Ball of Light Justin Copeland

Raising a Sexually Empowered Daughter

My daughter recently turned 9 and is grasping the cusp of puberty. I know without a doubt, she is a confident, responsible, independent, and considerate young person. However, every day I question whether I am raising a sexually empowered daughter. Now, this question might have been easier to answer except I live in a society marred by patriarchy. Not to mention the fact that she spends her school breaks with a misogynist, womanizing fool and entire culture of people who subscribe to “a woman’s place” bullshit. But so did I, and look how awesome I turned out. One fierce feminist!

Sexual liberation begins with sexual empowerment. Sexual empowerment, as with any other type of empowerment, begins with you.

What does it mean to be sexually empowered?

For me, to be sexually empowered means owning all aspects of your sexuality, acknowledging the oneness of your mind, body, and spirit in every sexual encounter, and ALWAYS putting your desires and well-being first. Sexual empowerment means never avoiding the conversation. It means openly exploring desires without judgment. It means putting your health and your personal values first. It means embracing all the things that shape your sexuality.

Once when my daughter was an infant, her paternal grandmother was changing her diaper. As soon as the diaper was off, in normal baby fashion, my daughter reached for her vulva. Her grandmother immediately pushed her hand away and told her not to touch because it was stinky. The statement made me recoil with disapproval as I scolded my mother in law never to teach my daughter that her vagina smells bad. My mother in law looked with a blank stare as if to say, “That was not my intention,” and perhaps it wasn’t. Perhaps she only meant to say the urine soaked diaper made it smell, however, I wanted to make her aware of the message she was sending. A message that could serve as a foundation of insecurity and shame, that could affect her sexual confidence as a woman.

Ball of Light Justin Copeland

The Talk

The Talk. . .the dreaded talk for many parents, the “avoided until the last minute” talk, the “I’ll wait until they bring it up” talk, the “we will just assume they already know once they get to that age” talk, the “OMGosh she’s pregnant; it’s too late, now” talk. And if you think this is not the truth, I’ll tell you this, my mother or father have never talked to me about sex. NEVER! Looking back at how much my life has been affected by sexuality and sex education, I’m completely shocked. Like, how can you not have this conversation with your child!? This conversation is as important as the “look both ways before crossing the street” conversation.

Should I talk to my 9-year-old about sex? Is it too early? Is she ready? If not now, when should I tell her? If anything, what should I tell her right now? Certainly, she doesn’t need to know everything right now, right? These are just a few of my more pressing questions. Many of my friends of 9 to 11-year-olds express fear and concern about talking to their sons and daughters about sex. I’m not afraid to talk with my daughter, I just don’t want to inundate her with sex information prematurely but I also don’t want to neglect the subject.

Following HER lead

My daughter has always been an inquisitive child. You can often discover her interest and concerns by the questions she asks. My daughter is an early bloomer. She began showing the first signs of puberty at the age of seven which caused her to have a lot of questions.

There were a lot of “oh my goodness” reactions from friends and family concerning my daughter’s prematurely blossoming body and even a mention of birth control. It has also caused a stir at sleepovers as the girls change into their jammies. However, it has made her completely comfortable with openly asking questions about her developing body. This makes the talk much easier to navigate.

Despite all other influences, sexual empowerment begins with YOU. In this case, my daughter. I teach my daughter that differences, ALL DIFFERENCES, are what makes us magical and unique. I teach her to be honest, responsible, and accountable. I focus on empowering her in all aspects of her life, not just sexuality. Everything about her is beautiful and natural and I instill that in her every single day. I let her know how important it is to instill this message in others as well, even though I don’t always practice it myself. Just the other day, I saw a woman and I said, I love her legs (she had amazing legs) and my daughter whispered to me, “Well, just tell her.” These are the things that let me know that I am teaching her well.

