Nude In Nature Bodysex Pics

I then really understood the importance of being one without all our layers in nature. I had thought about how drab the landscape and sky seemed that day, and was a bit disappointed it wasn’t a green, leafy, bright blue sky sort of day. But once I saw the women and their skin against the earth they seemed to fit in perfectly, it allowed their beauty to be the focus. It was like they were the first flowers blooming this spring season.” – photographer Meghan Mickelson

At each of my Bodysex Saskatoon retreats the women have the option of getting Nude in Nature photos taken of them. For the women who choose to have them done, the rest of us support them by watching and encourageing – letting each woman know how we see her. We pay attention to and admire their unique beauty  – the contrast of a dark nipple against the back drop of the sky, the soft and inviting curve of a waist, the strength of the muscles on someone’s back, the sexy expression on a face, the presence or absence of pubic hair. We adore each other, we laugh, we cry and we carry the shared vulnerability from the circle, into the photo shoot.

Here is a small glimpse into what was captured that day :

*** All photos captured by Meghan Mickelson and shared by the women with enthusiastic permission.

And…… having fun showing some different poses 🙂

 

Bodysex Is The Ultimate Love Affair

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to write about Bodysex retreats because I feel a responsibility to honour the other women through my words and yet, just like in the circle, I can only speak for myself.  I find that each retreat peels another layer off of the armour that I wear and, with that, the mirror image that I see reflected in the women’s eyes becomes more clear. Seeing myself with more clarity — and less armour — frees me to be me. I can only hope and trust that this increased freedom to be me, gives the women the freedom to experience themselves in their full expression as well. 

I came into last weekend’s retreat grieving the end of a relationship that was and is very dear to me. I felt heartbroken and tender — yet at the same time excited and curious to be amongst a new circle of women. As soon as Patti and I got to the retreat space and began setting up, my body — remembering the familiar smells, sights and feels of the space — began to settle and soften. Body sex is home to me.

The next morning while we waited for the women to arrive, I laid down naked on the couch for some quiet time while Patti and Justine sat across the room doing henna. In between answering texts from nervous women, reading quotes and drinking tea — I touched myself. Connecting to my body through pleasure always grounds me — bringing me into me.  Pleasuring myself in the same room as them, while they were experiencing pleasure in their own way, didn’t seem at all strange. When I orgasmed Patti looked back at me and smiled, then went back to discussing her henna design with Justine. I smiled too in recognition of the freedom I felt experiencing this kind of intimacy — in full acceptance and non judgement — by women that I’m not sexually intimate with. We eat, we sleep, we orgasm, we don’t orgasm, we cry, we share our darkest secrets and deepest shame. In all of it there is no hierarchy or relative importance between these things and I couldn’t help but think that this is how I imagine the perfect love affair. 

That feeling of freedom stayed with me the entire weekend and I can honestly say that I felt free in a way that I have never felt before. I loved being naked and felt completely at home and beautiful in my body. Even outside in the cold I’d pull up my dress so that my pussy was exposed and free. In this freedom my vulva lips bloomed and opened up to the world as if to say “this is me in my abundance and I’m not hiding anymore!!!!” 

The freedom showed up in my ability to empathize with the women’s pain but not wish I could rescue them from it. Knowing that this journey is hard, I felt less responsibility for everyone’s experience and yet somehow trusted that they were having the experience that they needed. I was able to reach out physically in ways that I haven’t before — trusting myself and the women that it was welcome. I’ve always felt like I’m too much and because of this I’d hold back. Feeling free in the way I express love and compassion, I held a woman in a fully naked body hug, as she grieved a loss of her own. 

In this freedom I realized that Bodysex represents a unique and beautiful dichotomy of self growth and self pleasure while at the same time an experience of deep interpersonal connection. In the contrast of these two things, we find the common connection of vulnerability. Each of us in the circle travels our own path, expresses our own shame, feels our own pain, and celebrates our own pleasure, yet we are never alone for any of it.  We do so being witnessed and witnessing in a circle of sisterhood. Body sex is the ultimate love affair. 

With this very difficult and vulnerable piece of writing, another layer of armour falls off and once again my mirror image is more clear.  This freedom isn’t only in Bodysex. This freedom is in me. 

Much love to all of you: Bambi, Bunny, Aloha, Turtle, Kiki, Ginny, Sage, Marina, Rosa, Sasha, Roxy and Liberty. 

**special thanks to my dear sister Patti who’s encouragement as I wrote this meant the world to me and without it I could not have shared it. You are a gift. 

** photo credit to the talented Meghan Mickelson and shared with permission

Naked In Nature

One of my favourite things about doing Bodysex as a full weekend retreat is that it gives the women more time to settle in and enjoy a space where there are no roles or masks to wear. As the weekend goes on and our armour falls away, we loosen our bodies, open our arms, and celebrate the unique beauty, talents and gifts that each woman brings.

At my retreat this past March some of the women – along with a guitar, ukelele and drums – stayed up late writing the lyrics and music to a song they titled Naked in Nature. When they called me in to hear the final version I alternated between laughing and crying over each verse.  I don’t think there could be a better way to sum up what the Bodysex experience is all about than the words to this song, and if I could gift this experience to every single woman in the world I would.

The women who attend these retreats come from all backgrounds and work all kinds of professions. Our ages range from 20 – 68. We are all mothers, daughters or sisters. Some of us hate our bodies and some of us don’t. We all have different reasons for coming but regardless of what they are, we are all sexual and we are all brave.  Bodysex is a space to celebrate the freedom to be who we are,  our naked bodies, the depths of our pleasure and the mutual acceptance of each other – wherever we are on our own personal journey.

