Carlin told me each Bodysex circle is different, and we get to see this especially when we lead. The women are different, we are different, and somehow the right combination of women show up and it all comes perfectly together. I for sure was feeling differently. Surprisingly, I was more nervous leading up to this second circle I led, than the first one. I didn’t really know any of the women and my monkey brain was fretting, ‘are they even going to show up?’. They all did, and I relaxed a bit, even though I was prepared to lead with however many women would show at my door.
I was so excited and so ready for this workshop, my energy was high, and still the two days knocked me out. I slept a full 9 hours night after quite a few weeks of not getting enough sleep, and I was grateful.
I was surprised to find myself answering the questions “How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about your orgasm?” very differently than last time, though I was completely honest in both cases. I found myself talking a lot about my teenage years suffering from bulimia. The hiding, the shame, the anxiety. And finally the decision to end that chapter of my life and slowly stepping into healing myself, healing the relationship between me and food, between me and my body, between me and myself. And it was no coincidence that I felt inclined to talk about it so much. My experience was reflected and mirrored with other women in the circle.
Genital show and tell is indeed a corner stone of the workshop. Women who have done this before are comfortable, and eager to tell and to show, to describe their own vulva, both from a physical and relational point of view. And how beautiful to witness the transformation from before to after! One participant, who was new to this, was quite nervous, to the point of her confessing that she might throw up. I was able to stay with her emotions, to validate her experience, and to guide her into connecting with HerSelf, for her to have a conversation with her own resistance.
Our bodies are signaling danger trying to protect us. And we feel the same sensations when there’s a real danger (thank you bodies for that!), and when it’s just a perceived danger. The ability of being conscious, of bringing awareness, of making the distinction, of dialoguing with our resistance, is what makes us capable to tell the difference. It’s the access key to being able to go past our bubble of familiar apparent comfort (that often leads to living actually uncomfortable lives) and step into a sparkling self-expressed version of ourselves.
I was glad she stayed, I was glad she trusted herself enough. At the end of her turn, it was her reminding me to take her vulva portrait! Her feelings transformed from anxiety and fear into celebration and honor. So much so that the next day we had a second impromptu genital show and tell, just to gloriously celebrate the transformation, to celebrate ‘Betty’ (her vulva name, in honor of Betty Dodson).
As addition to the first day, I included again the breast massage meditation and practice, as well as the deep cleansing practice. The deep cleansing practice ends with dancing naked around the room (well, in our own space), and we danced to Sexual Healing – Kygo. It’s one thing to just sit in the circle, completely in the nude. It’s even one more step up to be comfortable enough to move your naked body next to other people.
Reaching that level of ‘comfortable enough’ might mean being willing to being uncomfortable for a little while. It might mean dancing with your eyes closed or barely open just to find your balance and just to see the other people’s silhouettes. It means noticing your thoughts about what is happening and trying not judging. It means doing it for long enough to see that nothing bad is happening and that it’s actually very safe to do so. Realizing that the people next to you might be having a very similar experience of it, or a very different experience, but that you’re all sharing it together, and that it’s all ok. All of us stepping into a greater version of ourselves, one that loves our own body a little more than just before.
I prefaced the Erotic Recess from day two with more prep work. Watching videos from omgyes.com is certainly educational. Listening to real women how it is that they best experience pleasure, what works for them, and watching samples of their technique, is giving us more ideas into what and how to explore next, how to expand beyond our own ingrained habits of self-pleasuring. Then, the practice of Body Meditation, the process of really putting your attention on the sensations of the body, especially in the pelvic area, just naming and locating them, without judging them or forcing them to be a certain way, really tunes us with our bodies, opening the possibility of being more connected to the wisdom of our bodies, instead of the chatter of the mind. And one last preparation before free-form erotic recess: visualizing honey infused with the qualities that we want to bring in to our experience, dripping and infusing our sexual center. I chose self-love, juiciness and creativity as the intentions that I brought along as companions for the Erotic Recess. They served me well and I thank them. And I thank Layla Martin for teaching me Body Meditation and Honey Pot practices.
Our free form discussions in the circle led to me explaining how I’m experiencing vaginal orgasms, that are not originating in the (in)famous g-spot, but rather from a deeper part, between the g-spot and the a-spot (anterior fornix erogenous zone or … the Awesome Spot as we’ve nicknamed it). I described exactly what I’m doing, how it feels, the best angle to reach that spot, and how different it is from other sensations. Lo and behold, one of the women who has never experienced this before, was able to give herself this experience and unlocked more profound, more pleasurable sensations, having her first vaginal orgasm, during Erotic Recess. As a Bodysex Workshop facilitator, I can only feel proud and honored to facilitate this kind of breakthroughs. It was her own journey that brought her here, and the magnificence of her own body that created this, and I can only call myself lucky to be at the right time and place to be a piece of the puzzle on her path.
All four of us in the circle could feel the sisterhood, the encouragement, the emotional support and warmth, the vulnerability and validation, that we all created during the weekend. I was honored to have one woman travel from so far as to make 12-hour trip one way, another to be in her third Bodysex circle, as it was so transformative for her, and another one to be named the sexual sherpa to bring her experience and inspiration into our circle.
I leave you with some of the participants’ own words:
“My big accomplishment came during erotic recess on the second day. As we had shared about our orgasms and about our anatomy, Irina had talked about the “A spot” in the vagina. I had never heard of it before, but decided I would try to find it with my barbell. Well, I did, and I was able to have the first vaginal orgasm of my life! I thought I never would–I am perfectly happy with my clitoral orgasms, and I thought that they were all I needed or wanted. I was absolutely blown away! It was a different feeling than my clitoral orgasms, but definitely just as real. And it was amazing to share that experience with sisters who cheered me on and were so happy for me. I feel like I have three new best friends.” – Kathy, Seattle
“Irina held such a beautiful, empowering space for sexual exploration and sisterhood. Her calming, yet capable presence allowed for deep self-reflection in conjunction with a smartly curated series of exercises to awaken one’s connection to their sensual self. I applaud all the female participants for showing up and sharing themselves so vulnerably. It isn’t easy to do this kind of work, but the love, strength and awareness in the circle inspired me beyond belief.” – Charyn, Seattle
Next Bodysex Workshop in Seattle is November 18-19, 2017. Want to be part of the circle or have questions? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.