Tuesday, September 15, 2015
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.
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.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Are we ready to evolve in how we related to each other, regardless of the form, so that we can finally begin to live into the highest and most loving version of ourselves? Craig Hamilton of Integral Enlightenment, says yes!
Many of us have sense that there’s a potential for an extraordinary type of human relationship, marked by an unprecedented level of intimacy, vulnerability, authenticity, and transparency, essentially being with each other without any boundaries or barriers, being together truly beyond ego.
Over the past few years I have written several articles that have been on the topic of enlightened partnering or conscious relationships for the 21st Century. These articles have spoken not only to romantic relationships but have addressed all forms of how we relate to each other. So when I read an article based on some of the teachings of Craig Hamilton, on A Radical Way to Grow Spiritually in Relationship, I was thrilled.
First he mentions that there are three categories of people:
1) Those who have no interest in your personal/spiritual evolution or their own
2) Those who are curious and interested in personal/spiritual evolution, but who aren’t as committed as you to the spiritual path
3) Those who are totally committed to doing their own work and growing with you in an active partnership (what he calls “evolutionary relationships”).
I called these Spiritual or Enlightened Relationships but Craig uses the term Evolutionary which I think is even more accurate. Since the beginning of humanity we have evolved from Pro-Magnum man to the present form of Homo sapiens. This has been an evolutionary journey and our evolution as a species never stops for in truth if it did humanity would surely annihilate itself. Since we are continuing to evolve in consciousness it makes perfect sense that we should evolve in how we relate to one in other.
Craig says that an evolutionary relationship is not necessarily one that is about romance or sex at all. In fact, that dimension can often complicate things. He says that many of us are ready to experience an extraordinary way of being in human relatedness marked by an “unprecedented level of intimacy, vulnerability, authenticity, and transparency, essentially being with each other without any boundaries or barriers, being together truly beyond the ego”.
You may have experienced this type of relationship already or had a taste of it. I know that I have if only for a brief moment in time. You may have sensed the potential with someone to move into a more dynamic, growing, vital, dynamic, and thriving connection, resisting the urge to rest on familiar, known ground but have not known how to go about cultivating it. Very few relationships will ever evolve to this level as it requires a rare quality of dedication to self-awareness that is often a life-long pursuit. Craig teaches us how to be proactive about cultivating such relationships. To do this requires essentially establishing a sacred contract, setting up what he calls “an evolutionary partnership”, which can be governed by the following radical principles.
Principles of an Evolutionary Partnership
1. The very context and organizing principle of the relationship is conscious evolution beyond ego.
This is the very purpose of why we’re in the relationship. Instead of organizing around comfort, survival, mutual benefit, comfort, and connection, in this kind of relationship, we explicitly commit to coming together for a higher purpose. That’s the “why” of the whole thing. We have a shared agreement for why we’re here. Instead of colluding together to protect and preserve the status quo of the relationship, we’re willing to put the relationship at risk, to constantly challenge the relationship, as a way to evolve spiritually together, as a way to avoid falling into stuck, habitual patterns that lead the relationship to go to sleep.
2. We agree to be mutually accountable to something higher than ourselves.
In most conventional relationships, we’re attempting to negotiate between two people’s individual needs and desires. The personal self is the only context we have, so the relationship is the result of two isolated personal selves with their own unique agendas attempting to negotiate so they can be in relationship together without too much conflict. Typically, we ask, “What do YOU want to do? What do I want to do? What are we both willing to give up so we can meet in the middle?” But in an evolutionary relationship, our #1 priority is aligning with Divine will, rather than focusing exclusively on our own personal desires or the desires of the person we’re in partnership with. When a conflict comes up, we’re interested not just in both personal points of view, but in what’s the right thing to do from the highest perspective, in service to the highest good of all beings. It’s about not caring so much what you get out of the relationship or what the other person gets out of it. It’s more about a mutual seeking of truth, of what’s right and whole and aligned. We ask, instead, “What’s the right thing to do to the best that we can discern it?” This way, there is no fundamental conflict. You both want the same thing…the highest good, rather than focusing on personal desires. You’ll always find your way through when you’re genuinely prioritizing this outcome. There is no “winner” or “loser” because the highest good always wins- and you both want that.
