I'll never know whether as a kid I became fixated on the romantic and the erotic because they seemed so unobtainable to me as an awkward, often isolated kid, or if it was some innate part of me long before the hurt of feeling unwanted became my deepest wound. Either way, the romantic and erotic ways of being connected to others became one of the primary focuses of my life. Since at least puberty, I've been drawn to the sexually tainted women in the Bible. They seem to me to hold some powerful truth about the nature of God and grace. And yet so much of what the church taught me about the place of sex in our lives ran antithetical to these women's journeys and wild wisdom. Raised in a conservative Christian tradition that was obsessed with virginity until marriage, heterosexuality, and monogamy, there was no other way to stay right with God, or experience supposedly full expressions of love. Around 25, I had this epiphany that I believed in a God that cared more about truth than sin. This conviction freed me to explore my own truths. Soon after, I embraced my queerness discovered polyamory and then BDSM and these three things became foundational components to my ethical framework, my authentic self and my spiritual journey. Some highlights: That wound of feeling undateable, undesirable, unlovable. It's never fully gone away. It's led to compulsive dating and depression that shows up as unbearable loneliness. But working with the wound has also led to Buddhist wisdom about having radical self worth and how to embrace loneliness without judgment. It's also led to deep connections with others through the kink communities. And finally, I've taken what I've learned about how to love myself and live authentically without shame and have attempted to share these lessons forward as a professional dominatrix, fetish provider, and model. You can find a more in depth written version of my story about how I came out as a queer kinky polyamorous, now ex Christian turned Buddhist sex worker at scarletchurch.com. Now I find myself in what feels like a new season wondering how else I can use erotic love and power to heal, to connect with others, and ultimately the divine. And that's how this podcast was born. Welcome to Left-Handed Journeys, celebrating the stories of folks that are utilizing sexual and erotic power as part of their spiritual journey. Many spiritual or religious traditions have what's considered a left-handed path, which often includes embracing passion, erotic desires, and the use of societal taboos as part of one's spiritual journey. Not everyone I interview identifies with being on a left-handed path, but everyone will have a personal way of embracing erotic love and power as part of their spiritual practices and identities. Some highlights from upcoming episodes.Venus Valentine:
Sex work is very much left-hand path spiritual work, because you're sticking your fingers in the muck and pulling out the diamonds. You are the Lotus growing out of the filth? And that's not because I think sex is dirty. I think it's because people are so energetically blocked around sex. That's that's the filth is just the not being forced to deny your true self.Krista Wilson:
What if self love could be full? What if it could be a mind/body/spirit connection, less platonic, like world of forms and world of matter, but more like this central idea of like no. Within me is this fullness.Fio Gede Parma:
Shadows only exist when there is light, and when there is something obstructing that light from knowing itself, and then it casts that shadow. And therefore shadow becomes what I think of as like a scrying mirror an opportunity for the witch or the person to look into that scrying mirror and go. Who am I? You know that primal question.Jera Brown:
Keep informed about this podcast and other projects I have going on at jerabrown.com. You can also follow me at @thejerabrown on Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to be a guest on this podcast or collaborate in some other way, please email me at Jera@jerabrown.com and thanks for listening.