I was sitting at the cafe in the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, almost a small college campus of yoga and spirituality when I overheard three women talking.
“Then she said, I would rather go home and use my yoni egg at the end of the acro-yoga class. She said we need to normalize it. Just talk about it.”
I smiled to myself and knew I would have to join this conversation.
Yoni eggs, if you are not aware, are egg-shaped stones that women insert in their vaginal canals to help increase blood flow, tone, and sensation in the pelvic floor muscles for their well-being. There’s a debate about whether yoni eggs are safe to use, and I actually do have an opinion, but I’m not going to wade into that controversy now. Because that’s not the point of this blog post, and really, their conversation was more about the boldness of using the term “yoni egg” in casual conversation more than it was about the practice itself. That’s what I’m most interested in writing about too: the language.
“I teach about that,” I interjected from across the table. We were sitting on loungey, couch-like things. Yoga Barn is a place where it’s easy to strike up conversations with strangers. It’s probably one of the places in the world where you are most likely to overhear people talking about “yoni eggs.”
“What do you teach?” one of the women asked.
“I teach pussywalking,” I said, and let that bomb drop. Using the word “pussy” in casual conversation is probably even more radical than talking about yoni eggs, but now that I have been teaching pussywalking for ten years I have gotten accustomed to the joy of letting the shock of the word set in on people’s faces.
“What’s pussywalking?” two of them asked at once.
I explained that I teach women, and now even men sometimes actually, to connect with their bodies through breath and other awareness practices to source their personal power, energy, and confidence from the pelvic region of their bodies. I talked about the tremendous sensitivity of the internal clitoris that exists inside our bodies, beyond the little external dot that we are taught to think of as the clit. I explained that the pussy can be a hidden source of power. And of course, even using the word “pussy” can be transformative.
In the last round of Turned-On Living, my yearlong group coaching program (adventure), getting over the taboo of saying the word itself was a huge conversation among the women. One of the women in the group even practiced by writing the word “pussy” more than fifty times on a small piece of paper and posted it to our Whatsapp group. The image was so funny and cute.
When I was growing up, the only time I heard the p-word was when young men in Camaros shouted the word out to us young women on the streets of Providence. The p-word was some kind of bizarre insult. Of course, it’s meant to convey weakness, when the truth is the opposite: our pussies are quite strong.
Actually, I like the p-word. It’s cute and cuddly and funny, unlike the c-word. I only got to this level of comfort of reclaiming “pussy” after years of immersion in female sexuality workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area where others used it and normalized it for me. Getting used to saying it out loud was a process that took time, just like it was for the women in Turned-On Living.
There are a lot of hidden benefits of getting comfortable with using taboo language and talking about our sexuality and sexual energy. When you get into bed with someone, you can be more comfortable with talking about your body. You an also more easily talk about sex (and bodies) with other women.
In Turned-On Living, we talk about “pussy energy” and practice pussywalking for an entire year while I bring together all I know about empowering yourself as a woman in this world. Along the ride, we get really good at talking about our “pussies.”
I interviewed each woman at the end of the year to find out what was most transformative for each of them. One of them told me that using the word many times over the year helped her find her voice in general, in relationships with men, with setting boundaries, with talking about what she wants and likes and what she doesn’t.
Here’s some of what she shared with me: “As a Gen X person, I grew up and became sexually mature at a time when consent was not a part of the landscape. Our bodies were dirty and dangerous. That was the underlying message of society’s narrative. The way to stay safe was to cover up our bodies and shut them down, and then turn them back on, on-demand, to please and tend to the needs of men in socially sanctioned sexual relationships. That led to disconnection from the tender, vulnerable parts of my body.
Pussywalking has stimulated my dormant body awareness, much like a body scan does, and gives me agency over my body and female genitals. Embodiment is so big and so new for me (the journey began before Turned-On Living) that I don’t know how or what to articulate about it.
