How sensual are you feeling right now?
I will give you a hint; if you are repulsed by the question — and a majority of women reading this will be repulsed or made uncomfortable by this question — then, you are somewhat (or totally) cut off from your sexy.
Which is interesting.
Because, as women, we have so many magnificent parts to ourselves. We are hard-working, tender, caring, compassionate, inspiring, spiritual, helpful, selfless, strong.
And I bet if I asked you “how hard-working are you now?” you would not be repulsed or made uncomfortable by the question.
Or if I asked you …how loving are you now? How compassionate are you now? How helpful are you now?
Not so disturbing, right?
But … sexy? Sensual? Turned on? Erotically charged? That can be very controversial.
And yet, here is what is true: when a woman is connected to her erotic power, she is most at home. In herself, her body, her spirit, in the world.
As Audre Lorde writes in her essay, The Use of the Erotic As Power, “We have been taught to suspect this resource, vilified, abused, and devalued within western society. On the one hand, the superficially erotic has been encouraged as a sign of female inferiority; on the other hand, women have been made to suffer and to feel both contemptible and suspect by virtue of its existence. It is a short step from there to the false belief that only by the suppression of the erotic within our lives and consciousness can women be truly strong. But that strength is illusory, for it is fashioned within the context of male models of power.”
The patriarchal world culture is more or less a machine designed to push us off our sensual erotic game. Make us forget who we are. Make us do the bidding of the world. In all of our doing for others, the part of ourselves we deprive ourselves of first and most is the sexy, but it is the erotic that is required to nourish and recharge the human woman who is responsible for handling all of life’s challenges.
A woman in this culture needs tools to find her way back to herself. And it is nearly impossible to do without a deep connection to our sensual erotic source energy. Your inner compass needs pleasure to fire up. And pleasure is the last thing we think about. It never makes it to our to-do list, or if it does, it is at the bottom. There is a part of each woman that knows intuitively this is where her strength lies; knows her power and her passions are one.
Being a woman in this world requires courage.
Now there is courage and there is COURAGE. There is courage the world understands and acknowledges — the courage to make a bold statement, to apply for a new job, to help a friend in need, to move to a new place, work hard. Then, there is the deeper kind of courage. The kind of courage I am talking about is the kind of courage that requires a woman to turn and face parts of herself that have never been claimed, or never been owned for generations upon generations. To reclaim places and passages within herself that have been lost and buried for centuries of her lineage. To connect with her core sensual brilliance. Her ravishing light. Her turned-on radiance. Her life force. Her fire. Her unbridled wildness.
Where she is no longer looking for approval. Instead, she looks within. She feels the depth of her own connection with her divinity. She knows the name and address of her sacred power. And her eternal beauty. This journey of self-reclamation requires the greatest risk. It requires becoming fluent in the language of your sensual erotic connection. Whether you are 18 or 108, you have your own erotic language that wants to be learned and lived. And that can be as uncomfortable as trying to teach yourself a new spoken language.
If we want to become fluent in everything we have been taught to revile, reject, and disparage, we require other women to practice with.
It is a worthy pursuit.
Why? Well, when the sensual replaces fear, your whole identity shifts. Erotic replaces self-judgment and your axis realigns. You will model for other sisters and they will model this for you.
Instead of being connected to the eternal drain/stress/overwhelm of life, you are connected to your power. And meaning and purpose are restored to every breath you take.
Today, take pleasure from the silky feeling of your own flesh, rather than ignoring it. Be delighted by the way your hips rock when you walk, rather than dialing your sexy down. Enjoy the earthy fragrance of your sweat, rather than covering it up. Notice each choice that is yours to make, and choose pleasure. Choose your as-is rightness. This is the first step to reclaiming a kind of power called freedom that has always lived within you.
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.