My next book will be called WET. I am in my creative cave writing it, so it’s far from ready to share with you yet. But as I write, I want to invite you into my creative process and ask for you to go along the journey with me. I want to tell you about it here. For anyone who has ever felt dry, stressed out, sexless, all in your head, and disconnected from your body, this story is for you. This is also a story for you if you’ve had trouble getting in touch with what you really want in this one precious life.
In adulthood, one of the primal tensions we all must resolve is balancing choices that close doors and limit a life that used to be unlimited, and the desire for limitless possibility we had when we were teenagers. My memoir Wet is about how I felt this primal tension at mid-life (35), and acted on a series of impulses searching for what I really wanted, even when I was scared, confused, and had no idea what I was doing. Wet is a story of acting on intuition through my body, following one impulse after the next, digging through layer after layer until I could find what I was really longing for. For a life that might or might not be traditional, that would make me happy and bring me alive.
Wet puts aside all the taboos about women, men, sex, and sensuality and opens up for a no-holds-barred story about sensuality with enjoyment at the center of it all. This is not actually a book about sex. It’s a book about a woman who decided to let go of a life that was not satisfying and use her body as a compass to find a life that would light her up. It’s about self-worth, intimacy, satisfaction, and the courage to dig deep to discover what you really want in life.
My hope is that my story help you strip away your layers of “shoulds” and find your own answers for an authentic, satisfying, wet life.
Recently, a man asked me, “How did you realize that your path of personal development was through sexuality?” he asked. I thought, wow, what a great question, and I did not have a clear answer, because it is not like I woke up one day and realized “my path of personal development is through my sexuality.” It is not like I started this journey saying, yes, I will find my power as a woman through my pelvic floor.
The idea that I would find my power through my vagina, or more generally, through my body and sensual energy, would have seemed preposterous to me five years ago. I would have scoffed at it as New Age silliness. I was the kind of person who looked at the Eckhart Tolle phenomenon and said, “Really, do we need a whole book on the ‘Power of Now’? Didn’t you say that all in the title?” Didn’t anyone realize the Buddha already said all of this?
I was the kind of person who could see through everything, the techno-religion Silicon Valley, the absurdity of the New Age, the sexism in pop culture, and the online dating treadmill of San Francisco. I saw everything with a highly critical, analytical eye. Including my life. That critical analytical eye did not get me far anymore. Only into burnout. Cynicism. Disappointment with men, With dating. With life. And with myself. There was nothing creative anymore. Only criticism.
Many things have changed now over the last five years. I have the lived experience of making decisions from my sensual healing, and I can feel a tingling in my “lady parts” when I know something is good for me. I can generate energy in my “lady parts” for life in general, for creativity, decisions, even to nail a job interview. So in some way that question was spot on. I did find that my path of personal development is through sensuality, if not sexuality. This book Wet is about how that came to be.
Wet starts in 2009 in my mid-thirties when I was single and working in Silicon Valley. At age 36, I was single, child-free, in a well-paid job that did not make me happy. Touch-starved in the digital age, I found myself waking up “dreaming in Twitter,” feeling a deep anxiety that I had lost touch with my own voice. I very much wanted a man to be lying next to me in bed, but for the life of me I could not get a boyfriend.
I was never a girl to worry about an engagement ring. I was more likely to ask, like Peggy Lee did in her hit song from 1969, Is that all there is? In fact, I had become famous as a non-settler when I wrote the book Quirkyalone, which launched a movement of people who choose not to settle in love.
I felt disappointed and disillusioned that actually I had settled.
My resume was amazing, but my life felt very dry, like a giant to-do list and there was no more satisfaction in crossing anything off.
I wanted the script of what a woman is supposed to want: a husband, house, maybe one child, but then again, I didn’t really want that either. The real problem was I didn’t know what I wanted.
For the first time in a long time I had money for a vacation. I went on a three-week trip to Brazil. In Rio, I lost weight with no effort. I felt alive again. And I fell in love. Not with a single person, but with the vibe. I made friends quickly and was stunned by how happy people seemed, how vibrant. The way they carried their bodies was different: looser. These people were living at the vibration I wanted to live at. I wanted to know what made them so relaxed and exuberant. Whatever they had, I wanted that.
