Rewriting The Story of Masculinity & Femininity w/ Kelly Brogan MD #406

By Aubrey Marcus March 22, 2023

Rewriting The Story of Masculinity & Femininity w/ Kelly Brogan MD  #406

Is there an agenda against the empowered masculine and feminine expressions?

In today’s podcast with Kelly Brogan MD, we discuss the crisis of modern masculinity & femininity, how to use social media as a spiritual practice, victim consciousness, the pitfalls of feminism, and we take a deep dive into the world of BDSM and its healing potential.

Kelly Brogan MD is a holistic psychiatrist specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms, and a prolific NYT best-selling author.

Connect with Kelly Brogan:

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KELLY: I needed to contend with my relationship to feminism and to understand the relevance of our position as women in the fight against our own injustices, and to see how I may have taken the bait of what I think is one of the biggest psy-ops that's ever crossed our paths, collectively, which is feminism. That's not to say that it does not hold space for some very, very important energies of pain and intergenerational grief, but it's to recognise how this is being... In my world, it's called a louche ritual, how this is literally being harvested energetically, the emotional currency of the victim consciousness that is held by so many women right now in their righteousness, in their entitled anger is actually being used and leveraged for a specific agenda. I do think the war on masculinity is one of the various central elements of the current agenda. Because when you have emasculated; and I would go so far as to say energetically-castrated; men, you have a very vulnerable population. And when there aren't men at the helm, to guide, direct, protection, then the capture of that population is secured. When as a man, you don't have other men at your back, you cannot man properly. And as a woman, when you do not have not one man, but men at your back, you cannot be a woman. I actually think this is how we're designed to relate to each other across the gender divide.

AUBREY: Dr. Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist who's dedicated her practice and her life to illuminating all of the miraculous processes that occur naturally within the human body and how to support those processes to yield the highest possible outcome of a thriving human being. And while we could talk about psychiatry, and I look forward to those conversations, about the utilization of pharmaceutical meds versus natural means, in this podcast, we focus on one of the most powerful healing processes, which is the awakening of our own erotic lifeforce energy. So in this podcast, we talk about the energies of dominant and submissive power exchange sexuality, and also the reclamation of these powerful forces of Eros and how they can actually, in her mind, which I agree with, help to heal the world. So enjoy this podcast with Dr. Kelly Brogan. Kelly? You're back.

KELLY: Hello, friend. I'm back.

AUBREY: You've obviously built a reputation as someone who doesn't give a fuck about saying the things that you really feel to be true. I just want to deeply honor you for that in the past three years, because all of us I think, at some point, had a flinch reflex come up, where we were like, "Damn, I feel something, but I don't know if I should say it." I looked at people like yourself as somebody who, right from the start, whether you had that flinch reflex, or whether you didn't, you moved straight through it with absolute courage. So I just want to first honor you for that and maybe be curious if you actually found in yourself a flinch reflex, because we're going get into some more bold and powerful words that we shared a little bit at breakfast.

KELLY: Yeah. I would definitely take issue with the framing of that, in my experience, because there are things that I've chosen to do and express in my public life that have not felt courageous at all. They felt literally necessary for my own safety, my own experience of safety in the world. Most of those have fallen into the health freedom world, that for whatever reason, related to my early woundology, I feel safer in a world where I am positioned in a position of aggression, I guess, a stance of aggression towards the aggressor. That is what my activism has sprung from. It's not required any courage, literally at all. It's almost more of a compulsion, I would say, and a way of meeting my needs that has been largely unconscious up until I would say, like five years ago, when I started to look at how ugly the activism space can be, and how unwell so many activists really, especially in their relationships and their homescapes, their lived environments. There's a lot of pain and a lot of anger and a lot of dysfunction in the life of an activist, myself included. When I started to look at that and think wow, these are the people who are so sure that they know how the world is supposed to look that they require a microphone to inform the masses about what needs to be occurring and how it should be occurring and that this is the road forward, and it's fueled by this sense of how things are going is bad, how things are going is wrong, and here is the path forward? You might notice it's not often Invitational.

AUBREY: Very self-righteous.

KELLY: It's not like, "Here is how we can feel the beauty of our humanity. Here is so much of what you stand for. Here is where we can move towards so that we can settle into our skin. It's not that. It's fighting the bad daddy and the bad mommy. When I started to, I guess, do the inner work of my covert intentions as an activist, and specifically an anti-pharmaceutical activist, I found my fear of men at the root of it and specifically, my fear that I would be killed by a man who who didn't like my full expression and one that I deeply sought approval from--

AUBREY: Do you locate that in simply your own life and lived experience or do you, in your own belief system, actually see that extending back to the estimated 10 million witches that were burned for carrying wisdom about how to heal and wisdom of the spirit; granted, potentially, some small fraction were practicing some kind of dark magic, which you can still find active in the Amazon, and in many different cultures who have magical practices, granted, but the majority, obviously, were just people who the church didn't like and women who the church didn't like, women who harnessed their own inner power, women who had that kind of ferocity and courage and sensitivity to be able to be powerful forces in a world that wanted to dominate the feminine, dominate the earth and dominate women? Do you find that some of this may be epigenetic, karmic, generational or do you locate it mostly in your own life or is it some combination of both?

KELLY: I think of it as almost physiologic, that it is the physiologic posture of a woman to live in vulnerability. The way that I move through the world, and I am not alone in this, is with an awareness, semi-consciously, I would say, at this point, that any man who does not how I am being can kill me with his bare hands. That's my physiologic reality. That that would influence my persona, my behavior and my defensive strategy is obvious. I think that the role of sexual energy in that and what you're referring to, I would categorize, as the dark feminine realms, the ways that a woman's deep essence and this reservoir of power can be accessed for manipulation and strategy and self-protection or in service, particularly in service of the complementarity of the masculine and feminine... This conversation also invokes the collective and personal relationship that we each have to our sexual energy and the shame wall that lies between this deep reservoir of transformational power, and our persona that we've cultivated to navigate so many of the very real behavioral threats. I know for myself, that I used my sexual energy subconsciously to secure strategic positions of power with not only men but people, with the world. Part of that involves concealing it strategically. Part of it involved leaking it out here and there and securing a man's gaze so that I could recognise the terrain that I was playing in and leverage that to get what I wanted. This is the same relationship to myself that would bring forth an experience of constant conflict, struggle and drama. So when we're in this inner warfare, this inner fragmentation; we experience, of course, the mirror on the outside... The resolution of my identification, I guess, as an activist, was also married to the emergence of a very different awareness and relationship to my own sexuality. They went hand in hand and you couldn't otherwise explain that unless you see the impulse to focus outward on the world and the problems in the world to the exclusion of your own inner focus, as a strategy to work with... work small, play small, out of contact with this deeper dimension of yourself because you don't know how to safely relate to it. I really the work of Alexander Lowen, who's a psychiatrist who wrote a book called "Fear of Life" and he talks about how it is that we get positioned and pit against our own sexual energy very, very early in life, as a breastfeeding infant who bite bites his mom's nipple and she's like, "Ouch, don't hurt mommy," these seemingly normative responses on the part of our parents, "Stop jumping on the couch!" Stop crying. Calm down." So it's not even necessarily related directly to masturbation or--

AUBREY: It's the erotic lifeforce itself, the desire to be full and coursing with presence and animated by what the Kabbalists would call Shekhinah. Eros, Eros herself.

KELLY: The span from healthy aggression all the way to just desire. Can I trust my impulses or do I need to be vigilant against my own native sense of what I should be offering to the space in front of me?

AUBREY: This is driven you... What's interesting is, for someone who is well known for your stance on health freedom, a lot of your content is you expressing your own liberation of your sexuality. It's you practicing your own pole-dancing, not in an exhibitionist way but as in a reclamation way; that's how I receive it; is you in your own reclamation, as your offering of medicine. As we talk today, it seems that's where you're actually seeing the direction that we need to go. Rather than anti-pharmaceutical, it's pro-reclamation of Eros internally. What's, seemingly, the most powerful and most present for you is how do we heal the world.

KELLY: I recognized around this time that I started, and it coincided with the past three years, this opportunity I felt I had to do some inner work looking at my inner totalitarian, my inner authoritarian, the ways in which I was embodying that which I was finger-pointing on the outside and saying, "These powers shouldn't be. How dare they?" I found a lot of that energy and myself.

AUBREY: Part of the practice of even the Passover Seder is to identify, in the mystical realm, is to identify the inner Pharaoh. Find the inner Pharaoh and celebrate your own liberation from the inner Pharaoh. Bring your own Moses energy and let my people free. Let my body, my sexuality, my personhood free. Find that within yourself. Don't just celebrate that somebody did it 3000 years ago.

