I was having a drink with a friend I’ve known from way back the other night when she said “I always tell people how you used to wear capris all summer because you hated your legs and you were fully covered up no matter how hot a day it was. Now look at you!” Lying on my bed listening to her say this, my mind kept going back and forth between those days of such body/self hatred to the present moment of being so comfortable in my body that I’m consciously trying to remember to keep my bare pussy contained in the tiny onesie I’m wearing.
It’s easy to forget how much the way I feel in this body has changed over the last 7 years. Before my first nude Bodysex workshop in NYC, I hated it. I don’t mean dislike, I mean hated it. I thought my legs were too big, vulva lips too long and my stomach too wrinkly and loose from all my pregnancies. The only time you’d see me in shorts was when I wore them in the swimming pool over my basic black one piece. I remember clearly thinking, when I walked into that Bodysex workshop, that I was disgusting and now everyone in the room would know it too. But they didn’t see me as disgusting, they saw me as me.
I survived that weekend feeling liberated and inspired. I realized that even though I still didn’t necessarily like my body, I wanted to like it. But how? Covering my body had allowed me to avoid it and in a sense I could almost pretend that it wasn’t a part of me. I remember thinking so many times that “if only my legs looked skinnier or my stomach firm again they’d feel like mine.” I put conditions on my body’s worth and yet treated others with love unconditionally.
Taking a cue from my Bodysex experience, I decided to actively and regularly uncover my body. I started looking at myself, touching myself and was even convinced by my friend to let her take nude photos of me. I was terrified, but with her and another woman’s support, I relaxed enough to enjoy the ultimate pleasure of sun on my bare skin. I even felt kind of pretty. The more I got naked, the more normal it felt and the more normal it felt, the more I craved it. When I began leading my own Bodysex workshops there wasn’t a woman in my circles that I couldn’t see myself in – and all I saw was beauty. Maybe my legs didn’t need to be thinner to be mine. Maybe my vulva lips contain an abundance of glorious nerve endings to provide me with a life time (and more) of pleasure. Maybe the loose skin on my stomach made me even more me.
When I look at these pictures now, I want to wrap my arms around the woman in them and say that her thick,strong legs will do an amazing job carrying her up and down the steepest hills of her life. That her long vulva lips will come to signify that they’re as excited for life as she will be and just don’t want to be contained, that her stomach will someday simply be a reminder of the most important people in her life – her children. She is this body but she’s also so much more. I am this body, but I’m also so much more.
These days my most favourite thing to do is to be naked outside, naked inside, naked, naked, naked. It soothes me when I’m sad, comforts me when I’m lonely and makes me feel like I’m drop dead gorgeous. Is it true? Who knows. Who cares. It’s what I feel today in this body of mine.
**special thanks to Betty, Carlin and Bodysex <3
Here I am explaining a bit about my upcoming “Intimacy In Sensuality” workshop. Check out the link for more details. Less than 2 weeks left to register!
Someone asked what they can hope to get from my upcoming “Intimacy In Sensuality” workshop and I thought it might be helpful to share my own experience in an effort to explain.
Achieving orgasm used to be my primary goal in sexual experiences. I love the release and how amazing it feels and, having spent years in my past not orgasming with a partner, achieving that equality was extremely important to me. Once I became orgasmic however, my focus became less on orgasm and more on pleasure. I started to pay attention to the subtle feelings in my body, and noticed that I felt more pleasure when my partner was touching my body without goal of achieving anything. Touching just to feel, explore and listen for cues as to what feels good for me and for his hands.
My vulva – not feeling any pressure to respond – awakens, swells, opens and becomes wet under his touch. Like a ripe, juicy, peach I become so turned on that by the time he penetrates me, my eventual orgasm is out of this world. He also notices that the pleasure he feels in touching me is greatest when he isn’t “trying” but instead “feeling” and “listening” to what my body responds to.
When the roles are switched and I’m touching him without goal, it doesn’t matter if he has an erection or not. I close my eyes and feel him with the tips of my fingers, inside edges in between them, palms of my hand, backs of my hand, lips, tongue and entire face. The pleasure on my skin compounds as I feel the pleasure in him build and I listen to his body for clues of where to move next. In this place of no demands we feel everything in such fine detail that the most subtle movements offer the deepest pleasure. This kind of intimacy requires nothing but time, presence and open vulnerability.
