Sex drive = Life drive

Seeking out and having a delicious relationship with your body, turning on your sexuality and your arousal is a self-perpetuating cycle. The neurotransmitter dopamine—which “focuses your attention on something you really want to go after,” and is found in your arousal, gives us the confidence to approach life, and go after experiences and people we think will provide the most pleasure, while it also releases opioids, which further stoke the fire. HERE"S THE KEEPER FOLKS: Sexually derived dopamine can motivate us in all other areas of life outside of sex.
GOT THAT? Sexually derived dopamine can motivate us in other areas of life.

It's the Arousal Principle.  That's what we cultivate, nurture and expand at Back to The Body: Sensual Retreats For Women. It's a game changer.

I hope there is something here for you.

Pamela Madsen

Orgasm and Your Re-Birthing

What if there is birth in orgasm? I'm not talking about a babies birth. I'm talking about your birth. I have had Sexological Bodywork Sessions where my belly let go of so much old pain that I believe didn't even belong to my body. It felt ancient. Like it belonged to all women. Yes, sometimes there is birth in orgasm. Sometimes, if we allow it and are willing to be that intimate with ourselves, we can witness our own transition in the birth process of ourselves. That feeling of needing to push, but staying with the pain. That instruction of not anticipating the next contraction and staying in the quiet places until the next wave hit.

We all have the possibility of coming back to our bodies and re-birthing ourselves. This possibility lives in the cauldron of our sexuality. That is where we meet the edge of what we are terrified of, and what we want with all of our might. We all have resistance and obstacles that we put up to prevent ourselves from living our lives out loud and courageously. I'm not perfection. I screw up. I don't have it all figured out.

And I have lots and lots of love, tools, and inspiration for you.

And I will let you see me naked. I invite you to drop your mask and join me. Let's rebirth together. It can look and feel like an orgasm.

Loving you from here,



The meaning of pilgrimage is a journey that we undertake as a devotion and as a way to meet ourselves in the deepest of levels.
A pilgrimage is a rite of passage. There are few rites of passage for us to meet our erotic selves. For us to learn about our body and it's connection to our pleasure and our soul. You have to make a choice in your life when you consider making a pilgrimage.
Are you willing change? Are you willing to take a risk? Are you willing to take an unknown journey? Are you willing to move everything around in your life to connect to this strange thing called "Pleasure", "Eroticism" and your "Body"? Are you hungry to meet your erotic soul?


1. You are restless on the deepest level of your erotic soul. It's like having "restless leg syndrome" of the heart.

2. Are you willing to choose a life of pleasure and sexual wholeness instead of inheriting your legacy of sensual pleasure handed to your from your family? Are you willing to detach from that?

3. A pilgrimage implies being open to life. Are you open to leaving home even for a little while and try something new? A person who takes on a pilgrimage is rarely "ready". It requires a certain fierce determination and willingness to be defiant to expectations that you have in place already in your life.

4. People who go on a Pleasure Pilgrimage can be feeling numb, detached, addicted, bored, curious, hungry, or restless. Somehow they know that they need to move in their body. Their are not willing to go into numbness or stay there. They are willing to accept contradictions and are willing to change even if it requires fearlessness. They are willing to invest in the mystery and the unknown quantity of something that they simply don't know, but have heard of. They have witnessed others living their personal legend of self discovery and have no idea if they can have this "feeling" too. But they are willing to pack their bags and go. They dare.

5. When you go on a Pleasure Pilgrimage you are willing to ask the questions; "Who am I?" , "What do I want?" and "What is getting in the way?" and then acting on the answers.

6. A Pleasure Pilgrimage opens us up to magic. The bridge that allows us to cross our physical selves to our energetic selves. The experience of pleasure in our bodies is sometimes something that we cannot name. It's a personal experience in our body. When given the right kind of magic -- we can go on our own invisible and visible journey. This is something that is out of your head; it is something that is felt in the body. It is personal to you -- and only you can experience it. Others can support you to have it --- but it is uniquely yours. It doesn't have to have an explanation. You can simply enjoy pleasure.

7.. The Pleasure Pilgrimage is a journey to love. It's a way of learning how to manifest love in the deepest way through self compassion and empathy -- and using those muscles for others.

8. A Pleasure Pilgrimage is a contradiction in what we are taught. We are taught to just give and self sacrifice and self denial is what is honored. What if we could change the story and that you could find pleasure in giving --- instead of self denial? And we are never taught to receive. The contradiction in the pleasure journey to learn the pleasure in giving and pleasure in receiving. Pleasure becomes a virtue.

