Sunday, 9 December 2012

Foot Fetish anyone?

Good evening readers. Well, today's hot topic is the foot, or to put it more precisely, the fetishisation of the feet! I recently stumbled across the youtube channel of GeishaKia, a fascinating woman with as diverse a range of interests and inspirations as you may find, who sees herself as a modern day Geisha, sexual healer and communicator.

I came across Kia through a short fundraising video posted by a friend on my Facebook page, which was a collaborative piece with Canadian Sexual Healer James Smith. Kia and James are working to raise money to produce a short film entitled "Soul Sex: The Five Gateways to Sexual Ecstasy" which you can find out more about here. It's well worth the time it takes to watch the video and bring some sexual healing to the planet; lord knows we need it! Anyhow, Kia I discovered also has a very successful youtube channel which seems mostly to revolve around her various musings on her feet. Discussions, many shots from many angles, toenails painted and not painted, short and long, manicured and natural, all manner of toe-styling, and judging from the number of hits on her videos, this is no minority fantasy, in fact there's even a dating site devoted entirely to foot fetishees!

Now, I've always known that many people have a fetish for feet, but never quite realised how many. Indeed one of my friends once uploaded, as a lighthearted jest, a clip of her party trick whereby she 'plaits' her toes, one over the other, all five in a most peculiar and double jointed manner. She was amazed by how many hits and comments her video received and it's fair to say, could perhaps have made a more lucrative living out of this party trick! I became fascinated.

(feet above are mine)

On digging around, I have discovered that it is the part of the body that the far greater number of people will have a fetish about. There are active online forums, there are websites, hell there may even be a 12 step program for all I know and it's not breasts, genitalia, or buttocks. Not noses, lips or tongues. Not necks or shoulders or the delicate curve of a belly, but feet causing all the rumpus. I guess it follows then that the next greatest clothing fetish is going to be shoes and boots and we've all heard of that one hey - "Mistress may I lick your boots clean please?" but what drives a person to become obsessed with footwear and the feet? I'm intrigued? I'd like some brave souls to step in and answer here if anyone should stumble across my blog too. What exactly is it that makes the foot so damn sexy?

Is it the absolute epitome of worship as the very thing that connects us to this earth? So symbolic that religious mythology would have us believe that Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Christ with her tears as penitence for being a fallen woman. Although it is now widely held that this was in fact Mary of Bethany and that the issue of fallen woman making right her sins is no longer associated with the washing of the Christ's feet, it remains a potent metaphor for redemption. But what of modern day foot fetishists then? Come and share your fascinations. Reveal all, for in the juicy arena of sexual preference all manner of wondrous things lie! Watch Geisha Kia devouring her own feet smothered in peanut butter and jelly; not everyone's cup of tea but pretty intriguing nonetheless. And if you like it there's more on her lovely website here too - enjoy!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Switchblade Sentiments (The Evil Bite of Mistress Claudia Bellocq)

Many moons ago, I dreamt of publishing my writing. A collection of flash fiction with an autobiographical angle. Some just products of my fertile imagination, others based in the sometimes grim reality of sex work, drug addiction and dysfunctional relationships. NOT the miserable read you may be expecting though, Claudia's writing provided a platform for an exorcism of sorts, and is described by her publisher as: "Transformative erotic fables of self-discovery and healing. By turns darkly cathartic, life-affirming and transcendent, the short pieces in this book map the shamanic journey of a woman's life from the socially-conferred status of victim to total integration with her sexual and emotional destiny." It is a fair synopsis as Claudia's life transformed itself through her writing over a three year period. Many of the skeletons that had been dancing in her closet, are dust now as a result of shining some light on them via these candid tales.

Here, for your intrigue, is the 'blurb' from the back of the book as written by Claudia herself: "The collection of writings in this book served as exorcism of sorts. Begun in the middle of 2007, in the middle of a turbulent relationship, in the middle of a re-birthing, in the middle of Manchester UK, the pieces came through me as if I were simply the vessel. They are in the main, an autobiographical indicator as to the path of my life. Once they were written, it was as if I lay spent, unable to bring forth any more stories. They were out of me and on the page. I felt like a mother staring at her bloody baby in the moments after birth. What was once inside me and so integral to me now sat outside me kind of staring back at me with the same inquisitiveness with which I in turn, looked upon it. It was not a pretty baby, but it was a baby full of character. Isn’t that what they say about curious people, places and things, that they are full of “character.” Ugly? Too harsh. My ex considered them dark and negative, I considered them healing, liberating, positive. Probably why he's an ex. These writings have become my my ex, the one I continue to love. I hope you see the dark, light and shadow in them that is in all of us and in everything. Duality creates segregation and creates fear. Unity breeds community. I'll strive for that goal any day." You can buy a copy of the book direct from Lulu by clicking here or via the amazing ParaPhilia Magazine by clicking here and going to Onerios Books.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Gender bending & the construction of sexual identity

I recently completed a homework assignment in my sexuality study course which posed the question "what does it mean to be a woman (or man) in today’s world"? I answered from the female perspective as it’s my gender and therefore the part I’m most equipped to answer. That said, one thing I know is that for every response I have about what it means to be a woman in todays world, there is a knock-on cause-effect response on what it means to be a man. The question, seemingly so simple, yet so complex - what is it to be a woman? What makes a woman? How should women ‘behave’ and what expectations of womanhood (or manhood) do we carry? Are notions of masculinity and femininity entirely the results of social construct, where gender is biologically defined?

What chance do we have in the face of such early 'programming' as seen in the above girls babygro image, not just in the pink/blue separation separating boys from girls, but in the idea of girls as 'princesses' and boys as mummy's little monsters? Boys are trouble and girls are princesses? Really? 

