Steve: Olivia is the founder of Self Cervix which is an online course which women are using around the world to find their personal power and to awaken the energy of their cervix. She’s trained in sexology, conscious loving, and has been exploring sexuality for the last 15 years and we can hear more about her right now. Hi Olivia, how are you doing?
Olivia: Hi Steve, I’m great! Thanks for having me on.
Steve: It’s a pleasure, so tell us a bit about your journey into sexuality and then how that led you to what you’re doing today.
Olivia: Okay, so I really began this journey when I was in my mid-20’s and I would call myself a reformed shy girl. I grew up in a family that many people grow up in, one that doesn’t really talk about sex.
I found that very hard to integrate as a young adult and understand.
Things that weren’t really talked about at school or even within friendship groups around what real pleasure is and orgasm and all of those things.
So, I was kind of in the dark and I think with that embodied shame comes a whole lot of other things like low libido and confusion and blockages and inability to communicate with a partner.
So about that time I went about healing myself by reading everything I could, putting myself through a whole lot of daring activities to kind of try and break through the shame wall that I had and eventually I suppose that took me about 3 years, though, I will always say that shame is one of those things that you know you keep pushing out against your edge and then you know I feel sometimes that little shame come up again and you have to kind of work with it, it’s a constant thing for me and I think for many other people as well.
Eventually I trained in sexology at a post-graduate level and I actually gave it up because I wanted to help women who were feeling shame but it turned out those women don’t really come forward for help so I kind of let it go for a while and it just coincided also with the end of a bad break-up.
So it kind of felt like I was just giving everything up.
And at that time (around this really bad break-up), I noticed that I was holding a lot of tension in my pelvis and I went to a friend who was a Pilates instructor and she basically told me that all the muscles around my pelvis were essentially closing in, essentially saying a big no to intimacy.
I had absolutely no desire for sex.
How can I be a stand for sexuality when right now I’m really resentful about sex [laughs].
I’m quite nerdy about this all this stuff so when something’s happening in the pelvis I want to investigate it.
So I decided to find a tantric healer, bodyworker to basically de-armour me, give me some bodywork in that area to find out what was happening and it turns out in that session I had just an extraordinary amount of pain that needed to be released and in that session we discovered that I had a completely numb cervix.
If you know about tantric orgasm it’s a real bummer because the cervix is a major trigger point for the transcendent kinds of orgasms and it actually has, is the only organ in the body with 3 major paired nerves and the surface is innovated, so it was completely numb.
And so that was kind of a shock.
So I was advised by Matt Schwentek who was the bodyworker who helped me to go and work on my cervix for a period of 21 days as a way of waking up the area.
In the process of getting to the cervix, I also realized that we need to start de-armouring the entire vagina to get to the cervix.
It’s so far up in the body there’s no point in going there before you’ve gone through the rest of the yoni or the vagina.
And the other thing with all of this is that we have to kind of feel this numbness or this pain before we can really access full pleasure.
So I went about this process called de-armouring which is what we teach in Self Cervix, how to de-armour the yoni and also get to the cervix and really start to awaken it essentially so that it can be the pleasure centre that it’s meant to be.
Steve: And for the listeners who’ve never heard de-armouring before, I have experienced it so I know a bit about it. What specifically is de-armouring and why do we as humans have armoured bodies?
Olivia: Armouring is essentially the body’s response to a stressful situation.
It’s the nervous system’s way of protecting us and sometimes it’s good to have, like it, we need a little bit of armouring to protect ourselves but more than often we’re we end up creating these patterns in our lives where we begin to store the armouring and it becomes layer upon layer and this manifests as tension, or a pain or numbness and you can feel it in your muscles.
You know you got it around your shoulders, around your neck and your belly you know places that feel knotty and for women and I would say men definitely as well the pelvis is a major area where we hold stress.
I think for women we hold a lot of armouring around what it means to be a woman and a sexual woman you know sometimes I think we also hold armouring that we inherit from our mothers and our grandmothers their views around sexuality.
When a woman starts to release these areas in her body, in her pelvis there’s deep release, deep healing and also a lot of trauma re-emerges that perhaps they even forgot about in the past memory, emotional memory.
