It’s Not About Feeling Better, It’s About Feeling More

She’s a woman in her 50’s,
lying naked on my bed masturbating.
Never having orgasmed before she’s come asking for help.
Sitting beside her I watch her body move as she touches herself,
clearly enjoying the pleasure.
The skin on her chest starts to flush
telling me she’s close to orgasm.
I wish I could capture this moment so she could see how beautiful she looks,
but I stay still, not wanting to disturb her.
As the flush on her chest begins to climb to her neck I notice her crease her brow.
Leaning forward I softly touch her face, guiding her to soften too.
I’m scared” she says. “I don’t know what it’s going to feel like.”
“I’m here with you” I say. “Your pleasure looks so beautiful on you.
She starts to cry and continues to masturbate,
the flush on her neck now covering the lower half of her face.
The sounds of her orgasm fill my room, followed by the sounds of her sobbing.
Smiling through my tears I think “this is what half a century of release looks like” and I’m grateful for the honour of being there with her. 

It’s not about feeling better, it’s about feeling more.

Sometimes I’m afraid to look
because I don’t want to see the
pain she holds tightly behind her eyes.
I fuss around her, caring for her in other ways
not quite trusting my own ability to cope with it.
Knowing that this isn’t right and that I can’t avoid it any longer,
I look — really look — feel her sadness, and begin to cry.
At the sight of my tears,
she turns away — not wanting to see my pain.
We can do this. I know we can” I say to myself,
and I continue to look at her until she turns back to look at me.
Holding each other, we cry.
We are doing this. 

It’s not about feeling better, it’s about feeling more.

She’s sitting across from me in the circle
beginning to tell the story of her past trauma and pain.
As the words fall out of her mouth,
her chest heaves then collapses while her eyes plead with me to rescue her.
The woman beside her looks at me as well
motioning with her own eyes for me to do something.
My eyes lock with the woman sharing and
I reassure her — without words —that I’m here,
she’s a survivor and she doesn’t need rescuing.
We’re holding space for her.
Taking a deep breath in, and then out,
I watch her body slowly land on her exhale.
Her chest lifts and she continues her story. 

It’s not about feeling better, it’s about feeling more. 

I’m on my back lying under him,
our bodies moving and breathing together,
like a circle, in and out, around and around.
His eyes don’t leave mine and I wonder, for a second, if he ever blinks.
What does he see when he looks at me in my pleasure?
Is it okay? Am I okay?
I feel heat and energy rising from my vulva to my chest
and I breathe into it,
feeling full — over filled.
I’m going to cry” I say embarrassed, “but it’s not bad.
And I do. I cry through my pleasure while he holds me,
breathing in the air that I breathe out. 

It’s not about feeling better, it’s about feeling more. 

The Wisdom of Our Self

I received an email the other day from a woman who had questions about her body, orgasms and pleasure response. I love answering these questions and am always happy to do it, yet our exchange reminded me of how much can’t be taught.

I think it’s easy to imagine that others have the wisdom we need and that if we attend certain workshops or sessions, read specific books, or listen to the right podcasts, we’ll find the answers. It’s true that there are many facilitators and teachers who have much to offer and that through listening, reading and asking questions we can learn and bring awareness to aspects of ourselves that we hadn’t recognized before. I’ve learned from many teachers over the past several years and yet what always stands out, and what I’m continually relearning, is that the answers are with in me, not with out

Pleasure, orgasm and intimacy are about connecting to and feeling from our innermost selves, and the greatest teacher we have is literally at our fingertips, in our breath, tastebuds, sight and hearing. It’s simply a matter of opening and listening to what can be felt.  This takes time, commitment, willingness and presence. It isn’t easy nor does it happen in a clearly defined five step process.

When we touch our body with the curiosity and wonder we would have if we touched a treasured lover, we will discover pleasure.

If we imagine our breath as a vehicle carrying pleasure through our body and that we can speed it up, slow it down, make it stop and start, go round in circles or drive any way we want, we will discover pleasure.

If we practice opening our legs, our mouths, our hearts and our vulvas while we touch, we will discover pleasure.

If we relax our vocal chords and let out whatever noises want to come out – from deep gutteral sounds to high pitched squeals – we will discover pleasure.

If we slow down our eating, taking small bites of our food, letting it roll around our mouth so that we can not only taste, but also feel the food, we will discover pleasure. 

If we listen to music with our eyes closed and allow the vibrations to play through our body, we will feel pleasure. 

If you are on a path to discover and explore your sexuality, I think it’s absolutely worthwhile to seek out and explore the knowledge and wisdom of sexually empowered teachers. I also believe that the greatest guides and teachers will continually lead you back in the direction of the greatest wisdom of all – yourself. 

