I have been reading Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are which explores the new science of sex- particularly that of female sexuality, a topic I am very passionate about. Emily, a badass highly educated human behaviorialist, delivers scientific information in a very real, accesible, modern way while debunking and dismantling cultural ideas about sex.
It has been a mind blowing read. So I wanted to share one section of her brilliance on the outdated, culturally conditioned notions about sex.
Before reading this I want you to take a moment to think about where you learned your knowledge of sex and your female body. What do you intrinsically know and what ideas have been planted in your psyche garden like a weed?
Basically, question it all to see what feels true and relevant for you and what does not. That is your truth when it comes to your sexual story--and it may be non-congruent with our current societal messaging.
We all absorb this information which shapes our own sexual story as well as others. So it;s important to be aware of these messages to take stock of what you have internalized.
The 3 Messages
1) The Moral Message: "You Are Damaged Goods"
- If you want or like sex you're a slut
- Your virginity is your most valuable asset
- Too many partners (like more than your male partner) = you should feel ashamed
- The only right way to feel about sex as a woman is to accommodate the man
- Sex is not a part of what makes a woman lovable
- Sex can make her "desirable", but only as a lesser alternative to being lovable (we also struggle to fit a standard of desirability set by someone else)
- Sexually desirable= slut
We, of course, know all these to be bullshit but because of the culture we grew up in (and thanks Victorian era sexual politics for setting the puritanical tone) these ideas have slowly seeped into our psyches!
2) The Medical Message: "You Are Diseased"
- Sex can cause disease or pregnancy so it is dangerous
- Sexual functioning should happen in a particular order: desire, arousal, orgasm during intercourse simultaneously with your partner. If this isn't achieved something is wrong with you
- Women's sexual biology is the same as men, although most women want less sex than men and take longer to achieve orgasm.
- To the extent that a woman differs from man- she is diseased.
- Pregnancy is what sex is for
3) The Media Message: "You Are Inadequate"
- You've tried Spanking, food play, menages a trois, clitoral orgasms, vaginal orgasms, cervical orgasms, extended orgasms and multiple orgasms? If not you are frigid
- You have had too few partners, don't watch porn, and don't have a collection of vibrators you are a prude
- You're too fat, too thin; your breasts are too big and too small. YOUR BODY IS WRONG
- If you aren't trying to change any of these things you are lazy
- If you're satisfied you are settling
- If you love yourself you are a selfish bitch
- Do everything you are doing differently. Forever.
How I feel about the above list
Which messages have you believed or currently are living? I have lived many of these and am currently in the process of shedding these self-limiting, self-critical and downright hurtful, ill-informed messages. A perfect example is this Instagram post about loving my juicy butt!!!!
With the help of a few self-love tools like Yoni Eggs I am learning to enjoy, love and appreciate the changing masterpiece that is my body.
Here are some antidotes to the poison above:
- Exercise: one of the single most efficient strategy to complete the stress response cycle and recalibrate your nervous system into a calm state. Sometimes we rely too heavily on exercise as a coping mechanism…next thing your know you’re a full blown fitness addict. So Psychedelic Gypsy Fitness is about finding other ways, other than just fitness, to show ourselves LOVE!
- Meditation, yoga, tai chi, body scans, mindfulness, breathwork
- Sharing affection with loved ones (think monkeys grooming each other)
- Primal screams, a good old cry, pillow punches, swamping
- Artistic expression, journaling, creative processes,
- Self-grooming/self-care/ self-kindness/self-pleasure rituals like #WildWomanWednesdays
Once thing I have learned from my beloved Mama Gena is that this system we are in wants you in constant self-attack mode. On top of that, life gets crazy. The kids are sick, your partner dumped you, the kitchen sink is clogged, or a family member is sick. Women tend to beat themselves up for the inevitable overwhelm of life!
And we must understand that it's not about the feelings that come up like fear, anger, sadness, shame or pain. It's how we FEEL about the feelings that make the difference. If we can radically accept those feelings without harsh, internal judgement (and this includes harsh judgement about our sexuality or lack of it) then we are on our way to the truest self-love and self-compassion there is.
A quote from Mama Gena:
"When we are in the mode of self-attack, we fall out of grace with ourselves and the universe.
We are no longer in flow. Self-hatred and shame break a woman’s connection with her divinity. When we can’t feel our divinity, we feel like sh*t. And we have been taught to be our own perpetrators in this disconnection from source.
Pleasure is the road back to flow.
The road back to embodiment.
The road back to self love."
Awakening is a process of becoming aware of your cultural and familial conditioning and letting go of what doesn't serve your highest being sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Self-healing occurs through an exploration of our pleasure. So it's high time that we start making pleasure a priority.
So curse the messages we are fed.
Pleasure is your birthright.
Pleasure is the road back to your flow.
Always remember this my Gypsy Queens.
The Psychedelic Gypsy Queen