So it’s a really important practise I think for everyone to do regularly just to allow ourselves to be able to receive and stop blocking our pleasure potential.
What happens though for a woman to let’s say she’s got a lot of armouring around the cervix, she might have been penetrated before she’s ready and the cervix is too low and so, therefore, it is unconsciously pounded into by whatever is entering the vagina.
And this can cause her to brace pre-emptively before it even gets to the cervix so there’s already tension in the vagina and then once it gets to the cervix you can imagine any part of the body that’s continually pounded will go numb or will go sore and tender which is what so many women we’ve come across experience.
Mostly numbness at the cervix.
So it’s a really important practice for us to do and like armouring for a woman often occurs at the entrance of her vagina and this is where she may have allowed someone to cross her boundary or she may have crossed her own boundary without being ready for sex let someone inside or someone’s entered before she is ready.
It’s literally a “no” in the body that is being repeated. Like a clamping, so the entrance is a place with a lot of tension, pain for a woman, so particularly women who have pain during sex I highly recommend this practice and women who don’t have pain during sex what I’ve found after, for me, the journey was progressive ones.
So in the first time, I did the journey I had to put pleasure aside essentially because exploring my inner realms it just wasn’t my usual pleasure focus. I was very clitorally focused and so going inside I had very little sensation and frankly, it was boring and I really like was into the excitement of the clitoral orgasm.
And so the first round I had to kind of put that aside but we actually recommend not going for a clitoral orgasm because it creates that contraction in the body and there is also a release of dopamine and it sort of prevents you from wanting you to explore more.
You want to relax and just you know to go to sleep or stop having sex.
In order to go deeper and feel a subtler sensation, we say just put clitoral orgasms aside for a little bit and see what else there is.
And so, this first month I did that and I was really bored and so I just decided to give it up and give up expecting anything and I just focused on the de-armouring.
The second month I decided I was going to go more for pleasure and I think it was the end of the third round that I started to feel my cervix and that was a beautiful moment, quite emotional for me actually.
Meeting a part of your body a part of yourself that you’ve never felt before especially this part of the body because it’s in such a sacred precious place.
What I noticed after, I would say I practised on average once a week going up in the journeys and then sort of relaxing between journeys.
Steve: And this is all on your own? Not with a partner?
Olivia: Yes it’s on my own hence, Self Cervix, so you’re doing it on your own.
I created a partner’s journey to help people bring in partners but yes, on my own.
During the process I noticed was just how much sensation increased and how much more pleasure I was able to feel and sex itself completely changed.
I didn’t want to have friction-based sex anymore, like in out, in out.
I just wanted to pause and feel and be still and slow and yeah I had so much more awareness and eventually, after 8 months, I had my first internal experience of orgasm which was amazing.
It went on for a couple of hours to the point where I was sort of uncomfortable because I wanted to go to sleep. (laughs) And so, yeah. It’s been a big journey.
And then the next part was I went through a very busy time with my work and I sort of stopped practising and after 3 months of not practising I really, really noticed, I really noticed how much tension I’d accumulated and how sex had changed again. It was far less conscious because I just couldn’t feel as much I’m guessing.
So, yeah, I think I want to also add in there, in that time I had about 6 bodywork sessions. And I think it’s really important to have someone else help you as well because there’s only so much that you can feel for yourself. It’s sometimes good to have someone else’s assistance so that you can potentially go to places that you might not be able to go on your own.
Steve: And this cervical orgasm how does it differ from say a G-Spot orgasm or a clitoral orgasm?
Olivia: Oh man, I always try and avoid these questions.
Olivia: The main reason why is because I think language is so inadequate in explaining these things and the comparison trap is so huge.
I don’t know about men but I know with women because there are so many feelings around inadequacy about orgasm. But so many of the times I think women are having these experiences but they just don’t recognize it because they’re looking for what they think it should feel like or they are comparing it to a clitoral orgasm.
So I will, I also want to say that for me I’m still on a journey so I don’t want to sit here and be inauthentic and be like “yeah I’m so, so orgasmic right now”, I’m still learning this.
So I want to say in my experience and I really want to just emphasize the fact that every single woman has a different body and a different experience but in my experience, a clitoral orgasm is a sharper sensation like it’s a higher pitch, if it was a sound.. it kind of builds into a peak and then it drops and there’s a release. It requires (for me) more friction and rubbing to get there, it’s very horny and excitement based.