But I can say this: normalizing that I do have a pussy, and there’s energy there, is big for me. I mean, I’ve had a great sex life. Been there, done that. It’s been wonderful. But I think underneath that early social conditioning, that it’s dirty, and unsafe, and you need to lock it up and hide it away. Because that’s what we heard: ‘You’re gonna have your period. You’re going to get pregnant. You’re going to get an STD.’ There’s never anything positive said about the pussy. So I think this was a space where so much positive was said about the pussy, like, “Take a moment get in touch with your pussy.” Oh my gosh, I’m thinking about my pussy right now and saying that out loud to other women. Wow. So yeah, it’s almost indelible, I almost can’t articulate the power of it.”
Yes, reclaiming this language is big–which is why those women were talking about using the word “yoni egg” out loud and why I am talking to you about reclaiming the p-word.
I’m in Bali for the next two months focused on a creative project. In between this deep dive into my writing, talking with my 1:1 clients, and doing Kundalini yoga, I am forming the new special group of women who will be part of the next Turned-On Living cohort. We start in June and go for a year. We meet once for a soul-commitment ceremony retreat. The max group size is ten, so the experience is intimate. You learn what I have learned about female empowerment in order to create the life you want, by connecting with your body. The intimacy (and my unique teachings) make the group special.
I will do a Zoom session sometime soon from my place in Bali to talk you through the curriculum so you can find out about what you’ll learn in the community experience of Turned-On Living. Be sure you are on my newsletter list if you want to be invited.
If you are feeling called to Turned-On Living, you can write me and request a copy of the curriculum. I talk with each person to form the right chemistry in the group: like-minded women with a shared goal of living a turned-on life.
Alert fellow lovers of exploring body-mind connection!
We talk about getting out of our heads and into our bodies….but why? Why is that important?
On Friday, September 16 at 2 pm, I am giving a keynote address at the Providence, RI Women’s Business Summit with my own answer to that question.
I’ll be talking about “Connecting with Your Body: The Surprising Way to Channel Your Most Brilliant Self.”
Since the pandemic, so many of us are feeling disconnected from our bodies in these long days staring straight ahead at screens… we start to feel lifeless, even trapped in our chairs.
So how can connecting with your body (aka methods such as @p_ssywalking) help with your confidence for a job interview or a dating event? Or figuring out the next move in your career? Or simply to feel alive?
I will be talking about how I use body connection in my own career and personal life and how my clients do too.
Pussywalking is a sexual energy-mindfulness technique that I created to help women center their awareness in their pelvic region, and then observe the difference this simple shift makes in their posture, energy and mood as they walk. It’s not about turning you into a sex object, it’s about turning you into a sexual subject who is in touch with your own body as a source of renewable energy and confidence.
It’s the PURRRFECT approach to women’s empowerment.
I am looking to create a body of stories about what is possible when women put their awareness “down there” as they walk. I have heard so many fascinating stories from my clients and students, ranging from the cosmic to the hilarious.
Female sexuality as a whole is so woefully underresearched, so simply talking about what happens when we mindfully connect with our internal anatomy is ground-breaking and revolutionary. We can literally teach each other what is possible by mapping our stories. So I wanted to create a structured way for you to share your pussywalking experiences with me for my research.
Have you been practicing pussywalking, for a day or a year? Has anything interesting, amusing, or extraordinary happened to you as a result? This could be about the way you felt inside as you practiced your pussywalk, and what it spurred in you, or about how others responded to you.
On stage at PechaKucha Providence, sharing my vision: a world where women are powerful because we are connected to our bodies
Oooooh, I’m excited to share my #pechakucha talk in #Providence on #pussywalking! The formal title: “Pussywalking: What it is, why it matters, and how you can practice it too.”
If you are new to Pussywalking, this is a simple way for you to tap into your sexual energy for a confidence boost at any time, in any context. Pussywalking is a method that I have been developing for the last ten years and sharing in my workshops and with clients. Any woman of any age can do it. All you have to do is activate your energy through your awareness.