If you and your partner desire this kind of intimacy, this workshop offers you a safe and sensual space to begin. https://natashasalaash.com/intimacy-in-sensuality/
I was 34 when I first noticed the stirrings in my body that people call desire. I had just weaned my 5th child and my body seemed to sense that my time for nourishing babies was over. Like a magnet being pulled towards a force, my vulva felt ripe, charged and open. Up until this point sex had always been something I did for someone else’s pleasure, to be a good wife or girl friend, or to feel loved. I had never orgasmed during sex or been pleasured by anyone else to the point of orgasm. In fact, looking back, I’m not sure any man that I had been with had even tried to pleasure me. I masturbated in secret at times — just to get a quick fix — feeling awful shame and guilt that I was “cheating.”
These new feelings of desire excited me and brought awareness to my body and caring for it in ways I hadn’t thought of for 13 years — when all of my focus had been on supporting and raising others. I became more aware of how different foods made me feel and began to exercise and take dance classes. Curious about the near constant stirrings in my genitals, I sought out every book that I could find on desire, pleasure, orgasm and sex. I invited my then husband to read a book with me so that we could explore the activities in it together and he responded by suggesting that I read it and tell him what to do. I understood then that sharing pleasure with me wasn’t a priority for him.
Discouraged but not defeated I kept searching for a book that would help me learn, and in my search came across Betty Dodson’s book “Sex For One.” Finally I’d found a book about sex, pleasure, desire and orgasm that didn’t require having a willing partner to practice things with. With Betty’s help I began to practice masturbating using my hands and — with patience, persistence and the help of a timer — become orgasmic in this way for the first time! Being able to bring myself to orgasm with my hands also meant that I could orgasm during penetrative sex with my partner — as long as I was willing to help myself out. Sex changed for me once I knew what worked for my body and I celebrated the fact that I didn’t need to have pleasureless sex ever again. I loved Betty’s philosophy of taking ownership of your pleasure and not waiting on or blaming anyone else for a lack of it. I became epically good at pleasuring myself and my husband enjoyed the fact that I wanted sex everyday — until he wondered if I might be liking it too much.
When our marriage ended I continued pleasuring myself in soft and gentle ways that still included orgasm but were more focused on making love than sex. I made love to myself in front of a mirror keeping eye contact the whole time. I tried different positions, sounds, breathing patterns — exploring what felt good for me. Touching my body — in a way that I wished a lover would touch me — helped me through that time and also helped me begin to love and accept myself. Masturbation became so much more to me than a quick fix and I devoted hours of my time to it. Spending so much time intimately with myself helped me to recognize parts of my body that I hated (the ones I avoided touching) and provided me with opportunity to give those parts more love. I became my own lover, my own emotional support and my own source of pleasure. The self pleasure was good for my self esteem too as — realizing how good I felt to touch, I imagined my body would feel good to someone else too.
My “self skills” also helped me become more discerning with new partners because I knew how to have pleasure on my own and I no longer felt like sex was what I needed to do to feel loved. I remember one situation where I stopped right in the middle of making out with a guy and told him I was done. It was a one time encounter and it became clear to me that the only way I would have any pleasure with him would be if I did it myself — which I knew I could just as easily do after he was gone. He was shocked and asked if I would at least give him a blow job which of course I said no to. (Note that he didn’t ask if he could pleasure me) The high from choosing for myself and saying no instead of “enduring” unreciprocated pleasure, was like nothing else, and once again I was grateful that learning self pleasure meant learning to take care of myself in more ways than one. That night I had incredible sex with a partner who knew just what I liked and who loved me too — ME! After that I discovered that men were usually happy that I could bring myself to orgasm with some trying to pleasure me and others not bothering to. Some were intimidated by my relationship with myself and looking back I can see why, but I was so used to having to rely only on me that I knew no other way.
My path hasn’t been seamless and I’ve made many mistakes in an effort to untangle old patterns and beliefs around sex, worthiness and love — yet the whole time the one solid I’ve had through my journey is me. I’ve been there for myself in love and pleasure no matter what was happening or who I was with. Today I’m in a relationship with a man who’s as good at pleasuring me as I am, and I recognize it as a beautiful gift to have someone excited to explore and share with me. Having relied on myself for so long it isn’t always easy for me to receive from him and I still battle with fears of him not wanting to put in the time or effort for me. But he continues to — in non demanding and non expectant ways — and each time I respond by softening and trusting more. As good as I am at doing it alone, it’s wonderful to have someone who wants to do it with me.
