Waning White Tigress
Blessed are the women who know pleasure, for they shall feel God.
I begin these writings in humble devotion to the sacred temple that I and all human beings come from-red root lotus, through which I have experienced my harshest wounds and highest peaks of bliss. Ecstatic gate to which I return to find my Self. I begin on the night of no moon, lying on a white sand beach somewhere in Thailand, with one hand cupping my beautiful furry girl and the other resting between my naked breasts-with one foot on the other side of heart break and one still standing at the doorway of disbelief that I will ever love and be loved in the deep orgasmic way I have known. Here, listening to song of the ocean, letting the waves wash over me, as one by one stars pop out of the sky, reminding me that even the darkest` night is full of surprises.
I am well aware of the Truth-that in reality, love is all there is, that loveless states are only passing illusions of my mind, that it is my purpose and very nature to love and be loved-that I am, in fact, Love.
But at the end of eight years of passion, of being ravished by the most beautiful lover of my dreams, and at the beginning of 50 and menopause, when I am told by the culture at large that my sexual desire and desirability is in its waning years- it is a challenge to hold onto my inner knowing that pleasure and beauty are ageless states-that there is attraction beyond physicality, hormones and unconscious karmic compulsion-that I need not settle for agape love, which is neutered of the gasp and moan, the claw and teeth I only experience in eros love.
I knew the day I met him, I would have to set him free. Twelve years younger than me and at the onset of his Saturn return, I learned to love and let go on a daily basis, which incidentally made the sex that much more spectacular. We had four monogamous years together followed by four years of open relationship. We had both hoped I would meet someone else first, but a woman in love is always the last to say goodbye.
I’ll skip the crying months, the long days and tortuous nights of not knowing how to go on. We all know this initiation of a thousand daggers. There is no way out, but to walk through the field of ashes and bones-of past lives, where our villages and everyone we have loved has burned to the ground. We wish we had burned with them and wonder why we are still here breathing.
In my fifty years of searching for love, of seemingly finding it and loosing it again and again, though I have crossed the field of bones and come to know contentment in aloneness and in friendship, I have yet to touch within myself the deep wild eros I only experience with a lover.
Facing the second half of my life, I judge myself in my longing for something my spiritual teachers say is an illusion. And even if it is not, a failure as a woman for outsourcing ecstasy to my male lovers. I feel at fifty I should either be happily ever fucking the lover I will grow old with, or be able to access such ecstatic states myself, as the sufi poets, to whom every blade of grass is the Beloved. I judge myself for not being able to let go gracefully and accept that I am aging and all the statistics that come with age- like lower libido and vaginal dryness and half mast cocks that will never again reach my g-spot. I wish I could satisfied to paint landscapes and work in the garden and be treated to romantic dinners-and relinquish the memory of sex from my heart and body and live like widow, who has made peace with death, whose pleasure comes from the smiles of children.
I know many women who seem content with their sexless lives, who are actually relieved that their sexual services and anatomical parts are no longer required, or for those in relationships, only twice a month or every Saturday (though the men in their lives might choose otherwise). Perhaps for many of these women sex has been absent of pleasure or their pleasure has been minimal and not worth the physical and emotional effort.
But the pleasure I have known is like nothing else in this world, and to be without it is like breathing only recirculated air. Yes, I can survive. I can live on memory, on love where I can adjust the temperature. I can live on substitutes like hugs and chocolate, the joy I experience dancing every Sunday with fifty of my favorite brothers and sisters, the peace I feel following my morning meditations. But what I long for is oxygen that is fresh and clean, sparkling with sunlight, rain and green leaves. What I long for is the rush of oxytosin and endorphins coursing through my body- to be taken, spilled open, out of control, sobbing and shaking with cosmic revelation. I can tell myself I am happy, that I have so much more than starving children in third world countries, but the truth is I am hungry. I am very very hungry.
A year ago I entered into relationship with a man who is sixteen years older than me. Honest, kind, handsome, healthy smart and funny, he is all the things I am looking for in a partner. On top of it all, he adores me and is as horny for me as a teenage boy. Unfortunately, his physical capability as a lover does not match his sixteen year old libido. And I find myself in a new relationship that feels more like it’s in the middle, when the honey moon phase is over, and sex is a neutral experience, like vacuuming the living room. I’m reluctant to start, but as I get into it, I find my rhythm, and when my rug has been sucked clean, I feel better, gratified in an ordinary sort of way. This obviously isn’t the ideal, but even when I was with my ideal lover, there were other problems, and because this man brings so much good to every other area of my life, including financial abundance my starving artist, musician and eco-activist lovers could never offer, I’m choosing to see my relationship with him as an opportunity to take responsibility for my own sexual energy, rather than lazily rely on the beauty and desire of younger lovers, as I’ve done in the past. I’m choosing to see the Bad News Bears potential of this man and relationship. Does anyone who twitters even remember that movie? I mean, sure relationships have their Great Gatsby moments, but if you’re anything like me, you usually feel like a kid who knows nothing about baseball, standing at the plate, taking your best swing.
