How To Grow A Sex Goddess

 

 

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.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

Your True Colors

Today my heart is feeling like this song:

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors

True colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow 

| True Colors by  Cyndi Lauper |

::: ::: ::: :::

Today I’m thinking of the heartbroken, the grieving, those who have lost friends or family to suicide, those who are figuring out their marriages and relationships aren’t working, those who are remembering lost friends, those who wish they could reach out (you can, and you should try), those who are wondering, those who are hurting, those who are wrestling with the old question (again).

One of the things I know I am here on Earth to do is heal people. I have always fallen for the beauty inside of the broken. Things and people that are broken have always made my heart open wider. It is inside the compassion that I find it easy to reach out, to stay, to hold the battered and bloody hearts and souls. So, I heal people by loving them, accepting them, and helping them see the truth about themselves- both where they are and where they want to be, who they want to be. And I help them get there.

Today I’m thinking of those who are sitting in their brokenness, feeling consumed by it, or just feeling the hard edges of it (whatever it is that makes them uncomfortable). Know that I see you. Know that you are loved. Know that you deserve what your heart wishes for. Know that you are worthy. I’m thinking of you today and wishing you healing.

Big love, always,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

Happy New Year’s Eve!

It’s Halloween, or Samhain (please, say “sow-in”- that’s how it’s pronounced in the original Gaelic), and it marks the end of the year for pagans.

I haven’t danced much this year in the new house, I realized today as I was struck by a song on the radio and stood there, still and calm. It was “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick and I closed my eyes as I listened. The sun came out and I turned towards it and felt the heat on my face and how it looks like your eye lids are all lit up when the sun comes through them while your eyes are closed. I was not dancing, but it was magic nonetheless.

When the song was done, I went to meditate. I lit the candles and got the sage smoking (that’s not a euphemism) and prayed to my ancestors. Both sets of great grandparents, now long dead. My Papa, who died a few years ago, but it still feels like I saw him last week. And to a newly dead great uncle- a very loving man who raised very loving sons and made the world a better place with his smile and corny jokes. The veil being thin this time of year, I thanked them for how their lives brought me forth and for the ways in which their spirits guide me every day.

I thought about the year past. Mostly it was difficult things I thought of. How I felt ridiculous and immature and incapable and not ready for so many things that happened. But also how I felt glad that I’d taken risks and been stupid and learned things about myself and my life and what I want to be and become.

That is probably what I like best about this ‘end of year’ versus the traditional New Year’s Eve: we recognize and celebrate the darkness in ourselves. We let it out to play. The part of us that might murder, the vengeful place inside our hearts, the seductress, the cruel one, the clown, the dead parts of ourselves- they all come out as Halloween costumes and we celebrate them. We reward them with candy, even! I think it’s incredibly valuable to recognize these parts of ourselves during this celebration and love them up, because magic doesn’t come from being good, it comes from being whole.

So, I sat at my altar and felt all the things: how feeling ridiculous is exactly like when I hit my funny bone in my elbow, but spread throughout my whole body. How I’d given bits of myself away and began calling them back. How it felt to remember things from long ago- painful things- and letting my heart hurt again. Regret. Regret sits like a mask atop my eyes but also drops down into my heart. I’m glad to have regret instead of wondering, even if it does feel like a weight. The various other feelings that needed space to be recognized and felt stopped by, too. It was sort of an ego death* parade.

I also took a few moments to send good wishes to those who had helped me in some way this past year- helped me learn, grow, understand. Even those who helped me feel regret or ridiculous- because they helped me know myself better.

And then I asked my ancestors to speak to me. The veil between the worlds is thin today and the next few days, so I believe their energy and messages come through to us living folks more easily, if we are open to them.

After it was all done, I took a very long, very hot shower. Not as a means of cleansing, but as a way of stewing in all of those things I felt. Today isn’t the day for getting all pretty and clean and free- it’s the day to recognize how dirty and broken and deliciously fucked up we are, and celebrate it anyway.

It turned out that the song I listened to was exactly right for today. “Just breathe,” she sings. Whatever comes, we accept it. And we breathe. Today I let all the ugly come up, watched the year march through me, and accepted all of it. Tonight I will celebrate it.

Much love to you, fellow travelers. I hope your Halloween is full of fright and fun- and I hope you get to be yourself, your whole self.

Joanna :: xoxo

 

Photo by Kento Iemoto on Unsplash

 

* Ego death is not what Jason Silva talks about on Facebook. Ego death is when we realize that something we’ve been attached to or believed strongly in (usually something that defines us) is either not true (as in, it’s actually a lie) or is no longer true for us. Examples:

  • I am a good person.
  • My marriage is safe.
  • There is a heaven.
  • I can have what I want.
  • I’m not broken.
  • I have a long life ahead of me.
  • God is only masculine.
  • If I am good, I will get what I want.

When we have an ego death, it’s a usually a horrible surprise: something we didn’t expect to be true, is. And it shocks us into a new reality. A reality where what we wanted or needed to believe is clearly no longer true. The part of our ego that was attached to that, that really, really wanted it to be true, has to die in that moment of understanding. So, ego death is the shock that opens us up to greater truth (even, probably especially, when we don’t like it or want it). It’s an incredibly valuable process. It’s better to seek it out than avoid it, if you ask me.

 

 

0

A Lifetime of Love.

1997 :: 1996 :: 2014 :: 2017

 

Today we have been married for 21 years. If we had a kid the day we were married, that kid would be able to legally drink today. It’s an entire lifetime. And I want four more with him, this time around. And then I want four other lifetimes with him after this one has ended.

