The Temple of Terra Incognita developed a Patron system predominately based on our older, wealthier Clients referring their friends, which was designed to support all the pro bono and barter work we do. We've also had quite a few Seekers passed on to us from the BDSM, Sacred Sexuality, Poly and Pagan communities.
Oddly enough, this post is going to be about a referral that didn't work. It occurred this week and illustrates the importance of being ready to heal and being able to celebrate one's sexuality fully.
About five years ago a woman named "Willow" who was in her early 20's approached us after a Pagan social gathering and shared her life story looking for help. She was referred by mutual friends and began visiting our home for Terra Incognita events. Willow found Paganism liberating and had grown up in a very repressed household of Christian fundamentalists that had put the fear of God's anti-sex wrath into her mind. Even after she grew up and became convinced that sex and intercourse were divinely pleasurable acts, parentally programmed fear of male penetration and pregnancy stopped her from exploring intimacy with boyfriends or having an orgasm.
Over the years Amanda and I have encountered a number of supplicants like Willow who wanted to defeat similar fears. Her case was so severe that we decided to have my wife do the actual sexual catharsis, instead of me. I would be present as a trusted male anchor, but only to hold space and support the process. After much dialogue and co-creating a plan, Willow decided she wanted Amanda to use a cyberskin dildo and to be bound to our Temple bed using strong chains. The first time this was attempted didn't go well, so we stopped immediately, released her and calmly dialogued about her feelings. The second try occurred at a Temple party at Willow's urgent behest. She insisted she was ready and the exhibitionism aspect excited her so much that we proceeded with the same scenario in front of a small crowd that had been specially prepped to support Willow's Rite of Passage. It was loud, scary and her fierce struggle bent several eyehooks on the bed, but Amanda skillfully performed oral sex and used our sensually soft dildo until the young woman exploded with ecstasy.
It was a huge breakthrough for Willow that enabled her to be sexual with other women and eventually men. She's been having great sex with her current boyfriend for over a year and recently acquired a 20-ish female friend (Acacia) who seemed to be in the same position Willow was back in 2004. Of course, she referred Acacia to us and this time the story was different. Although Willow had prepared Acacia for a phone call from Amanda, the young lady became terrified and said: "I don't want to talk to that woman, she can't help me!"
Acacia is correct. Even a glowing referral can't always overcome lifelong barriers ... you have to be ~ready~ to do the work. The most important (and most difficult) step of the Qadishtu journey is sometimes the first one.