Michaela’s article “A Woman’s Pleasure Body: Relaxing into Openness” is featured in October’s Common Ground Magazine.
Download the PDF here.
A Woman’s Pleasure Body: Relaxing Into Openness
How often do you experience pleasure in your body throughout the day? Do you sit on your computer and feel rolling waves of full-bodied ecstasy as your spine undulates in pleasure? Does looking at your calendar open your being into a deep breath of joy felt all the way into your belly? Do you wake up radiantly alive, energy running through your open and soft body? For most women the answer is, no.
We have come to relegate pleasure in our bodies to the bedroom, hoping that miraculously when we come home from a day of work we regain our ability to feel, become open, sexual and juicy. But more often than not, we don’t feel like sex, alone or with a partner. A bath, book, TV show or more emails seems like a better option.
Working in almost all professions today requires that we animate and strengthen our masculine, the part of each human that sets goals, has a plan and the discipline to achieve it. Men and women alike operate in a world of linear action and achievement. Most activities along those lines, from emails to planning, errand running, lists and goal setting require focus and a forward motion. These activities have a specific impact on a woman’s body, both muscularly and energetically. We are required to harness and focus our energy and create forward motion. The body tightens, the solar plexus clenches and all energy is pooled in our head, neck and shoulders. Often we barely feel our bodies and at the end of the day the tension remains and we feel numb to all other sensations.
A woman’s pleasure is directly related to the openness and relaxation in her core and lower body. We are made for pleasure, made for juicy fullness in our hips, thighs and genitals. Designed to feel deeply in our bellies, to give birth, intuit, create and nourish. Our feminine heart yearns for communion, openness and toe-curling full body pleasure. This kind of pleasure is not dependent on a partner, or focused on sexual stimulation alone, but allows us to feel our bodies as a source of strength and power.
The more our bodies relax, the more we feel pleasure not only in our genitals, but radiating outward into the belly, chest and extremities. Pleasure then comes not only from focused genital touch, but from moving, dancing, feeling and communing with beauty, nature, animals, friends or just from the way a peach smells or a gentle breeze moves through our hair. When our core relaxes we become finely tuned to blissful sensation of all kind. And those sensations go way beyond the sexual and become part of everyday existence. We become not only more orgasmic, but also much more receptive and perceptive to all sensations. Our heightened receptivity allows us to connect deeper with ourselves, those we love and the world at large.
But, we are creatures of habit and our nervous systems create patterns through repetition. Whatever we do day-in, day-out is what we become, both neuro-muscularly and emotionally. The repetitive task of in-our-head thinking, linear goal achieving and structure creating teaches our bodies to be tight by habit. And once those habits are established, we don’t just relax into the soft, animal-pleasure-body that is our birthright. As a matter of fact, in women, the worst stress and anger often gets stored vaginally, which results in tension, pain and dryness. The lower body is habitually clenched, the belly tight and the tension makes our hips lock up.
We often have resistance to pleasure, either because it feels frivolous to put so much attention on ourselves, or we inherited certain closures from our mothers and grandmothers. Then there is social conditioning and in the worst case, past trauma and bad experiences that have taught us that being alive and full in our bodies is unacceptable or not safe. Freeing our ability to feel and receive pleasure frees all of us from the injuries and past restrictions placed on women’s bodies over the centuries.
At that point pleasure needs to be practiced like any other skill we have acquired. We need to remember how to move, how to dance, how to rest and how to feel. Often it is not enough to learn a new sexual technique or get someone to touch us pleasurably. It’s a slow and steady reclaiming of all parts of us.
It can begin with breathing fully and feeling the belly. Recognizing how good it feels to move in a non-linear way. Not exercise or yoga, not any structure or goal, just the undulating waves of the hips, spine and lower body. Perhaps swaying to music, or dancing vigorously, or lying on the ground moving and rolling around aimlessly. Anything that wakes up our instinctual nature and relaxes the core.
Then there is touching our bodies with care and intention. Not the fast perfunctory application of moisturizer, but the leisurely slathering of warm coconut oil; a hot bath; a walk by the ocean; a swim in a lake. Communing with girlfriends, enjoying food and laughter, animals, children and music. The list is endless, all that matters is that the body and heart open and get to feel. That time is taken, even if it is only a few minutes each day, to actively feel pleasure through our bodies in as many ways as possible. Over time this will counteract the tension to which we are so habituated. It will also make us more open to our lovers, present and future.
The most compelling quality in a woman is how she shows pleasure in her body. The Beatles famously sang “Something in the way she moves…” The natural radiance and motion of a body that knows sensual and sexual pleasure surpasses looks, age and the perfect body type.
Pleasure is our birthright, and reclaiming our sensual body is reclaiming our ability to feel and communicate from a deeply intuitive, relaxed and powerfully feminine core.
Michaela Boehm combines her expertise in counseling with her in-depth training in the yogic and tantric domains to teach artful relating and loving. She co-teaches events with David Deida and offers trainings for men, women and couples internationally. www.michaelaboehm.com