Teaching with Love & Guidance

I do my best to teach with intention and in my moments of imperfection, I forgive myself quickly, move forward and do better. Her dad got upset with me because I taught her to twerk. I know I might get a lot of frowny faces and I won’t defend my stance. Yes, I taught my then 8-year-old to twerk. She asked because she saw me doing it in my mirror and so I taught her. I’m also teaching her Spanish. I also downloaded an app that teaches her to draw, which she’s very good at by the way. I’ve taught her to braid hair, do simple computer setups (because I didn’t want to have to keep doing them for my 4-year-old), and a number of other things that she’s asked me to teach her. The point is, I empower my daughter to seek enlightenment and to educate herself without limits. It does not matter who disapproves as long as it is something she desires.

My entire focus must be centered on my child, her interests, and her desires. I invest heavily in gentle guidance, concentrating more on influencing her perspective rather than her behavior.

Welcome to Womanhood

At this point, my daughter expresses no interest in boys or anything related to intercourse. She is, however, going through pubescent physical development. What she is currently experiencing has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with becoming a woman. Too often, we directly associate womanhood with sex, which in term sends a dangerous message to our girls.

And so, I center our conversation around explaining to my daughter the changes that occur while becoming a woman. I explain to her that her journey into womanhood is the most honorable, most powerful, evolutionary change that will ever happen in her life. Women have a divine purpose. Life begins with a woman, as a woman, and physically within a woman. As a woman, you are born with everything it takes to bring life into this world both physically and most of all spiritually in more ways than pregnancy and birth. Womanhood is a continuous journey.

I make her aware that there will be naysayers. There will be individuals who will doubt you and second guess you long after you have succeeded ten times over because of the negative social constructs designed to control women. I teach her that they won’t just be men.

In time, we will add more to the conversation. We will address those things as she becomes aware of their relevance to her life. In the meantime, her journey into womanhood and what this means for her is the perfect segue to her personal journey of sexual empowerment.

Artist feature

“Ball of Light” by Justin Copeland

A digital artist out of Baltimore. Transforming pain while sending love and peace through his work. Visit Justin online to discover how to add his work to your collection.

IG @justincopeland_art

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A Touch of Self-Love

I’m curious, what is your relationship with masturbation? As I’d said in the Creating the Sexually Liberated Woman post, I have been masturbating a long time, however, my thoughts, approach, style, perspective, and even my technique has evolved over time.

Female masturbation is not talked about very often. I’ve heard great things about its many health benefits including a couple I’ve observed on my own: stress relief and sleep aid. Masturbation has spiritual benefits as well. In my personal experience, it fosters an intimate level of self-awareness, sexual confidence, and self-love: physically and psychologically. Friends who know me know I have no reservation about telling someone that I masturbate should they ask. Asking me when’s the last time I masturbated is no different than asking when’s the last time I drank water. They each occur at roughly the same frequency. . .roughly.

There is an art to masturbation. Something like an artist applying paint to a canvas, waiting for each layer to dry before applying a new coat or color, and then finally leaving Her signature. Yes, the evolution of masturbation is much like this. With each new revelation and the increase in frequency, I feel closer to creativity, closer to the Goddess.

Feelin’ Myself

Growing up I was taught that although inappropriate, it was normal for boys to touch themselves and masturbate as a means to release their sexual urges while going through puberty. I guess girls don’t have sexual urges. Any who, we’re certainly not allowed to release them.

As a girl, I was taught that a vagina is a smelly place, that my cycle was a disgusting punishment bestowed upon women by god and that I should never touch down there unless to clean, wash, or wipe. Funny, I do not recall being taught very much about other people touching. But since it was such a dirty and smelly place anyway, I wasn’t very comfortable allowing others to touch. If they “knew” what I “knew” why would they want to touch it anyway.

When I was a girl about eight years old, every night after my bath, I’d place the big mirror over the closed toilet lid, squat down over it like I was gonna go, only my legs were a bit more opened, and admire the way my vulva looked. It was mostly dark pink like someone had taken a drop of black paint and mixed it with pink. The color looked bright against my brown skin. On my inner labia major there was a dark mole. Surprised, I remember thinking, “Oh, moles can be down there, too!?”