Listening to the body
In the Rio airport on the way home to San Francisco, I felt a flash, a pulse of samba through my body. I going to live in Rio. My body gave me a message, and that was strange. I wasn’t used to my body giving me messages. Adulthood had scrubbed the instincts out of me. Being practical, advancing in my career, searching for a man had all been practical, strategic, even algorithm-driven activities.
My friend Chris from college and I came up with the idea of the “life churn” a few years before to describe radical transformation when you throw your life up in the air and let it land in a new place, and now I was about to enter my churn. I decided I had been too much in my head in Silicon Valley and it was time to put more attention on the desire of my body. So after that initial impulse in the food court, I decided to try a new theory: to follow my body.
This was not normal behavior for me. I grew up in WASPy Rhode Island and it makes me feel nervous and strange to use the word “pussy.” I come from a family headed by a very practical mother where we never talked about sex. In high school, I was on the math team and the debate team, you name the team, I was on it. I defined myself as an intellectual “good girl,” much more about my brain than my body.
WET is the story of how I broadened what’s possible for me as a woman and changed by following my body as well as my mind. Wet is about what I learned through my detective quest of happiness and sensuality, through four years of unplanned travels in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and upon return back to San Francisco when I returned. None of this was planned. I didn’t set out to study a in x country and b in y country. It was an improvised adventure that I kept extending because getting wet was so good I didn’t want to stop. It’s a story of owning my sensuality for myself, not for men, not for anyone else, just for me. It’s a juicy tale of transformation. It’s more than juicy. It’s wet.
-Yancy Lael, business owner
I want to make you blush
The title Wet is designed to make you blush. I want you to feel a visceral sense of turn-on in reading the book. Wet for me is that feeling of turn-on, not only sexual turn-on but the turn-on of feeling alive. It’s about being open to intuition, it’s an homage to female sexuality that gets diminished in our culture into being a caricature, a performance.
Wet is the opposite of dry. Wet is juicy. It is also murky. It is internal. It’s not necessarily clear. It is not necessarily linear. To be wet is not nearly as obvious as a hard-on. Female sexuality is always more hidden, more cloaked, more mysterious. More dripped in its own blood. Wet is about more than sex. It is about vitality and sensuality. It is about the blood coursing through us. It is about saying yes to ourselves and life. And pleasure. Even with our conflicted relationship to pleasure.
Wet is a way of life, what it is to be wet vs dry. You don’t even have to have sex to get wet though it helps. It’s possible to go from dry to wet and back to dry then wet again. It’s all possible. You just have to be unafraid to sweat, to get dirty, to make mistakes, to try new things, to get out of your comfort zone. You have to dive in.
The potential of sex and sensuality for personal growth
Sex and sensuality are the missing piece when we talk about personal growth and therapy. I got to know myself through my body. I even reinvented my life through paying careful attention to my body’s desires. As one woman told me during this journey, if you’re going to choose something to study, why not make it pleasure? I’ve learned so much through my adventures that I felt called to write this book.
Want to start getting wet now? Listen to these podcasts.
And here’s another, a podcast I did with Michele Lisenbury Christensen about exploring the edges of our feminine orgasmic potential inside the bedroom and in our lives as women. This is an excellent, intimate conversation about this part of our body that wants to be used! (We met at “Orgasm School.”)
Can’t wait for the book? I integrate these Wet ideas in my coaching
If you want to live a wet, turned-on life fueled by pleasure I am the coach for you. I’ve been coaching women since 2011 and if you also want to live a more turned-on life I can help you get there. Contact me here about “wet coaching”–fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
If you have that desire I can help. It’s my honor and privilege to share this information with you and help you find your wet. It’s my calling in life, seriously, so if you want this, reach out and let’s talk!
W(h)et your appetite for more. Would you like to be an early reader? Sign up for this special list
WET is percolating in my computer and I can’t wait to share it with you. I am so excited about the conversations WET will spark. We all get to define what makes our lives wet as opposed to dry. We learn a lot when we talk about sex and sensuality in a more meaningful way.
As I write, I want to gather contacts of people who are interested in this work now. There will come a time soon when I will want to share some early snippets for feedback, and to collaboratively bat around some ideas about what it means to live a wet vs. dry life. So of this interests you, please sign up here to get a sneak peek of the book and be part of an early group of readers giving feedback and even helping to define the distinctions of wet vs. dry.