Originally posted January 27, 2013
I’ve been a fan of Devi Ward for some time now. She’s a sexuality coach and Authentic Tantra™ teacher who brings an open mind and grounded presence to her work. Her latest offering, Shake Your Soul-Song!: A Woman's Guide to Self-Empowerment Through the Art of Self-Pleasure, is a sexual empowerment book focused on teaching women to cultivate their pleasure and take responsibility for their desire.
Being able to speak to a wide variety of people is essential—especially in the tender realm of sexuality. Ward can go from Tibetan Buddhist to Sex in the City in a just a few sentences. On one page, you will read tantric teachings from her Shangpa Kagyu Lineage; on the next, you’ll find her personal Babeland list of ‘What’s Hot and What’s Not’.
And it’s done with grace, generosity and vulnerability.
Towards the beginning of the book, Ward tells the story of her own shame within her sex and her journey towards healing. She shares insight on the cultural struggle for sexual freedom, especially for women, and how through the ‘Four Principles of Self-Pleasure,’ she found liberation and reclaimed her womanhood.
The first half of the book focuses on the importance of pleasure in our lives. Many women, through trauma, fear or conditioning, have lost their connection to pleasure. She also describes the difference between empty habits that momentarily fill the pleasure void and deeply satisfying ways of embodying our sensuality.
She also touches upon ‘Walt Disney Syndrome,’ which is essentially waiting around for Prince Charming to come along and awaken up our dormant sex. Ward believes (as do I) that a woman’s orgasm is her birthright—and her responsibility.
The second half of the book gives a more detailed explanation of how a woman can venture into her sexuality and reclaim her power. She fleshes out in greater detail the ‘Four Principles of Self-Pleasure,’ and lays out a program for tapping into our sensual selves. The program includes exercises like journaling, dancing and self-stimulation, as well as resources on where to purchase toys and DVDs.
What I especially love about her program is that she creates the space for the reader to discover her own desire. Rather than demanding we stick hard to her agenda, she offers guidelines for optimal results, but says that if what moves us that day is to write rather than dance, so be it.
She’s humble, admitting that she too is on the never-ending journey of sexual self-discovery. At times, I felt like I was having tea with my best girlfriend, rather than sitting with a tantric guru (who just happens to know, in detail, about 11 different types of orgasm!).
I found Shake Your Soul-Song! to be wise, straightforward and informative. Plus, I can see women having a lot of fun with the exercises, which is key for sticking to any program.
I liked it so much, I even ordered a Honey Dipper Wand for myself!
Curious about what I’m going to do with it?
You'll have to read the book to find out.