It actually happened a week ago. But you know what’s funny? How much shtuff you have to do when you decide to have a wedding in two months… ALAS. Here I am, internet! Here I am. With stories, to boot!
Last week I got naked – as I do every week with a handful of wonderful and empowering women – but this time, dudes were involved. Caitlin! I hear you holler. YOU HAD AN ORGY?!
No, my loves. No orgies are to be had in any realm of Body Pride. Surprisingly, it was freakishly similar to our Girls Only Body Prides. When you get down to the nitty gritty of it all, boys have a lot of the same hang-ups that chicks do… they are just framed in a different manner.
What I took away from my experience hanging out with 3 amazing males and 4 incredible females was that it is a darned ass shame that we can’t just be naked together (without bumping uglies… unless its from dancing… interpretively…)
These are our last three groups of amazing girlies. And manlies.
Pretty amazing. I’d say.
I have a bucketload of really really incredibly hilarious jokey shots that I’m hoping to combine and do something with. Stay tuned for those bad boys. Okay. I have another BP starting in an hour and ten minutes. YES.
The beautiful thing about Body Pride parties is how quickly every girl forgets she’s naked.
Welcomed with warm smiles and open arms, Caitlin offers a glass of vino and seats you in a circle among girls just as anonymous as you; the atmosphere is quiet but full of anticipation. The floor is cozy with a soft spread of blankets and the twinkling white lights adorning the walls provide a level of security that can only be attained with a nurturing intent. In the middle of the circle lies a fantastic spread of munchies (all of which are pro-veggie and health conscious – most of which I generally wind up chopping and plating), as well as the book with veteran Body Pride sisters smiling up at you from the clean white pages, their love-filled manifestos to their bodies hand-written beneath their photographs. Continue reading “Body Pride: A Letter From Your Photographer”→
For this I feel the need to use a Diagram. A Venn Diagram.
Remember these bad boys? They were a teachers best friend in elementary school. This triangle is red, so it goes in one circle, this square is blue so it goes in another circle. BUT THIS BLUE TRIANGLE?! It has no place so it goes in between, as the genetic spawn of the Red Triangle and the Blue Circle. So many kinds of awesome.
This is going to be a two portion post. And like the Venn Diagram, they will have a connecting trait.
PART ONE – AROUSAL
Now, in regards to Venn Diagraming it up, take yourself. Are you a powerful, aggressive person who takes charge of situations and is often leading people – but frequently enjoys the concept of the rape fantasy?
Are you a shy wallflower that usually just goes with the flow of the crowd – but frequently likes to tie people to bed posts and whip them a little?
Each of your separate qualities go into different circles on the Venn Diagram. What’s connecting them is the stable and steady, physically unchanging You (and by this I mean that you are going to be YOU until you die – you might get a scrape on your knee or go from being ‘Bob’ to ‘Barbara’ – but you are still you. Just to clarify).
Your personality will change. Your ideals, values and morals might change. Your sexuality might change. This is without question as you barge into the world to experience the board game called Life (except this board game is way more fun because the actual spin-the-wheel game doesn’t involve sex: You give your partner a mind-altering orgasm – move ten places ahead!).
People change. People are versatile, multi-layered creatures with color, depth and symbolic meaning.
And this is ever more present in regards to sexuality.
There is a two-fold that really needs to be understood. How does arousal work?
The approach I find to be the most beneficial to all of humanity stems from Michael J. Bader’s “Arousal; The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies”.
“[…] my theoretical and clinical approach to sexuality is an affirmative one, viewing sexual fantasy and arousal as resulting from an unconscious attempt to solve problems, and not, as many psychoanalysts would have, recreate them.”
Bader argues that our sexuality offers us an opportunity to transform the helplessness we felt as children into a powerhouse. If Sophie was abused in childhood, she may take pleasure in being a dominant sexual partner – to take the helplessness she felt as a child, not being able to fight back, and alter it into a pleasurable power.
If Adam had an alcoholic mother who he always had to take care of and babysit, he may find comfort in playing a more submissive role in the bedroom. Always HAVING to be the support and leader without any option might have been a painful experience. Releasing the chains of his childhood to let go of being in charge and take PLEASURE in being the one told what to do.
Everything we do is to alter the way we feel – either to turn pain into pleasure or to enhance the pleasure we already have.
This view of sexuality offers a safe way experience resolutions to your pain. So when Sophie and Adam engage in sexual activity, they are using each other objectively to reach their own place of pleasure. Sophie knows that her handcuffing Adam to the bed is not an reaction to him as a human with a kind, warm personality (the subjective), but as a means for him, as well as her to safely experience pleasure (the objective).
PART TWO – WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BODY PRIDE?
I cannot make nudity non-sexual. Ever. Fact.
Even a goofy picture of me being silly whilst naked will not take away the sexuality of my body. For this, I am proud. I am proud and happy and gleeful to be a voracious sexual creature.
What I can do, is change the object into a subject.
There is much too much weight on young girls (and boys) to always see themselves in the objective lighting of the ‘other’.
(You can watch the documentary “Sext-Up Kids” by CBC to learn more about the pressures put on girls to look ‘sexy’.)
We are priming these young children to believe that they should be constantly aware that their appearance (body, hair, makeup, personality) should be appealing to the opposite sex. We are teaching them that they are, and always will be, the object of someone else’s needs and desires.
