Four Pounds and a Shell

One of the Sister Goddesses in my Pleasure Revival class last night bragged that she had shed her shell and lost four pounds in a week.

A week of spring cleaning and feeling right about herself. A week of celebrating herself with brags, thanking the Universe with a long list of things she was grateful for, expressing her deepest most delicious desires, and sharing all of that with us. A week that felt strange and new and not a little scary - after all a hard shell does such a nice job protecting from the jibs and jabs of the world, but soft slippery skin, now that's a totally startling feeling.

Minus four pounds and in her new skin, she noticed the breezes, the sun warming her, the risk, and a delightful one at that, of the possibility of sun burn. Risks, you see, are delightful when they are fully owned by you! Yeah, this all felt new and exciting and weird. It was as overwhelming as walking for the first time. Or maybe, like walking for the first time after a lengthy recovery process, during which even the doctors predicted life in a wheel chair. In a way, this fresh moist silky skin felt somehow remembered. Remembered from when? in early girlhood, from ancient times, on the dance floor, in the ocean waves, through ecstasy in bed...

I remember the moment that I finally realized that the world was big enough for me, that I didn't need to keep myself in a box. That even conservative Richmond had the balls to meet me in my full and glorious Goddesshood. That my marriage was big enough for me. And, if at any time anything felt claustrophobic, that it was up to me to stretch it and redefine until it fit me fabulously.

What an amazing moment! I literally danced around the halls of Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts, grabbing sister goddesses, and squealing, "The world is big enough for me! Richmond is big enough for me! My marriage is big enough for me!"

I can't tell you how delicious that feels, to finally know that I am right in this world. That there is not one little itty bitty thing about me I need to change. That in all of my outrageousness I am absolutely perfect. In my sassy, saucy, quiet, loud, angry, noisy, silly, sexy moments, I am Divine. That I don't need a shell or a box or anything to hold me in or hold me together or keep me from scaring or scarring the world. Nope and no thank you to boxes (unless they hold new shoes or presents) or shells (unless I am picking them up off the beach or cradling them to my ear to hear the ocean).

YES!! to wet, slippery, silky skin!!! YES!! to stretching and moving and taking up space!!! YES!! to creating the marriage, community, city, and world of my desire!!! YES!! YES!!! YES!!!

The four pounds, by the way, came off not because she's dieting, which she isn't...but because she is filling her life with more, Pleasure!!!

Enjoy a Praise Sandwich at Can Can

Ahhh, what a lovely lunch. I always enjoy myself at Can Can. Could it be because the Can Can was the dance of choice for Parisian Courtesans? Or the attention to every delicious detail by servers, chefs, and sommelier at Can Can Brasserie in Richmond? Who knows...

But I was enjoying a fabulous lunch at Can Can yesterday with two lovely Sister Goddesses, when desert was served. Oh, no! The three flavors of homemade sorbet were NOT the ones we ordered!!

Now, I have to tell you that I am a Goddess who loves perfection in food: the perfect taste, the perfect presentation, the perfect thickness or thinness of sauce. In fact, as a teenager enjoying ice cream in Friendly's with my high school pals, I would send back milk-shakes that were too thin!!

Anyway, we were enjoying our deliciously chilled pear cider served in Champagne flutes, when our server brought out the wrong sorbet flavors.

My life flashed before my eyes.

Okay, not my whole life, just the last two times I had been out to eat and the server had not brought me exactly what I had asked for. Both of those times the server had come out with a smile and left our table crestfallen, because I had pointed out his or her mistake and expressed my dissatisfaction.

As his arm lowered our desert bowl to the table in slow motion worthy of a Hollywood movie, a light bulb went off in my head. I had the brilliant idea to practice my Praise Sandwich. Actually, after noticing the second sad server leave my table a couple of weeks ago, I had given my actions some thought and was determined to express myself differently next time. I had been waiting for this very moment to redeem myself and try something new.

Mama Gena calls it "man-training cycle" in her book "Mama Gena's Owner's and Operator's Guide to Men". Drs. Steve and Vera Bodansky call "the sandwich technique" in their book "The Illustrated Guide to the Extended Massive Orgasm" I call it the "praise sandwich". And, it can be used in any situation where you want something specific from someone is trying to serve you.

So, I set my hand gently on his arm as he lowered the plate to our table. I looked softly into his eyes. And, I cooed, "This is beautiful. We ordered two scoops of coconut and one scoop of mango. We'd like coconut and mango instead of this." With a smile he whisked the bowl away. In less than two minutes he returned with another filled with not three, but four scoops - two coconut and two mango!

The glimmer in his eyes and the smile on his face was filled with all the love and pride of a pre-schooler bringing his mama a homemade mud pie. Beautiful!!!

Treated so fabulously, we felt like the Goddesses that we are.

Given a problem to solve, sandwiched in between sincere praise, he was inspired to bring us something bigger than we had desired, something more than we had requested, something totally perfect for the moment.

Mmmm, that's how delicious it is to be served!!! And, that's how much fun it is to serve up the praise sandwich, even in a fancy restaurant like Can Can!!

Thank you Goddess, I'll take more please!!

Love and Pleasure, Always!

Sister Goddess Elli

Hair Loss, Spanking, Sisterhood, and Sex

Which pleasure muscles did I exercise this weekend? I think it was the sisterhood muscle, along with the "accepting pleasurable offers" muscle and, of course, the fabulous sex muscle. But, what in the world does all of that have to do with hair loss, and (gasp) spanking?

