This is a picture of me last Friday. I am wearing my favorite, favorite outfit ever. That sweater is from 1992 (it’s 26 years old!). I bought it with my hard earned junior-in-high-school dollars; it was $35 from The Gap and I still love it deeply. My comfiest jeans and my meanest black boots round out the ensemble.
I look like a soccer mom. I know.
(I’m hoping that will turn a few of you completely off me, honestly.)
These last couple of weeks have been part of ‘Scorpio season’ – a time when we’re sort of naturally drawn (or pressed) to reviewing relationships, boundaries, mistakes, etc. During this phase I’ve been thinking about things I said to someone about my body this time last year. I was honest: the boobs have breastfed two babies, they now reside more on the ground floor than the upper levels like they used to. There are stretch marks on my stomach (again with the babies). I’ve got cellulite and fat pockets that are plenty full. I’m not any kind of model material.
But as I was reflecting on what I said last year I realized that just because a person’s body meets certain social standards (or, rather, unreachable social standards) doesn’t have anything to do with how good they are at loving that body, or loving other people with their body. So, while I might have a very basic mom bod, I know how to use it far better than a lot of women who still have perky boobs and no stretch marks.
I know how to stretch anticipation just a little bit further…just so it drives a person wild with desire.
I know how to use my lips to soften your skin, all over. A playful tongue and teeth, too.
I know how make a sacred prayer of unbuttoning your shirt, letting the tips of my fingers brush against your skin like whispered mantra.
I know what brings me pleasure, and I’m open to exploring more.
I know how to listen to your moans and sighs and what they tell me about your desires; what to do more of, again and again and again.
I know how to wrap myself around you so our heat burns slow and sweet.
I know how to experiment, gently, and find the path to your deepest pleasure. And I know how to gently guide you towards giving me mine.
I know when to hold you down and when to let you roll me over and hold me steady as we sink into each other.
I know how to touch and tease and rub different places on your body so you understand that there are levels and layers of pleasure.
I know how make my breasts and nipples the kind of weapons you’ll beg to be killed by.
(You can ask my husband.)
I know when to drag my skin against yours and when to press into you. When to create more heat and when to cool you off.
Again, and always, I know how to listen to your entire body.
So, while I may look like a soccer mom, and while my body will never be in a lingerie magazine, I am good at sex in a way that someone with a traditionally beautiful body may never be. I didn’t give myself nearly enough credit last year; I’m a sex goddess.
::: ::: ::: :::
I haven’t always been a sex goddess. But I am beginning to understand what it takes to re-create yourself into one.
First and foremost, a woman has to know and trust her body. This is the hardest fucking thing in the world for modern women, if you ask me. Women are taught, from day one, to distrust our bodies. To only know them enough to deal with them; never to love, respect, and enjoy them. To display them for the pleasure of others, but only rarely for ourselves. I learned to trust my body in a strange way: I have Type 1 diabetes. I had to learn to listen to my body from the age of six. When I had a low blood sugar and felt faint or weak, I had to understand what was happening, trust it, listen to it, and take care of it. Diabetes has given me many strange blessings, but this is the top of the list- the ability to listen to and know my body.
I know that having a sense of safety is also foundational for a woman to become a sex goddess. Part of that is feeling a sense of safety in her own body. Again, a woman may have to unweave many stories society tells her about her body for her to feel safe inside it. If she feels that her body has betrayed her in some way, she will also have to overcome this to feel safe. A woman also has to feel safe with her partner. That has been the key ingredient for me and my sexual exploration/development: I feel entirely safe with my partner. He is generous, kind, supportive, and communicative every time we get down to it. I am never afraid that he will mock or hurt me or be distant. In places where women don’t necessarily feel safe with their partner, they will often extend their own sense of safety to include their partner. This isn’t the same as having a safe partner and thereby having double the safety. It’s more like stretching one size of safety to fit two people- it’s thin, even if it works.
A woman must also accept her own desires if she’s going to be sex goddess. This took me a long time to figure out and feel in my body. And the thing is, it’s very different for each woman. For some women, admitting that they want sex in a car or prefer masturbation is a big step in their self-acceptance. For others, admitting that they prefer submission or rope play (or water play or whatever else you find exceptionally kinky) is the big leap. For me it was admitting that FFM fantasies were not just fantasies. (Which is to say: I identify as more than a little bisexual these days.) But it’s in accepting our desires (even if they are just fantasies!) that we create the space that allows for experimentation. Because when we accept our desires, we are often pushing past boundaries- and that skill of pushing past boundaries helps us be open to other boundaries that are worth testing for ourselves, our partner, and as a couple.
That skill of pushing boundaries is one of the ‘higher end’ skills in becoming a sex goddess, I think. Because being a sex goddess is very much about pleasure- both mine and my partner’s- and I have had to learn to push past my self-imposed pleasure limits and allow more, receive more pleasure. Once you learn to hang out in the flow of orgasm for an extra 15 seconds, you can do that over and over again until you’re having rather long orgasmic experiences (this will literally blow the top of your skull off, at some point, but in the best way possible). It’s in pushing past our boundaries that we can find some amazing sexual experiences. This does not negate or override the need for safety, however.
A sex goddess also just has to plain like sex and be interested in learning more. This is not all women and that is okay. There is absolutely no shame in being a woman who is not interested in sex, doesn’t like it, or doesn’t want to explore. Sometimes there are medical reasons for this (hypothyroidism, low estrogen, low testosterone, a lot of medications have lowered libido as a side-effect), partner-related reasons for this (maybe he doesn’t do it for you anymore, or maybe he puts too much pressure on you- totally get why sex would not be fun!), and/or personal reasons for this (kids are small, work is heavy, the apartment has thin walls). And sometimes a woman just says, “Hey, this is my life, and that’s not what’s important to me.” All of these things are perfectly fine. But if a woman isn’t interested, being a sex goddess is probably not going to happen for her. And that’s totally okay.
There are other essential items for a woman to grow into a sex goddess. She has to have a supportive, communicative, kind, respectful partner who is also willing to explore himself, his desires, his emotional and sexual landscape (or hers, or theirs, depending on who is in the bedroom!). She has to have a safe place to explore (personally, I need to have a warm room) and a safe place to talk about things later- maybe days or weeks later. Emotional processing is definitely a foundational aspect of growing into a sex goddess. And there has to be room for the dance of growth- going a few steps forward, taking a step back sometimes, but continuing with trust, respect, and communication.
One last thing I want to say is that while I am definitely a sex goddess in the bedroom, I’m not all that outwardly sexual. Like, I don’t wear revealing clothes on the regular- I do wear things that make me feel great (like a 26 year-old sweater). I think that when a woman is turned on in her outer life as well as her sexual life there is something different about her energy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to translate into wearing sexy clothes or high heels or whatever is prescribed for ‘sexy’ women in our society. I don’t need to express it outwardly to feel happy or to be connected to my sexuality (or, another way to look at it is: my sweater is sexy to me, so you’ll have to dig that vibe if you want into my bed).
That’s what I know, my friends. I know the path that has lead me to being a sex goddess has been one of growth- it’s had beautiful moments and difficult moments. But it has been utterly worth it. I really love myself at a new level than I did a year ago (or ten years ago!) and I’m so grateful for this imperfect body and all the pleasure it gives me.
Get out there today and enjoy your body, fellow travelers. It’s a gift to be alive.
Joanna :: xoxo