My inner nerd gets off on science about our bodies and human sexuality. The provocateur in me fancies feminism, parenting conviction, healthy living, intimacy & environmentalism.
As a natural intimacy & libido specialist for women over 35, my vision is to support women to unpack their sexual baggage, heal upsets & banish fears & pain around sex. If you want to get your Heart-Centered Sexy back so all your erotic moments are sensational, naturally, I invite you to contact me today.
Years ago, I posted a playful heart-in-cheek article about the emerging post-feminist femme fatales (PFF) on a staunchly feminist website. A PFF, I wrote, was both an “accomplished woman in all political, social, environmental and economic arenas,” and an “enchantress.” Confident and graceful, funny and committed to social justice, she wore lingerie, laughed at her whim, ate her cake and shared it, too, without counting calories or flaws.
She also preferred a world in which men exist as co-creators. “A PFF fancies men – strong and capable, fresh scented or smelly, willing to ask directions or not. You are our husbands and sons, fathers and friends, lovers and muses, and life is infinitely sweeter with you by our sides.”
Such a woman wanted to be appreciated for her mind, and ability to work hard and succeed in the corporate world. “There’s no need to prove superiority, only a desire to excel,” I suggested. “We don’t want to compete with men; we are empowered and strong in our way, which is quite fierce by any standard.”
The backlash was pronounced. People were outraged and the vitriol was fierce. A few readers saw the piece as satirical or funny; most did not. Underneath the mountain of first, second and third wave feminism was a dynamite-filled mine laced with booby-traps (forgive the pun). Modern day feminists are feisty advocates for what they believe in; even if the manner by which they offer their view points – beliefs I wholeheartedly share – disengage potential allies, break funny bones or silence meaningful discourse.
I took the comments to heart, and stored the seeds of the concept away. It wasn’t so much a wound licking moment as a realization that the pendulum has yet to settle. As the saying goes: We’ve come a long way (I’ll drop the patronizing, ‘baby’). We also have a long way to go, and many are rightly indignant that when it comes to women, sex and power, the scales have yet to be balanced.
We ain’t going get there until we own our ‘Erotic Capital’.
What’s in Your Wallet?
British sociologist and former London School of Economics professor Catherine Hakim provoked heated discourse with her recent book introducing a bold and pressing look at the concept. In Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Bedroom and the Boardroom (2011), Hakim theorizes that in addition to social, cultural and economic capital, each person has a fourth asset called Erotic Capital that he or she should harness to advance within society – in fact, anyone not doing so is being unnecessarily foolish.
Described in the introduction as a ‘bold and controversial book’, Erotic Capital ‘explores the applications and significance of erotic capital, challenging the disapproval meted out to women and men who use sex appeal to get ahead in life.’
Hakim’s premise is that by harnessing the full power of your individual erotic capital – something we’ve apparently been doing despite the fact that social scientists haven’t been paying much attention to this juicy je ne sais quoi – represents “a powerful and potentially equalizing tool—one that we scorn only to our own detriment.”
“Sociologists and economists have long recognized three main types of capital: social, economic and cultural,” writes the noted NY Times best selling author and sexuality counselor, Ian Kerner. “Your capital depends on the assets and resources you can potentially use for gain, whether that means making more money or making more friends.”
By Hakim’s definition, erotic capital is more than just being sexy or having good looks. The six facets include:
2. Sexual attractiveness
3. Social skills/likeability
6. Sexual competence
“While one of these characteristics might make you gorgeous or funny or fun,” writes Kerner, “you need the whole group to maximize erotic capital. And you don’t have to be born with it – erotic capital is cultivated and learned and has a lot to do with your self-esteem.” Even if you’re blessed with oodles of the stuff, erotic capital will only serve you if you actually cash in on your assets.
Hakim’s theory is not without critics. Kerner and others point out that it is based on the assumption that women have lower libidos than men, something he takes some issue with. The number of women reporting that they want sex when their partner’s do not is on the rise, and one reason (many have been proposed) may be the massive increase in masturbation due to online porn.
