Emily got into the nitty gritty of pleasure, power, and the other P word that so many of us struggle with in this IG Live with the inimitable Regena Thomashauer, a.k.a. Mama Gena. A feminist icon, speaker, teacher, mother, bestselling author, CEO of the School of Womanly Arts, and self-proclaimed troublemaker and provocateur, Mama Gena gets deep into her own gorgeous and complicated journey and encourages us to do the same...and to celebrate the creative force of women!
Why Prioritize Pleasure?
1. Women are gifted with 8,000 nerve endings solely dedicated to pleasure (helloooo, clitoris!)...would YOU waste a gift like that?
2. When you choose pleasure, you’re literally bathing your cells in health by turning on neurotransmitters that trigger positive hormonal and chemical responses, whether it’s a cold plunge, an orgasm, a sunset, or another beautiful experience!
3. Pleasure is a nutrient; if we don’t have it we aren’t living the fullest, healthiest version of ourselves.
Mama (Gena) Pro-Tip → When we get disconnected from our pleasure, we get disconnected from our voice.
Power to the Pussy...or whatever you call it
What do you call your “bits and pieces,” as it were? Nether regions? Vajayjay? Coochie? Walter Winchell (yeah, that one threw us for a loop too)? Women carry so much cultural discomfort and misogyny inside us as we relate to our own bodies, and this carries over into how we identify our genitalia; either we come up with cutesy euphemisms or we just don’t call it anything.
Technically, vulva is the correct name when we refer to our external genitalia, which includes the inner lips, outer lips, and clitoris (vagina refers to the interior portion, literally translating to “sheath” in Latin). Do you have to use the word “vulva” when you talk about yourself? No...but here’s an argument for teaching your daughters the proper terminology. If we don’t have a name for that which is most essentially feminine about ourselves, it introduces the concept of shame to our little girls. If your daughter can know that her vulva is her vulva just like she knows her hand is her hand, it’s a way to build in a sense of certainty about who she is.
Feeling Guilty? Go Guerilla
Let’s be real: guilt comes along for the ride anytime the idea of self-care is introduced. We have this idea that if we don’t sacrifice or deprive ourselves, we aren’t doing good work as mothers, wives, women. To counter this, Mama Gena urges us to become guerilla pleasure warriors, to choose to stand powerfully for our joy above all other values. This doesn’t mean the guilt will magically go away. You might feel resistance every single time...but go towards pleasure anyway.
Mama (Gena) Pro-Tip → If you’re struggling with connecting to your sensuality, remember that the point here isn’t to do it on behalf of another person; this is not for anyone else, it’s to reclaim your sense of self. Get turned on to yourself just for the f*ck of it, so you fall more in love with YOU!
Including Your Partner
Tell them that you want to explore something new to add to your already amazing life! Suggest trying something new every day for a week (a deeper kiss, a sensual touch, etc.); build in pockets of pleasure to see if it brings more aliveness/joy into your relationship and your family.
If your partner is resistant or flat-out denies your quest to step into your power, don’t give up. We are the pioneers...we are introducing men to a new experience of the feminine! An unwillingness to fold when you hear the word “no” is key to changing the narrative.
Mama (Gena) Pro-Tip → Pleasure with your partner may not always look like lust or passion (especially in a long-term relationship with kids!)...sometimes it looks simply like a willingness to connect. Know your turn-ons -- a hot bath, a massage, a gentle hair stroke -- find delicious ways to be intimate. The object is pleasure with no goal.
Find daily things you can do for yourself to bring more pleasure into your life. Music, fresh flowers, bath salts, lip gloss, a dance party...it’s in the little things!
Mama Gena’s website → check out more info about her journey, programs, books, and other gems
Mama Gena’s Instagram → visit the link in her bio to sign up for her newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming classes
Mama Gena’s bookshelf → all of her amazing books in one place, including her newest release: Pussy, A Reclamation