, holding the muscles of the
pelvis rigid will lead to a more rapid ejaculation: unfortunately, of course,
the same remains true years later when sex "should" be a more relaxed,
unhurried, sensuous, whole body experience, with a long build-up to ejaculation
By then, though, the man has been conditioned to hold his body in
that rigid way as he moves through arousal towards orgasm, and sex therefore
becomes much less rewarding that it could be.
Of course, such pelvic inhibitions also
affect walking, running, jumping, sports, and much more besides. They may
cause prostatitis; they certainly can contribute to arthritis. They may be responsible for hiatal hernia.
It's an obvious feature of social situations that
many men try to hide their penis and testicles (even if they are wearing
clothes) with their hands. For a man with a strong urge to protect himself in
this way, the first recourse is the unconscious pulling in of his penis, using
the muscles at its base, so that it appears shorter than it actually is.
He may also use the muscles of his abdomen as a
kind of constricting band around his waist, which diminishes his feeling and
awareness of his penis.
Schultz describes men whose penises have become
erect during body work and yet have been totally unaware of the fact, and men
whose posture squashes their testicles between their legs even though they
remain unaware of the fact because their whole pelvis is desensitized.
The good news is that all of these
restrictive habit patterns can be modified by a combination of sensitive movement
techniques and sensitive body work. The only effective way to do this is to see
a good bodyworker with whom you are comfortable and who is comfortable working with the
intimate areas of your body. (See list of Rolfing organizations below.)
They must have good knowledge of the muscles and systems of the pelvic region,
and an absolute awareness of sexual boundaries. Schultz prescribes specific
methods of bodywork which can release a tight ass, tight hamstrings, tight
pelvis, tight back and so on.
Under normal circumstances the penis itself is not
addressed in body work: it is the muscles and deeper connective tissues of the
testicles, perineum, abdomen, pelvis, scrotum and such like which receive the bodyworker's attention.
about showing your body?