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

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Tantra Tuesday with Trish Causey: What is Tantra?


Trish Causey presents Tantra Tuesday on YouTubeIf you’ve seen my recent foray into daily YouTubing, you will have noticed that the second day of the week is now Tantra Tuesday.  You know I love Tanta, and there is SOOOOO much more to Tantra than just sex … although I love the sexy side of Tantra as well.

In this weekly series, I will talk about the history behind Tantra, its philosophies and its wisdoms for improving your life on a daily basis — yes, that includes sex.  Of course, the best orgasm secrets I keep for clients who sign up for training with me.

So check out the first installment of Tantra Tuesday, and leave a comment here and/or my YouTube page!

Enjoy!

trish

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NEWS: Register for Tantra-based Orgasm Awakening Online Workshop


tantra_sexI am now offering group and private Tantra-based training via Skype in 6 two-hour classes.  Finally!

This training focuses on awakening sensual response, increasing sexual pleasure, reclaiming your body as yours, honoring the sacred nature of the body as a means of enlightenment, and connecting to universal consciousness.

The 6 group classes will be held on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT/ 6 p.m. PT) beginning July 24, 2014.  If taking the group course by yourself, the cost is $99, and it’s only $149 for couples.

Private classes can be arranged at the convenience of the participant(s).  Six sessions for a Single is $589.00, and Couples will be $879.00.

This workshop will incorporate the philosophy of Tantra along with anatomy and biology, the science of orgasm, exercises, journaling, homework in between classes, with plenty of time for Q&A during the classes.

This training is holistic in nature and covers other aspects of your well-being, such as emotional happiness, fitness, nutrition, physical health, and relationships.  This workshop is part of a larger project that I am developing but can’t mention to the public at this time.  But SOON!

More classes will be provided in the near future, but this introductory class is required for the intermediate and advanced levels.  Sexual orientation does not matter.  But you MUST BE 18 to participate.

You may sign up for the Group or Private classes either as a Single or as a Couple on the ArousedWoman website.

ALL SALES ARE FINAL.  Any questions should be directed to me PRIOR to purchasing any option.  Use the form below.

I look forward to helping you on your journey!

trish

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NEWS: Alabama Finally Legalizes the Sex You Were Probably Already Having


hug from behindThe Alabama Court of Appeals has finally brought the Red State of Alabama into the modern era by throwing out a law that criminalized consensual oral and anal sex between unmarried people.

According to Alabama Code, Section 13A-6-60, “Deviate Sexual Behavior” is defined as, “Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.”

The reason, of course, for making such consensual sex illegal is to target members of the LGBT community, since Alabama and most Red States dwell in the God-fearing, fear-mongering, guilt-swilling Bible Belt.  In fact, other media outlets have claimed this is a victory for “gay sex”.

But hold on, there, sparky!  I guess no one realized that unmarried hetero couples also partake of oral sex and anal sex as alternatives to or in prelude to vaginal penetration …  such as when a hetero couple doesn’t want to get pregnant, or maybe the woman is in those six weeks after giving birth when the vagina is off-limits to the guy’s penis?  Or hey, maybe they just LOVE oral or anal sex?!  Quelle surprise!

With oral sex and anal sex being decriminalized, it means Alabama is one step closer to acknowledging grown, consenting adults’ basic human right to do what they want in bed.

America is coming around, albeit slowly, to the fact that sex between consenting adults is no concern of government or religious busy-bodies.

Pucker up!

trish

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ALA CODE § 13A-6-60 : Alabama Code – Section 13A-6-60: DEFINITIONS – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf
(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf

(2) DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/6/4/13A-6-60#sthash.aGgHT59p.dpuf

REVIEW: Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy


Tantra-Cult-of-Ecstasy-coverTantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is a large-sized paperback book originally published in Britain that covers some of the basics about Tantra, offering accurate information on this ancient, extensive, and often confusing topic.  The book features full-color photographs from the Tantra sutras, connecting the reader with Tantric history.  The author, Indra Sinha, focuses on the ancient paths of Tantra: the goddesses associated, sacred sites, mantras, and meditations, as well as explains the many misconceptions of Tantra as presented in the West.  Sinha was a Sanskrit scholar at Cambridge and also wrote one of the popular modern translations of the infamous Kama Sutra.

