Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

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NEWS: ArousedWoman Magazine PRE-SALE Premiere Issue or All 6 Issues


ArousedWoman MagazineComing soon!  ArousedWoman Magazine will hit the cyber-newsstands in August 2014.

You can pre-order and get yours reserved for $9.99.  Or get a subscription for all 6 bimonthly issues for just $49.99.

In order to be truly happy, you have to be happy (and healthy) on several levels.   The best way to accomplish this is with solid information so you can make informed decisions about your life, your body, your rights, and your peace of mind in this crazy, hectic world.

AW Magazine will be a digital publication, readable on any computer or mobile device.  The premiere August/September issue will be released in August 2014.

An extension of AW Blog and AW Radio, AW Mag is an in-depth look at various topics for women (and men!), including sex, health, fitness, nutrition, feminism/activism, original erotica, guest writers, spirituality, reviews, and more!

The August/September 2014 issue will feature articles and interviews on the topics:

  • Body image
  • California women’s Reiki healing center
  • Radiant pleasure
  • Finding our way back from patriarchy
  • Goddess-based spirituality
  • The new Atheism
  • Classical Tantra
  • Activist film festivals
  • Revolutionary Feminism
  • Painting female nudes
  • Healing yourself through meditation
  • Knowing your vagina
  • Massage & the importance of touch
  • Breast Health
  • Protecting your clit
  • Orgasm tips
  • New AskTrish letters
  • Sexual health
  • Overall nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Original erotica
  • Guest articles
  • OpEd pieces
  • Reviews
  • AND MORE!

Every issue will have new articles, new guests, new important health coverage, and new original erotica!

Pay using your PayPal account or your credit or debit card:

And please SPREAD THE WORD by sharing the link to this blog post.  Thank you!

trish

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Dream: Losing My Hair and Going Bald


swept-in-a-bubbly-dream-gun-leglerThis morning I awoke from a dream, the kind I haven’t had in a while and a very specific kind I have never had.  Ever.  I dreamt all of my hair was gone, and I was bald.

My hair has been a distinguishing feature of mine since I was a child.  Hair stylists naturally gravitate to my tresses and touch my hair without asking.  But these guys are almost always gay, and they’re more interested in my hair than me, so I never really minded them.

However, on too many occasions to recount, I have been standing or sitting, minding my own business, only to feel something strange happening to the back of my head and realize some stranger was groping and fondling my hair.  From a guy at the mall when I was 12 — who wound my hair around and around his arm and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself”, to which I replied, “Oh, yes, you could have!” — to a creepo, sleazy, fat guy with one tooth at the circus who operated one of the rides, men are drawn to my hair.  An artist wanted to paint me nude because of my skin tone and my hair.  Because of these experiences over the years, my hair is definitely one of my sensitive spots.  These creepy follicular invaders somehow had the nerve to get offended that I was offended that they were touching and stroking my hair.  They would guffaw and sneer, “What do you care?  It’s just hair.  It’s dead.”

Newsflash:  As long as my hair is attached to my head, my hair is a part of my body and is off-limits to anyone unless I personally give permission for a person to touch my hair.  Period.

People are taught that hair is dead.  Sacred teachings say it is not.  In the ancient culture of the tribes of Ireland, Scotland, Gaul, and other European pagan traditions, hair was very sacred.  Most people never cut their hair; they let it grow their entire lives, for to cut your hair (nonchalantly) was to cut off your power.  In some instances just before major battles, some warriors might cut their hair as a sign of sacrifice to the gods, for blessing in battle.  They may also cut their hair while mourning.

The head was sacred to the indigenous tribes of pagan Europa.  The head is where we think, see, hear, smell, taste, talk, sing, kiss — all of which are extremely important to every person.  In fact, the head was so revered that warriors would take the heads of their enemies to prevent their power from transferring with the deceased to the Other Side.  If you’ve ever seen a depiction of the great mother goddess Kali from the Sanatana Dharma teachings, you know the head is a prized possession in several cultures.

