How Mindful Masturbation was Discovered…
Updated: Apr 14
By Bruce P. Grether
"Mindful Masturbation" simply means really paying full attention to your own body, your genitals, what you are doing, plus your own ecstatic sensations during set-pleasure. I coined this term in 2001, and surprisingly, if you Google it now, two decades later, you'll find many, many people using the term. Most of those now promoting the practice and offering to coach people in it, seem to know something about what I mean by Mindful Masturbation.
(Click the above image for a bit of a surprise!)
My initial discovery of how powerful it is for a man to pleasure himself mindfully, and to keep focused on the journey of limitless blissful sensations, rather than the quick sprint to ejaculation, has deep roots in time. Though I had always loved masturbation since I discovered it around age 9 or 10, and did it a lot, it was not until I was in my early 40s, in 1995 and I lived in a basement apartment in Fort Collins Colorado with a white cat named Taliesin, that I learned how to masturbate mindfully.
My journey to the life-changing discovery of 1995 began many years before, during my boyhood in Thailand, as the son of Protestant missionaries there. When I was about the age you see me in the above photo, during a "sleepover" experience with a boy my own age, we rubbed our penises together. This felt so indescribably delicious that I felt my awareness expand into connection with Everything.
The young friend my age who initiated this marvelous act of juvenile cock2cock frottage seemed to know a lot more than I did. Though I adored pressure between my legs during arousal, I still did not actually figure out manual masturbation until a few years later while taking a shower in Bangkok. By the time of this photo of me seated on a beach on the Gulf of Thailand, I had become an avid masturbator. However, during the mysterious and profound physical transformations of adolescence, I became painfully shy about my body. My mistake was to compare myself with other boys in the shower.
From adolescence onward, I generally masturbated at least two or three times a day, usually in the morning, at bedtime, and other times, as well. I remained terribly shy about my body. I did not want to be seen naked, or even shirtless. I felt I was too skinny, not handsome, and thought my penis was too small. Still, I greatly enjoyed living at Estes Park, in the Colorado Rockies through my young adulthood. See me jumping into the air in an excavation? Then, everything changed…
After living in Estes Park for 12 years, in 1988 I moved down to Fort Collins to pursue my writing. I did that full-time, then in 1990 I went back to school at CSU. I majored in English, with a Creative Writing Concentration and Second Field of History. In 1994 I graduated magna cum laude. I had found an ad in a magazine called LIBIDO, for a video called FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, which I ordered…
This was Joseph Kramer's revolutionary teaching of male erotic massage. As I lacked anyone to practice with, I tried it on myself. I set up my ritual space, warmed the coconut oil, started the deep continuous breathing, and did stretches. When I added masturbation, even with the variety of strokes, I go so excited, I ejaculated within a few minutes. I tried, and tried again. On about the third attempt, I caught the wave like a surfer and began to ride. I ascended plateau-to-plateau into limitless bliss such as I had never experienced!
All those years living in the High Rockies, then in a basement apartment with Taliesin while I was a college student (again!) I'd continued to masturbate often. I read books on Tantra and Taoist Sexual Secrets, thinking there must be more to erotic pleasure. But I never found a simple, easy-to-follow "how-to" until I obtained a copy of Joseph's video. Once I caught on and used full mindful attention combined with deep, continuous abdominal breathing, I discovered that I could experience limitless bliss.
For six weeks, every day (though working part-time) I spent hours and hours in states of high erotic ecstasy, and never ejaculated once during those six weeks. The point was not to avoid ejaculation entirely, just make it a choice and discover previously unknown realms of pure penis pleasure! It changed me! So I wrote a fan letter to Joseph Kramer, and about a week later, the phone rang. We connected and became friends.
Mindful Masturbation changed me for the better by shifting my attention away from my inadequacies to empower me with greater confidence, self-respect, and emotional stability. I'm not perfect, but this practice helped me to become my true self and to return to that Penis Paradise I discovered as a young boy during that sleepover. Penis Paradise is where I live now, and where I feel totally alive!