I suppose it was surprising because the skin of my labia is not like the skin on my face, chest, or hand which are the other places I had moles. My labia minor were fleshy and slightly wavy (it’s more wavy, now); the color formed an ombre effect from pink to light brown as it extended to the outer edge of my labia. I had no good or bad thoughts; just pure fascination.

Usually, I would get dressed and place the mirror back behind the gas stove, but one day I forgot. My grandmother scolded “What took you so long in that bathroom? You know other people have to bathe. You got this mirror on this toilet like you been looking up your ass.” That likely could have been enough to shame me into never taking a peek at my vagina again.

The Peeping Tom

In third grade, while using the restroom a girl peeped inside my stall. When I walked out all the girls were quiet and staring at me. Eventually, I asked, “What?” And one girl told me that another had peeked into my stall and said I was nasty because I was playing with myself. Given the limited restroom time that we had, I doubt that I was actually playing with myself. Perhaps I was touching myself a bit longer than she felt appropriate. Either way, I can’t recall. I do remember that they seemed to be staring at me like I’d committed an offense punishable by death as they awaited my response. I simply replied that she was nasty for looking into my stall. They all agreed and that was the end of that.

After I got my cycle, I didn’t look at my vulva for a very long time. I didn’t masturbate for a very long time either. Whenever I did, which was rarely, it was stealthy, over quickly, detached, and impersonal. I eventually learned that masturbation is absolutely inappropriate for girls however, boys were always “beating their meat”, having wet dreams, and after school porn watch parties with jacking off contests and this was completely normal. It was more acceptable for a guy to touch you than for you to touch yourself. No wonder men fetishize women masturbating.

Sophomore year in college, I began masturbating regularly, again. I had my own, private room. I didn’t have to worry about doing it sneakily in the bathroom or waiting until I thought everyone was asleep or concerning myself with who might pop in on me. And while I had really, really great sex during this period of my life, there is no intimacy quite like the intimacy of pleasuring one’s self. That release had been a long time coming; All puns intended.

Love Yourself, Touch Yourself

Now, masturbation is a sacred ritual and while I enjoy using toys, I mostly prefer to use my hands. I love the way I feel; the way I swell as I become aroused; the way my vulva becomes a frictionless surface, the way my body pulsates through my climax, and as I reach resolution. I am both comfortable and open with masturbation. I masturbate at least three times a week whether I’m having sex regularly or not.

Masturbation is my way of showing love and appreciation to myself. I use it to complete my stress cycles and release excess energy before bed. Night time puts me in nesting mode. When I’m preparing to masturbate, I like to lie with my back slightly arched, legs opened and relaxed. I explore the entire surface of my bare mons and vulva. With my fingers, I slowly slide two inside my vagina to smell and taste. I love the way I taste and smell. No one knows my body better than I do. I roll my hips in full circles as I climb higher and higher, pinching my nipple between my index and middle fingers as I squeeze my breast in one hand the other between my legs. My relationship with Desiree is a slight obsession. I love her so much. I like to express my love in others ways as well. Here’s a portrait of her I recently drew.

My favorite things to use during masturbation are coconut oil and my imagination; no penetration. I enjoy exclusive clitoral stimulation only. I have the sexiest imagination. Although, I don’t have access to another imagination to compare. All I know is once it works its magic, no lube necessary.

Occasionally, I like to have more elaborate masturbation rituals which involve Marsha Ambrious, Trey Songs, some sexy mirror dancing (this girl is talented with these hips), incense, and crystals. I’m such a romantic and there are few things I enjoy more than not waiting for someone else to romance me. Especially given the fact that I am more single than I’ve ever been yet I’m having my most accepting, self-intimacy sex life ever.

 

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The Myth of the Slut

Long ago when matriarchy ruled as patriarchy does today, men competed for the affection, attention, and approval of women. Women were worshiped and the Goddess ruled the heavens. Women had reign to choose any man they desired to fulfill their most imaginative fantasies. The most physically and sexually capable of the bunch were always top choice.