**I write this in thanks to Betty Dodson, the first teacher on my path to discovering my sexuality, that pointed me back to my self. 

“How Bodysex Has Changed My Life.” In The Words Of Past Participants: Part 1 of 5 ** PLEASURE **

**** The following quotes and photos have been shared with permission by women who have attended at least one my Bodysex Retreats. Thanks to all of you for showing up and celebrating pleasure with me. <3

Bodysex has been a long awaited sexual awakening. As we know by the #metoo most of us women experience some kind of sexual assault/abuse at some time in our lives. I now realize My way to deal with it was through anger and advocacy.
However that didn’t leave much room for me to be sexual. Somehow it felt wrong, something that men “did”to women. Bodysex has given me the permission to realize and celebrate my own sexual power as something sacred.”

As a trauma survivor, I was stuck in a cycle of physical and emotional pain. Experiencing physical pleasure helped me learn that the path out of pain can begin with pleasure.”

I turn myself on!

It’s given me permission to fantasize and enjoy my fantasies without feeling shame”

Now I can have fun with sex! Be playful and dirty instead of timid and repressed. Sex should be FUN!”

Until I attended BodySex, I had lived my life believing that sexual self pleasure is wrong and shameful. This base of shame extended into partnered sexual experiences, leaving me feeling shame rather than joy. Now I’m capable of examining those feelings of shame, dissecting them and coming into myself as a powerful, sexual woman. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to ask for it.”

I felt shame and rejection for wanting more from sex – and more often – than my partner. I was ashamed of having a strong sexual desire, and the weekend helped me frame this in a positive and powerful way. I feel empowered to satisfy myself as needed- and it’s made sex in my marriage especially amazing (when it happens! Ha ha) because I’m giving more and focusing less on receiving. “

I am totally independently orgasmic and it is amazing!!! I’m like a young teenager horny as hell…..building up my muscles, discovering new feelings, excited to have something to look forward to everyday with myself. I feel like I’m finally part of the club!”

I’m open to sexuality and fun in daily experiences. For me, that’s strength, directly related to the normalcy that bodysex allows for sexy thoughts without shame.”

“Now I have sex for my own pleasure”

My Lover

My Lover

My lover is my best friend — absolutely dependable and always shows up.
My lover sees me exactly as I am — flaws, strengths and everything in between — and mirrors these things back to me.
My lover enjoys touching my whole body and knows that every single part of me can feel erotic.
My lover pays attention to both obvious and subtle things. How my breath changes in response to a certain touch, the movement of my hips, the heat rising up my neck.
My lover knows that pleasure can be felt through each of my senses and reminds me to experience pleasure throughout the day. …….The feel of blackberries on my tongue. The smell of sun sweat. The sound of leaves clicking together in the wind. The flow of the river. The taste of a fresh peach. That’s our foreplay.
My lover likes the smoothness of my skin when I shave and the softness of my pubic hair when I don’t.
My lover is more turned on by my natural scent than any product I could ever wear. My scent just makes me more me.
My lover always wants to have sex when I do, and doesn’t when I don’t.
My lover could spend all day in bed with me and never get bored.
My lover brings me to orgasm over and over when I’m bleeding, knowing that it helps me feel better and gets the blood flowing faster.
My lover doesn’t feel bad when I want to cum quickly or when I want to edge my pleasure for hours.
My lover knows it’s much more than “just masturbation.”
My lover is me.

** photo credit to Dana Kellet

The Trickle Effect That Bodysex Has

Last week I woke up to the sight of my 7 year old daughter laying beside me, wrapped in a quilt made by one of my Bodysex sisters. She had made the quilt for me last year in exchange for a friend of hers to attend one of my Bodysex retreats. Since then the quilt has mostly been used in my counselling office or at my retreats — providing warmth and comfort to women when they need it.

Seeing her wrapped in such a perfect symbol of sisterhood, I couldn’t help but think of the trickle effect that Bodysex has, not only on the women attending — but on the next generation of children. Even if they never attend a workshop, the very structure and concept of Bodysex is one we rarely see examples of in today’s culture. Women supporting other women — absent of competition. Real naked bodies — not on display, but simply being. Honest, vulnerable sharing of our most hidden stories, greatest fantasies and everything in between. Shared celebration of self pleasure as our fundamental birthright. And the healing experience of non sexual, loving touch from women who actually SEE us.

Tucking the quilt in tighter I continued to watch her, hoping that her little body would soak in some of the power of the collective stories and pleasures that the quilt holds. That as she grows and becomes a woman herself she will find acceptance in her body, love of self, enjoyment of pleasure and true sisterhood.

I love you Naya <3