“She lost her virginity”
“She gave it up too quickly.”
“Look at the way she was dressed…she was asking for it.”
These words and the connotation behind them – that a woman should be pure and that her sex is something that can be taken from her – sends a boiling spring of blood up my spine.
Our power does not lie in the hands of someone outside of us. Our bodies and our sexuality is ours and ours alone. Outdated narratives must end here.
Why is sexual empowerment and education so important? It is our life force. The creative energy that births life. It is where we process and store emotions. It is the seat of our Soul, our confidence, our joy, and our pleasure.
When we are taught from a young age to hide our bodies, feel ashamed for sexual desires, and deny our curiosity – we are not only neglecting an inherit human need, we are, essentially, making ourselves wrong for having a female body with all of Her functions.
I grew up in a religious family and I attended a religious private school until my Freshman year. I never once asked about sex. I never voiced my curiosity or felt comfortable approaching my elders for advice. I was never told not to. But the energy around the subject felt dirty, shameful, and completely off limits.
I feel completely naked sharing this– but this would not be a full expression of my herstory without it. When I was 10 years old, I recognized that something in my body felt different – felt good. I was in the shower when something down there began to send a sensation through my body like I’d never experienced before. I was both delightfully surprised and very, very confused. Instantly – I felt guilt wash over my body. What had I just done? Had I done anything at all?
Reflecting back, I feel so much compassion for this little girl. I hold her still in my arms to remind her she was never wrong. She was so young and yet, her body had already intertwined the experience of pleasure with shame and guilt.
Throughout the rest of my life, I had a very confusing relationship with my own sexuality. I wanted to explore it — badly — but had no idea where to turn to. I heard men around me objectify women, saw playboy magazines in bathrooms, and eventually found mainstream pornography. It was here that I imprinted my innocent desires with tainted perceptions of what sex was ‘supposed’ to look like.
My sexuality and feminine body became something that I would eventually “give away”. I didn’t think about my sensual body as something for me alone to explore and own.
Now, this isn’t just a story of how my sex life became tainted by modern day narratives and cultural conditioning. This one thing: my beliefs about my own body, desires, and sensuality – greatly impacted my beliefs about men, my self-confidence, and my creative expression.
I felt afraid to share my voice. I felt, somehow, controlled by making sure I fit the image of what a man wanted in a woman. I experienced guilt anytime I wanted to be intimate with myself. This disconnection from my Sacral Chakra (the center of sensuality + creative expression) manifested in many forms throughout my life.
My sensuality was not my own. It was a great power that I had, unknowingly, given away.
In 2018, I became extremely (yet quietly) curious about Tantric philosophy. The teachings of Tantra go far beyond sexuality – but one of the pillars is that we are all one, it is a non-dualistic approach to living. Sexuality + sensuality are seen as sacred and intimacy with ones own self and another were spiritual practices. Something that I so badly wanted for myself.
My curiosity and desire to study terrified me. A part of me knew she would have to die if I were to rise into this new way of being. That year, I was introduced to various women’s health educators, sexologists, and somatic practitioners who specialized in sexuality– embodied and empowered women– and was not only turned off by them– I felt repulsion in my bones. The poisoned sensual being within me wanted nothing to do with the erotic liberation she saw in these women’s eyes. She wanted to stay small, quiet, safe, locked away. And for quite some time- she did.
Flash forward a few months into 2019, and there was no more avoiding it. The magnetic pull to liberation was undeniable. The next year, I met a group of Tantric Sex, Love, and Relationship coaches and was mesmerized by their aliveness. They seemed so confident, connected, happy, and free. They unapologetically owned their desires and felt empowered by their pleasure. Their being-ness initiated me into the woman I knew I was ready to become.
Later that year, I planned a trip back to my homeland of Indonesia – where my Mother is from- and enrolled into a 28 day training called Embodied Flow; a psycho-somatic school of yoga based in Tantric philosophy. I had no idea, at the time, how greatly impactful this single decision to take this trip + training would be for my own freedom.
I traveled to the Womb of my ancestors. The void invited me in, asking me to stay for a while and face the dark shadows that needed to be seen.
For the first time in my entire life, I met my womb. I was terrified. It was at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali where I found myself in the yoga shalah practicing on a Sunday afternoon. My rigid Asana movements soon blended into a dance with the sticky, sweet air that permeated my space. Suddenly- I merged with all of Life. I felt a rush of energy travel from my womb and Yoni into my heart. My ribcage craked open. I offered my heart up to the sky — and then, fell to my knees.
The pleasure was so great that I began to sob.
It felt like the Goddess herself had entered my body.
This was the beginning of my sensual liberation. I, slowly and sweetly, began to reclaim the parts of myself long-hidden and tucked away. I was so afraid of what my friends would think, how my family would see me, and quite frankly- the level of power the Goddess had endowed in me. But I trusted, I followed, and continue to do so everyday.
Since then, I have been on a path of reclaiming my power as a womban, deepening my capacity for pleasure, and rewriting my herstory into my own.
I’ve begun to see that all of Life is my lover, that eating berries is just as orgasmic as union with a partner, and that my body is a Sacred Vessel for Source.
A level of freedom and sovereignty has overtaken my spirit + body in a way that I have been waiting for for lifetimes. There is an aliveness that pulses through my veins in a way that I’ve never experienced before. And, my dear, this is available to every single woman. That is how powerful we are.
Your sexuality is yours and yours alone. Your eroticisim is innocent. Your pleasure is pure. There is nothing dirty about experiencing the sensual nature of your body.
Go back and read that again. Let the words drip into your bones like the sweet nectar it is.
This is Truth.
Rewriting HerStory is a collection of women’s stories and words that illuminate the ways we have been conditioned to treat our sex – through religion, upbringing, or culture. And how we have begun to unravel from all that is not aligned with our Souls deepest knowing.
The inspiration for this blog series felt more like a calling from the ancestors. The wise women, that still live within each and every one of us, arose within me in a way that I could not ignore. Her call was clear, loud, and earth-shattering. ‘These stories must be told. You must know that you are not alone. It is time to break free: to live life unbound.“
And- the women came forward. Many other women, just like you and I, who have had to visit the void and re-awaken the dormant sensual power within have chosen to share their stories out loud.
I welcome you into this series with the love of every lineage that has come before us. Your reclamation of pleasure + sensual sovereignty is the return to your erotic Aliveness — your truest nature.
Yours in Body + Sprit,