You can watch on YouTube for a higher quality video, or on Instagram to also see the screens that I presented.
In this talk, I admitted to being scared. This was the biggest crowd I have shared pussywalking with, and to give this talk in Rhode Island where I grew up felt both exhilarating and terrifying. I’ve always felt there is a kind of hostility toward sexuality and sexual energy in Southern New England, the area where I grew up. Maybe it’s the memories of all the young men who yelled “pussy” out the window of their Camaros at me and my friends when we were young, going out for the night in Providence, or maybe it’s the ghost of the Puritans, or the witch-burnings, still hanging out in the architecture.
On the other hand, I’ve always known since I moved back to New England in 2020 that eventually I would share my message of empowerment through connecting with our bodies and sexual energy in this part of the world, where people need it even more than in California or Buenos Aires (the two places where I spent most of my adult life, until now). And indeed, the experience of giving this talk was amazing. The people in Providence are pussywalking-ready! You can tell by the crowd’s reaction.
I loved sharing my vision: a world where women are more powerful because we are connected to our bodies from the inside out.
I would love to keep going giving pussywalking talks. I am ready for the TED stage now. Are you a TED organizer or do you have another event where I could spread the gospel? Let me know.
At the end of the talk, I put out a call for scientific collaborators to study the effects of pussywalking on women’s posture, confidence and well-being. I am serious about this. Just as Wim Hof has found scientific researchers to study the effects of his breathing and cold-water exposure methods, I think it’s time for study of the effects of what happens when women activate the sexual energy in their bodies as they walk.
Do you know anyone in psychology or neuroscience who might want to partner with me? Reach out here.
And let me know what you think about the talk in the comments!
Now that the actual opinion has come down, I feel more angry than numb. How about you? I think that’s how it works with feelings. We have to feel each and every one of them to get to the next one.
I heard something beautiful on the radio this weekend from Jenny Slate, an actor and comedian being interviewed on NPR about her new film, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” She said, “…as a creative person that, you know, it’s heartbreaking and terrifying what the Supreme Court has decided. A lot of artists say, you know, you have to create the world that you want to live in.”
We do have to create the world we want to live in, and that’s what I am going to be doing over here – inviting you all to join me in creating the world we want to live in.
I also was moved by something that Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez shared in an email from her Instagram. She was asked about hope, and the very simple, wonderfully blunt question, “Are we screwed?”
She wrote something so beautiful and true in response that I want to share it here.
“My honest view is that things are likely to get harder before they get better, and we will need to stick together.
What is important in moments like these is not to think in binaries. Good/bad, screwed/not screwed. There is no doubt that things are bad. Some things, really bad. And they may likely get worse. But that does not preclude the fact that slowly but surely, some good can be growing as other things fall apart. This is not some syrupy, sweet silver-lining case for optimism. Rather, it is about a choice all of us have to make in life, either consciously or unconsciously: will I be a person who is safe and creates good for others? Will I be a person who stands up? Will I be a person who primarily minds my own business and serves myself or try to be part of something bigger? Or will I be just a passive, “neutral” observer of it all?
What I sometimes tell my staff is that the world we are fighting for is already here. It exists in small spaces, places, and communities. We don’t have to deal with the insurmountable problem of coming up with novel solutions to all the world’s problems. Much of our work is about scaling existing solutions, many created by small, committed groups of people, that others haven’t seen or don’t even know are around the corner.
So while we can’t change the world in a day, we CAN and do have the power to make our own world without our four walls, or our own blocks. We can grow from there with the faith that somewhere out there, everywhere, others are doing the same.”
I decided to take the teaching of pussywalking online after I worked through my own feelings of numbness, because I knew that this day was coming, and that seemed like a contribution I could make to others if I could break through my own fears of teaching such a taboo thing to a larger group of women around the world.
I definitely don’t want to appear to be using this tragedy as a marketing opportunity, but in fact, the truth is that the anticipation of finding ourselves in this unthinkable moment is what pushed me to bring the teaching of pussywalking online to reach more women. I really believe these workshops can be one of the small spaces that AOC is talking about that can empower us to do good in our own lives and to make this world a better place.