From the moment we emerge into the world one gender or the other by definition of our physical biological gender assignment, we are hit by expectations that shape our concept and awareness of what it means to be a boy or a girl. For girls, pink clothes, instructions on how we should play (nicely), what we should be playing with (dolls, prams, toy kitchens and home making etc), followed by lower academic expectations and subjects in school showing gender bias, i.e arts and home crafts (less girls in woodwork, sciences etc) and for boys maths and sciences (less boys in home economics, needlecraft etc). As girls we are told not to be so ‘aggressive’ or to be more ‘modest’, whilst boys are told they need to ‘man up’, not be so soft, not to cry or show feelings. As we already mentioned, girls are given dolls, boys given toy tool boxes and trucks. Our dresses are frilly, our activities tailored to suit. Boys get hard sportsmanlike activities, clothes are simple and representative of maleness and yet the gender spectrum reaches far beyond these narrow and restrictive confines.

(photograph by Nan Goldin)

When my children were younger, one of my close friends had a son the same age as my own son. This boy, from the age of around 4 years old was VERY clear he wanted to wear only girls dresses; this lasted for about a year and a half. My friend, being a politically aware and savvy woman decided to let him explore this desire without censorship on her part as his parent. Her son wore the most amazingly frilly pink and blue satin dresses everywhere he could throughout this time of his self expression. My friend's partner, the boys father, was very much less comfortable with this and whilst he would allow/indulge it at home occasionally, he felt very strongly that it should not be allowed outside fearing his son would get bullied and picked on, and actually stating that "it’s dangerous in my view”. My friend took her son to the local swimming pool one day. He had been in his dress, the pink satin throughout the day and she saw no reason to change him. They dressed to swim in the female changing rooms as would be expected of a mother with a young dependent child. Half way through the father came to take over the swim session so my friend could go to work, swapping bags so that he could dress him for outdoors again afterwards. When it came to the end of the swim, dad took his son into the mens changing rooms to do so and was horrified to find that he had to dress his son in the pink dress he’d arrived in. The shame he felt as father, the embarrassment, the discomfort was enormous and caused a huge argument between my friend and her partner about the fact “this has to stop”.

(image: Buck Angel, one of the more well known contemporary female to male gender reassignments)

 Well, my friend felt strongly that her son should be free to wear girls clothes, just as girls often define as ‘tomboys’ and have that freedom afforded to them, yet the reverse was evidently so much more problematic. Their son outgrew this phase soon after that dispute, and spent the next four year dressing only in dinner suits with natty shoes and bow ties. He was clearly a boy who liked to indulge his imagination and desires. So what is to be learnt from this exploration and our adult discomforts?

How hard it is for a child to express the many different aspects of their identity as it develops? This boy has grown into a young teenager with no apparent leanings toward any particular gender or status in his sexuality, perhaps largely due to his mother’s permission, perhaps not. What this story raises are some really serious questions about gender, social constructs, fear and prejudice.

As a woman who has really known the exploration of sexual identity in my life, I have some important insights into what it means to be a woman, these ranging from a personal level to a social level. I have most certainly experienced censorship of my behavior and have experienced as much pressure to be ‘feminine’ and ‘beautiful’ as I have limitation of expressing ‘masculinity’ and other less womanly behaviours. We are fed on an almost constant drip-feed of social conditioning, ideas about gender, relationship and sexuality. It’s almost impossible to escape it in fact, so those who know they do not ‘fit’, do not conform to expectations, are almost all of the time squashing themselves into being less than they may want to be, sometimes fearful for their safety if they do not. Remember the case of the transsexual MTF in Macdonalds in the US who was beaten severely in FULL PUBLIC VIEW for using the women’s restroom? This kind of violence is endemic in a culture that does not tolerate difference. That cannot think outside the box. So for me, being a woman in today’s culture is a statement of political, personal and social intent a lot of the time. I love womanhood, I enjoy being female and I'm very aware of my gender and the implied expectations and boundaries within this. I define my sexuality as bi-sexual and whilst I currently identify within heterosexual and monogamous parameters, it has not always been this way and may not always be in future - who knows. I think women have this easier in the main than men, exploring our different aspects I mean. Men who want to wear women's clothes are far more likely to experience violence as a result than women who choose to wear mens clothes. I remain very conscious of my sexuality and the wonderful expression of it, as it's a place of real delight and adventure for me. I wish it were the same for everyone.

(photo Diane Arbus)

Monday, 5 November 2012

If I'd known then what I know now.

Good morning all! First off let me say how prophetic my last post turned out to be. Reading it back again this morning I was struck by the horrible irony of my words as I thought I had lost a partner to my work, a partner I love very much indeed who decided that for him, my tantric path was too much to manage and so we arrived at the point of ultimatum; "It's your work or me."

When something is your soul calling, you can't really ignore the messages; the joy and the pleasure inherent in your 'work'. You can't ignore the certain knowledge of the healing potential you experience in offering your work in the world, and having taken a long time to get to this point, I knew in my heart what my answer would have to be in that moment. Following your dreams is important, creating a life that works for you is important. It doesn't mean that every step of the way will be easy of course, life isn't like that and in balance, nor should it be. There is light, dark and shadow in everything, and it's inevitable therefore that this contrast will be reflected in us, and this is where the lessons lie. Sitting with the shadow, I admit to moments of self doubt - would it not be easier to just settle for the ordinary and never rock the boat? Would it not be better to avoid judgment and criticism by playing safe?

*artwork by Niagara Detroit.

It's fair to say that I've lived much of my life outside the box, gathering a beautiful wealth of experiences that really informs what I choose to do now. To step back into a box then, at exactly the time I am making sense of it all would be a complete waste of potential, but are there other possible outcomes? Building my tantra practice and my healing work is an absolute joy for me. Those who know me understand how perfectly this work makes sense of all my life experience and I know I have a great deal to offer others in supporting their own mind/body/spirit expansion, so to give it up completely is out of the question. Rarely has anything unfolded so beautifully and effortlessly, though rarely have I also been called to defend my position on something I choose to do quite so much but I guess working with sexuality will do that, it's a big, and very charged arena to step into, but a very rich one too.

