It just hit me as I watched him shaking and gyrating in orgasmic delight. His eyes wide, “what’s happening?” he exclaimed! “You are wired energetically,” I said. His wife continued to hover her hands over his body as the volume of his turn-on rose. At that moment, all the years of training, working with my clients, leading Tantra workshops and group sessions, the words of my mentors all came into focus and the Core Erotic Blueprints™ were born.
There are many people and ideas that affect one’s life and help to birth a new idea into the world. We frequently get asked where the Erotic Blueprints began. Like any birth, there is a gestation time, and I gestated this one for many years. I’m certain it wasn’t any one thing. I do know that what most impregnated me with the idea were some of the following influences.
I always loved maps that taught us more about ourselves, helped us discover and know ourselves more fully, and then how to interact with other people who seemed different than us. What shapes personality? What makes one person more introverted and another feel resourced partying all night long with friends? Why does one person shine as a leader and another have the superpower of being behind the scenes in supportive roles? Why is one person turned on by being tied up and bound and yet, another is turned on by not being touched at all? Who are we? Who am I?
It was inquiry and curiosity that led me to want to find out the answer to who we are. I naturally loved personality typing, tests like Meyers-Briggs, or the Enneagram, or the DISC profile. Could there be a similar typing for our erotic selves? Who are we as erotic beings? I was just 18 when I set out to answer that question.
In 2006, during my training as a Somatic Sexologist, I met Jack Morin, author of The Erotic Mind. In meeting him, something came together in my mind. In his book and teachings he spoke of something called The Core Erotic Theme. What I loved about uncovering a Core Erotic Theme was that it wasn’t based on dysfunction; Jack mapped a person’s eroticism based on Peak Erotic Experiences. By listening to peak experiences he could see a theme emerge, hence the Core Erotic Theme.
I remembered back to the ’90s when I was studying Tantra. In the workshop, we had to share three of our most extraordinary erotic experiences and then the person that we shared with would reflect any theme that they noticed between the three experiences. This curiosity into who I was erotically and what themes showed up, again and again, led me to a desire to know others in the same way. I was so fascinated that I spent the next decade paying attention to many stories of Peak Erotic Experiences, could there be a blueprint into who we really are when it comes to our turn-on?
As you are reading this, some of your own peak experiences may come to mind. It’s fun to write down your most pleasurable erotic escapades. See if you can find a theme. Better yet, share your experiences with a friend or lover you trust and have them reflect back on what they hear as a theme to your experiences. It can be enlightening and a way to get to know each other better and connect more deeply.
During the same training with Jack Morin, I also met Joseph Kramer who created an entire profession (Sexological Bodywork) based on educating people about their bodies when it came to the erotic. While I had had years of learning about quality touch – the erotic was always forbidden – this was an entirely new way to be with the body. It felt whole. This specialized licensure allowed us to teach people about anatomy, touch, and about pleasure. It wasn’t just talking about sex – it was about embodying sex!
Joseph’s work was a major influence on me in so many ways; from inquiring about all that was erotically possible in our bodies, to learning how to be present with another person through touch, to body mapping. It was Joseph who taught me how to help someone create a pleasure map of their body.
It was 2009 when I met the brilliant Esther Perel! She too had studied with Jack Morin, so the two of us instantly had a rapport together. In her book, Mating in Captivity, she has an entire chapter where she introduced the idea of Erotic Blueprints. “Tell me how you were loved and I’ll show you how you make love.” This brought to mind the question of what shapes us? Is our eroticism shaped by our upbringing? In my work over the last 25 years, I would say absolutely. Who are we without the conditioning and programming from our early upbringing? Who are we without our coming of age embarrassments, shaming, and traumas? How did our parents, religious affiliation, or where we lived shape what turns us on? Or were we born this way? More inquiry and questions that, to this day I love to spend time philosophizing.
I’ll never forget the day that The Erotic Blueprint Types came into being. I was in my office working with the couple I spoke of earlier in this article. They were having trouble connecting with each other – yet another sexless and unfulfilling relationship. They felt like they were on different planets. He was having a lot of difficulties feeling turned on and achieving an erection. We got him on the table and I was beginning to do a body mapping session on him. Simply going through his body with different kinds of touch and asking him on a scale of 1-5 what was most pleasurable to his body.