People often ask me how I discovered Betty Dodson, and Bodysex. I like to think it was through the divine guidance of the Universe. Knowing in it’s infinite wisdom that she was precisely who I needed for my next phase of development. And for the more pragmatic, linear mind, it was a matter of following the links from one sexuality website to another, and there she was – the mother of masturbation – before me in full colour. Offering her wisdom, through a cornucopia of videos and posts, on the diverse benefits of sexual pleasure.
I watched a video or two, or three, or four, and I was hooked. Mesmerized. Stunned. Why had it taken me so long to unearth this gem of a woman? The intoxication of information engulfed me. I wanted more. I wished to be in her presence. I desired to work with her. I aspired to study with her. That is until I learned the way in which to do this was – literally – in the flesh.
When I considered going to one of her Bodysex workshops, I was overcome with an all encompassing sinking feeling in the innermost core of my being. A heavy pit that very quickly transformed itself into spastic waves of nausea. The more I contemplated going to a Bodysex workshop the more intense the waves became. Naked? Exposing my precious vulva? Masturbating with other women? Who in their right fucking mind would ever do that?
My mind was reeling. I could not conceive myself, ever, participating in such an endeavour. I had definitely hit an edge. Yet somehow, I sensed, within the depths of my body (despite the intense nausea) that this threshold had to be crossed. My self limitations required abating. My sexuality craved liberation.
So before I changed my mind, I confirmed my spot. Sent my deposit. Booked my flights. Arranged my accommodations. And after three months of visceral turmoil I was finally boarding that plane to New York.
There was nothing that could have prepared me for what was to transpire. All I could do was show up.
And that I did. With barely a knock on the door, I was greeted by Betty’s exquisite partner in pleasure, Carlin Ross. Naked in all of her splendid glory.
Taking her cue, I, apprehensively, took off my clothes, gingerly hung them on a hook, and made my way to the circle. There we were. 10 gloriously brave women. Naked. Free from the protective armour of our clothing. And we were ready. Ready to love our bodies, our sex, each other.
Whew. I made it through the nakedness. Albeit with streams of sweat running down the sides of my body. But I did it, and I survived.
My nakedness provided an eloquent medium for dissolving a deep-seated layer of shame. A preparation, of sorts, for the release of stigma I experienced with ’Erotic Show and Tell’. And in turn ‘Erotic Show and Tell” provided an exemplary preparation for the love and acceptance (self and otherwise) I encountered with ‘Erotic Recess’. I have to say there was a whole lot of erotic going on. And a whole lot of shame dissipating.
There is something to be said about the gathering of women converging in a circle. And when you add a sprinkling of nakedness, a dash of vulva exhibiting, and a dollop of masturbating alone together, well what you have is some pure magic. Some tremendously deep healing. And a safe container to explore, dip into, and taste, touch, see, smell, hear and feel our power.
I entered this realm of sexual exploration with the intention that it was for my own personal growth, and sexual liberation. And it certainly has been, and continues to be so. But somehow it has became larger than I am. There is such a simplicity in Betty’s methodologies, and her wise woman ways, and simultaneously there is a complexity in the simplicity that has momentous, far reaching effects. Effects that the limitations of our minds cannot comprehend. So much like the videos—after one circle—I was hooked. I had to go back for more.
It was in this returning to the well that I recognized that within each circle there is something new to be revealed, dissolved, and integrated. And it is within the context of these circles that my perceptions continue to be shattered. My limitations blown open. My sexuality liberated.
As I prepare to hold my first Bodysex circle, I sit in awe that I have been called to facilitate this powerful, divine work. Grateful that I have the honour of receiving the teachings of such an inspiring, courageous, visionary woman. And very conscious that the treasures that shall be brought to light, within each one of these precious circles, is in the hands of the mysterious wisdom of the body. All one has to do is show up.
Photo Credit: Carlin Ross