The Sarah Everard case has stirred up a lot of debate about men's sexual violence towards women and what is needed for women to feel safe.
In a week, where I've been focussing on the theme Safe To Be Sexual, it's an unfortunate co-incidence, but one that invites a deeper look.
I've been teaching to this topic for many years, but it came back around for consideration after my feature interview with The Sun, in which I talk about how much I enjoy sex, "despite" being 56.
A woman - of any age - enjoying sex shouldn't be considered newsworthy.
I mean, FFS, we are DESIGNED FOR INFINITE MULTI-ORGASMIC PLEASURE !
But what happened after that feature revealed a lot.
I was inundated with messages (and a few attempted calls) from random men. Mostly of the "Hi sexy" variety. But also including offensive comments and a dick pic.
And in equal measure flooded with messages of appreciation and admiration from women, saying how beautiful and inspiring I am.
What a contrast.
In all my years of teaching sexual awakening and embodied awareness to women, what I repeatedly hear is their profound longing to feel both sexually liberated and fully in touch with their embodied pleasure.
Which is what they see in me.
But then they share all the factors getting in the way of that.
Prior experience of unwanted attention, sexual objectification or abuse is a big one.
"I want to be like you" they say, "but I'm afraid I'd attract unwanted attention if I embrace and embody my sexuality."
I'd estimate that between a quarter to one third of the women in every circle I've held, has experienced sexual assault or abuse.
A guesstimate, that more refined statistics bear out (see below), as we can assume that many such events never get reported.
For myself, I've experienced a lifetime of all of the above: from being flashed at by an old man in the park, when I was 9, to cat-calls and lewd comments before I'd even started menstruating, to multiple indecent exposures and gropes, sexual assault and attempted rape.
This was not because I've got Page 3 curves, am especially stunning or was dressed in any way to allure. Not that any of that should be an excuse!
It was simply because I was a female in a public space.
Can you imagine what it does to a woman's sense of self, when this is her every-day experience?
To be consistently bombarded with uninvited, unwelcome commentary, physical appraisal and lewd suggestion?
To be anxious of possible attack every time she walks down a quiet alley or is making her way home at night?
To flinch and tense up every time fast, heavy footsteps come up behind her, whatever the time of day?
And then to receive the reflection that perhaps she was "asking for it", should have dressed differently or avoided that route?
This instils in her the belief that she is guilty, shameful and provocative simply for being a woman.
That she is responsible for his unchecked and invasive desire.
That she is not safe.
All of which, of course, shuts her body and desire down hard and cold. And this is when she's not actually been assaulted!
If THAT has occurred, then her yoni, heart and nervous system will be traumatised.
In fact there’s one feminine empowerment expert, Dr Valerie Klein, who argues that we’re ALL traumatised simply as a result of growing up in the patriarchy.
Yet still we yearn to embrace and embody our most lascivious self, because that is our true nature.
And somewhere inside a part of us knows, that to connect with that sacred sensual feminine essence is to re-member our divinity, our power, our wisdom and beauty, as well as our awesome spiritual gifts.
Our heart, body and soul long for that.
To open and blossom into the radiance, majesty and ecstasy we carry within.
The prospect of sharing that with a man of honour and presence has us swooning.
But for that to happen, we have to feel SAFE.
Safe to walk the streets.
Safe to smile.
Safe to dress, dance and express as we please.
Safe to open our heart.
Safe to open our yoni.
Safe to feel.
Safe to reveal.
Safe to let go.
Safe to fall apart.
Contrary to what some might imagine, in the sexual awakening work I facilitate with women, a significant part of it isn't *sexy*.
We go deep into the wounds and traumas that are held in the body, we excavate beliefs, we make peace with our masculine.
We undo the impact of growing up in a world, where it either wasn't safe or we were taught early on to primp and pimp ourselves to be of value; sensing that men want our sex, when all we’ve ever wanted is their heart.
It's snotty, confronting, humbling and heroic.
But we do it, because we’re committed; hungry for our wholeness and soulfully pulled to re-awaken.
And as we do, so our bodies release lifetimes of tension and armouring, making way for the return of pleasure.
Opening us up once more to the exquisite shimmer and flow of our innate orgasmicness.
Empowering us to stand centre stage in unashamed lusciousness.
So yes, in my sexual awakening work with women, the impetus is for us all to take full responsibility for our experience.
Owning our desire, becoming the subject of our sexuality, healing our wounds and stalking the immature patterning that has distorted our essence, creating conflict and pain.
The cardinal rule here is that we do not cast out blame.
And yet. There is a prayer to the masculine and men that comes with it.
We do not wish to shame your desire, nor blunt your sword.
In fact, we long for your passion, direction and – in the context of love – penetration.
But your passion is yours. We are not responsible for it. Nor do we want it foisted upon us without CARE, CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSENT. That is a violation. Which closes, dims and enrages us.
So feel it. Hold it. Flow it within your own body. In that way, you meet your own feminine, which is essential if you wish to relate with a woman in deep sex-heart intimacy.
And then, should you meet a woman, who calls to you – sex, heart and mind – treasure her, keep her safe, honour her. Listen to her, hold space for her unfurling, penetrate her with your passion and presence, then stay there, and stay some more.
Let her know that you’re not going to run away, avoid or abuse.
She’s had all that too many times before.
Stay true to your word and she will open.
Stay steady in your presence and she’ll surrender.
In your straightness, her nervous system relaxes.
As she FEELS she can trust you, she’ll flower more.
Showering you – and the world - with her ecstasy, blissful spaciousness and cosmic creativity.
And – important for you to know this – releasing all that has not been love or loved before.
For this gift of healing and deeper expansion into Her true Self, she will bow to thank you with all her heart.
When the feminine (both as woman and within) is honoured by men and women in this way, we will truly taste the nectar of heaven on earth.
My Safe To Be Sexual Day Retreat (live on Zoom) is coming up on Sunday, March 21st, 11am-6pm.
Your EARLY BIRD investment on/before March 14th is £133, rising to £155 thereafter. Register via this link.
If you’re ready for potent transformation, this is for you!
Message me if you have any questions.
Book reference: Patriarchy Stress Disorder by Dr Valerie Klein
Statistics on sexual assault cited in The Independent, 12/3/21:
"A 2017 England and Wales crime survey estimated that 20 per cent of women and four percent of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16.
A 2013 overview of sexual offending in England and Wales, compiled by organisations including the Home Office, found that approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault every year. Only 15 per cent of those who experience sexual violence report it to the police.
Figures have also shown that 188 women were killed in England and Wales between April 2019 and March 2020. Eighty-two percent of victims were killed by people who knew them – more than half were their partner or ex-partner.
A March YouGov questionnaire, conducted by UN Women UK, found that 97 per cent of women polled, who were aged between 18 and 24, had experienced some form of sexual harassment."