The experience of our sexuality often gets lost in translation. Instead of saying that all sexuality is about this or that - let's recognize that the even the word "sexuality" has layers of meaning built into it. Our sexuality is 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. Sexuality is not one thing or one way. Our sexuality is a holistic and whole body experience that is unique in it's 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. So if we don't have sexuality "all figured out", how do support women who are an amalgamation of all of this grow, explore, feel safe, and heal their relationship eros? But 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.
It feels important that I speak about sacred spaces, somatic sex education and "Back to the Body: Sensuous Retreats For Women", because it is one of those places where women can do this work.
But I hesitate for many reasons. I worry about the perception that I'm trying to "sell you" on something. And I'm also concerned about the experiences of our women will get lost in translation. But if we do not speak of what is possible for women to discover in their own bodies, how do they know about what could be possible? I am looking at the images of the women from our most recent July 2014 retreat. I am remembering their stories. The incredible work that each one of them did. The extraordinary self discoveries and transformations. Each story, each experience as different and unique as each woman. And I feel compelled to try to put words to it all. But I am not trusting my words alone, so I will try to combine images with my words.
It takes a lot for a woman to step up and face all of the layers of her own sexuality. And what can bring her to do it can feel like the season of her discontent which can happen at any time in her 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's 60's and beyond. It can feel like numbness or aliveness that wants to know more aliveness. We can want our hot sexuality to be bigger and hotter, and we can feel like there is nothing below our waist. And all of these women can show up together at one retreat.
There can be massive resistance even after a woman says "Yes" to showing up. There are false obstacles that we place in front of our desires to know more and feel more. There can be stark terror as well as incredible excitement and anticipation. Some women feel all of it. Some women feel some of this. The rainbow of emotions that women encounter doing this work is not black and white. And six women show up anyway. Because somehow they know, that what they are seeking is possible. Here is the face of one of our women facing her own resistance, sitting in an airport wanting to turn around. She didn't.
I am sitting remembering:
Women supporting and loving each other in our nest being is as important as the sensual ecstasy that they experience. Back to the Body is a unique way for women to connect with each other and heal the wounds of female relationship.
The women have experiences around female connection that most women never experience and it changes them. Sometimes, I wonder if it being privy to the sounds of the other women connecting to their deepest erotic places. Being literally bathed in their sounds. This is not pornography. This is not some performance. This is something incredibly sacred and bliss filled. We cannot see them. They are in private sessions with professional Sexological Bodyworkers. My colleagues. Their sighs and moans are sometimes tinged with pain: the screams of ancestral wounds that have no name rise up and mix in like the perfect mixed cocktail. And even if we are not on the table, in session - sometimes we can drink it in.
I am remembering the dance that some of the women did after their sessions. And how the other women celebrated it. Cheering and taking pictures.
And still I struggle for words. From one of our attendees.
"It's not a sex retreat in the way you are thinking. It's actually a women's retreat where each of the women gets deeply pampered and gets to do intense, healing alchemical pleasure work with Sexological Bodyworkers."
It's not sex boot camp!
How do we speak of experiences that occur in the body? So many women in our society do not feel seen by the masculine. One of the practices that we have introduced to our women is a session where they are held in the cradle of exquisite masculine presence and are bathed in pleasure by their hands, words and attention. What we learn through pleasure we don't easily forget. Our women felt what it is to feel cherished down to their bones. Those are the words. But the the transformation and healing that pleasure can bring a body cannot fully be described by words. Maybe we simply show before and after pictures?
What if this was some kind of a "Priestess" training? Does that sound crazy? A priestess is a woman who officiates in sacred rites and we are teaching women to officiate in the sacred rite of their own sexual alchemy.
A priestess is a woman who is choosing to walk the path of a deep inner calling. That is true of our women. With courage and grace she navigates the continuous ascents and descents of her life's spiral going deeper into her own magical and sacred cauldron.
Our Priestesses are on a path where they are actively confronting, clearing, healing past wounds . As they journey deeper into their sexuality they are each traveling to inner realms of ecstasy, magic, manifestation, quiet times of reflection, prayer, meditation. This work at Back to the Body is supporting each woman to see and sense her own truth in a way that perhaps she has never seen it before.
It's not always easy. But as they stay with the each unique expression of what is holy, we can see amazing shifts in their being. Call it the Divine Mother. Each woman steps into seeing the value and honor of her own femininity. As she clears the dust from her body she can begin to see herself as a holy vessel that can not only hold sacred space for herself, but for her family, friends and community.
Over five days, each women steps into a place of becoming more clear of her own life's purpose and her own ability to create this sexual alchemy in her own body. Yes. This is a Priestess Training of it's own kind. Women learning the power of their desire. Being able to name it, access it and turn it into fuel for every aspect of their lives.
They become filled with a sense of aliveness that is palpable.