The patriarchy does not want women to control their bodies or prioritize their own pleasure. It is precisely this trinity of power, pleasure, and the female body that the mostly old white men on the Supreme Court, and the patriarchy in general, are so afraid of. It’s the subtext beneath overturning Roe. Our connection with our own pleasure, even subtle pleasure, is a source of power. Reclaiming our bodies, and our joy, helps us to physically engage with the world.
We are doing the first live, online pussywalking workshop Tuesday night.
If you would like to join us, there are a few spots left. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, so if you can’t afford the cost, and want to come, then send an email.
And, it’s just good to be in the company of other women right now. And men, thanks for supporting us. This is not just a woman’s issue. Obviously pregnancy itself takes place because of the participation of men, and women.
Lucy Meggeson who lives across the pond in the UK, who is great and hilarious, and who is definitely my kind of woman (I bet we could be BFFs if we lived in the same city), interviewed me for her new podcast Spinsterhood Reimagined.
Here’s the description: “Are you single, childfree, and tired of the stigma attached to your ‘spinster’ status? Are you actually having an awesome time, loving your life because of the freedoms afforded to you as a result of being alone and not having kids? Or are you not quite there yet? Either way, this is for you.”
Lucy’s mission is to help other women who happen to be single and childfree know their own value, and that their lives are just as meaningful as anyone else’s. Knowing that working with single women has been a focus of my coaching practice, she asked me all kinds of juicy questions. Because she made me feel so comfortable, I told her the truth, the whole truth! I so suggest that you give this one a listen!
Lucy asked about:
The best part of being single, even when it’s not your first choice
How I finally found peace in not becoming a mother, and appreciate my life on its own terms, after years of struggle with that topic
My own relationship history: quirkyalone and quirkytogether. I am known for celebrating singledom but I’ve actually always been pretty relationship-oriented! In this episode we talk about women who want to be quirkyalone, women who have always been in relationship and haven’t paid as much attention to their own needs and desires, and how I help them get clear about what they really want in relationships and life, and live fully.
How I used to be embarrassed to call myself a life coach, but not I’m embarrassed by it anymore now that coaching has grown and gotten more respect, and more people are wising up to the value of hiring a coach
How I draw on tango and physical mindfulness practices like pussywalking to help my clients step into their power at work and in relationships, and become the women they want to be
The power of listening to your body (and developing your sensuality) to make better decisions and change your life
We had so much fun recording this episode, and we hope you enjoy it! Let us know what you think in the comments, and be sure to leave Lucy’s podcast a review if you like it.
Here’s a funny little promo Lucy made for the episode. Lucy used to be an audio engineer at the BBC. Can you tell?
On this happy moment when we are on the verge of banishing the pussy-grabber-in-chief, I present to you a short pussywalking video. Kerry Lander, a lovely and very creative quirkyalone from Melbourne, Australia, learns pussywalking with us in Buenos Aires in the Tango Adventure.
These ladies (representing four countries, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and the U.S.) are showing us the international symbol for pussywalking after attending a pussywalking workshop with Sasha in Buenos Aires.
The next Pussywalking Workshops will be held October 18-20 and November 15-17 at the Tango in Paradise weekends just outside of Buenos Aires — only for those doing the Solo Chica Tango Adventure! Want to come learn pussywalking with me in person? That’s the way in 2019!
Don’t know about pussywalking yet? You have to check out the videos and sign up for the special pussywalking newsletter for further instructions!
Do you want to get some extra confidence walking into a job interview? Do you want to feel happier and energized? Do you want to even know what you want?
“So WTF is Pussywalking?” The hilarious Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan who just launched her own talk show KaamnaLive interviewed me about pussywalking the last time I was in San Francisco.