KELLY: Right. Well, that's the resolution of Victim Consciousness. I'm a big, big fan of Family Constellation work. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it's totally changed my life. A big premise there is to work with perpetrators in your life and to say, "I see myself in you," but really fucking meaning. Not, "Oh yes, we're all one." No, "I see myself in you." To truly engage that, you must reclaim a part of you that you've put into exile and for very good reason. So another part of you has entrapped this part of you that has been unwelcome. So when you reclaim that dimension of yourself, it always brings gifts because it gets reassigned to new tasks in your life now that it's no longer holding the burden of this very old fear or grief or shame. For me, in my personal story, I can't generalize, but the relationship to my own sexuality, my own sensuality, and integrating that into my public persona, was the thing I thought would destroy me. Ultimately, don't have to do anything, but you can choose to go to the place where you imagine you would be obliterated and just fucking see what happens. I know you know. That was, for me, the place. I would say that I am exhibitionist. I would say that actually I want to play with the attention, that that's a huge part of what motivates me is to explore... I'm a big fan of David Deida's and he talks about how the feminine essence requires to be witnessed. I enjoy being witnessed. also I'm terrified of being witnessed. So it's that spectrum of from invisibility to so much attention that my entire system would collapse under the imagined experience of getting the attention of all of these eyes that I think I want. Where do I find myself in that spectrum and how do I recognise that I actually have limited capacity on both ends, that I have trouble tolerating feeling invisible, but that I also have trouble tolerating feeling like too many eyes are on me? So when you play with that in the projection space, that is social media and the public world, you get to learn about the parts of yourself that are in agreement with your greatest critics. I often say somebody's commentary is only a problem if a part of you agrees with them. So I met parts of myself that imagined, and probably held the belief for a long time, that as soon as people saw more of me, they would burn me at the stake or they would reject me. That would never have happened through another means. I've run my mouth about so many topics, at this point, it's like I'm inured to that, to the intellectual provocateur archetype. So that's why this was a very potent landscape for me to begin to play in, because it introduced me to the parts of myself that said, "Whatever it is, that your sexual and sensual energy represents, that's where and when and why you will be outcast. That's where the rubber will meet the road and you will see that the whole was a house of cards." That's why if there was courage that I've experienced in my life, it's been in the past couple of years, where I've grown, I guess, the capacity, I would call it a masculine container, to hold myself as I trust these, sometimes weird impulses, that I might have creatively, to make a weird video or put myself... Even singing or doing something that I'm not good at, doing something that I'm just learning, because I've only ever done shit that I'm good at my entire curated life. So even just to play, in that childlike space of singing, dancing, creating and not not being expert at it, not even aspiring to be, the humility and the cringeworthy tenderness that can come with that, requires that there is that a masculine presence within me, this strong spine that's like, "No, baby, I got you." I'm offering that self-husbanding, that makes it over time a practice of it's cool no matter what. I offer myself the experience of a good man.

AUBREY: There's a lot of brackets that I want to open up, one of which is that concept that you can actually use social media as a tool for liberation rather than a tool--

KELLY: Spiritual. It's a spiritual practice.

AUBREY: Rather than a tool for enslavement, which is everything that we're told, "You're trapped by social media. You have to limit your time. Put your phone down," all of this message about it. Like a real shaman, like a real priestess you go, "No, no, no, no. This is a tool and I'm going to claim it and use it as a tool for my own liberation to expose myself, the vulnerable parts, love myself through that, be that loving divine father that says, "I got you, baby. Don't worry about it. You got this," and then go out there and use the cold brisk wind of what might come on social media as a way to actually fortify that what you're trying to grow and evolve within yourself. That tool is powerful.

KELLY: Yeah, to meet these dimensions of myself, to meet the... I could just list off so many of the things that I've read that range from, "You look a man and you're anorexic," and, "You're a problem and reckless endangerment of all those you say that you're helping," all the way to, "Keep writing books and talking about nutrition. Nobody wants you to be doing this. What are you doing?" to, "You're shilling for the patriarchy," just a huge spectrum. There were some that just slid right off my back and there were some that I really had that existential terror that I had fucked up beyond repair like now I've done it, now I did the thing that I can't fix, I have no tools in my kit to undo this. That thing is me. I did me. It's actually this cardinal mark that I can't erase. So it goes that deep if you want it to. A lot of what I learned was around sister woundology, if you will. I don't get comments from men. Maybe not a lot of them follow me, I don't know. But I really don't. I haven't noticed that salacious comments about whatever. It's not like that. It's almost too common women who are disturbed by what they're experiencing and I get it. I get it because I have been that woman who needs other women to stay in their lane, who needs other women to find a box and don't open it. I also can see that the impulse that one woman has to tell a woman how to live for life, if we could just examine that, and maybe even play with the idea of a practice of relaxing that impulse... I have two daughters and this is a practice that I engaged years ago, just I guess, semi-intuitive, I don't know, where I just decided I'm never going to give them feedback that they don't ask me for, especially critical or negative feedback ever. My daughter's going out the house in short shorts and a crop top and I'm like, "Oh, my God, you're going to get raped," or whatever the hell that reflexive programming is, I don't say a word. It has resulted in an experience that my daughters have given me the feedback around where they feel really free to--

AUBREY: And they trust you to tell whatever is actually coming up. I think that's one of the big misunderstandings. And I'm not a parent yet but I was raised in a way where my parents trusted me. I could share anything that was coming up. I could say, "Yeah, I'm going out. I'm going to go drink a bunch and do this thing," whatever. It didn't matter what the context was. I could share it. They'd be like, "Alright, well, here's what you got to look out for... Driving, obviously, call me anytime. I'll wake the fuck up. I'll pick you up." This is pre-Uber. It was always this place of trust where no matter what I was doing, no matter where I found myself in, it wasn't going to be some draconian punishment that met me, it was going to be, "All right. All right,. This is what happened. I got you. Let's figure this out. In that context, I was able to actually assess and really learn from my parents and trust them.

KELLY: Self-orient, exactly. I had a moment... I have an almost 14-year-old. At the beginning of... What do I call it, pandemic? What do I call it on the show? I don't know, whatever. Of the thing, I decided to get off of my smartphone mostly because I felt a lot of shame around my usage habits, where I was trying to sneak work in the bathroom while my daughters were in the other room, or I would have one of my daughters be like, "Mama, mama!" and I'm on this thing. It felt shitty. And yes, there's all the privacy stuff but that was a real reason. I just wanted to challenge myself and see what would happen. So I got on a hipster flip phone for a couple of years, two and a half years, and really explored that kind of lifestyle. At the tail end of this exploration, my daughter; they didn't have phones at all; came to me and she said, "Mama, I want an iPhone." I was like, "Well, of course, you're not getting an iPhone. We don't have iPhones in this house. Don't you know about the man and don't you know about data mining?" Absolutely not. No, of course, I didn't say that. But that went through me and I also felt her energy. I felt this a moment for my lineage.... It makes me want to cry. For my lineage, fuck. I recognized the moment and I felt so psyched that I recognised the moment. I said, "I'm going to get back to you." I talked to my best girlfriend. She was like, "Kelly, this is it. She's here to do her life." I just saw this fork in the road, and I saw I can dominate her, and power over her and just pay forward the entire experience of my mother line yet again. All the work I've done and it's going to be exactly the same thing where, "I know better than you how to you, how to do you. I know better." This kid... I have a collection of highly conspiratorial material called the "Sovereignty Series". My daughter edited the transcripts of it. She knows what's up. She's super, super awakened. So either I go down that path or I recognise that I can trust her and she can start to build a seriously authentic and integrated relationship to her inner compass. Now, at 13 and so she has an iPhone. It busted all these programmes inside of me that were, "Yes, but I do know better in this instance and that instance." I do think because we don't initiate adolescence, it's these little experiences that we have as parents, where your child is looking at you soul to soul and saying, "Do you actually love me or are you here only for your own safety and to secure the parameters of you fear-based paradigm?"

AUBREY: You use the word love but the word see in the "Avatar" sense is actually, in some ways, an even more powerful expression of that, because--

KELLY: See, feel, hear me, yes.

AUBREY: And when they say... That's one of my favorite parts of the whole mythology of the "Avatars", that their sacred phrase is, "I see you." I see you.

KELLY: And you are separate from me. You are not a narcissistic extension, you are not in service of my own need-meeting. You can live in a separate reality. I will cross the bridge from my reality to yours and visit yours with curiosity and interest. All of that was packed into, "Mama, I want an iPhone." She said to me, "I am at an age," or a stage, I can't remember but regardless, she said, "I'm at a stage," let's say, "where I know what works for me." I was like, "Yes, you are. Yes, you are." The truth is I do trust her.