This has been a year of serious growth for me and my beloved and we are reaping all the benefits of our hard work, dedication, and love. I am incredibly happy with me, us, and where we are together. Like, fantastically happy. Contentedly happy.

I’ve been thinking about what it takes to be in a long-term relationship; I often do around this time of year. And I realized this year that there comes a point when you have to decide what kind of relationship you want to be in, long term. Because there are several different options to choose from. You can be in a relationship that never changes and stick with it, if that’s what both people want. He always mows the lawn, she always does the holiday decorating; nothing ever changes. You can be in a relationship with someone for a very long time and not care about them or the relationship. It’s horrible, but plenty of people do it. You can be in a growth-oriented relationship. You can be in a relationship that only grows during hardship or difficulty like a sickness or a family issue. There are many options.

For me, though, there is only one kind of relationship: growth-oriented.

Because I’m deeply interested in my own healing and growth, I am also interested in healing and growth in my most intimate relationships.

All of the times we have decided to make a shift in our relationship have been about growth. Our growths as individuals and our growth as a couple. For growth-oriented couples, the growth is their strength. At least, it has been for us.

It took us probably 5-7 years to figure out that we were growth-oriented. And then it took us another 4-5 years to understand our particular pattern of growth. Exploring this and understanding it is how we’ve been so wildly successful, why we still like and love each other, why we still have great sex (although, that is not the be all-end all of a relationship).

We tell the truth. We made a pact, at one point, to tell the truth, even if it hurt the other person. Because telling the truth leaves no room for doubt. Yes, we need to clarify sometimes, but we always tell the truth. Because how else are we supposed to fully understand another human if we don’t?

We work through the hurt. When one of us feels hurt, we work through it. One of our big issues (that it took years to fully work through) was money. We both grew up in families with weird money issues and what was ‘normal’ to me felt oppressive to him and vice versa. When I felt hurt by some of his actions with money we learned to work through it, even if there was pain. He stopped his behaviors. I looked at why they were so frustrating to me (I had to do my own healing so that we could heal). We both looked at what was our responsibility in this fight. Mine was to heal some old stories about money. His responsibility was to deal with some old patterns from his family of origin. It wasn’t fun. It took years. It bounced around a lot. And we had to deal with a fair amount of personal pain and create new habits. But we always work through the hurt until no one hurts anymore and until each of us feels loved and heard.

We really like the other person and want to be with them. Even when some of our habits annoy the the fuck out of other person. Even when we don’t look as sexy as we did 20 years ago. Even when we didn’t have sex very often (there are times when someone is sick or in pain and you can’t, and that may last for a while). Even when we are both bogged down with work, kids, and the daily grind. We still really dig each other as people and we know we want to be together.

We support each other’s dreams. He wrote two books. I am writing one. He wanted to study in England. I wanted to live in a particular house. He got his PhD and is a full professor. I wanted kids and did my Master’s. I needed more sex. He delivered. We both love to travel. We support each other in big and small dreams. And that draws us together as a team. And inside ‘being a team’ we practice loving each other.

I still think my husband is a really cool person I want to spend time with. And, for us, that happens because we grow as individuals and as a couple.

That’s not how it works for everyone, obviously. There are lots of ways to have long term relationships. And lots of ways to be happy in long term relationships. You just have to make sure you’re in the kind of relationship that suits you best, and so is your partner.

Feels like I’ve written this before; I probably have. Oh, well.

Happy Anniversary to my beloved. May we have many more ahead of us.

Joanna :: xoxo

::: ::: ::: :::

[FYI:because I keep getting articles about “letting go” on social media. Letting go of someone we loved or cared for (or still do) is some of the hardest work of being a human. It’s something we have to do, but you can have compassion for yourself as you go through it. It took me a long time to learn that. And I don’t particularly subscribe to the idea of soul mates or twin flames, but there are people who teach our souls things. Some teach us how we don’t want to be treated. Some teach us how we do want to be treated. These are soul lessons. But no one that loves you will treat you like shit. That’s not what love is. That’s not what love does. Love can cause us pain (see above), but real love also takes care of us and helps us heal.]

 

 

0

Believe Us

 

A bloody, red background with the words "believe women, believe brown people, believe black people, believe poor people, believe disabled people' across it

[Did you really think I would not say anything about the news this last week?]

 

And for all the white men who read this, particularly you mediocre motherfuckers:

You have the least prohibitions on you.
You are not fettered or hurdled by the things the folks listed above are.
You have very few forms of systemic oppression limiting you and your choices.

Your life is 99% your own.

If you don’t like where you’re at: that is on you.

No one is your savior.
No one is your excuse.
No one is your reason.
Not me, not anyone.

Where you are is a result of your choices.

You choose to be influenced? That is on you.
You choose to behave poorly? That is on you.
You choose to listen or not listen? That is on you.
You choose to be a coward? That is on you.
You choose to blame others? That is on you.
You choose to be an asshole? That is on you.
You made a life you don’t like? That is on you.
And so are all the consequences and outcomes.

Everything is a choice. Everything.
[You are free to choose to do or not do anything, including breathe. There are consequences for choices, including falling unconscious and having your vital systems force you to breathe. But you choose everything. Everything.]

So if you don’t like what you have, that is not my problem or anyone else’s.
You are your own damn problem.
And you have the most freedom to change.

STFU and change if you don’t like where you’re at.
I am tired of white men’s bullshit, especially you mediocre motherfuckers.
And I have no time for it anymore.

Believe women.
Believe brown people.
Believe black people.
Believe poor people.
Believe disabled people.
Believe LGBTQIA people.

 

 

0