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Pussy: A Reclamation, Or Narcissistic Apotheosis? (3/5)

Pussy: A Reclamation teaches women to live an empowered life by regaining control over their center of life, pleasure, and power: the pussy.

Says Regena Thomashauer -in art “mama gena”-, the author of “Pussy”:

The solution for the epidemic of powerlessness among women, which neither great success nor higher education is able to solve, is simple: reconnecting a woman to her pussy.

Bullet Summary

  • Learn how to pleasure yourself (from orgasms to food to dancing)
  • Embrace your negative emotions and grieve fully: it will help you bounce back
  • Becoming a courtesan means being classy and sexual at the same time

Pussy – Book Summary

Regena Thomashauer shares a lot of personal stories, but in this “Pussy summary” I will focus on the most

#1. The Goddess Is Inside of You

Regena explains her story of looking for holiness and enlightenment in temples and in the holy land (for her) of Israel.

But she found only dust and old buildings there. And, for a blonde and young blonde tourist, lots of sexual harassment as well.

Then, after a class teaching self-love, she found the courage to follow up with the exercises.
She felt weird, but she prepared for the evening as if the most important person in the world were to visit. She filled her bathtub, prepared her best food, lit up the candle.. Then went in front of the mirror and admired herself.

And started touching herself for sensual pleasure.
She writes:

All these years I had been looking for the Goddess. Suddenly I had stumbled upon her—in the last place I would ever think to look. She was here, inside of me.

#2. The Stages of Pussy Reclamation

Regena says there are 5 stages women go through to re-acquaint themselves with their pussies:

  1. Disgust for their own pussies
  2. She gets curious without being disgusted
  3. She starts researching about pussy, curious about the world that can open up to her
  4. She becomes a pussy expert, the way she looks at herself changes and her confidence increases
  5. Rapture, feeling and experiencing awe

#3. Cliteracy Rules

In “Pussy: A Revelation” the term “cliteracy” refers to someone who has been schooled in how a clitoris work.

Here are the rules of “cliteracy”:

  1. Pussy loves praise
  2. Pussy is sensitive: hates criticism and abuse
  3. Who holds the pussy holds the power
  4. She takes all the time she need (referring to orgasms)

#4. Endless Orgasms: Clitoral Stroking

Regena talks about orgasms and “stroking” to teach women how to pleasure themselves.

She says there is a lot of misunderstanding around orgasms (indeed). There are no vaginal orgasms, they are all clitoral.
But some women feel like an orgasm is vaginal because they can orgasm with penetration. But that only happens when the clitoris is close enough to the vaginal entrance.

The best orgasms though are reached via direct stimulation of the clitoris. The author explains that a woman can train to go after the first orgasm if she learns to overcome the over-sensitivity of her clitoris right after climax.

She writes:

I learned how to relax my body while my clitoris was stroked, and as a result I could experience peak after peak after peak with no “going over.

#5. Becoming a Courtesan

Much of Regena’s work is inspired by the European courtesans, which were the high-class hookers of the old world.

Becoming a courtesan means not only owning one’s own pleasure, but also understanding male pleasure and.. Being classy.

The author grabs a few leaves out of “The Art of Seduction” as she describes Cleopatra and how she spellbound the Roman conquerors.

These are the traits of the perfect courtesan:

  1. Dresses well
  2. Uses pleasure as compass
  3. Flirts as a spiritual practice
  4. She never gives up on her desire

#6. Grieve Until The End

With her usual dig at the “patriarchy” with which I fully disagree, Regena Thomashauer says that to overcome pain and move on, you need to grieve fully.

As per her usual style, she has some rather extreme-looking recommendations, like for example wearing a garbage bag (literally), wiping ash on her face, dancing around with 1, 2 or 3 songs.
And then going back to normal

Also read:

Note:

But I have to fully disagree with the author’s interpretation of “grieve”. She writes:

I learned that grief is sacred. It has an inherent intelligence and a time line that is perfect—whether it lasts a day or a year.

Just because it worked well for her it’s spurious to think or suggest that it’s the same for everyone.
This reminds me a bit of the “personal God fallacy” which is also present in another very popular female self-help book called “Girl Wash Your Face“.

#7. Radiant Relationships

Radiant relationships is one of the chapters of “Pussy: A Reclamation” that I enjoyed the most and agreed the most with.

Here is how Regena defines “radiant relationship”:

A partnership that’s created for the expressed purpose of taking one another higher.

Yep.
And just like that, you would eliminate 70% of games women play and 80% of games men play.

You’d totally erase combative relationships and we’d all enjoy better relationships.

Note:
Again in this chapter Regena shows a poor understanding of basic psychology (and biology) when she blames “conditioning” for her own jealousy.