AUBREY: Yeah. And the absolute audacious condescension, to think that you actually know, from somebody else's perspective, what's best for them... You may have some ideas in the discussion in the conversation about it in a loving way, might actually illuminate some things that were in the darkness or in the shadow but doing that, from that place of radical love and trust and saying, "Have you looked at this? Have you looked at this? Cool. But I trust you because you're the only one that can see through your eyes."

KELLY: With tech and with food, it's been really tough. In so many other arenas, with stress or friendships, it's been actually really easy. But with tech and food, it's been hard to know where is the moment where I don't actually know better, and they have to build this relationship if they're going to actually be empowered, self-aligned women. It comes through in these very subtle ways. The other day, I was online with my littler daughter, somewhere, a store or something and she goes, "Mom, I really like that woman's outfit." I look over at her outfit. The woman's wearing literally jeans and a white tank top. So I'm like, "Yeah, it's pretty basic." That's a fucking like Kelly loses one point in that little scenario. Why? Because she's saying, "Mama, here's my reality." I had an opportunity to be, "Hey, what do you about it?" Instead I was uncomfortable with her reality being different from mine, because I didn't like the woman's outfit. So I imposed my reality onto hers. It's seems trivial. It's just a fabric that you weave of all of these moments, where you're powering over instead of honoring the spirit of this child. Of course, we do this to each other. Now I wonder why these women are here, imposing and insisting that their reality is one that I need to conform to in order for them to feel comfortable. They need me to stop dancing in a bikini on Instagram so they can feel comfortable and not have to experience the dimension of themselves that is just rattling around because of what they're seeing. So it starts in these humble origins.

AUBREY: Now let's play out a more complex scenario. Let's say your daughter comes to you and says, "Mom, I want to get the COVID vaccine."

KELLY: Oh, don't go there. Literally every day, I'm like, "You know what? I'm so grateful. It could be so much worse."

AUBREY: Some instances would be real tough, real tough.

KELLY: I also believe that you only ever get what you can handle. That's why I co-parent. My baby daddy and I co-parent, I feel, very well. We are on the same page, even though we do not agree about a lot of stuff. I'm a way deeper conspiracy... Not even deeper. I am and he's not. That's the thing. But somehow it works and we share values sufficiently where we've not had conflict around these things. I think that's because I couldn't handle it probably, if that were my, seeming, random lot. If that were to happen--

AUBREY: So a more realistic... Oh, yeah, go ahead.

KELLY: Well, I do think about it but of course, especially in my world and in the culture I marinate in around health freedom, that is the biggest fear and I know so many people who are encountering in their lived reality. I actually don't know anyone who's been jabbed. I literally don't know a person. That's how insular my reality is and how curated it is in ways. So for that to enter in such an intimate space, I would have to frame it... I wrote, in my last book, this phrase I actually self-soothe with often which is that suffering ends where meaning begins. So I would probably meaning-make around that pretty quickly and see that it's a cardinal opportunity for my lineage, for myself and for this incredible being in front of me to do things differently. I probably would take the invitation, having practiced with the iPhone, to lean in and to express curiosity and to learn, actually listen. We have this programming... I'll speak for myself. I have this programming that listening costs me something, that it costs me something I don't want to pay sometimes to just listen, just take in what somebody is saying even if I don't agree with it. Part of that is because of what psychologists call enmeshment trauma which is this idea that you must agree if you want connection and security. So you must agree, so if I'm encountering someone with whom I don't natively agree, then I put up that defensive wall, that posture. But does it actually cost me? I had a little experience the other day... I'm taking my kids on a trip, just me and the girls, internationally. My dad expressed his care in such a way as to say that he wasn't sure it was a safe idea. Is it a great idea to be traveling where we were going to travel? I felt really triggered. I felt really triggered by the text about this. I noted, in me, that dark feminine impulse to slay and to threaten and shame him.

AUBREY: Shout out to [inaudible 31:51]

KELLY: Waddup? I got so far as sending him an LOL, to just subtly shame him about his concerns then I felt inside of me this kinesis around, "You better watch where you're stepping because if you ever want to see these grandkids again, you better not fuck with this territory." That's the energy. It's a punitive shaming energy. I know, in my commitment to end the war with men, I know that that's not how I want to relate to any man, let alone my father any longer. It's not my conscious choice to shame and punish him for speaking in a way that I don't agree with. One of my other girlfriend, [inaudible 32:47] helped me to see you, in the moment... I have just the right women around me at just the right moments of my life like angels. She helped me to see all that I had to say was, "I'll consider it," because I'm already considering it. So what would it cost me to just offer him that, and to allow him to feel seen in his way of loving me or his way of meeting his own needs, which is to make sure that he's asserting this awareness into my field, whatever and to just say, "I'll consider it." It felt so uncomfortable. It's just because of my practice of letting a reality into my field that I don't like, agree with or that somehow feels it undermines the security of my own reality. But there must have been a part of me that agreed with him and thought, "What am I doing? I don't know what I'm doing as a mother. I'm putting my children in danger. This is why I need a husband because I don't know how to navigate," all of that. That part was holding the fear of the trigger. I had to agree with him or it wouldn't have bothered me. I would have said, Thanks, dad. Thanks for letting me know. We're cool." I went through this whole inner defensive cascade, because I don't want to feel whatever that part is holding, which is that I might not know what I'm doing. I might be wrong about things and that means I'm bad and all of that. So to offer, "I'll consider it," is that same bridge from my reality to his that actually cost me nothing and is already true.

AUBREY: Just from my reflection, it's true, but partial, in that you had already considered it. So, in a way, it feels actually the truest thing is I've taken that under consideration.

KELLY: I am considering.

AUBREY: Yeah, I've taken that into consideration. Thank you for your concern. I'll assess my thinking about it one more time to make sure but I'm confident that we're going to be safe. It's also reminding him and encouraging him to realize hey, don't be silly. Obviously, I thought about this. I'm not an idiot. You know what I mean? I think there is some of that that's also important. I get that as a leader all the time. People will suggest things and sometimes be like, "Absolutely, I see what you're saying. I've considered that. I've considered that option," and let them feel heard and then also reminding, "Yeah, I got this. I understand. I can see that." Sometimes there's things you can't see. In that case, you go, "Wow, I didn't think about that. Give me a moment," as you said, "give me a moment. Let me think about it and I'll get back to you. We'll assess this in real time or adjust, potentially. It's a powerful example to show the differences in the responses that can come up when you feel that sense of trigger, that sense of something moving in your body that when you have that self awareness, there's so much that you can unpack about that.

KELLY: Yeah, I've noticed, because I'm very interested in the victim triangle, on the Karpman victim triangle, and aware of how it shows up, the somatic sequence of it in my body, I can identify I'm in the field. I feel this clench in my chest, and then heat up my neck and then I start to sweat under my arms. I'm like, "I'm here, I'm in the field. What choices do I have?" Because that's the antidote. We have choices, we have agency. So most of my spiritual practice, I would say, in life, is around not needing someone to be bad or wrong in order for me to exercise my power of choice. If I am shaming and punishing in order for me to declare that I am right in what I'm doing, then I am fundamentally disempowerment and that's not where I choose to be consciously. So how can I recognise the signs and symptoms early enough so that I can course-correct? One of the ways is to even reflect the positive intention, if you can actually perceive it, of the person who you would otherwise be in an adversarial dynamic with. I've noticed and I'm sure you've noticed that when you can offer that first to someone or in some way offer that you really see, you see their positive intent, you see, in ways, their goodness, there's such a disarming that really diffuses what might otherwise be this eroticized entanglement. I call it the erotic caress of the enemy. Whenever you get into that thing with someone it's like lovemaking. It literally is that intensive an entanglement? Do you actually consciously want that with somebody who is offering you something you don't--

AUBREY: Some random person on Instagram?

KELLY: Exactly. You want to offer that energy?

AUBREY: That kinky erotic entanglement where you get all flustered--

KELLY: You going to give it to them or is it just for special people?