Pussywalking sounds out there but it’s actually quite simple. It’s a way of being mindful so you are present in every step when you walk and to know exactly who you are and your unique powers as a woman. Pussywalking can help you step out of your shell, walk with a pep in your step and enjoy life to its fullest. Say hi to your new Sensual Self!
Watching this video you will discover:
What exactly is pussywalking
Why I teach women can have additional power in the energy of her pussy, and that energy can be distributed through the body to improve her confidence and overall well-being
How I originally discovered the pussywalking practice on the way to a job interview in San Francisco
The male equivalent: Men can be cocky, women can be pussypowerful.
Our research team in Buenos Aires is working on researching cockwalking.
Let’s hang out from Kerry Lander in Melbourne, Australia, a writer and participant in the upcoming May 4-10 Tango Adventure
Love yourself first and foremost by married quirkytogether and original gangster Danielle Jatlow, now of Burlington, Vermont. Danielle was at the first Quirkyalone Day party in San Francisco back in 2003
Love by Marian Smith
Card by Sarah Lipuma, a climate change activist in New York. Words come from a song by Phoebe Blue of Phoebe Blue and the Make-Baleaves. Phoebe and Sarah are part of a quirkyalone/together crew on Staten Island, New York. Phoebe has been singing quirkyalone-together songs at concerts on February 14 for years! I got to meet Phoebe last year at a Quirkyalone Meetup in NYC and she’s awesome. She brought Sarah into quirkyalone/together.
Card by writer and artist Jenny Bitner of San Francisco, also an original gangster quirkyalone/together present at the first Quirkyalone Day party at Atlas Cafe in San Francisco, 2003
Wow, I feel blessed to have received these beautiful handdrawn cards and to be able to share them with you.
How are you celebrating Quirkyalone Day this year?
Here’s what I’m doing to celebrate.
Today is a workday that started with a great first session with a coaching client. We talked about expressing needs in relationships and preferences and boundaries in sexual intimacy–quirkyalone topics for sure. I shared the tools of Nonviolent Communication, a set of communication practices I have found to be transformative for myself and many clients.
After our call I did morning self-care practices for body and mind: a total-body deep stretch yoga video and my favorite calf- and foot-stretching video and the Milagrows practice of naming all the shit I am not grateful for–and saying I’m grateful for it. Later I plan to do a self-pleasure exercise too of pussy breathing in preparation for pussywalking! These are all self-care practices that make me feel more loose and limber throughout the day, physically, emotionally, creatively, and mentally. I might do them on any good self-care day. Quirkyalone Day is a chance to come back to all of them.
Later I will talk with more clients and hopefully fit in a bit of writing before I go to an appointment with my kinesiologist Maxi who is helping me to heal a hip injury (gluteal tendinopathy) I’ve had for 2.5 years. Working with Maxi on healing that injury–and doing the daily exercises that are most important according to the evidence–are definitely an act of quirkyalone self-love. I want to feel strong, free and fluid in my hips as I age. Later I will go out to dance tango, probably at De Querusa milonga. Perhaps there will be a tangasm or two on this Quirkyalone/Together Day 2019 if I am lucky.
As you can see celebrating Quirkyalone Day can be any act of self-care or enjoyment in your day, alone or together. It could be a massage, dancing naked to a sexy song in the mirror, or getting together with a friend or snuggling your quirkytogether partner. You can do any self-care practice that you like to do for yourself but have been neglecting doing.
How about you? How are you celebrating Quirkyalone Day in your everyday life this year? Let us know in the comments.
Sasha Cagen is the author of the cult favorite Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics and To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us. Her work as an author, life coach for women and entrepreneur has been featured everywhere from NPR and the New York Times to CNN and Vogue.
In her well-loved newsletter going to thousands of women and men who identify with "quirkyalone," Sasha is the voice for people who don't want to settle--in any area of life.
In her coaching practice, Sasha helps smart, successful women (and sensitive, self-aware men) get clear on what they really want and then to achieve their goals while always helping her clients focus on core issues such as self-worth.