During my May Bodysex Retreat, while we were doing nude photos, I looked down between my legs to see blood coming out of me. Literally hours before I had mentioned to the other women that someday I would love to take a group photo of women who are menstruating at the same time. Ofcourse right away one of the women suggested that we take those photos of me. The idea of doing it alone scared me and I thought “fuck this is one of those times where I’m going to have to practice what I preach!” But with the encouragement of the other women and the sun on my face WE went for it. From my hair braided so lovingly by one of the women, all the way down to the dirt on my feet from the forest floor — I felt beautiful, sexy and I just happened to be bleeding. Fuck the shame that I have carried for so long over my body and my natural body functions. It has kept me hidden for too long and I refuse to keep it any more. Thank you so much to my sisters who so lovingly encouraged me to let it go.
I’m always worried about how my vagina smells and I shower sometimes twice a day so that my boyfriend doesn’t ever smell it. I know that I don’t have an infection because I got it checked out and my Dr. said I’m normal, but still when he goes down on me I can’t enjoy myself at all cause I’m just wondering if I stink. What can I do? Can you recommend products that can make me smell different?
This is such a common concern for women and it’s really no wonder considering that we’re constantly inundated by advertisements for feminine “hygiene” products and jokes about fishy smell. As women we spend a great deal of time worrying about this and doing things to eliminate our natural smell completely. This is actually counterintuitive because our body produces pheromones as a way of attracting mates and promoting sexual desire. It is because of these pheromones that Napoleon in his famous letter to his wife wrote: “Beloved, I shall return in two weeks. Do not bathe until I come back. I want you to smell the same as when I left you“. It’s also the reason that strippers make more money when they are on their period.
Even though it’s normal for your vagina to have a smell there are certain situations where the smell is abnormal. Your vagina cleans itself and will maintain a healthy ph balance but certain things can disrupt this balance. You mentioned that you don’t have a vaginal infection which is one cause of abnormal smells, but interestingly enough sperm is also a culprit. Sperm is designed to stay alive in order to reach the egg. Because of this it can which change the PH balance causing an odor – especially after sex. Menstrual blood also has a high PH level and can change the smell as well as different foods you eat such as asparagus, garlic and spices. In order to keep this level balanced I recommend taking a daily probiotic which you can find at your local health food store. Make sure that you only buy probiotics that are kept refrigerated as they contain live bacterial cultures.
The other thing I recommend is for you to spend some time getting used to your smell. Try only showering once a day or even every other day and making a point of touching your vulva and putting your finger inside your vagina. When you touch yourself take a sniff. This smell is essentially the essence of who you are. It will probably be one of the earliest smells in your memory and one that might have given you comfort as a child. This smell is you and it’s fucking awesome. I once heard a man with a beard say he avoided washing his face after going down on his girlfriend because he wanted to sniff her scent all day. I’ve also heard women talk about sniffing their fingers longingly after masturbating and how it reminds them of sex. If these ideas disgust you then I’d suggest you need more exposure to your own scent. Rub and sniff and do it repeatedly. We’re trained to like artificial smells or no smell at all, but with exposure you can learn to like our own smell. If you own it then chances are he will too. Enjoy!!!
It seems to me that every Bodysex workshop/retreat holds a different gift in it, and this one was no exception. There were 12 women in the circle who had travelled from around Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and all the way from Georgia to be there. Four of the women were “alumni” returning for — what one woman called — “The crack cocaine that is Bodysex.”
The beauty of doing a Bodysex workshop as part of a weekend retreat is that time allows for the elements of the workshop to become normalized on a much deeper level. The whole experience felt like one big pyjama party except that we rarely wore our pjamas. We got naked right at the start and spent the entire weekend in various states of undress. We laughed, we cried, we held each other and we shared stories. Stories of heartache, loss, struggle, body shame, fantasy, pirates, hot sex, masturbating with strange objects and in strange places. There were 3 separate masturbation circles with only one being part of the actual workshop. If we opted out of it physically we were able to join in energetically — celebrating from the other room as we heard others climax. We ate nourishing food (made lovingly by Patti) and shared our personal gifts and talents with each other. Card readings, mediumship, reiki, henna, crocheting, hair braiding, singing, crafting, quotes, musical instruments, yoni egg “laying” and touch were all shared together.