Well, I'll tell you... I've got this fabulous little boy who is my son. Now, we've gone through the wringer with this one: 11 heart surgeries, numerous dental surgeries, and now, athletes foot! Under the weight of his illnesses, my parenting skills slipped. The poor kid got indulged, I am sad to say. Oh, that might be fun at first. But, being spoiled does nothing for social skill development!

Anyway, it has been my desire to give him a better and more delicious set of social skills. So, over the past three years I've been deconstructing my parenting and reconstructing it as best I can. We've worked through a lot of things, but there still seemed to be this hump we can't get over... his compliance!

So, because nothing else seemed to be working for me and the professionals (we went to a therapist when he was misbehaving in school last year) said he was perfectly fine, I thoughtfully decided to try spanking: a couple of quick swaps on the butt, immediately after the infraction. I'd tried everything else and I had come to the conclusion that this was the only thing left to try.

I gave it a shot.

And, my hair fell out.

Okay, not all of it. But, for the past two weeks I've noticed clumps of hair in the shower drain, similar to the amount I lost each time I took him for surgery. I'd been trying the spanking for two weeks. Hmmmm.

I didn't put two and two together, but my friend did, and that's what I want to tell you about.

Over the years I promised myself and my kids that I would never spank them or hit them. I always address this with anyone who watched my children - no spanking allowed, no one can hit, neither children nor adults. I've even mustered all my courage to address this issue with my dad!

I went against my own moral code when I tried out spanking.

So now, I had a deep dark secret, one that conflicted specifically with my beliefs (I guess that's what a deep dark secret is!!) As much as I wanted to get help, to find a different way to discipline my son, I found it too hard to talk to anyone about my secret.

How did I make my way out of this dark hole...

First of all, I gave this problem to my Higher Power. I handed it right over to Her (I totally connect with the Divine Feminine). Holding out my hands in the shape of a bowl I said out loud: This parenting stuff is yours, I can't do it without you!

Second and very deliciously, I accepted an invitation to a pleasurable experience. One of my girlfriends called me up last minute inviting me to dinner, her treat. Well, as a sister goddess, I am committed to accepting all pleasurable offers!! So, I said yes!! Spontaneously on Saturday night I left my hot hubby home with the kids and enjoyed a long relaxing evening with one of my girlfriends.

And third, I handed her my heart. I told her my secret.

I could do this because I have brilliantly sucked in sisterhood. I've got girlfriends who find me right and cheer me on. Goddesses here on earth for me to hug and to touch and to share food with and to dance with. Many of them right here in Richmond! They are women who are on the front lines of the Pleasure Revolution, rethinking the way we look at the world and our place in it.

So, on Sunday, I woke with renewed commitment to peaceful solutions. I met each and every one of my son's infractions with a time out for him. The sweet boy doesn't usually comply with those at all (Are you at all surprised?!? This is one of the reasons I had succumbed to spanking. If he won't go to his room when I ask him and he continues to misbehave, what other options did I have?!?!)

Timeout on Sunday meant that I scooped him upstairs to his room as soon as I issued the edict. My one hand on his sacrum (a perfect spot to cradle when you need to move someone along) and the other on his arm. Up I took him to his room. "Come down when you are ready to...(what ever it was that he needed to correct at the moment)" I did this consistently and for every misbehavior, big and small.

Wow!!! Much better than the spanking!! By the end of the day, there was compliance and love in the house again. With spanking there may have been compliance but I certainly didn't feel the love and I am guessing that he didn't either.

And now, I eagerly anticipate each and every moment with both of my children. Arms out, hands in bowl shape I gratefully shout, "Thank you Goddess, I'll take more please!"

I am eternally grateful to have friends, sister goddesses, each one of whom will hold my heart in her hands.

I desire my heart to continue opening to them. I desire peace and love in our home.

Oh, the sex!! I forgot all about the sex!!! I had the most fabulously orgasmic dreams this weekend. All three nights!! And, I expressed my love and sexiness to my husband all during the day, sitting on his lap in the living room, hugging him in the hall, kissing him in the kitchen. He graciously held me in his arms, containing all of my light filled energy, which must have related to the transformational weekend I was having around parenting, don't you think?!? Mmmmm, even with our clothes on the sexual connection is divine! And, I am grateful for him!!

Love to you all, and pleasure always!

Sister Goddess Elli

The Pleasure of Surrender

Hey Darlings -

Here I am on my fourth merry-go-round of our family vacation in August. I love it!!

So, big deal, a ride at an amusement park, you say. Well, it was a big deal, for me. You see, I used to get extremely anxious any time I took the kids to a place like this. I'd worry about spending too much money on food or games or rides. Worrying the day away, I'd miss the opportunity to have fun. More often than not, I wouldn't let us go anywhere near an amusement park.

This summer was different, because I brilliantly and completely surrendered to my husband and his plan for our vacation. He took us on a trip filled with family visits and day trips. We went to the Bronx Zoo. We went sailing with his brother. And, we visited four different amusement parks in one week!

I used each excursion to exercise my pleasure muscles. I relaxed into receiving the specific pleasure my fabulous husband was offering me. This let me find perfection in the day and pleasure in his gift. Thank you Goddess, I'll take more please! More surrender and more gifts!!

I enjoyed it all - the candy, the pretzels, and the long lines. But, darlings, I have to tell you that I found special delight in riding the merry-go-rounds, which you can certainly see from this I poll dancing or riding a merry-go-round???? Hmmmm, good question!!! Either way, I am having FUN!!!

I am so grateful for all I have learned at Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts over the years about filling my life with pleasure and for the fabulous opportunity to share what I have learned about pleasure with women in Richmond. Come join me on my merry-go-round: my next class starts in less than a week!!!!

Love, Sister Goddess Elli