My daughter was one and a half at the time. She got a hold of my mango chapstick and really went for it. Smelling it, tasting it, rubbing it all over her face and into her hair. Nibbling it. She was obsessed and there was no getting it back from her. This went on for a good twenty minutes. Part of me wanted to say “that’s enough” and “no more” and “you don’t need it all over you.” But there was something restrictive about that… I really couldn’t think of any good reason why she shouldn’t have as much mango pleasure as she wanted.
And thus begins sacred sex ed. Yes, it starts as young as one. I’m not talking about naming-body-parts-correctly sex ed, I’m not talking about the 5th grade version here. What I want her to know is that pleasure is good. That her body is wise. That it’s okay to want more, to explore, to use her senses to discover.
Pleasure is so stigmatized in our culture and I hope to teach her from a very young age that there’s nothing wrong with it. Chapstick is just one example... there’s also clay, there’s paint, there’s mud. There are millions of ways to welcome children into their sensory world, and through this process we are invited again and again as parents to say yes to what the body wants, to say yes to the longing for what feels good.
One of my teachers regarding this approach is the Hindu Goddess Lalita Tripura Sundari, who is the Goddess of Erotic Spirituality. She sees bodily pleasure as a doorway to profound spirituality. To find out more about her and other inspiring Goddesses, please join Karina Maria Tibble and me for Myth, Art & Movement: A Deep Winter Goddess Series for Women. This sacred circle of women will be gathering for goddess mythology and storytelling, as well as intentional movement and art practices designed to activate the Goddess wisdom already within you. Five Saturdays from 10 AM until noon starting February 17. More Info here.
*We respect that gender is a spectrum and welcome all participants who identify with the pronouns she/her/hers.