My experience of internal orgasms, no matter where they’re triggered from are a deeper sound, again you’d sound deeper and more expanded in the body, it seems more energetic, the sensation moves up and outwards rather than down and out.
It sort of moves up and it’s like the boundaries of your body disappear.
That’s my experience and it’s a very, very, very heart-opening and for me my heart has to be really open to experience that.
For example, with a clitoris, I can just kind of get off and I can almost be checked out in a way.
It’s a very mechanical, physical process whereas with the internal experiences for me my heart has been really open.
Like the first time I experienced this full-body experience was I was in Rome and I was just so, so happy, like so happy I couldn’t get the smile off my face and so when I went to practice my heart was so expanded and I feel like you know the Taoist’s and the Tantric’s talk a lot about the connection between the heart and the cervix and I could really, really feel that energetic connection then and I think it’s so vital that when a woman does this practice and she’s working on her cervix that she’s also in her heart.
Steve: I think the men are having cervix jealousy if they’re listening. Although, we shouldn’t be because…
Olivia: No because men can have all types of orgasms.
Steve: Yeah, for sure. I know I’ve certainly in the last few years as I’ve delved into these realms of Tantric sacred sexuality where I’m having crazy kind of orgasms through my heart, through my throat, you know full-body orgasms without being touched, things like that. So men, do not feel left out because you don’t have a cervix.
Olivia: Our whole body could be orgasmic if we are not armoured. If we can go to that place of vulnerability and let go.
Be so open that we don’t have the armour up and on my journey that’s been a massive, massive, massive struggle in a way because you know coming from a young woman who was filled with shame I don’t think that that just leaves your body it’s imprinted in you.
So that’s a lot for me personally on my journey to work through and I still struggle with just allowing myself to be present in whatever is occurring without expecting and wanting it to be anything other than it is.
And this is the other beautiful part of these Tantric practices and of what we teach in Self Cervix.
It’s like you cannot have a goal, you just cannot have a goal, you have to be with what is with so much presence, so much awareness that it has the potential to expand, the minute you start putting labels on it, judging it in your head about where it’s all going then becomes a contraction in the mind-body space and then that expansive nature of those deeper orgasms is just not possible.
So it takes this meditative quality, a real presence of mind and a training essentially especially if you’re someone like me who’s gone from feeling all of these stuck qualities and also being quite clitorally focused and fully addicted to having, needing a vibrator to jump off that and finding another way of being, it’s really challenging.
Some women they just have it in their bodies already and others it’s more part of our life story, it’s part of our particular thing that we need to heal.
So I really encourage people not to compare because wow, we get into so much contraction around comparison. Just to really honor where you’re at.
For me as a facilitator of this journey watching women in the community have much more expanded experiences than I have, you know I have to hold steady in myself and just be like, yeah, it’s so amazing, look what the body is capable of.
You know if they can do it I can do it.
You know maybe not in this lifetime, maybe in 10 years but wow, we’re amazing and when we think Tantrically we’re all one you know. So I celebrate every person’s experience.
Steve: Yeah. I completely agree with the whole de-armouring thing and for me, one of the biggest experiences was actually doing a de-armouring workshop with Andrew Barnes on one of those sessions with de-armouring the body, complete whole-body thing and then after a session, I shut my eyes and I was hallucinating like the Buddha next to me…
Steve: It was a completely transcendental experience. Nobody was touching me at that point. I’d just gone into this other kind of sacred geometry space where almost like I’d taken some plant medicine.
Olivia: Well I didn’t want to say that, I was like that sounds like DMT you know, it sounds like DMT.
Steve: Yeah, it sounds like DMT released in the brain and it probably was that.
Olivia: Yeah, I mean that’s what we haven’t actually said is that the cervix is connected to the pineal so the cervical orgasm is the release of DMT. You know if you can get, if you can like release that much you can go into DMT release and so that is, that’s the Tantric orgasm you know. But what you’re saying reminds me that you cannot predict what’s going to happen with any of the stuff you just have to…
Steve: Let go as you said.
