I’m laying in bed in Betty Dodson’s NYC apartment, drinking tea and looking around the room that holds the energy and stories of countless women who have sat in the Bodysex circle here. Just like me they shed their clothes, their tears, and their shame before celebrating their pleasure. It’s hard to believe that it was only a year and a half ago that I entered this same room for the first time as a participant in Betty’s workshop. Scared – yet excited I took off my clothes and found my place in the circle, having no way of knowing what a profound effect it would have on my life.

Today as a facilitator of my own Bodysex workshops, I know that even though the physical circle ends after the weekend, the circle of sisterhood keeps on carrying us long after we step out of it. Some of it through our conscious actions and some just by how we’ve been changed because of it.

A woman from that first Bodysex circle is the reason that I am here in this apartment today. Even though I only met her that one time, she wrote to me not long ago to ask if I wanted an airline voucher that she was unable to use. I had been conspiring to find a way to go see Betty, but being a student and a mother I couldn’t see how it would happen. Yet here I am at Betty’s with $27 remaining on the voucher……..and the circle of sisterhood carries me.

The circle carried both Betty and I the other night when we went out to dinner and spotted a woman sitting at a table alone. She was in her mid 50’s and I could see so much sadness yet so much life in her. I invited her over and she ended up crying and laughing in Betty’s loving arms. She has never sat with us in a Bodysex circle but our openness allowed her to be open and our acceptance of her, along with Betty’s arms, became the circle.

The circle continues with the birth of Carlin’s new baby. I sat in the circle with her while she was pregnant and it was pure joy to spend a day with her and her son this weekend. Motherhood suits her and her energy and happiness is infectious. I can only imagine how much it adds and will continue to add to her already incredible work.

I feel the circle carry me as I walk naked and unashamed through Betty’s apartment.The circle of women taught me that my body is okay as it is. It isn’t perfect and it doesn’t need to be. But it’s me, all me, and I’m okay with it. Feeling so free we share stories – not bothering to close the door when we pee or shower. “The great thing about Bodysex” Betty says “is that afterwards there is no such thing as being self conscious.” She’s right.

The circle carries us as I drink tea and read messages from women who sat in my two workshops. They tell stories of body acceptance, intense orgasms, continued unveiling of shame, and how their comfort with themselves has transformed their relationships with others. Without shame we hold ourselves differently and others notice this – seeing possibilities for change in themselves. One woman, who wrote with pride about her daughter’s new confidence and her changing relationship with her mother, said “The Bodysex circle brings on generations of healing.”

Saying good bye to Betty I held back the tears that wanted to fall and instead thought of the stories from our weekend together and began to laugh. I laughed all the way down the elevator past the door man (who laughed back at me thinking, I’m sure, of his own great stories about us after this weekend!) and into the cab. I laughed in the airport (even while nauseous from the martini’s, snails and goose liver that she convinced me to eat the night before) I laughed on the plane, and I’m still laughing while I finish typing this. I curse Betty for the ache in my stomach muscles from 4 days of solid laughter and then I laugh some more. She was a wonderful host and I will miss drinking “Dodson’s” with her everyday at happy hour, her loving words of advice, people watching while drinking nearly 3 bottles of wine, my morning kiss and hug, her dirty stories, the way she doesn’t bat an eye no matter how shameful something is that I tell her, and how she feels comforting like a grandma then the next minute whispers in my ear “I’d just love to fuck that guy.” Laughing more the circle carries me……….


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