A few years later, after my breakthrough, I had met my partner Hyperion and moved to Texas. Joseph invited me to help teach a week-long workshop with him and Joe Miron in the summer of 2001 at Easton Mountain Retreat Center. We facilitated the first workshops there for the new owner, John Stasio. One workshop was called "Orgasmic Mindfulness." Above, you can see me there, afloat and quite shameless in the pool. Each morning I led an Early Bird Danceturbation Session to music. I learned a lot and had a great time.
Soon after this, Joseph learned that my partner had started to make video recordings of my masturbation sessions. He asked me to send him a VHS of this. The cassette sat on his dresser for six months, but after he watched it, Joseph very dramatically told me that I must halt everything else and make instructional masturbation videos.
So that is what I did. With the help of a professor of media and some film students from the University in Austin, I recorded my first DVD: MINDFUL MASTURBATION FOR MEN: DEVELOP YOUR SELF-PLEASURING SKILLS TO EXTRAORDINARY LEVELS. Joseph's expert editor Carol Leigh made the production look good; the eminent computer artist Stevee Postman created an incredible cover image:
Over the next few years, I offered workshops of my own on Mindful Masturbation and hosted men from all over the country, as well as some from overseas. Personally, I continued to practice. Also, I benefited tremendously from Hyperion's photographic skills and his willingness to record me in the throes of ecstasy; I could focus purely on that without the distraction of photographing myself!
I've continued to masturbate mindfully almost every day for the last 25+ years. My experience proves to me that such conscious and creative self-pleasure, breaking habits to explore new territory continues to constantly rewire the brain and nervous system. I realized this when I read the 2002 book: THE MIND AND THE BRAIN: NEUROPLASTICITY AND THE POWER OF MENTAL FORCE by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. and Sharon Begley. I continue to make new discoveries and to train my penis and heart and brain to experience ever-increasing levels of ecstasy. I'm constantly rewiring…
So I've dedicated a major portion of my creative career to my Mission to foster this practice for the Men of Planet Earth. There's no dogma, or fixed routine required. Still, the basics of applying mindfulness to masturbation can revolutionize your life, health, well-being, happiness and sanity.
Here you see me, back in the day, doing a practice called the "Big Draw," as a specific way to end a session without ejaculation. The Big Draw comes from Taoist Sexology. After prolonged, relaxed cultivation of erotic energy with deep breathing, you do the opposite: you tense up every muscle you can and deeply hold your breath. About 10 or 15 seconds suffices; then you relax and breathe naturally. This can produce a "full body orgasm."
The Big Draw also helps you retain the erotic charge as part of your body-heart-mind continuum all through the rest of your day when you are not actually masturbating. It produces increased energy, but also serenity, plus an easy effortless flow to activity.
Encouraging genuine, experiential Phallic Brotherhood among Men is an important means of helping our species to get its act together. May we halt the War Against Nature, the war against each other, and against ourselves! Men in the male-dominant cultures are often conditioned to compete and to live in fear of weakness and failure. Phallic Brotherhood reveals that genuine masculinity is tender and sensitive and caring, as well as strong, lively and creative!
Blue Tyger & Young Russell
During the year 2012 I connected with a young film student in Florida, who I gave the nickname of Blue Tyger. He felt aligned with my Mission, became an extraordinary Mindful Masturbator, and helped me to create this Erotic Engineering website. Early last year (2020) another beautiful young man (also with a degree in film) was attracted to what I do. Meanwhile I'd been designated an Erotic Wizard, so when Young Russell came aboard, I dubbed him my Erotic Wizard's Apprentice. He's extraordinarily capable in many ways!
My hope is that someone out there reading this newsletter and blog, knows something about building websites, perhaps specifically how to use WordPress for this purpose. Young Russell and I are working on our new site, but we can use some knowledgeable help. If you can provide tech help, please contact me HERE.
Finally, here's what I'll humorously call an idealized portrait of Yours Truly! (Just kidding!) Only maybe not entirely a joke, as my ideals are pretty high! Recently a dream told me my vision has been too small. Though it may sound grandiose, I want to offer adult sex education to the Men of Earth to help as many Brothers as possible to love themselves better through enhanced self-pleasuring skills! This can benefit humanity and the planet!
So. What do you think?
Peace & Namaste,