My heart pounded with excitement as I drove up Pantherkill Mountain Road to Menla. I stopped at the gate and got out of the van to take in the view and breathe the fresh air. My body felt alive with anticipation as I remembered what it’s like to spend quality time with the Bodysex sisterhood.
On the first day of the workshop, I was eager to take off my clothes and leave them outside the door of our workshop space. Walking into the softly-lit main hall to my circle felt like coming home. I also remembered feeling terrified before my very first workshop, drenched in sweat, as I took my clothes off in the foyer of Betty’s apartment. Today I felt confident and comfortable in my own skin. Bodysex was the catalyst for my transformation.
As a facilitator for my circle, I went first to answer the questions for the opening share ritual: How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about your orgasm? My answers are always a bit different, based on my thoughts and feelings in the moment. On this day, my voice cracked as I expressed gratitude for finally being able to let go of shame and love my imperfect body unconditionally after listening to the self-critical voice in my head for over five decades. Accepting the transitions of my aging body with love and grace is my current challenge.
As each woman shared after me, I heard a piece of my story in hers and felt the emotion in every struggle. There were a lot of tears released. I felt a bond with each of the women after her share. In the “real world”, it’s unusual to form this kind of deep connection with other women so quickly. Physical vulnerability with nudity seems to support emotional vulnerability. Once I’ve shown my naked body, me at most vulnerable, and I’m accepted, I feel that it’s safe to bare my soul.
Genital Show and Tell deepens that vulnerability. I went first as the facilitator. In Bodysex, we never ask participants to do anything that we’re not willing to do ourselves. As I positioned myself in front of the lamp and mirror with my legs open, I confessed to feeling nervous despite showing my vulva to an audience more times than I can count. Upon reflection, the word “nervous” oversimplified my feelings. I also felt eager for this moment, to hold the attention of the group and be witnessed. I felt anticipation for what would come next: the opportunity to see exactly what each woman’s vulva looked like. No two are ever the same. It’s really the best “I’ll show you mine, you show me yours” experience. I felt the big energy of the group in the room, a mixed bag of feelings like my own.
During every Genital Show and Tell, I am awestruck by the unique beauty of each vulva, the range of forms, shapes, and colors. Every time a woman opens her legs, it is always a beautiful gift. I am honored to support each woman in her special moment. After we finished, I felt joyful and relaxed. I could see the same in the faces of woman in our circle. Something opened up inside of me. I felt deeply connected in sisterhood.
During our evening session, Carlin lead the group in Vulva Massage. As I lay back in my space with my hand hugging my vulva, I felt entirely relaxed and content. I felt loved and accepted. I could have easily drifted off to a peaceful sleep. It was the perfect way to end the day.
At the beginning of day two, I was energized and joyful. The voices and laughter in the dining room sounded free and raucous. I noticed a shift in every woman. Eye contact and smiles seemed to come more easily. Every face was welcoming. Only yesterday, I’d shared the most shameful parts of myself. Instead of being rejected, I was embraced. I felt safe and unconditionally accepted in a way that I only feel in a Bodysex space. It’s a feeling that I’d only imagined with my own birth family. True sisterhood in Bodysex is amazing.
That afternoon when we gathered again in the circle, I felt light and playful. As Carlin guided us through moving our body with our Magic Wands, I connected with my body and let it take the lead. We practiced some different masturbation techniques, starting with our hands then moving on to the Rock and Roll followed by the Goddess Style, my personal favorite. My knees couldn’t get comfortable during the Pillow Fuck position, so I went back to my favorite. Finding your preference is what Bodysex is all about. We don’t suffer, we seek pleasure.
We transitioned into Erotic Recess. The atmosphere supported my sensuality and connection to my body. The tree-filtered light through the windows gently lit the nude bodies of the other women laying around me. The sounds of breath and pleasure enhanced the background music. After massaging my vulva, I brought both of my hands up to my nose to smell my own scent. I deeply inhaled it and felt my clitoris twitch. Carlin saw me and her big smile encouraged me. Smelling myself is deeply arousing for me. I took my time, feeling my pleasure in the moment. I heard other women orgasm around me, yet I didn’t feel competitive or pressured. Orgasm isn’t the goal of Erotic Recess. I felt supported in my experience of pleasure, alone but together.
Although the Bodysex rituals are the same, the women make every workshop different. For me, the theme of this workshop was release. I was impressed by all of the deep emotions and tears that came up for the women in my circle. Together, we held space for all of it as we each let go of whatever we were ready to shed. After the tears, I felt a sense of liberation in our group and a desire to give more to ourselves.
Bodysex is so much more than orgasm. It’s shedding whatever doesn’t serve us and finding our truest selves through sisterhood and pleasure.
With gratitude in pleasure,
Join me in my next Bodysex Workshop: