Monday, April 11, 2016

Navagating the Waters of Girl World



Imagine a world where it was safe to be a woman, safe to be a girl and grow up with positive images of girls and women. Images that show women as smart, strong, confident, loving themselves just the way they are, in all body types, all ages and free from any constraints regarding their sexuality.

To live in a world where being female was not something that needed to be defended, protected, hidden or exploited, but rather honored, respected, loved and supported. What would it feel like to live in a world where feminine values were an integral part of the culture?


I am asking these questions because I have been doing research recently on the subject of “girl world” or what it means to be a girl growing up in the 21st Century, and I have to say I am horrified. Now I know this is a rather strong word to be using but it nevertheless is true. Having a God daughter who just turned 15 I decided to do some serious reading regarding the current sexualization of girls and children by the media and the marketing mongols. What I discovered was that it is really difficult to survive 'girl world' today. Boys are challenged as well in different ways, but I am just speaking about girls for the moment.


In today's world girls have to navigate through the trenches of "mean girl mentality" and blatant sexual harassment in their high school halls. In the book Queen Bees and Wanna Bees by Rosiland Wiseman, the author speaks about the existing pack mentality that is rampart in middle schools and high schools today for both boys and girls. It addresses the hierarchical positions of power in the girl cliques that exist and how each girl rivals each other for the Alpha Girl or Queen Bee's attention. Each girl has a part to play that is often not authentic but necessary for survival in girl world. Maybe it is because I don't have a daughter of my own, but I was seriously shocked to hear about the conduct girls are exhibiting amongst themselves. I know girl cliques have been a standard in schools for years, but I don’t remember them ever being so nasty.


The questions I asked myself were how did this happen, and why? When did girls become so nasty and mean to each other? When did power over others become so rampit in high school or even middle school?  The answer is because we live in a world that fosters masculine values over feminine ones and teaches our children that power is everything. The concept of power over rather than cultivating power from within is valued and praised.


From a Tantric perspective the feminine is valued and appreciated. The woman is usually seen as being strong and proud of her sexual power. Power from within is not a new concept and I first heard this term fromStarhawk in her book Truth or Dare. It means to feel ones power from within oneself rather than to take control over another. Cultivating power from within takes courage and builds character and I consider this to be the only true power we can have.


All of the things I believed the Women’s Liberation Movement fought to change o many years ago regarding the stereotypes of women, are in full swing in ‘girl world’. And did you know that the ideal girl/young woman that girls often try to emulate is Barbie? I kid you not. Yes, Mattel’s multimillion dollar doll that I played with when I was just a girl is bigger than ever and more influential than ever. Fashion models notwithstanding the images that the media and companies like Disney are still feeding the youth of America are very stereotypical. The only difference is that now Barbie has a brief case or drives a race car.



“Marketer's, illustrators, authors, songwriters, TV producers, movie screen writers, journalists, buyers for mall stores, and more are currently competing with you for the right to teach your little girl what it means to be a girl.” ( Packaging Girlhood, Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes).

Girls are told that they must strive to become more like a doll than themselves. Is it just me or is there something really off with that philosophy. Girls ages 3-18 are bombarded with what it means to have girl power according to fashion designers and marketers, essentially boiling it down to learning how to dress sexy or like a princess and shop, shop, shop. Girls are being bombarded with commercials that tell them if they just buy this pair of shoes they will be popular or hot. They are still learning that being sexy is the only thing that matters for a girl, and that what is important is how they look. Sexual empowerment equals looking sexy.

In a previous blog, The Sisterhood of Women, I speak of the possibility of women learning how to truly be what I call a 'temple sister'. In this model, (and you can find out more about this at The School of Womyn's Mysteries), women and girls learn how to support each other, communicate with each other in authentic ways and to value each other equally even when in a relationship with a man. 


Teaching and modeling for them how to honor and value each other is essential if they are to have meaningful and healthy relationships with women as they grow up. The model of cooperation and collaboration rather than competition and separation are new the new themes emerging in the world of women today.

Sex, boys, being popular and part of the in crowd have always been apart of "girl world." What has not is the rampart overt sexualization of women and girls through the media, music and advertising.


Some Things You Can do as a Parent

If you have a daughter or are a big sister to a young girl who is currently being affected by this or is a tween or teenager these are a few suggestions that you can do to help support you and her.
  • I encourage you to speak with other parents and to seek out programs that can support your daughter and you through this.
  • Become more educated and aware of the problem by reading books on the subject. Some of the books that I have found really helpful, besides the ones already mentioned are: The Lolita Effect, The Power of Beauty, The Beauty Myth and The Secret Lives of Girls. (all of these books can be found on Amazon or at your local library).
  • Find ways to share what your wisdom with your daughter in ways that she can relate too and also understand that she probably already has a good idea of what is going on.
  • There are also programs available to young girls called Maiden Spirit which will raise her consciousness, give her support, and help her to maintain being her own person.
  • Join with other parents who feel like you do, take your power back from the media and speak to the principal and or head of your school district. Invite them to discuss the situation and brain storm on ways to shift it.