3. We recognize that we have an ego, that we’re prone to error.
Because we acknowledge that we both have egos, we know that we are prone to misinterpretation of circumstances. I defined ego here, according to Craig’s definition, so don’t be misled by a term that often gets misused. Read what I wrote about ego here. When we both acknowledge our own egos and our potential for error, we come together with the commitment to try to see clearly, beyond the ego. This means we’re willing to call each other on unhealthy patterns and try to break those patterns. It’s an exercise in mutual humility, acknowledging that we aren’t going to do it right, that our egos are going to screw us up, but that we’re mutually committed to trying to uncover what is true, in spite of being prone to error. This way, there’s no compulsion to defend your point of view. You’re both committed to seeing what is true. It’s a radical act, to be willing to stop defending your motives whenever you are challenged. Because we both have egos, we must recognize that we’re prone to distortions and be willing to acknowledge that with humility.
4. Despite the fact that we have egos and are prone to error, we want to be accountable to our potentials, to our highest and best selves.
This means that even though both parties know we are prone to errors in judgment and distortion, we’re not using that as an excuse at all. We are acknowledging that we always have a choice in the matter. Our egoic limitations are not an excuse for not showing up fully. We acknowledge that we have a right to expect this from each other, even though we have egos and tendencies for error. This only works with two people who are really committed to showing up in this way, wanting to be accountable and be held accountable. It’s not about always getting it right. We’re going to screw up. It’s not about beating each other up for our tendency to be prone to error. It’s about committing to operating at a risk-taking edge, which requires a lot of trust and commitment to mutual accountability.
5. The context for our engagement together is about leaning into our evolutionary edges, where we’re growing and evolving, sharing a mutual interest in our evolving edges.Rather than meeting in our limitations, fears, and doubts, colluding in how we’re failing to show up to our highest potential, complaining about what doesn’t work, we take a stand for meeting in service to our highest potentials. Some relationships are based on sharing every that’s wrong or not working or where we’re struggling or fearful. This fifth principle is about making that off limits, not that there’s no place to talk about your limitations, but that the relationship is meant to lift up what’s possible, rather than to devolve into a shared bitchfest that drags both parties down. The context for the engagement, therefore, is from a place of desiring to manifest our highest potential, taking a stand for one another’s higher potential, reaching for what’s possible, sharing what comes up as we awaken. It’s a positive, uplifting context for engagement, but a challenging one, because it’s a stretch and requires moving out of habitual patterns that tend to plague a lot of spiritually-minded or psychologically-minded relationships.
6. We agree to be mirrors for one another.
Rather than merely affirming each other’s self-image, as most relationships operate, we agree to reflect to the other person things about who they are that might be outside of their awareness. We tend to see others more clearly than we see ourselves. As evolutionary partners, we agree to lovingly and gently, without judgment, point out blind spots in each other to help illuminate what we might not be seeing clearly in ourselves. This includes mirroring back not only negative traits- things that need to evolve- but also positive things that we may not see within ourselves. This includes mirroring back how we’re growing and where we’re making progress. We can not only help undo negative patterns; we can also mirror back the uplifting things we may not see in ourselves. This means being willing to challenge each other’s assumptions, really striving to help each other see ourselves more clearly.
7. We aspire to set an example for one another.
We are not perfect. We are not going to always get it right. But we are aspiring to model what it means to have an evolutionary and enlightened relationship to life, stretching vulnerably into the unknown. We aspire to uplift each other through our own examples. This means radical transparency. In many close relationships, you devolve when you get comfortable. You let that person see your worst self. But in these relationships we aspire to be our best selves, not our worst self with each other.
