“What’s So Indecent about Female Pleasure?” This provocative title caught my attention in The New York Times and led me on a mindful reverie about my personal freedoms and yours, too.
According to the story, an ingenious CEO and her team invented a female personal sexual pleasure device—yes, a vibrator—that, somehow, operates hands-free and produces “blended orgasms,” which sound like fruit smoothies, but apparently are orgasms achieved by simultaneous inner and outer stimulation. Inventor Lora Haddock claims she fell off a bed the first time she felt one. That experience sent her on an engineering quest to produce this double pleasure on demand. The result? A beautifully sculpted gizmo known as the Osé, a work of art and AI, design and desire.
Exhibited in Las Vegas at CES the country’s largest consumer electronics convention, Haddock’s Osé won a prize for innovation—until three weeks later, when the award was rescinded by the CES board, first citing rules against products which are “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane” and later saying that the Osé did not fit their product categories. Shock turned to anger as the un-recipients realized that other participants at CES had included sex toys and inventions oriented to enhancing male sexual pleasure, such as VR pornography featuring heterosexual sex scenes enjoyed from a male perspective. In other words, it seemed to be a ripe example of sexual hypocrisy and gender repression right there in sin city.
Indecency, thy name is woman!
I could feel my indignation rising, my blood starting to boil. A new kind of #mesomething movement stirring about women’s equal rights to sexual liberty, free from puritanical finger-pointing and the ancient (still happening) banishment of women to huts during their menstrual cycle.
Processing Righteous Anger, Mindfully
As a student of mindfulness, I allowed these culturally-loaded thoughts to bubble up—I watched them, labeled them and here is some of what I witnessed.
First, a plume of righteous anger rising. A feeling of wanting to join in a virtual sisterhood of solidarity with Haddock and her team and defend my sex against unjust encroachment, against centuries of shaming and blaming. Yes, a furious surge swelled in my mind, creating an imaginary crowd of equally enraged women, holding placards and angrily demanding our equal rights to sexual freedom, kicking prurient hypocrites out of our bedrooms—out of anyone’s bedroom.
Then, breathing, calming a bit, my mind put down its pitchfork and I journeyed on a stream of consciousness through the history books, dealing faces like a deck of cards, a who’s who of misogyny that women have been up against for millennia, resting finally on the loud, tortured hypocrisy of Arthur Dimmesdale toward Hester Prynne. I couldn’t help but laugh at the modern parallel. Methinks, the CES committee protests too much!
Drifting still, my mind wandered over to the topic of men’s sexual delight, pleasure, release—somehow so celebrated in our culture: the spurt of manhood, funny almost, a boys will be boys kind of Animal House anatomical invention vs the dark cave of sexual trepidation and female mystery, beckoning, tempting, a shrouded mound.
Suddenly, a new thought bubble: is that why female grooming is such a thing? To turn darkness into light? I sent a silent wish out to the Universe: May all women treasure themselves and their bodies, making choices guided purely by their own desire and personal free will to care for themselves lovingly.
I sent a silent wish out to the Universe: May all women treasure themselves and their bodies, making choices guided purely by their own desire and personal free will to care for themselves lovingly.
Ultimately, my mind drifted quietly, settling into the soft folds of my inner Self. A soft smile coming to rest on my lips, my shoulders relaxing, exhales growing longer, culminating in an audible sigh. This swirl of mayhem, shouting, demanding, protesting, it all exists, in my mind and in the world. There are so many injustices, angry mobs, placards to hold up, and causes to fight for.
And thankfully, peace also exists, a deep pool inside of me, to rest and gather my strength to ward off injustices like this and dismiss those shame-fueled fingers ready to waggle in my direction. Here in this quiet space, far below the stormy surface where I come to refuel, I pause to guard my dignity and remember my entitlements to choice and pleasure, those natural personal freedoms; I rest in this place where I know my worth and celebrate my body and all the wondrous contours that she holds.
A Loving-Kindness Practice for Women’s Sexual Freedom
From this quiet, peaceful, strong, and silent place:
I breathe in to the sovereignty of my body, my whole body.
I breathe in to the sovereignty of my sisters’ bodies, their whole bodies.
I breathe in to the sovereignty of all bodies, all whole bodies everywhere.
I breathe in peace and send a wave of love for all beings, for each of us to express the individual beautiful miracles that we are, freely and wholly, inside and outside our private places, embracing our choices and desires, freely expressing our Selves and worth in the world.
After sending out my silent intentions, I float back to the surface, to the real world, feeling steeped in a renewed sense of my own power, aware of my entitlements, connected in solidarity with a vast millennia of women, past, present and future, vowing to guard my boundaries and those of others.
A kind of delicious righteousness still present, a Can’t-you-see-I’m-walking-here attitude toward anyone who might think to shame me for my choices. Oh yes, dear readers, I can feel my roar, poised deep inside, ready to protect my inner Self, my outer self—and yours, too—ready to vouch for our collective freedom to celebrate the ingenuity of an Osé and blended orgasms, shame-free, with dignity and pleasure for all.
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