Your comments are appreciated and I am happy to respond when I can.
Invite in a program to your daughter's school that can help raise the awareness of both boys and girls like the one Rosiland Wisemen offers.

Friday, March 25, 2016

REDEFINING YOUR EROTIC SENSE OF SELF



How do women define what makes them look and feel sexy?

This is a question I have asked myself for quite some time. I even offer a workshop for women exploring this very issue. Women have been told for hundreds if not thousands of years what they have to look like in order to be a “sexy” woman. Each culture has it's own definition of beauty and what a sexually attractive woman is, and these attitudes are reflected in the way women are told to dress, behave and act. Today we have Madison Ave., fashion magazines, movies and music lyrics that tell us how you can be a “sexier” you. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us how we should look, act, think, feel and what we should wear in order to be a sex goddess, have a fulfilling sex life, have the man of our dreams and so on.

With all of our advancement in the workplace, in some political arenas and in with some of our male/female relationships, women are still living within the framework of the old paradigm that was created some 5,000 years ago. Although the standards of what men in general define as “sexy” may have changed, the attitudes have not. You may find that you are still defining yourself according to these standards that most of us had no part in creating. And if you are a "woman of a certain age", then this question of how you define what a sexy woman is will begin to mean something entirely different.

Have you ever taken a moment to just reflect on what makes you feel and look sexy? What types of clothing make you feel that you have a sexy body, or that you are a sexually powerful woman? If you were to take a look at your wardrobe, what would you find that truly reflects how you define what being and looking like a sexy woman is? You may think that the choices you have made are your own, but are they really? Where do we get these ideas of what sexy looks like, or what a sexy body is supposed to be?

Not too difficult a question really, for as I already mentioned, these ideas that we often think are our own are only a reflection of what our society, culture dictates to us and in it has been men for the most part who have dictated these things to us. For thousands of years since the inception of patriarchy men have set down the standards of beauty and sexuality for women, and women have essentially been trying to live out those ideals.

In a recent book I read by Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth, I learned quite a bit about how Madison Ave. works to train the minds of women to buy whatever they wish to sell. Now women work in this industry too, so it is not just men who tell us what to buy. What disturbed me the most was reading that women actually believe in what they are being told to buy without much question and this is primarily due to the fact that a great many women have very low self-esteem and do not trust their own judgment. So what does this all mean and how can we be the change that we ourselves desire to have?

 In a  recent workshop I took a  room full of women were allowed to ask a panel of 6 men questions. One of  the questions was, what defined a sexy woman for them. The answers were somewhat unexpected. Almost all of the men said, confidence, sexually self-assured, independent and open-hearted is what they felt primarily made a woman sexy. Being physically attractive and chemistry was also mentioned but not as the primary things they looked for.
Below are a few questions you can ask yourself as well as a few things you can do that may help you
to redefine your erotic sense of self.



10 Tips to Redefining Your Erotic Sense of Self


1) What makes you feel sexy and attractive?

2) What are the qualities that you consider to make a woman sexy?

3) How do you define what being sexy is for yourself?

4)  What types of things make you feel juicy and alive?

5) What types of clothing express your sexuality? What types of clothing make you sensual or beautiful?

6) What is beautiful to you and what makes you feel beautiful?

7) What types of things make you feel sensual.  Then do them. Be willing to try new things out and be playful.

8) As an exercise, take time to look at other women when you are out and about. Notice what you like about the way they dress, or the energy they are emitting.What about them is attractive, appealing or beautiful? Don't compare yourself just notice what you like and see if you would like to try on those qualities.

9) Feeling sexy comes from the inside first. When you feel confident about yourself and your sexual expression, your sexual allure will shine through.

10). Be willing to open your heart and let the love that you are radiate out to everyone. Nothing is more sexy than the smile of a radiant woman.

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you must train yourself to see beauty in yourself and to begin to really question what the media or the collective consensus is telling you.


In my workshop Unveiling the Sacred Erotic Feminine, women are given an opportunity to come into the workshop dressed as the way they feel about their erotic selves. One woman dresses in black veils, another wears long flowing robes, one is flamboyant and one comes as a nun. What these women showed us in this exercise was how they felt about their sexual and erotic nature. You too can do something similar by playing with your clothes and trying on different costumes that portray how you feel about your sexual self. Doing this exercise will help you discover how you really feel about your sexuality and from there you can begin to explore your authentic sexual expression.
In order for women to break free of the old paradigm we must make our own choices without the influence of the media and the dictates of a male dominated world.

We live in the age of where creating our reality begins and ends with us. So it is important for you to question everything, to ask yourself how you feel about what is being told to you from the powers that be and to accept nothing unless you feel it is a true expression of who you are.


