The Origins of the Sacred Sexuality Session

 The photographs in this blog where taken by Nikki Hollett Photography during a self-guided Sacred Sexuality Session.

The photographs in this blog where taken by Nikki Hollett Photography during a self-guided Sacred Sexuality Session.

A wild, a dark, and a dirty goddess all walk into the forest. They commune, they converge, they converse. they make art. they are art. they make you, you. 


I have communed, converged, and conversed with them all, but the dirty goddess has been the hardest to let in. I do not yet trust her, no matter how much my heart wants to connect with her, learn from her. But, alas, I am no stranger to the sex shame that has served to shut generation after generation of women out from the teachings of their sacred sexuality. There! I came out and said it. Fuck off with your sex shame.

Not unlike a psychic brought into a desperate FBI investigation, I feel like I have been full and unadulterated permission to say it how I see it/feel it. I am unapologetic, unafraid. I am sure that there is a ready to erupt desire to reconnect with the sacred sexuality that each one of us possesses.

What could we learn about sex, consent, safety,  and authentic communication when willing to trust in the communion with the divine? The sacred sexuality session is my own Wild Woman Stories spin on 'Boudoir' photography. Women are hungry to embrace their raw feminine energy, as is evident in the growing popularity of Boudoir. But the landscape where the sacred and the sexual meet is vast and lush with possibility. Sacred Sexuality Sessions are a playful domain where the dirty and wild goddess dance together. They make room for the dark goddess women are holding onto much sexual trauma, theirs and that of their lineage.   Your sacred sexuality has been relegated deep within our underground landscape and has been covered over with shame. But her flora and fauna is diverse.

About sacred sexuality Session

I started dealing with the wounding of sacred sexuality when dealing with the PTSD of a sexual assault while on a public bus in 2015. I began to come to terms with the root wounding that dated by nearly 15 years. The idea of creating an empowering and theraputic photography session based on healing sexual wounding  was only really possible because I had used photography to work through  my own sexual trauma. 

For this reason, I have decided to create explorative safe spaces of the Sacred Sexual Self to do its own healing work. It is important to me that all sessions take place in a safe space so that expressive movement can occur beyond the reach of shame, judgement, and doubt. Female sexuality lives within cycles of thunder and rain and then is suddenly as still as the air at high noon over the Sahara. As women, it is very difficult to get to know our sexual nature. Each session, for each woman, a young age. She is never truly permitted to be sexually free. 

UNMASKING THE TRAUMA WOUNDS

Girls are taught that the intrusion of their sacred space is NORMAL. Yes, he is allowed to put his hand there. No, well he isn't but you should let him anyway. It doesn't matter what version of the story we are being fed, it all boils down to the same essential building blocks- we are not entitled to our own sexuality. It is not of us or within us. As a teenager sexuality becomes like a rope tied around our waists that keeps our instincts tethered to emotionally and physically abusive people. 

Woman are taught that the violation of their emotional bodies is NORMAL. They are taught that, by society that is, that abuse, trauma, harassment will most likely go uncheck in the home and workplace and that regardless of the fact that millions of other women experience this same reality, she is alone.  Her own fire is turned against her. Her desire becomes a foreign object that can be stolen and turned against her. This is what happens to sexuality when it is no longer seen as sacred. Sacred as in apart of who we are at our primordial core.

A woman that is in her own right, sexual, is still an obscenity to the prophets and profiteers of yesterday.

At the age of 30 years, I am only just now recognizing that the toxic patriarchy has poisoned my sexuality. Well, yeah! That is it's jam. It cuts women down in what ever way it see's fit. Every time I felt a true sexual desire rise within me my lungs breathed in the fear by body was trained to feel. I would contract into a ball of iron wool, frigid and cold.

When I started studying trauma and its most helpful and accessible therapies, largely due to a ‘wake up call’ that occurred on a busy bus in Vancouver. Perhaps it was the framework and research of PTSD that lead me backwards in time to unearth the roots of my sexual discomfort as it related to feelings of shame and hurt. I went back 15 years to be exact.

