8 top reasons for more self-love

Self-love is probably the most difficult and most neglected aspect of love for many people. So here is my personal list I made to remind myself just how important self-love is:

1. Self-love brings more love
No matter if you are looking for a new lover or are happy alone: practicing self-love will always attract more love into your life. And if there is one thing you can’t ever have too much of, it’s probably love…

2. Self-love spreads and trains empathy
Loving yourself and looking at yourself with empathy will not just train your brain to be gentle to you, but also give you the tools to show empathy and kindness to others (and those we can’t ever have too much of either!)

3. Self-love makes you healthy
Catch 22 alert: self-love may seriously increase your health and well-being. And increased health and well-being can seriously increase your self-love!

4. Self-love improves your self-image (and idea of self-worth)
Having a better idea of yourself is the key to getting what you want – you know, because you are really worth it!

5. Self-love gives you the tools for real progress
Knowing where you stand and start will help you to work on the best project of your life: you!

6. Self-love because you’ll always be there
People come and go… but you stay by your side. Always.

7. Self-love because it helps others to love themselves
At the beginning of working with self-love I thought self-love was selfish. It isn’t. In fact, it is the one thing that inspires self-love in others like nothing else.

8. Self-love because you’ll find your beauty
Too many critical voices in your head make for too many sad moments. But with real self-love, you’ll soon find that there is beauty right inside you – and it will also help to let others see your beauty!

P.S. If you want to kick-start your self-love, why not check out my 30 Day Self-Love program? With small tasks to perform every day, you can really transform the love you have for yourself.


Six Ideas to make the holidays sexy

If for you the holiday season is often the season of far too much stress and too little fun, here are a few ideas to inject some holiday sexiness into the season. Don’t forget to share your ways of making the season sexy!

  1. Give yourself a sexy treat
    Don’t forget yourself this Christmas and give yourself a big or small sexy treat. New underwear to make you feel sexy? A relax-massage to make you feel as soft as …? A special book full of erotic stories? You probably have a few ideas what what you’d like, now is the opportunity to give it to you!
  2. Give your partner a sexy treat
    It’s great to buy gifts for your partner, but even better if they are home made: Why not give him a special one-off treat, or even make a book full of “sexy tokens” for him. Perfumes, books and socks are nice, but sexy surprises will really make your partner happy!
  3. Go shopping together
    Shopping can be horrible: too many people, too many things. But you can make it fun by going shopping together: not for the usual gifts, of course. Instead, go to a an adult store and see what you can discover together.
  4. Go surprise shopping
    If different family commitments keep you apart, you can always go adult toy shopping alone. Drop some hints about what you have bought – and enjoy the time when you get together to try out your purchases!
  5. Practice the “Art of the Quickie”
    Busy days of rushing from lunch to dinner to …? No worries: make sure you get your partner on track and practice the “Art of the Quickie”.  It’s something couples often forget about, so here is a chance to revive it!
  6. Rediscover your youth
    Visiting family with your partner for the holidays? Revisit your memories – this time with your partner. Introduce him to the place where you first made love, and all the other special places you remember from your youth.

How about you? How do you make the holidays more sexy? Let us know! And have a great holiday season!

Transparent sexual selves

Guest post from zoereei blog. Check out his blog for many more posts about sex and about the constant changing nature of life.

I have the freedom to sexually relate to whoever and however I want to. And yet I often keep myself distant, avoiding to meet up with a guy. I’m afraid of being seen as sexually incompetent; even more so, of seeing myself in that light.

My sexual drive pushes me forward at times, to look for excitement, for a thrill, for touch, intensity, physical pleasure. It pushes me to overstep the socially approved boundary, to go into the extreme, to take myself into a space where I lose all control and am at the whims of another, a space where I can be the bad boy.

Another force within me pushes me towards connection, to living an intimate encounter with another man, where sex expresses that connection and where body shape and deficiencies are respected aspects of the other rather than a reason to move away. Sex more than a fuck. The safe space of love.