All women have the opportunity to shift from the old way we have been programmed to a new way of being for ourselves. The time has come for you and me to find out what it means for us to be in our Authentic Sexual Power and then to choose for ourselves how to express that.

If you would like to hear more about how you can reconnect and embody more of your authentic sexual power go to: The School of Womyn's Mysteries.

Friday, March 11, 2016

HOT GIRLS WANTED...THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMATEUR PORN BUSINESS





Hundreds of girls are seeking a way to escape their lives. Most come from a middle to lower income family, in small towns across America. These girls are not necessarily coming from an abusive home or severe poverty. Most have both parents at home, who love them and want only the best for their daughters, and some are on their way to college when they see this ad and take a detour.
Hot Girls Wanted is the titIe of a documentary on Netflix. The subject of this film was the story of five girls who went into the amateur porn industry and what happened to them along the way. An ad on Craigslist offered a free flight to Miami and promised work as a star in the amateur porn industry earning up to $3000 a film.
The amateur porn industry has been on the rise. Today it is a multi-billion dollar industry that is attracting young women ages 18-25 from all over the country. The allure is freedom and more money than they have ever made.  For the girls in this documentary it sounds like the answer to a prayer.  What they are not told in this ad is that their career in the amateur porn businesses will be short lived. After their time in the sun is over, they will  more than likely  be tossed out onto the street. Fresh new faces are what is wanted; if you are lucky you may last a year, tops. Most last 3-6 months.  You see, in this businesses, the demand is for fresh faces. It doesn’t matter if you are pretty with a great body;  for every one girl, there are hundreds more who are seeking the promise of fame, fortune and the freedom it claims to bring.
The idea of being a porn star, even if it is amateur, sounds exciting and daring. Something that they would never want their parents or friends back home to know about. Unfortunately, that is not the way it turns out.  Within a month, someone they know will have seen their photo on the internet. These films are made for the internet and are posted on sites that charge money for porn.
So why take the risk?  Each girl stated that the attention she was getting from the men who filmed them, or took their photos felt good. For the first time she felt like a princess;  she felt desirable and beautiful.  Being in a porn film for these girls gave them a (false) sense of self-esteem,  even knowing they are being used as objects to be sold.
The Problem
In today’s culture of oversexualization, young women everywhere are more confused than ever about what feminine sexual empowerment is. Part of the problem is that most teens are having sex before they are 15. Sex becomes something you just do.  One girl said, most of her middle school friends were having sex and so she thought she would too. After she did, she said, “I never want to do it again”. When she decided to go into amateur porn she wasn’t sure she would even be able to have sex with strange men.
Also, porn is now available for free over the internet and many teens have seen at least some porn before they are 16. What they see is not two adults who care about each other making love, but rather a mindless, emotionless and mechanical sex act. What is being taught is that sex is for a guys pleasure and often done roughly or without much care about the girl or her needs. Girls are seen as sexual toys to be used for the sexual satisfaction of the man, and the reciprocal act is not even mentioned or implied.
One girl in this film, let’s call her Stacy, stated that after the initial excitement wore off, it became just another job. She felt that all she was, was  meat, body parts to be sold, and that she did not matter at all. Linda stated that one guy was so big it hurt her and another girl got a serious infection from the friction of intercourse with too many men. It became so painful that she could no longer work.  The first film for one girl was what she called, fuck facing. This is where a man forces a girl to give him head and then she vomits. This was her first experience in making a film. The language used was derogatory and debasing for the girl. Afterward, she said the crew kept asking if she was ok, and she said she was. But she never did that type of film again.
The fact is that of the 5 girls in the film, only 2 were still in the industry after 6 months. The others had left and gone home. They now have a different perspective of porn and what it does to those who watch it and to those who go into the business.
The porn industry itself is not new of course and as long as there is a demand for it, it will exist. The women and men who choose to go into porn as their profession may go into it for the same reasons, but they’re often more aware of the inroads of becoming a porn star.  I have known many women who chose to become porn stars, and for the most part enjoyed their stint in the industry.  Some went into it because they loved sex and wanted to be paid for it.  The difference is that when a woman chooses to exploit her sexuality, she is in control. She calls the shots and she is then empowered. For most of the girls who get into the amateur porn industry this is not the case. They are seduced by the possibility of quick cash and a little bit of fame. But in reality, what they get is not such a rosy experience.
The early exposure of porn to young teens has now become the norm, causing a whole new set of problems that adults are finding difficult to deal with. How can you stop your child from being exposed to  porn on the internet when it is so easy to find? With more and more girls thinking  that posing nude and posting it on the internet is sexy, and will get them the attention and self- esteem they desire.
Young women are being taught that their value is in the way they look; if they are sexy, and getting the attention of men.  They believe they must seek the attention of a man to feel good about themselves rather than allowing their value to be based on who they are and what they have to offer, aside from sex.
So What Can You Do?
If you have a daughter who is beginning to explore her sexuality or are dealing with a teen that is similar to one of these girls, the first thing you can do is to educate her, and yourself. Do what you need to do to learn more about these issues and speak frankly about them. Become the sex educator for your family. Sit down with your daughter(s) and watch documentaries that explore these topics and issues. Sexy Baby, on Netflix, is very provocative, informative and very enlightening. There are others available in this genre as well. Have a discussion about what they are saying. Talk with her, not at her. Find out why she wants to have sex. Help her to understand that she has the power to choose who he wishes to be with. Share with her the responsibilities of having sex and the difference between making love and “hooking up”.  You may not be able to stop her from exploring her sexuality at age 15, but you can prepare her to be responsible and to become empowered with her choices.