Tantra is an incredibly powerful and healing practice. Many of us in the west spend far too much time in our heads, bombarded daily with images and ideas about love, sex, and about what our bodies should look like. Cosmo magazine purports that us women should be having multiple orgasms with accommodating partners or we're off. Heat and other gossip magazines criticise women's bodies and mens behaviour in a constant stream of dross. OK and Hello present some vile picture-perfect sanitised version of life, a kind of love that makes my toes curl, and most other mainstream media sits very squarely on the side of what society deems 'normal', rarely venturing to challenge those 'norms'. What tantra does for me is begin to break down the barriers, open the heart and still the mind. Changing the circuitry if you like, starting to think and more importantly, to feel differently. It's not all about sex. It's not all about 2 day sex and orgasm marathons as Sting purports, and to name it such does it a great injustice. There is a beautiful history in there, originating in India centuries ago that is fascinating and enriching to delve into. In modern terms, neo-tantra as it has been coined, holds the potential for us to live fully in our juicy, sensual, and joyful potentials.

Sacred touch offers us a moment of peace within our busy lives, offers the opportunity to really start to connect with that longing for intimacy, for touch, for healing and for sensual pleasure. We begin to listen to ourselves and our bodies in ways that aren't possible when we're racing around in a constant state of busyness, and we begin to do that most precious of things, give ourselves and others the gift of our attention. To truly give attention requires presence, energy and commitment to the moment. Tantra fosters living in the moment via real body awareness and a focus on our ability to shift our energy back into alignment in any given moment. No separation or disowning of the body, of sexuality, or of the physical as exist in so many practices or religions. No over focus on any one aspect of the self, more a composite move towards living in true balance.

Two of my recent clients have told me at the end of their sessions, that they had never experienced anything like the peace they found in the time we worked together. Another, a friend, said he hadn't felt such stillness and calm in over 8 months of turmoil and struggle in his life/mind. Why should we not be able to access that level of healing on a daily basis? What limits us and what do we settle for? This practice isn't new, it's incredibly ancient. It's us who have forgotten what we once knew. My commitment to my life, to my self and to my healing work is that I honour everything it offers and brings. I enjoy my clients, I have compassion and I work from the heart. If you wish to discuss my work or book a session, please email me at or visit my profile on tantralink.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

It's not where you've come from but where you're going....

Imagine a imagine a choice. You can see a road behind you, you know that road well because it's where you just came from. It's rugged, the rocks scratched your feet to ribbons, the hurdles were many but you arrive at this mid point, looking around you knowing you can, at any point, choose to go back. It may be safer now that you know the perils; it may not be but at least it's the devil you know.

Now imagine a new possibility, that any of the other three roads could lead to bliss, achievement and fulfilment and weigh that up against more of what you left behind, a bondage of the most tiresome kind. Every day in every moment we can choose to make different decisions, to shift our energy (the essence of tantra), renew our perspective, understand that we are bound only by our own self imposed limitations.

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." (T.S.Eliot)

So sometimes when life challenges us to really break free of those bonds and step into our dreams, or simply into new possibilities, who are we to get in the way?

When we finally come to those lucid mounts where if we are truly awake to the calling of our own souls, we hear the voice of our passion crying out to our spirit to fulfil its divine purpose, we need our warrior selves to carry us forward through fear, hesitation and anything else that may limit our growth. My mother always taught me that even though you may try, you cannot ignore the voice of your own conscience. It's the ever present barometer which keeps us in check and lets us know how far on or off track we really are. We can mould, manipulate and deny, but the voice will tell us the real truth, over and over and over. Learning to separate the voice of truth from ego can be tricky but we have only to look at our own personal 'hero's journey' to understand how the lessons of our past inform our future.

My own hero's journey revolves around sexuality and sometimes, people working with sexuality face a great deal of less than ordinary challenge. One of my teachers recently said that "it takes great courage to stand true in this work" and I knew exactly what she meant. Having faced many prejudices or short sighted judgments through my life, understanding why sex workers call for sex worker only support forums, and having seen how the most well intentioned supporters can diminish the real experiences of those who sell sex, or who work with the naked body (soul) or of those who love those who work in the arena of human sexuality, I know it isn't always an easy path to tread. Sex and money can set off people's fears like nothing else (though I think I'd much rather be a wanker than a banker any day!)

Do you work with sex and sexuality? what's your experience of getting support for the key issues you face? I'm currently looking into setting up a sex workers support forum or group and would love to know what YOU would want to know. What kind of support is missing for sex workers? I used to belong to an excellent internet based forum called Whorenet, which is alas no more, and which provided a really valuable arena for discussion and support. There were several forums within the main hub, one for sex workers only, one for supporters of SW's and others for more general political and philosophical debate, but it's long gone now. Whilst there are others, there isn't much as far as I can see, but if anyone knows of more, please share here. There are groups and forums for just about every profession there is, and yet when it comes to the oldest profession, it seems to be the last watering point along the path when it comes to resources. Please, share your blogs and links...light the way for others at the crossroads who may feel alone, isolated or out on a limb.

And if you're working as a self determined sex worker, celebrate your choices and step into your power. Anything less is living half a life and why do's way too precious to squander.

Friday, 14 September 2012

In Memory of Robyn Few

please take a moment to listen to this interview by the incredible activist Robyn Few, who sadly died yesterday (13/9/2012). A real loss to the world of sex work activism, Robyn gave of her life to stand up and truly be who she is in the world, facing prejudice, bigotry, stigma and all that being open about being a sex worker can bring. I truly admire her perspective and her courage. Listen to her frank words about sex work prejudice and why she was so committed to doing what she did. It will touch your heart and deepen your understanding...I hope!