But this is nothing new, and I put strong emphasis on how not new this is – even the significant youth of the toddlers in the vogue magazine. In Ancient China, many girls became ‘mooi-jais’ – slaves abandoned or by destitute parents and often recruited into brothels or street prostitution before being trained and sold as concubines (“A History of Mistresses”, E. Abbott). They were displayed as merchandise: required to parade in front of potential buyers in the nude, to speak, to show her unbound feet and allow the men to explore her body scent (teeth, armpits, and sometimes, vaginal odor).
Of course, with the waves of feminism, this is happening much less often (and child slavery/prostitution is a different post).
The main point here is that this is the generation where girls get to decide when they want to become objects and when they want to become subjects. This is the generation when girls can experience pleasure and power in the same way men have been doing so for years. This is the generation when women can safely explore the carnality of their sexuality, and turn men into sexual objects, without feeling shame or guilt.
I was on the streetcar a few days ago when I was thinking about Shannon Bell (author of Fast Feminism) and how she described the vagina not as a receptacle for a penis, but as an inverted penis in its very nature – containing the ability to get hard, grow, and ejaculate. And I thought back to my adolescence and my first boyfriend, and the only way I understood sex was that I had something that boys wanted– I was a receptacle for their sexuality. Which, is still true, in a sense. But NOW, the first thing that comes to mind is that boys have something I want. Rawr.
I cannot de-sexualize the intense voluptuous sensuality of a naked women, but I can reclaim my body as my own. And hopefully, aid other women in reclaiming theirs.
“Historically, women’s sexuality and intellect have never been integrated. Women’s bodies were controlled, and their sexuality was contained in order to avert their corrupting impact on men’s virtue. Femininity, associated with purity, sacrifice, and frailty, was a characteristic of the morally successful woman. Her evil twin, the succubus (whore, slut, concubine, witch) was the earthy, sensual, and frankly lusty woman who had traded respectability for sexual exuberance. Vigorous sexuality was the exclusive domain of men. Women have continuously sought to disentangle themselves from the patriarchal split between virtue and lust, and are still fighting this injustice.”
This is a general, random posting on the current ongoings and fumblings of the Body Pride Workshop Parties.
First of all: There are no orgies. Trust me. I am an instigator of orgies and this is neither the place nor the time for girl orgies to be occurring. Sorry to all of the hopeful and creative sexual minds of men and women.
Second of all: Some of the feedback we have gotten so far,
“Ladies, thank you for such a fantastic night last night. It was so empowering hearing all your stories and learning from them. I will always remember that party. It was a joy meeting you all and I really hope our paths cross again in the future. I woke up this morning feeling (a little hung over) but also so refreshed and feeling like I learned so much about myself. My roommates should get ready because I feel like I will be doing a whole lot more naked dancing around the apartment.”
“I’m rating this as a 10! It was so refreshing to be exposed to girls in their ABSOLUTE truest form! I felt like I was in one of those Dove Real Women ad’s but like a reality version hahahaha. It’s really great to be around real people with real stories, because everyone’s sharing real stories that you can probably relate to in some way or another. It’s was so liberating! Feeling a slight boost of naked confidence now.”
And most influential to my Superwoman ego:
“you’ve enlightened me in a way my therapy and group counseling never did.”
Now. About the booze, because this seem to come up a lot. These ‘parties’ are workshops in the sense that you walk away having gained/learned/grown or whatever have you. It’s hard not to. You are experiencing something that you have not experienced before. And who knows, maybe you grew up in a nudist colony and have absolutely no problem hanging out in the nood with your BFF’s. BUT, this party will be a new experience for you regardless, because: a) I’m the host, and the creation of these parties has developed from the creative, spiritual, and ‘my-mother-trained-me-to-host-properly’ part of my mind – as well as the colorful and comfortable right brains of Stella and Khadeja, b) because… I don’t know, I’m like… teaching you shit, or something…
WHY I DON’T WANT THEM TO JUST BE WORKSHOPS:
1. Every workshop I’ve been to has bright lights, things to distract me and I often get distracted by shiny clothes, how many times the ‘teacher’ uses the word ‘actually,’ and the seam of my jeans. Heh (side note: previous sentence was a really good example of why the Oxford Comma is a useful tool…)
2. I don’t know about you, but every experience thus far in my adult life that has brought reason to ‘celebrate’, there has been some form of alcohol involved. Always. DONT ASK ME WHY. This isn’t a blog about the history of alcohol consumption. It’s a blog about sex and body and relationships and all that junk that is more fun than history. Celebration = booze. Unless you are in AA or are allergic… It’s a general human tradition. A rite of passage occurs and we fuck up our minds to see the world differently. Being naked and happy and accepting with each other seems like a damn good reason to celebrate, if you ask me.
3. Parties are fun. It’s how we bond. We drink, loosen our tongues, pour out all of our secrets to each other, and now we are best friends. It’s just how it works. For some reason, we become closer when we let go of inhibition, are slightly vulnerable and get chatty. And naked.
The above reasons are why there will continue to be alcohol provided at our Body Pride Workshop Party’s.
I am no Sexual Education God (…yet). I don’t meditate every day, I don’t read as much as I should, I don’t know how to orgasm with my mind (JEEZE CAITLIN. Seriously?! You don’t know how to orgasm with your MIND?! WTF is wrong with you!), I’ve done stupid things, I have stupid stories, I’ve done drugs and smoked cigarettes and had sex with people I didn’t want to have sex with. And these reasons, my darlings, are exactly why you should come and hang out with me in the buff.
This is where it gets all deep and weird and when my small amount of meditation and spiritual texts actually come into play:
It doesn’t matter.
Just let go, and let it be.
And, from the wise tattoo I got when I was probably far too young, spontaneous and silly to be getting tattoo’s (nothing has changed…), “Love and do what you will.”