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


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