|I’m not hiding my love anymore…|
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Today I’m strong in that place of shame, which is shaped around an exhilaration so big that my body doesn’t at all know how to hold it. Do we really get to be in love with our bodies? Do we really get to bring joy to all those places that were — and here I freeze. Were what? Were shat upon and sliced, were called beautiful and desirable by the people who were meant to protect us (I learned to hate being called beautiful), the places in us that were feasted upon?
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In Sex for One: The Art of Self-Loving (that manifesto to the power of masturbation!) Betty Dodson writes:
Masturbation is a primary form of sexual expression. It’s not just for kids or for those in-between lovers or for old people who end up alone. Masturbation is the ongoing love affair that each of us has with ourselves throughout our lifetime.
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The ongoing love affair we have with ourselves throughout our lifetime.
There’s a lot I didn’t accomplish this month with this blog-project: I wanted to totally alter my relationship to orgasm, free it up (in 31 days!) so I could come exactly how I want, whenever I want. Ok, so maybe that process is still ongoing. Maybe the effects of a month of orgasms is still unfurling in me. Stay tuned — Coming Home isn’t going away after May 31.
This is what I realized the other day, however: that through the course of this month, I have stopped thinking of my body as a crime scene, as aftermath, as a place that ought to have police tape around it. My body is more than the trauma that my stepfather inflicted. My body and psyche are not simply duct-taped battle wounds.
There are scars in here, but more than that — there’s delight. There’s forty years of curiosity and exploration. There’s this lifetime of reaching out, wanting my skin on the grass, against trees, putting everything in my mouth just to see what it feels like there. There’re hugs and tastes and orgasm and sleep and waking and walking in rain and pushing muscles against stone and loving animals and planting seeds and slicing garlic and reading everything my eyes came across and writing late into the night, early into the sunlight, there’s candlelight and bubblegum and learning and riding my bike down the tall hills and the smell of jasmine and rosemary and ocean spray and Polaroid cameras and tears and movies and rage in my muscles like ice water and so much laughter that my face will forever be marked with it.
What I’m telling you is, my body-love is larger than my trauma.
Do I have to find the words to express both my joy about this, and the deep reaction from the old voices, the ones that want to keep me/us in the place of simply scrambling to survive?
Thus the walking around in shame and celebration. I’m doing a lot of deep breathing, and listening to the numbness and terror, listening to the old songs, telling those overly-protective parts of myself that they have done an excellent job for these twenty years, and that I am finding them a pasture to live out the rest of their days.
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So yes, today I will continue this love affair with myself. Here’s something else Dr. Betty writes: “We need to see sex as an advanced form of moving meditation that grounds in our bodies by getting us out of our self-conscious mind that is constantly chattering away. Practice is always beneficial.”
Yes. Practice. Let’s get a conversation with Dr. Betty here onto the Coming Home site, shall we? A woman who’s spent the better part of her life advocating for the power and necessity of masturbation (for all of us) will have something to say about healing from trauma and reclaiming our big body-joy.
Be as sweet to you as you can be today. Come exactly as you are. See you again tomorrow.