Friday, February 21, 2014

Reclaiming the Pussy: A Modern-Day Woman's Manifesto

-->Reclaiming the Pussy: A Modern-Day Woman's Manifesto
By Nicole Caldwell

The pussy is the first wonder of the world.

That labially adorned chute is the portal through which all life hitchhikes onto this mortal coil. That muscular mass is solely responsible for so much arousal; its pink and tan and brown and bluish velvety folds so welcoming and soft as to bring knights in armor to their knees. The fertile crescent—that hotbed of humanity that spawned the human race and nourished it on its uphill climb to the top of the proverbial food chain—refers explicitly to fertility. To womanhood. To the pussy.

The pussy: for which most pop songs and blues songs and rock 'n' roll songs were written; for which many wars of legend were fought; the cunt, the master of so much male persuasion; the vagina—that lasso of truth whose scent and temperature have no match and enjoy boundless, ignoble power. The pussy created poetry, inspired rebellions and symphonies and pageantry, sent Rhett Butler into a tailspin, killed Romeo, put Tristan into a tizzy, and doomed Orpheus for all time. God himself came to earth through Mary's virginal vagina to save mankind from his sins.

That pleasure epicenter—every cookie, oven, vag, yawn, and yum-yum—runs the economy. The pussy inspired a multi-million-dollar market for Hallmark cards and 1-800 Flowers. The box keeps Tiffany's in business. The patches, coots, caverns, beavers, and honey-pots of the world hold majority stock of every cruise line, chocolate company, and cologne business on Planet Earth.

The muff stopped Spartans from war. Lady Macbeth used her manhole to goad her husband into regicide. Cleopatra ruled all of Egypt with her mighty meat grinder. Helen of Troy had enough mojo to inspire a thousand ships be launched. The snatch made Samson weak. Thrones have been abdicated for that temple; empires toppled for that eel-skinner. For goodness' sake: a vagina was even responsible for splitting up the Beatles. 

With so much power, no wonder it's also the subject of so much scorn.

Just as the early architects of Christianity subverted pagan culture and co-opted tradition to transfer attention from other religions (fertility gods and pagan rituals-turned Easter eggs and Christmas trees, anyone?) and herbalists and seers burned at the stake as witches in order to hide their abilities, so too has the pussy been put on trial and subverted in a conspiracy to contain it. The vagina—that holy mountain—has been raked through our culture's coals in order to zap it of its strength.

We call men pussies to imply inferiority and lameness. Women are pressured to scent, shave, pluck, dye, laser, bleach, pierce, and surgically enhance their tufted treasures in order to make the most feminine article in the entire universe, feminine. The clitoris—the high-roller of organs, whose only job on earth is to squeeze the vagina into orgasm—wasn't even scientifically “discovered” until 1998.

A horrific wave of douchey agenda by cunt-fearing twerps insists the natural, perfect scent of the vagina is somehow imperfect; that it needs to be artificially cleansed with some bogus perfume. Bleaches, waxes, lasers, and even plastic surgeries attempt to reinvent the wheel; make it seem like every pussy isn't already possessing all the savoir-faire and poise of the greatest superpower to ever visit earth. Stronger than all things combined, more turbulent and tenacious and sensitive, all bundled into one magnificently nerve-riddled package.

For shame.

If the cunt on Anne Boleyn could incite Henry VIII to start a religious war, and the porn industry—which incidentally stars none other than Ms. Pussy—is the single recession-proof industry, is not the case closed on whether a lady's screw-hole is or is not already perfect? Is or is not strong and mighty?

To call someone a pussy is to call him or her weak; insufficient. The word itself can be traced back to folk etymology's “pusillanimous”, coming from Latin words meaning “tiny spirit”. Yet Russian woman Tatiata Kozhevnikova in 2012 set a world record when she lifted 31 pounds using only her vagina; and the vagina, though small, is enough for every mammal on the planet to have fit through. The word cunt has been turned dirty—the meanest word there is to describe a cruel, unlovable woman—when the cunt is the most tender, wonderful, lovable, and sincere of all living things.

If we must use pussy to describe something other than the vagina herself, let it be used to refer to great strength. “You're such a pussy” or “What a cunt!” should be a compliment; should be a standing ovation of literary verbage. These words that relate back to the virile vagina have no place in the negative burnpile of insulting slang. It's time for a pussy etymology renaissance. Reclaim the rose! Let's put pussy back on the map as that which we aspire to be more like: one who is resilient and vulnerable, bold and inviting; one who can take a licking and keep on ticking. 