The words in the tribute below are Kirk Read's, though I could speak them in the same way. For me the key sentence is "look around your life and see what you can do to improve life for sex workers" which could apply to any campaign for civil liberty for freedom and the right to choose what we do with our bodies/lives where adult consent is key. The part of the interview on speaking your truth is really important (around 7 mins in). As you may have guessed, this stuff is hugely important to me. Here follows the words of Kirk -

"Robyn Few was a deeply great American who passed away today. She was a soulful, rootsy activist who founded the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) and helped organize the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (in December). She was active in the medical marijuana movement and had a wildly infectious laugh. She never turned into a policy wonk and she never sold out her ideals for the promise of "working within the system." She was a street level outreach activist who believed that all people could be leaders. She inspired legions. Look around your life and see what you can do to improve life for sex workers. If you live in California, vote NO on Prop 35, which sounds like it protects children when in actuality it is a right wing panic-driven measure which victimizes sex workers and many other classes of people. Reject the Moral Panic. Celebrate Robyn Few, one of our best ever. Hers was a life lived generously. We are lucky that we can point to her as an ancestor. Thank you so much, Robyn!"

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why my work is important to me.

A therapist today suggested that I write out a list of why my work is important to me. The premise for this suggestion was to appease the concerns and deepen the understanding of my work, and its place in my life, for someone important to me who was/is struggling with what I do (Tantric Massage Therapist & Healer). It also comes on the back of several experiences of sex worker prejudice I've recently encountered, both obvious and subtle and the difficulty I've realised there is in finding ongoing support networks and forums for those of us who do work directly with the body and sexuality. Supervision is important, but so is peer directed sharing and it's not easy to find it. Why is that?

Feeling despondent this evening after a tough day where I've really felt the fifty shades of sexworker phobia, I was blessed to find in my Facebook news feed this article by the very articulate Pamela Madsen. This went some way to restoring my faith that there is a tide of change, that people are willing to step out there, courageously, and light the way for this change to happen.

Joseph Kramer, the subject of the article, is a well known pioneer in the field of human sexuality, as are Betty Dodson, Annie Sprinkle, Barbara Carrelas and so many more teachers and truth seekers, sexual renegades and heart-touching healers and I salute them all. Sincerely I do, for they have helped me make sense of my life and my journey so far.

As a former escort and sex worker (I still identify as a sex worker though my work is now significantly different than it was back then), my life has followed a clear and distinct thread, that being a willing, and sometimes not so willing exploration of sexuality. I've experienced many different aspects of the sex industry; escort work, call girl, street sex worker, phone sex, I've played in fetish clubs. Tried many different types of relationship too; open, closed, vanilla, kinky, dysfunctional, co-dependent, independent and more. At around the age of 30, I met a man who was to become the father of two of my children and step father to my third. My explorations continued through that relationship by mutual consent.

That lovely man, with whom I still maintain a very treasured friendship and co-parenting role, knew all about my background pretty much as soon as we met, and it was he who first encouraged me to travel to the USA to a conference there which was to change my life. ICOP (International Conference on Prostitution) gave me a means with which to bridge my former sex work experiences with my life as it was post-sex work, and to connect with my sexual politics in general. I met so many fabulous women and men there who were to continue to influence me to this day, many of whom have become friends and ongoing contacts in the world of sexual freedom advocacy and sex worker rights campaigning. They are pretty inspirational people. They do really important work. Carol Leigh, I salute you! Too many to mention individually, I salute you all! I'm deeply honoured to be walking in the footsteps of such incredible innovators and such courageous spirits. Devoting your life to change, especially in the field of sexuality, is not always an easy choice, but it's a truly valuable one.

So, my work is important to me for several reasons, the first and foremost being that through my direct experience of so many aspects of sex work, I came to notice that there was something really missing in the arena of sex and the fulfilment of desire. I recognised as a post-forty year old sex worker, as opposed to a rather naive 18 year old one, that I could dialogue in different ways with my clients, who were now my peers rather than my significant elders. What I began to see was that there was something my clients were desperately seeking and not getting in their relationships (with themselves as much as the 'other') but the problem was that my own autonomy in work could not be fulfilled and therefore my creativity in my work was stunted. I was being sent on jobs I didn't want to go on, having to allow my boundaries to be defined by the agent, rather than my own judgment, by expectations of the set and setting over the desire to find something deeper and yet it was obvious my clients often wanted a deeper connection too. Don't get me wrong, this was far bigger than the "my wife doesn't understand me" syndrome, but reached out into the very evident need for intimacy, human connection and touch, a kind of 'I don't just want to fuck, I want to feel and be felt, hear and be heard, change and be changed' mentality. An opportunity was presenting itself to me, but I wasn't quite sure where to go with it.

As I'd now trained in massage, I began to see a way in, however it was only in discovering Tantra that I simultaneously experienced the marriage of the sensual, spiritual and sexual which finally gave me the voice I needed to step into my life work in a way that feels natural, powerful and healing for me. Tantra has allowed me to make perfect sense of my life, my own healing journey and my deep and ongoing commitment to sexual transformation and freedom. My work involves full body (including genital) contact, and that my friends, in 2012, would seem to still be a highly charged area that touches and triggers people's individual fears pretty deeply, and still sees the accusation "whore" being flung around as if the label 'whore' is a dirty word anyway! After years of working with agency for sex worker rights, I really object to the word whore, slut, slag, tart or any other such defamatory label being used as an insult. So what if you/I've no right to judge. EVER. Slut shaming in 2012? Get over it!

So, after years of working under pseudonyms for fear of judgment, isolation, family rejection or suffering and more, I am now working under my own name and beginning the process of really starting to say to the world "this is who I am" and this is what I do. To me, a body, nakedness, truthful sexual expression and integrity are all such valid and soulful aspirations that I fail to see how what I do can remain so vilified. My experience of it is deeply healing, what I see, my friends, or rather my 'tribe' as I refer to my sexual pioneering 'family', are all doing such amazing work, and I fail to see how that can be wrong.