“The Internet has made porn much more accessible – and the frequent masturbation it triggers may be making men too worn out for sex with a real partner…Men are masturbating 50 to 500 percent more than they would normally without Internet porn,” he says.
Sexploitation or Narcissism?
In an article for Jezebel, Anna North explores the problem of generalizing our sexual oomph in 3 Reasons Why Erotic Capital is Bullshit. “It’s notoriously difficult to determine people’s sexual desire from surveys, and all too easy to make blanket statements like ‘women make more effort to develop charm’,” North points out.
Erotic capital also depreciates and doesn’t necessarily translate into real economic power. “The bottom line is that ‘erotic capital’ is all about others’ perceptions of women, rather than about things women themselves can do or acquire. That’s the main reason ‘soft power’ isn’t real power — because when your influence is based on someone else’s desire, he’s the one who’s really in control.”
Then there’s the ugly little thing called backlash if you flaunt too much of your erotic equities. Rising celebrity doctor Lissa Rankin MD recently blogged about her venture down sensuality lane when she asked, Can We Be Both Sexy and Professional?
At issue was whether or not a woman risks too much for publicly sharing sexy pictures of herself while cultivating the spotlight of a more conservative mainstream media. Posting her imaginary conversation between her Gremlin and her Inner Pilot Light, Rankin voiced what I thought was a bold and thoughtful decision, and was heartily smacked by many commentators who called her narcissistic and self absorbed.
It turns out that erotic capital is an investment that comes with risks, some more uncomfortable than others, especially if you are a woman intent on increasing your assets. No wonder many are hesitant to restructure their portfolios. Much is still at stake in a society that views women’s sexuality as something tarnished, vulgar or dangerous, or as North points out, measured by how it is valued by others.
Naturally Sexy Beings
Here’s where my seedling starts to sprout again. I’m interested in stripping us of the view that our sexual essence and erotic power needs to be contained. It belongs to us. It serves us. It is ours. Beyond asking if we can we be both sexy and professional, and make investments in ourselves via our erotic equities is a realization that women are by nature sentient and sensual creatures.
I mean that literally. In our natural state of being – unencumbered by social constraints and stories, religious dogma or private worries, familial expectations or professional aspirations – women are erotic. We are libidinous. We are passion-filled lovers and wives, mothers and moguls, dreamers and doers waking up from a long slumber; a slumber that had us convinced our sexuality needed to be contained (to “protect” us) or was there to serve, entertain and minister to the needs of others.
I’ve come to explore and believe that a woman’s strength emanates from a primal, carnal place as much as it does from her brilliant mind and expansive heart. I’m no sociologist or hardened cultural critic with troves of research to substantiate what I have observed or learned intuitively. As a writer and an intimacy coach working with women to vitalize their libidos naturally, however, I’ve spent enough time poking around our secret erotic selves to learn that underneath our acculturated facades lurk fierce femme fatales yearning to live and love on full throttle, and not just because we want to snare a mate, secure that job or aspire to higher social standing.
Who do we serve when we cultivate and unleash our fully turned-on and tuned-in selves? Erotic capital turned outward may get us further in our daily and professional lives. Erotic capital turned inward may do something even more. Are women and the world ready for that new era in sexual power and awakening?
I’m counting on it.
I was in my 30s when I stumbled onto this ‘secret’, but it wasn’t until years later that I realized what I was experiencing had a name. It turns out that if you do this one thing during sex, lovemaking can be surprisingly more satisfying.
Sounds unlikely, improbable or too good to be true? Perhaps, but you’ll never know how great intimacy this way can be until you give it a try… (more…)
Those who were raised in religious homes know too well the Gremlin of Guilt and how it plays out in the bedroom. Our reactions to sex are often rooted in dogma. Society responds as if the Puritanical umbrella needs to protect us from the stormy weather we might encounter in the messiness of carnal urges. It’s too bad our sensibilities are easily ruffled: imagine how much better sex could be if we finally erased those scarlet letters. Do away with slut-shaming. Stop substituting information about reproductive biology for real sex education. Use our outdoor voices instead of hushed whispers to discuss intimacy whenever we were in polite company.