Men had no power

Men had to justify their existence, for they had very little importance beyond their ability to fertilize female eggs and move heavy objects. They were very much like worker ants and bees. They did the heavy physical labor, and made sure that children were produced and protected. (Walsch, 41)

Women would hold lavish ceremonies. They danced, chanted, ate, drank, and sat in prayer and meditation to bestow gratitude upon the Goddess for her love and abundance. During these ceremonies, each woman would spend time have sex with various men she felt an attraction to in order to select a suitable well-endowed, handsome, and physically capable strong mate who would bring her great pleasure and healthy children. The women would dress in almost nothing to seduce the men, who proudly walked about naked and erect, and observed how they measured up.

These ceremonies would last from the fall of the full moon until the rise of the new. Women participated in duos, trios, and group experiences of multiple orgasmic pleasure. Their climaxes could be heard for miles. The women even indulged in bringing one another pleasure while others watched on. Sex during this time was not a private act nor was it an objective act. These acts were the purest expression of boundless, authentic love. To do it openly and often was to pay homage to the Goddess.

Several offspring were born of these rituals with no concern of whom the father might be. All the men participated equally in the protection and rearing of the children. It was an amazing celebration of sexual pleasure and spiritual connection as they worshiped the Goddess of the Yoniverse.

It was indulgently wonderful, except everyone did not get to enjoy these ceremonies. Only the strongest, most handsome, empathetic, and intelligent of the men were invited.

Overthrown

Unfortunately, not all men measured up. These men became bitter and resentful. They began plotting to reverse the roles. After centuries, of playing the subservient role of meat suppliers, the men finally convinced the women to give them more power, but those men became greedy. They began to spread rumors of the Goddess having given birth to an evil son (later known as the devil) who planned to overthrow the spiritual kingdom and the male God was brought forth for protection.

As time passed, the rumors began to grow. The Goddess pledged her loyalty to God, forsaking all others. Women began to follow Her example as it was their ultimate desire to be all that the Goddess was. Many women knew this was a trick and continued to follow the original ways of the Goddess. The men could not let this happen. They could not allow the women to realize their divine essence and reclaim their power over men. Fearing the loss of their own power, the men turned to social manipulation. Women who refused to pledge their loyalty to one man, acting out in rebellion, were shamed into conformity. Thus, the slut came into being. The Goddess soon disappeared from worship altogether.

Myth and Magic

Women were socially ostracized and physically punished for being with more than one man. Social constructs were invented to define virginity (the hymen story). Sex in exchange for goods and services, once seen as a lavishly, prestigious role performed by the most seductive women, was given derogatory labels (whore and prostitution) and declared illegal. Women’s breasts were regarded as obscene. Female genitalia and pregnancy out of wedlock became a source of cultural shame. Social suppression of sexual desires turned into self-suppression of sexual desires; All invented to control women’s sexuality and prevent their reemergence to magnificence alongside the Goddess.

So you see, the slut is a myth, no more real than Sasquatch or the Loch Ness monster. Although, like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster, some people still believe she exists. Slut is a shameful label given to magical women, the boldest and the bravest of us all. In truth, slut is the essence of a woman rekindling her spiritual beingness as a sexual goddess; doing her due diligence to unlock the treasures of her deepest desires rendering her worthy of becoming one with the true Goddess once more. The one labeled slut is a woman who recognizes her freedom to pursue her sexual potential and all the wonderful pleasure it brings.

Sluts are like Unicorns; although they do not exist, they represent something quite rare and truly magical.

 

References
Nagoski, Emily. Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2015.

Walsch, Neale Donald. Conversations with God: An uncommon dialogue book 3. Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 1998.

Artist Feature:

Try Me Once” by Artist: Joel Dietz, TouchMeDeeply 

To learn more about our featured artist and his work visit, Touchmedeeply.com. If there is a specific piece you’d like, please contact via email: deeplytouchme@ gmail.com to purchase art prints and more.

