Dr. Ogden discusses how sharing stories can help women voice their sexual desires.
I have spent a lifetime hearing women’s stories. If you count, if you count my young years with a very crazy mother who told me her stories, and, you know, I bless that mother now because I feel that she probably gave me the best training I ever had in being able to put aside my own prejudices and really listen with an open heart.
So what I do in the trainings that I run, in the ISIS circles that I run, is I ask each woman to bring to the circle two objects. One of these objects represents a part of her sexual story she wants to keep, and one of these objects represents a part of her sexual story she wants to move beyond. And when 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 women have put their objects into this circle, we end up with what could be an archaeological dig of women’s sexual history.
It is absolutely magical, and what happens to women, A, when they are able to voice their own story what they want, what they don’t want, and have it heard by all of the other women and then hear everybody else’s story, whether it’s like theirs or not, there’s a kind of camaraderie, a bonding, a sweet and powerful center of the vortex of energy that we create in confidentiality, in safety, and it’s transformative. Women move from these circles, not everyone, but many women, move from these circles being in a very different place from the place they came in.
About Dr. Ogden, Ph.D.:
Dr. Gina Ogden, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in sexology from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California, where she is now an associate professor. Her M.A. is in family therapy from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont and her B.A. is in English literature, from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has received grants for her work on sexuality and spirituality from Harvard Divinity School's Institute for the Study of World Religions and from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.