A Story of Adolescent Sexual Awakening:
New Patterns for a Healthier World
© Blake Steele 2008
|Ben followed his mother up the walk to the white building that looked like a temple. It had been a church for years. There was a sign “Sacred Sexuality,” mounted over the round gateway that lead to an open patio which was full of huge plants and flowers. He had heard of this place. It was quite controversial when it first opened several years ago, but the community had grown to accept it. There were only good stories about it not just good, but enthusiastic. The young people who had come here to be initiated into adolescence were so much more balanced, open and happier than their peers. The results couldn’t be argued, and even some of the worst critics had backed off. Their intellectual and even theological arguments couldn’t hold up to the obvious facts of good results.
Ben’s parents were conservative Christians, good people with loving hearts. They had talked together for a long time about this, as it was so contrary to their upbringing, but they wanted young Ben to have the very best they could give him, and walking around town they noticed the peaceful presence and sense of joy around the young people they knew had been initiated. Ben’s mother had even talked to several of them outside a supermarket and had asked permission to talk to their parents. The enthusiasm that was expressed to them by the parents had won them over enough to attend an introductory meeting at the center. They expected a heavily Hinduistic atmosphere, but there were no religious trappings. The center was more like an art gallery, full of beautiful paintings and sculptures. The decor created a palatable atmosphere of peace.
The representative of the center was a woman in her mid thirties. She was attractive, immaculately groomed and extremely gracious. She explained everything in simple terms and spoke with a quiet enthusiasm that was infectious. She talked about the major developmental needs of a child up through adolescent awaking and how critical it was for young people to have their sexual awakening celebrated and connected to their deepest levels of being. She spoke of it in such a natural way that made perfect sense. She then shared stories of the results of their work at a center in Europe which had been established for fifteen years giving them time to follow the lives of their young clients as they matured. Without exception the young people had carried the best qualities of childhood curiosity, playfulness, and a natural creativity forward into their adult lives. They were naturally charismatic and their easy self-confidence had made some of them leaders in business and even politics. Many had become inspired artists doing highly valued work. Others had gone into medicine and other fields of service to humanity. Some had pursued training with the center and were now working with new centers which were springing up all over the world. And none of them had experienced the severe sense of estrangement so characteristic of adolescence. They had explored their expanding interests without a need to reject their youth and thus their family.
It was extremely convincing, and very good news. Ben’s parents decided that when Ben showed signs of his adolescent awakening, they would have him initiated and signed the necessary parental permission paperwork before they left. They had talked with Ben about the plan as they were instructed, and told him to let them know when he had his first sexual experience. It had been a bit difficult for them to talk to him about it as they had both been raised never speaking of sex in their familes, and talking to him so openly crossed the grain of their early conditioning. Ben too was a bit shy about it and listened but didn’t say anything in return expect yes when asked if he would let them know. That was the way it stood until Ben came to them and said, “It happened.” That was all he could say, but they knew what he meant and smiled warmly at him.
Two very gracious young women met Ben and his mother at the door. Ben thought they were cute, and the natural beauty of the place plus the warmth and beauty of the young women gave him a sense of excitement that pressed against his shyness and fear.
The young women thanked Ben’s mother for bringing him. She looked at him with great love and kissed him on the cheek, which embarrassed him a bit, but he glanced at her as if to say thanks. The young women had obviously been through this many times before, and assured him that all was well as they went through some large, ornate doors, chattering quite naturally with him to help him feel more at ease. Ben’s mother felt like she was saying good-bye to her little boy as she watched the doors close and felt tears well up in her eyes. But she also felt proud of him, and excited for all life held in store. She went outside. There was a little fountain tinkling in the midst of huge bird of paradise plants. A purple bougainvillea spilled down above it. She drew in a deep breath and surrendered her motherly desire for Ben to remain her little boy forever, then glanced up at the sky and prayed for his protection, assuring her heart that this was the very best thing for him. She glanced over her shoulder once more, then went out to meet the other responsibilities of her day.