AUBREY: There's so many examples of, and if people, as an invitation, I invite you to imagine that thing which really triggers you the most, that thing that's coming up, and then the opportunity to reframe that with a different perspective of sight.... I think one thing that Regina Thomashauer, Mama Gena, who's working with my wife, one thing that was discussed was the really overt, thirst-trappy, quote, expression on Instagram, which is just show your ass, show your body, get some likes, this kind of thing. Recognising that there's a pattern of judgment that comes from that. But what Regina was offering, and I wasn't there to actually listen to it firsthand so this is secondhand. So apologies if I didn't get it exactly right but the essence of it was, well, this is just a young, juvenile expression of a woman getting into her power and understanding how she can actually use her sexuality in a powerful and potent way. It's just a young expression. So instead of all this judgment, and all this shame and all that, "I can't believe they're doing that, just showing her body off, all that, just recognise, okay, she's moving through this version, this level of self reclamation, this level. Maybe there's a lot of unconscious things that are going on there. But it reframes this kind of automated judgment of that thing into, "Yeah. All right, this is a young interpretation of that," much like a young fighter is much more likely to get into a bar fight than a fucking seasoned veteran who knows how tough they are. So if someone says, "Hey man, you're pussy," and just keeps drinking. Doesn't even faze him. But the young fighter with an amateur record of two and two, he's like, "What did you say? I do MMA." They go to fight it. But once you start to actually really understand how powerful you are, all of these other judgments can fall away and you can, as you said, see that part in yourself, see where those younger impulses have been, and maybe still even are. That's the deep wisdom of embracing the entirety of yourself and also having so much less to defend because--

KELLY: Right! That defensive energy is the signature. How about it's not your business what another woman is doing. It's literally not your business--

AUBREY: Also facts.

KELLY: It's not your business. It's her experience. If you don't like it or if it bothers you, that's an amazing opportunity to meet the part of you that is holding the belief that you should never do that shit. So if I don't when I see a woman posing on the beach in a string bikini, which I'm sure I didn't like in the past and I think I know better how she should live her life, then I am meeting the part of me that says, "If you ever do that shit, you're canceled." Then I get to explore what else is that part holding, which is invariably some deep emotional, embodied tissue-level energy that can be alchemized. So it becomes a practice. I use this simple rubric, enter through the upset. You don't like it? You feel upset? Great. You have this opportunity to meet yourself because it's really not anyone's business how anyone else is living their life.

AUBREY: Amen. We've talked about some of the ways you use social media, other people's reactions, your own judgments as a way to alchemize things within the self, on this path of self-mastery, reclamation, actualization, all of these things, synonyms in different ways. One of the tools that you've really been going into is playing in the dominant-submissive space, which includes and transcends sexuality, actually. It's an incredibly rich field.

KELLY: Energetic.

AUBREY: That offers an unbelievable amount of opportunity to actually work through deep psychological patterns and claim aspects of yourself that you may have kept in the shadows locked away like a gimp in the basement.

KELLY: No pun intended. Yeah, exactly. I have become very, very interested in this culture and in the paradigm of BDSM, and conscious kink, and have been supported by my coach, Whitney and friends in the exploration. First, I needed to contend with my relationship to feminism that was the entry point for me and to understand the relevance of our position as women in the fight against our own injustices, and to see how I may have taken the bait of what I think is one of the biggest psy-ops that's ever crossed our paths, collectively, which is feminism, and specifically, the recent wave. That's not to say that it does not hold space for some very, very important energies of pain and intergenerational grief. But it's to recognise how this is being... In my world, it's called a louche ritual, how this is literally being harvested energetically, the emotional currency of the victim consciousness that is held by so many women right now in their righteousness, in their entitled anger, is actually being used and leveraged for a specific agenda. If you look into the origins of the feminist movement, you might come across some telltale, now it's probably not on YouTube anymore, but Aaron Russo talking to a Rockefeller about the Rockefeller funding of the feminist movement and not for the reasons that one might think, for the liberation of all women, and their equal right to vote and to secure their position in the workplace; there's another lens that says it was to increase the pool of taxpayers, to double it actually and to fragment the home, to remove women from the home so that their children could be industrialized in, what most people now understand, who've looked at education is the way you create automatons out of free spirits. So if that's what was behind it, and it was funded for, at least, that primary reason, then what else have we fallen for? I do think the war on masculinity is one of the various essential elements of the current agenda. When you have emasculated, and I would go so far as to say energetically-castrated, men, you have a very vulnerable population. When there aren't men at the helm to guide, direct, protecti then the capture of that population is secured. So when we, as women, imagine that what we want is men cowering and apologising, and we spit vitriol at them, and just entrap them in this utterly disorienting and confusing place of... I could almost feel it in my body, "What the fuck do I do?" I can imagine, empathically, what it must be as a man today. How do I be? Obviously, you're doing your very significant part to blaze this trail. But the average dude is like, "I don't know how to be. Do I apologize? Do I get on a knee? Do I bow down? Do I take out my sword? What do I do? How do I do good. How do I be a good boy?" This posture that so many women have adversarially towards men, I do think is the greatest detriment to their own fulfillment. I was speaking at the Weston Price conference recently. There was 2000 people there and somebody was asking me about gender politics and my perspective on it or whatever. I said, just as a part of the answer, I was like, "I don't know a woman who doesn't," let's say a heterosexual woman, "who doesn't want to be well-handled by a strong and powerful man." Literally, this sigh swept through the audience and it's almost like they could... Men and women alike it's like they could feel, "Oh, yes, that's actually what I want." So if that's what you want, as a woman, you cannot have that if you are relating to a man, that you are in a posture of disrespect, distrust and otherwise power over toward. It's just not available. So that's not how you get what you want. So how do you get what you want? Are you just supposed to revert to lipstick and eyelashes and being your flirty, bubbly version of yourself and hope that that works out and that you're not raped and abused? We're just in this total state of warfare. I think until we come into an understanding of the power of the technology of man-woman relating, it's erotic, yes, but it's also societal, socio-cultural. So the way that I relate to the man who might pick up my suitcase, and put it in the bin on the airplane is just holofractal, how I relate to him is how I relate to my father, is how I relate to my partner, is how I relate to my inner masculine. It's the healing of this polarity. It starts with recognising that if what we say we want is the safety that only men in a society can offer to the population, to the women, the children and to the other men... You know I'm obsessed with Viking shows recently. I watch the scenes where a man is in trouble and his his fucking dudes come to the rescue. So when as a man you don't have other men at your back, you cannot man properly. As a woman, when you do not have, not one man, but men at your back, you cannot be a woman. I actually think this is how we're designed to relate to each other across the gender divide. This is, obviously, my bias. I'm not saying this is how it is. However, this is the lens that I started to look through. Then, of course, I saw okay, what else are some of the achievements of feminism? Birth control pill, medicalized birth, all sorts of screenings to funnel you into the pharmaceutical-based model of allopathy. I remember when I was in medical school. I was very excited about the HPV vaccine and was on birth control for 12 years, thinking that these are entitlements of my womanhood and offerings to my experience as a woman. I felt certain I would have an elective C-section because why would you have pain that you don't have to have? That's just stupid. That consciousness, it creates the space and the conditions for a lot of others, at least, from my perspective, highly-disempowering engagements of the female body by a woman. So the way that I relate to birth as a woman that defines my relationship to my own vital force energy, in my opinion. So if I am acculturated to believe that a doctor knows better how I should birth a baby and that my partner's emasculation at the hands of this doctor, while I circumcise that baby who's just been pried out of me through a slit in my belly, then this baby's early initiation into a system that will command his biology and his experience of his own human flesh through fear, well, that's quite an extraordinary matrix to have established. It starts with a woman relating to her own womanhood through the lens of conventional feminism. I really had to reckon with that and to see okay, so if feminism is a trap, then what's the way out? How do I spring the the trap and how do I begin to move forward? It was really uncomfortable when I first started to explore things like the "Surrendered Wife", is a book that I read, and even the title... I remember I was on the plane, I was hiding the cover. I was like, "What the hell is this guy next to me going to think of what I'm reading?" I still was in the days where I gave a shit. When I read that book, I read about suggestions like if your man asks you, what you think, "Should I wear the blue shirt, honey or should I wear a yellow shirt," that you should never take the bait and answer that question as a woman. I come from really a relationship history of literally being the decision-making head of the household. I always knew best, and have a very, often easy, clear, lucid decision making path. so I would just offer my recommendations. Then I was consulted for my thoughts. Then I wonder why I created conditions where I couldn't offer the respect and trust and admiration that the men I've been with deserved, deserve.

AUBREY: So "Surrendered Wife" wasn't an erotic fiction novel--

KELLY: No, it's dynamic. It's just about the dynamic. No! It's like a self-help!

AUBREY: I was going a different direction with that. I was like, "Shucks! That doesn't sound erotic at all."

