Erotic Grief includes a vast range of experiences of erotic loss, longing and loss of belonging. Erotic grief includes the grief of sexual assault and abuse, but also medical loss and trauma, infertility and reproductive health, and not only the loss of belonging due to shame and fear of coming out as our true selves, but what we might lose when we do dare to be more authentic. Erotic Grief is a vast category of what researchers call “disenfranchised grief” – grief that has no formal social support and often goes unnamed and unrecognized, yet carried with us often for a lifetime.
In this tender and heartful podcast episode, we discuss Erotic Grief and how we might develop more strategies to honor, support and tend to the grief we all experience in life.
In general we talk so little about grief in our culture, and we almost never talk about the experience of erotic grief. This already tender experience may be compounded by the experience of aloneness that pervades a subject as private as any loss around our erotic or sexual selves.
Grief is a universal experience. While there is a vast spectrum of how we experience grief in our lifetimes, what is also true is that we all experience this emotional experience. And we often feel so alone in that experience, when in truth so many other people are grieving right along with us in silence and isolation.
What is important is that we bring some tender attention to this private terrain. Many of us may not have named, or had enough support around these issues. When we make caring space to feel these uncomfortable emotions, to honor and witness these stories of ours, we can begin to allow some integration of these parts of ourselves and our life experience. We discuss how we can provide support and be there for other people we care about who may be going through challenging and private erotic grief.
Once we have made space to honor and hold our grief, we can begin to find our way back to the erotic aliveness that may be available to us on the other side of this experience. We explore being able to hold the both/and of joy and grief, death and aliveness and make space for our full spectrum of feeling, and explore the erotic nature of grief itself.
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