Desire throbs between my legs everyday and I know the source and abundance of it depend on me — in my love for myself…for pleasure….for life. Like any relationship worth keeping, I don’t take it for granted and make sure to devote time alone in pleasure and love with myself often. Soft lips that swell under my fingertips. Wetness. Curves. Stretch marks. Squishy tummy. Scars. Each time I touch my body I don’t have to imagine that it would feel good to someone else, I know — because it feels good to me.
I birthed this girl 19 years ago today.
And in birthing her,
a part of me was born too
I became Mama.
Mama knew right from the start that even though she had other dreams and plans for her life, nothing in the world mattered to her like growing her little girl did. Their connection was strong and mama learned to watch her little girls body for clues to tell her when she was hungry, scared, tired or just wanting some reassurance. Mama learned quickly how to meet each of these needs before the little girl had to loudly tell her, and this made others sometimes question what mama was doing. “You’re holding her too much,” “She needs to learn to sleep alone,” “Just let her cry.”
Mama wanted to do right by her little girl and so she listened to what others said but the feeling in her tummy told her that the little girl knew what she needed more than anyone else did, so mama kept listening to her. During the day mama’s body fed the little girl, held her, and showed her the stillness, peace and presence that comes from being in nature. At night they cuddled together face to face, the little girl teaching her mama that she can be comfortable with eye contact, the healing power of skin to skin contact, and what the reciprocity of true love feels like.
As she grew, the little girl taught mama many other things too. When mama tried to push her before she was ready to do something, the little girl would sit — steady as a rock — until she herself was ready — reminding mama that it’s okay to take time and do things slowly. As the girl grew bigger still and began to navigate the world without her mama at her side, they both struggled sometimes with the little girl learning that mama can’t be there for everything and mama learning it’s not all up to her to fix.
I birthed this little girl 19 years ago today.
Today she is a smart, strong, proud and beautiful woman that I look up to. We come to each other when we’re down or need advice. We talk about boys, love, attachment, body image, racism and the meaning of life. I’m her mama still, but we’re also friends.
Thank you Acacia for helping me to trust myself, love without limits, be the mama I want to be, and for being the birth place for me to learn presence, intuition, curiosity, stillness, connection, vulnerabilty, intimacy and holding space — foundations of all the work I do now as a woman. I love you lambs.
Workshop For Couples
August 24th 6pm – 10pm
2917 B Early Drive, Saskatoon
$250/couple due on registration
*max. 10 couples (welcome to all genders and sexual orientations)
“Intimacy begins in your inner world, between your legs, in those sensitive nipples, in your bedroom…experimenting, exploring what is sexually exciting and pleasingly satisfying to you.” – Julie McIntyre
Intimacy In Sensuality is a partnered exploration devoted to understanding and expressing sensual love to the most sacred part of each others body – your genitals. This non orgasm focused exploration will involve seeing, touching and curiously feeling both externally and internally as each person is comfortable.
This is a group workshop guided by me, however each couple will explore privately together in the same safe space. The 4 hour workshop will include:
- Group Introduction, guidelines and confidentiality agreements.
- Explanations and demonstration
* possible nudity
- You and your partner will enter your private “cocoon” where you will remain for all of the explorations. (Mosquito nets will be hung from the ceiling around the room — one for each couple. Inside will be an intimate and comfy nest made up of a salt lamp as well as pillows and blankets that you’ve brought from home where you’ll explore each other) While silhouettes of your bodies will be visible from outside the “cocoon,” details of your bodies and what you’re doing, won’t be. We will have awareness of others in the room, however each person will be focused on what is happening with their partner and not with others.
- Partnered genital show and tell. This is a powerful and often emotional ceremony where one at a time you will show each other your genitals and identify all the parts based on a diagram that will be given to you. You will also share feelings of shame that you may have about this sacred part of your body, and your partner will have the opportunity to express love and appreciation for your genitals and the vulnerability it took for you to be seen in this way. I will be there for support and guidance outside of your cocoon, or inside if you wish to invite me in.
