Wednesday, October 03, 2012

One More Time: No Sex With Ayahuasca Guests

I'm not sure, but I might have told this story before. And if I did, I'm sure I'll tell it a little differently than I did. That doesn't make it less true, it just means I'm grabbing the imagination and history that I have this second and not doubling back to check word for word what I wrote. The essence is the same.
    On an ayahuasca board on which I blasted last night--and which has left me feeling very humble and vulnerable today--someone has started a thread about a curandero who has violated clients. Had sex with them, and maybe raped them, though since I wasn't there I can't comment on that. But I can comment, and felt the need, to comment on the whole concept of curanderos/people in positions of power taking advantage of people in vulnerable emotional states. So this is what I wrote, and as noted, if I've written this before on this blog, I apologize for repeating.

After my blast on another thread last night, I'm feeling gun shy, but this is an important enough issue that I should speak up. I take small groups out to the jungle, as many of you know. I've always got a bigger team than I have guests--a basic rule for me. My team always includes women, generally several, to keep the right balance on a lot of levels.
     I find ayahuasca sexy. And I think a lot of people do. But there must be the clearest line, people must absolutely trust the people they are drinking with to not cross that line. When he serve, participate in serving, bring people to someone who serves the medicine, we are absolutely obligated to their spirit, their body, their mind. That's the job, and if you can't do it you shouldn't try. Nonetheless, sometimes guests imagine things that are not true, and their imaginings can put us in a quandary. My best anecdote along those lines occurred five or six years ago. After ceremony I invited the guests down to the kitchen for some papaya with lime and hot tea, after which they would go back to their mosquito nets with the idea of finishing their dreaming there. Well, this one young woman, A, didn't want to leave when the others did. So we sat and talked a while.
    So this absolutely beautiful woman stayed after everyone else left and at some point she said, "I love you. I want to sleep with you." Well, that was not gonna happen because rules are rules. But I wasn't sure how to handle it. She was still somewhat under the influence of the medicine and what she really meant was that she liked the way I helped protect her--with my team--during ceremony. Nothing more. But in her state it came across as love and she wanted to share that. So I looked to the heavens and asked for a way out without affecting her with negativity--I knew, for instance, that simply saying, "I don't want to sleep with you" would have been a very wrong thing to say in that instance. She really thought she wanted to sleep with me because she thought she was in love. I knew better. And thank goodness, the heavens answered and I got a solution. After she said the "sleep with you" thing about five times, it dawned on me and I said: "Well, that's a beautiful thought and I'd love to sleep with you as well. Now I sleep on that bench, and if you sleep on the bench at the next table, we'll sort of be sleeping together." Which she did: Which put us several feet apart. And in the morning, after she'd bathed in the river and closed her corona--the chakra at the top of her head--she came into the kitchen for breakfast and thanked me for finding a solution which allowed her to feel close but which kept us several feet apart, physically. And while I still sometimes wonder how nice it would have been to take advantage of what she was offering, I know I'm still a good version of me for not permitting it, no matter how much she insisted. There are lines you cannot cross. Ever. No excuses. Intimacy with a client before or during or after ceremony is one of them. And anyone who is party to the medicine knows this intuitively. So don't do it. Don't accept it, even if the client begs. Cause in the morning, they will feel--rightly--taken advantage of, and right then, in that instant, goes all the trust, all the healing, right down the drain. My two (humble, tonight) cents.


Unknown said...

Peter, out of curiosity, what would you do if there was a woman on your trip and there was a real mutual attraction along with deep communication and feelings of love, in ceremony and out of it. What if it continued? Even after the trip.

Peter Gorman said...

Ricxhard: I fell for a woman on my last trip. It happens. But I waited until two days after last ceremony to respond, and then first made love when we returned to Iquitos. And what a fantastic time I had! What joy!
But while I thought it could have happened after ceremony, I held back. It just would not have been right But after the trip was officially done? After the medicine was done? Well, we could not contain ourselves. And I have no regrets and neither does she. She was 39 years old, a mom of two, both of whom were on the trip, both of whom were asked their blessing before anything happened. And it only happened after, days after, last medicine. When that happens, I don't think that's anyone's business. I think, as you know and I think agree, that letting it happen in the after glow of the medicine is a very different thing. And when a client needs to be held for one reason or another, letting that go into some sexual thing, well, that's just wrong in my book. Tempting? Of course. When a beautiful woman thinks you are the cat's meow it's hard to reject it. But we all reject it to stay on the right side of the line
Later? After the trip? Hell, give me the love! I need it! Whether it's a hug or a wink, I definitely will accept it, because by then we are just humans. Not taking advantage of position. That's where it's wrong in my book.
And I've seen your eyes so I know you know.