Samson, from the Judeo-Christian bible, owed his considerable strength to his hair.  Some American Indian tribes have traditions that involve cutting their hair when a loved one has died.  Keeping the hair long is part of many yogic traditions that go back thousands of years.  The hair is thought to be like “antennae” to the surrounding environment, able to pick up on energetic vibrations, useful, informative sensations that are then transmitted to the brain.  Even beards were required of scholars in academia and holy men in some religions.

So hair has always been a very conscious matter to me…. The Broadway musical included.

Note:  I’ve never had a lucid dream, and the one dream in which I actively controlled what happened was a real doozy.  Oftentimes my dreams are like films, and at an important moment, I’ll get an extreme close-up, zoom-in shot to hone in on what is important.

I had already had my dreams for the night, gotten up to go to the bathroom, and gone back to bed, only to lay in bed for over an hour unable to fall asleep.  Sometime after that, I dozed off and had this dream.

I was looking into a mirror that was in my bedroom closet, brushing my hair with my hands.  Suddenly a clump of hair came out into my hand.  I was understandably upset.  My hair is one of my signature features.  More hair fell out.  I went to my bathroom to look in the bigger mirror, and my hair around my ears and the back of my head was gone.  Suddenly, a zoom-in, close-up showed my scalp, and the hair was cut close to the skin, but it was obvious that it had been cut, i.e., with clippers.

I was instantaneously back in my bedroom looking into the mirror in my closet, and I was completely bald.  But I wasn’t upset.  In fact, I ran my hand over my bald scalp and smiled.

Dream ended.

When I woke up, I was confused and slightly worried.  Losing hair so drastically is usually a sign of severe illness such as Diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, or worse, the effects of cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation.  I have dealt with my hair thinning out due to my thyroid dysfunction, but I’ve been able to regrow my hair now that I have my thyroid and insulin response under control thanks to a superb product.  And I would never do chemo or radiation if I had cancer, so I knew that this was not a precognitive dream, showing me a scene from my future (as I sometimes dream).

Having been immersed in the ballet world growing up, I know a ballerina in rebellion will cut her hair.  Remember when Rosie O’Donnell got her famous haircut and the media crucified her?  I’m not G.I. Jane or Sinead O’Connor.  I wouldn’t look good bald.  So I consulted the wonderful world of Google for some dream meanings to make sense of this dream that threatened to rock my body and cranial image.

Losing one’s hair in a dream spells gloom and doom according to some interpretations (particularly the religious interpretations).  But my dreams are never as concrete as many of the standard interpretations anyway, and I quickly found several interpretations that resonated with me and my current situation.

Losing power was associated with losing hair throughout the various interpretations, but they also noted that the hair that has fallen out (or been cut off) represents something you no longer need.  So losing a clump of hair could be a sign of getting rid of something that no longer serves you or an end to a stressful time of your life.  They also mentioned that losing hair to the point of baldness could signify a whole new chapter in your life because when you get rid of all that doesn’t serve you, you are left with a blank canvas — a bald head, in this case — to start over.  They note that being bald was seen as a sign of wisdom in some ancient cultures, as priests and sages would shave their heads to show they were on a path of knowledge and wisdom. The best explanation said, “You are at a stage in your life where you are confident in fully exposing yourself.” Hmmmmmmm…..

One important thing was whether the hair was falling out on its own or was cut off.  My zoom-in, close-up, Mr. DeMille shot clearly showed that my hair had been shorn off with clippers.  In effect, I was purposely getting rid of things that no longer served me.  I was purposely on a path to greater knowledge and, hopefully, greater wisdom.

I can only go by what I felt when I woke up.  And with this dream, though I was a little shaken at seeing myself bald, I did not have any bad feelings upon thinking about the dream.  This was one reason I didn’t freak out … like I did after the time I dreamt of all my teeth falling out.  Yikes!