KELLY: No, no. It's like a self-help thing. So this woman is in a shitty marriage and she just had this inspiration about how to fix her marriage. She's like, "I chose this dude. I'm going to actually relate to him like I respect him and I'm going to stop, shouldn't use this language, but mommying him." As a woman, you don't want to be with a man who takes your directives, guidance and advice. You don't want to be with them, and you certainly don't want to fuck that man. So how do you orient yourself and subdue and transform the reflexes that you have to control him and create the conditions of safety that you feel are not there? But you've chosen this man. So perhaps there are or leave? One of the ways you do that is you submit. Part of how you submit is to allow him to actually be the man in the relationship, to make the decisions, to initiate, to organize, to follow through, to exercise his integrity of word. So what she says is, "When he asks," Laura Doyle is her name, "When he asks you, 'What do you think?' You say, 'Whatever you think.'" I have found that when I'm around strong men, that falls out of my mouth, and I can't wait to not have to make the decisions. It's actually deeply pleasurable and delightful to be in that polarity. That is the polarity but there's a participation and a cultivation of a certain self-possession actually, as a woman, that is required. It's not just the king shows up and then you get to have your amazing experience of a safe life. Of course, it requires that you orient towards yourself, you examine your reflexes that were previously keeping you safe that are not serving your ultimate desire, which is to be in dynamic with men, empowering them. One of my teachers, Om Rupani, calls it making a man bigger. So how do you make a man bigger? He talks about how they have a green light and a red light. So you're literally turning the green light on or turning the red light on with every single thing that you say? How can you choose to turn a man's green light on? Well, it involves not diminishing him, not criticizing him, not deciding that you know better how he should man. It's the same premise we've been talking about. In doing that, you resolve a lot of the habits that we have, as women, to imagine that we know better. Honestly, maybe sometimes we do. But if you want a certain experience of that energy field, that bigger energy field that's holding you... Especially in the freedom world, I look at all these women and I'm like, "You don't want to be a free, bitch! You don't actually want that!" You want a certain kind of containment and experience of the walls, the incredibly strong walls around you, the riverbank allowing your water to flow finally, and now it's not stuck in some stagnant pond. You want that structure, you want that containment so that you can feel your own creative lifeforce energy move. That's what we want, if I could generalize. It's not to be unbridled... I'm telling you, as a single woman, that's not what I want in so many ways. So how do you engage that containment, first of all? It's being able to feel, in your body, when you're in the presence of a man who can actually offer that. Again, this could be the dude at the gun range. It could be your chiropractor. It could be your partner and your lover but to assess that, I have to be safe enough in my own system. So my inner man has to be online sufficiently, so that I can then determine safety on the outside. And in the neuro-psych world, that's called neuroception. So I have to be able to see that what I'm looking at in the room thinking might be a boogeyman is a pile of laundry actually. So I am accurately perceiving reality on the outside and assessing safety in such a way that I'm not projecting, then I can engage in interoception. So I can scan my inner world for cues and information about whether or not this is actually an unsafe or a safe experience. So as you practice this somatic work in your daily life, you get better at being able to feel in your body whether you're around a man who could provide that containment and safety or not. It's not a value judgment. It's just exercising your decision-making and your choice so your inner masculine is online. I've found that as I explore a lot of the erotic potential, first things first. First is understanding how to unknit and unwind so many of the habits. Another commitment I've had for, it's probably been a year now, is to never speak ill of men. I was inspired by Om Rupani around this as well. What that means is that when one of my girlfriends is in a shitty dynamic with some asshole or she's talking about the dad of her kids who's being a douche or whatever, I am in a practice of not colluding with her victim story and not hen-pecking any man, including all of my exes, including the man on TV or the man in the other room. How do I get into a practice where I am oriented towards respect or I shut up, one or the other, if I can't provide? And again, it's an offering and it's also simultaneously an offering to myself. Because whatever stories I have about what makes a man a bad man, I probably have a dynamic within myself, that of self-judgment and self-reprimand that reflects that outer condemnation. So these simple practices and new ways of orienting that might seem old-fashion or even patriarchal, can lead you to this place where you discover the potential of polarity play, and what is it to choose consensual domination. So we're talking about a lot of what I've learned through Om Rupani is that the history of humankind is marked by non-consensual domination. Literally every horrible thing that's ever happened and could be described as non-consensual domination. So how do you reclaim that? How do you alchemize that? You do it through consensual domination that actually serves both parties simultaneously. So that's the mystery of complementarity. You take the mask-wearers and the non-mask-wearers, the vaxxers and the non-vaxxers. You take these divide-and-conquer, Hegelian dialectic polarities and you find that mysterious place where we come into complementarity and we create something more beautiful and powerful than would have ever been available if we just dedicated ourselves and our energies to warfare. So if you look at it through that holofractal lens of man-woman relating being, really, honestly, the only relevant and accessible place to enter... I don't know most of us who figured out how to fundamentally find this complementarity across health beliefs, or political divides... I don't know a lot of people who figured that out. In men-women relating, there are people who figured that out. We can do this and we can access it. It just requires a reframe of some of the things we imagine would have cost us that are actually an investment in exactly what it is that we want. That's part of BDSM culture is the awareness that when you create a safe container through consent, communication, and a deep commitment to care and coupling care with sex in a way that most of us are not accustomed to, especially in the aftercare realm... You would be a bad dom If you dropped your a woman and just go watch a golf game or whatever the hell. So if you're invested in being good at what you do, it Instead, what happens to boys who express too much energy, they get in trouble. They're bad boys who are now confused about their own vital force. These boys grow into men, they're not initiated, and they have a relationship to their own predatorial aggression that is an essential part of their humanity that is so distorted and inverted and confused and corrupted, that there's no way for them to literally be embodied sufficiently to relate to anyone in their life, let alone claim anything in their life.

AUBREY: And evil fester in the darks damp places. When you have shame, shame creates this bubble where you don't want to look at some aspect of yourself. We see this so prevalently where people are unwilling to acknowledge their own inner darkness. In the shame around the darkness that we all have, as Rumi says we're not a drop in the ocean, we're the ocean in a drop, we're all of her, all of us, male, female, we all have the Kali or the Shiva the Destroyer, we all have that within us. If we can't locate that, that doesn't mean that it goes away. It means that it festers.

KELLY: It means you watch the fucking news and you watch all about the murderers and the killers and you get off on that. It's actually arousing to people. That's why they engage in the fear porn of modern media culture, because it's actually enlivening. They get a little accessible dimension of access to that place, their own inner darkness, and it feels controlled. This is often why, in relationship, if you can't access that through, and with, your partner, you'll find it somewhere else, you'll access it somewhere else. And that relationship to their own inner aggressor, their own inner predator, on the part of a man, I'm not sure how a man could ever touch something other than the chaos of wanting to annihilate themselves and exit this plane without that. I'm not going to tell you how it is to be a man but I'm pretty sure that's an essential part of making a claim on your life, of choosing life over death, literally and it starts with claiming and taking what you want. Betty Martin's work, if you've heard of her work, around the wheel of consent has been really helpful for me because she talks about giving and receiving, taking and allowing and how they've all gotten disorganized within us. When I'm with my lover, and I think my pleasure comes from giving him pleasure, how many of us think that? A lot of us. That's especially, well, I won't say especially, but as a woman, a lot of the women I know relate to their own enjoyment of sex through their partner's enjoyment--

AUBREY: Well, which can be healthy--

KELLY: It can be but that's a more mature dimension.

AUBREY: You can actually slide into the mutuality of Eros that you're feeling and--

KELLY: She would argue that's advanced. First, you have to start with what you want, what feels good to you. Jaiya's work, "Erotic Blueprints" is so helpful when it comes to this. Learn do you this touch or you like this touch. Learn the basics of your own body and your own sensuality and then get comfortable with taking touch? Again, that's that predatorial claim. Most of us don't have an experience of taking touch with another person or being allowing, apart from pets. I take touch from my cats, I take touch from your cats. I take touch from cats all the time, like our pets, where I'm touching them, not for their pleasure, for mine. But for most of us, because it's been tagged as that predator energy, "I'm taking this from you," we don't have a healthy intimacy with our own taking of touch or taking pleasure. So to reclaim that, requires that you be in practice and play. BDSM offers this extraordinary framework for this, to begin to explore, especially as a dom, what it is to take touch. So if you are going to engage in impact play with your partner, you better like it because if you don't actually enjoy taking that from her... If you don't enjoy spanking her, not just because she likes it, then the potential alchemy there is limited. It's this amazing intersection of what it is to take and also give simultaneously. What you're describing requires that incredible focus. So for doms, it's often described as a flow state, and then you have this opportunity to offer your sub subspace, this yoga and meditation level experience of hypofrontality, where you literally pixelate into the void, and you can have this union with a dimension of yourself that's very hard to access on the daily.

AUBREY: I would say that there's a pre-step, even if so, if a man who's listening right now or a woman... If someone's interested in entering in and learning through kind of the dom channel, and I think it's actually important, and I had an experience being a submissive as well... There's lots of learning that is available. But for me, the dominant channel is the channel where I find my Eros and I actually learn the deeper lessons, not that the other lessons aren't there, but it's what I'm allured to. But prior to that, I think, my athletic background and martial arts background and all this has allowed me to compete in a way where I am free to not only beat my opponents, but to completely demoralize them because it's consensual. That's the game we're playing. When we're out there playing basketball on the court, I want to not only score on them, I want to humiliate them. I want them to leave--

KELLY: It's your killer.

