The body is the next frontier. The center of the body is the pelvis. The pelvis is the anchor of the spine and the house of our reproductive sexual organs. Alas, the body may be the last frontier of feminism.
Our paltry sex education was a two-dimensional experience that did not include love, communication or touch. It seems normal now, because that’s what we got. Our medical care is oriented to find problems, in order to prevent more problems — looking for what might be wrong. Our gynecological care is the same, checking for problems and warnings against STDs and pregnancy. Everything is oriented towards how to brace ourselves against the scary, wild and unpredictable thing that is sex, that is life force, that is our living, breathing bodies. Our humanness.
The body holds infinite wisdom. I know that not just from a theoretical point of view. I know that because when I had an unhealthy relationship with a guru, my body grew a staph infection out of my nose. When I left his ashram the red crusty trail would start to heal. But for months, every time he would contact me, the trail would reawaken and grow. I know that because when I can’t figure out how to disarm the part of myself I call “Taskmaster Robot,” the part that can’t and won’t stop, I go into overdrive… and then get a sinus infection. I know that because when I finally left my daughter’s father, when I courageously broke my family lineage becoming the first person ever to divorce, my uterus that was drooping lower than it should have been after giving birth, firmed up and buoyed right back into place. I have lived my own body miracles.
My life’s work is helping women discover their own body miracles.
We might say that the most growth can happen in the places we are least likely to look — the forgotten territories, the unconscious, that which surprises us.
Although our culture is sex-obsessed, most of us are disconnected from what our bodies actually want and need.
We look at images and act out what we think “being good at sex” might be, rather than learning to listen to what might actually feel good to our bodies. The more we do what we think we should be doing, the farther we move away from knowing what we want to be doing.
Every week I work with women to help them understand what it is that their vaginas are telling them. I am a somatic sex educator. In many sessions, I wear gloves and in a gentle step-by-step fashion, I help women understand, name and feel their sexual anatomy. I help them repair birth injuries, birth trauma and sexual boundaries. I help them understand their orgasms, or absence of them.
There is intelligence in every single cell of our bodies. But the vagina is special. The vagina is a shapeshifter, with a sea anemone-like quality.
The word itself means “sheath” and connotes a tube-like structure that is often referred to as a canal. But this nomenclature doesn’t do it justice.
The vagina is a world. When women sit up after our sessions, they feel how vast, wide and round their vagina is. They feel grounded, rooted and steady, as well as awed. Most women have only experienced their pelvis in a medical or sexual atmosphere. This shift to claiming their sexual anatomy as their own, alongside someone who feels less like a heady expert and more like a trusted older sister, awakens and stimulates new potential not just in their body and in their sex, but in their lives. Once your body has been touched reverently, with respect, your body won’t as easily tolerate otherwise.
Women often feel as though so much is expected from their vaginas. They must smell good, be wet and ready at all the right times, be expandable, and most definitely can’t leak. But imagine the possibilities if women started to listen to what their vaginas were actually saying, instead of ignoring, overriding, cajoling, coercing and prying them open.
I have yet to encounter someone whose symptoms — whether chronic yeast infections, vaginismus, incontinence, painful sex, etc. — were random. The vagina is a wise oracle, often responding in self-protection to earlier threats, current perceived threats or boundaries that are otherwise hard to set. What I see most often is that when women find the words they never had, while being touched in the same territory as a wound or trauma (which may be something they had never considered to be relevant or traumatic before), pain shifts. When women understand the mechanics and anatomy of their arousal, sensations expand and orgasms deepen.
My plea to you is to become a worshipper of your own vagina. Make friends with her however you can. Your first step might just be looking at her. Your first step might be touching her without a vibrator. Your first step might be writing yourself a letter from her. Start somewhere. Take a first step. Your world, and the world, depends on it.