Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. This episode has two very special guests, Erwan and Alicia Davon. One of his first teachers, Erwan Davon has been one of the most influential people in Rob’s life. Rob was a numb, dumb, chauvinistic, misogynistic yuppie on March 20th 1999. He sat in a room full of people, Erwan mirrored back parts of himself Rob couldn’t see, including the shadows, and he basically said the solid truth. One of the greatest gifts we can give people is mirroring back what we see with approval, with intention and not saving us from ourselves. Erwan just let Rob sit and that morphed him and changed him.
Both Erwan and Alicia are very interesting people, and Erwan has been helping people with relationships and sexuality for 25 years. They share with Rob how they got started, what has motivated them and how they’ve kept going:
- Personally it started out with an extremely rough childhood for Erwan. He ended up in therapy very early out of necessity. Then got into transformation work and started studying psychology at the University of Santa Cruz. That difficult accident, the difficulties of his childhood, ended up being a blessing because it got him going early.
- He also dove into it completely. First through therapy, then studying psychology, getting into transformational work and working for a transformational organization for 7 years. Then moved into another transformational organization that was more sexuality based. It was many long years of apprenticeship and study.
- Erwan also credits choosing a direction that’s true, a direction that really really feeds his heart, that he’s honest and passionate about. That inquiry is important to stick with something for the long haul. The human being, much less the romantic human being, is challenging to work. It’s a very challenging but very rewarding area.
- Alicia met Rob in 2003 in the pleasure course and that experience totally blew her mind. She felt so high, so expansive, so taken care of that she didn’t want to go home. Soon after she switched from her career track to become a therapist. After finishing her masters degree she joined Erwan’s organization.
- The story of how Rob, Erwan and Nicole were part of OneTaste’s path. They had an off again, on again relationship and also were teaching together. In May of 2003 Rob joined and that ended in Ocotber 2003.
- Erwan also lived in a zen monastery for a while and a yoga ashram.
How Erwan and Alicia help people:
- They support singles and couples in creating an eternal date. That is a romantic relationship that reaches higher and higher peaks of intimacy and sexual attraction and spiritual union over time. So it’s for both singles and couples and they do that through spiritual and psychological inquiry, sexual development, and training in romantic skills. The foundation is cultivating presence and awareness in relationship.
- Singles come because they want to get into a really great relationship, and learn how to create the long lasting, juicy, soul mate relationship that has the amazing passion but also the stability and heart and intimacy.
- Couples usually come because they’re together and things are either great, pretty good or challenging. The thing in common is they usually want to get the spark and passion and chemistry back in the relationship.
- Erwan and Alicia teach people to meditate. They do 3 weekly groups and have people meditate in the live groups. One of the defining factors is people being awake and present, There’s no substitute for that.
- Alicia is more schooled in psychology than Erwan. Where people are really challenged, the biggest knotholes are psychological. In workshops and seminars some of which are very good, you can learn things and really open up but it’s not really going to stick unless there’s a psychological change. What is that blueprint that people relate from psychologically?
- Erwan finds that most people need to deal with those kind of psychological issues in depth, otherwise the change or transformational process of learning the skills doesn’t really stick. They work with people psychologically in depth.
- Then, in terms of getting the spark back, it’s extended orgasm practice. All of their couples (and singles who have research partners) do practices like deep touch, one hand on the heart, one on the abdomen. Or sometimes they do a talking deep touch with some massage. To really get connected and have a physical practice that can go all the way to extended orgasm so it’s really got the juice and attention on the woman and the energy is flowing, and that extended orgasm ability spills out into other sex acts.
- You have to have presence as the cornerstone, then the rest of the stuff tends to flow, the skills, the extended orgasm practice, meditation practices, touching practices and all the rest of it.
- A lot of people try to fix the exterior and they don’t do what’s deep down, the hard work psychologically, the triggers, from childhood and their relationship to parents. That’s what Erwan and Alicia cover as well as the meditation and relationship skills and extended orgasm practice.