If you like my blog please check out my articles on the Examiner.com and my books on Amazon

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The New Millennium Woman



What is the New Millennium Woman? What are the qualities of this type of woman? How can we recognize this woman when we meet her? What will she look like, sound like, feel like?

We are living in one of the most exciting and transformative times on earth. We have entered into a New Age, some say it is the Aquarian Age that has been foretold in sacred texts, and because of this, those who are called are beginning to acquire a new set of skills and evolving into a true "human being." The times we are living in are now dictating this new human. We are becoming more awake to our true nature and staying connected to our source, we are evolving into our enlightened selves our essence.


 The New Millennium Woman a woman of the New World, is a woman of her own creation.

 
It has been thirteen years since the beginning of the New Millennium. Hard to believe how fast the time has gone by and the first wave of this new Era is well on its way. We have passed through many of the foretold gateways like 2012 and suddenly we find ourselves unsure of what to expect next as the world energies accelerate. With this acceleration come new choices for us to make as a country, people and individually. In this second wave each one of us is being asked to redefine our values, to ask ourselves the questions, "what is it that I really want," and "what is it that is truly important to me." As we redefine our core values our desires change and so does what we put our attention on.

The world that we have known is rapidly changing. At this time of great transition when one world transitions into another, how we respond in our daily lives to our environment makes a huge difference in the way in which we contribute to the world at large. What we are putting our attention on is always what we will receive so shifting our attention to more positive outcomes both in our personal lives and in the world will have a direct effect on the world that is being created.

Today we live with more freedom than most women in the world, we hold high paying jobs, raise children, have relationships and yet we are still living out of an old paradigm of the feminine. Our new ideal of womanhood must come from the new world that we want to create and live in. It is with that in mind that we can begin to create ourselves.

As a woman you have an amazing opportunity to take the lead during this time. You are being called to model a new way of being with your feminine energy. Everywhere you are discovering new opportunities to step forward into your feminine power. Redefining your power is now more important than ever before. To awaken to your own divine feminine nature even more and to begin to focus our energy on creating a world you as woman have always known could be created. This new vision of the world includes our feeling unified with all of life, a feeling of inner peace and happiness, knowing that we are love itself and as such we can begin to model a new way of being in the world.

We are creating this new idea of what it means to be a woman in her full feminine power as we live into her. We are the pioneers of the new world and our values and what shapes us are different from the way our fore-mothers were. Our choices are infinite.


Who Is This Woman?

This new woman is a creature of her own making, yet she is being molded by love. She is an embodiment of the 13 archetypes of the Goddess, she is sovereign unto herself, she is whole and sufficient and lives in the present moment, without fear of the future. She is powerful, sexy, wise, nurturing, radiant love, intelligent, playful, open and free, receptive and creative, she is a partner to life, she no longer needs a man but may desire one for fun and sharing. She is not bound by society or what the current collective consciousness dictates, she knows her own mind and lives according to her authentic/unique self. This woman already lives within each of us and can be accessed if we want her to be.

This woman of the new world is free from many of the old paradigms that have held her captive, without her even knowing it. How she relates to men and how she views her role in relationship to her world is more expansive and inclusive.

This new woman of our own making must take the time to understand herself. She must desire to know herself better and to be courageous. Our feminine values are more than ever on the forefront for all the world to embrace but we must embrace them first and then live them. When you choose to become a New Millennium Woman you are taking the first step in creating a new paradigm for the feminine. What will you choose?

If you wish to know more about the New Divine Feminine Energy and the creation of a new paradigm for the feminine please go to: The School of Womyn's Mysteries.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Awakening to the Goddess of Love in You



Which aspect of the Goddess of Love and Sexuality do you most identify with? Is it Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty and sensuality?  Or perhaps Shakti, the Primal Goddess of creation, the life force? Or do you see yourself more as a priestess of the Goddess, such as a Temple Prostitute or a Sexual Healer?