Originally published in Playgirl's Spring 2014 issue, Issue #67 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sexology: TV Star Catherine Oxenberg Takes on the Female 'O'

This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Playgirl.
Sexology
In Bed With Catherine Oxenberg

Interview by Nicole Caldwell

It's surprising, to say the least. In a world where many consider feminism passe—where you can purchase a vibrator or dildo just as easily as you can a pair of shoes—roughly one-third of all women have never experienced an orgasm. In 2014, a half-century after the so-called sexual revolution, women are still very much strangers to their own bodies. Unable to access our own innate sexual energy, we allow sexuality to be equated with promiscuity, ejaculation with penises, and sex itself with intercourse and penetration.

Armed with disturbing sexual data and determined to unlock the key to feminine sexual energy, Catherine Oxenberg (“Dynasty”, “Acapulco H.E.A.T.”, the soon-to-be released Sleeping Beauty) and Gabrielle Anwar (“Burn Notice”, Scent of a Woman) sought out sexual experts, tantric masters, researchers, and everyday women to create a documentary and website devoted to the discussion of female sexuality and the revelation of feminism's greatest potential. Sexology launched its website in January (sexology.com), which features full-length, uncut interviews from the documentary and resources such as films and literature to educate and entertain on topics of other-worldly sexual experiences. The Sexology documentary film, edited by two-time Oscar-nominated editor for The King's Speech and American Beauty, Tariq Anwar (also Gabrielle Anwar's father), is scheduled for release this summer. 

We sat down with Catherine Oxenberg to get her take on the state of female sexuality, her own sexual journey, and the story of how this daughter to a Yugoslavian princess, actress, and sex symbol came to be the poster woman for women harnessing their innate sexual power. 

PLAYGIRL: Why do you feel, in 2013, that the world needs a documentary about vaginas, female orgasms, and achieving one's “deepest bliss”?
CATHERINE Oxenberg: Quite simply, why wouldn't we? Sexual energy is nothing more than life force. Once one learns to harness this energy intelligently, one has access to an infinite wellspring of vitality, joy, and a sense of inner coherence and well-being. Stress and exhaustion are replaced with effortlessness and ease. In the words of Dr. William Masters [preeminent gynecologist and senior member of the Masters and Johnson sexuality research team], "Sex is unchartered territory...no one knows anything about sex." Sadly, more than 60 years later, not much has changed. Sexual illiteracy is still rampant. We still have no idea what our bodies are capable of, and how mastery of bodies can bring one the deepest sense of purpose, fulfillment, confidence, and joy. 

What about this project has resonated with you on a personal level? 
Everything. This project is my personal journey of discovery. On one hand, I believed that i had a great sex life. On the other hand, I had a persistent, nagging belief that there was supposed to be something more. When I first experienced my entire body as orgasmic, it completely changed my reality. I experienced countless orgasms from every part of my body: fingers, hand, nose, mouth, upper palate, heart... Literally, my genitals could retire. It made the concept of "multi-orgasmic" seem comical. I looked back at my history of short-lasting, tension clitoral orgasms and they seemed like junk food. Extended, deep states of pleasure were rewiring and healing my nervous system. It occurred to me that orgasmic energy was meant to be cultivated, harnessed, and channeled; not just for recreational purposes, but for health, prosperity, vitality, radiance, anti-aging, purpose, alignment, joy, passion, and creativity. This revelation had such a profound effect on me, that I had to share this with the world. I wanted to shout from turrets and rooftops: "We have not been using this incredible resource correctly!"

Regardless of how much success i had in other areas of my life, I was always plagued by a persistent belief that i was defective in some way because i could rarely achieve orgasm during penetration. I now understand that there was nothing wrong with my hardware; there had only been a glitch in my software. That problem was correctable. All women are fully orgasmic, they just don't know it yet. Ultimately, through our research, we have discovered that a woman does not even need sex to experience her full orgasmic potential. We are orgasmic beings: “orgasmicness” is an expression of “bursting with the fulness of life”. We just need to be given permission to surrender to our truest essence. We need to know it is okay to feel pleasure. Every single woman who has accompanied me on this journey has had similar, extraordinary, life-changing breakthroughs. 

In what ways will your work on this project change the way you view your own sexuality? 
I had been treating my body with about as much finesse as a chimpanzee banging a tambourine; when in fact, I am—we all are—a Stradivarius violin. A highly refined instrument, capable of playing the most complex symphonies; not just a one-note wonder. I am ashamed to admit that i knew so little about my network of arousal and my own anatomy. 

