M) What makes a house feel like a home? According to the Chinese, it’s having good feng shui (that is, balanced energy). But I’m not necessarily convinced. Years ago, a friend bought me a feng shui consultation as a housewarming gift. By the time I finally called the feng shui master, I’d already built and furnished our home. But I called, figuring he could offer advice about how I could tweak things to create more positive energy flow. Instead, he walked around issuing dire warnings. The one I remember most vividly was, “Your marriage will be a short and unhappy one, because the beams above your marital bed lie perpendicular to the direction your bodies lie in.” I was horrified to hear this, but with our 25th wedding anniversary fast approaching and our beams still firmly in place, I’ve stopped stressing. He also told me never to place a mirror directly facing my bed because this brings a third party into the marriage (no worries there either as I’m about as likely to have a mirror above my bed as I am likely to indulge in a three-way). And lastly, he cautioned me never to leave laundry hanging outside through the nocturnal hours (again, not a problem). From my experience, what makes a house a home is having loving, positive energy emanating from those who reside within its walls – and that requires constant tweaking.
J) I often think that the mysterious energy behind feng shui comes from within oneself. Once my sister (who was single at the time) was told to place red roses in the corner of her bedroom. This, she was assured, would bring her love, and indeed it did. She met her future husband a few weeks later and they have been happily married for 10 years now. But what if by putting those roses in that corner she brought herself out, stood a little straighter, let her gaze linger a bit longer, smiled a little brighter and became more approachable? You really can’t underestimate the power of body language. It speaks volumes. On that note, what do you think about the “Kama Sutra”? Someone was really thinking creatively when he came up with those positions, several of which are not very user-friendly. That book should come with a warning label. But if you can manage to execute them, talk about energy flow.
M) Those “Kama Sutra” positions are crazy – especially given the fact that the males pictured look like sumo wrestlers who are not exactly known for their flexibility. But speaking of energy flow, a few years ago, in my on-going effort to keep things spicy in the boudoir, I signed my husband and myself up for a tantric sex workshop, which promised “full-body orgasms,” sans genital touch, among other things. I figured if it works for Sting and Trudie, who appear to be one of the happiest, sexiest and most spiritually connected couples on the planet, it could work for us. Though at first it was a bit awkward to lounge around (fully-clothed – lest you get the wrong idea) in a room with 15 other couples, by the end of the day we’d begun to master synchronized breathing, which is the “path to higher levels of interconnectedness and heightened sensual pleasures”— according to our tantric guru. But one of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was eye-gazing, which involves staring intensely at your partner (and later, others in the room). At first, you see only the person’s physical attributes. But then it’s as if he cracks open before your eyes and you begin to see all his fear, pain, splendor and vulnerability. It’s incredibly unsettling but also hauntingly beautiful. But wait: How did we go from talking about homes to talking about sex??
J) Don’t we always? It’s no wonder: The mind does wander. Actually, it has been proven that gazing into another person’s eyes for an extended period of time releases a hormone called oxytocin. It’s the hormone responsible for creating a sense of bonding. The highest levels of this hormone are released when a woman is breastfeeding, hence causing bonding between mother and child, and between new lovers, who have a tendency to gaze into each others eyes longingly, as they are discovering each other at the onset of their relationship. So, that would make sense, the eye-gazing that was part of the workshop you attended. This release of oxytocin would enable you to feel more bonded with your partner and enhance the intimacy between the two of you. FYI: You can now get oxytocin in a nose spray.
M) What will they think up next? But I guess what they say is true: The eyes are the windows to the soul. At least that‘s what Michael Ellsberg, inventor of Eye Gazing Parties, believes. He gathers single strangers and has each spend two minutes looking into another’s eyes before moving on to someone else. When everyone has had his two minutes with everyone else, the party begins at a “heighted, electrified pace.” Elle magazine called these parties “New York’s hottest dating trend.” Don’t think I’ll be partaking, but it’s certainly intriguing. Anyone out there game?
- The trantric sex guru Barbara Carrellas (Urbantantra.org(asm)). (M)
- “The Kama Sutra” position The Trapeze – for flying (not so effortlessly through the night). (J)
- People who avoid direct eye contact – a bit suspect if you ask me. (M)
- Not stretching before attempting “Kama Sutra” positions and trying more than five positions in one night. (J)
Email Class&Sass at MarthaandJen@wagmag.com. You may also follow Martha and Jen on Facebook, at WAG classandsass or access all of their conversations online at wagmag.com.