The topic of boundaries is very important to both of us – especially in relation to Tantra and sexuality.
How many times has someone crossed your boundaries?
How often have you allowed it yourself or have allowed it explicitly?
It starts with everyday things as when a stranger sits next to me on the subway and a voice inside me yells: “no, go away, I don’t want this, I need my space”.
But the voice is immediately numbed. “It’s not my place to take up so much space.
After all, this is a public space. Come on, he doesn’t do anything.”
Or when a person is always a little too close to me during a conversation and even if I move away from them inconspicuously, they keep moving close…
All the way to sexual encounters, where I don’t like the way I am touched, but I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
When I feel pain during penetration but I am so frustrated with myself that I tell my partner to just go ahead. Or if I put up with it because it’s “part of a relationship”.
How often have you crossed the boundaries of another?
And justified it, because the other could have said something, too?
These can also be well-intentioned things, like persuasion at a party: “No, no, no, you’re not going home yet. Come on, let’s have a drink” or hugging someone who might not want that at all. Or everything that is not a clear NO to be interpreted as YES… up to an urge to have sex. “We haven’t had sex for so long, you must feel like it, too.” Don’t you want it, too?”
I think there are endless examples that we regularly experience ourselves. Some of these are not serious, some are already in the gray area and far too often these boundary crossings lead to sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, this also happens in many Tantra schools. That is why it is extremely important to us to raise awareness about this issue and to carry out preventive work on all levels.
For a consciously lived sexuality it is essential to feel and communicate one’s own needs and limits and to respect the limits of others.
As small children, we are usually still in very good contact with ourselves.
If a person gets too close to our 2-year-old daughter for her liking or she gets touched in a way she doesn’t like, she just runs away or yells.
Very easily. She doesn’t try to please anyone, she’s not afraid of rejection, but she’s not offended or resentful afterwards either.
However, over time most of us have either learned to conform or to push our limits. “Now the aunt has come from so far just to see you. Now sit on her lap and give her a kiss.”
I’m not usually a big fan of generic role clichés, but I still think that boys are much more often taught that they have to be strong and are not supposed to cry – and as a result have difficulty admitting their vulnerability later on.
While girls are expected to be sweet and kind and suppress their anger – and thus the ability to say NO and set boundaries.
At some point, my parents also had the glorious idea of flushing my personified “don’t want to” down the toilet as a method of upbringing. This was to let me know that “I don’t want to” is not an accepted answer.
In my work with women, I notice again and again how difficult it is for many of us to say a clear and unequivocal NO.
There is a lot of “mhm… I don’t think so”… or “maybe… I’ll think about it”… with a cocked head and a “please-love-me-nevertheless” look or an apologetic smile.
Many of us have learned that we are only loved when we live up to the expectations of others and are incredibly afraid of rejection when we don’t.
And at the same time, I know some men who are convinced that they’ve done nothing wrong and genuinely wonder why women they’ve had sex with are suddenly cutting ties or spreading rumors that they’ve been forced to have sex .
At this point I would also like to take the perspective of these men.
Men who learned from childhood to be strong and to suppress their feelings.
Men who are therefore not particularly emphatic and do not recognize small gestures, hints or nuances in language.
When these men meet women who can only express their inner NO with a ” don’t know exactly…” and smile at the same time, disaster is inevitable.
Often it is then said: “Well, she was a bit shy, but that’s part of the game…”
I believe we all have our way to go.
For everyone whose limits are often crossed – no matter on what level, whether man or woman – the task is to give yourself permission to say NO, to be worth it to yourself… and to learn to feel and communicate your own needs and limits.
If something doesn’t feel right, you can say NO. Even if you have already said YES, you are allowed to change your mind.
If someone doesn’t accept your NO, get up and leave. Don’t try to be nice. Care for you.
And for everyone who has ever been accused of crossing boundaries, it is worth taking that seriously and questioning your own behavior. Even if you don’t feel guilty about having done so.
It is often about learning to really feel ourselves and others, to perceive even subtly communicated boundaries and to act more carefully. And when in doubt, it’s better to ask twice if it’s really okay.
Then there can be a true connection… security and trust… and ultimately freedom. When I no longer have to worry about my partner overstepping my boundaries, then I can really relax, let go, and give myself completely during sex.
And on the other hand, if I no longer have to be afraid of crossing my partner’s boundaries, I can be braver, show my needs and try new sex practices – knowing that the other person will show me or that I will feel it if something goes too far or the other doesn’t like it.