The Goddess of love and sexuality has many names and aspects. She represents a side of the Divine Feminine that depicts women’s sensual and sexual nature as well as their abilities to heal and transmute sexual energy. These goddess archetypes have often been seen from a very narrow point of view based on the time that they were created in. The mythology of any culture always reflects the values of that culture and so do the pantheon of gods and goddesses that are created. What was once said about Aphrodite in Greek society is not necessarily what she represents for modern women today. Archetypes must change and reflect the current the age that they live in.

An archetype is a universally understood symbol, term, statement, or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated. Archetypes are often used in myths and storytelling across different cultures. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior. An archetype can be said to express the presence of a divine force within the human soul that manifests itself in all of the typically human patterns of thought, feeling, imagery, and behavior.

Five Aspects of the Goddess/Priestess of Love and Sexuality

I have delineated five basic archetypes of the Goddesses and priestesses of Love and Sexuality: the Goddess of Love and Beauty, the Primal Goddess, the Sacred Prostitute or Courtesan, and the Sexual Healer who has primarily emerged over the past 15 years. Of course each of these archetypes have many different names, some of which are for the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, Venus, Innana and Oshun; Lilith, Shakti, Pele and Brigit for the Primal Goddess aspects;  Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtereth for the Holy Whore.

LILITH


The Primal Goddess, Lilith

Many of the goddesses representing sensuality and sexuality are seen as dark or dangerous, this aspect of the feminine is to be feared. Lilith is one example from the Hebrew Midrash who was considered the first woman before Eve. She can also be considered one of the first primal goddesses and is often demonized for her role in the mythology of the Garden of Eden.  Lilith was told by Adam to lie beneath him so that he would be in a superior sexual position and  Lilith said no. She did not want to feel subservient to man and would not obey Adam's command so she left. When Adam told God, he sent his Angels to get her back but she refused. She preferred to be cast out of Eden to willingly copulate with the demons anyway she wanted to.

Lilith represents, strength and defiance, she is wild and uncontrollable. She is everything “man” fears about the feminine. Clarissa Pincola Estes describes this archetype in her book Women Who Run with the Wolves, as unfettered, primal in her passions, wild and free adhering only to her own truth. She is instinctive and is not afraid to be fully sexual, passionate or lustful.

APHRODITE


Aphrodite the Goddess of Love, Sensuality and Beauty

Aphrodite is often mysterious and fascinatingly exotic to men and tends to be a disturbing presence in the workplace of the fatherland.”- The Goddess Within.

If a woman is blessed by Aphrodite it generally means that she will be very much at ease with her body and have a healthy, uncomplicated relationship with her sexuality.  Later as she matures this may appear as almost a rather casual regard for her sexuality.  One of her most predominant traits is to love being in love but only in relatedness with another. Aphrodite is never one to have sex without a feeling of connection no matter whether it is for hour, night or year.  She is also known as the Goddess of Pleasure for she loves to be pleasured.  She often attracted to either sex and follows where her heart leads.

ISHTAR



The Holy Whore/Sacred Prostitute

The lineage of the Sacred Protsitute is an ancient one. Ishtar, the Great Whore of Babylon, was sometimes called the Goddess Har since she was the mother of the Harlots. These Harlots were not prostitutes as we know them, but priestesses, sorceresses, prophets, and healers. Sacred Whores were known sometimes as the Holy Virgins of Goddesses such as Ishtar, Asherah.

Jungian psychologist Nancy Qualls-Corbett describes the Holy Whore in her book, The Sacred Prostitute, as "a woman, who, through ritual or psychological development, has come to know the spiritual side of her sexuality, her true Eroticism, and lives this out according to her individual circumstances."

Priestesses devoted their lives and their bodies to the Goddess. Herodotus wrote that Babylonian brides were required by law to prostitute themselves at the temple for seven days prior to marriage in order to appease the Goddess, who disapproved of monogamy. Spending time as a holy whore blessed the maiden.



VERONICA FRANCO

The Sacred Courtesean

In the Renaissance the Italian word “cortigiana”, feminine of “cortigiano” came to refer to “the ruler’s mistress”, and then to a well-educated and independent woman of loose morals, eventually a trained artisan of dance and singing, especially one associated with wealthy, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for companionship. In Ancient Greek society she was know as the Hetaera.

The function of the Hetaera is to awaken the individual psychic life in the male and lead him through and beyond his male responsibilities towards the formation of a total personality.  Usually this development becomes the task of the second half of life, i.e. after the social position has been established." –Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche.

The courteseans of old were special women who learned how to survive on their feminine wiles. Often they were women who came from impoverished circumstances with no dowry and hence no way to marry. Some were intelligent, funny, creative women who chose not to live the defined role of women in their societies. Aspasia, Theodora and Veronica Franco are just a few of these women or sacred courtesans. All of these women have a gift to offer to modern woman today.


Embracing the Goddess, Priestess of Love and Sexuality in You

In our modern world how women are seen is still greatly influenced by these images of the feminine. Although most women do not know this, they too have allowed themselves to be seen and to see themselves through the lens of one or more of these archetypes. We fear, hide, are ashamed, or exploit our sexual power. Very few women fully use and embody their authentic feminine power, standing in their feminine strength, love, beauty, intelligence, grace, and sexuality. When we do, we take the apology out of being a woman.

