As I sat down to write about Bodysex last week, I noticed the last lily bud from centerpiece flowers beginning to open.
I feel like that lily bud. Both attending and facilitating Bodysex has opened me so much and this workshop was no exception. It infused me with the strength to unfurl my wings in new and deeper ways.
All of our inner-buds unfurled to reveal beauty long held inside but kept private. When the world doesn’t understand sexual pleasure as healthy and normal, even the most empowered woman feels at times she must hide herself to spare the judgment of a shaming world.
I watched each woman open over the weekend. Their posture changed from arms crossed, hugging knees – to arms out, shoulders back, and breasts exposed, sitting confident and relaxed. They went from a little nervous and quiet at the beginning, to loud, laughing, and playful smiling goddesses.
The group was an incredibly bold and powerful group of women. They were out-spoken, dynamic, wild and yet regal. Many shared stories of feeling isolated in their free-spirited ways. Some were veterans, carving their own path to pleasure and self-love for years, and some were just starting out, full of curiosity and delicious freshness.
The need and gratitude for a safe space to talk openly about sexuality and bodies was voiced again and again by several of the women. They said how grateful they were for somewhere REAL we could let go of the facade and sit naked with each other’s souls.
The silence in this world around pleasure is SO loud you can hear it screaming. We need spaces like this to break it’s power. And that is what we did. All weekend my ears were filled with the most beautiful sounds as the women talked and talked, and laughed and shared, removing each piece of emotional armor. Through the weekend it felt as if years worth of words we’d just been waiting to say were passed from woman to woman.
Hearing my group of Bodysex women talk freely with so much joy, is my favorite memory from this Bodysex. I’ve cataloged it in my mind as a joy-inspiring memory I can call on anytime I’m feeling down or lost.
During genital-show-and-tell the first day, we got to see the great variety of vulvas and how each of ours was unique and had special artistic traits. We laughed a lot, gave our pussies names and celebrated them. A few of the women had never taken a look down there, and they got to see their own vulva for the first time and have it showered with love and honor from the group.
The second day began with everyone sharing how their evening had gone. Some said they went home and had a wonderful time making love to their partner. One stayed up till the wee hours of the morning making art deep in the zone. Several had gone out together to have dinner and drinks and talk loudly about sex in public.
For myself, I spent the night relaxing, alone with my thoughts. I felt sad missing a relationship that had ended just a few weeks before, but really grateful for how I stayed the course moving towards my vision no matter what happened in life. I knew then, lying in my bed still naked from the day, that no matter what I will never give up on my OWN desires and vision. I will not sacrifice my dream for another person or let go when life is hard and doubt knocks. Feeling that as truth in my body was such a comfort.
Once everyone had shared, we did something a bit different from the norm for Bodysex. Each woman took a turn receiving a sincere appreciation from every other woman. The women showered each other with love and adoration. They complimented their beautiful bodies, breasts and shared the treasures they saw in each woman’s personality and gifts.
When it was my turn, I was moved looking into the eyes of seven other women while they poured out rich and sincere appreciations of me. They offered love and validation that felt so genuine I couldn’t brush it away.
At the end of receiving our blessings, we each offered *ourselves* an appreciation. Everyone was moved by the process, tears were shed and I saw body postures shift even more and eyes begin to sparkle. The room was filled with a deep sense of connection and our hearts were cracked open and grateful.
I’ve seen myself in a different light since then. My self-love has grown steadily each day as I remember what beauty the women saw in me, but I had not yet been able to see. In Bodysex, during genital show and tell, sharing and also just seeing each other naked, the other women can always see the beauty in your body and being, and they show it to you, even if you have never been able to see it yourself. The appreciation ritual was powerful and I plan to include the ritual in future workshops.
After that we moved into Erotic Recess, which was serene and orgasmic. We listened to Pink and Portishead, jamming out with our vibrators in focused pursuit of pleasure. Every time one woman started moaning, others picked up on the energy and started coming too. That’s always a hot and fun part of recess I love.
One woman had never had an orgasm on her own. She had them with partners but had never had one masturbating. At times she’d tried it, but abandoned it frustrated. In the recess she moved swiftly and gently through arousal and plateau to have her first solo-orgasm in the circle. To take the power of orgasm into your own hands is life-changing. Where a woman would have always been dependent on partners for pleasure, now could have it on her own, in her own time and her terms.
I was a little nervous I would not orgasm during recess. Last Bodysex I hadn’t because I was so alert, monitoring the room and wanting to make sure everything was going as planned. But like the trustworthy companion my orgasm has become, she came right on time like a train pulling into the station. Yay! #orgasmicgratitude
It’s in moments like that when I tempted to worry, I remember to *open* to my orgasm and trust her, instead of chase her.
After recess we did group massage. It was sweet to lay our hands lovingly on each other and feel ourselves knitting together as sisters even more.
To sit naked with other women sharing honestly your body doubts, your love of your orgasm – everything light and dark, without the need to filter – has got to be one of the sweetest and most healing experiences one could ask for. And then to share your orgasm with them too… without shame… a rich rich gift.
As one woman said in the circle “I’m amazed how close I feel to all of you. I only met all of you yesterday, but I feel closer to my sisters here than I feel with friends I’ve known for years back home. It’s powerful when we remove these barriers and sit naked with each other.”
Thank you to all the beautiful and brave women who sat with me in Bodysex. I think the word ‘beautiful’ is too often used casually, but here I mean it in the truest sense. It was an honor to witness all of your beauty.