This dream is accurate in my opinion.  Since I’m still processing my Congressional run and getting my personal life and my self back on track for what I should be doing with my life, I can see how this is a good dream to have.  My existence will be uncomfortable as I move forward and let go of the things (and people) that do not enrich my life or my work, but the path (to knowledge and wisdom) is most definitely a path I want to take.

trish

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OpEd: Oh, to Belly Dance Naked at Burning Man….


woman-belly-dancing-toplessI have long had an interest in Burning Man, the bohemian, heathen, socialist event that happens in Nevada every year.  According to the website, Burning Man is an art event at which participants “dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.  They depart one week later, leaving no trace.”

As more and more people are awakening to the evils of crony capitalism and oppressive patriarchy, events that promote such blatant rebellion in the face of the prudish establishment are becoming more accepted and, hopefully, more common.

I used to do all sorts of ethnic dancing, and I particularly loved belly dancing.   It’s been a while, but I’m feeling the pull to get back into my shimmies and camel walks.

There is a powerful connection to the earth and goddess energy and being Woman that happens during belly dancing, Flamenco, or plain ol’ make-it-up-as-you-go-along free expression.  I was raised in ballet, which I still adore, but ballet is the opposite of everything that is free and lithe and curvy about belly dancing.

By the way, belly dancing isn’t just for thin women.  Women who are curvy have an advantage in belly dancing in that your extra jiggles cause extra jingles of your coin-hip belt.  Yes, it’s called BELLY dancing for a reason!

Recently, I’ve been looking into what all attending Burning Man would entail, and I don’t know that I can afford it this year, but I am definitely putting it on the books for next year.  A friend of mine in New York told me about something that happened in the temple last year that was a beautiful, amazing testament to what happens when people come together in unity.  He said after that, he will never miss another Burning Man.  The entire experience was just too incredible for words.

So, now I MUST experience Burning Man.  I NEED to experience this art event that is an example for all of society on how people can come together in love and harmony and respect the earth in the process.  And to have the freedom from neo-Puritanical laws that shame the human body — particularly women’s bodies and women’s nipples, to be able to dance naked amongst like-minded bohemian heathens is too tempting to resist, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.

I encourage every woman to loosen up and try belly dancing as a way to connect to the sensual divine within you.  This isn’t about being perfect.  There is no judgment allowed!  And who knows, maybe next year, I’ll be amongst the living goddesses celebrating the beauty of the human body and the human spirit at the one and only Burning Man!

trish

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OpEd: Where Is the Body-Positive Body Image for Women in Media?


20140421-090750.jpgWhile I am a sex-positive & pro-sex movement activist, I think it’s sad that the majority of the body-positive photos of women I see are in and amongst the BDSM and sexualized violence porn of Tumblr. There are many amateur sites that feature full-figured women, but the amateur photo-snaps are not of the technical quality of a professional photographer. And where are the professional photographers taking professional photos of real-sized women, using beautiful lighting and honoring the female body? The average sized woman in the United States is a 14/16. You can be a size 14 or 16 and still be healthy. Why aren’t we represented in the media and culture? Do I really need to go into a rant about matriarchal cultures of the past and the ancient preference for curvy women, immortalized in goddess images like those found at Willendorf? Seriously?

Why aren’t women allowed to be “heavy” or real-sized in magazines and on TV and film? Why aren’t stretch marks a sign of accomplishment for giving birth rather than a source of embarrassment or shame because our skin isn’t flawless anymore?

Why is a thigh-gap so sought after by teenage girls and 20-somethings? Is it because they don’t know that thigh fat makes sex feel really, really good for the guy? AND for the woman?

I’ve seen a statistic that girls see 400 ads per day telling them how they should look. Is anyone telling teens and young women they are beautiful the way they are?

