Truth, Trauma, Transtion

by

Janet Kira Lessin 
&
Sasha Lessin, Ph. D.
from Loving More Magazine #20

     October 16, 1997 - Our wedding at the Celebration of Sacred Sexuality Conference - Harbin Hot Springs, CA 


Janet: In our private counseling practice at a certain point in the therapy session, my husband Sasha and I ask couples to go back in time to the moment when they fell in love and tell each other about that special experience. It always brings a tear to my eye as I relive it with them. During those times, I think to myself, "who in the world would think of my story as sweet and romantic?"

Only, perhaps, the poly world?

I had heard of Drs. Joan and Alex Lessin, "The Poly Advisors", long before I met Alex. Our Honolulu-based polyamory group, "Pali Paths" had a hot-link to their site ( http://www.aloha.net/~alessin/polyamory.html). Many times folks in our group would encounter difficulties trying to establish poly relationships. While no one I knew actually had gone to the Lessins’ for counseling, it still was comforting for us to know that they existed.

I almost met Alex long before I actually did. My boyfriend tried to convince me to fly over and see them, join their community. "Look, Joan and Alex have even added a third, a girl named "Sasha", Bill pointed out to me. He had spent over an hour talking to Alex on the phone. "Let’s go see them now", he implored. I resisted, "I don’t want to join someone else’s community. I want to form my own."

Sasha: Back in ‘97, my poly dream died. I’d helped Joan, my wife and beloved of 18 years, coax her young boyfriend, Ophio, from Michigan to our four-story jungle home in the West Maui Mountains.

Our agreement: Joan would sleep three nights a week upstairs loving me, two nights downstairs with Ophio, one evening out with her other boyfriend, and one day and night in our group love-in, with all three of us guys and the other five members of our poly family. Daily, Joan assured me, "I’ll never leave you."

But when Ophio arrived, Joan moved downstairs with him, didn’t come upstairs to me at night, and stopped making love with me. After four months, she invited me to a Christmas Day date to make love. I said, "That’s what I’ve prayed for every morning for months."

She met me Christmas day but said, "I’m too important to you. I haven’t really been in love with you for years, but I didn’t know how to tell you. I told you I’d never leave you because that’s what you needed to hear, but I need a divorce." My Christmas was not merry.

Janet: Summer of 1997, my mother was actively trying to exit this world. Living in Hawaii was and still is expensive. A trip back east was going to cost a pretty penny. I dreaded the long journey and the emotional turmoil I would experience. On top of everything else, my poly relationships were difficult; one was an alcoholic, the other unappreciative. I decided if I had to do this hard part, the very least I could do for me was to treat myself and attend the Summer ‘97 Loving More Conference--at Mt. Madonna, Santa Cruz--on the way home to the death vigil with Mom. It seemed like I had enough time.

Sasha: For several months, I tried living on the floor above Joan and Ophio. Whereas before Joan cut me off, I’d enjoyed seeing her and Ophio loving, now I wept when I saw them touch, kiss, exchange loving looks. Consequently, she, Ophio and our other housemates begged me to go on the road and make a new life for myself. I said I’d leave, but would return in a year.

Janet: I had to make arrangements in a hurry. The only way I could get from the San Francisco Airport to the was to hitch a ride with a former lover and arrive the day before the conference. As a neat aside, I discovered that Alex Lessin was doing the poly Pre-Conference on Tantra!

Sasha: Though I felt like a poly casualty, off I went anyway to the West Coast LM Conference in Santa Cruz, to lead the Tantra Workshop. Just before I left, an Oahu woman, Janet Smith, who lacked funds, called and asked me if I’d wave my fee and admit her to the Pre-conference.

 

Janet: Arriving early I would have nothing to do. So instead of just sitting there twiddling my thumbs, I emailed Alex explained my circumstances and asked him if he could cut me a break on the fees. I was amazed when he wrote back to me, a total stranger, "I wave my fee entirely."

I was frustrated as planes were late and thus we arrived late. I dumped my bags in my room and raced into the seminar, which was just beginning. I took the only remaining seat, directly across from Alex. "Oh, that’s Alex Lessin", I thought. He introduced himself as Sasha. "Oh", I chuckled to myself as I realized the mistake our group had made.

Sasha: Janet entered the seminar late and sat opposite me. Petite, slender, pale, wide-eyed; inquisitive about tantra and polyamory, she commanded my interest.

Janet: During the introductions, Sasha asked each person to share their poly vision with the group. When it came my turn, I described my personal vision of community and how I would go about creating it. The last person to share was Sasha and his vision matched mine. I made a mental note. That piqued my curiosity.

During the first break he came over to me and introduced himself to me formally. "Oh, you’re much taller than I thought you were". He hovered above petite me. "It must be your aura that makes you so huge!"