- One example of somebody they have worked with is the story of Monica*. She kept herself small, she was shy, the way she walked was closed. Her thing was she wanted to have a relationship, but she didn’t believe she could have it. She went to the pleasure course and there was a moment where she realized for the first time that she could have what she wanted and ask for what she wanted, instead of being a passive participant in her life. That was years ago and Erwan and Alicia are still working with her. She found a relationship with a man who was also in their programs. They got married, Erwan officiated their wedding and they now have two children. This is not a magic bullet story, she’s been devoted and on this journey for 8 years, creating what she wants in a relationship and it’s amazing to see.
Rob, Erwan and Alicia coach Ben, who has recently been through a transformational program and is actually in a good spot. He is wondering what to do now that he has no problems to solve:
- It’s something a lot of people encounter. When there’s no difficulty, the part of our mind, the ego in spiritual sense, the thing that obstructs us, doesn’t know what to do. It’s always surviving and dealing with challenges and issues. So when things are going really well, it will mess things up just to have something to work on a problem to solve.
- A certain level of happiness really begins after the difficulties and challenges are addressed. We all have difficulties and challenges but life doesn’t lose it’s dynamism or action when we aren’t coming from a problem place. There’s no less possibility or places to adventure and grow, they’re just more fun.
- For example, there’s a lot of people out there have challenges with their sex life but there’s a lot of people have great sex lives. If you have a great sex life, it can still get better through practices like extended orgasm.
- People who are spiritually developed will tell you there isn’t an end point, it’s an unfolding and expansion, the movement and dynamism, between two people going to different heights or alone, even in meditation. In zen, it’s a beginner’s mind. There’s always more.
- Ben explores what he wants, including specific things like getting a motorcycle, and more broadly things like financial freedom. He also wants to make a bigger difference with more people.
- The only thing Erwan has found that really makes the difference that really scratches the itch that wants to be scratched (although we scratch it in sort of odd ways) is to increase a person’s consciousness or awareness, their joy in the moment, joy in being. Interestingly enough that’s a function of, usually, of being still, usually practiced as meditation or psychological inquiry. Usually practiced as not changing anything by deepening our experience of what’s really going on
- There’s something about really being with all of that—the challenges, difficulties, pains that they’re experiencing psychologically or relationally or in their body—and not changing it but unpacking it, unfolding it and experiencing it, that has the effect of enriching and deepening our experience in the moment.
- Then our experience is, that our itch gets scratched and we’re just happier, and we’re able to contribute that to others. Then people are more able to be happy regardless of what’s going on in their job and their relationship and the rest of it. Then, they do better at their jobs and at relating.
- The best advice Erwan can give somebody who is about to go on a date or pick somebody up, meditate before you do that and you will have a better experience. Instead of trying to do better at relationship, center and you will do better.
- There is a place for learning skills, but really it comes after the awakening process. We’re trained to go, go, go and do, do, do and think that the faster we go the faster we need to go. There’s nothing that’s going to make the difference besides an increase in awareness. It’s the most important thing and the source of the joy. When we can contribute that to others, that’s a rare contribution.
- Rob’s personal experience was on some level he didn’t feel worthy to be in front of that room, and had his own foot on the break with all this self-doubt. Maybe Ben is hitting the next level of acceptance of his greatness. Staying small is comfortable, and maybe it’s time to take it to the next level.
- Romantically Ben has a complicated relationship with his ex who is also his business partner. She said she doesn’t want a romantic relationship but the connection is still very strong.
- Alicia’s advice is that Ben needs to respect that Liz has said no to the romantic relationship right now. However, it doesn’t mean Ben can’t keep increasing the amount of fun, because that can increase the environment so that something romantic can spring up.
- One of the ways to transition or escalate a relationship from not romantic to romantic in a friendly touch kind of way is to increase it physically in the activities. You’re always getting a response from that. If she stays at ‘I don’t want this to be romantic’ you back off. But she may find herself getting more interested. We found it extremely common, that if you’re good at seduction, the other person will get more interested.
To find out more and work with Erwan and Alicia
They are based in San Francisco so most courses are there, but they also teach in Maui. They do weekend seminars, weekly programs and retreat courses. The pleasure courses weekend is in San Francisco, and the Paradise Vacation Course is in Maui.
Anyone who contacts Erwan and Alicia from Tuff Love gets a free consultation, 45 minutes to talk all about how working with them will support you in your goals. If you end up signing up for one of their courses you will get 10% off if you tell them you came from Tuff Love
You can contact them through erwandavon.com or call 415 770 4070