—– Excerpted from: “The ManKind Project Journal”
I entered my weekend as a man in the midst of a brutal divorce. I was being viciously vilified around my sexuality, the center of a public slander campaign. Overnight I had become an outcaste, a persona non grata in my community of 27 years. It was shocking to me that literally no one, even people I had known as friends over 20 years, ever asked my side of the story. I felt abandoned, betrayed, afraid and alone.
But I was determined as I entered my weekend to reclaim my personal power, my dignity and my right to be true to myself.
My weekend, as almost any MKP man I know would attest, gave me the foundation for declaring my mission, reclaiming my honor, and ultimately my love for myself as I moved forward down my path. It was a game-changer for me. It gave me the founding principles for how I would navigate my mission these last 20 years.
I left my weekend with this overarching mission: As a man among men I create a world where it is safe to be different by being true to myself.
Another aspect of my mission came into focus during a process talking about men’s sexuality. I was about ¾ of the way around the circle and watched man after man take his brief minutes to share some hidden aspect of his sexuality that had shaped his view of himself. And the sharing was exclusively negative – sneaking, hiding, porning, cheating, violating boundaries, deep shame, inadequacy and more.
This was true for every man before me. No one spoke of the pleasure of sex, the deep intimacy, the epic orgasms, the hot role-play, sacred-sexuality. There was nothing positive spoken by any man about his sexuality. I found this deeply upsetting.
When it came to my turn I stood and proudly stated that I was moving towards claiming my sexuality. I was owning and enjoying my sexuality. I was learning to be honest and embrace my desires. I was excited to start living out my sexuality in an honest, transparent way. I loved my sexuality!
I let it be known that I was a Kink-oriented man that practiced conscious, consensual, negotiated Kink. I did not choose to reveal in that moment that I was also working on the complicated task of untangling decades of shame, fear, trauma and harsh internalized moral judgments about my sexuality as well. There simply was not enough time to go deeper into my experience of my sexuality!
I do not know really what anyone else in that circle actually felt, but that moment was significant for me. I sat back down and was immediately immersed in a wave of toxic shame and fear that betrayed the exuberance of my sexual check-in. I got no sense that anyone in the circle was comfortable or supportive of my enthusiastic share. I knew I wanted to address this perception that a man could only appropriately address his sexuality in the negative.
I felt determined to shift that over-riding sex-negative view of men’s sexuality to allow both the shadow AND gold to be part of a man’s sharing.
I wanted to introduce a deeper conversation around men and sexuality into MKP and men’s work. I believed that a single process during that weekend did not allow any level of depth or nuance of my sexual experience to be expressed or explored, and I felt this would have been true for many men.
In being true to myself and my mission, I returned to school after this period and got a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology. I began to work with men, women and couples in supporting them to embrace, understand and explore their authentic sexual nature and untangle shame, fear and trauma from its honest, joyous expression. I developed innovative techniques to help clients shift from compulsive, secretive, risky sexual behaviors to negotiated, consensual ecstatic sexual engagements.
I became an author, educator, sex-researcher and therapist. I developed lectures and CE accredited classes for professional therapists and students of human sexuality that are offered through accredited educational institutions. I have been invited to give lectures and workshops from St Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, Milan, London, New York and more.
I owe my capacity to have persevered through the great trials I experienced at the start of my journey, to all the personal work I have done that began with my MKP weekend. This personal work into the depths of my being has allowed me to stand in my truth, heal, and vigorously pursue my mission and vision of shame-free sexual authenticity.
Being sexually authentic is your birthright. Learning to share your deepest sexual truths with a trusted partner is one of the most loving, liberating, intimate and ecstatic of human experiences. Embracing your authentic sexuality in a way that is in integrity with your values, responsibilities and relationship agreements is both an empowering and healing journey
— — —
About Galen Fous MTP: Sex-Positive Therapist, Author, Educator & Sex Researcher. Galen lectures internationally at universities, grad schools and psychology conferences about sexual authenticity and untangling shame, fear and trauma from sexual desire. He is on the faculty of the Modern Sex-Therapy Institute where he offers CE approved classes for therapists, on Sex-positive psychology and Sexual Integration Theory and Practice – a sex-positive alternative to the sex/porn addiction treatment model. He has a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology from Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Galen works with clients within a Transpersonal framework that helps individuals and couples move through shame, fear and trauma towards honest, embodied and confident expression of their authentic desires. He helps clients shift from compulsive, secretive, risky sexual behaviors to negotiated, consensual ecstatic sexual engagements. Galen has been active member of the Mankind Project (MKP.org) since 1999. He was also a sanctioned leader for Inner Mentor and Boys to Men ROP weekends for teen boys for 7 years. Galen’s latest book, “Decoding Your Kink – Guide to Explore, Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires” has been praised by sexual psychologists and educators as “Visionary …Masterful …Groundbreaking …Cutting Edge…Worth its Weight in Diamonds … Highly Recommended…A Must Read!” He is also the author of “The Sharp Edge of Love – Extreme Sex, Mythic Passion, Primal Intensity. Learn more at https://galenfous.com