I spent the afternoon today in cages with tigers. No, I’m not a tiger trainer. I’m one of many visitors at a tourist attraction, Tiger Kingdom, on a trip with my daughter through Thailand. And waiting in line, I have never felt more like a tourist-checking our tickets and the number board every ten minutes, as people from all over the world pass in and out of the cages with their cameras. When it is finally my daughter’s and my turn, we almost opt not to go inside, out of respect for these magnificent creatures. But like everyone else, we have been here for over an hour and paid our money and when will we ever get the chance to hang out with tigers again? We spend time with the younger ones first, following them around, watching them play. When they stop to rest, we are allowed to get closer.
As instructed, we approach them from their lower bodies, petting them on their furry striped behinds, then on their bellies, almost as easily as we would domestic cats-almost.
The smaller tiger, who have been trained, are more comfortable interacting with humans, whereas the larger tigers are sadly, heavily tranquilized. I feel both ashamed yet can’t resist entering the cage and kneeling beside one of the largest among them-the white tiger. She is quiet enough for me to first lay a hand, then my head on her belly.
Though I acknowledge being part of her exploitation, for me it is also a ritual- to lie my head on the belly of such wildness. For a moment she raises her own, twisting her neck towards me, opening one eye, as we acknowledge each other, one White Tigress to another, or so I’d like to think.
“You are free,” she says in a tranced gaze. “Be free for me.”
Then she yawns, kisses herself with her tongue and lays back down to rest again.
As a student and teacher of Tantric and Taoist (sacred sexuality) practices for many years, I have shied away from the title, White Tigress, which is given to a female master. I consider myself only at the beginning of understanding the deeper mysteries and circuitry of our sexuality. Like Buddah or Christ, I hold the White Tigress as both archetype and actualization of our highest potential. And yet as human consciousness expands to embrace God within us, and people in spiritual leadership positions, like priests and gurus, are being exposed as having the same human tendencies and weaknesses that all of us do, I am more inclined to embrace Her (the White Tigress) as my Self. And I realize how I have dishonored Her in my denial of Her within me, in that false modesty is really arrogance, fear in disguise.
So why am I afraid of claiming Her knowledge and power? Why do I give my power of pleasure away to others? Why don’t I pleasure myself more? Say yes to this new lover who has entered my life, though he may be older and not as physically beautiful or sexually adept as the ideal lover from my past? Why do I choose to hold onto memories and judgments rather than open my heart and body to new experiences? Are conditions associated with aging, like lower libido, soley caused by physical changes, or might they also be the result of our collective fear around sexual desire and hatred of the body-the culmination of old, stuck thoughts in my mind? Furthermore, might my thoughts around aging and desirability have influence on my lover’s sexual desire for me? And consequently his virility and stamina in bed? If so, what are the collective thoughts that cage the White Tigress-that keep a woman, and more specifically for me, a mature woman from living fully in her sexual desire, pleasure and power?
The desecration of the feminine by religion has left huge distortions in the mind of humanity, not just of women, but of the body, sex and all things of the material world. The word matter is derived from the latin word mater, meaning mother.
As slow as modern science is to prove what the ancients knew
regarding the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits of sex and pleasure,
(as described in Tantric and Taoist texts),
I am grateful for recent studies that are connecting the dots between health and sex, and undoing the damage religion has done.
But unlike yoga, which has become a respected discipline, sex is a still subject that is talked about with tongue in cheek.
In my years of facilitating Tantric massage and workshops, I’ve sought to bring sacredness to sex and a more healthy versus hedonistic image to pleasure. I’ve taught couples how to touch each other with more sensitivity and skill, taught men how to recirculate their orgasms and make love to their women longer, taught women how to expand their capacity to receive and open with more full bodied surrender. But as I face my own sexual crucible in my relationship, I feel limited as a teacher. The knowledge base through which I have been helping others seems shallow. I can no longer answer questions to the depth of my satisfaction. Searching for direction, I remember a passage from the Tao that says in essence, “the master and the beginner are one.”
So on this new moon night, I choose to start again from the beginning, when my vagina was a new and wonderful musical instrument all my own. And because I was sexually initiated before I was ready-molested by a relative at age 6 and raped by six of my classmates at the age of 16. Because most of my sexual foundation for future relationships, which were thankfully more loving, was laid unconsciously and not fully of my will, perhaps this is the real beginning.
It is said that our wounds hold our greatest gifts. I’ve found the most thorough means of self discovery to be through devotional practice. What if I began a daily discipline specifically devoted to my sexual pleasure? Every day for a year, making love to myself, making relationship with my sacred temple again as if for the first time? Surrendering in love with my new man as a practice of receiving- not from a place of incompleteness or need, but from a place of love and devotion to my deepest Self- knowing that trust and pleasure go hand in hand, knowing that others are my Self.
Plunging my the inner cosmos with one finger, then two, I squeeze my lower lips around them, pulsing, writhing, as electric currents spiral through my body, as I cum for all women who are hungry. For women who have given up on pleasure and for those who have never really known it-for women who outsource their pleasure to others and for those whose pleasure was stolen from them and are courageously ready to reclaim it. Tears stream from my eyes and between my legs, as my ecstatic player is carried out to sea. I follow it across the Pacific Ocean the next morning on a airplane back to the states, excited to share my idea with others.
But surprisingly, coupling devotional practice with sexual pleasure brings up resistance among my yogini and meditating friends.
“You’re committing to what? Sexual pleasure? Isn’t that like smoking pot every day for a year?
“Isn’t the point of devotional practice to let go of desire?”
My more secular friends are equally doubtful.
“Pleasure is a spontaneous experience. Discipline is the antithesis of spontaneity.
If pleasure becomes predictable, I loses its specialness.”
A marketing friend suggests I consider not limiting my practice to just sexual pleasure.
“Pleasure is friendly. Sexual pleasure is still fringey.”
Their comments tell me I must be onto something, which is why I am vulnerably choosing to go public with my very personal experiment. Beyond my own, individual reasons for committing to a pleasure practice, I have always believed sexual energy to be a powerful player in humanity’s conscious evolution- in that it is life force energy-it is literally the stuff life is made of- the highest potency of energy known to man-and it is as divine as love. On one level, sexual energy is our very sustenance; on another, it is fuel for our creativity-the current through which spirit manifests into form; on yet another it is a kind of alchemical fire, which clears the body, heart and mind of that which no longer serves our highest potential, as well as the catalyst that frees the dormant human senses and abilities, like intuition, telekinethesis, our power to heal and regenerate.
I believe women, specifically women in their feminine power, are the wayshowers of humanity’s next leap in remerging with the God within and becoming the gods, the caretakers of the earth we were meant to be- in that the heart and the body are akin to the feminine (the wholistic, interdependent, co-creative) aspect of consciousness, and the vessels through which we will re-member our incarnate divinity. Which is another reason for my choice to go public with my pleasure practice-though I know I risk being misunderstood as a cougar porn blogger, and will probably get less likes on the social media scene than a twenty five year old doing the same thing. But fifty and twenty five have different things to say. My hope is that this blog will inspire women of all ages to begin their own devotional pleasure practics.
As for the experiment, I have 3 premises, which I hope to exemplify by the end of the year:
1) Women in pleasure are women in our feminine power (which I briefly described in the previous paragraph and is not the same as masculine power)
2) A women’s capacity to experience sexual pleasure is directly correlated to the measure of her creative expression (and conversely, the suppression of her sexual pleasure is the suppression of the feminine voice in the world)
3) The more a woman experiences pleasure (and by this I do not simply mean how many times she has sex), the higher her overall level of energy and the more positive her sense of well being.
The last premise I hold dear particularly for my elder sisters, myself included.
The double edged sword to aging is that as women mature, and our visionary senses and voices ripen, we also have less physical energy to carry out our visions in the world. My proposition is that if more women stayed sexually active and cultivated their sexual, life force energy even in their post menopausal years, powerhouses like Oprah Winfrey and Gloria Steinem wouldn’t be the exception to the rule. More women would have the necessary vitality to manifest our hearts desires and this planet would exponentially become the joyful, loving, co-creative, omni-benefiting paradise it was meant to be.
As for the year ahead, I am equally inspired and intimidated by what I have signed up for. Will I be able to keep my commitment to sexual pleasure in the face of day to day circumstance, moodiness and tiredness? Will pleasure become older than I am, as friends have warned? At the end of the year, will I be resigned to painting landscapes or will I discover an inner well of untapped energy and potential and be more creative and sexually satisfied than I have ever been?
Tune in and see…
On Valentine’s Day, V-day (as redfined by Lady Eve, Queen of Vaginas) 2014, I commit to pleasuring myself and/or receiving pleasure every day for a year, and sharing my intimate journey with you and hopefully its life changing benefits. While this is not intended to be a how to blog, I will include sacred sex practices and rituals. My hope is that this blog will inspire women all over the world to join me in their own devotional pleasure practices and together we will start a multi-orgasmic revolution.
Love and Shakti,