Of all you've learned doing these interviews, what has been the most shocking? 
So many things! One, how little is known about female sexuality and the female genitals. Two, that ejaculation and orgasm are two separate reflexes for men and women. The four-phase androcentric sexual model (developed by Masters and Johnson) ending in male ejaculation (conveniently) is ass-backwards because sex is not linear! Women are the ones who are supposed to ejaculate (frequently!)—not men! The Taoists say, “You should never sail up a rocky river." This means don't enter a woman until she has ejaculated! Merely being wet is not enough to gain entrance! Three, men can learn to have full-bodied orgasms without ejaculating every time, which means sex does not have to end so quickly—and the guy does not have to pass out in a post-coital coma. The biggest problem for men is that their their sexual energy ends up being localized in their genitals. Finding ways to move sexual energy into their hearts allows them to experience what it is like to make love versus having sex. This is something most women take for granted. Four, most women suffer from vaginal numbness. Once we heal that, the landscape of our vaginas becomes radically different; extremely sensitive, responsive, and alive. We traveled around the world, finding all the best, most effective techniques for genital massage. And five, I learned that friction fucking is passe. Those pumping pornographic demonstrations that most young men attempt to replicate on us mere mortals, are in fact damaging to our sensitive genitals—and theirs! Our sexual skills seem to have been bypassed by evolution; remaining as base and rudimentary as a caveman maniacally rubbing two pieces of flints to spark a flame. It is time to refine our skills. A full 76 percent of women admit to faking orgasm at some point, yet no man I have met admits that any woman he's been with has faked it. All you ladies, stop faking! Our men will never learn what pleases us if we keep pretending! 

What one major thing do you feel women are missing out on about their own sexuality?
To know how good it feels to be in a woman's body. This is probably the one thing I am most passionate about. Most of us have no idea that we are a playground of heavenly delights. In fact, our power comes from our ability to generate insanely delicious states of physical ecstasy in our bodies. When we feel good, our outlook seems rosier, we become juicer, we move through the world with greater confidence and wholeness. But let me clarify: This is not about being promiscuous. This is about being in an intimate relationship with your feminine essence. One of the healers we interviewed said, "Men have muscle power and women have sexual power." Sexual power is creative power. Women need to recognize this. When we cut off our connection to our sexual energy, it is like trying to run a car without putting gas in the engine. We restrict our ability to impact the world. Perhaps this is traditionally why men have been more successful. They did not shut down their genital generators. They somehow knew how to keep this impulse fanned. Maybe not always in the healthiest ways, but it might have been better than shutting it off, like most women do. 

Why do you suppose so many women are out of touch with their own bodies and sexuality? 
Probably from centuries of being burned at the stake as witches for opening their legs. I can imagine that this might have been a deterrent to exploring sexuality in a healthy way. Historically, women's bodies have been stigmatized, their libidos demonized. Even today, we are burdened by the stigma that good girls don't and sluts do. Women have suffered from sexual deprivation since the beginning of civilization. Hysteria—a medical term until the 1950's—was the most prevalent diagnosis for women from the time of Plato (who coined the term). The cure for hysteria was to be sent to a doctor who would stimulate the woman's genitals until she achieved a “hysterical paroxysm”. These women were sent to a doctor because their husbands felt it was too time-consuming and burdensome to relieve their wives themselves. Today, "Female Sexual Dysfunction", or "Female Sexual Arousal Disorder" has replaced the diagnosis of "hysteria", but our bodies are still being pathologized. Ladies, we do not have a dysfunction! It just comes down to a lack of understanding of our inner-workings. 

You've spent your career in the world of television and movies. How do you think Hollywood has affected women's senses of their own sexuality, bodies, and sex in general? 
For the most part, the way sex has been portrayed in the media perpetuates the same old antiquated myths. Instant mutual climax is one of my favorites! There is hope though, with recent films like The Sessions. I am curious to see Lars Von Trier's film, Nymphomaniac. 

How do you expect Sexology to be received by the public? 
I hope people will be as curious as i was, and continue to be, as my landscape of possibility just keeps on expanding. I hope men and women are ready to expand their sexual repertoires beyond grade-school education and monochromatic porn. Sex really is the final frontier! 

How do you like being on the other side of the camera as a producer? 
I absolutely love it! I have never had so much fun in my entire life! 

Be sure to check out Sexology's website at sexology.com. Get more Catherine at oxenberg.meAnd stay tuned for the documentary film, featuring an interview with Playgirl's own Editor-in-Chief, Nicole Caldwell.

Originally published in Spring 2014 issue of Playgirl (#67)