I came to Quebec for November’s Bodysex retreat feeling joyful, excited and immersed in deep gratitude at being able to share these beautiful circles so far from home. As soon as I saw Marika, I melted right into her loving arms, rested my face on her soft neck, and realized that I actually am home.
As everyone began to arrive the next morning, the energy in the room was a mix of trepidation and excitement. Looking around the circle at their faces I knew very little about these women who were now sitting naked with me, and wondered what wisdom I’d gain from each of them. One by one, we shared stories about our bodies, the pleasure we have or have not experienced and how others have hurt us at the hands of their own pleasure. We cried at what’s held us back and also in fear of letting go. One woman shared that to feel good about the weekend she thought “Women…. we sure love a good laugh! And what’s laughter? Spasms of pleasure. Ok then, we’ll be laughing with our vaginas. Having spasms of pleasure together. What’s not to like about that?!” Upon hearing this we all laughed, and laughed together.
Moving on to my favourite part of the weekend — genital show and tell — I sat beside each woman as they, one at a time, opened their vulvas to be seen and honoured by themselves and the other women. For some of the women this was the first time in their lives they’d looked at their own vulva and, as we expressed our awe at the different colours, textures and shapes, the vulvas — like flowers — softened and bloomed with the light of our love upon them. Ceremoniously we blessed this most sacred part of our bodies and created intentions for them while welcoming them into the world — with their own right to exist and show up fully exactly as they are.
Afterwards, some of us stayed up late giving each other henna and tattoos, sharing fantasies, memories of old and new lovers, listening to erotica, trading vibrators and dildos and laughing like teenagers. It was so fun and playful and, when we went to bed, I fell asleep to Marika on the other half of the bed whispering her sensual stories to me, reminding me how wonderful it is to feel free in this beautiful body of mine.
The second day of the workshop is a time to celebrate all that we are through our self pleasure, and we led into this pleasure with a guided touch meditation. It’s rare for many of us to take 30 minutes to touch our whole bodies — to notice the way we feel under our fingertips, to give ourselves the time we so often crave for our lovers to give us. The room we were in is small, with wooden walls that make it feel alive and warm — like a womb — and as I rode my pleasure I could feel myself being lifted collectively higher and higher by the pleasure of the other women. I glanced around and saw a woman rise up onto her knees in a dance of ecstasy, her body glistening from head to toe and flowing in all different directions as waves of pleasure carried through her while — on the other side of the room — a woman in her late 60’s looked, in her pleasure, no more than 20 years old. Like lovers we laughed, cried, screamed and roared through pleasure and orgasms —finally ending up side by side in each other’s arms. Wet from sweat, coconut oil and our own juices we held each other in sisterhood, while two women danced and sang around us. It was like a scene in a movie —except they don’t make movies this beautiful.
Afterwards we lovingly and gently massaged each other’s bodies, and with my eyes closed, I imagined my love entering through my fingertips into their skin. Closing the circle holding hands and looking into each others eyes I thought of how bravely we shared our bodies, shame, vulvas and vaginas laughing in pleasure and I cried in overwhelming gratitude at this life and the incredible courage of each of us. To be seen, to be heard, to be acknowledged and finally accepted in my most vulnerable and ecstatic states brings me home. Home to my body, home to all that I can feel and desire to feel, home to my heart, home to my pleasure, home to me.