The World Health Organisation's definition of health is as follows:

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"

In this spirit, I see health around me in the intention behind the work of these people whom I admire, and in my own intention that's really clear. My work is important to me because I believe that I am absolutely using my life experience to create healing opportunities for those who may be struggling to find their own 'health', and ultimately I cannot imagine doing anything less.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Robyn Few, founder of SWOP, USA and tireless advocate for sex worker's rights. Robyn will be sorely missed. R.I.P xx

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Lingam Lust!

Following last week's post about Pussy Power, this week sees your Hostess with the mostest contemplating the delights of the lingam, or in non tantric terms, the cock. Personally I've long since held a healthy delight in the pleasures of the male body, the cock and the moment of penetration.

The first time I ever read an Andrea Dworkin book, which for me seemed to hold as its fundamental premise the demonising of the act of penetration as an affront to all women, I just did not get it. As a woman in her power and in her pleasure, I could not see how this consenting pleasurable act could be reduced to a symbol of power over simply in its very nature. I certainly didn't feel dis-empowered when I chose to make love in that traditional way, and so I naturally began to wonder who these women were who so disliked the act, and indeed why something as beautiful as making love could hold so much of the worlds imbalance in its simple essence. Men were being vilified and Andrea was not cutting it for me!

How could these beautiful and varied aspects of our bodies warrant such disdain and dare I say it, even hate? It's dangerous territory when we start making things become symbols of other things; making all men demons because some wield power rather than love with their strength. Making all women weak because some choose to stay in a role that serves them rather than truly take ownership of their strength too. Making assumptions because of cultural or gender or race based differences is incredibly short sighted and often results in the battle of right and wrong where there can never ever be a 'winner', only one who either compromises or one goes to 'war'.

So, back to the wondrous lingam and its magnificent presence. As a Tantric massage therapist, I get to see a lot of different bodies; yonis, lingams, backs, legs, arms, shoulders, every damn bit of it, and every single one of us is totally unique. Injury scars upon tight spots upon the fluidity of a flexible spine, upon the curve of a back or the weight of a thigh. I love working with bodies and am in total respect for the people who bring themselves forth to learn more about their capacity for pleasure, and one major aspect of this is to begin to undo the negative programming so many of us experience around our bodies and our sexuality.

So, see the image many of us really hear that in our childhoods and youth? I know I did and it is totally outrageous that people can attach so much shame to our bodies based upon such lies. In Taoist practice, and in Tantra too, it's possible to get to the point where orgasmic bliss can be achieved even without any movement between two intertwined bodies. Energy and breath combined with consciousness alone can create such incredibly heightened states of arousal and pleasure that it becomes easy to see the beauty in our own bodies and those of our chosen partners or lovers, and who wouldn't want to try that out for size? Who would chose to place faith in what they experience as physically, intellectually and spiritually untrue?

I know for me, reverence for the lingam is the same as reverence for my own yoni and for the whole of the body. It's a human being I'm looking at and connecting with first and foremost, and how could that be anything other than beautiful? Let's lose the games, the myths and the propaganda about sex, about intimacy, about bodies and about romance and instead, choose love, which of course can only start to become possible when we start to work on first fostering a sense of deep self respect. As my teacher Hilly says, "most of us enter relationships holding in front of us a begging bowl saying 'fill me up', and yet until we approach our lovers with our own bowls full, it's not possible to truly give and receive love". I could not agree more, and Tantra works really effectively at taking us into the celebration and honoring of our bodies, our minds and our souls, so why would we ever choose otherwise?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Pussy Power!

The power of Pussy! Today's post sees your divine hostess Miss C discussing my favourite thing (alongside sex and lingams/cocks that is), the pussy, or in Tantric terms, the yoni. The word yoni literally translated from its sanskrit origins means 'sacred cave' ~ I like that...sacred cave; a sense of which we have lost within our fast moving, goal oriented, sexual culture.

The pussy is actually an incredibly beautiful, sensitive and potent thing and yet there is so much negative mythology attached to it, it hurts. It hurts us as women to suffer the calls of 'fishy fanny', flabby flaps, beef curtains and other such ugly labels. It hurts us as a gender and what's more, it hurts men too because it denies them their hearts to revert to such simplistic yet powerful anti-pussy assault.

I've recently heard more than a few stories of how us women feel about our pussies, the negative messages run deep friends and it's time we shouted out a bloody huge STOP! and de-mythologised the notion of perfect pussy. They don't exist any more than the perfect cock exists. The range of men's and women's genitalia is enormous and there is beauty in our individuality beyond imagining, so the message of my blog today is "DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!"

After hearing my friends stories, listening to my daughters, and observing what is going on around me I was more than delighted to come across this wonderful website recently, the purpose of it being to celebrate the diversity of pussy! To heal, to de-bunk, to normalise...large labia? you're NOT alone? Don't listen any more to those false messages and judgmental reactions. We are GORGEOUS in our variety I tell you...gorgeous!

Beyond my positive affirmations howeverthere lies a deeper sadness for all that we have lost as men and women in our culture as our sexual expression has been led so far from our wild and juicy nature that it's created deep deep wounds that need healing and need light. If I had one wish here it would be that woman and girls really honour our/your bodies in the most positive, joyful way possible and start to recover from the negative programming. No more vagino-plasty! No more stitching up and cutting off in the fruitless pursuit of perfection. We stand proud like the old sheela-na-gigs holding open our sex for all the world to see..this is it...this is ME!

and here for your delight and fascination, reverance and revelry, is the website I mentioned World of Vagina ~ Enjoy!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tantric Bliss & the Cosmic Orgasm of Life!

Good evening dear's been a while. I've been busy establishing my own tantra and healing client base, which has in turn led me to be into the midst of setting up my own Tantric Temple in Manchester, UK. I'm really excited about this prospect for so many reasons, but most of all because I get to earn a living doing what I absolutely LOVE! How long I've dreamed of finding my own path, envied those who've always known theirs, or had a clarity I felt I was lacking in manifesting their own vision and sense of purpose in the world. Now, I'm delighted to say, I have found mine. "Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life" is the mantra, and it's fair to say that doing what you truly love in life cannot ever feel like 'work' or a chore.

