** photo by Justine Lustig
I took the first week in October off so that I could have some time and space alone. After 6 months of quarantine the idea of just staring at my walls — without anyone interrupting me — seemed incredibly enticing! During this time, I decided to print all the blogs I’d ever written and see if maybe collectively I’d find something in them resembling a common theme or story. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but, feeling like I’m at a bit of a crossroads in life, it seemed like a good idea. While printing them off, I came upon a comment from Betty;
Using my honest I’s, or sharing in first person, has been something I’ve learned through Bodysex and is a commitment that Justine and I ask each woman in the circle to make when they share their stories. We don’t want to hear about their mothers, lovers, friends, partners or ex partners’ experiences. We want to know how they feel in “I’ statements.
Carrying Betty’s words with me into the retreat, I was so excited to meet the other women and see what the circle had to teach me. With Covid-19 increasing, I knew this was likely to be the last retreat for several months and I felt “itchy” at times to reach outwards for a man to soothe my feelings of loneliness.
Over the weekend, I sat listening to the other women’s stories and admiring their beautiful and unique vulvas. As one middle aged woman opened her legs and looked at her vulva for the first time in her life, we all huddled around her, offering love, support and reverence as if she was birthing a new relationship with this life giving part of her body. The next day, after she brought herself to pleasure slowly and lovingly beside me, she burst into tears and I held her hand — imagining that she had finally consummated this new found relationship with her self. “For the first time in my life, my body got the permission to do what it needs to do.” There is nothing more beautiful and intimate than the tears that come with pleasure.
The weekend wasn’t all touching moments like these though — we also laughed, masturbated, shared dirty stories and farted — marvelling at the openness and freedom we felt in our bodies when there’s no holding back. I kept grabbing my note book to frantically jot down things the women said:
“I’ve unleashed a masturbating monster.”
“It’s a buffet of flesh. Different boobs and vaginas. Don’t go near the beef curtains at the flesh buffet. They’re laced with ecstasy!”
“I am enough. I can reach drug-like highs of pleasure all by myself. I can feel sensual and sexy and hot and desirable to myself.”
“I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin.”
“I experienced, for the first time, the complete ease that comes from not censoring myself or my body.”
“I feel like I’m home and I’ve never really felt that before.”
“I was able to build to the biggest explosion of an orgasm I have ever experienced! I did really really weird things with my body and I made sooooo much noise. Like a moose/bear fighting with a ballerina, who gave birth to a hyena…if that makes sense. But I felt no shame; I wasn’t embarrassed; no one made fun of me. I was celebrated.”
For myself, I took my time with my pleasure committing with my “honest I’s” to date myself and provide me with what I am really longing for in a partner. To be made love to, to ask for what I need and listen to my response. To love myself generously through touch, words and actions. Laying in the circle with the other women I took my time with my body — bringing it slowly and softly to pleasure with my fingers, never prodding or pushing it to respond in ways it wasn’t ready for.
Looking back on my blogs it’s not hard to see that the connection in all of them is my own honest I’s, which are always changing and evolving. When my life feels rushed and I rush myself through touch and pleasure, I lose sight of what my truths are. Coming back to this honest connection, rather than looking elsewhere for someone to fix it, always gives me the answers. This weekend felt like a renewal of vows to myself — a recommitment to nurturing this relationship, to giving myself the time and space I need as I need it. To continually come back to myself, my truths and my love — no matter who I’m in relationship with. These are my own honest I’s.
Thank you Turtle, Nelly, Hope, Froya, Rose, Cindy, Casey Jones, Peach, Harrietta and Bilquis.