Olivia: Yeah, and just be so present. Just be present and willing to just (exhales) and be seen you know.
I think we’re constant… this is our journey as humans to unlock all of the ways that we separate from each other and you know, obviously, a boundary is important in many situations.
You need boundary in your workplace, you need boundary you know with unsolicited intimate you know, you know. Women will need boundaries in the world you know but it’s like the ability to be able to soften and release and I think this is why practising something like de-armouring is so important you know so that you can keep conditioning yourself after…
Steve: Yeah and a two-part question. 1: Do vibrators actually armour a woman? And 2: Do you think that everyone on the planet has some level of armouring?
Olivia: Yeah, (laughs) for sure. I would say yes, I mean I don’t know enlightened beings might not I don’t know. I can’t answer that but the first question, and I don’t want to demonize the vibrator you know, I come from a sexological background which says that however you experience pleasure is alright, it’s all okay. And so, if you love your vibrator I don’t want to say don’t use it, I just want to speak from how my position now has changed.
I used to use the Hitachi Magic Wand, I don’t know if you know that Steve, do you know that vibrator?
Steve: No I don’t think so.
Olivia: It’s kind of, it’s like a legendary vibrator. It’s like a…
Steve: Is it that big huge one?
Olivia: (laughs) It’s the foot-long plug-in vibrator.
Steve: Yeah, that looks like a piece of builders machinery. I’ve never seen one in person but I’ve seen one on the internet and I think the other one that everyone knows is the rabbit one. It’s those 2 that seem to be the biggest sellers.
Steve: I don’t know if the vibrator industry has changed in the last few years but yeah.
Olivia: It has. But it, it was a power tool and it feels bloody good, it feels really good.
It’s just an easy get off you know so you know I, that was my way into feeling like an adequate woman because I can and I can orgasm with that.
And so, that was my medicine for a while you know and but does it cause armouring? Yes.
I know because it’s been a year now since I put that thing into like super safe storage like securely protected (laughs).
Steve: Fort Knox.
Olivia: Fort Knox (laughs) And my response has completely changed.
I don’t need it now and I don’t miss it at all and I can feel the armouring around the clitoris which feels like a pin if you get a nerve around the clitoris it feels like, sort of a little bit of acid or little pin sticking in. If you de-armour the nerve around the clitoris and the clitoris was really armoured I know that from when you have like, it’s the same with all clitoral orgasms you, you’re tensing up before you have that release so, yes.
And the other thing about using a vibrator is that while it creates one sensation which is really pleasurable and amazing and I don’t want to take that away from anyone. It also it’s such a dominant, dominant sensation that it blocks and trains your brain to need that level of stimulation to feel.
So when I took the vibrator away, I was bored I couldn’t feel because I was so used to that level of stimulation and it just took me a long time to de-armour and soften the tissue, relax and feel again.
So that’s my view and they’ll be pro-vibrator people out there who really hate that I’m saying this because you know they do have a function in the world. They do, they are fun, they’re fun for couples to explore with who might be bored in their sex lives, they’re good if you’ve never had an orgasm in your life and you just want to know what a clitoral orgasm feels like.
But in terms of my current purpose and where I’m at in life, they don’t have a place anymore because I’m more interested in exploring deeper more subtle places within myself and also more secure in myself. I don’t give a shit about whether I have an orgasm, don’t have an orgasm.
What I’m interested in is can I feel, am I connected, am I present, am I like am I in an ecstatic place with myself or with my partner, that’s all I care about. Who gives a shit about orgasm ultimately. At the end of the day, that’s an amazing bonus to what we’re really going for in life which is connection, I think.
Steve: Yeah. Beautifully said. So can you tell a little bit about more about your course and where people can get hold of it or how people can?
Olivia: So we’re running the next journey March the 1st (and we run throughout the year) so we open for registration in February. And so the course it’s running in 2 parts.
The first part is it takes you through 21 days of everything you need to know about when you go to de-armour yourself.
So first of all, all the processes and then dealing with grief, dealing with rage, the things that might come up during the month.
And then the second part there’s a whole bunch of the community have come together and they’re talking on more diverse topics such as anal de-armouring and more pleasure-based practices associated with the cervix so the first part is healing and releasing and the second part is moving towards pleasure but that begins in March.