Bodysex Takes Everything You Have

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Carlin Ross

As we planned our last Bodysex retreat, I signed the largest deal of my life.  It felt just like Goop: I was profoundly uncomfortable, second-guessing everything yet clear that I would move forward.  I couldn’t miss the opportunity to represent Betty’s message of self-love and independent because I was comfortable with my life.  I found the courage, bit the bullet, and signed my name on the dotted line.

Sometimes we take on challenges intellectually but, the body lags behind, and we experience the physical manifestation of stress.  Mine took the form of a six-month bout of tinnitus.  My ears were ringing 24/7.  I went to drs, did acupuncture, took daily naps, stopped drinking alcohol, upped my masturbation, dimmed lights – nothing worked.  Gradually, I learned to live with it.  If I slept 10 hours in a row and limited any loud sounds, I could get through the day.  This was my new normal.

I didn’t worry about my ears and the retreat until I was in the car headed up to Menla.  What if my ears got worse?  What if I couldn’t handle the music or chatter or my amplified voice on the microphone?  My chest tightened.  I decided to take a deep breath and channel Betty: the goddess would provide.

As we drove up the mountain, all the fluid in my ears drained out at once.  I had imagined this moment. I would psych myself up for client sessions by visualizing my ears clearing in one swoosh.  It would be immediate – and it was.  Menla has always been held as sacred land by the local Native American tribes. It was hit by an asteroid so there’s 1% less gravitational pull when you’re on the mountain.  Today, its a Dalai-Lama property devoted to healing: healing for the women coming to experience their first Bodysex workshop and healing for me as their guide. The land supports the work.

We had two groups of 30 women.  I met virtual clients for the first time.  We flipped the format so that we had 12 assistants, women who were certified and seeking certification.  It was so good to reconnect with the sisterhood and watch them support the women…learn the philosophy…hone Bodysex as an artform.  It felt like coming home. 

During genital show and tell, I was confronted with a completely new challenge.  I think that’s why I’m so drawn to the work: you’re never done learning.  It takes everything you have and the right response flows from you.  I didn’t “think” anything – I felt it.  I knew instinctively how to hold the space.  When you guide a woman without judgment or control, that right step presents itself: her needs are like a vibration.  If you’re listening, you can hear it quite clearly.  Putting down your ego and attuning to another is life changing.  I will never forget the experience.  It felt like magic. 

Being at Menla is such an immersive experience.  There are no tvs in the rooms, cell service is spotty, and women take hikes and enjoy meals between sessions.  I love all the Tibetan colors that run through the property: saffron…orange…deep red…bold blue…sage green…  Then there’s the art in the shrine room where we hold erotic recess.  It’s a feast for the eyes and the soul.  Watching the assistants hold space during breaks, supporting the women in each moment fed my soul.  Betty would be so happy, so proud.



Something shifted during the retreat.  I could be at Menla, run a circle, and share Betty stories without tearing up.  I assumed Betty’s role, her place without grief.  Her memory and the loss I feel has become a treasured part of my life.  Something that inspires me and leads me forward.  I’m grateful for the bond we had and how much time we spent together.  I was her longest relationship.  Seeing her off the planet was a privilege.

We have selected dates for our 2024 workshops – there will be two: May 6-9 and October 14-17

For more information, click this link:

We hope to see you in the circle.

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