We don’t know what we don’t know. We’re not ones to quote George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. His fumbling attempts to justify unjustifiable war crimes fell short of their mark. If applied to sex education, though, his words are quite insightful. To a large degree we can thank a problematic school curriculum for that knowledge gap. We can also point to a puritanical conservative culture that adheres to a strict ignorance-is-bliss approach. Despite ample research to the contrary, when it comes to comprehensive sex education, just say ‘no.’ Fortunately, two women are taking important steps to help us flesh out what many of us should know about sex and sexuality. For instance, like what ‘no’ and ‘yes’ really mean.
Meet Debra Stambula and Tracy Gnojek, owners of LoveFlourishes.com and tracygnojek.com (currently under construction), respectively. Together they are travelling convergent paths working to provide the kind of comprehensive sex education many of us wish we had. Through workshops, retreats, podcasts and speaking engagements, Tracy and Debra seek to help others uncover past limitations. As Debra asks, what would it look like if we took our “no” and let it be a “yes” for only 10 minutes. Or, as Tracy wonders, what would it feel like to fully embrace our sexuality and reframe it. What if we learned to simply love in the moment, without a desired goal in mind? What if we possessed the knowledge, language and skills necessary for consensual exploration?
Tantra yoga teachings lie at the heart of their work. The practice is essential to changes they made in their own lives. Through Tantra, Debra was able to unlearn and “to let go of those old stories.” She allowed herself “to experience joy once again and finally to find love” for herself and for a partner. It was a “gift that transformed” her life. As a result, she found her “raison d’etre.” Debra works to help other women and men “who are seeking the way home…a technicolor world of freedom and belonging.”
Tracy shared the same experience. “Freedom is a key word in my life, so much so, that I have it tattooed on my back. Tantra is freeing to me. I was raised in a religion that suppressed sexual expression and lived that way much of my life. So, I know the flip side and I can relate to those who have experienced similar lack of expression. I’ve broken the barriers for my sexuality to flourish and find myself more accepting of other people and their choices. Even if they don’t coincide with my desires, I have greater freedom within me to explore. I’ve come to my edge, that place where the automatic “no!” is, and dipped my toe beyond, then my foot, then my leg and so on. I’ve experienced how my compassion and acceptance of myself has changed my relationships. Relationships are a key focus for me and not only helping myself but, helping others, brings true joy to my heart.”Tracy and Debra’s goal is to demystify Tantra and make it accessible to others interested in joining the journey. Details as to how they accomplish that goal will be shared in a series of additional blog posts to come. We will find out more of what we might not even know we don’t know.