“If you ever meet someone brave and powerful enough to walk with you directly through your most uncomfortable wounds and shadow caves—someone with the stupefying courage to see through the chinks of your armor and then help you take it off—love them. Because they have done something for you which is impossible to do alone. They will show you the treasure you’ve been seeking all your life, and they can do this because they aren’t afraid of your fear.” -Jacob Nordby
Like many females raised under patriarchy, I received my first lesson in bodily sovereignty from my father, who told me with his actions that my body wasn’t for me; it was for him. I continued to learn that lesson in myriad other ways from family members, peers, and lovers; but never so powerfully as that first wounding. When he took advantage of my innocence and a grossly unbalanced power dynamic to seek relief from his own pain and suffering by making me partially responsible for and complicit in it.
I’ve worked my entire life to recover from that seminal experience, never really believing I would arrive at healing. There are so many ways this culture insidiously and blatantly tells women that their bodies are for public consumption, for male appreciation and appropriation that it’s almost impossible to see any kind of light through such a dark tunnel. And even when I would see flashes of light, when I would think I had made progress—something would inevitably happen to re-trigger my shame and embarrassment.
My anxiety over knowing I would have to do something I didn’t want to would threaten to engulf me, and I would once again be reminded that I was never going to be anything more than a commodity. A balm for another man’s bruised ego, threatened vulnerability, or misplaced anger. Because once the stage is set; once the scenery is primed by lack of consent, misogyny, broken trust, shame, and coercion there’s no such thing as free will. Once a society’s propaganda about gender roles, sexual expectations, and dominance are ingested you can’t really see any other choices. Not really.
And, I didn’t see any other choice. Oh sure, I was sexually “liberated” in that I was actively bisexual and a practicing polyamorist, was fluent in kink and BDSM, and would try just about anything that didn’t involve shit or fire. I was Good, Giving and Game. But almost every time, I felt like a prostitute, and not in the liberated, empowered way. I could feel something inside me twist in fear; my gut would feel sick, nauseous; my anxiety would spike and sometimes I would want more than anything to disappear or run away. Like a scared rabbit.
Or a violated child. Someone with zero agency or power.
I didn’t even know how wounded I was until Brendan and I began to actively use Holistic Peer Counseling (HPC) in our sexual relationship—I’ve written about how our using HPC techniques helped me begin reclaiming my sexual identity. Which was back in April of this year. We have since then remained committed to transparency, talking through, and embracing The Awkward during sex, and it has continued to deepen our connection to both one another and to our separate grounds. By which I mean we have learned to trust ourselves and one another to create an authentic connection in the moment, as opposed to believing we have to show up already turned on. We have found it increasingly easy to be grounded around and loving toward one another, even when the world and its inhabitants are sending us the chaotic and hateful.
I trust Brendan like I have trusted no other human on this planet. Ever. And there were still parts of me that couldn’t meet him. Didn’t trust him. Couldn’t surrender to the experience of our bodies communicating. Because those parts KNEW they would ultimately have to do something they didn’t want to: they would have to sacrifice their version of desire for his and then fulfill his desire by surrendering our body.
And then something happened. I had an experience so powerful and consciousness changing that I will literally never be the same again.
In addition to HPC, Brendan and I use ecstasy about once a quarter as a therapeutic relationship aid, which is actually what it was designed for in the first place. The ravers just knew a good thing when they found it. Each time we take it, the overall intensity of the effect and what we “get” out of the experience has increased; primarily, I believe, due to how we are changing and growing together, how we are healing ourselves. Because the ecstasy we get is tested regularly and pretty homogenous, so dosage variations significant enough to muddy the water are relatively unlikely.
This last time we took it was different from the start. We elected to ingest it orally as opposed to snorting it (which makes the onset much faster and harder to balance); we wanted to be embodied and to feel the effects occur more slowly so that we could find balance of attention with the sensations. We consciously set an environmental and emotional container for healing, connectedness, and loving compassion. What we didn’t realize until the next day was the level of alchemy we were conjuring into being.
Now, ecstasy is a great drug for having deep connected sex fueled by serotonin and oxytocin; it’s positively orgasmic in that your entire body feels alive and engorged, full of light and love. Ecstasy is not, however, a great drug for having a climax; in fact, unless you have access to a powerful vibrator and can get off from using one, chances are you’re just going to have to wait until the drug leaves your system sufficiently before you can finally experience that particular release. This means I can have a climax while high on ecstasy, but it takes a LOT of focused attention and the aid of a Hitachi Magic Wand. A fact that will come into play very shortly.
So, Brendan and I were having sex on ecstasy and it was amazing. I mean, like seriously connected, attuned, hot, wet, in almost-total surrender and animal-like abandon. We reached the point where it seemed like he was going to be able to climax, or at least wanted to try, and in that moment what I wanted more than anything was to feed his energy; to stoke it and follow it and add all the hot energy I was building to his fire; I wanted to follow him up and through his climax while still remaining totally aroused, totally present, in total devotion to his pleasure.