Are You Involved In Any Evolutionary Relationships? Do You Feel They Are Possible?
What have you learned from engaging with another person in this way? What challenges have you faced? What triumphs have you experienced? Share your wisdom and stories in the comments.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I have pretty much always wanted to have my own business or my own work be what I do full time. I thought that if I just achieved that I would be somebody. I would be able to support myself comfortably, I would have recognition in the women's community, I would have the community I wanted and the new friends etc. The realization that my life was not a reflection of any of those things and that where I am is a far cry from what I wanted, was what I needed to accept. Resistance shows up as anything that you feel not at peace with. So in my case I was not at peace with my life on any level. Not only with my work or striving to have a career, but with my finances, my home situation, and even with my relationships. I needed to STOP all the seeking, running around and trying to create out there fulfillment. I needed to STOP and just face it all as it was, and accept my life the way it was. To really face the what if I never have the career I want, or the community or partner or money...what if I never achieve any of these things. Facing this is not small task as it requires a deep commitment to the TRUTH and a willingness to see what is TRUE about myself.
Unraveling the machine that was still running my life, even though I thought it wasn't. It was obvious that it was and that it was time to just stop everything. To lay all of it down at the feet of the Divine within myself and without that is life itself. That higher intelligence that is the creator/creatrix of everything. The all knowing, omnipresent and omniscient energy that you and I come from and are an expression of. For me striving for something, having an outer purpose to get up in the morning was what gave my life meaning. I was always driven by this purpose as you may be as well. And it is unfortunate that so many light workers and true spiritual seekers find themselves searching for this outer purpose first rather than focusing on their inner purpose which is to awaken to the Truth of who you are.
This unraveling of the doer and once again dropping into Being seemed to be what was the next unfoldment in my life. I have to say that although it felt like a relief it was also a bit scary to face everything that I had been running on and felt motivated by. What if I just stopped being motivated then what? Now I finally understood what Eckhart Tolle said when he shared that when he first truly awakened he sat on a park bench for 2 years and did nothing. He was just being and for the first time being was more important than doing. The discovery of who one is, to meet your True nature...to finally realize that because you exist you are enough has been for me a very monumental realization. This is not because I have not known this or even felt this at times, but it is because at this time in my life, I am ready to know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. For me, trusting my SELF in all ways, knowing that I AM enough, has been my life long soul's teaching. I exist therefore I Am, I Am therefore I exist. Nothing else is needed to fulfill or complete me. There is of course no me to complete when I recognize this as the Truth of who I am.
This unraveling of the doer and allowing myself to just be with whatever is showing up, to not feel driven to accomplish something each day or to get myself out there, is like rewiring my nervous system. I have known about the feminine way of being and have been opening to living my life more and more from that place, but have most of the time been practicing life from a more masculine energy. The feminine allows the masculine pushes and strives. The feminine supports through intention, the masculine has goals and take action to achieve them. Both are needed in the process of manifestation, but as I have learned, for women, it is crucial to learn how to turn on our feminine hormones, Oxytocin rather than to manifest through our adrenals and make it happen with Testosterone. To allow ourselves to first be, relax, move into a place of more alignment with who we are first, then to set our intentions and take inspired action from there. This has been for me a new way of manifesting, or as I like to say femafesting. It is something that has taken me time to adapt to, and as you can see I am still very new to living my life from the feminine way of being and doing. I can no longer live any other way since Being is the only way to truly accomplish anything with ease, grace and flow. There is of course a paradox in this as there always seems to be when speaking of these types of things.
You must first learn how to completely let go of being the doer in order for anything to actually get done with ease.