#8. The Womanly Arts

And finally, in the end, Regena Thomashauer lists the womanly arts that she talked about during the whole “Pussy: A Reclamation”:

  1. Whetting Your Own Appetite (identify your desire and find out what you want)
  2. Having Fun No Matter What (you decide your moods no matter the circumstances)
  3. Sensual Pleasure (explore and learn the capacity of pleasure in our bodies)
  4. Flirtation (create fun and turn-on state in everyone)
  5. Owning Your Own Beauty (decide you are the hottest thing ever)
  6. Partying with Your Inner Bitch (channeling your anger for creative endeavors)
  7. Owning and Operating Men (navigating relationships with grace and humor while having it your way)
  8. Inviting Abundance (attracting riches)

Note:
I didn’t like the author’s choice of words when she writes “owning and operating men”.
Sure, most women unconsciously try to control men, but the way the author puts it, it again lets out an air of misanthropy here.

“Pussy: A Reclamation” Quotes

On freeing women:

I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if they only knew they were slaves

On women as creators of everyone alive:

There is no human alive today who was not created and held inside the living altar of a woman.

“Pussy: A Reclamation” Criticism

I really enjoyed “Pussy: A Reclamation”.
Yet, there is much I disagreed with.

Let’s start:

By Promoting “Sisterhoods” Pussy Is Sectarian and Divisive

I don’t think that “Pussy A Reclamation” is toxic femininity, but it’s not the healthiest type of femininity either.

Writes Regena:

Picture this: a room filled with the crackling connected pulsing energy of hundreds of women, standing together in sisterhood

And she goes even further by stating that women “need” other women (otherwise, what?):

We women need to reach inside and rescue ourselves, which is oh-so-possible with a community of sisterhood supporting us.

By promoting the idea that women need other women and “sisterhood” to support each other, it also promotes an idea of “in the group” (women) VS “out-group” (men).
Even the way she describes the vagina and the clitoris, she keeps repeating of the 8.000 nerve endings it contains… which men don’t have. Is it now a race to who’s got more nerve endings?
The way Regena talks about those sisterhoods sounds quite cult-like, too.

I personally think that cult-like groups of only men or only women are more harmful than helpful.
Only men groups and only-women groups are OK of course and even helpful. You can talk about things you wouldn’t talk with mixed-gender groups.

Yet when those groups unite to glorify “the cock” or “the pussy”, they start becoming toxic (and ridiculous).

Narcissistic To The Core

As I read “Pussy A Reclamation” I grew an idea of Mama Gena as a narcissistic woman.
Not too dissimilar from the charismatic men who lead a bunch of other men in online toxic masculinity communities.

For example, she writes:

I wanted to be on television, teaching women about their magnificence. I wanted to be a spoken-word rock star and perform all over the world. I wanted to have celebrities and other movers and shakers as my friends. I wanted to build community and sisterhood.

People with this mindset don’t want to build communities and sisterhood. They want to lead communities and sisterhood (for their own personal gain).

And finally, the crowning of narcissism (italic and underlining are mines):

I wanted romance and poetry and ecstatic sex and to live my own legend

And then she says:

I noticed that all headmistresses of elite institutions had something in common: each had a large portrait of herself hanging in the parlor. I decided that having a portrait painted of myself was the essential next move

LOL, the personal portrait is like the icing on the narcissistic cake.
And if you still had any doubt left (paragraph edited by me for brevity):

To honor the legacy, I try to outdo myself with extravagant entrances at my live events. (..) I rode into the program on a white horse. I might have a gang of hot men carry me in above their heads on a palanquin. Or perhaps I’ll reenact my favorite rock star

You know, just to keep it classy and understated :).

Fanatical, Cult-Like Approach to Self-Development

Regena’s “Pussy Reclamation” seemed at times like the female version of toxic masculinity.

There is so much “Pussy chest-thumping” that it’s almost unavoidable that “we’re so great because of our pussies” ends up being “we’re so better because of our pussies”.

Here is the male equivalent of “Pussy: A Reclamation”:

Hopefully, you see the ridiculousness in all of that :).
An approach centered around “I’m great because of my pussy” is, in my opinion, idiotic as much that guy who thinks he’s better because of his cock.

Some Woo-Woo Content

Some of the “Pussy A Reclamation” content is all about broad generalizations of the “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” type.

For example, Regena says:

The feminine force is primarily responsible for desire. The masculine force is primarily responsible for the production of that desire. The masculine is the rock; the feminine is the wave crashing against that rock.

This is similar to Deida’s work in “The Way of The Superior Man” which is also all about generalizations of male’s strength and female “emotionality”.
And, in some ways, also similar to the “Tao Te Ching“, which talks in broad generalization without actually saying much.

