Our CEO recently caught up with sexuality expert Michaela Boehm—they discussed her new book, the power of practice, and an enticing concept called “Erotic Friction.” Check out this exclusive Q&A for more.
From MeetMindful’s founder, Amy Baglan:
We’re thrilled to welcome Michaela Boehm as a guest contributor at MeetMindful!
I first met Michaela when I joined her Women’s Study Group. I arrived with the intention of establishing a deeper embodiment practice and unleashing my feminine genius, or what she called the “Wild Woman’s Way,” and my experience has been life-changing. She has a no-frills approach to practice, embodiment, and healing–truly one of the most powerful teachers I’ve ever studied with.
Over these past nine months, I’ve experienced a profound transformation, one I can only describe as a deeper, more open, and confident presence in any and all situations. I’m more attuned than ever before, able to experience states of pleasure and heart connection that once seemed impossible.
It is my honor to introduce Michaela to the MeetMindful community with this brief Q&A. If her work calls to you, it is my sincere hope that you are able to explore and dive deeper.
1. Michaela, you’re a huge proponent of establishing and sticking to a practice. One block we see for a lot of our members is an energetic dissonance with people they meet—perhaps someone who is too low-vibration or someone who is not able to connect and “go deep,” for example. Can you recommend any practices for people who want to invite someone special in?
It’s important not to get hung up on the specific qualities a mate should display, but instead cultivate an awareness of what being with this partner would feel like.
As you imagine being with this partner, notice how your body feels instead of thinking how this partner needs to be and act. How would your body respond to their depth? How to their vibrational state?
Allowing your body to continuously move during this visualization will activate your body’s native intelligence. This, in turn, will provide you with the ability to better identify a suitable partner when you meet them and at the same time aid your “manifestation” via opening your system to more accurate distinctions while dating.
2. One important thing I’ve learned from studying with you is how valuable the practice of being in nature is for me. It may be hard for someone to know what practice they need most since it’s often a blind spot. Do you have any recommendations for identifying what is most critical to incorporate?
There are a few areas of self care to consider. If you are not sure which would be the best practice, try one for each area and notice how you feel after. If you feel more enlivened and open, that’s a practice to keep and deepen. If you are neutral, or even experienced the feeling of loss of energy, discard that practice. Over time you’ll be able to hone in on a few key practices as a go-to.
3. You have a lot of material on what you call “Erotic Friction.” Considering people who are new to dating or transitioning to a more committed romance, explain what erotic friction means and how it’s important to pay attention to in a new relationship. What are the “rules” as you say? Are there different ways we can cultivate this friction early in a relationship versus later?
The answer to this questions has several parts, many of which have to do with relational dynamics, logistics, and psychological considerations. But the single most important part has to do with what we call “Erotic Friction.”
This topic comes up often—whether it’s keeping the passion hot in an existing relationship, or understanding the dynamic of attraction that creates the spark when looking for a partner or with someone new.
When a relationship starts, everything about the other person is unknown. Two separate distinct humans meet and the fresh meeting of opposites produces erotic tension and sexual attraction.
Then, over time, we build a relationship, which in its very nature is based on sameness—having the same interests, the same friends, living in the same space, etc. The more we have and do in common, the less the tension that comes from being different arises….and one day, we find ourselves on the sofa, cuddled up, watching a movie in matching sweatpants. Very cozy and comforting, but with very little erotic excitement happening!
So how to keep the interest high and the passion hot?
Fortunately, the principles of Erotic Tension are easy to understand and once learned through the body, can invigorate and re-ignite any relationship. In my book I detail the “rules” and give specific exercises that can be easily applied within a busy day. The dynamic of erotic friction needs to be preserved or re-created for the spark to be stay alive.
What I meant was that I attend to everyday activities from a place of “just doing it.” Meaning, when I wash the dishes, I don’t focus on how the dishes feel, how the water moves, or how I should not focus on anything else. Instead, I let the activity happen fully, without involving any extra “doing.” The “empty” is actually a “full,” meaning everything is available when I don’t impose on the activity.
5. In your new book, The Wild Woman’s Way, you dive into how to engage fully with your life. Are there any simple, missed opportunities to connect with ourselves that you see frequently in your work? What are some things we might notice if we’re moving away from that connection?
One of the tell-tale signs is the disconnection from our body. Whenever you are no longer fully aware of the signals of your body, it’s a good moment to re-connect. Another one is excess tension in head, neck, shoulders, and jaw.
Both can be attended to by bringing movement and attention into the lower body. Moving the hips, bouncing up and down to activate the thighs, rolling the feet on a ball. Anything that re-distributes the energy downwards will make a quick but significant change to our connection with ourselves.
Quick Fire Questions:
- Last book you read?
The Red Garden by Alice Hofmann
- You can invite anyone in the world to dinner, living or dead. Who do you choose?
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
- One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have the strange talent of matching any (non-white) paint color by memory—meaning, I can look at the wall, go to the store, and come back with the matching color.
- You have 24 hours to do anything you want, anywhere in the world. How do you spend your time?
Camping on the beach and snorkeling with dolphins on Kauai’s Napali coast
- Your favorite daily practice?
Cultivating beauty in my environment. This could be as simple as placing flowers on a nightstand when traveling or as elaborate as creating a new altar. I light a candle when I start work and arrange my desk in a way that gives me a feeling of joy.
Michaela Boehm teaches and counsels internationally as an expert in intimacy and sexuality. Born and raised in Austria, Michaela combines her training in psychology and extensive clinical counseling experience with her in-depth training in the yogic arts as a classical Kashmiri Tantric lineage holder. Michaela’s approach empowers her students through an eclectic mix of education, experiential exercises, and guided explorations. Known for her work with high-performing individuals, her ongoing private clients include Oscar-winning actors, producers, business pioneers, and multiple Grammy-winning musicians. Michaela is the Author of “The Wild Woman’s Way,” published by Simon & Schuster/Atria in August 2018. She lives on an organic farm in California where she rescues and rehabilitates animals.
Photos: via Mariana Schulze