- One of you will begin as the giver and one as the receiver. The giver will begin by gently touching and then exploring the receivers body externally and possibly internally — with emphasis on genitals. This exploration will involve curiosity and touch without stimulation or goal of orgasm. Touching to feel, to learn and to express adoration. Hand outs will be provided to help the giver ask to learn and understand what the receiver enjoys and to help the receiver respond honestly as well. Emphasis will be placed on everyone being positive and supportive. Props will also be available to use for internal and external exploration: zucchinis, fruit, chocolate etc. (more details in demo)
- Break for snack between exchange of giving a receiving
- Partners switch roles and continue exploration
- Closing circle/comments. Final affirmation of confidentiality agreement.
*** This workshop is focused on exploration and adoration without the specific goal of orgasm. While orgasm is an involuntary response, you will be expected to tell your partner if you are close to orgasm so that they can change their touch to prevent it from happening. Eliminating orgasm from the exploration will allow everyone to be more present and lessen expectation. You will be free to orgasm as much as you want when you go home!
*** Demos of exercises may or may not include nudity. The purpose of the nudity would be to provide clear understanding of exercises and model emotional support and safety.
Contact me with questions or to register at: email@example.com or 306-241-2408
Bodysex is a transformative and undefinable experience for women, of all ages and sexual orientations, interested in the empowering freedom that comes from shedding the masks, roles and clothing that we hide behind everyday. The workshop is done in the nude yet it’s non sexual. It’s about raising consciousness, creating sisterhood, integrating body shame and celebrating pleasure.
Bodysex Quebec Workshop/Retreat will be held November 2-3 2019, at a private home in Drummondville, east of Montreal. It’s the perfect place to relax, let go and just be. These retreats have a “slumber party” feel to them with catered meals and snacks provided. During down time you may visit with the other women, spend time alone, journal, read or just BE.
The two day workshop will include:
- Sacred circle where, in first person, we share how we feel about our bodies and our orgasms. This is the time to share any shame that has been holding us back from fully celebrating our pleasure. Through this, the roots of sisterhood will begin forming as we accept each other for who are. No more and no less.
- Group genital show and tell. This is a powerful ceremony where we display our vulva one at a time in front of a mirror, identify all of the parts of our sexual anatomy and recognize the beauty and diversity amongst us. Understanding of our sexual anatomy is the foundation of sexual pleasure.
- Learning methods to enhance our orgasms and our self loving practice. How breath, movement, sound and our pc muscle work to enhance our pleasure on all levels.
- Self loving, side by side, in the circle during “erotic recess.” Sharing our own pleasure, without expectation, with other women is one of the most powerful experiences that you will ever have. This is about learning to be our own lover, integrating body shame, letting go of sexual oppression and sharing in sisterhood. This is also an opportunity for me to help personally guide you, towards orgasm or increased pleasure if you have never orgasmed or are having difficulty and would like help.
- Group massage. This ancient practice is almost impossible to describe in words. It is a transcendent experience where we are able to give and receive loving, non sexual touch from the other women in the circle.
Location: Drummondville, Quebec (exact location will be disclosed to registered participants only)
Dates: November 2nd, 10am — November 3rd, 6pm 2019
Cost: $495 CDN, included in this price – rechargeable vibrator to take home (value $100). $395 Vibrator not included. Slumber party feel with potluck style meals and snacks.
***$200 NRF deposit on registration.
Space is limited to 8 participants
Please advise me of any dietary restrictions
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for all enquiries.
Deadline to register is October 15, 2019.
Natasha Salaash is a Betty Dodson-certified Bodysex instructor, Orgasm Coach and Sex and Intimacy Counsellor who believes that orgasm and pleasure — when practiced consciously — can serve as a gateway into self awareness and sexual awakening. Natasha is passionate in helping women explore their mind and body to discover their sexuality, build confidence, feel empowered, and live authentically. She believes that our primary sexual relationship is with ourself and that it is the base from which all other relationships can grow. Through her Bodysex Workshops Natasha provides a safe space and dialogue of shared vulnerability, where women are supported in shedding their physical and emotional masks, learning about and accepting their bodies, developing intimacy with themselves and celebrating their pleasure.