Over lunch with a lovely woman last week (read her blog here), we came to discuss the hero's journey, the Jungian concept of our journey into our true selves, and how our stories form us. I've never really been able to understand how all of my experience in so many fields of human sexuality could form my own story in a way that would make any sense to me. As an self determined 'outsider', yes I could relate to my edgy, non-conformist attitudes to life, my open minded, non-judgmental acceptance of the many shades of (way more than) gray in sex and sexuality, but how did it relate to my life path? Surely I was destined to be more than a 'former hooker'? Surely there were ways to bring sexual healing into the world that did not either pathologise, or get stuck in the analytical framework of 'head' and intellect based psychotherapy, which was not for me. I'm not for one moment knocking that practice, it can have a hugely important role to play in a persons self development, but it wasn't for me. And then I found tantra.

Since discovering tantra, my life has begun to flourish in ways I could have never imagined, and now that I'm fully embracing client based healing work, I'm full of gratitude every moment for those who come to see me. I genuinely *love* my clients, love that they bring me their open hearts and their willingness to heal, transform, change, move past that which may limit them, let go, surrender and truly experience the pleasure that is all of our birth-rights.

The transformation of negative attitudes is the foundation of my work. The messages that we have heard so often that we came to believe the lie, live in our bodies and our souls, and our spirits cry out to release them. Through Tantric bodywork I firmly believe it is possible to truly release this baggage we carry, most of which doesn't even belong to us. From the first moment we are caught self pleasuring and told that it is 'bad', or 'dirty', that we 'should be ashamed of ourselves' and more, we come to embody those ideologies. Why should exploring our own bodies to see how our pleasure feels be so bad? Why are we so stunted in our naturalness that we cannot even allow ourselves, as consenting adults, to really understand the liberation in pleasure? Feel comfortable in our nakedness rather than exposed or vulnerable? Through Tantra we can adopt a different viewpoint, and one of the things I love more than anything about this work is its inherent connection to love, respect of the self and of others. It is deeply honoring work in the truest sense of the word. As a woman, I have the right to say yes to things as much as I have the right to say no, and through tantra I am discovering where my 'yeses' lie. Through my work, I offer you the same respectful invitation to discovering your very own pleasure principles, and let me reassure you, we are all totally unique in our individual formulas. For me, this work has taken me into orgasmic living. I can feel pleasure in something as simple as washing the dishes, driving my car, talking a nap, walking in nature, making love, cleaning the bath out, whatever it is, so long as I do it mindfully, it is a blessing and confirms my aliveness in every moment. Tantra has led me to the cosmic orgasm of life, and I invite you to share in my journey, for as the image below says, how can we know how far we can go until we risk going that little bit further?

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

After a weekend's revelry at this fantastic event, I am home, spent, full of gorgeous, healing, creative inspiration and more than a handful of delicious memories dancing through me.

There is a huge part of me that has really missed 'playing' in fetish clubs, and in fact missed just being around what I lovingly refer to as my 'tribe', my kind of people, people who know their sexuality, celebrate it and enjoy it respectfully, with consent and very much in control of their own boundaries. As a woman who has experienced a huge range of sexual expression through my life, I find it a joy to be around others who are open, non judgmental and considerate of that expression in others. The Night Of The Senses Ball, organised by the ever devoted Tuppy Owens, raises money for the fantastic charity Outsiders which highlights the sexual and personal needs and desires of people with disabilities. All of her events are fully accessible and the services offered within them equally so. I had the pleasure of working in the Tantra Temple this year where a good percentage of our visitors were disabled, wheelchair users. Not just that, but kinky disabled wheelchair users!

So as the evening progressed, and I took my breaks from the delights of the Temple, I got to play in the dungeon for a while. Now some of you may wonder what on earth anyone gets from this kind of play, yet it remains true that high street chains like Ann Summers see an increasing growth in what I call 'light bondage' toys and clothing. Someone, somewhere is getting this urge! As for me, well, the pleasure of the sensations I can explore through consenting BDSM can quite easily take me into ecstatic states of heightened awareness. I love the feel of the flogger on my skin, the heavy thump that gradually builds to a tantalising soreness, still bearable though. The cane and the crop, so much sharper, so much more stingy and more inclined to make me tense my muscles in some paradoxical anticipation/fear, and the 'misery stick', a sensation I've not previously known which was so incredible it felt almost like a sharp electric shock coursing through me, leaving me breathless with joy.

The further into the sensations I go, the further into feeling and the further into my body, the more I unlock, the more pleasure, the more history, the more healing, and at the same time the greater the sense of my own boundaries and strength. It's a psychological playground, an emotional arena, not for the faint of heart or spirit but definitely worth the chance you may take to see what's in there. It may not be for everyone, but as my parents said whenever I refused my peas, how can you know you don't like it unless you try it?!!

If you're in the North West of Manchester this coming month, why not try for yourself, in a safe, supported environment what it feels like; ask the questions you've never dared to ask? We will be hosting the fabulous Popping Your Kinky Cherry with the equally fabulous London Faerie , and I for one, am VERY excited about this! Why not come and join us...see for yourself, feel for yourself, ask for yourself. I promise you will not leave disappointed!

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Three Keys

Tantra; sexual pleasure and exquisite intimacy for grown ups or sex marathons for pop stars? What is it and what do you know about it?

For me, the discovery of tantra was like coming home; it answered in me a deep calling that I'd been longing for and never before found. It made perfect sense. It saw the marriage of my beliefs around spirituality, sexuality and sensuality come crashing at me like one of those full body orgasms I'd only ever heard about but never quite experienced, and then there it was.

The practice of tantric sex is actually not really about 'practising tantric sex', more that you just allow the possibility of becoming much more conscious and present in your body and in your connection to either your partner/s or your self in your sexual explorations. That's to say you don't get a "to do" manual but you do get lots of really useful and important tips on deepening your ability to really feel your sexual energy, to raise it and to use it to benefit your health, well being, your sense of self and your vitality on every level. I guess it's like anything else that you commit to studying, only probably quite a lot more fun whilst you're in the learning stages than say...learning about car mechanics (unless you happen to be a little kinky about cars that is!)