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Creating the Sexually Liberated Woman

I remember my mother telling me a story of her first experiences as a parent. So vividly, I recall the one where I was playing in the bathtub as a toddler when I discovered my vulva. According to my mother, I was intrigued. I poked, prodded, and pulled at it. I even invited her to come see the new treasure I had discovered. Concerned, my mother asked my pediatrician if this was normal behavior. My pediatrician responded, “Perfectly, so.” And with that, my mother left me to my journey of self-exploration. My fascination with my feminine anatomy has yet to end.

I learned to please myself long before anyone else had the opportunity. Way back then, masturbation was not a sexual experience for me. At least, I did not see it that way. In sexuality, as with all other things, perception is the reality. Back then, I’d lie in the darkness, place my hands between my opened legs and gently massage my clitoris until my entire body would quake in pleasure. I’d feel so relaxed and fall quickly asleep. I use it for this very same purpose even today yet, it has served as climactic role in exploring the full range of my sexuality.

While researching and contemplating whether or not I would even launch PPLB, I did at least fifty Google searches on various phrases relating to female sexuality. I came across one post in particular on the blog SexLoveLiberation.com where its author, Ev’Yan Whitney, explores 14 Qualities of the Sexually Liberated Woman. I love that post so much. In fact, I love her entire blog, and I encourage you to visit. I also discovered an interesting piece on Female Sexuality, “How I became a sexually liberated woman” by author Wendy Lustworthy.

I, on the other hand, am more interested in exploring how the sexually liberated woman comes to be; how the sexually liberated woman is created. Is she in the words of the famous Lady GaGa song “born this way” or is she in some way, carefully cultivated?

Tweet: Is the sexually liberated woman born this way or is she created? https://ctt.ec/z4cIf+ @pinklotusbud

Tweet: Is the sexually liberated woman born this way or is she created? https://ctt.ec/z4cIf+ @pinklotusbud

 

As long as I’ve known my sexual self, inhibition has been almost nonexistent. Perhaps this can be attributed to my mother allowing me to explore myself without ridicule or judgment. I grew up in a small town filled with religious folk so in spite of my lack of inhibition, I was very, very cautious. In retrospect, I couldn’t really verbalize it but I knew exactly the type of person I wanted in my life and that has brought me deep intimacy with people who love, respect, and support me. That does not mean that I have not been without some choices that have resulted in epic failure.

Unlike the stories I have read about other women, I did not think sex was wrong in any context. I did not feel guilty about the desire to express myself sexually nor was sex this awful, non-orgasmic experience lacking in psychological stimulation. Not at all. From the earliest moments of my sexual debut, although a bit insecure about the act itself, I was open, comfortable, and confident in who I was and what I desired. I was fortunate to share my experience with individuals who were excited about my openness and eager to assist me in exploring my sexuality at all depths and detours.

There may be no road map to how one becomes a sexually liberated woman however, there are several parallels in the experiences of sexually liberated women. Those include:

  • Self-Love in its psychological and physical form
  • Being open and confident
  • Granting yourself permission to explore your sexuality
  • Having a genuine, separate interest in sex and love
  • Communicating your desires clearly
  • Having the courage to be sex positive and stand for open sexual expression

The journey of exploring my sexuality has been overflowing with the most amazing thrills and pleasures that every woman should experience before ascending. I’ve only been hesitant on whether I would share these experiences. Although I am a woman who has actively sought out my desires in the sexual arena, I still hold many of the concerns that most women hold. The concerns of being slut shamed, disrespected, or feeling devalued. Favorably, I have had the support and encouragement of those I am closest with and know me as the beautiful, intelligent, empathetic, open, loving, smart, amazing, maternal, sensual spirit that I am.

“Hypnotize”

The piece featured above has been created by artist Jessica Ryan Walker. To learn more about Jessica Ryan be sure to visit her website, admire, and purchase her beautiful art.

 jessicaryanwalker

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