AUBREY: It's my killer. And then I want to jokingly, with a big smile on my face, remind them of what I've stolen from them, and they will never get back and just laugh and laugh and laugh. That joy that I get to have from that conceptual play that we've had, and also in all of the different ways in which I've competed has allowed that expression of my masculinity to be available to me. So that is a prerequisite. I really applaud the work that the Sacred Sons are doing, we may do a collaboration with them, which is men's work, where they really employ a lot of ritual combat, where you actually get to experience what it's like. Charles Eisenstein recently went to one of their summits. He wrote a great essay called "I Like to Fight" he got into a ritual combat, boxing and recognized how much fight was in him and how much he actually desired not to--

KELLY: Unclaimed.

AUBREY: And claimed it. He was pitted against an even opponent and he had brothers there, who were playing the drums and really creating a moment. I think it's really necessary for men to understand that and have that expression and all people, really, who want to understand their own dominance. I actually even see it in the feminine because, of course, we're a spectrum of polarity. We have our masculine and feminine and I actually see a lot more shadow competition in everybody but because women don't compete, typically in athletics the same way that men do, and this is a generalization based on the aggregate, there's a shadow competition that comes in, competition about looks or competition about these other things, whereas with men who really compete full out, we lay it out, we try to destroy each other. So when it comes to celebrating each other's victories off the field or off the court, or whatever, it's like, "Fuck yeah, bro. Good job, man." All of that competition has been expressed and been allowed to flourish and so the shadow competition isn't there. And for all of my brothers, who I get to step into that sacred contest, my best friend, Aaron Rodgers, we fucking go at it constantly, 60% of what we talk about is talking shit to each other. It actually is so much that it makes people uncomfortable. We were recently in Vail and we would get on just rolls and rants going back and forth. People, we would just literally see people getting uncomfortable and then picking sides with whoever was. And the acceleration of our love and friendship because of that has just gone exponentially so fast.

KELLY: Because you trust him. That's how you build trust.

AUBREY: I fucking trust him.

KELLY: When I watch him compete and play, the ecstasy of watching him come back and beat the Cowboys this year when I was there at the game and knowing what he was going through, the ecstasy of that level of celebration of another is only possible, I think, when you actually get to exercise all of that stuff of oh, man, he's really killing it. What am I doing with my life? None of that fucking exists. You get to play all of that out in the play space of competition, which is very much the play space of sexuality that you're creating, which is a safe container to put that in. Sometimes, yeah, it does push triggers and push buttons where there's emotional flair. That's part of the medicine of it.

KELLY: It's designed for that, to alchemize. It becomes an alchemical laboratory, where it's actually designed to transmute that which you imagine you don't want to interact with, because it's dangerous, let's say, and it actually bears gifts that you would never be able to otherwise access. That's the great reveal. I also really love the work of Carolyn Elliot, who wrote "Existential Kink". I'm thinking about that these guys, who, if you don't have a healthy relationship to your predator, you're going to be in combat with your life. You will eroticize the dimensions of your struggle in life unconsciously thinking you hate whatever's going on at your job, or in your partnership, or whatever. You can render that conscious and then put things in the space that you want to see move, that you want to see transform, and obviously that's what you can do and in a BDSM container as well. You can take something that might be holding a lot of energy for you, whether it's a dynamic you had with a parent or it's some struggle that you have in your interpersonal life or whatever, and you can literally put it on the altar as an offering and then it can be alchemized into pleasure, into the grand field of vital force energy and you leave empowered, you bring a yes to the places in your inner worlds that are a no that, of course, are holding all of the tension of that resistance and you have the power to do that to walk away a full fuck yes to whoever it is that you are. That wholeness is what so many people describe from this world.

AUBREY: When I think about my role, and the teachings of being submissive, I think of, first in the field of consensual athletic play, and I think of jujutsu and I think of the first time I went on the mats with Kyle Kingsbury, who many people who follow this podcast, you might know, my best friends on earth, jujutsu black belt, eight fights in the UFC. 6'4", 240. He's a monster.

KELLY: Oh my god, he sounds like my next husband. I'm ready to give him my number.

AUBREY: And such a sweetie but a fucking monster. He literally could do anything he wanted to me on the mat and he would tap me out, and then we'd go at it again full force, and he would gently squeeze me until I was... If he wanted, he could have taken my life or broken my arm or whatever and I tap out.

KELLY: That's hierarchy. You understand him to be higher on the hierarchy.

AUBREY: Yes, in that realm, but it taught me, and I think this is why I get along with with people who've played in this in this arena because they've not only learned how to be dominant, they've not only learned how to squeeze to the point where someone has to tap out, but they've also played the other side where you actually recognise I have to submit. There's a force out here greater than me. You can apply that to God. There's a force out here greater than me, Gaia, Mama nature, it could be the waves in Hawaii or it could be somebody else on the mat but sometimes you have to just bow and say, "That force is greater than me."

KELLY: It's maybe the only way you could dom well is to know what it is to submit, to know what it is to inhabit the other polarity within your own energy field.

AUBREY: So this is setting the preconditions, I think, for a healthy expression into this field, where you can actually play the dom role well. For me, something else was unlocked. Fortunately, we have a very sexually-liberated open mind container with my wife. So we brought in a professional dom, and it wasn't sexual. It was sensual. But it wasn't sexual and it was for the purpose of our growth. She was reflecting to me those things that I didn't want to be submissive to. So the first was... She shocked me really quick, because she had long nails, she ripped across my chest, and I thought she might have ripped my fucking nipple off. I was, "There goes my nipple. For now, I'm a one-nippled man. Here I am. Holy shit!" Talking to her later, she's like, "I knew I needed to get your attention. I needed you to know that this lioness has claws. This isn't a game." The first thing that she did was she tried to put a collar around my neck, but my neck was too big and my traps were too big. So I just smiled and laughed, "Your little colloar is made for a kitty cat, not a lion. So I gave this little laugh and she's like, "Alright." So she gets some ropes, and she accomplishes it with another tool. she's an absolute professional, just a true master. Then right after, as I'm tied up and she actually tied up my neck and my hands in a prayer position, then she ripped across. I was like, "Oh, shit, this is real," totally changed my mindset. From there, it was just radical submission, whatever she was going to do. She was playing with me verbally and physically and all these different things. But the big part of it was my fear of not being able to please a woman because I didn't have an erection or I wasn't able to do it. She was playing out this scenario, where I wasn't erect and I couldn't please her, but actually, she alchemized it by getting pleasure from my inability to please, from actually just having to stay there and not be able to do anything and be what would be my most emasculating fear, which is I'm not hard, I can't please. Even though sex wasn't even on the table, and she told me later, she's like, "You're not supposed to get hard unless the moment is actually inviting that to come through: and that moment wasn't there. So this is the lesson and her, as an evolved sexual priestess, understood I can get pleasure from this, I can get pleasure from any expression as long as it's true. So she went into multiple energetic orgasms over my absolute flaccidness, what I would consider impotence, quote, beforehand. It really reframed and recalibrated these whole dynamics that I've carried and it's diminished over time, but it used to be really strong when I was younger. If I couldn't please my girlfriend or my lover, I was devastated, just really reframed it and there was this deep freedom that just came over my whole being.

KELLY: As you're describing it, it feels like really transforming the appeaser, so that little boy energy of please mommy or else, can get so woven in as we've been discussing with that erotic performance agenda. So when you decouple the appeasement intentionality of your erotic interaction then you're just there. You're just two people having a consensual experience that involves being whatever is here right for yourself. Relaxing that agenda means that you can be present, you can be attuned, and you can offer your attention, which when you're in performance, you're not in your body. And then you can't offer your partner anything--

AUBREY: You're giving them a fraction of your fuck, a fraction of your fuck.

KELLY: You're in this illusory phase. Totally.

AUBREY: So after that, after I moved through that submissive, then actually, Vylana came in... She was in there, and we got to make love and it was incredible. It was actually deliberation--

KELLY: Did you film that or you didn't? [inaudible 1:25:47] Disappointing. Okay.

AUBREY: In that, it was a deeper level of presence, because there was a subconscious programme that was always like, "All right, well, you're doing good, but make sure you keep doing good here." I had a very... and still do. I'm not saying this is one thing, but I could see that I had this very tilo-erotic inclination. So Tilos being a direction. There was a direction to my lovemaking that there was an outcome and the outcome typically involved orgasms, not always necessarily for me, but typically always for the feminine. That was part of this line. What my teacher Rabbi Gafni, Marc Gafni would say is line-sexing, which is having a goal oriented in mind. There was always a subconscious thing like I will fail the goal, if I fail in my performance. That little bit kept me out of the radical presence where full Eros got to flourish and really bloom in the full flower of what was available between--

KELLY: Because you visited with the failure. You allowed that to be alchemized in the space, what is that failure holding? What's the gift behind that, bracing against that failure is powerful.

