Working on Early Sexual Memories

The following are some reflections on a recent Early Sexual Memories1 Workshop, led by Tony Smith, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

With this topic, it may not work to charge into things head-on.2 I found it worked best to sneak up on them from various angles. And some things that seemed tiny and unrelated to begin with opened up to memories with lots to discharge about.

In a lunchtime topic group for Catholics, we thought about what was good about being raised Catholic in relation to sex and sexuality. Things I learned from being Catholic that I think are useful are that it is important to have absolute respect for other people (exploitation is definitely not okay) and that self-control and abstinence (even though they can be too rigidly applied) are useful in this area. We are not just driven by instinct; we can use our minds to decide.

Damien Cook
Fryers Town, Victoria, Australia


Because these hurts went in before our adult sexuality developed, they can get attached to our ability to connect with another human in all manner of ways.

Yehudit Koadlow
Caulfield, Victoria, Australia


Not saying very much and then putting my mind just to the edge of the memories was all I needed to do to bring lots of discharge.

Simon
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


For me, this workshop was a chance to discharge early terror and isolation. I could also see how sexism and male domination have determined my identity.

Victoria Kemp
Thornbury, Victoria, Australia


Amid play and laughter, we all moved, and things happened. Tony had quotes on the walls of the meeting room that were a most sweet and loving course correction every time I noticed and read them. There was a sweet and loving tone to the whole weekend. It was a powerful contradiction to any sense that our discharge had to be hard work or harsh in any way. The pureness of the theory, applied to practice, made giant strides possible.

Anne Barton
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 


If we systematically clean up our early hurts and confusions related to physical closeness, we can stay really close and connected, powerful and human. If we aren’t able to keep close and connected, we are vulnerable to being exploited or exploiting others in a system that continues to profit from distress.

Christine Marnane
Kew, Victoria, Australia


 A male Co-Counsellor said that he’d noticed how hard it was for women to decide to go to the workshop. I thought, “Yes, of course!”—in this male-dominated society in which sexual distress is hyped up, directed at us women, and used to exploit humans and support an oppressive system.

“Sex is not important.” What a contradiction!3 I know this but have felt alone with the perspective and especially separated from men. It was a relief to hear it said by a man.

Rachel Steinmann
Brunswick, Victoria, Australia


Early sexual memories aren’t a special or separate issue. They are connected to everything in my world. When we discharged on the RC goal for care of the environment, on white racism, and in the early morning women’s groups, I could tel4 how strongly all our early distress is interconnected. I now feel more able to look around me and face the persistent ways that society is trying to distract me by restimulating my early sexual hurts. With continued discharge, I can instead keep developing closer and more powerful relationships in all areas of my life.

Vicky Grosser
Geelong, Victoria, Australia


Human closeness is a real need of mine, and of all humans. As a very young person, I didn’t get some of the closeness or discharge I needed when I felt isolated. Then the undischarged feelings attached to me, along with feelings of urgency and desperation.

In the past I thought that working on ESMs was about sex. I learned that it is about human connection and closeness.

Cynthia Johnston
Frankston, Victoria, Australia


This weekend I was reminded of the joys of having a go at5 leadership. I experienced how helpful it can be to put my hand up to lead something when asked. Whatever the size of the job, just stepping up and doing it sheds light on how I function in the world and helps me to develop and expand my thinking in an area.

Another side to saying yes to leading is supporting other leaders. Much about late capitalism has us approaching others only as people we agree with or want to fight with. In supporting others, I can enjoy seeing them step up, too; change and develop their thinking; and shine their own light on all things.

Lisa Rasmassen
Northcote, Victoria, Australia


What became clear to me during the workshop was how literal recordings are. Pretty much6 everything I thought and felt was directly related to my ESM. This included feelings of being trapped, wanting to go home, wanting to go to sleep, and not believing that anyone was there for me. Physical symptoms were also part of the recording.

Jo Perry
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Reprinted from the newsletter of the
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, RC Community 


1 “Early sexual memories” refers to the first memories that come to a client’s mind when he or she is asked, “What is your earliest memory connected to sex in any way at all?” The memories are often not about sex, and discharging on them not only clears up distresses related to sex but also improves other aspects of a person’s life, such as his or her ability to be connected and close in non-sexual ways.
2 “Head-on” means in a very direct way.
Contradiction to distress
“Tell” means see.
5 “Having a go at” means trying.
“Pretty much” means almost.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00