And yet another force pulls me back, afraid of trusting the other, afraid of disease, afraid of infections, afraid of being used, afraid of being exposed and vulnerable – physically and emotionally – in front of the other.

Shame kicks in. Fear steps into the room.

I feel as virgin as a young teenager at times, within the body of a mature adult. I have very deep insight on some aspects of life, and am so ignorant in such a simple thing as having sex. I know all the theory. I lack a lot of practice. And these discrepancies between the child and the adult, the wise and the ignorant, feel like I’m being sheared in two. And in the arena of sex these feelings turn into ear-splitting rips.

There is no way of stepping out of this loop apart from stepping out. I need to allow someone in, and to allow myself into someone else. Not as how I should be, but as I am. Easier said than done, because who I am is constantly changing. Who will I be when I meet him: the slutty subservient slave, the controlling Dom, the fuck-now-then-see fun person, the let’s-take-it-slowly-and-grow-together lover? Which one is me? Or are all of these me? Which selves will I show? Which ones will I hide?

The path to freedom doesn’t lie in splitting apart my sexual selves, but in integrating them and allowing myself to be seen transparently for who I am.

Scary as fuck!

Originally published on zoreii blog. Thank you for the permission to repost!

Two easy ways to have a Happy Holiday Season

Taking care of your happiness is especially important during the holiday season. Two “mental concepts” are essential for your own happiness and mental well-being. Here is a repost of an original post from the Happiness part of the Bootcamp program about the two concepts: Empathy and Gratitude.

Empathy and Gratitude

Two concepts repeatedly turn up when you try and find out the secret of “happy” people: empathy and gratitude. They are also essential to the practice of mindfulness. Why specifically these two? Today I invite you to try them out for yourself – ad see how practicing empathy and gratitude can change your mental “position”, and help you become a more happy person.

Empathy is trying to see, feel and experience the world through the eyes of someone else. As so many concepts in the bootcamp, this seems a really easy thing to do – but is very hard when you put it into practice.
On the other hand, once mastered, it allows you to be more sensitive and open to the feelings of other people, which in turn will make it much easier for you to communicate with them. As you develop empathy, you’ll notice how people increasingly change from being aggressive to open with you, because you learn to treat them the way they want to be treated. This can be a truly powerful motivator for people, and is fundamental to building strong relationships. At the same time, it will help to deal with negativity from people: simply by understanding “where they are coming from”, and trying to help them, many negative situations will become much less stressful – and can even turn out to be an opportunity to grow for everyone.

Think of how often it is easy to just be annoyed at someone who is unfriendly, taking the last seat on the train or complaining. But while it is easy to simply react annoyed, it is often better to stop, think and … practice empathy. You’ll be surprised at the reactions you are getting!

The first activity today is to try and react to three unpleasant or annoying situations with empathy.
To do this, when you experience a situation where you feel annoyed today, try to take a deep breath. Resist the temptation to react to whatever it is annoys you – or judge the person who is annoying you.
Simply switch into mindfulness mode – but instead of focusing o your ow mind, try and focus on the other person: experience how they are experiencing the situation. Imagine actively that you are that person in this moment. Maintain their point of view for as long as you can, especially when you are talking to them or are close to them.
Once you are back to “yourself”, ask yourself how the experience was different for you and them. See how experiencing the same situation from “the other” side has changed your view of the situation.

The second activity for today focuses on gratitude. As a popular saying says: “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy”. Being grateful is, luckily, a lot easier than training empathy. However, we simply often lack the time or motivation to do this important task. So, as a second activity for today, I’ll ask you to write down three things you are particularly grateful for about today – just before you go to bed. This can be things related to anything that happened today. Even if it was a really bad day, I’m sure you’ll find at least three things to be grateful for (and probably many, many more once you start thinking about it!).

By simply stoping and asking yourself “what am I grateful for today”, many people notice how their mind immediately switches from the stress they may be experiencing during the day to a much more positive frame. This is a very powerful little tool: you can use it anytime you feel stressed or annoyed – or even just a bit unhappy: simply stop for a second. Take a deep breath and list three things you are grateful for in this moment or today. Try this out over the next few days – and see how your mind will slowly change and more readily focuses on the positive. You can even have certain “check-ins” during the day: for example, try having a gratefulness moment during your lunch break tomorrow.

