this is a part of my old (first) site
I created a few years ago
I have moved from old space to here
The Evolution of an Image by Patrikyia-Sophia Dewicce
One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Oppression
MOST ARTISTS IN THEIR CREATIVE ENDEAVORS MOVE FROM SERIES TO SERIES, exploring a theme or image or form until it is exhausted or until it emerges into something else. Sometimes themes or images overlap and during the evolution of the artist come together in unexpected ways, when even the artist had no way of knowing they would be connected some day. This connection experience has been part of my creative process and evolution as an artist and also as an erotic, spiritual person. As my artistic work evolved and grew so also did my sexuality and psychological maturation. Two of the images I have explored in deeper and deeper concepts over the years are the image of woman in her sexual aspect-the vaginal image-and woman as Goddess in her total body image, her power and mystical aspects. Artwork is a healing process. Orgasm and sexual exploration with spiritual intent are also part of a healing process for the psyche. Put them together and the artist can experience visions on many levels. I offer the process of my evolution as one example to readers in the divine search for their own truths.
LIKE MOST WOMEN OVER FORTY IN THIS CULTURE MY initial relationship with my genitals was to consider them a black, moist, hairy, smelly, mysterious hole that I should ignore, except for those times when I was obliged to show it to my doctor and those other times when I was obliged to let my husband fill it up with sperm.
Brought up like most good Catholic women, I felt it was my duty to service my husband in this way. He had the "urgent" stiff phallus, I had the receptive "obliging" vagina. At that time of "anatomy is destiny" I was in no way erotically responsive, merely duty bound to allow him the use of my vagina with which he could rub and stimulate himself and eventually (soon I hoped) come off into. I was only dimly aware of wanting this humiliation to be over with as soon as possible. As a Catholic woman I was not aware that I was capable of my own RESPONSE to certain experiential levels of intimate and sensual arousal. Or that properly stimulated psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and physically I could reach a level of sexual arousal and response that would match and/or surpass his. I was expected to accommodate his body and desires, he was not expected to accommodate my body or its needs. To desire and demand was his right and privilege, not mine. With this cultural and religious dictate it is no wonder men still feel threatened when a woman demands that her own sexual rights and desires be met.
This may sound quite negative, but I need to speak the truth of my erotic body and the truth of my erotic experience so that other women - and men - can know and feel the struggle toward sexual liberation in which we all, men as well as women, need to engage in this patriarchal culture we have inherited. Men also have lost in this senseless battle of the sexes. I want to speak to men as well as women who have bent under the awesome weight of the privilege and tyranny of phallocentric intercourse. Men were expected to "perform" and women were expected to become aroused and excited by the mere presence of an erect and demanding penis. This belief and practice has been perpetrated upon all of us by the clergy, Freud, the psychiatric profession, "How To" books, family and friends. They have forced all of us to submit, willingly or not, to this male biological energy, allowing us no concept of what mature, essential female and male sexual or emotional feelings could ultimately be aroused within our own bodies and psyches.
Few women, even today, know with any certainty that the female sexual arousal cycle is different, more complex, and spiritually deeper than that of men. Few men have ever had the chance to explore their own emotional and spiritual depths through their sexuality. We are a society that mainly honors the adolescent male principle, the principle of hardness and thrust, over the female principle of softness and receptivity.
Women's primary choice has been to submit, or failing that, to become disinterested, closed down, use excuses, or become literally sick of it all because we have had no sexual rights, no desires that are believed or honored outside of the phallocentric perspective. Presently we have nothing upon which to base a fully erotic, female-oriented arousal pattern. Female arousal could lead perchance to sensual satiation that is meaningful to a woman and her body, that is rewarding to her genital sensitivity as well as to her mind and spirit. We are, after all, more than the sum of our flesh, more than tits, cunts, cocks and asses.
During centuries of this battle of the sexes while most women labored under the inequality, a few women actually were able to gain pleasure from the surrender of their bodies and vaginas to this phallic principle, but too few of us (including bewildered men) were adept enough to share generously our total BEINGS. This, after all, is the full measure of erotic satiation and the only foundation of truly sacred sexual union.
"Did you come?" my husband would ask me after his perfunctory "foreplay" and a series of thrusts at my vagina, followed by his ejaculation. I learned later that a man who has to ask this is totally inept-any woman's ecstasy is very apparent when it occurs. It was at this point in the evolution of my erotic images that I created my first sexually symbolic clay pieces. One was a "fat prick," a pallid colored, short, wide, flaccid penis; the other a bulbous maroon-colored vase with a burlap texture to signify woman as a "rag and a hole," a sad commentary on the empty, frustrating relationship that I called my marriage.
What amazes me now is that I actually continued to explore whatever I could during those sexually barren years. I never seemed to give up the struggle for a better understanding of my erotic response cycle, even though I had no idea where to go for information or where it would lead if I did happen to find something of value. I had no conscious picture or idea of what to expect as far as ORGASM was concerned, nor what to reach toward - it was only my unsatisfied body that yearned in its primitive way to respond, given the right stimulus and correct circumstances.