One of the best things about the amateur porn on Tumblr is the real bodies. The women have real breasts — large or small. They have thigh fat and butt fat. They look healthy and natural. Usually, the men are not overly muscled; they are athletic but not steroid- addicted, bodybuilder over-muscled. For the men and the women, their bodies look normal and natural. And the best part — the orgasms are real. Real people with real bodies having real orgasms. Who knew?!

We come in all shapes and sizes, and these shapes, sizes, skin tones, hair textures, and nose and lip shapes should be reflected in the media. Diversity is a beautiful thing. Women who are naturally skinny are beautiful, and so are those of us who are not.

Be you. Be proud. Be seen.

trish

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OpEd: British Art Installation Piece Celebrates ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’


Jamie McCartney's 'Great Wall of Vagina'Jamie McCartney is a British artist who created an art installation piece of plaster casts called “The Great Wall of Vagina”.  On his website are images of the entire installation along with the motto, “Changing female body image through art”.

His website explains the art piece:

The 9 metre long polyptych consists of four hundred plaster casts of vulvas, all of them unique, arranged into ten large panels. McCartney set out to make this project as broad and inclusive as possible. The age range of the women is from 18 to 76. Included are mothers and daughters, identical twins, transgendered men and women as well as a woman pre and post natal and another one pre and post labiaplasty.

One of the many reasons I love this piece is because when I directed/ produced a production of The Vagina Monologues in 2006, one of the comments repeatedly mentioned by women who auditioned was how much they hate what their vagina looks like.  Of course, they were actually referring to the vulva — as does this art piece (hint: the vagina is the inside part).  Only one female at the auditions, a 24 year old girl who had not yet had kids, said she loved how her vulva looked like a beautiful flower.  One woman said her “vagina” was ugly because she’d had 4 kids.  Frankly, I don’t think most women know what our genitals are supposed to look like because our perception is skewed by porn and skin mags.

The month that I turned 40, I took pictures of my vulva and saw my vulva for the very first time ever (not counting when I was in labor and saw my daughter’s head crowning in the mirror up on the wall of the delivery room — I’m nearsighted so I couldn’t really see it).  Turning 40, I wanted to love my body visually the way I adore my body sensually.  But seeing my vulva pics, I burst into tears because she looked so different than what I envisioned. My fair-skinned legs and rosy labia were not what I’m accustomed to seeing because most of the women I’ve seen in erotic photos are tan.  Then there was my clitoral hood and the shape of my inner labia…. I thought, “WHY would a man like this?!  I look so different….”

I deleted the pics immediately.  But I took some more pictures the next day, and this time I didn’t cry.  I guess I was getting accustomed to seeing what I look like.  I sent the pics to 3 guy friends I could trust to tell me the truth, and each one said my vulva was beautiful.  I was really annoyed with myself that I felt I needed that kind of validation, especially from men, but men know vulvas, and they know what men like in a juicy yoni.  And frankly, if I’d sent my pics to other women, would the women have been grossed out because they likewise have little clue what “vaginas” are supposed to look like?

As I continued to look at my vulva pictures (and even took some more), it was amazingly empowering to know and love my genitals and not compare mine to women in porn or magazines.  Aside from the genital grooming that is prolific in erotic photography, many people don’t realize that porn performers often have cosmetic surgery to alter their genitals, including labioplasty to make the labia smaller or conform to some ridiculous notion of what labia are “supposed” to look like.

This brings me to my point and yet another aspect of healing women’s body image.  There is NO one way a vulva is supposed to look.  Every vulva is different.  Comparing vulvas is like comparing snowflakes — each one is unique and beautiful in her own way.

I think McCartney’s work is very important for a few reasons.  One, he cast all sorts of women when making his plaster art, and you see all sorts of labia shapes and sizes (and piercings!) represented.  Also, because the work is in plaster as opposed to photography or paint, race is not an issue, and all the vulvas can be appreciated without an ingrained idea that “white chick” vulvas are more pleasing to the eye.

Check out McCartney’s website to see the many other panels in this art installation.

trish

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