What I have come to realize is that women need to embrace all of these aspects of themselves if they truly wish to feel whole and stand in their full authentic feminine power. This includes learning how use their sexual power not to survive but to thrive. To change the current paradgim which is thousands of years old and by which we still live. Understanding how to be and use this magnificent power is key if we wish to create a world where women are safe to be women and where we can live in partnership with men.


How You Can Do This

The first thing is to begin to understand who these images of the feminine are to you personally is to take the time to find out who you most identify with.
Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Which aspects do I fear or feel comfortable with.
  2. Who draws me in and fascinates me?
  3. Which aspcet do I long to know better.
  4.  How am I currently showing up in the world regarding my sexual power and expression?
For the most part women have been forced to use their sexuality to survive. We see throughout history that women’s sexual power has been feared, her body a symbol of life and the power to create, was made to seem evil, something that tempted men away from the divine.
Through getting to know the various archetypes of the goddess which represent feminine sexuality and love we can begin to learn more about ourselves and our sexual expression. We can also begin to embody more of the qualities we wish to express. Through getting to know each archetype those aspects you wish to embrace, you will have a better understanding of your own nature. By practicing ritual, creating an altar, learning the art of adornment and invoking the energy of that aspect to be with you, you will begin to own more of your wholeness of your feminine nature, as a sexually powerful woman.

By awakening to your own inner goddesses, priestesses of love and embodying more of their qualities, you can finally begin to integrate all of the sexual archetypes both for yourself and for the collective.

We can also begin to explore what new archetypes of  the goddess of love and sexuality we wish to create for a new world that is no longer afraid of the feminine, but rather honors, reveres and celebrates her power as we once did many thousands of years ago.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can learn to bring the Goddess of Love more into your life, and to embody more of her sexual archetypes please join me on my Free Intro Call: A Taste of the Goddesses of Love this Saturday January 23rd or go to my website: The School of Womyn's Mysteries

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WHAT IS SEXUAL HEALING?

Sexual healing as a profession is a fairly recent phenomenon beginning with Sex Therapy and over the past 15 years, broadening to include trained and certified sexual healers, also known as Sacred Intimates, Sexological Bodyworkers, Dakas and Dakinis.

For decades these courageous women and men have offered their services to women who have bravely sought them out for a deeper awakening to their sexuality. For hundreds of years women have hardly been allowed to have any sexual libido at all and if they did they were classified as hysterical. The medical profession gave this name to the symptoms of women who had too much pent up sexual energy in the Victorian Age and treated it with hands-on therapy provided by a physician. This doctor would stimulate the clitoris of the patient until she had an orgasm or paroxysm (release of tension). Of course they also thought that a lobotomy would calm the woman down and so many hundreds if not thousands of women were literally made into zombies of sorts. With no frontal lobe you would be very calm and zombielike.

 Thank the Goddess that that practice was abandoned and that today women are blessed to have other forms of sexual healing. Today sexual healing has come out of the closet and is finally being seen as a legitimate profession.

Dr. Christiane Northrup, physician, best-selling author and internationally renowned women's health expert commented, "Up until very recently, hands-on sexual healing has been cloaked in secrecy, shame, and misunderstanding. But a bold new group of courageous pioneers like Pamela Madsen, are leading the way toward a deeper, richer understanding of women's sexual pleasure as a force for health and healing that positively affects all areas of their lives. The new feminism includes embracing our erotic power, and hands-on sexual healing in the right setting can be a very effective way to accomplish this." Clearly hands-on-sexual healing is slowly seeping into the mainstream with such shows as HBO’s Hung.


SEXUAL HEALING AND GENITAL ARMORING

Body armoring is a term Wilhelm Reich used to describe when the muscular tissue of the body responds to emotional as well as physical trauma by tensing up in a protective reflex. Over time, these tissues become chronically stiff and hard, blocking sensation and energy flow in the affected area. Armoring is an instinctive protective device whose purpose is to defend against experiencing physical or emotional pain. When a person can no longer feel or respond to sexual or sensual pleasure in an area of the body, in this case the genitals, we call this genital armoring.

Deborah Anapol, author, sex educator, in her article What is Sexual Healing states, "Genital armoring initially occurs when children are shamed or discouraged from touching their genitals, enjoying their bodies through masturbation and engaging in natural exploration with peers. It can also result from invasive medical interventions (i.e. abortion, hysterectomy, circumcision, or cesarean delivery) insensitive or unskilled partners, rough handling, overuse of vibrators, emotional trauma, and from unfulfilling lovemaking. The most dramatic and severe genital armoring is often a result of rape or child sexual abuse but ordinary people with no personal history of abuse can easily acquire enough armoring to drastically limit their sexual pleasure simply by being exposed to society’s typical anti-sex messages.

