Believe it or not, I only learned about boundaries & consent in my first tantra workshop. At the tender age of 40 something.
And it blew my mind.
I had been SO deeply conditioned up to that point to silently suffer touch, words or gestures that felt uncomfortable to me.
Not only sexual, but general.
To be the object, not the subject of sexual comments, exposure and assault - from my teens. Cat calls. Flashers. Gropes. Attempted rape. And loads more.
To be nice and submit, rather than stand up and stick out.
I didn't even know what a boundary - in those terms - was.
And I certainly had no clue that it was in my power to say no or ask for something different. Without feeling in any way guilty.
Nobody had modelled this or taught me.
Our society and culture, education and religion, the work-place: everywhere we are conditioned to obey authority and be "good."
To defer to the leader. To fit in with the pack. To follow the rules.
On top of this, we have the patriarchal mind-set, that pushes us out of our bodies and privileges (self-)objectification.
But in that tantra workshop I woke up to the revelation, that I could say NO. Stop. Yes. More. Less.
Without needing to explain or care-take the other.
That this was crucial for my pleasure and empowerment.
And that it all starts with a deep connection to my body and her constant messages. Sensation and awareness. Not my mind.
My boundaries are fluid, not fixed. It's my right to change them whenever I want to. I don't have to please anybody. I don't need to feel guilty for saying no. At any time.
From that point forward, it's been a journey of embodying this knowing, that - at times - I still struggle with.
My inner people-pleaser loves to have her way. My voice still falters or shuts down at times, when my body is telling me something's not ok.
It comes from having a father, who would hit me if I disagreed.
I still fear that jaw-locking slap sometimes.
And yet. I cannot stay silent. As a woman and a Priestess I feel the impact of centuries of oppression and persecution.
And I also see the consciousness, that seeks to oppress us all.
At this critical time, we all need to get in touch with our boundaries and consent.
Does this FEEL good to me ? Yes or No.
Do I TRUST it? Yes or No.
Do I WANT it? Yes or No.
Let the body answer first, not the mind.
And then, of course, do your research, inform yourself. Find out what you need to as the sovereign care-taker of you.
Remembering that YOU are in charge. And YOU have responsibility.
And then stand in your truth of only ever allowing what YOU want near, on or in you.
No explanation or justification needed.
You voice may well shake. Your body too. But it's the only way to live in integrity, feel aligned and empowered. Oh, and enjoy much better sex too.