The young women led Ben into an all white room that opened into a hall with several doors. Out of one of them came a young, auburn haired woman. She was very pretty and Ben felt a crush on her immediately. His excitement grew. She smiled and put out her hand for him to shake.
“Welcome Ben. My name is Juliet. How old are you?” Her voice sang with a beautiful French accent.
“I’m 12,” he answered shyly, wishing he could say he was 25 or 30 and that he was going to take her to Paris and make love with her forever.
“Your mom and dad have given you a great gift, Ben,” she said as she nodded to the two young lades and taking him by the hand led him down to hall. “We are going to welcome and bless your awakening body, your new sexual energy. Is that all right with you?” she asked, He nodded yes and followed her into a large room with a large, colorfully covered mat on the floor. It lay against a white wall that was vibrantly alive with the colorful abstract painting that covered it. “When did you have your first experience of sex?” she asked with a sweet naturalness.
“Uh… just last week,” he answered shyly.
“How beautiful. And how did it happen?”
“You mean…” he paused to clear his suddenly foggy voice, “I’m kind of embarrassed.”
“I see. Oh, this is fun. It makes me want to know more. Were you by yourself or with a beautiful young woman?” she asked with a scampish smile.”
“I was alone.” He could feel the tightness in his voice as if he were no longer the prince he wished he could be but a frog, small and inconsequential, in the presence of a queen.
“It’s ok, Ben. I am here to support you, to help you know there is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you want to tell me about it, I promise, I will understand. I won’t laugh at you not at all, never,” she said, raising her hand up as if she were taking a pledge.
“Well, ok…” He knew he was blushing but went on. “I was climbing this tree near our house. I don’t know why really. It was in someone’s yard I don’t even know. But I felt drawn to climb it. I don’t know if that makes sense. I like to climb trees. The branches were kind of thin and straight up. It wasn’t easy to climb. I got up maybe as high as the roof and I slipped. I was struggling to keep from falling.”
“Was your body really tense?”
“Yes, really tense. And then I got hard, you know what I mean, and felt this pleasure, a really, really good feeling filling all of me. And I was almost falling, and then my pants got all wet and it smelled kind of like bread dough.”
“Yes, that was an orgasm,” she said with an easy familiarity, as if they were talking about identifying a certain flower. “It was God’s time for you to become sexually alive. You are becoming a man, Ben. Your body is waking up its fullness of Life. Nature is very wise. It knows just what it is doing. I’m glad you didn’t fall. But it’s beautiful that you had an orgasm. What did you feel afterwards?”
Her eyes shown with enthusiasm: Ben couldn’t help noticing it. He wanted to look at her eyes as much as he could; there was so much softness and peace in them, and something else he had rarely seen not like this. He felt it must be love and didn’t know how to take it. He had daydreamed many times of a woman looking at him like this, and here she was, loving him… but she wasn’t the heroine in his story. He was too young, or she was too old. She was just naturally herself and he sensed that she showed this same love to everyone.
“Well,” he said slowly, “I got down from the tree and was relieved I didn’t fall, but I felt embarrassed. I had this wetness in the front of my pants and I smelled. I didn’t want anyone to see me.”
“That’s normal,” she said sweetly. “Having an orgasm is an intimate thing. That means it is not something you share with just anyone. We have a deep instinct to keep it private. Yes, perhaps it would have been a little embarrassing to meet someone. But they probably wouldn’t have noticed or thought anything about it. You could have just spilled a pop on your pants. Is this true?” she asked and poked him in the ribs with her finger as if to make him laugh.
“Yes, I guess that’s true,” we said and turned half away from her. “I didn’t think of that. I was shaking inside.”
“Were you afraid?”
“Yes, maybe: afraid of being caught.”
“There was nothing to be ashamed of really!”
