05172015PostImageOPTI quietly released my first book, Autobiography of an Orgasm, in November of 2014. I self-published with no budget for media or PR. I decided to do the book release party in Miami, a place that had been home for the past seventeen years. The first venue I approached to host the book event turned me down. They didn’t think the book aligned with their corporate image, which was ironic, because their website oozes sex appeal. The rejection was a first glimpse of the coming resistance to me speaking out about my body and sex. My friend Tara suggested I simply have the book event on the beach, and she offered to fly in from NYC to help me carry the books to the beach in a straw basket she had purchased in France. And so, over a hundred women with the combined superpower of about a million nerve endings among us, all committed to producing ecstatic states in our bodies, gathered at sunset to honor the release of a book about my five years of researching orgasm. That felt about right for a book that was about remembering our bodies as sacred and wired for pleasure.

Autobiography of an Orgasm was filled with a lifetime of secrets and shame about my body and my sensuality. I had only recently shared some of the stories from the book with my mother, who is in her early eighties. She didn’t say much or ask many questions, but once the reviews started coming in, she told me that she was proud of me for writing a book that was helping others.

When my friend, novelist Dan Wakefield, wrote an article about my book for NUVO, the alternative newspaper in my hometown in Indiana, he was cornered at a dinner party soon after by a woman who said, “Betsy’s mother must feel awful about her writing the book.”

Does that mean I should have stayed silent for my mother? Or for other women who may be uncomfortable about me speaking the truth about the female sexual experience? Or for ex-lovers? Would it affect future employment? What about my daughter and three sons? Did I owe it to them to stay silent – because who really wants their mom to write a book about orgasm?

Ultimately, I felt I couldn’t afford not to speak up. Dr. Liz Orchard said, ”Revealing the truths of our bodies creates a necessary path to breaking the cycle of silence and awakening the life force and powerful healer that resides in each of us – our orgasm.”

“Sex lies at the root of life and we can never learn to reverence life
until we know how to understand sex.”

—Havelock Ellis

Research shows that more than one in five women are unhappy with their sex lives. The medical industry diagnoses us with female sexual dysfunction. One common “solution” is to prescribe an anti-depressant. (It’s a nearly three billion dollar solution). In her book, Vagina, Naomi Wolf writes, “…between one woman in five and one woman in three seems to be suffering from something very like sexual, or even like vaginal, depression.”

Yet, in Goddesses Never Age, Dr. Christiane Northrup reminds us that “…women are wired to experience multiple orgasms because that moment of ecstasy is an expression of the life force accompanied by a burst of nitric oxide. Our bodies are not designed to limit or contain our pleasure. They are meant to experience it as the medicine it truly is.”

In my study of BodyTalk energy medicine, I learned that orgasm and climax with a trusted, loving partner brings about ultimate state of health for both people. Why then are so many of us walking around with “depressed vaginas”?

I suspect the answer is multi-faceted. We don’t understand how our bodies work. It is not difficult for a woman to orgasm when you understand that your orgasm starts with the first sensation you feel when your body is turned on. There are eight thousand nerve endings in a women’s clitoris, solely dedicated to making her feel good. We were born with them, a gift from the Creator. Those nerve endings never go away, but if ignored, the pathways of energy that send doses of a feel-good hormone straight to our brains can’t do their jobs, so we end up self-medicating with Prozac or alcohol, or we believe that it’s hard for us to feel our orgasm and climax. It is not! Also, our culture rarely gives girls and women the message to honor their bodies as sacred. We wouldn’t give ourselves away if we treated ourselves with reverence. Finally, in many cases, (I was one of them), our bodies may hold onto the shame or wounds resulting from sexual abuse. More than one in five women and one in twelve men have experienced some form of sexual assault on their bodies, many times it occurs during childhood. When too many of us stay quiet, we give our power away. When we don’t speak up, we choose fear over love of our bodies.

“We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”

—Audre Lorde

Thank you to all the writers featured in the new book, Autobiographies of Our Orgasms, A Collection of Your Stories, for writing about events in their lives, especially the moments that felt too private to tell but they wrote down anyway. Through their stories, we remember our bodies are sacred, our lives matter and love is always present, even in the times when we feel the most alone, abandoned or betrayed. Their stories show us how they danced the path back to themselves and remind us that we can find our way home, too.

What is the story of your orgasm? 

Do you have a story you would like to be considered for the next edition of Autobiographies of Our Orgasms? This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey. It’s women and men telling true stories of their sensual paths and the embodiment of sacred through orgasm. Ideally, you will choose to write and publish under your name, but it you aren’t ready to speak up with your name attached, you can choose to write under a pseudonym.

To be considered for the book, please submit your story of up to 4,000 words to: aoaothebook@gmail.com.