Pleasure Revolutionaries: Women’s Sexual Healing And Empowerment
Five revolutionary women, whose research and teachings focus on pleasure (specifically, sexual pleasure) as a major factor in female health and empowerment, are considered the grandmothers of the modern female sexual pleasure revolution. Together, they have brought the concept of sexual healing and empowerment through pleasure into the world via their extensive work and advocacy.
Recognized as one of the principle voices for women’s sexual pleasure and health for more than three decades, Dodson released her first self-published book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Self-Love in 1974, later inspiring another edition called, Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving (2006). Dodson was the first person to openly admit to masturbation and write about masturbation and pleasure, breaking all the sexual norms, especially for women.
Her business partner, Carlin Ross, described Dodson’s memoir as, “one woman’s struggle to liberate female sexuality while enjoying her own. From sex parties to feminist politics, Betty defied social conventions and questioned myths that held women back.” Additionally, Dodson created and ran Bodysex groups for 25 years, where women learned about their bodies and orgasms through the practice of self-stimulation (sometimes individually, other times in groups). She has documented these practices in several videos available through her website.
Dodson continues her private individual and couples coaching practice in New York City and remains an active voice and participant in what is now often called the Women’s Sexual Pleasure Revolution. DodsonAndRoss.com
Gina Ogden’s books on women’s sexual health, pleasure and the meaning of sexual relationship include The Heart and Soul of Sex (2006), Women Who Love Sex (2007) and The Return of Desire (2008). Ogden created and produced the first nationwide survey of human sexuality to investigate the multidimensional nature of sexual experience. The survey is called Integrating Sexuality and Spirituality (ISIS), and it’s used as, “a progressive model for exploring the body, mind, heart and spirit.” Like Dodson’s work, Ogden focuses on women’s sexuality, health and pleasure. However, as a licensed therapist, Ogden practices in a more conservative and therapeutic way, which may be viewed as culturally more accepted. GinaOgden.com
Anand’s work, SkyDancing Tantra (with institutes worldwide), is described as “a unique path to sexual bliss” and “teaches you to choose with awareness what brings you pleasure and joy.” She believes that, “pleasure is a discipline—even a spiritual discipline—because it generates a tremendous amount of energy.”
In Anand’s latest book, Love, Sex & Awakening: An Erotic Journey from Tantra to Spiritual Ecstasy (2017), she recounts her fascinating adventures. In her own words, she provides techniques and exercises to connect to the spiritual potential of not just sex, but pleasure, cultivating a deeper, more fulfilling love life and experience of life in general. As spiritual (Tantric) healers, Anand and Caroline Muir (the other grandmother of modern tantra) work with energy as a catalyst for healing, pleasure and ecstasy. MargotAnand.com/SkyDancing
Caroline Muir has authored two bestselling books: co-authored Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving (1989) and the Tantra Goddess: A Memoir of Sexual Awakening (2011). Muir founded the Divine Feminine Institute for Men and Women, which was inspired by her original work with her ex-husband, tantra teacher Charles Muir, on Sacred Spot [G-spot] healing and awakening massage. She has since created a new platform for her message at the Nurturing Practice of Awakening and Healing. Today, she uses a feminine-wisdom approach to sexual wholeness, which is a key practice for developing expanded full-body orgasm. Divine-Feminine.com/About-Caroline
Regena Thomashauer, more popularly known as Mama Gena, began her Pleasure Revolution for women in her first book, Mama Gena’s School of the Womanly Arts: Using the Power of Pleasure to Have Your Way With the World (2002). The success of this book would go on to incite the creation of her multimillion-dollar school in New York City. Today, Thomashauer takes the womanly art of pleasure to new levels, advocating for orgasm as necessary to women’s health, well-being and fulfillment. Her new book, Pussy: A Reclamation (2016) is “a roadmap to feminine power, radiance and joy.” MamaGenas.com
There are many differences noted between each one of these sexual empowerment educators, yet all of them are approaching women’s sexual health and well-being using innovative and holistic ways. These sexual pleasure revolutionaries advocate that women’s empowerment is deeply connected to their sexuality. Sexual pleasure can (and should be) a valued aspect of a woman’s experience and a key aspect of her individual and collective empowerment.
Sacha L. Fossa, MA, is the founder and healer at Sacred Temple Arts, a holistic sexual coaching and healing arts business focused on awakening, healing, education and empowerment. Her motto is Choose Pleasure As A Way Of Life. Sacred Temple Arts provides services through in-person or virtual sessions and programs for individuals and/or couples. Visit SacredTempleArts.com for more information and to sign up for a complimentary consultation.