“No, of course not silly: this is life happening in you, in your good body. It is a beautiful thing and very natural. It felt good, didn’t it?”
“Yes, very good. I’ve never felt anything like that before.”
“No, children don’t have sexual orgasms. But they do naturally feel much pleasure in their bodies.”
“Does this mean I am not a child anymore?”
“Yes. It is a true transition, a passage from being a child to being a man. You are becoming a man, Ben. Isn’t that exciting?”
His first thought was, yes, then I can take you to Paris, but then he thought a bit more. “I don’t know. I love my life. I love being a child. I have had a lot of fun.”
“What do you love doing?”
“I love exploring, sometimes in the rocks by the sea, and on the beaches. I love the smells and sounds; I love riding the waves and laying in the warm sand and sun; I love eating popsicles and telling comic book stories to my cousins. In the hills behind our house: there is a canyon I love to climb and explore there too: I love playing in the gullies and climbing cliffs a lot of things.”
“And do you think you will lose all that now?”
“Will I? I don’t know what growing up really means. Will I have to become like my father? I don’t even know him. And he doesn’t seem to be having much fun. No adults seem to be having much fun. I don’t know if I want to grow up.”
“Perhaps you don’t need to,” she said with that scampish look in her eyes again.
“What? What do you mean?”
“Well, not like that. Perhaps you can grow up some other way that brings a joy to you that your father has never known. Perhaps you can be a happy, free spirited adult.”
“You mean I can just play on the beach all my life?”
“No, not that exactly. Life is so full of many things. You may want to go out and explore the world. I must tell you, Ben, it is dangerous to resist life. Life is maturing you. Life is growing you up whether you want to grow up or not. Is it so?”
“Yes, I guess so. But I didn’t ask for this.”
“No. But do you remember asking to be born?”
“No. I don’t remember anything about that.”
“Neither do I. Most of us don’t. But here we are. Life has its ways. You can say, God has his ways. Do you believe in God, Ben?” she asked as she bid him to follow her over to the low bed.
“I don’t know. I don’t think about things like that. I don’t like going to church. It’s really boring. But sometimes I look at pictures of Jesus and feel good. And I remember seeing a picture of Jesus when I was really small. That felt good too.”
“Well, God is many things to many people. Here, sit down,” she said and pulled a large pillow over onto the corner of the mat. He sat on it and she walked across the bed and sat down on pillows with her back to the wall. “To me, God is Life. God gives Life and Life is natural and pure. Life is very beautiful. It is beautiful to be alive, and to be growing up. I am still young too.”
“How old are you?” Ben asked a bit eagerly, dreaming she would say thirteen. He could perhaps have a chance with her if she was thirteen.
“I am twenty-two.”
“Ah,” he sighed. “That seems old to me.”
“Yes, but when you are twelve, most everyone seems old,” she said with a smile, as if she could read his thoughts.
“Juliet, how do you feel about being an adult?” Ben asked, genuinely curious.
“I love it. Well, most of it,” she answered with a smile. “I miss being a child too. My parents don’t pay for everything like they used to. I must work and take care of myself. But I decided to do work that I love; something that really helps others and I love my body and I love sex. So I work with what I love. It is so beautiful to help young boys and girls become adults, to help them feel good about themselves. I feel like I am giving them something they will always value and remember with thankfulness.”
“Do you think I can find something I love to do as an adult?”
“Yes, everyone can, if that is what they really want. Whatever you want you just must pay attention to. Explore what you love and learn how good it is to help others as well and you can naturally find your way to a job you will love to do and get paid for it as well. Not bad, eh?” she said with smiling eyes.
“That sounds ok. But I don’t know anything I would want to do as an adult. I just love baseball and collecting baseball cards and going to ball games and the beach and watching TV.”
“Do you like to read?”
“Yes. I like reading the Harry Potter books.”