It wasn't until years later that I learned to fully appreciate and accept my physical body "down there," and even more years to learn to LOVE what was there that could bring me pleasure, especially pleasure by myself.
Even after I became a liberated feminist, parts of me and of my capacity to orgasm remained an abject mystery, full to the brim with feelings and sensations I had no way of fully understanding or controlling. During my liberated blossoming when it became acceptable to discuss sex, I listened attentively to other women talk about their genitals. I came to realize that these conversations centered mainly on physical ailments or on difficult birth experiences that required a period of healing from perineum tears. Hardly ever did I hear talk about how much pleasure their genitals had brought them, if any.
During those grand consciousness raising sessions at the beginning of the women's movement in this century, I was relieved to learn that many of the women in my groups had waited as long as I to have their first orgasm. Married in my early twenties, it wasn't until after my fourth child in my thirties that I experienced my first genuine orgasm - a total surprise to me after years of thinking I must be frigid or something (helped, no doubt, by this suggestion from my husband).
I had also wondered why during this same time I was horny, bitchy, and mostly unsatisfied with my body, my life, and my predicament. This was before women began discussing and comparing their commonly unmet sexual needs, and before they had begun to be aware that they could actually have sexual feelings unconnected with the sexual demands and needs of a husband. It was a dark time indeed for women's sexuality. Sexual frustration was rampant in suburbia of the American Dream and no one talked about it or complained - the silence of unspoken need was heavy, dark and deeply frustrating.
Then the 70's rolled in, women's liberation was on everyone's lips and I became aware (conscious) of my own extreme disillusionment with marriage, motherhood and the false promises which had been served to us via the media, the church and the social structure of the times. I gave up the frustrations and lack of fulfillment and went back to college to work toward my art degree. just before I graduated at age 40, a truly erotic, adept man came into my life. He wanted to touch my genitals as I'd always longed to have them touched but somehow had no way and no will of voicing my desires. It was with a lightened heart that I left my husband, kids, and suburbia to move to Maine and be near this erotic man's hands. Eureka! I learned over time to have orgasms consistently with him. My body came alive and my bitchiness decreased, while my pleasure mounted to the height of satiation. I finally knew what it felt like to be a sexually satisfied woman! And how to be fulfilled by doing work that was mine.
At about this time I discovered Betty Dodson's Liberated Masturbation and Judy Chicago's mammoth project The Dinner Party and their vaginal images. I read both their books (Judy's Through the Flower), and had finally found something meaty to think about and practice for a number of years. And for my artwork, a very feminist image to contemplate as well. I had waited through years of the feminist revolution hoping that other women artists would explore this vital woman's image also. A handful showed, which included Tee Corine with her photographic series and her Cunt Coloring Book (sold under the counter to lesbians and known feminists at newly emerging women's centers and bookstores.) It seemed strange to me that there didn't develop a plethora of these kinds of woman-centered (cunt positive) images in feminist art communities.
Waiting no longer I gave myself permission to dive into a series of my own vaginal images. Time! I had needed time for my creative core to integrate what Judy and Betty had done, and then to push the image so that it served me and my understanding of my own vaginal happenings along with the function of my orgasm in relation to my whole being. The blossoming of my own sexuality and of the images came together.
Was my circle of friends ready for this? No! My images turned some lesbians off (mostly because I was a heterosexual and they distrusted the honesty of my intention) and brought embarrassed snickers and reactions of disbelief from my female heterosexual friends. But ! - men loved my work and gave me great feedback. "Why can't the women understand what I'm doing here?" I kept asking myself. It was obvious to me that I was not engaging in sensationalism - my images were beautiful, instructive, and intimately discrete. I was endeavoring to take back my female image (like taking back the night) from the scum of pornography. Why couldn't women understand and accept this?
I plunged ahead! It was the only image that had ever really turned my creative juices up to "high." I worked in every media I knew: pen and ink, watercolor, clay and porcelain, fabric and stitchery. Then one winter I had the time to devote myself to a whole series of watercolors. I was especially anxious to get down in watercolor some "orgasm" images I remembered from a particularly intense orgasm I had experienced with an artist friend of mine. This lead me to other levels of the image and to further experimenting.
Two series came up: one a stitchery series of the developmental stages of woman through her vagina from babyhood, young girl, to tomboy and then to first menses (only women can experience the tampon phenomenon.) The others in this series consist of vaginal images of sexually free women. These pieces have names like "Gypsy Cunt" (dedicated to all travelling women) and "Dark Woman" (dedicated to all unknown courtesans of the world.) Many of these are in various stages of completion or in the collection process for fabric collages. Then there is a series I called "Lubrication" which emerged when I discovered the delights of my own profuse erotic lubrication, which is different from the everyday moistness of my vagina. But of course this brought more snickers and embarrassed reactions.
Along with this visual work I was getting closer to the intense feelings and sensations of what I now consider to be "profound orgasms." These were not ordinary orgasms for I was able to keep them going and stay in a state of ecstasy for hours. Besides that, I was writing down descriptions of what I was experiencing, mentally and physically and emotionally, during these extended pleasures. I had one hand on my vibrator and the other on my pen pressed to paper. I had always been interested in trying to capture those sensational, floating, fleeting, orgasmic feelings along with the emotional surrender so necessary during the build-up to these profound orgasms.