9. The Pleasure Pilgrimage is a changing journey. We must leave behind who we are for who we can become. The Pilgrimage to Pleasure can be a journey of re-organization and re-construction. It does not have to be a journey of destruction.

10. The Pleasure Pilgrimage can feed into our personal legend. There is a redemptive power to making a choice around pleasure rather than feeling that we are the effect of the pleasure choices and denials that are around us. What could happen if you took charge of your pleasure?

11. The Pleasure Pilgrimage is a journey that you only you can create. People who go on this journey and have decided to move the obstacles. They are committed to the possibility of a different life with their own bodies and in their relationships.

12. The Pleasure Pilgrimage is a journey of a dream. It's something that you want to do. That gives you joy. Pleasure can be a part of your "Personal Legend". It's the life of joy that you want to live. And something that can be against the plans of your community, your religion, your husband or wife, your lover --- and your family. You can live the life that you are given. The life that you are taught to have. Or you can go on the Pilgrimage and find the life that you dream of. Life is generous. You can take the journey or you can numb out and forget it. Or do your best to forget it. I believe you will become unhappy and self destructive if you are not on the path to fulfilling your dream. The Pilgrimage may be difficult - the outcome will be joy.

The Pleasure Pilgrimage is a mystery for all of us. It's a journey into ourselves. Honor the pilgrimage. Take the journey. Honor the journey.

I hope there is something here for you.

Loving you from here,

Pamela Madsen

"It's Never Going to Be The Right Time"



I know that there exists this completely magical time when Mars is not in retrograde, when all the planets align and the sun is shining perfectly and the moon is waxing and waning just perfectly and you have your money in place, you can speak you desires, you know what you want and the universe takes a great big in breath and holds it for you to take action in your life.

And then "it will be the right time". Hallelujah.

It will be time to quit the job you hate and get the one you want.

It will be the right time to write that book.

It will be the right time to move to the city that you have always wanted to live in.

It will be time for you to tell the truth to somebody.

It will be the right time for you to reach out and tell somebody how much you love them.

It will be the right time to get married.

It will be the right time to have a baby.

It will be the right time to change your life.

It will be the right time to get in touch with your body and your sexuality.

It will be the right time to take that trip.

Guess What? You are living in a myth. A fabled time, that simply does not exist. Come on --- how many times will the planets align and Mars is always in retrograde. How many times in your life will the money, the opportunity, and the time happen in the same moment? Look up at the sky. Are you waiting for the sun and the moon to kiss?

Here's the cold hard truth. if you’re waiting for the right time, you’ll keep waiting until it’s too late.

We all have this mantra that we tell ourselves over and over again: “it’s just not the right time.” Do you know how many times I hear that a day when women are expressing their deepest desire to come to a Back to the Body Retreat, or do ANYTHING different around their sexuality and their relationship?

"Its not the right time" is THAT THING we say it when the opportunity presents itself for us to do THAT BIG THING, the thing that we want most of all -- and that we are terrified of. THAT THING that we don't feel ready for or simply can't face. But we want to.

Screw the “right time”. It's an urban legend. It's a fable or a myth or a story that you have been fed by others. If you spend your time waiting for the right time you will have more problems in your life not less. I do think you should look before you jump to make sure that there isn't and quick sand or rapid dogs, and I would always have a Plan B in my pocket in case things don't work out. But that has nothing to do with "Waiting for the Right Time". If you see quick sand, just move a little to the left and keep going.

Because waiting simply in most cases doesn't make any sense

Dear People of the Page, all you have is now. Really. Haven't you buried enough people yet in your life to know that? Haven't people told you their regrets? It's rarely about the risks they have taken. It's rarely about action. Yesterday I was scared to drive in the rain up to see my friend and her new grand baby. I was sure it wasn't the right time. I was anxious about the trip. She said that it's okay -- that I didn't have to prove anything to anyone.

It's never the right time. I got to hold that baby. Kiss those little hands. Celebrate with my friend and her daughter. It was perfect. It was the right time after all.

So go. Tell that boss of yours that you are done and get the fuck out of there. Tell your lover that you love them. Make that big change in your life. Go on a Pleasure Pilgrimage in the middle of everything.

Life is gonna end. It's never long enough. Our bodies change. Shit happens. Life is way too short, incredible, filed with possibility and precious. Don't waste it waiting for the universe to align. It won't

If you want to do something, change something, go somewhere---start NOW. Stop dreaming about it. Visioning it. And waiting for the right time. The right time is now. Make it happen. Schedule it. Only you can make the right time happen now.