The reason I like Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is because it touches on so many important topics of Tantra but in manageable pieces, perfectly combined with the photos and visually-friendly layout. The photographs are taken from various primary sources – the Tantra sutras, and incorporate various symbolic aspects that the ancients readily understood but may seem shocking or just weird to the modern viewer. Some of the iconography includes blood-covered goddesses, wriggling serpents, and a plethora of yoni (vulvas) and linga (penises).  The book also features centuries-old Tantric drawings and paintings that depict maithuna (sexual union), so this book is “Not Safe For Work” and might be best for readers aged 21 or older.

This book touches on so many important topics in a thorough but easy-to-grasp manner that it makes a perfect beginner’s book to Tantra.  I heartily recommend Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy as a primer for Tantra: The Cult of the Feminine by Andre Van Lysebeth, Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by Dr. David Frawley, and Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton.  As the umbrella over all the yogas, including hatha and kundalini, Tantra is a shamanic science present in all forms of yogic practice, but the majority of Tantric gnosticism regarding sex is rarely presented at the average yoga studio while being hypersexualized in most New Age Tantric books and workshops.

Another book with a similar cover is Tools for Tantra by North Indian musician and writer Harish Johari, an excellent introduction to the yogic mandalas, Sanskrit mantras, and visual yantras used in Tantra.  However, this book is a bit of a dryer read, and so Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy is still a better opener to Tantra.

As one writer has said, a book without Tantra’s yantra is not really a book on Tantra. Therein lies the great problem with researching Tantra. It is difficult to sort through the numerous books available to ascertain which one will have the best, most reliable information.  Finding a teacher versed in real Tantra is even more difficult.  Tantra is a way of life, not an hour-long yoga session Monday-Wednesday-Friday, nor a collection of kinky sex positions. Tantra literally means a “tool for expansion” and is thought of as a “web”, a connected yet expanding consciousness, bridging the microcosm with the macrocosm and back again, cyclically.

The author, Sinha, writes on page 15, “The basis of all Tantrism is the worship of Sakti and Siva, the female and the male principles…. Without Sakti, there is no Siva, and no Siva without Sakti.” Sinha states emphatically in the previous paragraph, “Siva and Sakti cannot be separated.” (14-15) This very specific religious and spiritual foundation is probably the reason most Tantrism in the West has been secularized, stripping the “foreign” and non-Christian aspects to make Tantra and sexuality more palatable for sexually-repressed Americans.  While I personally, do not subscribe to Sanatana Dharma (“Hinduism”), I appreciate the energies anthropomorphized as the balancing principals of Shakti or Shiva.  Sinha has included the “foreign” bits and ancient spiritual practices for the Tantra newcomer.

The photographs of the ancient depictions of Tantra, her goddesses, and the sacred symbols can be jarring at first.  The modern observer may find it odd to see detached penises and flying vulvas included in sacred sexuality.  I will admit, that it does seem a bit “J. Alfred Prufrock’ed” at times.  However, like all symbols, they are meant to jog the memory of the mind, the heart, and/or the subconscious self, not to be the whole story in and of itself.

Intriguing to some and perhaps shocking to others, Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy helps diminish the hypersexualized celebrity of Tantra and add fact where fiction has reigned in the popular consciousness.  Sinha perfectly synthesizes centuries of teachings into a helpful, 154-page book, including an impressive 9-page bibliography and index, that informs but does not overwhelm the senses.  Anyone looking to dip her or his toe into the expansive waters of Tantra would do well to start with Sinha’s Tantra: The Cult of Ecstasy.

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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