The Power of Sisterhood

Mon, 11/19/2012 - 12:32
Submitted by Carlin Ross

Our November workshop was over overbooked. We had two friends from the UK who wanted to be in the group together...then I miscounted. Instead of 10 women in the circle I'd booked 12 plus Betty and me. The room was literally wall-to-wall women. It was beautiful.

Seeing the 15 hooks in Betty's foray filled with coats and clothes gave me a tingle. It was like we were back in the 70's when modern feminism was born and Betty's sexual consciousness raising groups were the talk of the town.

The genius of Day 1 is that we all assemble nude in the circle. Several women remarked about how healing it was to be naked with other women. I love looking around the circle and seeing all the differnt body types. They're all beautiful. They're all unique. It's in this moment of looking at the diversity of the female form (instead of the 1-2 body types sanctioned by Hollywood and the fashion industry) that you let go of all your body insecurity. It builds self esteem...it builds sisterhood.

And there then's the genital show & tell. One woman in the group had a traumatic birth experience - the victim of medical malpractice with the added shame of hearing a female medical resident say "if that's what happens during childbirth I don't want a baby" upon looking at her vulva. Another woman had her first pap smear at 7 due to an increased risk of cervical cancer (her mother was prescribed a drug to prevent miscarriage that was later linked to cervical cancer) - she remembered with doctor stating that her clitoris was too small so she'd never experience pleasure.

To see the courage it took to display their vulvas in front of complete strangers...to see the release and the healing of letting go of all that pain changes you. You're all bonded to each other like you were best friends since childhood.

On Day 2 the room was electric. We started with a group share. Betty took a poll - there were 8 sex educators in our circle. One from New Zealand, one from Ireland and several from Canada. To think that someone took at 48 hour flight to take a workshop with you is unbelievable. Betty and I want nothing more than to train other women to hold these groups. And it's already happening.

We demonstrated the rock n' roll orgasm and then went right into the group masturbation ritual. Betty loves 70's rock and we always start masturbating with Jimi Hendrix's Across the Watchtower. There was so much sexual energy in the room...one by one the women started moaning and releasing the sounds of pleasure. One woman was right in front of a huge orgasm when Betty said, "Get it, get it!" in a midwestern twang. She came!

There's something so special about sharing orgasms - there's no performance anxiety. It's not about getting someone else off. It's about sharing your orgasm and inspiring others. I looked over to my left and saw one of the women wrapt in pleasure. Then I rolled up and looked across the room. To see all these women moving their bodies to the music...breathing...sweating...moaning. There's nothing more beautiful in this world. And the smell it that room was hypnotic. One woman remarked how she wished she could bottle that smell and take it home.

I looked to my right and watched Betty orgasm. Then I looked to the women next to her stroking her body and singing the words to the song as she smiled and built up to orgasm. When she came, she rolled over - I had to capture the moment.

Every so often the room would go silent until Betty would say something outrageous (what I call "Bettyisms"). During one quiet period, Betty exclaimed, "I smell pussy" followed by roars of laughter. Several women commented on how wonderful it was to laugh during masturbation...having sex with a partner can be so unnecessarily serious. This was playful fun.

We always end the workshop with group massage. One woman lies down while 4-5 women massage her at the same time. Non-sexual touch is so important. A woman shared how she felt like she was being worshipped. After everyone went, the women decided to all give Betty a massage. Betty was so happy...so relaxed...so in her moment. At that point, she was convinced she could do these groups well into her nineties.

Then we reassembled in the circle to share a word or comment about our experience. Words like "love", "thanks", "sisterhood" went round the circle. Betty shared that she'd had an epiphany. She thought that she was too old to run groups - that her body wasn't strong enough but during group share she'd folded her legs in a yoga pose she hadn't done in years. She was strong enough to do more groups. She'd let go of the image she had of her aging body. It was hard not to tear up.

We couldn't end the day without a group shot. Thank you to all our special women and their amazing vulvas:

Lippy
Sweet Lips
Artemis
Bubbles
Love
Peaches
Betty
Gloria
Eve
Little Miss Clitty Lee
Thunder
Kitty

And of course, Clitty Anne and Roxy

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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