Pleasure is the Real Power

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:23
Submitted by Carlin Ross

Knowing that this past weekend's workshop would be our last shifted something in a very important way - both for us and the women in the circle. If I had to choose one word to describe the weekend, it would be reverance.

I felt a heaviness heading into the weekend, the anticipation of emotion and possible regret. And we'd decided to let the doc crew film our morning together as we set up the room and had breakfast so I had to be camera-ready and "on". Whenever we shoot, I'm always conscious that someone decades from now - maybe even a century - will stumble upon the clip. I want Betty's work to be properly represented. I want to get it all right. I want my words to have meaning.

As I greeted the women naked at the door, I noticed that one woman looked extremely nervous. When I asked them all to "pick a hook for your clothes and get naked" her mouth fell open and her eyes went wide. She asked, "how much is this?" and I replied our workshop rate minus her deposit. Then she announced that she was here for the open house and ran past me out the door like she was on fire. This has never happened before - no one has ever walked into a workshop by mistake. We all had a good laugh and it was grounding. I only wished that our cameraman was still there filming (he was packing up his equipment in the hallway and heard the whole thing). Laughter is the best way to start a workshop.

We had women from Australia, Great Britain, South Korea, Columbia and both coasts. It's always an honor to have women travel across the world to experience Bodysex. What I find so affirming is that regardless of our ages, race, or sexual orientation, our experience is the same because we've all suffered the same oppression. We have been denied sexual freedom and equality - personhood. It is this disappointment and desire to overcome that binds us together as sisters.

My womanhood is more than my identity. It is my soul and my connection to every other woman on this planet. In these moments of healing, it feels like we're crossing through the temporal into the sacred regardless of time or space - like we're righting some wrong, changing the narrative in some way for future generations. This is what Bodysex means to me.

There was a moment during genital show and tell that was quite profound. As she was displaying her vulva, one of the women shared how she longed to do something with her life that felt "powerful". Betty grinned and answered, "pleasure is the real power". Heads were knodding and we felt the magnitude of Betty's statement. We think of power as dominance or money or abuse of office. We never think about the power of living a life devoted to pleasure and selflove, free from guilt and shame, free to love, create and nuture ourselves and others.

After the women left, Betty and I sat down to have a quick drink. Betty announced, "this isn't our last workshop. I'm not going to stop. We can't quit now that Bodysex is a big success". I needed her to say it. I needed her to want to keep going. The last few workshops it felt like I was dragging Betty with me, like her mind was elsewhere. Maybe I was calling her bluff by agreeing to "retire" but it felt like it was time to close the chapter and move forward to the next one. 

We needed a shot in the arm and we got it.

You can thank Lisa Meyers and Betsy Crane for all future Bodysex workshops. They presented their Bodysex Effect research at AASECT a few weeks ago and my inbox is inundated with emails for Fall workshop dates.  The women in this circle couldn't believe that we were ending the workshops right when people were finding out about our work.  We toasted and picked out next sessions workshop dates.  

Our Fall Bodysex dates are:

October 7/8
November 11/12
December 9/10

Going into Day 2 felt amazing. It was like Betty and I had renewed our vows, our commitment to Bodysex and bettering the lives of women and girls EVERYWHERE. We feel recharged and when we laid back next to each other during erotic recess we came our faces off.

I love Betty Dodson and I love this work. As I look forward, I know that Bodysex won't make me won't make me a millionaire but it feeds my soul in ways I've never imagined. I am a better woman, a better mother, a better wife, and a better human being because of this work.

Here's to another decade of circle jerk girls. Thank you


Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson