Thanks for your comment. I don’t have any issues with Aphrodite. In fact, I’ve got her as my avatar image. What I do have an issue with is female sexuality for male consumption, as if it were a commodity and the double standard that women should appear sexy (for the pleasure and enjoyment of men) but not actually be sexual beings except for the pleasure of men. They should be sexy and sexual for themselves. That’s the real point of this story.

I reclaimed my full sexual self as well as a part of my humanity that was lost to the patriarchy by going to a swingers club where I could dress in a very seductive way and enjoy expressing my sexual self without it being taken as an invitation or an excuse to not treat me with respect. It was incredibly healing because the power dynamics in that club was very different from the patriarchal world. Here’s an excerpt from a story that I wrote about walking around Nearly Naked In the Club and how empowering and safe that felt.

“She is free to be as sexually forward or expressed as she wants with no slut-shaming or entitlement. What she has on isn’t seen as an invitation. There’s no assumption that she is dressing to get male attention. Women dress sexy to have the enjoyment of owning their sexuality in a semi-public venue and she may or may not share that sexuality with anyone else present and that is considered completely acceptable.”

I’m all about sexual energy as the creative life-force of the Universe and the power of the Sheela-ha-gig and others, but there’s nothing wrong with seduction if the woman is doing it to express her own sexual self and her own desires. To disallow those in favor of only the spiritual power of sexuality is itself robbing women of a fundamental part of their being. The two cannot be separated. You can’t embody Shakti if you don’t also embrace your physical sexuality as your birthright and one of the fullest expressions of your humanity.

I’m 55 years old and I still get looked at by men, not because I’m so beautiful or because I wear sexy clothes -I’m not and I don’t. It’s because I inhabit my sexual self fully in a way that most women who are still wounded by the patriarchy don’t know how to access. I’m not trying to get male attention, but the kind that I do get is appreciative and not the kind that seeks to consume me as if I were piece of cake. In other words, I’m not getting catcalls and wolf whistles; I’m getting responses to a kind of inner magnetism (Shakti).

I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you because I’m concerned that you think you need to disavow that part of yourself in order to not be a part of the patriarchal machine. But the way to escape and heal from that is not to turn off that part of yourself; it’s to embrace it and embody it fully for your own pleasure and self-expression— not for the approval or consumption of someone else.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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