Two little tricks today, but both are potentially life changing. I know they are not very easy – especially in the heat of the moment when you are annoyed or feeling stressed. But sometimes this little stop and think can really make a big difference.

Give the Gift of Tantra

Christmas is the time of giving… but giving just another perfume, more wine or the latest underwear often isn’t as meaningful as something really deep and connected. So, this Christmas, why not give something that no money can buy to the most important person(s) in your life: pure love, sacred intimacy and unconditional pleasure?

If you have already experimented with tantra, you’ll know how the most basic tantric “steps” can bring new levels of intimacy and connectedness to you and your partner. And if you haven’t tried out this powerful way to connect, why not do it right now? The good news: you don’t have to be a tantra master to feel the effects, and you don’t need several hours or many esoteric techniques to get started. Here are a five basic steps for your “Gift of Tatra”:

1) Set the scene and bring some time
Light some nice candles, select some relaxing music – and bring some time for the session. Remember the point of tantra is not a focus on the genitalia (and orgasm), but it is a whole body experience.

2) Begin by making a connection
Tantra is about connecting with the partner: start by breathing together, slowly moving on to touching your partner. Remember to it is about the whole body and about making a connection. Don’t head straight for the cock, balls, and ass… but take your time to explore the magic of touch. To explore  more about making a connection through touch and breathing, see Day 18 of Sexual Discovery.

3) Slowly move towards giving (and receiving)
The emphasis is on slow. Enjoy teasing your partner, gently stroking him, brushing your arm against his erogenous zones etc… and allow him to give back if he wants to!

4) Lingam Massage
Massage his body, feel the connection and slowly move towards the penis (or lingam) as the final act in your “gift of tantra). Lingam massage (find out more here) can be one of the most powerful ways to stimulate your partner, therefore, again remember to play slow and aim to avoid a quick orgasm. See this article for more on how to give multiple orgasms to your partner.

5) Finish where you started
Remember to connect and breathe together after your partner has climaxed. The time immediately after releasing all the powerful sexual energy is the best to really connect and create an intense feeling of intimacy.

The main point: enjoy the experience! And it will definitely be an unforgettable gift for your partner – and yourself!

5 great reasons to practice mindfulness over the holiday season

… not just for gay men 😉

With still a few days to go until the “big days”, here are five great reasons why you should make mindfulness an integral part of your holiday season this year:

1. Holiday time can be stressful – especially for gay guys
Holidays, parents, friends. So much is great about the holiday season, but some can be downright horrible and stressful. The mini-agression from the aunt asking if you still haven’t found the “right woman”, being away from your partner – or being reminded of not having one. It’s just not an easy time for many. And it is ok to admit that not all is glittering joy at this time of the year. Luckily short bursts of mindfulness can centre you again and arm you against the stress and tribulations of navigating this family feast and holiday season.

2. You can connect better, when you are connected to yourself
Even if all of the socialising and family affairs are great news for you, mindfulness can make you more connected. Not just to yourself – but also to others around you. Regular mindfulness training increases your empathy and allows you to connect more intimately to people around you.

3. It’s bleak outside, so be kind to yourself
Unless you are lucky enough to be in the southern hemisphere, you’ll probably already had a few of those days where really the best option was to stay in bed. Rain, drizzle, mist, cold, fog, and a symphony of grey in grey outside. The best method to brighten up your day? Take a short break and treat your mind to a little vacation in a place the sun always shines!

4. Remember? Taking a break makes you more productive!
How many presents do you have to buy? Cards to send? Things to do? If your to-do-list is becoming longer than your Christmas card list it is definitely time to aim for maximum productivity power. Best power up? No, not more coffee… Instead a short, 15-20 minute mindfulness bodyscan will fully recharge your batteries. Try it out!