“Well, if you read a lot of different things it could help you discover new things that attract you besides what you like doing now. You are still very young.” He winched a bit when she said this. She didn’t seem to notice but just went on, “Your sexual awakening doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love and become an adult right now. This is a step in that direction. You still have a lot of time to be young and enjoy life without many cares. Your parents must be very good people. They brought you here, which is a fantastic act of Love. It shows they only want the best for your life.”
“Yes. I know they love me.”
“Can you feel their love?”
“Well, I guess from my mom. She is always doing things for us kids. And I think if I really wanted anything she would get it if she could. She is a good mom.”
“And your dad?”
“I don’t know. I don’t really feel like I know him at all.”
“Oh, that is pretty normal,” she said, her eyes once more smiling as if they held a secret joy.
“Well, mothers live more in their children’s worlds. Fathers too often mostly live in the world of business or their profession. They are out doing their jobs in the larger world.”
“Yes, I guess that’s true. But I wish he would talk with me sometimes. I don’t remember him ever showing any interest in me at all. He doesn’t even take me to the ball games. I go with a friend.”
“Maybe that’s the way he was raised by his father. You could ask him to talk with you. You don’t have to just accept things as they are. Sometimes just asking for what you really need makes all the difference.”
“You know, I never thought about that. I seem to just accept things as they are. Can I change things, really?”
“Yes and no. You cannot manipulate things, or make wishes and they just happen. But you can let your needs be known and ask. You can ask others to become aware of what is important to you. Your parents need this. They don’t see everything. It’s a hard job being a parent. Did you know that?” Ben nodded no. “Well, it’s the hardest job in the world. They need all the help they can get. And you can help them by not waiting for them to do everything. You can take action yourself by being honest about what you really want. Ask yourself, what do you really want?”
“You mean, now?”
“Yes, why not? What do you really need to grow and be happy?”
“I… I don’t know. I am pretty happy.”
“Ok: but what about your parents? What do you need from them that you aren’t getting?”
“Well, like I said, I need my dad to talk with me. I guess it would be nice if he shared with me his world. And I think I need him to ask me questions about how I am and what I like. I would like to feel like I’m important to him.”
“Yes, that is very normal and very important to you, to every child.”
“And I would like him to read to me and help me with my homework because I really don’t like homework, but if I ask him he gets super upset and makes me feel like I’m dumb.”
“Are you dumb, then?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I am. I don’t like school much.”
“Why, Ben? Did you ever think about why you don’t like school?”
“Well, its boring. And when I have homework I hate doing it like I said, and lots of times I don’t do it and that makes me feel anxious about my grades. I feel like I am always falling behind. School sucks.”
“Really, I mean is it totally that way? There must be some things you like about it.”
“Well, I guess I like being around other kids. And I like girls, but I’m too shy to let them know,” he said, glancing up, wishing he could tell her that he felt love for her. “And I like gym. I’m pretty good at sports.”
“So, if your father helped you learn to do homework and you weren’t so anxious about your grades, would it be more fun?”
“I guess so. It is hard to imagine really liking to do homework.”
“But what if you looked at it completely differently. What if instead of feeling anxious about your grades you just loved learning new things?”
“But it is all so boring.”
“Do you think it has to do with the way it is taught?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what are some of your classes?”
“I have American History…”
“Yes, and don’t you think it could be very interesting to learn about how your country was born and the lives of the people and what they believed and how things grew and changed and became like they are now? There are so many interesting stories.”
“But it isn’t interesting. It is all about memorizing dates and facts and names for the next test.”
“So, perhaps the fault lies with how it is taught. If it was taught in a way that grabbed your attention like a good movie, would that make a difference?”
“Yes. I think so. I love movies.”
“Most people love movies, because they are stories, and we naturally love stories. Perhaps you have a story kind of brain rather than a memorizing facts kind of brain.”
“I’ve never thought about that. I do love stories a lot.”