I am stumped. When did we start calling our parts ‘junk’? In the irreverent voice of modern society, is adult potty talk masking self-hatred or just an attempt to find a cheap laugh and a decent orgasm?
Motives don’t matter in the long run, at least not to my nether region. Yoni is very vocal about her preferences, especially since her procreative duties are done and gone, and we are finding out just as good, good loving can be. She and I have have been reaquainting ever since we ditched the guilt about pleasure, and she’s really clear about a few things: erotic desires, care & maintenance, & a bit of grooming mostly.
Call her opinionated, but be careful what you call her. Hootchie-Cooter-Pussy-Va Jay Jay-Love Box-Pleasure Treasure is a lot of things, but she absolutely won’t allow you to say she’s junk.
Debris. Rubbish. Castoffs. Scraps. Not a single synonym is remotely close to describing that part of our bodies with which women have had a wide-ranging, complicated, should be only love – dangit why does shame, pain or guilt have to mess it up? – relationship.
“We’ve all been taught that people hug, kiss and make love. The more traditional focus on the commitment and marriage. Eventually, we discover fucking. The forbidden, hidden, animal side of sex that buckles our knees, heaves our lungs & breaks our hearts.”
From as far back as you can remember, you were curious. Every child is. We’re taught that our private parts, are well, private, and from some early moment we are hooked, long before hormones, certainly before anxiety sets in…
And after that snares us, a preoccupation with the forbidden fruit is guaranteed. Our parents may try to stop our forays into sexual exploration with threats of strange diseases that’ll turn us cross-eyed or mark us as irreparably naughty. Adolescence hits us, and if we are lucky we are given some information that our sexuality is about more than making babies. We’ve all been taught that people hug, kiss and make love. The more traditional focus on the commitment and marriage. Eventually, we discover fucking. The forbidden, hidden, animal side of sex that buckles our knees, heaves our lungs & breaks our hearts.
“Debris. Rubbish. Castoffs. Scraps. Not a single synonym is remotely close to describing that part of our bodies with which women have had a wide-ranging, complicated, should be only love – dangit why does shame, pain or guilt have to mess it up? – relationship.”
If we are brave enough to drown out the talk of damnation firmly engrained in our collective mind, we eventually take a good look at our curves and crevices, change our vantage if not our perspective, now viewing our body from a split mirror: sexual vs. non-sexual. Good touch vs. bad touch. Sin vs. Pleasure. Clean vs. Dirty. Smells good vs. Repugnant. Oral vs. Not.
Give Yoni an chance and she will clear the air, separate the nonsense from the truth – on so many levels including just what our divine feminine essence really is – but by then we’ve been conditioned to ignore such messages. Our vagina becomes something with which to manipulate lovers with. A snare. A burden. A liability. An object of and within our bodies and potential source of pain, fear, entrapment and shame as much as orgasm and birth.
It becomes so complicated, so nuanced, so fraught with confusion.
Let’s not even discuss the whole idea of virginity. The commoditization of our girls’ bodies goes way back. Intact hymen = worth. Anything less than intact = worthless. Pleasure, love, ecstasy and joy, the priceless gifts that Yoni is meant to share become scrapped in the face of sexual oppression.
You know what is junk? A preoccupation with all things vulvular in the absence of seeing the whole woman. The valuation and abuse of a girls’ body against her will. The wanton disregard for what turns us on. The cutting away of clitoral tissue. I could go on and on, but then, you might think I’m mad.
“That is why I won’t even ask for forgiveness when I say, there’s no fucking way I’m jumping on the junk bandwagon.”
When I’m really not angry any more. My yoni and I have made peace. She’s no longer some abstract entity, but integral to who I am. She is me. I am her. We are one and the same.
It takes courage to begin to understand the sacred and sexual truth of this portal to womankind. An erotic lifetime of rediscovery.
That is why I won’t even ask for forgiveness when I say, there’s no fucking way I’m jumping on the junk bandwagon. Call a woman lot of names, those that rhyme with rich or worse. Call us cunts, whores, madonnas and more…or finally do away with the sticks, stones and barbie doll bones. Because, no matter how the world may try to scare, snare and tear us apart, this much I know for sure: A woman and her yoni are anything but second-hand goods.