5. … And it lets you appreciate quiet moments, more!
And don’t forget, while the run up to Christmas and the New Year can be often hectic. The actual days (and sometimes the time immediately after) can be days with lots of opportunities to recover and rest. Sadly, many people are so in stress mode, that they don’t realise. There is a simple trick here though: Actively seek out quiet moments to check in with yourself. Not only will you find more than you probably expect, with a quick mindful “check in” you can enjoy the quiet time even more!

Have a great holiday season all around – and don’t forget to treat yourself to the most special gift of all: a healthy dose of self-love!

Check out more posts about mindfulness from the urbangay blog. And if you want to find out more about practicing some self-love and mindfulness, why not treat yourself to 30 Days of Self-Love, the workshop that transforms your mind and makes you fall in love with yourself again.

Let’s start the week Sex-Positively!

It’s the start of the new week, and also the first Monday of December! What better reason than to check in with ourselves and see if our own mindset isn’t besieged by the popular sex-negative attitude surrounding us in our society today.

What is a sex-positive mindset all about? Here is an exert from Day 5 of my book “Sexual Discovery for Gay Men“:

Day 5
The Sex-Positive Mindset

Today’s objective: Defining sex-positivity

Well, for three days we have been dealing with negative stuff. High time to switch and focus on the positive! So, let’s see what a sex positive mindset looks like. I’m avoiding the term environment here, as sadly the reality is that most societies are simply highly sex negative. But individuals can change their mindset! Hence it seems sensible to focus on the individual at this point.

Sex-positivity in itself is quite a challenge to define, at least in detail.  Basically it is obviously the opposite to sex negativity, which is the space where sex is always subject to judgement by others and manipulated to fit a certain ideal. Hence, sex-positivity is a space where individuals ‘own’ their sex without judgement. It means embracing diverse forms of sex, respecting not only yourself but also others. How does this look in practice? In my own way of looking at it, having a sex positive mindset involves seven principles:

1) Own your sex
First and foremost, having a sex positive mindset is about ‘owning’ your sex: it is yours to give, not theirs to take. And only you know what you want, how you want it, how often you want it. Don’t let your environment dictate what you should have or should not be having.

2) Respect everyone’s choices regarding their sex
Just as you have the right, it is important to extend the same respect to others. This means acknowledging everyone’s right to have the sex they want to have – including their right not have sex. It is not for you to judge others and the sex they own.

3) Consent
Sex between partners must be negotiated. Clear, enthusiastic consent is the basis of all sex positive sex. Your sex is yours. Their sex is theirs. Implied or assumed consent is not enough. Neither one has the right to force or manipulate someone else to have sex they don’t want. But also, neither one has the right to stop anyone from having the sex they want, as long as it is with people who consent to it.

The first three are the core principles of sex-positivity for me. The following four points flow from these three. While the first three are necessities, the next four are rights. That is to say you have the right to do this, but there isn’t an obligation to do them.

4) Exploring your sex freely
You have the right to explore your sex freely, the way you want to. You have the right to challenge sexual role models and you should expect to be encouraged, respected and supported to do this by your partners.

5) Engaging with your fantasies
You have the right to engage and develop your fantasies and express them freely without fear of judgement or disrespect.

6) Learning about sex
You have the right to learn about sex: different types of sex, sexual health, ways of expressing sexuality,… nobody should ever stop you from learning.

7) Communicate
You have the right to communicate freely and honestly about sex, sexual fantasies, experiences and ideas. Of course, this is extremely important in consent seeking. But communication goes beyond this. If you had good sex, make sure you tell your partner. If you had bad sex, and you want to improve it with the same partner, talk to him.

I hope these seven principles make sense to you. Of course, you may choose to define your own way of seeing sex-positivity. In fact, taking the above as an example, I’d like you to write your own sex positive manifesto today. That is to say, don’t make it a few general points which are applicable to everyone. Write a sex positive manifesto just for you.

Take-home message for today: A sex positive is about owning your sex. And respecting the rights of others to do the same.

