Wet: A Memoir of My Life Churn
My next book will be called WET. I am in my creative cave writing it, so its far from ready to share. As I write, I want to invite you into my creative process and ask for you to go along the journey with me.
First there was dryness
By age 35 I had taken a job purely to make money in Silicon Valley, and found myself on the Dark Side, promoting products I didn’t believe in. My life was dry in all senses.
During a conference call I made a list of countries to visit. I wrote Brazil twice on the list, then googled Brazil. Sexy images of men in zungas (speedo bathing suits) popped up, and something in me said go.
I went on a three-week trip to Brazil in September 2008, two months before the presidential election, just as the mortgage collapse was happening worldwide.
In Rio, I felt alive again. 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. Their bodies were looser. These people were living at the vibration I wanted to live at. Whatever Cariocas (Rio residents) had, I wanted that.
In the Rio airport on the way home to San Francisco from that three-week trip, I felt a flash, a pulse of samba through my body. My body gave me a message: Move to Rio.
That was strange. I wasn’t used to my body giving me messages.
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’s desires.
Intuition rather than logic.
To go with the pulse.
Wet = Listening to the body
This hairpin turn was not normal for me. I was sailing along in life checking the boxes of adulthood, and had not traveled much since right after college. I grew up in a repressed town in New England where people didn’t talk about sex, much less about following the body’s desires. My life had been full of traditional accomplishment: I was the class valedictorian, I had published two books by 33 and cofounded and sold an Internet company by 35.
I wanted the script of what a woman is supposed to want: a husband, house, one child, but then again, I didn’t really want that either. The real problem was I didn’t know what I wanted. So I went to Brazil.
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, that’s a life churn. This was my churn.
WET is about what I learned through my detective quest of love, intimacy, sexuality, and sensuality, through five years of unplanned travels in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and upon return back to San Francisco when I returned. None of this was planned. It was an improvised adventure. It’s a story of owning my sensuality for myself. It’s a juicy tale of transformation. It’s more than juicy. It’s wet.
In many ways, Wet is the follow-up to Quirkyalone, but it’s a much more personal book. In Quirkyalone, I looked at the lives, psychologies and personalities of people who prefer to be single rather than settle. In Wet, I investigate my own personal history in being single, relationships, and sexuality.
The story happens through the following of the body—the following of cues, intuitions, and ultimately finding my own unique healing path through sensuality, sex, reconnecting with my body, tango (and other dance, music experiences). The book takes us through many sensual experiences including tango, reminding us we are a body first and the body remembers.
Only when I started to finally face the truth about how deeply an incident of childhood sexual abuse affected me can I start to create a life on my own terms and open my heart to what I have wanted all along: a substantial intimate relationship.
Paying attention to my body’s messages guided me to the truth in ways that I never would have guessed.
In broad themes, Wet is a story of moving from a hollow, disembodied existence to a fully alive, embodied existence, but that’s not the main theme, because reclaiming my body also reawakens sexual trauma, and it’s the working through of the trauma that is the real story, a powerful one. So then, this is also a story about letting down defenses, taking risks, and releasing shame.
Ultimately Wet is a story about facing fear—realizing the past can no longer hurt you and you have nothing to fear.
Wet = an homage to female sexuality
The title 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 to flow with the signals of your own body and that’s not always clear either.
Female sexuality is always more hidden and cloaked, more mysterious. To be wet is not nearly as obvious as a hard-on. Wet is about more than sex. It is about vitality and sensuality. It is about blushing and the blood coursing through us. It is about saying yes to ourselves and life. And pleasure. Even with our conflicted relationship to pleasure.
Sex and sensuality are missing when we talk about personal growth and therapy. My journey was a story of healing through sensuality. As one woman told me during this journey, if you’re going to choose something to study, why not make it pleasure?
For a sneak preview, listen to this podcast.
W(h)et your appetite for more. Would you like to be an early reader or experience wetness for yourself through my coaching? Sign up for this special list
WET is percolating in my computer. In 2017 I am working on the second draft—it’s a long but worthwhile journey to bring this book to you!
I am so excited about the conversations WET will spark. I already know the conversations will be amazing–because I’m having them with my coaching clients and the women who come to my Tango Goddess Workshop and in the Tango Adventure (where I teach some Wet themes and strategies for life).
As I write, I want to gather contacts of people who are interested in this work now and wetness coaching or in other wetness learning.
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. I share “wetness” inspiration and insights with my coaching clients now and those who attend my workshops.
If Wet interests you as a reader, coaching client or student, please sign up here to get a sneak peek of the book and be part of an early group of readers giving feedback.
You can also get in touch to learn more about wetness coaching and how getting in touch with your own wetness, your own sense of pleasure and sensuality, can impact your vitality, self-esteem and your life outside the bedroom.