Empowered Women, Empower Women.

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Exploring Sexual Freedom

Yes, for many years I had referred to my first time having sexual intercourse as a traumatic, an event in which I emotionally cut myself off from on the inside. I would talk about it but I wouldn't really think about it. I saw my 15 year old self not much different from Handmaid, a woman in someone else's tail. I let a careless boy, who if I confronted him now, would just claim that he didn’t know any better. He wouldn't be wrong. 

Incase you are wondering, I have not yet contacted said boy but I fully intend it.

In 15 years I had not experienced freedom from this pain. The emotional and physical trauma that I did not mentally address buried deep within my core, suppressing any  authentic sexual urges. Attending monthly new moon gatherings with women whose sexuality wounds were also being opened up and healed, inspired me greatly. If they could do it, so could I. I could embrace every inch of my naked flesh.

I could get down and dirty for no other reason but it feels do damn good. 

The brilliance of the performance of sexual freedom was demonstrated to me during a formative experience that occurred in Pacific Spirit Park on the Summer Solstice between myself and two exceptional dancers. We had met only once previously during a spring equinox event and this was the first time any of us had connected independently or as a unit. As the one who called the gathering together, for the purpose of creative exploration and the creation of photographic art, I had a vague sense of what I wanted to capture but each of us brought our own energy and presence. 

 

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I had to push through a lot of my own  memories, a lot of anger, a lot of shame and blame. I had to, on the most basic level, reclaim my sexuality. I knew that I had my own sexual wounds to heal and since Wild Woman Stories is so deeply connected to my own healing, it only made sense that I would eventually find a way to connect with others. 

This digging, and the eventual surfacing of Sacred Sexuality Sessions, is for my healing just as much as it is aimed at yours. There is too much pain done to female sexuality for us to go at it alone. The only way through the collective trauma is if we do this together. We don't need to keep digging around in the dark on our own, right?

Good, I’m glad you agree (at least I hope so if you have bothered to read this far). So to the point. What is a Sacred Sexuality Session, you ask? WELL, let me tell you.

So long story short, you are sacredly sexual and together we are gonna tell that story. Convinced! Great, skip this final bit of this long blog post and just go ahead and book with me. You deserve it! We deserve it! 

Not yet convinced? Ok, keep reading. There are three facts about these Sessions that might surprise you, and hopefully, convince you- THIS is for you too!

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Firstly, it is about you- not your body.

You are everything. But your body is a constantly evolving vessel that you may likely never be 100% happy in. At least not until you connect to your sexual core. That is where you’re confident as fudge dirty goddess lives. She’s got your behind. That is whom we will be invoking. She is your wild laughter that is so flamboyant joyous she infects your entire body. Through her, you will occupy you body in new ways and I will be right there to capture the magic of you- heart, soul, and body working together as one. 


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Secondly, it is about connection- not perfection.

We make magic, together. My art wouldn't exist you. I don't care about the perfect pose or angle. I care about knowing your vulnerability edges and connecting with you there. What’s on the inside? What wants to come out? I may snap a picture of you ‘ugly’ crying through some tucked away memories but you will learn to love that image just as much as all those ‘hot damn is that me!’ images. But we can’t get there until we go through some of the tucked away ugly. Guided meditation and movement is how we will get there and get past it. 

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Thirdly, it is about memorializing your story- it is art.

Together, we are art. Sexuality is apart of who we are. I am no expert on how to reclaim or own it. I am still on that journey but in sharing your story with me I will translate it into a body of artwork that will live long past you and I. It will rest in the hands of your children- just as it should. This is what a proud sexual woman is. This is how she feels. This is what she knows. And goddess be damned she is tired of being ushered to the silent sidelines while we continue to perform as expected- meek and meagre in our sexual energy. No more, no more.

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Jen Holden