THE COMPONENTS OF SEXUAL HEALING

Sexual healing can cover many areas of your sexual expression, from healing sexual abuse to feeling more pleasure throughout your body and having more full-bodied orgasms. You may wish to see a sex therapist for sexual dysfunction or a psychologist who specializes with sexual abuse and trauma or who offers hands-on sexual healing sessions.

Sexual healing from abuse can take years for some and often does. It can be an ongoing process, but if you are willing to do the necessary work which includes both talk and hands-on sexual-healing, you can recover. If wanting to just awaken more to your sexual energy and to open up more to sexual pleasure, or even just sensual pleasure, working with a sexual healer who offers a hands-on approach can be all that you need.

As a sexual healer and sex educator I have found that what is most needed for the client to recover is the ability to have a choice, to have control over what and when something takes place in a session. If all the client does is make a decision about something I ask her about then it is a successful session.

If you are a professional in the field of sexuality you may wish to take the training that I have co-developed called, The Somatic Sensual Healing Program We have two levels at the moment with more to come. The first level is dedicated to the healing of women and the second to the healing of men.

To find out more about this life changing course since you will be able to play the role of the client and receive healing as well as learn how to be a compassionate sexual healer, go to:

http://sacredscarletsupport.weebly.com/training-level-1.html.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Has the Beauty Myth Gone to Far, Labiaplasty Fad or Self Mutilation?

Has the beauty myth gone to far? It seems that way to me. I have recently become aware of the growing fad of what is commonly called, labiaplasty and vaginaplasty. My first glimpse of this phenomena was on a documentary, Sexy Baby. This very informative documentary follows three women and their stories regarding, sex and teens, labiaplasty, and cultural over-sexualization of girls.

As a writer and teacher about sacred sexuality and women’s body image I have read about the oversexualization of girls, (see my article) Do You Know, What’s Happening in Girl World?. But this newest phenomenon, labiaplasty was a revelation to me as I watched Sexy Baby. The woman in this documentary who had this surgery done said that she felt her labia lips were ugly, too large and she felt depressed about her genitals. The question I wanted to ask her was how did she get the idea that her genitals were ugly and too large? Who did she compare herself to, since looking at other women’s vaginas is not a common practice in our culture today. The answer she gave was porn stars. She also said her boyfriend commented on her vulva and compared her to a porn star. It seems she and her former boyfriend use to watch porn together and she saw that all the women had perfect looking vulva. In this young woman’s mind because her labia did not look like a porn star, who by the way, are groomed to look a certain way because they are in a movie, she felt ugly. She actually said she was so uncomfortable the way her labia looked that she felt stuck in her life and had to have the surgery. Did this woman not understand that porn stars have to look good for their work. If they didn’t have perfect bodies, they wouldn’t be appealing to the audience they are selling sex to, which is primarily men. We also can say that the men in porn all have large penises and great abs, the women perfect measurements and beautiful labia. Everyone is shaved and groomed immaculately in order to have sex on camera.

But this is not real, this is fantasyland. For Barbie Dolls and porn stars to now be the standard of how a “real woman” should look, is saying that something is drastically wrong with our cultural views of female beauty. In Naomi Wolf’s book, The Beauty Myth, she delves deep into the mass marketing of female beauty…stating that women are continually brainwashed by the media and Madison Ave. standards of what a sexy, beautiful woman should look like. And even though this book was written a decade ago, it is unfortunately even more relevant today.

What is happening to young women who have been born after the second wave of the women’s liberation movement affects all women.
My own God Daughter who has just turned 14, although more aware than most girls her age of how women are portrayed, is still very impressionable and subject to peer pressure to look a certain way which for today’s teens seems to be “sexy” or chic slut.
For a generation of women to believe that their genitals are ugly because they have large labia lips tells us that these women are feeling less self esteem, have a poor body image and a serious lack of understanding about female sexuality. The culture is filled with ads, music, films and other media telling girls/women that they are not sexy enough or pretty enough unless they look a certain way, which is continuously giving young girls and women the message they are not good enough the way they are.

“So it's a cause for concern that 11- to 14-year-olds are already so self-conscious about their intimate parts. An image is already being set that something is wrong with them, when it's highly likely that they're completely normal.” (Dr. Iglesia)
Our sex-crazed, culture has created generations of girls and women who have distorted views of what being a sexy woman looks like. The underlying message is that women have to do something to change their bodies to be attractive to men and society at large.

In the documentary The Perfect Vagina (NSFW) a woman from the UK sets out to understand why women are going under the knife to alter the look of their genitalia, a form of self-mutilation. She notes that labiaplasty is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the UK, and one of the fastest growing operations in the United States. But women are not the only ones who are ignorant and lack good sex education about themselves. Men too, encourage this type of surgery, as discovered by the writer of this documentary. The fact that a man may not find a woman’s vaginal lips attractive says that he too is in need of a thorough education regarding female anatomy.