Throughout the weekend I recognized myself in each and every one of the women. I saw myself in their stories and in the scars and stretch marks on their bodies. I saw me in their beauty and their guilt — in the way they nurtured, in their insecurities and in the sheer bravery with which they shared all of this. I felt an empathy for them on a level that I have never felt before and with that empathy came a deep love towards each woman. Then — like a loop — that love and empathy came back to me and I entered into my own pain that I had been afraid to feel. I cried and cried. Cried with pain and disappointment at feeling like I’m not the woman that my 20 year old self imagined I’d always be. Shame that I have made decisions over the past couple of years that have been for me and my well being over others. Acceptance that I am not perfect and never will be. And love for where I have come from and where I am going.
Nearing the end of the workshop while doing the group massage, we sang in acknowledgement of the pain that each woman has been through. Pain that was not only visible but could be felt under our fingertips as we touched each others bodies. While we touched, we sang and the words poured out with our tears…..
“How could anyone ever tell you, that you’re are anything less than beautiful. How could anyone ever tell you, that you’re less than whole? How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle? How deeply you’re connected to my soul.”
Watching one of the women lovingly lower her head until she was joined forehead to forehead with the woman we were touching, I knew without a doubt that what we were doing was a healing ritual that went above and beyond any definition or title.
This weekends Bodysex retreat was a mirror for me. And in that mirror I saw each of the 11 other women looking back at me. We are our own unique selves but — like the wooden necklaces that we each wore around our necks — we are all cut from the same piece of wood. Just as I love them, I love myself. With gratitude beyond words, I thank you sisters. Much, much love and more from Foxy to….
**photos posted with permission
After pouring English breakfast tea into my beautiful hand made mug, I take my first sip and sigh. Growing up with an English mother I have always loved the ritual of drinking tea. Boiling the water, letting it steep in a pot, pouring the milk first and then the tea – it has to be made a certain way otherwise I’d rather not have it at all. Setting the mug down on the counter I go back to my task at hand – washing an assortment of brightly coloured dildos in the kitchen sink. Tonight I am teaching a Penis Pleasing Workshop at Positive Passions, and this is part of my preparation.
A buzz from my phone interrupts my thoughts as my 2nd oldest daughter texts to say that she’s having trouble getting her little sister to sleep. “Try singing ‘mama loves you’” I text back, hoping that she falls asleep soon or she’ll be grumpy tomorrow.
My awareness shifts back to my work and I continue to wash the dildos noticing the differences in each one – colour, veins, testicles and size. Wondering which ones the women will want to practice on, I settle on a variety and set them onto a towel to dry.
Ten minutes later – carrying my mug of tea in one hand and my rainbow of dildos in another, I go to the workshop room and set up the space.
I sit down and begin going over the material while at the same time wondering if the kids remembered to feed the bunnies. Standing up to grab my phone to text them, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the wall. On the outside I look like one woman but on the inside I know I’m made up of many different women. Women reflective of all of the journey’s that I’ve been on. I see the madonna, I see the whore, the sensitive and the rude. The woman who used to be too scared to walk into this store, and the woman who can now comfortably talk about anything and everything to do with sex. I’m all of these women.
It has taken me time to get used to talking openly in this way and also to learn that there are times when it’s best to not say anything at all. If I’m honest I can admit that I still worry about judgement from others and have to remind myself all the time that I can be both a loving mother and a sexual woman — especially in a culture that tells me I can’t be.
My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the front door opening. The workshop participants have arrived and it’s time for me to go greet them.
Mug in hand I walk to the door and say “Hello my name is Natasha. I am a mother of 5, Sex educator, Orgasm Coach, and Bodysex facilitator. Today we are going to learn different ways to pleasure a penis…. “