This is another tattoo story.
It explains this beauty.
Six years ago my libido changed.
It went straight through the roof.
I felt like the stereotypical 18 year-old boy: thinking about sex all the time, wanting as much as I could get.
My poor husband was overwhelmed.
And so was I.
No one ever told me this could happen to a woman. There were no stories in my family, in my schooling, or in my culture about this upswing in desire.
I gave it a name: The Sex Surge.
And I figured out that it was a hormonal shift.
(Google it if you want to know more!)
But I did not know what to do about it or how to make sense of it.
All the stories I had grown up with about women and sex were about chastity, low desire, and dissatisfaction with men.
No one told me we could be lust-filled and lust-driven.
And want to nail anything in pants.
Certainly no one, no story, told me this might be a good thing. That huge desire could make your life better. For me, with no understanding or context, it felt like a burden.
For the next six years I worked with the desire (a desire which sometimes did not include my husband- okay, I had fantasies, deep ones, about Other People). There was lots of shame, guilt, and fear about my body, its desires, my sex, and wanting orgasm.
But then I found resources.
All about women and desire.
Suddenly, I wasn’t a freak.
I found out there were temples in India (5,000 years ago) where women who wanted to learn or share the sexual arts could do that. They sometimes trained young men in sexual pleasure (!!!).
[I could not imagine a more perfect match! Sex Surge ladies with all their wisdom and knowledge paired with hot-to-trot young dudes. How (fucking) brilliant!]
After I started to understand that there was nothing wrong with my sex, my needs, my desires, my body. Once I felt safe that I wasn’t weird…well, then I started exploring.
I found new definitions of orgasm.
I found sacred sex practices that helped me manage my libido and enjoy it.
I explored sensual tools and experiences.
I surrendered to pleasure and desire.
I asked for what I wanted: touch, kissing, sacred moments, wild moments.
I also took apart the stories I had heard about women and desire and began to reconstruct them.
That journey and those stories are what this tattoo is about.
The woman is Lilith, Eve, and the Oracle at Delphi.
Lilith because she was the first wife of Adam; not made from his flesh. She leapt over the walls of Eden and made her own way in the world. She fed her desires. I needed her freedom and self-assurance.
Eve because I wanted to see her story – of eating the apple – for what it was: a woman who hungered to know more. In my story she is friends with the snake, with sex. They do not ‘fall’ into sin – they open into joy.
The Oracle at Delphi because she was an initiator into the Mysteries – an ancient school where women learned sexual and spiritual practices for expanding consciousness. It was said that if you were ‘bitten by the snake’ you could enter the school (‘snake’ being a euphemism for sex). I needed a story where sex was an entrance into the sacred, a story where sex was welcomed instead of condemned.
The tree. Well, I love trees. It is part of the Eve myth, so it was easy to include. It is also about strength and growth- we must have roots in order to fly.
The snake. Mmmm, yes, the snake. The eternal symbol for knowledge and sex. The Sex Surge pushed me to learn more about sex. And learn I did – more than I ever wanted, in some cases. The snake is also the symbol of our dark side. For a long time my sex and desire were my dark side. No longer.
This story was not an easy path. I had to overcome a lot of fear about myself as a sexual person. I had to let go of some repression. I had to ask for what I wanted (even when I didn’t think I could have it – that is some scary shit, okay?). I had to be honest with my husband about my fantasies and desires. There were rough spots.
But I’m better for them. I know more about myself. I know that all of me is sacred.
I have tasted the apple, the red-colored, sex and sensuality of myself.
And it is delicious.
This tattoo is a story about how I have opened into a greater sense of my sexual self, how I have found sacred and holy places in sex, and how desire must be set free.
It is about my growth as a woman and as a sexual being. It is about awakening to the truth that my sex (all of it) is sacred.
And so is yours.