Self Image

The Two Of You

My mentor recently told me that I lead a very examined life. She does too. She reminded that leading such a life is not everybody's cup of tea.  Mostly, because it's not always so easy - all of this self examination. But let me assure you, that there is a lot of pleasure and curiosity and love in there too! And in my self examinations, I think I find nuggets that may resonate with you. Here is a big one! Currently, I am working with my third chakra. You can find it in the area of your solar plexus. Energetically, it's the place of bridges. The connector place for me and perhaps you in your body. It's where we hold our sense of self.

Going deep inside my bridge, I am able to see that there is one part of Pamela that knows she is beautiful, sexy, loving and desirable. I worked really hard to reclaim that part of myself.  Countless hours on the tables of Sexological Body Workers, taking workshops, looking in the mirror (you name it, I probably did it on my road to reclaiming myself).

And there is this other part of Pamela that is younger and has been breed in our society, reinforced by media, and negative messages. That Pamela fears rejection and believes on some level that I am not enough on any level.

Both of these women are me, and they are both real.  Do you ever feel that?

Sometimes the Ice between those two places is really thin and can crack. I think that I am not alone in this place of wanting to bridge and weave these two parts of myself together in a deeper and stronger way.  I want stronger ice!

I think it's the path of so many of the women that I work with. We have been shamed in our sense of self, and we are or have reclaimed this place where we know that we are loved and accepted by our own selves and by the world.

It can be a fragile system. We can in one minute totally know we are sexy and then then we can become triggered by who knows what and the system can collapse.

I am paying attention to my third chakra and I invite you to do the same. This internal place of the bridge. It's where we need to sit in a women's circle and knit together these aspects of ourselves. .

We are all the entire package.

How Do You Feel Sexy?

Yesterday, was a big day for me. I did a "HuffPost Live" on meditation supporting your sex life. If you missed it; you can watch it here.

I was also brought in as a consultant to a big company that wanted insights into what made women feel good about themselves. What makes a woman feel sexy?

I think it's all about how we are able to "Pre-Heat" our own oven. But of course that begs the question; "How do we get that feeling in our own bodies and then how do we  sustain that feeling?

I love questions that ask "How?"  The honest truth is that on most days, for many women — our self image can really take a beating.

Many of us want to be seen as hot and sexy. And perhaps most of all, we want to feel like those women look in those women's magazines sipping a Margarita with knowing smoky eyes. We just know that they are about to have the most incredible experiences in the universe. Right? Maybe? Who knows but sometimes I feel confronted by them.

Seeing those images can make me feel just not enough. More than that — it is this feeling that I will never have in my life what I truly want because I don't look like that.  Heck, I got confronted with that on "HuffPost Live"!!!

There I was on my home computer with a bad computer angle while Emily the other woman being interviewed was this "glamorous" former Broadway actress! She had the make up, the perfect face and perfect body. And there I was in poor lighting not done up at all talking about feeling sexy! Wowsa!

But I sunk into my own practice and told myself just to feel it. And in the end - I did fine. But I was actually practicing on live video stream.

And it really doesn't matter how old you are, it can be really hard to look like the images of women that we are surrounded with on a daily basis. This is not news. But it's impact on women is still real.

And what is it that I want, and what many women want? It's a simple thing really...I want to be deeply desired, and feel free in my body. I want to be able to know that I am sexy from the inside out and truly believe it — all the time! I want to be able to walk around naked and not worry about my behind shaking in a bad way.  Perhaps this is simply universal. After all, I coach hundreds of women and they want it too — very badly. This is what I hear from some of my clients:

"I want to get so lost in my own wanton sexiness that orgasms flow from me like a waterfall. I don't want much — I just want to dance in my own inner sexy wildness! Is that asking for so much?"

I get it.

As I just shared, I have moments of feeling confronted with my own self loathing. It is shocking that I can still go to those places of calling myself names. After all, this true confession is being spoken by a woman who has professed to the world that I have conquered body shame and self acceptance by embracing my sexual pleasuare.

Am I a fraud — or am I simply real and honest? The fact is, that I have healed so much of the damage that I have walked around with for most of my life when it comes to my body image and my sexuality.

But everyday, when I wake up and my feet touch the ground, it takes a little bit of courage to love myself just as I am — and that is the truth. To say anything else would be to over promise healing like those 30 day miracle diets on television.

Recently in The Wall Street Journal was a great article, "Conquering Fear," which is all about those nasty little voices in our heads that tell us that we are not enough — that we are fat and stupid. That our bodies are ugly and that our boss hates us.

I know those tapes so well that I could sing along! My book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner is all about my funny, sexy, unconventional path to falling in love with myself again in the most unbelievable way... And I did.

But on my book tour  there were all of these videos being made of me so that people can get to know me — and I get to watch them over and over again.

Every time I watch them — I get taken out of how I was "feeling" when I made those videos and I get stuck in how I believe I look. I hate my neck. My face is too round. I have a double chin in that angle. And I stop feeling sexy. Instead I get filled with self doubt and worry.

You see — I am a real woman. Isn't that reassuring? I am not going to give you pleasure platitudes and tell you that if you do this or that all of your inner fears will go away completely. They don't. But it can get better.

This is what I can promise. If you work on embracing who you are,  every single day just like a religious practice — things will change in your world.

In so many ways, it is like developing a healthy eating and exercising plan. There is a lot of self-encouragement and coaching that has to happen. I have to do it too — even now.

The voices of fear that tell us that we are not enough — or are broken in some way — don't ever really go completely away. But it gets better.