Bodysex is a transformative and undefinable experience for women, of all ages and sexual orientations, interested in the empowering freedom that comes from shedding the masks, roles and clothing that we hide behind everyday. The workshop is done in the nude yet it is non sexual. It is about raising consciousness, creating sisterhood, integrating body shame and celebrating pleasure.
The next Bodysex Retreat Weekend will be October 11th – 13th 2019, held at a private retreat centre near Saskatoon SK. Canada. It’s the perfect place to relax, let go and just be. The retreat has a “slumber party” feel to it with healthy home made meals and snacks lovingly prepared by me and my assistant Patti throughout the weekend. Henna tattooing and hair braiding is also offered by local artist Stiina. During non workshop hours participants will be free to walk trails or the labyrinth, spend time alone or visit with the other women.
The two day workshop will include:
- Sacred circle where, in first person, we share how we feel about our bodies and our orgasms. This is the time to let go of any shame that has been holding us back from fully celebrating our pleasure. Through this, the roots of sisterhood will begin forming as we accept each other for who are. No more and no less.
- Group genital show and tell. This is a powerful ceremony where we display our vulva one at a time, identify all of the parts of our anatomy and recognize the beauty and diversity amongst us.
- Learn new methods to enhance our orgasms and our self loving practice. Understanding our sexual anatomy, how breath, movement, sound and our pc muscle work to enhance our pleasure on all levels.
- Self loving, side by side, in the circle during “erotic recess.” Sharing our own pleasure, without expectation, with other women is one of the most powerful experiences that you will ever have. This is about learning to be our own lover, healing body shame, overcoming sexual guilt and sharing in sisterhood. This is also an opportunity for me to help personally guide you, towards orgasm or increased pleasure if you have never orgasmed or are having difficulty and would like help.
- Group massage. This ancient practice is almost impossible to describe in words. It is a transcendent experience where we are able to give and receive loving, non sexual touch from the other women in the circle.
Location: Outside Saskatoon SK. Canada. (exact location will be disclosed to registered participants only)
(transportation from Saskatoon to the retreat location provided for out of town participants for a fee)
Dates: 1pm, October 11th – 1pm, October 13th 2019
Cost: $595 CDN with vibrator, $515 if choose to bring your own vibrator. Included in this fee is the full Bodysex workshop, mystic wand vibrator, healthy meals (locally sourced and organic where possible) shared accommodation for 2 nights.
$200 NRF deposit on registration.
Space is limited to 10 participants
Please advise me of any dietary restrictions
Three weeks ago I facilitated my 14th Bodysex retreat — the third one in Quebec with Marika. Each retreat I’ve led this past year, I’ve noticed my level of comfortableness and confidence increasing. I’m less concerned about doing it “right” and more able to be present with and for the women. Being more present means not only hearing the women’s stories, but feeling them in my body— even when they’re speaking a language I don’t understand. Feeling others in this way connects me to them on a level that can be limited by language, and reminds me of the beautiful moments in sexual intimacy that involve only eyes, hands and mouths.
As I opened the circle I shared my journey into Bodysex and how it began 20 years ago when I witnessed girls I loved being circumcised in Kenya. One of the women pointed out that in Kenya a woman’s power is removed physically through the cutting of her clitoris, and here it is removed mentally by not talking about or acknowledging her sexual genitalia and right to pleasure. When we don’t talk about something, it’s as if it didn’t exist in the first place. I believe that a way to honour the women who’s pleasure has been taken from them, is for the rest of us to exercise our right. The right to look at our vulvas, touch them, understand them and pleasure them.
And we did!!! The weekend was a beautiful display of vulnerability in the sharing of our stories, our bodies and our pleasure. Never has a workshop gone on for so many hours each day and yet it still felt as if there wasn’t enough time for all we wanted to share and do.
What struck me most though, was how many layers of shame I still carry. I’m comfortable in my body now and I don’t find it difficult to be naked, show my vulva or masturbate with other women. Yet without fail it seems, an old story of mine comes up, and the thought of sharing it makes me feel sick to my stomach. This physical response is a good indicator to me of what holding it in is doing to my body, and I know that the answer is in sharing it. Knowing this doesn’t make it easy to do, and I battled in my head wondering how they’d feel about me once they knew it. Reminding myself that I can’t ask anyone else to show up and be vulnerable if I’m not willing to do it myself, I shared my story.
