I knew it would be a positive experience. Intellectually. Emotionally, I resisted for a very long time. I knew what was holding me back.
Saying I have body issues seems so commonplace. Doesn’t everyone have body image issues to one degree or another? While some people shed their clothes in public with ease, most of us prefer to be covered up in group settings. For me, getting naked was the main obstacle.
And then there was the idea that not only would we be naked, but we’d open ourselves up to one another– metaphorically and literally. I know the basic anatomy of my tender bits. But that’s different than putting them under a bright light and really looking at them– along with all the other vulva owners in the room.
So, okay, maybe I can do that. Get naked. Examine my most intimate parts. But then there’s erotic recess. How could I relax enough to feel sexually aroused on command? Turns out that with a skilled group leader and a supportive group of woman, there are lots of ways to relax into an aroused state. And surprise, even orgasm.
I also think that my age was an obstacle. Each passing decade has left its mark on my body. Each relationship has left its mark on my self-esteem. At this age, shouldn’t I be sufficiently knowledgeable, self-aware, and evolved? What more could I possibly learn from a weekend spent with women, most of whom are younger than me? A lot! My biggest regret is not taking advantage of opportunities like this sooner. My biggest joy was seeing woman at the beginning of their sexual journey learning life-changing things about themselves that they will have a whole lifetime to explore.
So what was this challenging, amazing, life-changing experience . . . ? A two-day Bodysex workshop.
The whole experience was so much better than I expected. I was able to overcome the roadblocks to participation about which I was most anxious, and most of the weekend I actually felt relaxed and comfortable in my own skin.
I relearned some things — the depth and breadth of the female clitoris (including the an extensive internal clitoral system), there are several different kinds of orgasm (and they’re all good), and the various “styles” of female genitalia (and even among those styles each vulva is unique).
Some things I learned about, I had never given much thought — that my vaginal depth would be different than other women’s, and that self-pleasure would be even better if I’d relax my body instead of tensing up or holding my breath.
But many of the best revelations came from the other women in the group. As expected, we talked about how our nuclear families viewed masturbation, our go-to erotica when we want to get in the mood, and the different ways we enjoyed giving ourselves pleasure. But we also shared our feelings about sex– solo and with others, our most defining sexual moments, and small, personal details that rarely come up in ‘polite’ conversation.
As affirming as all that was, for me the best part was the positive exchange of energy among a diverse group of women. I left knowing that our shared experience had changed us all for the better. We’d bonded in ways that can only come from a deeply personal experience like this.
If anything about this description resonates, I’d encourage you to consider taking a Bodysex workshop. For lots of folks the final hurdle is the cost of participation. Luckily, there are occasional opportunities, like the one last weekend, where those who are ready to commit to the experience pay only what they’re able. There are also a few scholarship slots available each year, slots which have been paid for by others who recognize the value the process and want to remove barriers for eager participants. Whatever the cost, the return in personal growth is tenfold.
There are only a handful of trained Bodysex educators in the U.S. We’re very lucky to have one right here in Ohio. I’m lucky enough to call her friend.
Written by Claire N.,
January 2019 Bodysex Workshop participant