I noticed during the conference that Sasha was actively sleeping with three women and there were at the very least three others hovering in the wings, wanting their turn.

"He’s harem gathering", I thought to myself. I wanted no part of him. I was attracted yet repulsed. "Stay away" my inner guidance told me. Besides, I had vowed to myself that I was going to be celibate this trip. I needed time to clear my head.

 

During the conference and despite all these ladies in his life, time and again I would come into the room to attend a presentation and he would be sitting there by himself. I’d look non-chalantly around the room and even select a spot to sit, yet mysteriously my body would go over and plop down beside Sasha. What was going on here?

Sasha: Janet spent time with me on breaks in the seminar and throughout the conference. We got to know each other. I asked her to join me on Maui. Janet she’d never leave Oahu for a man. Sadly, I took my leave and left for New York City to see friends before the East Coast Loving More Conference, Upstate in Parksville.

Janet phoned me and said she’d like to come to the East Coast Conference too. Could I give her a ride if she got to NYC? I told her she could join me the night before we left for Upstate at John and Nan’s house in West Orange, New Jersey, and drive up with us. "We’ll be having a love-in with some of my East Coast Poly Nest that night; you can join or not."

Janet: Sash called me and invited me to meet him in NJ at his poly friends’ house and drive up with their caravan to Parksville, NY. Right before he hung up, Sasha said, "Oh, by the way, there’s going to be a love-in"

 

"Ahhhhhhh"

"Oh don’t worry, there are other bedrooms if you don’t want to join us."

"Ah, ok"

A love-in, huh? Now that’s really going poly, I thought. My only poly experiences at that point had been having two boyfriends simultaneously who didn’t want to meet or know very much about one another. This was going to be interesting.

I took a bus from PA to NJ; a long, horrid ride. I realized that I forgot to tell my host, John, what I looked like. There I was standing at a bus station in NJ with all these "characters" around me, alone, and I started to get frightened. Had I made a big mistake? It’s crazy enough that I’m even contemplating participating in a love-in, and now I’m waiting for someone who may never find me in the poor sleazy side town.

"Hey, you must be Janet" a friendly voice called from a distance.

"Yes, how did you know?" I responded.

"Oh, I could tell by your aura!"

I laughed and fell into his arms, greatly relieved.

We went to the airport and retrieved Sasha who was flying in from LA. It was a month since we had seen each other. He was a pleasant, familiar site in a very strange land.

John and Nan welcomed me into their spacious home. Others started arriving. There seemed to be endless hours of eternal chit chat. I got increasingly more nervous. "When is this darned love-in going to start anyway?", I thought.

"My back hurts. Who would like to give me a massage?" I proclaimed as I started taking off my clothes. Was that ME saying that? A huge U-shaped couch was pushed together making an oversized bed.

Our hosts dismissed themselves, didn’t want to participate. There were three goddesses left and two tantric gentleman. I soon found myself the recipient of my first sacred spot work. All I had to do was lay back and receive pleasure. Nothing was required of me. It seemed rather safe. "I can do this", I thought.

The three ladies lay head to head with our worshipers honoring us below. I became concerned because Sasha, the object of my desire, was busy with the other women, not me. I had a very sweet, nice enough gentlemen doing pleasant things to me, but where was Sasha?

After a while, we all began to wear out. I decided to take the spot at the foot of the "bed". Sasha came up behind me and spooned me, finally taking me in his arms.

At this, our first embrace, all my barriers melted away. Time stood still as ageless lovers reunited after eons of being apart. All reason was gone; tossed to the wind. It was as though we were driven by some greater, higher divine force. We didn’t ask the normal questions, about STD’s, about birth control, about who we are? We were just there, loving, in love. At the moment of our joining, we were wed.

I woke the next morning realizing I was home again. How could this be? I had given up on love, trying to lose myself in polyamory and multiple partners. How ironic that here, in the middle of a "love-in", I find the mythical "one".

Sasha is the first man that has met me on all levels, all chakras. We went on to the East Coast Conference, and it was a raving success.

I did move, once again for a man, this time from Oahu to Maui, and it was perfect. Two weeks later we got married at Deborah Anapol’s Sacred Sexuality Conference at Harbin Hot Springs, complete with a public consummation ceremony! So much for celibacy!

Sasha: Janet joined the love-in New Jersey. We connected. We’ve been together since. We married and performed a public consummation at Deb Anapol’s Celebration of Sacred Sexuality.

We’ve developed a practice of inclusive polyamory Janet dubs "mono-poly" that lets her feel secure: we date and love as a couple, keeping psychically linked as we share sexually with others. It works. We work.

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Married - Again! 

 September 20, 2000 Vowel Renewal  Cupid's Chapel, Las Vegas, NV



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