AUBREY: And I think it was also one of the things that attracted me to the dom space to begin with, because I was able to very naturally, actually, adopt that in a very natural way. But there was also a strategy, I think, subconsciously, to that. In the dom space, I was able to control the circumstances and weave any aspect of my own performance, and just weave that into the game itself. So I had many different moves that were available that didn't necessarily involve me ever getting hard, or me ever doing anything. It could all be part of the game that I was orchestrating. So there was a little bit of okay, I'm safe in this, I'm safe from my failure of performance, because I know how to play the game and the game itself is what's so rich is the dynamic itself. I knew that I could hold the dynamic, to keep that erotic tension, and to keep that kind of flourishing Eros alive. There was a there was both an allurement to that position and also a draw to it to be actually safer in that position, because of my own fear of failure of performance.

KELLY: Right. Right. Right. So how do you work with your native impulse to control circumstances so that you feel safe, and actually render that the point... It's exposing it. So if, as a woman, what I actually want is to feel safe in a sexual dynamic with a man, how do I actually own the fact that that's what I want? As a man how do you own that you actually want to feel in control? How do we work with that? Not we, but how do we work with that consciously? How does a couple work with that partner's, consciously so that you can recognise that that's actually your agenda? And that's totally cool. It should actually be your agenda, to feel in power and in control and to source from the experience your own competence. As a woman, how do I own the fact that I want to feel guided, I want to feel, again, contained, which means safe, grounded, I want to be in the presence of a bigger energy, and I want to go inward, I want to explore this incredible terrain of my feminine vessel and be there in bliss? I don't really want to be in the programming of my caretaker, which is this fake giving of, "Oh, I wonder if he's cool. I wonder if he's tired. I wonder if he's having a good time. Oh, do I look hot? How's my hair?" Enough of that, just exhale and relax all of that and recognise that your roles are predicated on these pre existing agenda. That's totally cool. It sounds like you leveled up, like you went from one entry level, perhaps orientation towards the container and you took it even a higher step by acknowledging that there was something for you to alchemize there, which is this fear of failure and of course, slash performance-related, self worth coupling.

AUBREY: Sure, yeah, the spiritual component of it too, is there's a way that it mirrors our orientation to the divine. I think I kind of mentioned that as well. When you're actually treated a god, like you have the power of a god, it evokes your godhood. When the feminine, which is all of creation, which extends to the whole world when the world is yes, I'm here for you, take me and I trust you, I trust you, then you become trustable. It's what Laozi said, "Trust them, and they become trustworthy." At that point, my own divinity comes online in this really beautiful way, in the totality of my divinity, again, where the demon and the Buddha meet, where the demon and the Christ meet, where the demon and the angel meet, that point of the full reclamation of my full divinity, then it actually evokes my divinity. And then in the submissive play, it's actually submission and surrender to the great mystery, to the divine goddess herself. In that surrender, you actually understand your place in the cosmos and understand God in a way.

KELLY: It constellates. I would say, I think you'd agree that the trust factor, so trust and you he will become trustworthy, it begins with this deep self trust. You can't really engage in this kind of container with full consent, unless you have a relationship to yourself, where you are in trust of yourself. A lot of what I learned in the intensive I recently went to was how honestly immature my power of consent still is. I don't yet have a very strong intimate relationship with my no. So if I really trust myself sufficiently where my no is surfaced and expressed to a dom immediately, that's my responsibility as a submissive is that my no is expressed, my yes is expressed. That's it. That's my offering is the energetic translation of my inner embodied experience. If I don't have a relationship that is trusting with my no such that I would use a safe word, for example, readily, then I'm not actually consenting, I'm not actually participating. So first comes this relationship with the self of self-knowledge, self-awareness, self-intimacy, and then that, again, inner the right action that comes from that awareness.

AUBREY: One of the levels that I think I haven't fully explored to fruition is taking psychological concepts and understanding that, okay, potentially here's Kelly, and Kelly needs to get in stronger contact with her verbal no. So I'll always be listening because the subtle, subtle subtext of this is maybe no, and then I back off the pressure. So I'm always listening for the no that doesn't need to be expressed. That's a very fun way to play because you're always feeling it, feeling oh, there's a little more, there's a little... Okay, here's where it's... But I never push it consciously to say, "Actually, the point here is for you to actually come into contact with your no." What you've learned, would something that be better done as setting it up in advance and saying, "Hey, we're going to push this till you find your no," or would it be actually, "All right, I have a hidden agenda but for this actually to have power, it can't be expressed, otherwise, the game is over and it's not actually evoking the natural response there." So I guess my question would be, the question that would be to your teachers would be basically, if that was an idea of all right, I think finding the no is important here. So I'm actually intentionally going to push past this and then reveal my intentions afterwards. It seems, to me, that's scary. That's high-risk to play with that and there has to be a really deep level of trust. Does this typically start with, "Hey, we're going to do this until you find your no," or is it just, "We're going to do this and we're going to wait for the no to come"?

KELLY: I love this question. So what I've understood is that, I'll speak as a woman, on behalf of women, is that it's very challenging for us to express a no without anger. That is something that we have the opportunity to develop nervous system capacity around. What is it to say no when somebody's not bad and wrong? What is it to say no when there isn't that energy of protecting myself entitlement when the victim triangle isn't active. So in these spaces, what I've learned is that first you start with, again, learning about yourself. So if you're working with impact play, you learn where your no because you learn what your 10 scale, when you're flogged, and it feels like you're seven, but then your eight is a no, you don't like it. That's all it is.That's what a boundary is, a preference. So when you get to your I don't like this, and you tag it as an eight, then you communicate with your partner, you both learn what your no is. Iit's already encoded, it's written. So you might use the numbers in a scene, which sounds unsexy or whatever, but it just becomes part of it.

AUBREY: When I was being domed, actually in this part, she moved into impact play, and she hit me hard, and then she asked me, "What is that, one to 10?" I said, "Three." She hits me harder and hard. I go, "Four", like, "Four, goddess." I felt like mistress sounded weird so I used goddess in my... I don't know why, but that was just what made the most sense.

KELLY: Could have been mommy, whatever.

AUBREY: So I said, "Four, goddess." And she saw that, actually, in that, that she could have tried to escalate it to 10 and really fucking wound up and got some harsher tool or something like that. But instead she saw that my orientation to that, there wasn't something there that I was afraid of. So she actually just goes, "Good boy," and then stopped. She was testing to see, if I was going to go, "Eight," and not actually acknowledging my ability to handle something that was intense. So she intuitively was like, "Alright, ot enough for me to pursue that avenue in this thing, because I don't have this kind of fragility to work with in this space."

KELLY: Whereas somebody who was spanked as a child, they might enter into a scene where they explore that switch point. Om Rupani talks about how it can be from deeply pleasurable to fuck no in one second, just a little bit more sensation. So you would explore where that switch point is. I was taught that first you go into the exploratory territory, and then you go into your enactment of the no. So then maybe in a future scene, you might have the understanding, going into the scene, that you're going to, when you get to your no, kick and scream and push the person off of you or whatever, where you reclaim that opportunity to kick, scream and say no, that you didn't have as a child and you experience that empowerment in a safe container with somebody that you trust. You can also start with very basic scenes, where you just have an understanding where you're saying no to everything. The safe word we worked with is yellow. You're going to yellow out the whole scene. So every single touch like this, yellow; like this, yellow; like this, yellow, and you just are practicing your toning like that muscle, even when it feels silly, even when it feels like this isn't hot. So there's so many ways to enter into developing the relationship, but the less mind-reading, the more empowering and potentially alchemical it's going to be, I think, at the beginning. So I do think it's more advanced play for a dom to design an entire scene, knowing what he thinks the sub needs. At least for me, it's important for me at this stage to know what I need and to direct what is being offered and provided. But I do think it makes sense to visit with the experience, reenact the experience, let's say, if it's stemming from a childhood experience. There's a lot in, controversial area, but in parent-child play that you can bring into this work. And one of the teachers at the intensive I was just at, Laurie Handlers, she very boldly shared her experiences of using BDSM to alchemize covert sexual tension that she felt with her father that was never acted on, but she felt it. So the gaslight that came from the conflicts between them throughout her childhood and adolescence, was resolved when she had an experience with a partner, where she could actually play out her father's attraction to her and her attraction to her her father, which many would argue is universal, especially in the father-daughter dynamic. It's not the same for mothers and sons. So what a woman wants from her father is the same thing she wants from her man. What a son wants from his mommy, he does not want from his woman. It's not fundamentally the same kind of erotic dynamic, eroticized dynamic. To really play that out. It sounds... I would have been like, "What?" Even three years ago. Oh my God, I can't believe I just heard that. Now I just had so much admiration for her sharing this, to expand the permission field for all of us, to even consider what it is to bring a yes to the most taboo, the most heinous and, arguably, the most universal dynamic energies of our childhoods, then later if you had an experience of sexual abuse, you could bring that royal, righteous, empowered, embodied no to the reenactment. But I did think it makes a lot of sense when I was learning about this to first go into it with a yes.

