Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wow! I won an award for my contribution to sexual freedom

I’m utterly thrilled and very very proud to have been honoured by my peers in the sexuality world with a very special award at the 22nd Sexual Freedom Awards in London last week.

I was so blown away to receive the award
The Sexual Freedom Awards, now in it's 22nd year, honours and celebrates pioneers in the field of sexuality and promotes excellence in erotic performance and sexual services. They were created by Tuppy Owens, a pioneering British sex therapist, writer and tireless campaigner for sexual rights especially for those with disability. Famous for their Golden Flying Penis Trophies, hand carved for the event in Bali this auspicious event was originally entitled the Erotic Oscars, then the Erotic Awards and now the Sexual Freedom Awards. The proceeds of the Awards ceremony are used to fund the work of the Outsiders Trust – a charity, which supports disabled people to find partners.

Tuppy set up the Awards to counter negative messages in the media about people working in sex and eroticism. She invited nominations for the Awards from the public, and, to judge the nominees, appointed a diverse panel of sexuality experts and enthusiasts that have included an art historian, a fan of striptease, a fetish club owner, a sex worker, and a writer.

My award amongst a very vulvic workshop altar
Being selected as a finalist in these awards is a glorious accolade and I was delighted to be in such an illustrious line up. Amongst those shortlisted were several of my esteemed colleagues and teachers: 

Ellen Heed is part of the teaching team for the Sexological Bodywork training and has developed an incredible body of work around scar tissue.
Barbara Carrellas is the founder of the Urban Tantra® Professional Training Program, and author of the the world’s first LGBTQ and kink inclusive Tantric sex book: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty First Century.
Joseph Kramer, Ph.D., is the foremost teacher of erotic massage in the world. Founder of the Body Electric School, the Erospirit Research Institute and The New School of Erotic Touch he also created the profession of Sexological Bodywork and obtained accreditation for it from the State of California.  

Also in the list is the fabulous Deej Juventin who brought the Sexological Bodywork training to Australia and to the UKDeej was one of the other finalists in the category of Somatic Sex Education of the Year. Which was why I attended the Awards evening, feeling confident I wouldn't actually win an award. 

Sister A was amazed at the goings on back stage!
I’d also been nominated as Performer of the Year, however, and although I couldn't be shortlisted in more than one category I was invited to do a performance of one of my ‘Vaudeville of the Vulva’ characters at the awards ceremony. Sister Augusta had great fun not taking her clothes off, discussing the "preponderance of penii" on the awards table and singing her rap number 'Finger on the Trigger'!

Imagine my surprise then, when the judges returned to the stage, after Deej’s award had been given, to announce the creation of a special award in recognition of someone who'd been nominated in four different categories. Yes - it was me! It appears I’d also been nominated as Pioneer of the Year and Activist of the Year and in recognition of the many and varied ways I work I gained the fabulous title of ‘Multitalented Contributor to Sexual Freedom’. 

It's very very good feeling and I want to send out a big Thank You, especially to Anando Bharti, Andrew Cox and my mum, and indeed to all of the awesome people who support me in so many ways to do what I love to do.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wanna know what’s getting me all excited these days?

The Obturator Internus

Why? It’s a very sexy muscle! The obturator internus is intimately connected with the fascia of the pelvic floor but is rarely discussed in relation to pleasure, or lack of it. Getting connected with your ‘ob in’ can help in resolving a variety of challenges in the base of the body, involving both urinary function and the ability to feel the sensations of pleasure and arousal.

 The Obturator Internus looking at the body from the back
The obturator internus is one of the ‘deep six’, six muscles in your pelvis that work together to turn your hip to the side. It hangs out under your gluteus maximus, the large muscle of your butt. It’s actually quite small but it’s pretty cool and unusual, not least because it’s shaped like a boomerang. On each side of the body it attaches along the inside of your pelvis (check out the diagram), then pops around to the outside and takes almost a 90 degree turn to wrap around the sits bone and attach at the top of your thigh bone. It’s an external rotator. When a ballet dancer’s feet, knees and thighs are all turned out into first position, the obturator internus is at the heart of the action. When your ‘ob in’ engages it opens the front half of your pelvis and closes the back. It’s friend, the obturator externus, is an internal rotator and does the opposite job.

But if your obturator internus holds a ton of unconscious tension this can play a big part in both urinary problems and problems with arousal, potentially cutting off nerve supply to the plethora of pleasure organs of the pelvic floor. (If you feel like plethora is a bit of an over statement then I highly recommend that you watch my DVD The Art & Science of Female Arousal)

The really good news is that we can learn to make a deep and meaningful connection with the good old ‘ob in’ and soothe and stretch it, open and relax it or tone and titillate it as required. And once it’s feeling good, then honey, you are feeling good!

Connecting with and stretching the ‘ob in’

It’s not so easy to get in touch with this muscle by understanding where it sits in the body because of it’s positioning and it’s unusual shape. For most people the joy is in finding it and feeling the difference when you connect, stretch & tone. In this video Christa Rypins, does an excellent job of showing us how to do just that. Check it out and have a go!

Add tone but not tension

In my yOnilates® classes, once we have connected with and stretched the ‘ob in’ we also do some strengthening exercises. Please stay aware that this muscle wants to be toned but not too tight. In addition to the challenges mentioned earlier, an overly tight obturator interns can pull your pelvis too far forward, straining your lower back, and predisposing you to arthritic changes in your pelvis and hips. If you are experiencing pelvic floor related problems then you probably only want to stretch and relax the muscle.

If you try the strengthening exercise please monitor the level of tightness, and stop and go back to Chrysta’s video if you experience any pain or discomfort in your pelvis, lower back or groin.

Strengthening the ‘ob in’ 

One way you can exercise your ‘ob in’ by sitting in a chair and placing your feet flat on the floor in front of you, hip-width apart. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and place your hands on the outside of each knee. Push in with your hands, pressing as if to push your knees together. Counteract the pressure by pushing out with your knees  to keep them hip-width apart. Hold for five seconds and then breathe deeply down to the area you’ve located the muscle to be and feel for the relaxation. Repeat eight times as long as there is no pain.

Want more?

If you are still trying to get your head around where this muscle sits in the body, here’s another cool site that shows the ‘ob in’ in 3D.
And to find out more about the magnificent muscles of our pelvic floor and how to connect with this amazing area of the body then come visit my yOniversity site where you can join my mailing list and check out my yOnilates programme.