To my sisters in self pleasure, I love you: Ananda, Marisha, Puerta Mysteriosa, Dentelle, Flot, Infinity, Juicy, Felicia, Phoenix/Smile, Joya, Suspiro de la Vida and Cocoon
I often get asked what my self pleasure and orgasms are like after the last 4 years of doing Bodysex and Orgasm coaching. The truth is I’ve spent countless hours and days practicing, playing with my body, breath, sounds, positions, hands and toys. I’ve charted my orgasms everyday for a month to see what I’d discover and the most quantifiable data I found, was that my pleasure is best when I take the time to make love with myself using my hands — savouring my entire body. Quickies have their place and can turn around my day when it’s headed in the wrong direction, but what I really love the most is to “edge” my orgasms. Edging means I build my pleasure using my hands and my breath right up to the place where pleasure and orgasm meet. Instead of crossing into that though, I continue stimulating myself while grounding my breath (breathing low into my belly) to stay there, savouring every moment of the pleasure. When the pleasure becomes less intense, I build my pleasure higher with my breath (breathing up into my chest) until I reach another height of pleasure. Then, when that level becomes less intense, I once again use my breath to reach a higher one, and so on, until finally I’m up so high that I can’t see what’s down below and —inevitably fall over the edge into orgasm. The orgasm at this point comes not only from within me, but also from above me — like stars falling down on me while fireworks explode from inside me. It’s long, comes from my whole body — it’s an accumulative celebration of my whole self. This conscious, sensual and intimate practice helps me honour myself and, apart from time in nature, is my spirituality.
Sometimes, parts of my pleasure fall over the edge a bit too soon leading to tiny bursts of orgasm and I feel like I’m cheated on both ends. I don’t want to edge or surrender with only a part of me — I want all of me there. With more time on this edge I’ve discovered that parts of me fall in pieces when my breath doesn’t go deep enough into me — allowing me to be grounded at the same time as I’m climbing. This need to feel I’m on the ground while reaching such great heights of pleasure is a big one, as it’s really only with my feet on the ground that I feel safe enough to fall. I see this need in many men and women I work with and it reminds me how essential it is to feel safety and trust (within ourselves first and foremost) in order to fully experience pleasure.
In this “edge place,” the pleasure in my body creates a fantastical image in my mind of……
A woman on the edge of a cliff in Nova Scotia. She’s wearing a long white dress with an apron, a basket in her hands and a straw hat on her head. The grass around her is green and lush and her surroundings — from the waves crashing onto a cliff opposite her, to the wind blowing onto her — are a scene of immense pleasure. The woman has walked long to get to this edge, slowing down and even stopping at different times on her journey to enjoy the beauty of the world around her. At these times she closes her eyes, leans back and absorbs everything she can of the sounds,smells, and tastes of the scene around her. When she is satiated in the experience — but not tempted enough to stay, she moves on until she is overcome once again with such pleasure that she needs to pause and absorb it. On and on she goes until finally, after quite some time, she stops at the cliffs’ edge. The edge of this cliff is the most beautiful place the women has ever been and yet that surprises her because she can’t see what’s down below at all— she simply senses its beauty from deep inside her.
Eyes closed once again she spreads her arms out and lets the wind and the splash of distant waves touch her face and lightly wet her dress. Teetering on that edge her hat falls off, down, down below to the place of beauty she hasn’t yet seen and still she holds on — not wanting to let go of the beauty up top. Slightly disappointed that part of her already let go, she focuses on the fact that her hair is free now to blow with the wind — making the pleasure even more exquisite. The wind, sensing her pleasure building, increases its strength until her basket too falls — leaving room for her arms to spread out wide in full reception of the pleasure around her. Caught off guard by her basket falling, she reflexively opens her mouth causing her to breathe in more life through the wind, while her body is drawn to pull and sway along with it. Standing there swaying, mouth and arms wide open on the edge of the most beautiful cliff in the world, the woman wonders for a fleeting moment if she wants to leave this beauty for the unknown beauty that’s over the edge. The wind seemingly hearing her fear, reassures her by breathing more life into her — causing her to inhale deeper — bringing air right down into her feet until she feels the dirt under the grass between her toes. As soon as she feels the earth below her, her mouth opens wider, and she allows the wind to breathe her breath upwards this time bringing with it the most exquisite pleasure she’s ever felt in her life. In this moment of pure ecstasy, the woman forgets to hold on and, like a leaf falling off a tree, lets go — blessed by the wind and the waves……. into the place she can’t see but feels already in her heart.