My point of view is that there is certainly a backdrop of truths in these generalizations, but that they do little to enhance our understanding and they do little to help the readers in.

Some Woo-Woo Made-Up Science

“Pussy A Reclamation’ present massive doses of pseudo-science with some made up “facts” that make little sense to the more rational (and skeptical) readers.

For example:

Pussy is where your intuition lives, where your deepest nonrational knowledge lives (..)
She integrates information from diverse sources, including the hypothalamus, neocortex, conscious, unconscious, and peripheral nervous system.
This is why, when our pussy is engaged, we make better choices. We can feel the right next step in any situation.

Woo-Woo Superstition

And of course, some mixing of pussy-woo-woo with some good old superstition:

We tried dabbing pussy juice behind the ears when going to a job interview, with incredible results.
A few dots of PJ perfume before a date? It was like crack cocaine to a guy. If we wanted to make ourselves positively bulletproof, we’d go panty-free and add some temporary tattoos, press-on jewels, and stickers to decorate our secret weapon: pussy. To our amazement, we discovered that adorning her activated her. Like Wonder Woman’s golden cuffs.

Pussy juice behind the ears gives you incredible interview results?
LOL.

It’s not over though. Keep on reading.

Woo-Woo Predicting Pussy Power

At this point, I don’t if the author actually believes in this stuff or if it’s more for inspirational sake:

She talks to us. She will whisper, “I know you are running late, but don’t take a cab—take the subway.” We don’t listen to her, and there we are, stuck in traffic, missing our meeting.
Pussy is your own built-in psychic, your own inner guide, your divining rod.

Woo-Woo Religion

Turns out, pussy changes reality as you best please:

She knew her husband would be in a dark mood if the Seahawks lost, so she lifted her skirt and flashed pussy energy at the TV screen. Miraculously, the game turned around in the last quarter

To which she even adds some powerful blasphemy for the more religious readers.
At this point I was actually laughing at the idiocy of “Pussy A Revelation”:

After the game, the quarterback was telling reporters that “God is so good.” Only Fran knew the truth: that God is impotent until the Goddess shows up to turn him on. Yes, we are each that powerful.

Regena dethrones one God.. And puts another one up in the sky: GPS (the Great Pussy in the Sky).
Now you can change the course of reality with your pussy.

This is worst then Rhonda’s “The Secret“.

Regena actually has an altar where she prays to the GPS-God:

I sit at my altar for a small gratitude ritual. I have a series of stones and small objects I have collected over the years. I light a candle and pick up each of the 30 stones, one at a time. As I replace each one, I whisper gratitude to the Great Pussy in the Sky for different aspects of my life

The whole sequence ends with a more down-to-earth “hello” than most churches through:

Finally, I might pull out my hand mirror and greet my pussy with “Hello, Gorgeous!” just to let her know I honor and remember her.

Woo-Woo Abuse

And finally, a special note must be done for this one:

I decided to reach back in time and call upon the irrevocable power of pussy—and all my ancestresses from ancient Egypt to 20th-century Virginia—to ceremonially stake my claim. I walked around Tiitus’s house and placed a drop of my pussy juice on every object in it, including his toothbrush. The rest of the weekend, I was not a guest. I was the lady of the manor.

To smear people’s objects with one’s own body secretion without them knowing is, in my opinion, abusive.

It doesn’t matter if you think your pussy juices are the best thing on earth: you don’t know if for other people is the same.
I also don’t think there is anything wrong with boogers, but I’d go ballistic if I knew someone had placed boogers around my house.

There is also nothing wrong with dicks, but if someone brushed his penis on my toothbrush, that would also be abusive.

Unfounded Mysanthropic Depiction of Society As “Patriarchy”

From a social point of view, Regena Thomashauer has no idea what she’s talking about.

Her views are polluted by the same type of sloganeering propaganda that pollutes feminists’ (mistaken) opinions.
Here are some examples:

Women who no longer participated in the “mean girls” wounding so common in middle school, an artifact of Patriarchy

If someone thinks that women hurting other women is a consequence of “patriarchy”, that person doesn’t understand a thing about psychology, social psychology, and society in general.

This is some victim mentality in relation to the “oppressive patriarchy”:

We’ve been held hostage by a patriarchal culture that devalues turn-on and uses women’s erotic brilliance in service to the masculine.

And she pushes an agenda of men “profiting” from women (italic and underlining are mine):

What about the vast fortunes we have forked over to corporations owned and operated by men, in exchange for feminine hygiene products to handle our bleeding and our fragrance?
(…)
If only we could profit from our pussies to the degree that the PWC has!

And unluckily, Mama Gena ends with a defense of the indefensible view that women have the right to be very angry (for the record, I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to go through life being very angry):

We live in an age when women have every right to be very, very angry.

