Last night I read tarot for 20 women at a wonderful event called ((F*CK LOVE)) Me, Myself & I at one of my favorite workout spots, 305 Fitness. Reading for so many people back to back, you notice trends, and a lot of us have similar things going on despite the particularities of each of our ripples.
I ended up discussing, and advocating for masturbation with 80% of these women. I actually talk about this a lot with most of my clients, and while I don’t usually discuss it this frankly in a public forum, I feel compelled to address some hang ups and call upon particular kind of self-love for all who want to hear it.
(I have written this post with trans inclusive language in mind, but we are all still learning. Talking about privates in this context feels tricky since I don’t want to assume what anyone is equipped with. If there is better language I can be using, please let me know. You can message me on social media or email me. <3)
We have a pretty icky relationship with masturbation as a society. Despite our obsession with sex and the constant parade of photoshopped, commoditized, fetishized, etc female bodies (and a sprinkling of male ones) being shoved in our faces 24/7, what is your relationship with your own privates? And why do I find the word genitals weird and silly?
Although I’m not the biggest fan of Sex and the City and find a lot of that show’s messaging problematic, a really great example of what I’m getting at is that episode where we discover that Charlotte has zero idea what her own vagina looks like. It’s this whole thing where the gang gets her to use a mirror and see what’s going on down there. I know a lot of people who relate to Charlotte. Who neglect their vaginas and have never looked their lady parts in the eye and said, “I love you” (I have never done that, but I will now). Why are we so afraid of vaginas? There are freaking horror movies about them. (Or is it just that one?) And some of our “worst” curse words mean vagina (you know, family favorites like “cunt” and “twat”). These are the places through which literal human life first greets the world. They’re like the opposite of the Death Veil in the Department of Mysteries (Harry Potter reference for the uninitiated). They’re like the Life Veil. Why are they bad words?
I feel like penises have a little more exposure since they are kind of just out there, and there’s old statues with penises, (this may be flawed logic, but it’s working for me right now), but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of folks with penises, have hang ups about their junk. And why is “junk” even a word for genitals? Why do we call a reproductive organ that also provides pleasure trash?
I included The Devil in this image, because this card is so interesting to me, particularly in this context. In pagan tradition, the Horned God represents masculine creativity and the wonder of nature, but long ago, Christian tradition warped that image into a fiend that is out to seduce and drag us all to hell. I think a similar warping has happened to us with relation to our sexual desire. From over exposure to pornography to under education of what real consensual good sex can be, it takes a lot of self-inquiry and guesswork to move past all the confusion.
So what can we do with the reality of this, the fact that we are inundated with messaging that makes us dislike or at the very least disregard our privates? We start by getting intimate. By listening to our bodies. No matter what we have going on downstairs, we start by loving it. By exploring it.
It’s sacred place of pleasure and life, and it’s fucking beautiful. It’s called the Sacral Chakra for a reason, so even if you can’t actually create life, or you have some sort of Hedwig situation, the energetic blueprint in that area of your body is a sacred. So touch yourself. Learn yourself. Know yourself.
I would like to invite you to start without the internet. To touch and look and feel with genuine curiosity without an end game or orgasm in mind. Then, there are plenty of resources (and I do not mean porn) to help level you up. OMGyes.com and Kim Anami come to mind. Then, make it a sacred practice. Light candles, use essential oils, buy toys (Eve's Garden is my personal favorite spot in Midtown Manhattan), find the ritual in loving yourself.
It takes a lot of practice to evolve past the instilled hang ups of being brought up a Catholic Cuban (or whatever your particular cocktail of conditioning might be) in a sex shaming society. I am still not 100% there. But without the mud, there is no lotus. Without digging through out messy hang ups and patterns, we don't get the break through. So stroke, tease, play, fondle, press and do what you will. I hope that love will follow.