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The Spiritual Sexual Predator — A Cautionary Tale

The Spiritual Sexual Predator — A Cautionary Tale
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This author thought she had the street smarts to avoid sexual scam artists. The only problem was, this one came wearing a faux halo and rugged six-pack.

  False Prophet

What was different about this creep - because that is what he turned out to be in the end, and there’s no need to spare suspense - is that he peppered our early communications with tantra-esque idioms. In my flimsy defense, I did the equivalent of a social networking background check, standard procedure these days when you meet contacts online. That he seemed genuine and witty helped silence my intuition that sensed something was amiss. I ignored red flags, like the absence of substantial professional and personal contact information.

  Risky Business

Recently, an increased number of weirdos have reached out to me. You know the type; their instabilities practically leap off the screen in their unsolicited messages (I’m paraphrasing here): “You are so lovely, and I’m a lonely, horny person who wants to have cyber-relations with you and we share at least 2 mutual friends, but since they don’t know me either, there’s no way for you to verify that I’m not a current, past or future psychopath.” Some are subtler than that, though the general intent is the same.

Delete.

By now a few are rolling their eyes and thinking, how naïve. What happen to your delete button, Ms. Muse? It’s a fair criticism. I should mention I’m not proud of my actions or how this episode evolved. For starters, I was upfront about my marital status, but wasn’t exactly forthcoming with my beloved about my communiqué with pariah man. A disclaimer: hubby knows I admire with my eyes, not touch with my hands. Still, he has every reason to be disappointed in me, and I can only say that the outcome was punishment enough for my indiscretion.

Stating the obvious, we each have an internal rudder that warns us of impending danger, and it behooves us to pay attention; trust must be earned, not automatically granted. Just as there’s no real ‘safe sex’ (unless you are abstinent), only ‘safer sex,’ being part of the spiritual and sex-positive community doesn’t guarantee someone has correct intentions. I knew better, and still I ignored my intuition and sacrificed my self-respect. Clearly, I’m clearing out emotional, spiritual and sexual dust bunnies, as much as this is a personal stumble.

Which begs the universal question: How does this personal stumble illuminate a hidden, or maybe not so hidden after all, darkside in the sacred sexuality communities at large?

  Spiritual PSA

After I confessed what happened to others, several women said that they too had dealt with similar come-ons and were now more discriminating with whom they engaged, spiritually, sexually or otherwise in online communities. Some insisted there were a lot of spiritual sexual pariahs manipulating the Goddess movement to their own nefarious ends. A few played along with these liaisons for their own pleasure’s sake, knowing that ultimately, flirting online for cyber sexes sake was virtual harmless fun.

It doesn’t help mankind’s case that few men expressed outrage at one of their own brother’s predatory behavior. Those who are spiritually inclined still operate under certain genderfied norms, one being that males are the aggressors, females the victims. In that infamous ‘battle of the sexes’ we are still working the kinks out. Though to be really really clear, I don’t think I was victimized at all. Nope, I practically handed the man the rope with which to lure me in.

In hindsight, one explanation for my lack of discernment may be because I believe that cultivating an open and trusting heart is essential to my journey. We can’t explore the edges of our erotic selves from a safe, sanitized distance. It doesn’t matter if your thing is ecstatic sexuality, tantra, fetish, BDSM, etc; if you are going there, go there in integrity. Setting aside our own masks means trusting that those who we encounter on our path are as committed to authenticity as we are. The danger is in the risks, yes. It’s also in avoiding them, something Midori explains in clear and eloquent terms in BDSM’s Dirty Secret – The Real Risk of Kinky Sex.

Nor does being drawn to sacred sexual teachings and communities buffer a person from experiencing spiritual malaise. In fact, it is more likely that what we crave indicates a primal need, either as an absence of something such as emotional intimacy, or something less benign, say curiosity. This may be the most difficult thing to acknowledge. We want to accept as true that spiritual growth occurs on a nice trajectory, when in reality it happens in fits and starts. This just isn’t so. Every journey takes detours down darkened paths, where the branches block out the light thick and the steps before us become harder to see. After all, the shadow side finds fertile ground in our vulnerabilities, not our strengths. Nowhere does this play out more vividly than in private lives.

Enough time has passed to dull the sting of embarrassment, though not enough to make me forget this hangover. Sharing it publicly feels cathartic in that mortifying I can’t believe I did that sort of way, and because it’s an opportunity to make a spiritual public service announcement.

In the end, this is a cautionary tale. Internet trolls will try anything to get into our metaphorical pants, preying on unmet needs; or in the case of those who feign spiritual superiority, praying that we’ll buy their bullshit long enough to reveal how to undo our figurative buttons. What I now know is that those who are drawn to ecstatic sexuality must be aware of false prophets flaunting sexual enlightenment.

Lessons learned the hard way are Goddess’ gift to humankind. Bless those damn blessings in disguise, eh?

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