I hope there is something here for you,
Loving you from here,
Pamela Madsen

Sexual Ethics: A Woman's Guide to Keeping it Safe with a Hands on Touch Practitioner

It's been several decades since the groundbreaking sex researchers Masters and Johnson suggested that working with patients physically rather than just through talk therapy could have therapeutic benefits. Hands on sexual healing has an ancient tradition.  It's just that we keep re-discovering it again.

Sexological Bodywork offers a more holistic methodological approach to supporting women who are seeking to connect in a deeper level to their bodies as well as even unravel blockages caused by trauma, abuse and hormonal issues.

I talk to literally hundreds of women that are exploring cutting edge world of humanistic sex therapy, somatic sex education, working with Sexological Bodywokers or more simply stated - hands on sexual healing and exploration. Recently, a well known mental health professional told me that I have become known as The Sommelier of Hands on Practitioners” and "the best guide for women who are considering doing this work". Nice praise, and with it comes a responsibility and the ability to answer the number one question that women bring to me:

“Will I be safe?”.

Going deeper into your body and mind can be really challenging. Sometimes, it can  feel intensely uncomfortable because you are touching all kinds of new and old feelings. So, no, you will not be safe from any of that. Sometimes, you may feel like you want to run away.

That is a challenge any time that we want more in our lives. It's about digging in, and getting terribly real with ourselves. That's what hands on therapy provides. And it can get tricky. Sexual and relationship boundaries are paramount in the safety of client in Sexological Bodywork and doing this work with heart/gential connected women needs tremendous attention to boundaries, both for the client and the Sexological bodyworker.

According to Sex Educator, Caffyn Jesse in her new textbook for Sex Educators; she has this to say:

"The relationship between erotic massage practitioner and client is characterized by a power dynamic. The client is the student and the practitioner is the teacher. Clients present erotic wounds and the practitioner applies a balm. Clients share secrets about sexual desires practices and injuries and the practitioner guides them on their journey to sexual wholeness. Clients look to the practitioner for learning healing guidance understanding and acknowledgement. Within this unequal power dynamic, there is an exceptional degree of vulnerability and trust.

When clients and therapists become involved in relationships that exceed established boundaries  there is a great potential for harm.  
The potential for harm is clear in research investigating sexual relationships within other therapeutic modalities. “Therapist/patient sex syndrome” is one name for a host of issues that arise in people who become involved in sexual relationships with treating therapists. Symptoms include feelings of guilt, ambivalence, isolation and emptiness difficulty trusting cognitive dysfunction, suppressed rage, sexual confusion, increased suicidal risk and emotional liability. Pope and Vetter found that 90% of patients is their study were harmed by sex with a therapist; and that of those harmed  only 17% ever recovered fully.  
Masters and Johnson early researchers of sexual relationships between therapists and their clients  found the harmful consequences so striking they advocated that the therapist involved should face criminal charges of rape  “regardless of whether the seduction was initiated by the patient or the therapist.”  
Harm to the client usually unfolds in secret, unshared with the therapist who often imagines that the sexual intimacy is “helping” their client.
Clients of erotic massage practitioners are in danger of projecting their erotic well-being onto the practitioner  and depleting their sense of self worth and personal agency in this process. The process of projection and transference can be a powerful aspect of healing and growth as the client works with practitioner support on “taking back” their projections. When this process is interrupted by a sexual relationship, no matter how much mutual enjoyment each person seems to be having at the time  there is a grave potential for harm."  

This is why personal and romantic relationships between clients and practitioners are outside of Sexological Bodywork Guidelines.

Psychiatrists, doctors, sex coaches, and therapists are obligated by medical ethics not to have sex with their patients, but Certified Sexological Bodyworkers are supposed to provide a space for their clients to experience their body in various erotic states. So, it's important to understand the profession and who you are working with.

Getting a clear understanding of what a Sexological Bodyworker is as stated by the professional association can also be helpful. We have so many different ideas of what this profession is all about.

Sexological Bodyworkers are somatic, erotic educators, assisting individuals, couples and groups to deepen their experience of embodiment.

We are trained sexologists whose certification is approved by the State of California. We offer experiential learning opportunities that consciously access profound ecstatic and erotic states.

Our teaching involves a variety of instructive modalities, including breathwork, touch, erotic massage, pelvic release bodywork, scar tissue remediation, and Orgasmic Yoga coaching.

