The most beautiful prostitute I ever worked with was completely unrecognizable 20 years later when she approached me in a theatre crowd. She had grown her body into a thick fortress  which I easily imagined would ward off all male advances. While I was surprised, I completely understood. Women can change their bodies to feel safe. Their bodies cooperate because emotional safety is paramount.

Women’s bodies sell almost everything. The perfect images in ads contributes to women looking into mirrors and distorting what they see. Women waste a lot of time wanting what they don’t have, whether it’s larger breasts or faces without wrinkles. Women don’t spend enough time learning and knowing how their bodies work sexually. Too many young woman look at me with disgust when I ask if they have masturbated. I make the 1970’s consciousness raising suggestion that they take a look at their vagina with a mirror at home. This suggestion is often met with horror. Why can pre-teens put a penis in their mouth but are reluctant to look at their own vagina? This is too sad for words.

Women will betray their bodies by either obsessing or ignoring them. I do not believe that women’s bodies will betray them. A woman may be reluctant to discover her own orgasm, but her body will always have it waiting there ready to discover. For years a women may not realize she hasn’t had an orgasm. Then when she learns how to allow her body to release an orgasm it is completely unforgettable and there is no mistake about what an orgasm is. If a woman is open to exploring her own body there is so much to be learned.

In the movie When Harry Met Sally there is the memorable scene where Meg Ryan (Sally) teaches Harry how easy it is for a woman to fake an orgasm. Harry believed that he could tell the difference between a real and a fake orgasm, Sally shows him otherwise. Women will do this to make the man content. Women will often not talk to a man about what’s actually helpful for her to achieve orgasm. They don’t share what works and what doesn’t work because it’s too easy to leave their bodies behind. Everything looks so intense, complete and perfect in the movies, “what’s the matter with me” they think. In the movies everyone knows exactly what to do and what works – few are left unsatisfied. In an episode of Two and a Half Men, Charley’s girlfriend was telling him not to worry about satisfying her because she was stressed out which was far more realistic and a classic “My satisfaction can easily go on the back burner” response.

Many women who are unhappy in their marriages will get caught up in “I should try even harder although my heart’s not really in it . . . ” or feel seduced by their partner’s words wanting everything to be OK. These same women won’t be able to turn their bodies loose in sex. Their bodies will not betray them. Their bodies will not co-operate and they will end up unsatisfied. Their bodies retain their unresolved misery and will not let go. It is also true that women will be able to have sweet “goodbye sex” after the decision has been reached to part. As in the movie It’s Complicated it is lovely to have sex because it acknowledges the power of their history together.

Women will betray their bodies and not even know that they are missing out on their sexual peak. Too many women do not even know at what age their sexual peak emerges. Many women in their thirties, too easily say, that they are too tired or too busy for sex. One young woman I know, went to her office and asked six women colleagues her age and they all agreed that sex wasn’t that important. These women will miss out on their sexual peak which is 34-38. Sadly, women betray their own bodies.

Women often forget their own wants and needs because they are too busy caretaking others. I often suggest to women that while their periods may exaggerate their feelings, their feelings might get ignored without the exaggeration. Periods are a gift from the body that says “pay attention to yourself.” Bodies do not betray women. Your body is a messenger from your soul. Learn how to listen.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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