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