One of the somatic realms that Sexological Bodyworkers introduce to our students is a state of arousal that is free of fantasy, unfinished emotional business, religious dogma, cultural caveats and habitual sexual behaviors. In this meditative state, an individual becomes aware of the body as a source of wisdom and freedom. One of the ways to access this fecund state is by actively receiving a Taoist Erotic Massage. Helping others access and make use of a variety of erotic states is foundational to the education we offer.

Sexological Bodyworkers believe that sexual health and erotic education are basic human rights.

A crucial part of the education Sexological Bodyworkers offer students is the value of intentions and boundaries. While we acknowledge the human longing for connection, we recognize the value of professional distance. We are conscious and make our students conscious that while we share authentic intimacy, sexological bodywork sessions will not fulfill their desires for sexual connection.

The focus of individual sessions is on the student’s experience within his or her own body. Sexological Bodyworkers do not act as surrogate partners. We are clothed and the touching in our sessions is uni-directional. We request students bring their partners when they wish to learn interpersonal erotic skills.”

The Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers also has a Code of Professional Conduct.

Let's take a look at a few excerpts from that as well. The full body is available on their website.

The ethical standards set forth enforceable rules of conduct for the California state-approved profession of Certified Sexological Bodyworker (CSB). These ethical standards are not exhaustive. The fact that a given conduct is not specifically addressed by the Code does not mean that it is necessarily either ethical or unethical.

Although we are all certified as a Sexological Bodyworkers, membership in the Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (ACSB), and/or working in an official capacity as a CSB trainer, teacher, assistant, or organizer commits said individuals to adhere to the ACSB Ethics Code and the rules and procedures used to implement it. This Ethics Code applies to all CSBs’ work-related professional activities including somatic sex education, individual or group work, teaching, training, assisting, supervision, consulting, and organizing. These work-related activities can be distinguished from the CSBs’ private conduct, which is not within the scope of this Code. The Ethics Code is intended to provide standards of professional conduct that can be applied by the ACSB.

Sexological Bodywork is a unique form of somatic sex education utilizing a set of principles and the integration of body, mind, and spirit in its application. CSBs may perform in various roles such as teacher, trainer, coach, assistant, organizer, consultant, and supervisor. They work with a common goal of providing education and improving the quality of life for an individual and the world. The Sexological Bodyworker Ethics Code provides a common set of values upon which CSBs continually build their professional work.

This code is intended to provide both the general principles and the rules covering most situations encountered by CSBs. It has as its primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom CSBs work. It is the individual responsibility of each Sexological Bodyworker to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. CSBs respect and protect human, civil and sexual rights, and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.

The development of a dynamic set of ethical standards for CSBs work-related conduct requires a personal commitment to a lifelong effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervises, employees, and colleagues, as appropriate; and to consult with others as needed concerning ethical problems. Each Sexological Bodyworker supplements, but does not violate, the Ethics Code’s values and rules on the basis of guidance drawn from personal values, culture, context, and experience.

Duties and Obligations Towards Our Students
1. CSBs will be professional in attitude and conduct, responsible in relations with clients and students, reliable in agreements and timely in appointment schedules.

2. CSBs will introduce prospective students to the techniques of somatic sex education, including the use of touch so potential students can make informed decisions about entering into educational sessions. CSBs agree to maintain appropriate documentation of consent.

3. CSBs recognize the importance of consent and choice in all somatic sex education with groups and individuals. CSBs will strive to provide a range of options from which the student can actively elect that which will serve their own education. At no time shall a student be required or coerced to participate in any activity, event or exercise. CSBs include education about consent and choice and actively create learning environments where students are empowered to exercise these skills.

4. CSBs may use physical touch in an educational context. If they do so, they touch consciously and with the attitude to do no harm. CSBs agree to obtain students’ consent and to act with concern for their safety, growth, and awareness of boundaries.

5. Regarding Sexual Contact and/or Conduct with Students
a. We acknowledge the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries, including asking permission to touch and stopping touch when our students request it.
b. We are conscious and make our students conscious that while we share authentic intimacy, Sexological Bodywork sessions will neither fulfill CSBs, nor their students desire for sexual connection.
c. In group or individual sessions we remain clothed when touching our students and touching is unidirectional. We request that our students bring their partners when they wish to learn interpersonal erotic skills or invite them to share and learn with other students when appropriate.
d. CSBs understand the inherent power we hold in our role of teacher and will not use this power for sexual exploitation of our students.

6. CSBs acknowledge the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. To protect the health of both student and professional, CSBs recognize the need for risk-reduction and professional protocol in all individual and group somatic sex education. CSBs take steps to minimize any physical or emotional harm, in active collaboration with all students. Professional protocol includes the use of medical-grade examination gloves and quality water-based lubricants. All group classes shall include education about group hygeine protocol, with sufficient facilities/supplies provided to students to maintain appropriate hygiene.

