Posts Tagged Bodysex
Full-length windows framed daffodil blooms bright against vibrant and deep greens. For the comfort of bare flesh, the furnace was turned up, and turned up again. As dusk gathered, six of us breathed, coming together consciously with intention. We were here to explore ourselves. Together.
Many a writing teacher told me to limit my number of sentences and paragraphs beginning with “I.” Since posting here and at Dodson and Ross. I’ve tossed that directive aside, embracing I-statements wholeheartedly.
When people in my life learn about my writing here, the reactions are mixed. Some think I’m incredibly self-absorbed. (Why don’t you write about something other than yourself and what’s between your legs?) Some consider this blog a prime example of oversharing. (Seriously, who wants to read about your yeast infection?) Some caution me of the consequences. (You are shooting yourself in the foot, putting this all out there. You can’t take it back. You may regret this.) A few tell me I’m brave. Most think I’m slightly mad to disclose what I do here, especially since I gave up a pretense of anonymity.
What I do here may indeed be oversharing. And apparently I’m comfortable with that. Given the extreme proclivity in our culture to undershare, to shield, to hide oneself from others and even from self, I write here and at D&R as an exercise in truth-telling. I am looking in a mirror, and rotating so that you can see me looking, watching me watch myself.
With the lights dimmed, I sat at the back of the room. Flickering light and shadow were flung across the faces of eight women sitting on couches and chairs in an arc around the screen. It was my first time watching Bodysex with anyone other than my partner.
Plans are underway for a public showing, but I wanted to start with a private viewing in my home. I sent the invitation to 38 women, specifying that this first event would be female-only. Most of the people I invited were familiar with the project, but for those who weren’t, I included the following: “The film documents Betty Dodson’s sex-education workshops, which she ran for twenty-five years. Fair warning as you decide whether you wish to attend: the seven participants (including me) are nude, show their genitals, and learn various masturbation techniques.” I felt it was important to be candid about the content. The last thing I needed was someone showing up without a clear understanding of what they would see.
Yes, yes, I’ve heard it before. Sex is active, it’s physical. So if you’re in good shape, the sex will be better. There are a couple of things, though, that we should clear up. First of all, fitness and fatness are not mutually exclusive. Secondly, sex is not only for those whose “good shape” isn’t fat. Sex is for everybody. Every. Body.
Since I’m broaching this topic, perhaps I should get personal about my own flesh. Whether or not I personally qualify as a fat person is debatable. My body waxes and wanes. I’ve talked about that in Feeling (about) My Body, where you can see a picture of me in the buff. And I also talked about it on the Bodysex video, where you can not only see me in the buff but also watch me masturbate. Sometimes I’m biggish, sometimes I’m smallish. Some call me overweight. Plump. Full-figured. Chubby. Womanly. Butterball. Rubenesque. BBW. Others roll their eyes at such assessments and say I’m not “that” big. At this point in my life, I’m trying not to attach too much importance to the bigness or smallness of my body. It’s easier said than done, not attaching importance, but I’m still trying.
After coming home from the Bodysex filming, my body and I entered a waning phase (see wax and wane, above). When people see me and tell me that I “look great!” and ask if I’ve lost weight, I generally smile and shrug. “It comes and it goes,” I tell them vaguely. If I get too hung up on feeling “great!” that other people like my body, then my self-worth is externalized and it becomes too easy to feel shitty about myself if/when I enter a waxing phase, or encounter someone who judges my body as less-than-great.
With that caveat, that I may or may not qualify as a fat person, I want to open up the discussion about fat sex.
If you’ve been reading here, you are aware that I participated in the filming of Betty Dodson’s Bodysex Workshop.
The video is available online now, with DVDs being released within the month.
Plans for viewing parties in Portland are underway. If you don’t live in Portland, can’t wait for a party, or want to watch privately, clickety-click here.
I am proud to have participated and very pleased with the result. Seeing my beautiful comrades again on video brought back the rush of deep fondness I feel toward them and the crew.
Our hope is that others will feel compelled to host their own Bodysex groups. May the ripple of sexual consciousness spread!
The second of the two questions in our Bodysex circle framed my answers to both. How do I feel about my orgasm? I hadn’t considered it before. At least not directly. Do I feel anything specifically about my orgasm? I asked myself. Or do I simply feel my orgasm?
How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about your orgasm?
These two questions focused and grounded my Bodysex experience into a tangible, personal narrative. They rang in my mind over several months, peaked with the documentary’s filming, and have continued clanging since I returned home.
In tandem, the questions bounce off each other. Taken together, they intertwine, snaking into and around the other until they cannot be pulled apart easily.
Carlin and Betty asked us to send them background information and our responses to the two questions to help the team craft individualized interview questions. I sent them a couple thousand words, working out the answers as I wrote.
How do I feel about my body? Beyond the rote story I tell, or habituated beliefs, how do I feel underneath all that? And how honest am I going to be?
Nearly a moon cycle has passed since I rode the elevator up to Betty’s temple for the Bodysex filming. I’ve needed these weeks since returning home to integrate and breathe and begin to recognize the impact that Bodysex is having on me. My off-the-cuff description of the smells of our masturbation ritual rolled off easily. But to share what happened in a more fundamental sense, and what it means, has needed time to gestate. It will probably take several posts, an ongoing conversation.
How is it possible that I love them all so very much and ten days ago I hadn’t yet met any of them in person? Everything we shared, in circle, on camera, in all the conversations around Carlin’s dining table – these things are stuck to and inside me.
The blessing we bestowed on Francie’s gestating daughter moves me. It’s for her and my own young family members and for all women, men, girls, boys, and those in between or outside of gender that I participated in Bodysex, and agreed to be filmed.
Making space for genuine bodylove is important work, and I am eternally grateful to Carlin, Betty, and all those who contribute their voice and words to this cause.
One of the parts I eagerly anticipated about the Bodysex filming was the smell. What would it be like, I wondered, to be naked and aroused with a circle of women masturbating? Not only what would it look like or sound like or feel like, but what would it smell like?