Cover of the February 2011 issue of Common Ground magazine featuring a close-up image of a red rose, with text about the contents including a focus on the "sex issue" and industry references.

February 2011

The Sex Issue

With the end-of-year holidays behind us and Valentine’s Day before us, we hope this finds you in something of a frolicsome spirit. If not, here’s hoping this Sex edition will help raise the temperature—or at least your consciousness on the subject.

Of this universal topic, we sought to uncover some practical (and impractical) layers.

For starters, we caught up with the granddaddy of the Western tantra movement, Charles Muir, along with his stunning cohort Leah Alchin—who just happens to be 30-plus years his junior. Did you know that Charles actually won the New York State lottery as a young celibate, before moving to California? Gauging by his accumulated wisdom and loving outlook, it’s obvious that Charles has won -multiple lotteries.

Our interview, which originally was going to be a brief “People in the Neighborhood” profile (Charles and Leah live in Boulder Creek in the South Bay), turned out to be too juicy, so we turned it into a feature. At 32 years of age, Leah’s candor and intuition on the subjects of sex, love, and consciousness suggest that the old-guard tantra movement of the ’80s and ’90s has found a bold young torchbearer. Go, Leah!

With all this sexy content, the question I’ve been privately asking myself is, Why are we so screwed up about sex? Is it one of those human puzzles that God put forth for human beings to better know themselves?

The challenge seems overwhelming when the mores of our cultures (East and West) are layered on. Along the way, we start to believe that sex is sin. The problems are magnified for those whose attractions are considered “deviant,” such as bisexuals and homosexuals.

Last year, in response to a rash of gay teen suicides, Sayre Quevedo, then 17, wrote an opinion piece for Oakland Youth Radio titled “It Gets Better.” We’re proud to be publishing his courageous essay.

I hope my young son and future generations receive a more enlightened education about sex. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that the subject just doesn’t go away. There’s a popular misconception that men think about sex every seven seconds. Well, seven seconds is bunk, but you get the gist.

I want to thank Senior Editor Carrie Grossman for her contributions in arranging much of the content for this issue and for her piece “Intimacy: Entering the Innermost.” Author Jeffrey Armstrong weighs in on the science of sacred sexuality. We’ve articles on what to do when you find out your partner has had an affair and how to manage the crush of an ended crush—on Valentine’s Day. Michelle Cordero, a practiced yoga instructor, awakens
her inner badass via pole dancing. We’ve got a wide array of information, ranging from sex education in the school system to the delicious divine feminine, to erotic Japanese haikus. Sit back and enjoy the issue. When you’re through, please circulate it.

On a personal note, it’s great to be back from India. My wife and I did some amazing research for future articles. On this trip, we brought our 7-year-old for the first time. It was a delight to watch his response to the “organized chaos” that is now the hallmark of that ancient land. He loved it, which was a huge relief. It’s always a crapshoot with kids (and adults too) when extreme cultural change is encountered.

Gracious thanks to our advertisers—all of them—who support Common Ground.

We’ll see you in March with our Food issue, followed by our Green issue in April. In May, we revisit the Bay Pride theme—what we especially cherish about our beloved Bay Area. Is there anything we ought to know? We’re always looking for talented and inspired input. Funny is good too. Email us at [email protected].

Happy Valentine’s Day and many blessings,


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