Sometimes I get these wild little ideas, like yesterday, when I hear this voice inside daring me to not wear anything under my dress to the grocery store. Not that I’ve never gone out pantiless. I’ve done many bare bottom dinners with boyfriends over the years. But what makes this different than other pantyless adventures is that it’s just for me.
My first reaction is to toss the no-underpants idea aside as an exhibitionistic whim. But since it came to me during my pleasure practice, I’m willing to give it more consideration. Next come my judgments. I’m not twenty. I’m almost fifty and one step away from being the crazy woman who runs naked through the streets. I don’t need to free my vagina. I’m not interested in seducing anyone in the vitamin aisle.
We never know what our strange little desires have to teach us. In my case, I rediscovered my sexual vulnerability at Whole Foods.
Being a woman who knows a thing or two about sex and intimacy, I tend to be the teacher in my relationships more than I’d like. I don’t mind sharing knowledge, especially when it pertains to my own pleasurable experience. But as a woman, I also love to surrender. I love to be surprised.
So I’ve been asking, “How can a woman who knows what she wants and how to ask for it also be vulnerable?”
Because vulnerability is where the juice is! It’s where we have the greatest opportunity to expand into contraction, which is how we experience sexual pleasure. Just as the root chakra holds the bulk of contracted energy in the physical body, the shyest parts of ourselves are where we will find the most contraction in our emotional body. Perhaps the logic behind going out in public with my root chakra exposed is to access shyer parts of myself.
Vulnerability is a choice.
I could rush through the aisles, get my stuff and get out the door, but this isn’t the point. The point is to feel all of my subtle layers of protection and each moment of secret joy when I dare to risk taking another layer off.
The walk through the parking lot alone is overwhelming. I feel like I’m out of sync with everyone around me. I have to get out of the way of cars and people that seem to be moving too fast. I feel cold rushes of energy passing through me from every direction. No wonder we desensitize. It’s brutal down here! Especially when not wearing any underpants.
Emotional strip teasing is an art, that requires stopping and feeling into our bodies, especially the places where we are holding, protecting.
These tight spaces are where we are still afraid to receive life-not only physically, but in our emotional bodies. For example, tight shoulders hold control, which usually protects a layer of fear underneath. By breathing into my shoulders, the breath gives the fear space to loosen and expand into the life force energy (the excitement for life) that it really is. Specifics don’t matter. As I breathe and expand into contractions, my body softens. And when I open my eyes, I notice my experience of the busy parking lot has changed from one of overwhelm to exhilaration.
Instead of feeling violated by energy passing through me, I feel enlivened by it.
Instead of feeling separate and merely tolerating the speed of everyone around me, I find my own slower pace that harmonizes with them, similar to what the cello brings to a string quartet. I don’t judge myself or the violins. And in this harmonious spaciousness, I can make love with all of it-inhaling, receiving life, feeling life penetrating every cell of my being- and exhaling, offering myself to life, penetrating life with my deep cello presence. And this is not just a heart chakra experience. It’s from the root all the way up and down and through my body. There’s heat and a thickness to the energy.
The heart experiences energy as love. The mind, as peace. The body experiences energy as joy.
My next edge is to attune my eyes with the receiving and offering breath-seeing, meeting people with my open gaze rather than looking away or past them-noticing how afraid I am of others energy penetrating me and how equally afraid I am me of penetrating, offering myself to others, even with just my eyes.
While I’ve practiced gazing with lovers and friends, and with strangers in structured settings like relational workshops, I’ve never done it on the fly while browsing for cereal.
Let me be clear, these two second holy moments have no seductive agenda. They are solely a way for me to practice staying open to life in my vulnerable aliveness. And I don’t choose whose eyes I meet (like only the safe, friendly ones or the tall dark and handsome ones). I let life decide.
That said, two seconds of intimate communion with another human being is a very erotic experience. Multiply that by fifty and it’s downright orgasmic!
As I make love with each new pair of eyes, I hear that youtube rap song, “It’s getting real at Whole Foods,” and I laugh.
An elderly woman catches my spark and her face lights up. Her smile back at me is so beautiful, I have an eye-gasm!
When we are vulnerable we are so much more available to what life wants to give us and what wants to be expressed through us. But allowing life’s spontaneous expression requires that our shy parts be brave. At the coffee bar when I grab my cup, the lid isn’t on tight enough, so I spill my French roast all over the floor. I jump back, accidentally bumping into the woman behind me, who drops her veggiee juice, making an even bigger mess.
Normally, this sort of public blunder would put a lid on my joy. I’d either take the route of anger, blaming the baristas for the loose lid, or shame, trying to fix everything as quickly as possible, saying “I’m sorry” to whoever is listening.
But after turning to apologize to the woman and offer to pay for another juice, I suddenly feel inspired to tap dance and follow it with a bow.
Instead of hating me, one of the baristas chuckles and a young man waiting in line, watching the scene, matches my tap dance with his own. And yes we have a thirty second dance off right there in the coffee and juice bar line! Some are annoyed. Others are amused.
I think deep down everyone wants to play. We just forget how. We get moody. We get serious. We get scared.
Did I flash anyone with my dance? I have no idea. By that time, I’d completely forgot about not having on any underwear.