I hope that by showing up and being honest about how I feel and how I move through all of the hatefulness that I can throw at myself will inspire you to do it too. The fact is that most of the time these days — I feel smoking! I have a swagger to my step  and kick to my heels. I dress like a diva with a wink! And I still feel bad about my neck a lot.  You see — I still  have really big moments of self loathing. It's all a part of the process...

Self loving is a practice. Feeling sexy is a practice. Let's practice together.

Loving you from here,

Pamela

Hands on Sexuality Healing: An Absolutely, Indispensible Primer

If you read my book "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner" you know that I'm a fan of "Hands on"  or Somatic (through the body) sexuality healing. It's also a great way to go deeper into your body and explore your sexuality in a safe way that is all about you.  Through working with a Certified Sexological Bodyworker, or a trained Sacred Intimate, you can safely explore your own body and work on everything from understanding your own erotic responses, to learning how to manage body and sexual shame. Frankly, the list of things that you can explore with hands on work is very extensive. Every day I speak with women who are exploring working with a "Somatic Sex Educator" and besides looking for help on finding their way, they want to know how to keep things safe, and get the most out of their sessions.

Here are four things that you can do to get the most our of your sessions and keep yourself safe! It's all about being able to speak our desires, setting boundaries, understanding consent and slowing down. The best sessions in the world happens when we take the time to understand and honor this foundation.

Think about the best sex you ever had.  Were you in a place of having your desires heard? Were your boundaries honored? Did you lover take the time to make sure that you were on board?  If we don't feel safe, we can't relax. And if we can't relax there is no arousal, blood flow, or the ability to surrender into pleasure.  Even though your Sexological Bodyworkers is not your lover, you are exploring sexuality with this trained professional. If we don't understand boundaries, consent, and how to slow things down so that we can really feel and understand what is happening for us in a session: disasters can happen.

So, here's an absolutely, indispensable primer on what you should understand in order to not only get the most out of your sessions, but keep yourself safe too!

Understanding and Setting Sexual Boundaries:

Sexual boundaries include boundaries about your body, who touches you intimately or how they will touch you.  Sexual boundaries can also include how you are willing to be spoken to when comments are sexual in nature.  So many of us are attached to this idea that every aspect of sex is "natural". And that our lovers should somehow know intuitively how far we are willing to go, and what we will enjoy.  We can go into a session with a trained Sexological Bodyworker the same way.

Now, your practitioner is well trained in boundaries. For example, in a Certified Sexological Bodywork session, the practitioner keeps his/her clothes on and the touch is one way which means that they touch your body - you do not touch their in an erotic way.  But have you thought about your boundaries before you go into a session?

Perhaps you are not ready to be completely naked your first time? Or you do not want internal work? Knowing this ahead of time and communicating clearly with your practitioner is very important. Have conversations with your practitioner about your boundaries and concerns.

And remember, boundaries can change and shift over time, so keeping an ongoing conversation going between you and your practitioner. I also highly recommend not shifting your boundary during a session! We can often change our minds about things when things heat up! But, later - we may have regrets. So notice during your session if you are wanting a boundary shift and discuss it with your practitioner.

I highly recommend waiting until your next session to move that boundary, and really making sure that you want to move it. Doing this with a clear head and not in the moment is essential!

Remember, that having this conversation about boundaries can create tremendous freedom in your sessions.  What I have found is that there is always such delicious space and room for exploration in boundaries, and having them set will truly set you free to explore and feel.

So please, take the time to get clear about what your sexual boundaries are, and speak them!  Once you both know the boundaries and consent to keeping them, you might find that you are freed up in a completely different way during your session. This will allow you to relax into the moment instead of worrying about what will happen next. It will reduce the need for you to be constantly on alert, and guarding yourself unconsciously during your session.

Understanding Consent:

Consent means that both people in a sexual encounter must agree to it, and either person may decide at any time that they no longer consent and want to stop the activity. This goes for professional sessions as well as in our own private sex lives! And remember, that just because you consent to one behavior does not mean that you may consent to any other behaviors. Consenting during one session to a particular kind of exploration does not mean that you consent or are you obligated to  consent on any other sessions. A good Sexological Body Worker will always ask about consent and check in with you during your sessions. You also need to check in with yourself! Do I consent to G Spot exploration? Do I consent to having my scar massaged or my breasts? Do you want it? It is your choice to consent or not. Remember your sessions are all about you!

Speaking Your Sexual Desire:

One of the most wonderful and transformational experiences that can come out of working with a trained hands on practitioner is learning how to speak your desires. Speaking what we want when it comes to our sexuality can be loaded with shame.  Practicing speaking what we want, and negotiating  our desires is key to a fabulous session as well as a delicious and empowered sex life! It's important to remember that even if we speak our desires not all of our desires can or will be met in a session or even in our private sex life. But learning how to communicate our needs and wants is an essential part of getting the most out of your sessions.

Slow Down:

So many times, people "gulp" their sessions. They want to feel it all, all at once! That's like going to a great big buffet and expecting to really be able to taste all the flavors and digest your meal in a healthy way. Often when we eat too fast, we end up with a belly ache. The best way to experience Sexological Bodywork or really any kind of hands on healing work is in a series of at least five sessions, that's why Back to The Body: A Sensuous Retreat For Womenis five days long. We want the women to have the opportunity to be able to slow way down in their sessions so that they can go deeper into their experiences and really take it all in. We also want to prevent belly aches! So if you think you are going slow in your sessions, consider going slower! How deeply can you feel?

Exploring the world of hands on sexual healing can feel cutting edge, but the fact is that it goes way back in time, and has often been called "Humanistic Sex Therapy".

Do you want to know more? Please contact me for a free consultation, and I will be happy to talk further about whether exploring this healing modality might be right for you.