AUBREY: One example is from a book I read on the kink BDSM space, and I can't recall the title of the book right now but they told a story of a woman of color who played out racially-charged slurs in the dom subspace as a way to alchemize her experience of racism in the regular world. That seems like such an intense and taboo and delicate place to go. Fuck, no, I would never want to play that [inaudible 1:41:59] but I also can see and understand the power of the reclamation of that in the play space.

KELLY: Of choosing what has already occurred.

AUBREY: Exactly.

KELLY: If you just think of how many of us are so sexually fucked up and have had overt... In my clinical practice, 100% of the women that I worked with had sexual abuse histories, literally. So when you think about that, and you think about this possibility, to create a safe space out of that, which from the outside-in should only look dangerous, as a submissive, you're with a man who's in control and you've actually given him that control? That's not going to go well. How do you create the conditions of safety in the same space as that which was a violation? How do you actually choose but on your terms, and with your consent, that which, on a bodily level, you've been rejecting, arguably, your entire adult life. So yeah, to bring these kinds of reenactments of highly-charged shame-related material, it's a form of reclamation, it's a form of deep-embodied, because you're using your body, the technology of your body, to render that alchemy. You can't do it just with your mind, you can't do it through books and blogs and conversations. When you bring your body and you bring even your sensual and erotic energy to bear, you've created a crucible that is unmatched. I do think that's why there is an agenda against man-woman relating, and the undermining of this polarity-based dynamic and why it serves so much of what's going on right now in the world. Because when we don't have this technology at our disposal, when we're confused about what it is that we can choose that might otherwise look to us, as compromising all of the efforts of the feminist agenda, then we are really without one of the greatest forms of healing that's available.

AUBREY: And to repattern and reclaim through with pleasure, and being aware of, and you reference "Existential Kink", being aware of the king of these expressions, expressions of self-defilement that you've played out with partners unconsciously that has been really damaging, but play out self defilement in a conscious way, as just one aspect of the space and then allow yourself the freedom to feel the pleasure of wow, I enjoy being desecrated, legitimately desecrated.

KELLY: And constrained. One of the big things that I've recognised is how much I have enjoyed and wanted to be with men who constrain me. This is my narrative. They don't want me to do certain things or keep a controlling grid for me to live within and fight against. "I will post the dance video even if you don't want me to", this adolescent rebellious energy comes online. "I will wear this shirt even though you think it's inappropriate." I will become this big and this successful in my life or in this community or whatever it is and he doesn't like it, let's say. When I recognise... I actually want to be constrained. Just take an example of a very jealous male partner that a woman might have, super jealous and he's always on edge about that. You might think, oh my god, it's so fatiguing to be with somebody so unenlightened who can't understand it's one love. But maybe you actually need and semi-consciously want that constraint. First of all, because you don't trust yourself, otherwise, to navigate your own impulses. Second of all, because you don't know how to choose that constraint in the form of containment and submission. So when we unconsciously engage this, it's still there! The dynamics are still there. I was even thinking, the other day, I wonder if one of the reasons why some folks and I've been this in the past, don't have money, can't afford it, is because they fundamentally don't trust their own impulses. I'm at a stage in my life where I want something, I buy it.

AUBREY: Or power.

KELLY: I want to do something, I do it. So the translation of my impulses to the experience of my lived life is instantaneous. Whereas if I were saving up for a voice lesson for months, I really have a relationship with my impulse to take a voice lesson that is almost cautious and constrained. It's maybe what is wanted. So you just have a totally different lens on why that financial destitution might be at play and how it's actually serving a kink.

AUBREY: So in that desire to be constrained or the desire to be radically unconstrained and held in the full expression of your wild Kali, your full Shakti.... Vylana and I facilitate a particular type of ceremony, we don't really talk about this very much, but it's part of the inner circle of the work that we do just for close friends and allies on the path. We offer, Vylana and I, a full day dedicated to a ceremonial practice with one person, male or female, doesn't matter, and different expressions come out. It's not a sexual type of ceremony. It's a medicine ceremony. In that, one of the interesting things that I've found is four... I think three out of the last three... No, three out of the last four women who were very empowered women, some of them shamans and medicine carriers of different sorts... The medicine work is very deep. And again, I'm keeping this intentionally private. I know people will want more details about it but this is a very inner-circle thing that someday I'll share about more publicly. One of the things that comes online is I'm really in that space, I'm polarizing to the extreme level of the Divine masculine, of the Christ itself, radical unconditional love, radical. And we're doing body work, body work as a part of it because, of course, the soma carries the record of so much different challenge and trauma, the memory of the body that's actually really inseparable and different than the mind itself. So in that process, there was, several times, an expression of this radical dark feminine that would come out, hissing, and what would typically, the typical response from a Catholic perspective is wow, that's a fucking demon and we need to exorcise. So this is bad, that's a demon, let's exorcise it. Whenever that came online, I could see that expression that would come moving through them, almost channeled through them, would be to test me and see if it could scare me. So hiss right up against my ear or my face. I would just, intuitively, in that space polarized intentionally in the divine masculine, just go, "Welcome to the garden. Welcome, sweetheart."

KELLY: I love that you're a crazy motherfucker.

AUBREY: Like, "Welcome. Welcome goddess. Welcome to the garden. And in that place, when that part was trusted, that wild expression, their whole body just relaxes, and they're like, "Oh my god, I'm fucking safe."

KELLY: That's the permission field.

AUBREY: I'm fucking safe because I've shown the fullness of my darkness, the thing that's the most ugly, the thing that's the most scary, the thing that's been the most repressed, this, this Kali, I've shown that and all that was received like Shiva, one hand... Again, if you're not watching the YouTube, sorry about this, we have a beautiful statue of Kali standing on Shiva. Shiva is just looking up at her with a red tongue and her necklace full of skulls and a variety of weapons and severed heads with pooling collecting blood in the bottom. He's looking up at her and going, "Aren't you, beautiful, baby? I love you." That expression then allows the fullness of the divine feminine, the full feminine. I say divine again, where the angel and the demon meet, the fullness of the feminine to relax and some deep, deep healing comes on the back side of that expression.

KELLY: And her heart wisdom is then available.

AUBREY: For sure. And there's a softness that is like a softness that's a new level and a cathartic softness of oh, fuck, this is what I've really been been looking for in this expression.

KELLY: So what it takes for a man to contract in the face of that, requires also that he is in a practice of not contracting around his own inner wild, ugly. That's a tall order. It's not something we can prescribe, certainly. It can only be modeled, because when you are in the presence of a system, a nervous system that you can co-regulate with, which is what should have happened with proper attachment as children, with our caregivers and our mother, you can't unknow that. Your system then knows it right. So even that one instance of co-regulation that you might have offered that woman, she's going to be able to draw from for the rest of her life. It's that significant. I do think this is, again, what we as women require from the men in our midst. I don't know that we've set them up to offer it. I think we have an opportunity to course-correct around that.

AUBREY: Let's go. Let's go. Kelly, it's been such a pleasure to have you on the show and have you be a part of this Fit For Service container and just to know that you have an ally always and you have a man that if they come for you, with the pitchforks and the burning torches, I'll be there. I'll be there.

KELLY: I need that. Thank you.

AUBREY: I'll be there. Yeah. Thanks everybody for tuning in. Kelly is there anything else you'd to offer, anything you'd like to point people to who've been moved by this show.

KELLY: Yeah. Well, now that we're getting logistical, actually, yes. I just started a podcast. It's called Reclamation Radio. And I came out the gate on these topics. I felt a little like whoo! I don't know, about feminism and an interview with Om Rupani, et cetera... Hello, my love. It's been so well received that I feel like yes, we're in a Zeitgeist. It's happening. There was almost no pushback at all. So I'm excited it. Yeah.

AUBREY: about it. Yeah, the evolution and transformation of consciousness is underway.

KELLY: It's nigh.

AUBREY: It's nigh.

KELLY: So thank you, brother.

AUBREY: Yeah, of course, yes. Much love, everybody. Thanks for tuning in. Bye bye. Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit Subscribe. Follow me, @aubreymarcus. Check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast available everywhere and leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.