Moving her hand to hover right between my hip bones I immediately felt the presence of something that I’d spent the best part of a decade shoving into the abyss of my subconscious. Something raw, heavy, real and something I had never named that was now demanding to be felt. The pain in my lower right abdomen started to ache and continued to grow as she did nothing but stand still with one hand hovering 15 cm above my body. Then the tears started, and they didn’t stop, flowing out of me like a rock that had been moved out of the way to reveal a waterfall. Whatever was leaving my body had needed to go for a long time. After the session finished the energy healer sat down to tell me what she had witnessed in my body. Her energy felt like chamomile tea with soft brown eyes and a seemingly familiar face. Simply sitting opposite her felt like I had been in savasana for a year. Through a sip of tea, she stated, “You have a lot of sadness in your womb from past lovers, you are holding a lot of betrayals.” Her voice was kind but firm.
Images flashed of past lovers and their wandering eyes, as words swirled in my mind of promises left broken, like shards of glass across my memory’s eye. It was both devastating and romantic that my body still remembered every one of them, that my womb had cried with me as much as it had loved. As twisted as it sounds, a version of me would have preferred to keep painful memories of ex-lovers inside me. The essence of hurt is better than nothing at all. Nothing meant I was truly alone.
It is alarming to witness even for a second how we hold ourselves back from pleasure. All these years I had been hurting myself by never releasing the past, holding myself back from receiving the present. Not to mention any new opportunities in the future. In the most beautiful paradox whilst we all want to feel good, we keep the good stuff at arm’s length in many ways: such as by the partner we choose to be intimate with or the way we speak so poorly about ourselves, feel unworthy of love and therefore do not show up for it, or romanticize the past holding every new person we meet to an impossible rose-tinted version of a lover we once had.
For a long time, pleasure to me was about someone else. It was an act I performed on them or a way I carried myself to entice them. It was wearing lingerie for their surprise or making sure they finished first. This narrative was so engrained in me that I even held myself back from the foods I enjoyed, suffering from an eating disorder for a decade.
The journey back to my body has been one of the scariest things I have ever experienced. Whether it be weekly therapy sessions where I peel back the layers over everything I would rather keep hidden, buying a lingerie set with the only intention of feeling great under my everyday clothes, skipping the gym for a beach walk when my body is tired, or journaling through past trauma and exercising clear boundaries. I am committed to living first and foremost for myself.
Women are not taught that our sexuality is for ourselves. Women are not taught that we are safe to ooze confidence. If anything we are told to be quieter, kinder, softer, simpler, to fit in, be looked after, and that femininity is a cookie cutter digestible fluffy thing. I’ll tell you what I know about femininity, it is wild like a thoroughbred galloping down an empty beach. It cannot be contained. In the same way you cannot fit the whole ocean into a cup, it would be an insult to even try. It is glowing embers burning in the night sky and clouds floating past on a summer’s day. There is strength in its gentleness. Femininity is dark, alluring, and raw; it is all-consuming and passionate but most of all it is something that each one of us defines for ourselves. Although we may be captivating, we will not be held captive.
Imagine a world where I wait for permission to shine and keep myself small so as not to offend anyone. Where my sexuality was caged until it was told to release and where my pleasure sat in the hands of someone else…
Written by Cassandra Grodd. Follow Cass on Instagram @cassandragrodd