Tinamarie is a natural intimacy & libido
specialist for women over 35 who desire
Sensational Intimate Relationships.
If you are a foodie, let me invite you to sit down and enjoy appeteasers, inter-courses and happy endings. Great dishes nourish our bodies, minds and souls…and if prepared with loving intention, can fuel carnal joy. To help you create a kitchen that is a wellspring of sensual foods and nourished libidos, keep reading to learn about 5 potential aphrodisiacs that can boost your sex drive, naturally. (more…)
The way of eating that’s best for your sex life has been around for ages, and it’s easier than you think. Stocking sex-friendly foods in your pantry and preparing aphrodisiac meals for you and your beloved is just 4 steps away. (more…)
I know a radically skinny gal who obsesses about her cellulite. Other friends who agonize about the size of their breasts. Older women addicted to botox; their youthful counterparts to the gym. Mothers who resent their childbirth hips; statuesque beauties who stoop. Too often we stare into the mirror with warped vision, perceiving imperfection and missing the exquisiteness inherent in every one of us, in every feminine shape and size. (more…)
When a person is on fire and in tune with life, it’s obvious to all those who witness that they are in the zone, that ultimate state of being. Once we’ve tasted that mojoliciousness, we yearn for it in the way a child years for the comfort of loving arms. To live and love in the Mojo moment is to be fully who we are – past the pretenses, the worries and expectations, whatever they may be.
A women in that alchemical space of utter fullfillment – when she knows who she is and what her purpose is – eminates light and energy from her core.
A few weeks back, I had professional pictures taken by Starla Fortunato, an amazing heart-centered celebrity photographer. Her star power behind the lens captured my own intangible state of rockin’ my Mojo. Every cell of my body was on fire with being Tinamarie, with the creative, vital, juiciest aspects of who I was from top to bottom, left to right, no curves left unnoticed.
I want to sustain that passion and energy. The truth is sometimes it is difficult given the pressures of modern living.
Such is life. We need a reminder of our greatness, our maverick or renegade sides, our luminous and enchanted essence.
Ask yourself the following:
Do you like to laugh?
Does it help you to be able to talk to like-minded women?
Do you ever feel down or overwhelmed at the beginning of the week?
My colleague, Deborah Kagan, the Sensual Lifestyle Specialist is offering a program especially for you to rock your mojo and create a life that’ll knock your socks off.
Join a committed group of fabulous, real women who want start each week
with an inspiring burst of Mojo.
If you want to experience:
Sounds good, YES?!!!
Then, join Deborah in this Private Group Forum for MOJO MONDAY Members absolutely FREE for 2 months
Receive tools for getting happier, more confident, and more turned-on in life..
Recalibrate the way you see yourself as a woman!
And more importantly, turn your Mondays into Mojo and give yourself the gift of living every week at your best.
CLAIM YOUR 2 FREE MONTHS RIGHT NOW:
I know how powerful this program can be. Just a few weeks ago, I spoke with the women in this group on a topic close to my heart: Feeding Our Libidos Naturally. As my coaching practice grows, so does my outreach with dynamic women like Deborah. We are both committed to helping women in our own ways live life to the fullest, which is why I’m pleased to share this with my extended readership.
P.S.: There is no obligation to buy ever, but if you ever do, know that I’m an affiliate of Deborah’s (which means if you buy something I do get a commission).
The first time I heard lovemaking described as vanilla, condemnation dripping from the tongue, I might have felt my private life was wanting were it not for my sense of play. My inner child has always loved vanilla, especially the rich, creamy French version. Mystifyingly delicious in every food or beverage and heady as a scent, there was nothing plain about it.
That I was having vanilla served up with the occasional whipped cream topping didn’t mean the vanilla was lacking in flavor.
Or was it? (more…)
This is a semi-hard true tale about penises and pills. Years ago, I worked as a consultant in pharmaceutical sales. I remember the frenzy in the field when another company launched Viagra. As soon as the world’s most famous bone builder popped, every other rep was hard pressed to get doctors to pay attention to what the pills they were peddling. Damned if that would stop me. (more…)