Most of all, Regena Thomashauer is ignorant about basic biology and basic evolutionary biology.
I wouldn’t take anything she says about society, repression or psychology seriously.

Predatory Towards Ex & Dead Boyfriend

I think Regena Thomashauer had all the right to end her marriage after she had “outgrown it”.

And if she wasn’t happy, she did well.
But there are different ways to go about breakups and separation. And different ways of talking about our ex once they become our exes.

Yet the way she did it and the way she talked about her ex seemed a bit too disrespectful in my opinion considering how deeply and widely he supported her.

By the way, as someone who focuses on power dynamics, that tells me two things:

  1. Her ex was too much of a nice guy
  2. It’s dangerous to help (ungrateful) people up because once they’re up, they drop you

And finally, the way she describes the death of her dream boyfriend as her own re-birth and rapture as a woman… That really just sounded terrible.

She probably didn’t mean that way, but she should have made it clearer. Which, again, makes me think of a woman high in narcissism.

And she could have really learned a thing or two from Tiitus, her great love:

So Tiitus had known. He had not wanted to drag me down with him. He was protecting me by pushing me away in the last few months. It was not that he didn’t love me. It was that he did.

This is real leadership.
That’s an example to aspire to.

Predatory Towards Her Girlfriend

Regena describes two girlfriends of her:

  1. one who attended her classes and joined the sisterhood
  2. and one who followed a different path and sought enlightenment “through the heart” instead of “through the pussy”.

Well, turns out the one who did great is the one who joined her class. And her girlfriend who didn’t join her class, guess what… Now she has a shitty life (all described with much-unneeded details about her low self-esteem and abusive husband).

She says:

So both of my dear friends got the call of the Goddess.
The difference?
Hannah picked up—while Grace let the call go through to voice mail.

It feels to me like a nasty (and vindicative) way of throwing her girlfriend under the bus just to promote her work.

Poor Self-Help

Finally, there are quite some references to the “law of attraction” and to a few other common but incorrect self-help myths (ie.: mantras).

pussy book cover

PUSSY – PROS

As usual, since I am a highly critical reviewer, I focus more on the “cons” and “criticisms” than on the “pros” because you can get the “pros” anywhere else.

But that’s not to say that “Pussy A Reclamation” is lacking in life-changing content or that it’s not an outright great book to read.
Here are the Pussy pros:

  • Potentially life-changing

I believe that the message of getting in touch with one’s own sexuality is crucial for many women.
The importance of grieving fully and the message of choosing one’s own emotions are also both very powerful

  • Vulnerable

Vulnerability has become all the rage since “Daring Greatly” (also read “vulnerability is not power“), but Regena really takes it another level. A level which is not also helpful to herself, but to the readers as well.

We get to peek behind the “powerful woman” exteriors that sometimes she seems to want to portray.
And that’s even more powerful. So much so that I had to wonder why was she trying to project a “strong woman” exterior when she had these human, touching stories of heartbreak and resurrection?

  • Great storytelling

Regena Thomashauer writes well and some of the stories will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“Pussy A Reclamation” – Review

At this moment in my life, I don’t particularly agree with a life centered around pleasure.
I think there are more equally important and worthy goals, such as succeeding, growing, helping, finding meaning and, as well, winning.

But I also think that pleasure is extremely important.
And I think the pleasure that “Pussy” embraces is deep and significant. A pleasure that is found by learning, accepting one’s own body and reconnecting with one’s own sexuality.
A glorification of ourselves and the elevation of pleasure and beauty as the meaning of life is a philosophical stance I can appreciate and nod to.

Yet, I listed a lot of criticism for “Pussy: A Reclamation”.
And it’s because I think they are all valid. And I think that most women should not follow Regena Thomashauer if they want to be high-quality women.

But, I also think many women should follow Regena’s teachings to get more in touch with their bodies and to become more confident women.

A few practices she proposes can also be very helpful from a psychological point of view (ie.: grieving fully, gratitude, preparing the perfect night for yourself etc.).

And her reading on relationships as a partnership to take each other higher?
Genius! I couldn’t agree more.

Overall, I would give it 5 stars for the amount of positive content and for the philosophy of pleasure.

But the narcissism bursting at the seam and the vast amount of poor woo-woo content and pseud-science which can lead women astray knocks a couple of stars off.

Read it, but with your “BS radar fully on” (and for Chr*st sake, don’t go drop vaginal juices on his toothbrush!)

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Part of the "reviews" dump from the main website to the forum.

I don't think this book adds enough value to justify the review on the website.

Well, in a way, it offers some great lessons learned on spotting -and avoiding- value-taking narcissists like the author, but a forum entry is more than enough for that.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?