Basically, we've been having sex for a very long time. Somewhere along the way, many of us got loaded with messages driven by guilt, fear and shame about that, and we began to hide parts of ourselves that we may have felt more freely able to express before we decided that these negative messages we'd been given must have been 'true'. At the same time, our own sexual expression became distorted through our own investment in keeping other parts of ourselves hidden, riddled with false notions that we are not okay, that we are somehow 'less than' due to the constant barrage of media representations of love, lust and romance; in fact of just being human within a complex western culture. Here is what we aspire to right? (see below)

But most of us don't look like the photo above, don't want what the photo represents, don't live like that, or have that kid of lifestyle/body/money/skin color etc etc....but it is what we should want according to the popular press. Hell when my brother got married one well dressed guest sidled over to me asking the classic "is it you next then?" and when I answered that on the contrary, it was not what I wanted at all, he took one look at my tattoos and henna dyed hair and replied "no, I shouldn't think it is dear" and I was royally snubbed for not wanting what everyone is supposed to want!

So, for me, tantra and the liberated exploration of intimacy and sexuality has been a bloody goddess-send! I love men! I adore women and I love sex! I love peeling back layer upon layer of my own sexual expression and the possibility of it and I know that there is so much more to learn. It's taken me half my life to get to this point and damn fine that I did before I got lost in dry humping, headache city or porno-rama fakeness! Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking porn per se but it cannot be the only outlet for sexual fantasies or we'd be well out of balance!

In tantra, the 3 keys to great sex are really very simple: breath, movement and voice but you'd be surprised how many of us are not even getting that simple formula 'right'. It's true that any kind of sex will most likely mean you're breathing and moving at the very least (don't get me started!!) only here we're talking about conscious breathing and conscious movement. As for voice, well I shriek like a banshee (Mr Bellocq recently said I would concern the parking warden on the National Trust car park if I didn't tone it down a bit and I can honestly say it was a first to be mid cum and have parking regulations brought into the equation!) yes, I shriek and I speak and I moan and groan and I cannot actually find my sexual self without my voice for the most part. So yes, I want the dirty, filthy, tender, loving, sassy, noisy, connected, sweaty, soft, hard, pounding, gentle sex that is all of our birthrights should we wish to take up that mantle. Tantra is offering me that full range of expression....check out shakti tantra for a great place to start, I recommend them most highly. There are many schools and teachers out there, find the one that's right for you. You could do worse for yourself than open your heart and your mind (and your legs will certainly follow!)

more on tantra to come....meantime, have fun, respect and stay smutty!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Boys who do Girls who do Boys...

Good evening you find your divine hostess Claudia with a rare night to herself, no lover, no responsibilities, nothing to do but dream and ponder. What to do? Watch a bit of Anna Span chick porn? Or maybe create myself a bit of Tantric healing space all for me...or perhaps a movie or two. First off though I find myself, for many a reason contemplating boys who like to dress as girls or rather, men who love to cross dress. It strikes me there are many of you out there, I've known several and certainly every chance I ever got to attend a fancy dress ball or party, the numbers of men who love to dress as women were generally off the radar! Yes guys, given half the chance it would seem you love nothing more than the feel of nylon and silk against your skin, and who can blame you?

Us women get to play with our appearance on a regular, well daily actually, basis. Hair, trousers on our more masculine days, power dressing when we feel the urge, heels or flats, soft skirts or layers on our more floaty days, and what do you get? Trousers! And not in many varieties either, no wonder our clothes and our freedom to try out our different aspects through our apparel appeal to you, you poor inhibited beasts!

One of my ex lovers used to have a passion/fetish/unmet need for dressing up in womens clothing but felt terrible shame in doing so. Personally I didn't have a problem with it per se, I mean look at Grayson Perry and Eddie Izzard and how incredibly possible they have made it for men to express themselves differently, yet it's sadly fair to say that for most average men wanting to try wearing womens clothes, a fair bit of abuse and prejudice may be encountered pretty soon along the way. Public venturing? Not for most of you. Pioneering women such as the amazing Miss Vera (pictured below)

have made it possible for some men to begin to explore, without criticism or judgment, their feminine drives and desires, to try it on for size if you like, and to really explore this side of themselves, whilst sexual pioneers such as my heroine Annie Sprinkle continue to work tirelessly towards a new sexual revolution that encompasses a holistic approach to the free expression of our erotic selves. So, whether you want to look like this

in your boy girl dress, or like this...

what is it that would stop YOU from feeling free to do so? to admit to your desires? to play with them free from guilt, shame or fear? Wouldn't it be great if we could foster that permission and stop judging and attacking those who wish to simply explore their sexuality more fully. We can change the world one moment by one moment, one person by one person. I find myself more comfortable in the company of sexual renegades and adventurers. Long may we reign!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sexual Freedom & breaking the bonds

What does "sexual freedom" mean to you? It's been coming to my attention for years now that we are so bound by our ideas of ourselves and our ego-centric senses of identity that most of us don't even know we're captive any more. We have sex for so many reasons; duty, obligation, guilt, fun, love, money, stuff, approval, pressure, connection, release...and yet all too often we often don't even truly SEE our lovers any more, yes ladies and gentlemen, we are both prisoner and jailer at the same time!

Sexual energy is creative energy and properly channeled and acknowledged can be a most blissful and healing thing to fully experience, so what stops us? Media ideas of beauty can be intimidating, social notions of romance can create disillusionment, familiarity; does it really breed contempt or is it a platform from which to truly get to know our lovers and their pleasures? The more I dive into my Tantric journey, the more I realise how vast the range of both experience and pleasure is, how different our bodies are and how varied their/our needs. I used to be afraid of the term 'sacred sexuality' fearing it would lead to a kind of disowning of my more carnal side, my archetypal (or actual!) 'whore' or playful 'slut', however given the right teacher/teachings, just as with any other spiritual discipline, light, dark AND shadow can be fully embraced and played with. Enough of the guilt of being a sexually active, liberated woman in pursuit of hot sex! Enough of the judgment and labels...time to re-claim our power, and that goes for men too. Not power over but power of self expression in healthy, respectful, playful and celebratory ways; truth-telling!

