On surrender and fear

Life-changing, mood-altering, subspace-inducing, serious pleasure can only arise from serious surrender. But what is surrender, really? Does it mean putting up the white flag and giving in? Is it giving up? Is it chucking in the towel and saying fuck-it, I don’t give a shit anymore?


Well, it could be if you choose to interpret it that way, but that’s not the kind of surrender I’m talking about.

I’m talking about allowing.

Letting go.

Letting in.


Being receptive.

Letting down the tight defensive walls of restriction and,


It’s softening.

True pleasure cannot exist when we are closed off and in fear. I recall reading Gerald Jampolsky‘s book Love is Letting Go of Fear many years ago and doing a course on attitudinal healing. I can’t remember much of it – I think I did it 20 years ago now, but I do recall two things (probably – hopefully – the two most important concepts) that when it comes down to it, all there is is love and fear. Every other emotion stems from one of these two places.

I believe that to be true.

Love is surrender. Love is letting go. Love is trust. Love is faith. Love is receptivity. Love is opening. Love is hope.

Fear is fighting. Fear is tightening. Fear is restricting. Fear is doubt. Fear is closing. Fear is shutting off and shutting down. Fear is anger.

Fear is closing the door, love is opening it.

If we overlay these concepts onto sex and pleasure there’s much that makes intuitive sense. If we enter into a sexual interaction from the place of fear, we are already shut down to the experience. In effect, we have already said no. Fear comes from a place of not knowing the Self, and of not trusting ourselves or the Universe. Fear gets us all mixed up: we can’t read our own body signals (intuition). Because we don’t know ourselves we can’t trust ourselves to make good choices. And so we fuck up and abuse ourselves over and over again.

It’s said that love is blind but I don’t believe that to be true in this context. Fear is blind; it is refusing to see and hear what we know is true and right. Fear makes us override our body signals and ignore the squeaky little voice inside that always has our best interests at heart. Fear constricts.

Fear makes vaginas go numb, orgasms disappear and pain to exist. Fear makes cocks go limp, orgasms to erupt too quickly or not at all, and non-consent to occur.

Fear is separating. It is blocking. It is domineering (not dominating – that’s very different in a BDSM sense) and controlling. It is anxiety, panic, shame, despair, depression, insanity and loneliness.

It is a desperate lonely child trying to make sense of the big bad world in an adult body. Fear fucks us up.

Fear in the mind shows up in the body in the myriad of ways we call disease. When we live in a state of fear (in whatever form it looks like; there is literally in infinite amount of scenarios here) our lives deviate. We’re not in flow. We’re not listening to anything deeply within ourselves or profoundly outside of ourselves. What we have become is slaves. And sooner or later that slave will want to escape.

Pleasure stemming from a place of (self; Universal) love is obviously all the things that fear isn’t. Love has compassion for fear, but it doesn’t try to force it to change. When we start to love ourselves we start to say yes. We open up and embrace all the world has to offer. In sex, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and open.

A woman opens her body, a man opens his heart (and/or any combination of these in a non-binary sexual exchange). This is where deep pleasure lies. Fears and egos are cast aside in a decision to welcome in pleasure. Fears (in egos) block us off to each other, not just ourselves. In order to keep out what is feared, we also keep out what is very very good for us. The blocks and barriers block and barricade out orgasms and/or lengthy sex sessions. And they certainly shut out (risking) connection and (potential) love.

Sex and pleasure can help us start to find ourselves. To discover ourselves. It is a pathway to self-knowing. Fears and blocks that show up in sex would also be showing up in the external world too. How so? Well, let’s take a person-with-a-vagina (go vaginas!). Say she’s had difficult experiences with men and sex (assuming she is heterosexual) in her formative years as an emerging woman. And/or, say she’s experiences abuses of power and violations of her body. And/or say she’s experienced psychological intrusions and has had to fight to develop and grow a sense of self. Or was without the necessary supports she needed to grow as a person and as a woman.

Where does this leave her in regards to getting to know her sexual self? What if she has felt shame about her body and her desires? Does this create and opening or closing effect in her? Is this an environment conducive to love or fear? What has she learnt about herself and her body and her genitals? Has she been able to feel good about them in all senses of the word? Or has she learnt to associate them with shame, pain, embarrassment and degradation?

How can she open herself to pleasure when this is at her core? How can she put her fingers anywhere near her vulva or vagina or clitoris without feeling afraid or ashamed? Perhaps she finds it easier to ‘allow’ (but not really allow) someone else to do this for her; and yet she is confused about why she can’t orgasm. Or can’t feel excited. Or can’t feel anything. She is dry.

So she blames herself. And this is a profound tragedy.

What she needs is to literally go on a journey of self discovery and self healing. She must find herself to know herself. And only from this place will she be able to allow herself to experience profound pleasure. Because she needs to feel safe.

Safety is at the core of the human experience.

We must have a sense of safety in order to surrender. We must feel safe enough to surrender to pleasure. Pleasure can’t exist with fear and shutting down and closing up and walls. Pleasure can only exist in a place of trust and security and openness. Everything else is false pleasure: it looks like pleasure and may feel like pleasure, but underneath is ‘just’ fear.

You’ll know when you experience true pleasure, because you’ll be staring into the abyss and you won’t be afraid anymore.

Published by The Pleasure Advocate

A pleasure seeker like every human, I have a background in therapy and health, and am a passionate student of human sexuality. I'm a pleasure-inclusive sex educator, writer, lover, mother, and sexual explorer. May (consensual!) pleasure be yours always, Melanie x

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