** Photos by Studio Stiina
I came into last weekends Bodysex retreat in a super vulnerable state. The past 10 months of my life have been extremely difficult — supporting my son through a loss and learning to navigate parenting my children without another co-parent. The night before the retreat I woke up suddenly — feeling afraid and exposed — worried that my children could somehow get hurt by my work. A memory came flooding in from this summer when I was called a whore — because of the work I do — and I wondered if my continued exposure would just give him more reason to do so. I can laugh it off most of the time but sometimes, when I’m feeling especially vulnerable, it scares me. My work requires an openness that I welcome and yet sometimes, when I’m not feeling safe, it can also make me feel too exposed.
After Justine and I set up the circle in preparation for the women to arrive, I laid down naked in it and masturbated while she talked to me. Touching my body grounds me — like I’m entering into the safest, most comforting home — and doing so while seeing and hearing my loving sister and friend — was exactly what I needed. After orgasming a couple of times, I heard the first of the women arrive and went to greet them feeling relaxed and affirmed that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
From the moment of the first naked hugs to our goodbyes on the last day, the workshop flowed with the most exceptional ease. So much so that even while holding space for the other women, I felt like I was on a retreat! Never have I felt so comfortable being so naked, so open with my heart, my legs and the full expression of who I am. “This is SO much bigger than the 8 of us in this circle” said one of the women, holding her arms up in the air. Looking around the circle at the other women embodying their stories of joy, sorrow, pleasure and pain, it was easy to see she was right.
The 8 of us spent almost the entire weekend, in and out of workshop time, as one solid group flowing between sharing through our words and sharing through our bodies. No part of it felt forced or held back — it all just seemed so perfectly normal.
Through conversations in the nude about life, love, longings, loss, dirty fantasies, amazing sex, forbidden sex, bodily functions, needs, desires and never convincing anyone of our worth again— we laughed and we cried accepting each other as we are.
I always enter Bodysex weekends with the intention of removing armour that still delicately covers inner layers of my shame. I came away from this weekend though, feeling fully embodied in who I am right now — without feeling such a need to do something about it to make it different or better. Body sex gives me permission to boldly be who I am and helps me be less afraid when that doesn’t fit into societies standards for me. I was reminded in the eyes of each of the women that it’s okay that I feel better open than closed, that my path to self awareness, ecstasy, and self confidence begins at the soft spot right between my legs and that there is nothing wrong at all with thoroughly and ecstatically enjoying sex and pleasure with myself. Body sex gives me the freedom to be me. If that makes me a whore, I’ll take it.
Thank you to my dear sisters for meeting me so fully in the circle and reminding me that I’m okay being me.
I love you Turtle, Singh, Wizard, Ruby, Iridescent, Niko, Belle and Kitty <3
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 May 2-3 2020, 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: May 2nd, 10am — May 3rd, 6pm 2020
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
This workshop has sold out! Email email@example.com for all enquiries.
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.
“We work on ourselves in order to help others and also we help others in order to work on ourselves.” — Pema Chodron
I was sharing with a friend recently some of my own challenges with intimacy — situations where I feel uncomfortable and scared. They asked me how I — who at times still struggle with my own intimacy — can help others with theirs.
It was an honest question and I didn’t mind being asked — yet I was surprised to be asked. I forget sometimes that there are people who believe that in order to help others, we need to have it all figured out ourselves. That would mean that a minister should never have moments where they doubt their own faith, a teacher never realize that their students know more about something than they do, or a counsellor never have issues in their own life that they don’t have a solution for.
I was drawn to work around intimacy because intimacy has always been a struggle for me. Because I have, in the past, found it difficult to look my partners in the eye, have hard conversations, allow my naked body to be seen, ask for what I need, acknowledge that I have needs, or be myself in sex. I chose this work because it’s the work I needed to do the most and because of that I’m always aware of and doing my own work in it. And because I’m continually doing my own work, I know that the answers for myself and my clients can be found right in the places we feel most uncomfortable. And because I recognize my own discomforts, I know them as my own and don’t assume my clients areas of discomfort will be the same.