Many cultures have historically known this, and here in the west, where I'm from, we have the gift of exploring many aspects of our sexuality with a great deal of freedom too, however there are things we need to bypass first - the erotic police invest in the suppression of sexual energy knowing its potency is great and its potential for liberating us phenomenal. Yet who 'polices' our sexual expression in truth? Mostly we do a very good job of this ourselves. Our 'phnaar phnaar' attitudes and 'Carry On Up The Khyber' mentality keep us protected, safe from the fear that we may not in fact be "getting it right". Once upon a time there were temples of sexual healing and the women who worked in them were considered Priestesses and highly revered, and yet now, so few work with sexual energy in this healing way, and yet there is change coming.

Sacred Intimacy is a phrase becoming more frequently heard as women and men long for something different, desiring of healing our sexual wounds and our erotic nature, which can be so many different things. I recently met a woman who works within the UK National Health Service and was so deeply saddened to hear how many women she comes across with great trauma and shame locked into their bodies and souls. Women afraid to look at themselves, who will not even touch themselves and who have disowned themselves from the waist down. Women who believe their genitals to be ugly rather than a thing of great beauty, and I'm sure there are as many men suffering the same disconnection. There are as many different types of vajra (cock) and yoni (pussy) as there are hair types, eye shapes, noses, bodies yet we persist in subscribing over and over to the myth of 'sameness' and aspire to some kind of non-existent sense of perfection. Breaking out of that is POWER-FULL and liberating. Allowing ourselves to truly love our bodies as they are, and to learn to name our pleasures is just as potent. BREAK THE BONDS and find the true expression of your sexual self...I promise you, you cannot fail to enjoy the ride, even if a little bumpy at times....

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hardcore Softcore? Sacred Carnal?

Good evening sexpot readers! As usual, your divine hostess Claudia is pondering sex again tonight. After a week of exciting meetings, events and opportunities, most of them involving sex positive people and well, just lots of sex really, I confess, I am left very thoughtful.

My week began at the delicious Shakti Tantra Sensual Eating event; more on this to follow in a blog post all of it's own as it was simply too good to gloss over. So, after the event I was most definitely all senses alive in readiness for the launch of the Erotic Art Expo in Liverpool, UK. The eating event (little teaser photo below) was my idea of heaven. What could be more delightful than to share my time with a room full of sensual, sex loving food afficionados with full permission to make as much noise as they desired whilst devouring the incredible platters served up by a critically acclaimed chef, Robert Owen Brown.

In the same week, I was invited to participate on the panel as part of a sex workers 'show and tell' feature to support the art on display for the next month or two at this venue. The first part of the evening took place in the gallery space itself and featured strippers, a BDSM rope work demo and a performance by the artist known as Amazing Mouse. Now, I consider myself pretty broad minded, little shocks me, or so I thought. Mouse's performance however took me to some of my edges, I'll admit. She employs such brutal, hardcore acts whilst dressed in the most girly pink poodle outfit, a juxtaposition more than a little disarming from the outset. That was nothing. By the time she had finished, Mouse had eaten dogfood, fucked herself in both orifices with same dog food smeared hands, followed by two plastic doggy bones and two candles all alight with bundles of sparklers! She also filled her pussy and her anus with soapy water and showed us the power of remembering to do your kegels ladies!!!!!

So, my week had already flitted between tantric sensuality, to a show that was so hardcore it was impossible for me to call it even sexy, in fact, I was lost for words to summarise what I felt as I didn't even know what I felt, in fact I was unable to describe what I felt for 2 days afterwards! Then it came to me, Mouse transcends our ideas of what it is to inhabit a body, to be a sexual object or being and to become a purely physical vessel in the name of her art. The shock of seeing this petite, softly spoken woman fisting herself and jetting water from her ass was really quite something. I realised in the moment I'd worked out what I felt, that I would rather inhabit a world of Mouses (Mice?!!) than a world of conservative-play-it-safe-censors who feel it is their right somehow to tell me what it is okay to do with my body or not; all roads leading back to Rome and the very essence of the Sex Work Activist debate.

So I salute the likes of Mouse and other seekers, pioneers and taboo breakers. I salute those who are willing to risk the disapproval of the mainstream, and to step outside the dream being dreamed by the many in favor of living their own truth. I am currently considering why so many spiritual practices disown the carnal in favor of the holy. Why do we disown the body, the pleasures of the body in order to believe that we are 'good' people, or that this somehow makes us higher in ideal? For me, the Tantric path marries my sexuality, sensuality, spirituality and political drive. Long may I ride the waves of intimate communion in the spirit of LOVE!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Oppose the Nil Policy on Hackney Strip Clubs

I recently attended a launch for the Erotic Art exhibition at The Gallery Liverpool. The opening night saw the wonderful Tuppy Owens, tireless campaigner for sexual freedom rights, put together a collective of open minded, sassy people willing to stick their necks out for their right to say YES as much as their right to say NO.

As one of the speakers on the Sex Workers Show & Tell panel later on in the evening, I got the chance to hear one of the performer/strippers speak of her work and the issues currently impacting upon it with the Nil Policy in Hackney (London, UK) and other boroughs. These local councils are seeking to operate the self explanatory policy, and are being backed by an organisation named Object. Please take a look at this short video entitled HANDS OFF and if you use Facebook, you can find out more here.

Watch and make up your own mind. These women don't sound like victims to me, nor nor do their voices sound like the voices of those 'colluding in their own oppression' (a criticism often leveled at sex workers). What do you think?