Curated Readings and Resources for Cultivating and Honoring Pleasure
So many of us are facing pain around our bodies and our sexuality. I don’t care if it is about your weight, breast or dick size, whether your body does not match your gender identity, scars, age or whatever it is. Pain and shame is not a contest. We can face body shame when we are aging, and we face it when we are young. I felt it the first time when I was a chubby 5-year-old and my mother told me that handsome men didn’t like chubby girls. Now I am being told they don’t like aging girls either.
When we are talking about women in particular, and body shame, we are faced with subtle messages that play in the background of our lives all the time. That’s when it begins to happen, when woman begin to distrust the power of their own erotic body and their own beauty. We tamp it down and we give our sexual power away. Most women never come near accessing the power that their bodies have erotically. We are trained and conditioned not to go there.
A part of that conditioning, comes from the messages that women have grown up with around the “superficially erotic” by current standards of beauty. Women can’t really win. We have been made to suffer and feel contemptible both when we meet those standards, and when we do not.
We have learned to suppress our sexuality and in doing so, we have suppressed our creative life-force energy. How many of us have been in the presence of really attractive looking women who fit the script and have felt no sexual energy coming from them at all? That’s because they don’t feel it either. These beauties have been successfully conditioned — and it’s an epidemic.
Here is my “naked” truth:
When I release my erotic self from society’s constrained container of how I am “suppose to be,” my life flows with color and a kind of energy that heightens, sensitizes and strengthens all of my experiences. When I am able to find this place within myself and release all of the myths around my erotic desirability — I am able to show up in the body that I am in — with incredible hotness that I feel first and then that I share with my partner. Erotic life force energy (sexiness) flows from the inside out.
If “others” are stuck in what they believe I should look like, then they don’t get to have me. I much prefer this idea of inviting “others” to meet me in my own unique expression of my sexuality and my physical beauty. I’m a gift. So are you. And it took me some time to really heal the wounds of society and really own that place inside myself.
Most of us come from a similar perspective when it comes to sexuality and self-image.
The experience of our bodies, our self-image and our sexuality often gets lost in translation. Instead of saying that all sexuality and all bodies are about this or that — let’s recognize that even the words “sexuality” and “self-image” have layers of meaning built into them. We are an amalgamation of desire, life experience, bodies, gender, subconscious urges, shame, sensations, and behaviors. Parts of our sexuality spring up from us organically, and some parts are shaped by our culture, religion, and even our language.
“Sex Appeal” is not one thing or one way. Our sexuality is a holistic and whole body experience that is unique in its expression from human to human. It would be a huge relief if we could all stop pretending that we have sexuality all figured out and that we have all the answers. Sexuality is not geometry — it’s a living container. And it is found in all of our bodies at every age, shape and size.
So if we don’t have sexuality and body image “all figured out,” how do we support women who are an amalgamation of all of this so that they can grow, explore, feel safe, and heal their relationship to Eros?
How do we present to ourselves naked?
I have come to believe that the women themselves have all of the information that they need deeply held inside of them, they just need the space and the space holders to help them unlock it. We need to be able to heal the wounds and strip away the stories that keep being told to us even in the stories that are meant to heal us! Sometimes, that calls for women to be naked together. And I am not talking about women engaging in some kind of group sex orgy. Even spending time in a Korean Spa can be very healing for women. We need to see each other’s real bodies so we can open to the beauty of our own.
It’s time to take back our own “naked” truth. As women we have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and non rational knowledge. Yes! This is about the body! This is “Non-Rational Knowledge.” We have to let go of the stories that we have been told and allow ourselves to connect back to our bodies.
We have been warned against this our entire lives by a world based on masculine power, perceptions and desires — which somehow women have taken into our bodies as our own reality. We are taught to fear our depth, and women are shut down to examine the possibilities of it within themselves.
But our bodies at every age and presentation are filled with our erotic energy. This offers a well of replenishment and a proactive force so the women do not fear what it can hold for them.
Do not succumb to the belief that your reflection of me, is who I am.
When women reveal themselves to themselves as hot, sexy, raw and wild it is a provocative and radical act filled with power. Let’s do it a lot.