Letting go of shame is the best release ever and almost immediately the space it was occupying inside of me, felt free — free for more pleasure, more authentic relationships and more me.
As we spent time sharing pleasure during the second day, I kept my eyes open and focused them on a spot on the ceiling to keep me present. As my pleasure built I heard giggling from a woman in her 60’s, only a hands width distance beside me, and looked over to see the flush rise up her neck as she orgasmed. Giggling more she continued on — 2, 3, 4 — more times and I thought how beautiful she looked and how lucky her lover is to see her in this way. What an honour. Looking back at my spot on the ceiling the wood began to blur, and my pleasure kept building. The ceiling became the sky and I alternated my breath from high in my chest to low in my belly so that I could stay in that place of ecstasy. At the point of no return I opened my left hand into the air to receive energy from the women around me and felt their love, acceptance, pain, joy, shame and pleasure along with my orgasm — like stars falling down upon me.
This circle and the vulnerability of all the women in it, reminded me that we do this hard, brave work not only for ourselves, but for women who can’t or couldn’t. It’s not easy, but it’s an honour and a right and at times like these I know that the affect of our opening extends far beyond the walls of the workshop space.
To every woman who has had her pleasure removed physically or mentally we do this for us and we do this for you. <3
To my sisters in pleasure:
Zaia, Ananda, Esmeralda, Sao, Red velvet, Mia, Rosie, Mariposa, Xochitl, J’Ouvre, Hot, Kali
I have a question about orgasms. I’m 43 and haven’t had a lot of sexual experience in my life. I was married to a man for 10 years and our sex life revolved around him getting his orgasm and none for me. After we divorced I started dating a wonderful man who does care about my pleasure and is very focused on my orgasm. I orgasm with him but only when there is a vibrator on my clit or his hand rubbing it. I don’t ever orgasm just from penetration even though it feels good. He’s had much more experience than me and says that all the women he’s been with have had no problem orgasming from sex alone — sometimes within a couple of minutes of him being inside them.
This is causing problems in our sex life because I get stressed about not orgasming when he penetrates me and now sometimes I can’t even orgasm when my clit is rubbed. He feels ashamed that he can’t pleasure me properly and has wondered if something is wrong with my body physically because he’s had no problems with anyone else. I’ve been to the gynaecologist and I’m scheduled for an ultrasound to see what’s going on. Can you help me?
Thank you so much for your question. First of all and most importantly THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with you. Needing clitoral stimulation to orgasm is 100% normal and is the case for almost all women. In fact the clitoris is our primary sex organ and most orgasms we have come from direct or indirect stimulation of our clitoris. Our clitoris is much more than the external glans that you can see and rub. Clitoral erectile tissue extends deep into your vulva and surrounds your vagina which alone has very little nerve endings apart from at the entry and up at the cervix. (note drawing. The squiggly lines represent your internal clitoral structure) This means that when you enjoy vaginal penetration you are often enjoying indirect stimulation of your clitoris (the erectile tissue surrounding your vagina). I personally think it’s best when clitoral stimulation is combined with vaginal penetration and manual clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex is what brings me to orgasm. I’m just like you and we are both normal.
Even though your partner may mean well, he has been misinformed and it’s likely that many of the women he has been with in the past, faked their orgasms. We do a disservice to men and their future partners when we fake our orgasms. Most women do not orgasm from vaginal penetration alone (unless there is enough clitoral stimulation with it) and definitely not within a few minutes of being penetrated. That is a “porn model” based on what the industry thinks men want to see — that one thrust of a dick is enough for us to orgasm instantly when in fact we don’t even need a dick to orgasm!! ha!
There is no shame in the way you feel pleasure or how you orgasm just as there shouldn’t be shame in how your partner feels pleasure or orgasms. Some men feel more pleasure from their partner’s hand than from their vagina — It’s not wrong. Your partners’ judgement of your orgasm will only negatively affect the pleasure you feel and is likely the reason you’re having more difficulty orgasming now. Pleasure and orgasm require stimulation and relaxation of your autonomic nervous system — not stress about what’s wrong with us.
I hope this helps and please let me know how it goes,