“Well, if you ask me, the schools need a lot of improvements in how they teach. And they need inspiring teachers. Some kids can learn facts well. Their brains just love memorizing all kinds of things. Other kids need stories and music and dance, and to feel free and be creative. They have different kinds of minds. But the schools are not designed for them. So they find it hard.”
“No one ever told me that before. That makes sense. My dad definitely has a fact kind of brain. He’s like a walking Encyclopedia. But I don’t think I do. Maybe that is another reason why I feel so far away from him.”
“Yes, it sounds like that is quite possible. What does he do?”
“He’s a lawyer,” Ben answered, and felt a bit of resentment. He wasn’t sure why.
“And perhaps you will grow up to be a writer or artist. Do you like to draw?”
“I did when I was younger. I loved to draw stupid little pictures of stick men fighting wars. I had a friend named Eric and we both loved drawing and spent a lot of time making whole worlds of stick men wars.”
“Trust yourself, Ben. Trust your differences. Life is like that. We are all different. We all share life together yet we are supposed to be different: each of us unique. Why don’t you tell your teachers you are having trouble with the way the books are written and the classes taught.”
“What difference would that make? They aren’t going to change things for me.”
“No, but it will make a difference to you. You will be saying your truth, and that is always good. It makes you strong.”
“Well, I don’t ever talk to my teachers.”
“It doesn’t sound like you talk with any adults. It is up to you to reach out. If things aren’t working as they are, it is up to you to change them. If you learn to express yourself to others, to be open and honest, you will find that things will work a lot better. Even if things don’t change at school, you will change. You will have more self-confidence and be more open and honest. Do you understand?”
“Yes… I think I do. I never thought of these things. Thank you,” he said, and genuinely felt it.
“You are welcome,” she replied with that beautiful bell-like music in her voice. “You are cute. I like your spirit, Ben,” she said with a smile. He felt his face grow red again. She noticed and smiled, then patted the bed. “Now lets take the first step in your initiation. Do you know what an initiation is?”
“Isn’t it something like being introduced into something?”
“Yes, introduced or admitted into a new place in your life. It is like passing into a new room you have never been in before. We are welcoming you into a new place of sexual aliveness. Life is doing this in you, and we are welcoming it. Would you like to welcome your new sexual feelings?”
“Yes, I guess. If they don’t make me feel embarrassed or… “
“What, Ben. Go ahead, be honest. Remember, you can tell me anything.”
“Well, guilty,” he answered, his eyes dropping down to the bed.
“Why would you feel guilty about something so beautiful?”
“I don’t know.”
“Think about it. Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. You feel guilty about sex because…”
“Well… I feel separate from the family. My parents brought me here because no one ever talks about sex at our house. It’s like it doesn’t exist.”
“So, because no one ever talks about it what does that suggest: I mean what meaning do you take from this?”
“Hmm. Maybe that sex must be bad, or that sex isn’t normal, you know, that it isn’t good to feel sexual… I’m not sure.”
“Yes. I think you do understand, Ben. That is what is implied. If we don’t talk about it that means it isn’t meant to be a normal part of our lives. But here, with me you can not only talk about it but explore it and discover for yourself just how beautiful and normal it really is. Does that sound good?”
“Yes!,” he answered shyly, “But what are we going to do?”
“I am going to show you my body in a way that is very natural and sacred. That means it is pure in itself: completely pure. We will treat it as pure and natural. Ok.”
“Are you curious about women’s bodies?”
“Yes, a little. I haven’t been so much, but now I feel like I really want to see a woman’s naked body.”
“Would you like to see my naked body?” she asked and smiled sweetly at him.
“I feel shy.”
“It’s ok. I’m glad you are being honest. Try this, put your attention on your stomach. Feel your stomach with your mind. Now answer from there.”
Ben put his hand over his stomach and pretended like it was talking. “Yes. Yes I would. Of course I would,” he said boldly, surprising himself.
“A mon aimee, you really are so cute." She flashed her impish smile at him again. "Ok. Sit right here.”