I soon found it was much easier to get to my highest ecstatic plateaus by giving up erotic fantasies at a certain point and visualizing instead the sensations I was feeling within my genitals and then in my body, as the kundalini energy circulated throughout my whole system. Staying close to those sensations visually is of utmost importance. Getting to my "inner self' literally means staying in tune with this powerful flow of sexual energy as it surges through me. Visualizing these overwhelming sensations is the key to my profound orgasms. Visualizing the circulation of this energy instead of forcing myself towards the premature goal of a perfunctory orgasm (ejaculation in men) helps me to stay in the "now" of pleasure, rather than pushing forward to a resolution. Orgasm should not be goal oriented. That only defeats the purpose and function of this sexual and emotional gift. Most of us end our orgasms way before we experience the ultimate and total surrender of our egos-the little death so well known to adepts of the erotic and eros.
Yet heaven forbid! I should be experimenting and exploring my own sexuality all by myself - and making art and writing about it at the same time. What is even more astounding is that I have gained a better sense of mySELF through all this erotic work and discovery. During each new profound orgasm I seemed to get closer and closer to the psychic core of my authentic self. I found myself changing and becoming, experiencing an evolution in my work and in my psyche. I shed years of pent-up emotions and frustrations as I became more sure of how it was I reached my ecstasy, and more adept at reveling in the untold pleasures of my body and genitals. I no longer feared the well of tears I tapped during these intense orgasms - I named them profound sadness - and realized that it is part of the psychic cleansing of our orgasms. This has entailed years of self exploration, years of coming to terms with my body image and learning to love it unconditionally; years of learning to accept the uniqueness of my essence.
I need to explain how difficult it has been to stay with this vaginal image and this sexwork. Men are supposed to have the wider knowledge about sex in our culture, not women. Or do they? I was constantly aware of the fact that any woman who engages in the study of sex, erotica, pornography, sexuality, the prostitute or an academic working toward a doctorate in some prestigious male place of higher learning. I am connected to neither institution, yet I can't and don't want to let go of my intense interest in female genitalia and sexuality, nor of my absorption in orgasmic visuals.
I feel that what we should be learning about is a sacred, spiritual sexuality that is woman-oriented, and that the opening up and true blossoming of woman's orgasmic potential could hold the key to the untangling of our present worldwide preoccupation with power and destruction. I am reminded of a quote from Marilyn French's book Beyond Power, which says in effect: once a person's sexuality is repressed all else is easy. Our sexuality certainly has been most effectively repressed by patriarchal society and the male oriented religions of the world. Woman's sexuality and growth potential - woman's power - has suffered more repression than has men's. But in the process men have also lost in the most profound area of intimate relations. If their women are ignorant or disinterested and unfulfilled, then the men suffer a similar loss. Power over has no reward, only power with can give the greatest fulfillment to both parties. It would behoove men to encourage women (not demand) to discover their truest and deepest sexuality, by themselves if need be, without their men to hamper the process. Men need to discover how to be soft and vulnerable and receptive in a profoundly loving way - without their biological stiffness interfering. There will be time for stiffness and thrust later, much later.
I hope that the evolution of my sexuality and my vaginal images will help both women and men come to a better, more accurate understanding of our mutual struggle toward a deeper, richer merging with our erotic potential and its life-giving power.
Lately the images from my pen have been happening spontaneously, usually after a particularly enjoyable or enriching sexual experience, for it is enrichment I seek now, not just the experience of joining my genitals with another. My newest images are revealing messages from my inner psychic workings. Recently one November the outline of a goddess appeared in the middle of one of my cunt drawings, and I have marked that as a dividing line between old and new work. It tells me my erotic life is maturing, that perhaps indeed the feminine principle is re- awakening and beginning to show Her power. I am beginning to have a clearer understanding of what it is I need in a male partner now; one who could be my erotic equal and share my power, perhaps enhance my power; who could serve as my "vision keeper" of a world paradigm, that of a new and greatly superior erotic world. In the meantime, I can rejoice that I am becoming more aware of the fabric of my life and of my own woman's reason for being.
The last drawing in this series of "goddess cunts" is a completely open, welcoming and uninhibited vaginal exposure. It even startles me when I look at the implications of such uninhibited openness. I'm not sure I can actually become that open in my intimacy, but I'm looking forward to the chance to try with a man who wouldn't be intimidated by "this much woman."
Patrikyia lives and creates in a small town on the coast of Maine. She has kept detailed journals of her erotic experiences far most of the last fifteen years. She writes and researches female orgasm and female sexuality in the belief that women's full potential to five autonomously and fully lies in the exploration of their own unique sensua/sexual satiation. She is interested in corresponding with sexually active women who believe that a new form of sexual behavior which must include genuine love between partners can lead to an evolutionary change for humanity.
eco community . sex education . preventive medicine . water & earth . be earth universe
old h o m e . world wide love . network business . private parts . purpose of site