Intimacy is hardwired into our human DNA and influenced by our female hormones. This may explain why so many women crave more closeness than we’re experiencing at any moment. And why we sometimes make less than skillful choices in our intimate relationships.
As an intimacy coach and spiritual counselor, my job is to help women “turn on” to life. We work with feelings and relationships, challenges around sex or the lack thereof, or how to come alive again after shutting down to life because of traumas, large or small. But always, I guide clients toward feeling it all. By experiencing sufficient support and safety they are able to heal what blocks our original wholeness and opening to receive the pleasures that offer themselves in any moment.
There’s not a woman alive who hasn’t experienced some weirdness around sex. Some interaction that felt kind of off. It often happened when we least expected it. And because women have been taught for so long to disregard our gut feelings — and instead to listen to external authority, be compliant and not cause a fuss, to do the socially acceptable thing — we likely doubted our experience. “I must have misinterpreted that…” But the yucky feeling was real, no matter what our well-conditioned minds insist we should believe.
When women lose touch with that sort of felt sense of our inner knowing, we often misinterpret what is safe in one of two opposing ways. Because we’re so well practiced at deafening our bodies’ inner distress signals we may find ourselves marching directly toward danger. When we should run the other way, we don’t. Or alternatively, we back away, closing ourselves off from life, unrealistically feeling unsafe and threatened, avoiding situations that actually would offer a vitality we crave but we can’t seem to step toward — the kind of life that’s accessible when we are open, curious, present, aware.
Though we may never have been outright violated, the subtle damage lingers. We are all in need of healing… or as I prefer to phrase it, a return to our wholeness.
Thankfully, there is a way back home. And your body is your guide. As my clients consistently experience, the more intimate you allow yourself to be with yourself and your surroundings – in other words, the more you feel — the more acutely you know what is true for you. And the closer it’s possible to feel with someone else. Therein lies the path to healing the wounds we’ve carried far too long – sexual or otherwise.
When sexual memories hold pain, it’s natural that we don’t want to feel them. But my experience has shown me, again and again, that these constrictions live in the muscles of women’s bodies as well as in our consciousness, limiting sensation and an easy flow in daily life.
Because we are never more vulnerable than when we are entered, the tissues of the vagina that hold the potential for our greatest pleasure are tragically also the repositories of accumulated trauma. Psychic scars originating from minor sexual insensitivity to extreme cruelty lodge themselves deep within us, numbing the tissues until they are void of sensation. In this way we are perniciously robbed of our sense of connection to our pleasure and power.
As well, you may remember a time during lovemaking when you broke out in inexplicable cascades of tears or laughter. The vaginal walls, or more specifically the G-spot (for many women found on the upper wall of the vagina about 1.5” back, beneath the pubic bone) holds this tremendous capacity for emotional release. During stimulation, the energy of whatever is stored there can be set free. And the relief and release its possible to feel is like no other.
The body is naturally regenerative, like every growing thing in nature. We can trust its ability to heal when supportive conditions prevail… and when we summon the courage to face our fears head on with the determination to prioritize our wholeness.
So how do we heal? How do we return to the wholeness and capacity for pleasure we were designed to experience?
First, we must choose to feel more.
We begin by getting to know our bodies. Returning to our sexual wholeness begins with allowing more sensual awareness. Make it your intention to feel more – to take in the colors, scents, sounds, tastes and sensations you encounter in every moment of every day. Doing so demands that you slow down and come into a body you may not have wanted to inhabit. Even 30 seconds of full presence to the brilliant orange of a zinnia or the chilly autumn breeze against your face will awaken both your capacity to sense with more awareness, and also your trust in the safety and benevolence of your surroundings.
Feeling more isn’t about trying to create a certain kind of experience or sensation. Instead it’s about opening to what is already present and waiting to be welcomed.
The body is our most accessible, user-friendly “tool” for both experiencing the abundant pleasures we are designed to enjoy AND healing the wounds that block inner wisdom. These two paths go hand in hand. Moment-to-moment awareness of what we feel takes us toward the fuller life it’s our birthright to enjoy.
To heal our sexual selves we must develop the internal safety and support to hold all that feeling. Because your body is a part of nature, learning to sense the Earth’s solid holding will provide that. As you breath, take in how perfectly you are sustained.
And know that this is a practice. It takes time to get to fully know your body. Be devoted to its exploration. Let yourself acknowledge and feel any shame that still lives in you. And let it go. Learn to be attentive, in the moment, to the ever-shifting nuances of your pleasure, whether with a partner or not.
Set aside time, solo and with a partner, to explore sans agenda. Treat this time like a research project. Touch someplace you haven’t touched before. Step past your fear. You will be surprised by how much more you feel when you breathe deeply and allow sounds and movements that may not yet feel natural.
Perhaps give yourself the gift of receiving healing touch to your genitals from another person whose only intention is to be present for you. When you feel utterly safe and accepted your numbed-out G-spot will begin to respond, I promise. And your life will never be the same.
Women’s bodies are designed to bring us pleasure. Choose to feel what’s possible, to be reverent to the elegant creation that you are, and return to the intimacy that is your birthright.
(published in Common Ground Magazine, October 2015)
With so much love,