When we look to our coaches, teachers, counsellors, ministers or practitioners as experts and all knowing, we fail to discover the empowering role we can take in our own growth. I think that a role in all of these professions is largely to be curious and provide a mirror — for the person seeking answers, back to the source — which is themselves. Otherwise the journey can become about some one else’s needs instead of our own. And wanting answers to come from someone else, or thinking that we have answers for someone else, are excellent ways to avoid the discomfort we feel in ourselves — which IS the source of all our answers.
I choose and seek out work that accentuates the residual discomforts in me and, through stepping into these discomforts with my clients, I continually support my own growth in intimacy. What is intimacy anyways if not sharing our most naked, most vulnerable selves with another? I do it because I’ve learned that beyond my naked, vulnerable outer layer is ….softness….an open door… light in a room that was dark. Each time I do it with you, I do it carried on my unconditional belief in your ability to go to your own source of intimate discomforts. I do it with you.
I’m thrilled to have Tempest Besse back to nourish my October Saskatoon Bodysex participants with her delicious and health full food. I cannot believe that for years Patti and I cooked all the meals!! The retreats are so much more relaxing for me now, that I have one less thing to think about, and I get more time to enjoy the sisterhood! If you are registered or still deciding here is some back ground on Tempest and her food philosophy. (another fun fact is that Tempest is also my neighbour!)♥
Tempest Besse, RHN, Chef, Traditional Herbalist, Reiki Master Teacher.
I have always had a special connection with nature and food. I grew up on Okanagan Lake in BC, where we had a huge backyard garden, and my Mom made everything from scratch. My Mom taught me that the simplest ingredients, when treated with care and love, are transformed into a meal. I am passionate about health, good food, and good energy. Every meal I make is infused with good vibes, healthy ingredients, and a little dash of my soul for good measure.
My Food Philosophy.
I absolutely love comfort food. There is something so warming and wonderful about an exotically spiced curry, or a fragrant, hearty bowl of soup that makes you feel happy and full.
As an Herbalist, I use herbs and spices extensively in my dishes. Not only do they pack a flavour punch, but they are nutritional powerhouses as well. If that curry tastes great and also helps fight inflammation, well that is a win-win in my book!
My style of food is a mix of world cuisines, from Thai coconut curries, to Indian style dahl, to Mexican beans, and Mediterranean dips. I take flavours from all over the world and make them my own, while tweaking ingredients towards more healthy alternatives. I follow the “clean 15 and the dirty dozen” methodology. This means that the things that are the most heavily laden with pesticides, like berries, greens, and peppers, I always buy organic. Learn more here: https://www.produceretailer.com/…/2018-dirty-dozen-and-clea…
I wouldn’t feed something to you that I wouldn’t feed myself or my family. I never used refined sugars, I use whole grains, and healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed/ organic butter, and good quality olive oil.
My meals are comforting, delicious, and something you can feel happy about putting in your body. Happy belly= Happy mind.
I’m very excited to offer something new that I’ve designed for people interested in exploring their sexual history to gain insight into who they are today, and why. This workshop series is based on the understanding that our sexuality involves much more than what we do with our genitals. It begins developing the moment we are born through our body image, sexual development/history, as well as experiences with intimacy/attachment and pleasure.
In order to have the sexual and intimate life you desire, it can be helpful to recognize how your past has shaped and influenced the choices you currently make.
Regardless of gender, sexual orientation or sexual history -whether you’ve had sex with hundreds of people or none, are in a relationship or not – this workshop is relevant for everyone. Click on the link for more details or pm me to register. A big piece of my passion and my heart is in this workshop series and I look forward to sharing with you. https://natashasalaash.com/roots-of-intimacy/
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/