Robert Augustus Masters

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What Does It Mean to Eroticize Our Wounds?

  • June 16, 2015
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The eroticizing of our unresolved wounds and unmet (or insufficiently met) needs is a topic that gets ignored in most considerations of sexuality. Here’s how such eroticizing — which is extremely common — happens:


1. We get significantly hurt — emotionally, physically, psychologically — without any resolution, leaving us wounded.


2. Accompanying this wounding is a charge, an energetic imprint, an excitation (be it positive or negative) that infiltrates our lives — especially when circumstances arise that mimic the ones in which we first were wounded.


3. This charge becomes so familiar to us — however unpleasant it may be — that it seems to be none other than just another natural part of us.


4. In our adolescent and/or adult years, we plug this charge our original wound-generated excitation into sexual channels, thereby both reliving it and finding some short-lived but strongly appealing release from it.


5. This continues, often addictively, until we awaken to what we’re doing and turn toward our original wounding with compassion and fitting action.


The eroticizing of our unresolved wounds and insufficiently or badly met needs is both an escape from our suffering and a sign of it.


Once we recognize this, we are on our way to truly freeing our sexuality. Ceasing to eroticize the charge we still have with early life pain allows us to be consciously present with that charge — and also with those aspects of us that first endured such pain.


So instead of redirecting that charge, that contracted or compacted excitation, into the pleasuring possibilities of sex, choose to move closer to it, closer to the pain and wounding that underlie it. This isn’t about no longer being affected by this charge — for it very likely will always be with us — but about not letting it run us.