Want to explore more about a sex-positive life?
My book contains all the materials for the Sexual Discovery for Gay Men workshop and is available from any good bookseller.

ISBN 978-1973779131 (soft cover)   978-1370218707 (eBook)
To order online see bookfinder  or Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR

Or as a digital PDF download here:

Have you called a friend today?

Feeling a little low today? Or maybe just in need of a small dose of happiness? A little boost to your self-esteem?
One easy way to make you smile right now might be to call a friend. Here is what Rob had to say about it while he was doing the “Happier, Healthier and more Active: the 30 Day Challenge” workshop:

“Another [activity] I liked. Actually calling rather than liking a few friends’ posts on Facebook made a difference. It made me think a bit that we are loosing the ability to “just call” and have a chat. Putting it on my agenda helped a lot to remind me of the task, too.”

P.S.: The complete workshop with all activities is still available for free here! See here for all the posts.

5 Reasons to schedule a long sex session with your partner – right now.

With the nights getting longer, here are five great reasons to make room in your busy schedule for a longer sex session with your partner – right now.

1. Really feel the sex
Spontaneous and quick sex is great, however, it is often over before your mind had time to “arrive”. Scheduling a longer session gives both of you time to prepare, look forward to and really bring your mind with you to feel all the sensations and be present.

2. Create intimacy
Often sex is confused with creating intimacy in a relationship. And while sex is really important in maintaining a relationship, what really counts is not the number of times you have sex – but the intimacy you are creating while having sex. Slow sex really gives time for intimacy feelings to develop, injecting tons of intimacy into your relationship.

3. Feel good afterwards
Long sex is a master in giving you afterglow. Why? It gives time for all the happy hormones you produce during sex to really play their role in your body. The result? A happy smile for hours to come!

4. Connecting beyond your sexual partner
Long lasting sex actually helps you connect to people beyond the ones you are having sex with. Feelings of intimacy with your partner and satisfaction often reflect into other parts of your life, and help you make more friendly and positive connections beyond the person you had sex with!

5. De-stress
Finally, sex is one of the best ways to de-stress. Had a hard day at work? There is an easy way to be more productive again the next day: switch off the TV and bring some real intimacy into your life with your partner.

Ready for some slow sex?
Check out some of the tips of creating long-lasting intimate connections in the Sexual Discovery workshop and book: From connections through touch with your partner – to edging yourself if you don’t have a partner right now. And don’t forget, the Tantric Vibes workshop starts in January!

It’s great news and exciting news!

You probably noticed that it has been a little quiet on the urbangay website recently. This is because I was really busy with two great projects – and I’m excited to let you know more about them today – and more will be revealed over the next few weeks!
Although there was more interaction as the curators for the @urbangay twitter account took over last month, now it is all back to me… so I’m looking forward to hearing from you! And here are the details of the exciting things that are happening in the world of urbangay:

1. The Quinta Project
The “Queer Quinta” project has been the main focus of my work in the recent months. To summarise the project: it will be a queer/gay ecovillage right in the heart of Portugal, with facilities for co-living, retreats and learning – a haven away from the big city, and a refuge for those seeking to connect with themselves, other guys and nature in a queer/gay environment.
The great news is that I have recently made an offer on a property, and now the solicitors are working through the purchase details. Fingers crossed, this will be completed early next year. You can follow all the updates and find out more details on the Queer/Gay Quinta webpage – and via Twitter @gayquinta.

2. Tantric Vibes Workshop
The next workshop will come up in January: Tantric Vibes combines ancient ideas from Tantra and Taoism with more modern influences such as Orgasmic Yoga into a comprehensive intimacy workshop for gay men. The release is a little later than planned (sorry for this!). The great news though is, that the final workshop has evolved much from the original workshop plan, and includes many more interactive exercises for you and your partner(s). I’ll post a few more details before January – and in the meantime, get set to start your new year in the most intimate and sexiest way – ever!

I’m really excited about the new big projects – and I hope you’ll enjoy being part of them! Please get in touch with any questions or suggestions… it is always great to hear from you!