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This Sex Priestess Wants to Heal Sexual Trauma With Spiritual Fingering

"I can often feel the memory releasing through her vagina and out through my hand."

af Isabelle Hellyer
21 oktober 2015, 2:08am

Images provided by Kerri Ryan


Kerri Ryan is a sexological bodyworker and self proclaimed Priestess of the Goddess based just outside of Byron Bay. She believes that through a combination of erotic and gentle massage she can ease her client's struggles with impotence, inability to orgasm, and even help people recover from sexual trauma. Much of her work is with women who have suffered sexual abuse or traumatic childbirths. This all involves touching, externally and internally, people's genitals.

I'll just pause here to say that speaking with Kerri for this article was one of the most confusing conversations I've ever had. It's easy to dismiss all the goddess stuff as northern New South Wales eccentricity, but amidst the casual Mesopotamian priestess footnotes, she touches on some very real issues around our disconnect from sex. And after speaking to her, the notion of joining an ancient pagan feminist religious order felt considerably less insane.

VICE: Hey Kerri, so I don't know a whole lot about sexological bodywork, can we start with how your discovered it?
Kerri Ryan: It came into my orbit about two years ago. It was a attractive to me because I'm a Priestess of the Goddess, and I've been working with sacred sexuality for years, to bring back an awareness of how sexuality, in the past, was much more liberal, much more open, and can be that way again. Sexological Bodywork allows me to take this work with sexuality to a much deeper level—a hands-on level.

What do we mean by "hands-on"?
I work internally, with gloved hands. We do a process called mapping, which works with just finger-point touches. The woman is totally in control of what's happening. This isn't something that would happen in the first session, this is something we'd work up to.

If somebody's experienced sexual trauma, the last thing you'd want to do is say "get up on the table, open your legs, let's go there." We work to the point where she's ready.

Kerri's HQ, where she hosts her sessions

So women come to you with sex-related issues and you massage their vaginas?
Starting at the top of the external part of the vulva, I'll put one finger-point there and I'll say, "Okay, what are you feeling here? Let me know. Is there numbness, is there pain, is there a memory coming up?"

We then move to the next point, which is another finger-point down, and we will map the whole external part of her genitals. Then we move inside and search for points of trauma. There will be points that are just numb, there will be some points where a memory will arise. I've had women who've had total recall of being raped by their father at three, or five, or eight. With that memory coming up there's an opportunity to release that energy out of the body.

You're not a counsellor though, how did you responsibly manage a traumatic memory like that coming up in a session?
We breathed through that memory. I can often feel the memory releasing through her vagina and out through my hand.

How about women who've experienced traumatic childbirth? What's the process like there?
With traumatic childbirth the main focus is scarring and tears through the vagina, both internally and externally. These could be episiotomy scars––one woman I saw last week had a tear like this up near her clitoris––or any general internal scarring caused from tears. They cause numbness and tissue contraction, which really inhibits sensation and pleasure in the area. For these women, we'll work with castor oil to dissolve the adhesions of scar tissue.

Kerri running a goddess workshop

So you only work with women?
I work with men too. I don't want to leave the men out—we're all in need of finding a connection to our authentic sexuality. Why do we think it's sinful or bad that men go and have erotic massages? Let's question that. Why should a man, or a woman, deny having a really healthy orgasm? A man can come to me and have an erotic massage and I can show him how to work with his sexuality. You can work with men and women on all parts of their genitals, allowing them to return to a high functioning place of receiving pleasure.

So sexological bodywork is, in short, a way to reconnect with sexuality to undo trauma and use sexuality as a healing tool?
Correct. So many of the women I work with suffered some form of sexual abuse, be it incest or rape. They're dealing with massive amount of trauma within the body. Sexological bodywork allows me to clear this away.

Can you talk about that a little more?
We are vibrating beings, and when we have illness the body does not vibrate as highly as somebody who is healthy. That's because the flow of energy is blocked, like a hose that's got a pinch in it. When I'm touching a woman's genitals where there's blockage, I'm allowing that blockage to release, to transmute.

Backtracking for a moment, where does Priestess of the Goddess come from?
Before patriarchy and Christianity—we're talking 50,000 years back from 2,500 BCE—we're able to find archaeological evidence of the Goddess. People actually worshipped a female deity right across the world, in nearly every culture through a temple structure. God was a woman, and sexuality was very much part of ancient civilisation.

How come I haven't heard about any of this?
Around 2,500 BCE, when the Visigoths came down from the north, the masculine sky gods started to take control. They understood to give power to a god in the sky they had to deny the power of the female and the body. Women's power started to decrease over thousands of years and the temple structure degraded. Today, we don't even understand not worshipping a male god.

Now, the way we use sexuality today is all about denying the body; Catholic priests must remain celibate, Christianity still controls sex through marriage. You have a religion based around denying sexuality! But women are starting to remember, within their deep cellular memories, that they worshipped female deities.

And you're a priestess in this set-up; how does this relate back to your work with sex?

I was a priestess is the temple of Mesopotamian goddess Inanna. In the ancient temple system, the priestesses' bodies would become vessels for the energy of the Goddess. They would join with the men who came to the temple, who would pay a lot of money to experience the goddess, sexually. That was one of the ways the ancient mysteries were transferred. They weren't so much written as revealed through the sexual act.

And you still worship the goddess?
Absolutely. In this very patriarchal, male dominated society I want to address imbalance by starting to worship the feminine once again. I want women to understand that they can be empowered through their sexuality.

To be clear, this is your religion?
Yes. Sexuality becomes a religion. I hate to use that word because it implies dogma, and that's so hardcore. With sexuality, there are no rules.

Amen to that.

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