So as I met Myself once again, and was able to just let go again of the need to have my life be different from he way it is and to Stop everything, I found the peace I was seeking. From this place I have been able to do only what I am feeling inspired to do and yes I am still taking care of the practical things that need to be taken care of. But when I try to get motivated to work on my writing or "do" something from that old place I can't as I feel exhausted again. I am only willing to do what I feel inspired to do in each moment as much as possible. It seems that my life has had to fall apart completely in order for me to finally open up and learn how to live life from this new place of Acceptance, Being and Inspired Action.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I love the word 'allure'. The word itself captivates one and I find it holds the energy of its meaning. To be alluring is 1) to temp or entice; 2) the power of attraction, 3) to beguile. It could also mean that one has charisma or even the power to seduce or be seductive. When one is 'alluring' the subject of the allurer is under a “spell” or so it may seem.
Don’t you just love knowing that if you are a woman you have the power to beguile? In fact that is where it all began in the mythical Garden of Eden when the Snake (symbol for sexuality) beguiled Eve to eat the apple of knowledge.
The question I wish to explore here is if this is the old definition of what it means to be alluring then what could the new definition be? For women this is an important question, for ever since the ‘fall’ we women have been trying to apologize for being a woman. I believe that the time has come to reshape, reconfigure and redefine what it means to be a woman who has allure or what I call 'feminine mystique'.
It has been for literally thousands of years that we have been told that it was our ability to entice men that caused the downfall of mankind. Our innate sexuality was too hot and alluring for man to handle. And so the word allure got a bad rap and women were told that to be too sexy, too enticing or seductive was wrong. Only bad girls did that, not good girls. And even though we wanted to please our mothers and fathers we also wanted to explore our bad girl nature.
Over 30 years ago Betty Friedan wrote the book, The Feminine Mystique. It rocked the feminist world and brought awareness to the roles of women, a subject that had never been questioned. Although this book was written decades ago, many of these ideas are still prevalent in our culture today. Betty Friedan’s book exposed the roles of women in the 50’s and 60’s as well as the attitudes that accompanied them, and as such allowed us to bring to light how women were so repressed by the social standards and mores of their day.
The Tantric Woman
In Tantra the woman is always seen as the more dynamic and active partner, especially in love making, for she is the expression of Shakti the Primal Goddess. She represents raw sexuality, uncontrolled emotions. She can be fierce or gentle. She is untamable and is our primal nature, the Wild Woman. This aspect of the feminine has always scared the male population and it has also scared many women. Of course this was not always the case, especially before the demise of the Goddess. But it has been the case for the past five thousand years. And so the time has come for women to embrace this aspect of her feminine nature and to use it with love, wisdom, and reverence and to hold it sacred.
The New Feminine Mystique
The New Feminine Mystique is a new possibility for you as a woman to shift the current way in which you embody and express your sexual power, your sexual allure and your feminine sexual essence. It is a conversation that explores what it means to be a fully-embodied sexually-awake, totally integrated woman. How we as women use our power, the power of our sex and sexual allure is a question whose time has come.
The New Feminine Mystique takes the shame out being an alluring woman and redefines this age-old term. To be a woman who is alluring now can mean to be someone who has kept her passion and erotic nature alive, a woman who is inspired by her vision and who knows how to show herself in the best light. She wears her womanliness proudly and without apology. Her sexuality is appropriately expressed when it is the right time and is not used to manipulate others to get what she wants. She no longer needs to do that in order to survive. She is a woman who is virginal unto herself and knows that she can satisfy herself erotically and does not need a man to do this. Because of this she is not afraid of men and therefore can love them for being men. When a woman no longer needs a man to feel fulfilled she is then free to love them for being who they are.
With this as a guide more and more women can begin to stand tall and feel that being a sexually potent, fully impassioned and alive woman is magnificent and something to be celebrated.
We are faced with many challenges at this time in our history and it has been told by many, including the Dali Lama, that it will be through the women in North America that the world should look for its leadership. If this is true then it is up to women everywhere but most especially here in the U.S. to ask themselves if they are ready to become the women that they have always wanted to be.