What They Are Not Telling You

According to Dr. Linda Cardozo (gynecologist), requests from the UK’s National Health Service for what she calls a “designer vagina” have doubled in the last five years. Cardozo is concerned about the well being of women because a labiaplasty means being subjected to a largely unregulated procedure, one that involves the risk of permanent scarring, infections, bleeding and irritation, as well as major changes in vaginal sensitivity. According to the documentary, a labiaplasty procedure can take up to three months to fully heal. In the worst cases, post-operative clitoral hood deformity can occur.

Cardozo noted that it isn’t rare to have three generations from the same family come into her office all looking for the same type of labia reduction. She comments that women are desiring to have a vagina that looks like that of a little girl, which will never truly come to fruition because these women aren’t and will never be little girls again.

This trend toward having “vaginal rejuvenation” or female genital cosmetic procedures, such as “vaginaplasty”, “revirgination” and “G-spot amplification”, are symptoms of a culture that has become even more dependent upon the “quick fix” rather than educating oneself and broadening your understanding of your body and sexuality. I think even a more repressed reason for this kind of surgery to be on the rise, is the hidden shame that all women carry, since Eve, for being a sexual woman and how this fact somehow caused the downfall of man. The power of a woman’s body and her sex still seems to be something we are all still apologizing for. Somehow I know in the core of my soul, that women today are still being influenced by this mass collective belief that has been handed down from mother to daughter for lifetimes.

"More than 2,140 U.S. women underwent 'vaginal rejuvenation' last year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons put the U.S. total at nearly 5,200 in 2010. Experts note such figures do not include the many procedures done by gynecologists." (Medscape)

The old paradigm regarding women, which says that a woman’s worth is only based on how she looks physically and how attractive she is to a man, must change.

The Solution to this Growing Problem
Education may not be the only solution but in truth is one of the best ways to help end this newest fad. When girls and women are educated about their Herstory, when they are able to see how women are still viewed in our society today, and when they are taught better sex education about their own bodies, then young girls, women will begin to have better self esteem and make better choices for themselves. Many of the reasons that women get these procedures done could be eliminated with just a little bit more of information and a few good exercises for a vaginal face lift.
In many tantric traditions (see my article, The Tantric Tradition of Typing Genitaila, Does Size Really Matter?, the typing of both male and female genitals are quite common. They are generally named and specific attributes of each type are explained. Knowing what type you are and what type your partner is can make a world of difference in terms of sexual satisfaction, but more so in terms of accepting and appreciating your vagina or penis the method it is. You will learn by reading more about the type you are, that your genitals are not abnormal because they don’t look like porn stars genitals but just perfect the way they are, The Yoni Empowerment Ceremony/Playshop.

As part of my work in the world, you could even say my mission, I created a workshop/ceremony called The Yoni (Sanskrit word for vulva), Empowerment Puja (sacred ceremony). At these playshop/ceremonies I have personally witnessed women who have hated the way their genitals looked when they began the day and left feeling that their vulvas were beautiful. Part of the metamorphosis that occurs during this one or two day ceremony is that women begin to have a more connected relationship with their yoni/vulva.

Through a process I call Yoni Speak, you may, for the first time, begin to actually speak and listen to your vulva. When you begin to feel a deeper connection with this very special part of your woman’s body, you will learn what she really wants from you which will most likely be very different from what you want.

I also provide sex education on the different types of female genitalia. As mentioned earlier one of the most powerful things a woman can do for herself is to see other women’s vulvas. Yes, I know this may sound a bit crazy, but being able to see other women who have a similar genital type as you can make all the difference in the world. Without actually being able to see other vulvas, some different some the same as yours, you cannot truly know how normal and beautiful your genitals are.

As well as learning about the different types of female genitalia, creating a mold of your yoni as a sacred altar piece and decorating it, is a very empowering and life changing experience. It may sound simple but by going through the process of first creating the mold, then in silence communing with your Yoni and listening to how “she” wants you to decorate her, will change how you see and feel about your vulva forever. One participant told me that she thought she had nothing to learn about her yoni, but after making the altar piece she had a whole new relationship with her vulva.

In conclusion I hope that if you are a woman reading this article, or know of a woman who has thought of getting one of these procedures done, please do yourself and your friend a favor by taking the time to see what other alternatives exist. My intention for writing this article is in part to bring awareness to other solutions and to provide you with alternative ways to learn how you can like and even love your genitals and your whole body.

For some additional resources please check out:
https://vimeo.com/46035152 resources The Centerfoldproject.
http://www.womensmysteries.org/Workshops.html
http://www.womensmysteries.org/PriestessInitiation.html

Note: Some providers, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, want these procedures banned because they consider them akin to female genital mutilation, particularly when the surgery includes clitoral hood reduction.