The lyrics to this song and the photos I’ve included give only a small glimpse of the incredible power of a group of women free to be “beauty-ful with nothing to hide.”

Naked In Nature

“I wanna be naked in nature
with the sun on my skin
I wanna be one with all things
around the place that I’m in

I wanna have sex on a secluded beach
with a blanket below me
a brown bag bottle within reach
and a northern light show (a plate of nachos)

I wanna be naked
I wanna be naked in nature
I wanna be naked
with the sun on my skin

I wanna be a body sex woman naked outside
masturbating on the grass with flies on my thighs

I wanna slip into the water
let it ripple my lips
turning and burning
with a swing in my hips

I wanna be naked
I wanna be naked in nature
I wanna be naked with the sun shining in

I wanna be one with my sisters
their hands on my skin
their love flowing over me
and soaking right in

join the circle
cum with me
leave your armour behind
we are all beauty-full
we’ve got nothing to hide

I wanna be naked
I wanna be naked in nature

I wanna be naked
with the sun on my skin

I wanna be naked 

I wanna be naked in nature

I wanna be naked with the sun shining in.”

**** lyrics by my beautiful Bodysex sisters. You know who you are.

****photos posted with permission.  Photo credit to Meghan Mickelson http://meghanmickelson.ca and Studio Stiina http://www.stiina.net

My next Bodysex retreat is June 2-4th. Book here: http://natashasalaash.com/summer-2017-bodysex-workshopretreat-date/

It’s From This Collective Compassion And Mutual Vulnerability, That We Grow New Shoots In Support Of Each Other.

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The spot for this photo (taken at my May Bodysex Retreat) was chosen because of the trees above us. The tree on the right side of the path had uprooted, causing it to fall towards the tree on the left. What made the spot so special though, was that the tree on the left had seemingly grown a new shoot – strong enough and in exactly the right spot – to be able to support the other one.

Like the trees in this forest each woman in a Bodysex circle is unique – with her own roots, colours, scars, and place in the forest. As we share our stories, vulnerabilities, fears, shame and pleasures we gain individual strength as well as understanding and compassion for each others uniqueness. It’s from this collective compassion and mutual vulnerability that we grow new shoots in support of each other.

There are only 2 spots remaining in my fall Bodysex retreat and I invite you to share the circle with me. http://natashasalaash.com/fall-bodysex-workshop/

* * photo credit Dana Kellet

I Felt Beautiful, Sexy And I Just Happened To Be Bleeding

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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.

Bodysex/Nude in Nature Photo Shoot

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In May I held my first Bodysex workshop and, in addition to the workshop, the women were given the option of participating in a “Nude in Nature” photography session done by my wonderful and talented friend Dana Kellet. Nine of the women chose to do so and a few of them agreed to share their words and photos from that special day. We did the photos the day after the workshop and right away Dana commented on how different it was from the usual nude photo shoots we do.  After having spent two days together naked, the atmosphere was relaxed – while at the same time joyous – and clothes came off without the normal coaching and easing into it.

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The photo process is a group effort with one woman being photographed at a time, while the others watch and encourage her  – attempting to convey to her the light in which she is seen by others. It is a privilege for me personally to be allowed to, not only see them in their nakedness, but  also be able to express to them what I see. Each woman is so unique and, as Betty Dodson would say, “We are all divine works of art.”

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“I received my pics from Dana and cried. Sometimes it’s that different perspective that really hits you in the gut and genuinely allows us to appreciate our bodies for all they have persevered through. I am in awe.” – Bodysex and Nude in Nature photo participant.

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We giggled, danced, laughed, and openly admired each other. At the river’s edge, my head went quiet; tears of joy and sadness surprised me and poured out. These women, which I hardly know, and yet know so intimately, moved over to me and sat with me quietly, touched my skin, and affirmed that I’m just fine. I’m not too much. I’m not too little. I’m good just the way I am.” -Bodysex and Nude in Nature Participant

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“It was an honour to be one of the women who made up the circle of Natasha’s first BodySex workshop. I was eager to participate in the workshop as it was another piece of my journey of learning to love myself again (my last relationship left me emotional shattered). Being naked with 11 other woman for 2 days wasn’t a concern for me – it was emotionally opening myself up and being vulnerable to strangers that had me hesitant. Would I be judged? Would I say too much? Would being bi-sexual make others uncomfortable? Any and all fears were quickly put to rest. Each woman opened her heart, her mind, her fears and insecurities, her struggles, her dreams and wishes, her tears, her story, her self discoveries, her compassion and empathy, and her love.
It was an incredible journey of emotions, self-reflection and self-realizations for me. I know that for a longtime to come I will continue to discover and appreciate all that the weekend brought out in me and taught me.”

– Bodysex and Nude in Nature Participant

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My favourite moment from the day was when one of the women, who had held her body so tightly at the beginning of the weekend, laid back on the hot sand and moaned. Looking at her I saw her like the Goddess she is, clothed only in drops of wet sand. She radiated bliss and peacefulness and I said to her “You look so beautiful.” With a deep breath she responded “ I feel so beautiful.” There was no doubt at all that she saw and felt herself in the same light as the rest of us did, and that moment alone made the struggle to get here worth it.

Much love and gratitude to the circle of sisters who shared parts of their physical, emotional and sexual selves with me that weekend, and continue to inspire me to show others everyday – the light in which I see them. I am grateful.
Natasha