7. CSBs will refrain from providing bodywork, training sessions and/or presenting any instructional material while either the Sexological Bodyworker or the client/student is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

8. A CSB will consider the limits of their skills and experience before accepting requests for or providing educational or instructional services to potential students. Further, a CSB will refuse professional work for which they are insufficiently prepared.

9. CSBs will seek the advice of colleagues or supervisors as a routine part of their practice or training. In consultations, confidential information that reasonably could lead to the identification of the student is not shared without prior written consent of the student.

10. CSBs will terminate professional services to and relationships with students when such services are no longer required or no longer serve the needs and interests of the students.

11. CSBs may unilaterally terminate services, on just and reasonable grounds after careful consideration of all situational factors and any possible adverse effects. CSBs are responsible to make appropriate referrals and to provide support to students during this transition.

12. CSBs will refrain from the exploitation of professional relationships with our students for personal gain, whether financial, professional, or for research purposes.

It's important also to note that some CSBs may offer other types of hands on practices. CSB's may not represent other modalities as Sexological Bodywork, and must distinguish between Sexological Bodywork and other professional services they may offer.

Taking the time to understand this relatively new professional and the code of ethics that CSB's have agreed to abide by can help each woman who is experiencing or considering this work, stay as safe as possible.

Sexological Bodywork provides an opportunity to explore your sexuality, desires, and body image in a way that is all about you and not about the practitioner. The biggest challenge that remains in working with women and hands on work are issues of attachment and social boundaries. This is where it can get murky, and this is where women have experienced heart ache. Read again the above writing from According to Sex Educator, Caffyn Jesse.

Working with a practitioner who has a reputation for clear boundaries is paramount, and why working with a practitioner who encourages you to also work with a therapist or sex coach can be vital.

There is no room for secrecy in Sexological Bodywork. If your practitioner is resistant to bringing in a mental health professional or sex coach – or asks you not to discuss your sessions with your friends – that is a red flag.

Attending a Back to The Body Retreat can be a great way to get started and familiar with hands on work. In the retreat environment, women are in a small group of six other women all sharing an experience of going deeper into their bodies. While there is privacy for each woman; the work that is going on is transparent.

Each woman works with one Sexological Bodywork the entire time and a sex coach.

Sexological Bodywork professional ethics are observed.

I am a passionate advocate of the power of hands on erotic work to shift the lives of women. Working with a professional can jump start a stalled engine or help a woman who is already embodied go even deeper. Sexual energy is the powerhouse motor that propels every aspect of a woman’s life--sexual pleasure, relationships (from mother-daughter to lover to her own body), education and even success in business.

It all starts with you. Your body. Your humble vagina and your precious pelvis. Every woman’s got one. The problem is it’s only the rare woman who knows how to access and use its magic powers for self-transformation.

That's what hands on, somatic practice is offering.  Understand the extraordinary opportunities for for self growth. The goal is to power up, rediscover or perhaps to find for the first time that hotbed of energy and to unleash the best of yourself.





Jessica Writes a Love Letter to Back to The Body

Prologue: All of the women who attend Back to the Body, write a love letter to themselves at the end of the retreat. We mail it back to them at a random time....that seems like a perfect time. Jessica allowed us to share her love letter to herself with the world. It moves our hearts.

"Dear Beautiful Jessica, I love you. It's your time to play, soar, take flight, love. You deserve pleasure. You are beautiful. Today you had your first orgasm. Remember the beautiful feeling and the tears. You walked out of your session with your face glowing, right into Pamela's arms to cry. Yesterday you looked into Will's eyes and saw your child self. Was it a saying good by to the pain? Yes, I think so. Remember tears are good and sometimes there's no need to determine what they mean, rather they just "are". No more living in memories. Time to live now. During the check in at the beach you shared the "shehecheyanu" prayer. You were asked to share what was hot and a word.  Your word was "alive".  You had just laid on a table in total nakedness.

Everything has changed. Your time is now. Keep up the good job at work, but work is only that - work.  Enjoy working around with sarongs on your hips. Feel your curves. Feel your power. Feel your strength. Feel your beauty. You ARE awesome, Jessica. I'm so very proud of you for the courage to come here to find yourself and push through your fears. Welcome back to your body. As you said to Pamela today, you felt like your joined the rest of the world, because you did!!! I love you. Love, Yourself