I remained in that space for a long time because, as noted, ecstasy makes it super hard for anyone to climax who doesn’t have a vibrator. So Brendan and I chased his climax for 15, 20, 30 (?) solid minutes—I don’t really know because time stands still when you’re high and on the knife-edge of pleasure like that. All I know is that I surrendered completely and I held back my climax for longer than I had ever imagined possible. It was excruciating and awesome and more agonizingly pleasurable than anything I’d ever felt. I was terrified by the power I could feel building inside me; afraid it might engulf me or maybe kill me. I wasn’t sure I could hold out.
And then, when it seemed impossible to wait any longer, he said he wasn’t going to be able to climax, and that I should. That he wanted me to push through and take that pleasure for myself. I will never be able to adequately describe what happened to me over the next minute or two, but it felt like my entire body became a clitoris; I had my first whole-body climax. For one solid minute, I inhabited every single cell of my body. And I sobbed. With my whole body and soul and core I sobbed; without censure or shame I wailed as waves of golden light passed through me.
Brendan knew Something Important was happening; he could feel the hugeness of the moment and so all the while I was thrashing and sobbing I could hear him intoning “Your Body, Your Body, Your Body, Your Body” while cradling my lower body in his arms rather like a wounded child. Which, in that moment, I absolutely was. Because in that moment I was finally able to grieve what I lost when my father touched my clitoris for selfish reasons. In that moment I felt again what it was like to be in my entire alive body all at once. I felt All of Me for the first time since early childhood; I was sovereign once again.
Brendan has been helping me uncover and identify my shadows for six years, even when it’s been excruciating for his own wounds, even when he was terrified he might die or I might abandon him. He has walked with, loved, guided, and re-parented me, and he didn’t flinch when it came time to meet my maker. He walked with me to that darkest of places and then stood by me while I opened that smallest of doors, that 4-year-old–size door where Little Chrissy hid all her pain, fear, and shame. Where she buried that ugliest of wounds so no one could ever see it and shame her for having been so gullible, so trusting.
He walked with me to that door and once it was open, he invited me to step inside, alone; to take for myself all the power and pleasure everyone else in my life had taken for themselves. He has been a fierce advocate for my wholeness and sovereignty because, by his own words, “I could never have given you what you built yourself.”
That was eight days ago. And every day since then, I’ve noticed two awesome and previously nearly-inconceivable things: I feel grounded without consciously thinking about grounding, and the voices in my head have mostly gone away. Except for one: the voice of Intuition. There are actually times when Intuition is the only voice I can hear. Sometimes for a few hours at a time. I don’t know about you, but for me this is literally the best thing that’s ever happened.
For the first time in my memorable life I trust what Intuition says because I can feel Her in alignment with my body and chakras. When I had that minute-long whole-body climax, all my chakras opened simultaneously and I believe I channeled pure healing energy directly from the earth and cosmos. I can’t explain it or rationalize it, and I don’t feel the need to one little bit. I touched the divine in myself as it is mirrored in the universe, and because of that I am now a manifestation of Sovereign Feminine.
I have integrated most of the pain and resistance I’ve always felt around surrendering to those I love, which means I can now be authentically intimate and loving with them—because I know with certainty where I begin and end. I can feel my boundaries vividly, can hear my Intuition clearly—and that means I’m no longer afraid of being coerced into doing something I don’t want to do. It means I trust Brendan to comfort me. It means I can ask for what I need. It means I can take care of myself. It means I can give myself wholly and creatively to playing with Avery in the moment. It means I know what I want, and when I actually identify those wants, I’m pretty certain there’s no part of me needing to please you in them.
It also means I can fully embody my calling and devotion to the healing that continues to arise through intimately parenting my son, re-parenting Brendan, and the continued parenting of Little Chrissy. The experience of having healed my mother wound, and now healing my father wound means I can be strong, vulnerable, and fierce for all of them without reservation, without fear or anxiety.
I didn’t consciously know it at the time, but starting this blog helped me reclaim my Voice. Trusting myself and Brendan to have the deepest, most intimate and awake, loving sex that we could at any given moment helped me reclaim my Intuition. This is the treasure I’ve been searching for my whole life and right now I feel rich beyond measure.
“When we mother the child within ourselves, we are cultivating an inner environment of safety and unconditional love that we did not experience in our childhoods. This heals the frozen energy of early trauma and brings our inner child into the present moment where her purity, innocence, vitality and creativity can be brought into our daily lives. […]
To step into our mastery, we must be increasingly sovereign over ourselves and our own energy. This means fiercely protecting your inner child and thus, allowing your inner life to be your priority. Your sovereignty is what allows you to fully flower and emerge into your full potential.” –Mothering Yourself Into Mastery: The Sovereign Feminine and Your Inner Wealth
Christina Louise Dietrich, a technical writer by trade, says of herself: “I write because I am claiming the voice my family and my society tried to silence, the voice that was my divine birthright. I am a woman, a mother, a feminist, a wife. I am compassionate, judgmental, loving, a bully, empathetic, obstinate, caring, rigid, and creative. I’m passionate about systems, beauty, process, experience, trees, interconnections, transitions, logistics, balance, and clarity. I manifest the Amazon, the Androgyne, and the Mother-to-be-Crone.”
You can read more at Christina’s blog.