For more information regarding The New Feminine Mystique please check out: www.womensmysteries.org/FeminineMystique.html and register for the free intro conference call.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
As temples were built in honor of the Goddess the responsibility of initiation was given to the temple priestesses. Some women were trained to become Temple Prostitutes, whose main role was to restore men back to wholeness after war and help them to reconnect with their soul and heart. These women would dance the dance of Shakti and be a vessel for the Goddess to come through. The personal self having stepped out of the way, She became a vehicle for the energy of the Goddess to flow through her.
In the temple of love the sacred prostitute’s primary offering to the goddess was her welcoming of the stranger, thought to be the emissary of the gods or perhaps the god incarnate. If she were a maiden, he initiated her into the mysteries of her feminine sexuality under the aegis of the goddess. Holy Whore 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." (The Sacred Prostitute, Nancy Qualls-Corbett)
The Demise of Sacred Sex
Sex began to become profane with the onset of the Church's gradual annihilation of the role of the goddess and all that she represented. The sacred feminine went from holy to unholy, from sacred to profane and the sacred prostitute was drastically altered. There came a time when the goddess was no longer worshiped; the physical and spiritual aspects of the feminine were declared evil. From this point on women who represented sexuality and the goddess were also condemned by the Church Patriarchs as, “the embodiment of sensuous seduction, the reason for man’s downfall; she was tempted by evil forces and in turn tempted man.”(The Sacred Prostitute) So the act of sex was also condemned and taught that it could only be done for procreation of the species.
Sex then became profane and all natural bodily functions became gross, shameful, and not to be spoken of. As you may know, anything that is forbidden becomes a taboo, and all taboo’s are become desirable. Women are convinced over thousands of years, that having sexual desire is not a feminine quality so that any woman who desired sexual gratification must be unfeminine and a “whore”. The word 'whore' actually comes from the Hebrew root word ‘hor’ meaning dark pit or hole. The Spanish word for whore, puta, derives from the Latin term for a well, but the Latin term for grave, literally "a hole in the earth," is puticuli, meaning womb of rebirth. These terms for whore were not derogatory. The Latin term had its root in the Vedic, an early Sanskrit language, wherein the word puta is defined as pure and holy. The cave, the pit, the hole, and the bottomless black lake were metaphors for the Great Goddess. (Diana Rose Hartmann)
In Kathleen Barry's book, The Prostitution of Sexuality, she says that "sexual exploitation objectifies women by reducing them to sex; sex that incites violence against women and that reduces women to commodities for market exchange. Sexual exploitation is the foundation of women's oppression socially normalized."
I have always considered myself to be a sex positive individual and a rather open-minded woman when it comes to sex practices and all the different ways in which we humans like to "get off" or find our pleasure. As a woman who has been a sex educator and a teacher of sacred sexuality as well as a sexual healer, I have personally experienced what it means to be classified as a "sex worker" by the culture at large.
Today we see the result of these beliefs that have become normalized in our culture. Sex for the most part has become a thriving industry that makes billions of dollars yearly. Who sells these products? Women. It is a woman's body that is the commodity once again, and women, even well-paid women in the sex industry, are unconsciously supporting the system that exploits them and sex. The prostitution of sexuality is in full swing and because it is big business it is unlikely to change.
So what can you do, given that we are living in a world where sex is seen as entertainment rather than a sacred act of love. The following are a few things we can do to help shift sex from the profane back to sacred.
Open to a deeper sense of self and be willing to see the act of sex, whether it be for the sake of pleasure or love, as sacred.
Learn more about sacred sexuality, Tantra and other forms of 'high sex' which have made a comeback and continue to grow in popularity.
Educate your kids about the sacredness of love making and the sex act itself, as well as to encourage young girls to see themselves as valued for all of who they are, not just for their sexiness or beauty.
Take a stand and say 'no' to the sexploitation of teen girls and boys by the media. Join in partnership with other organizations that are in support of stopping this type of exploitation.
These are just a few ideas and I welcome any that you may have. Feel free to send in your ideas and comments.