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  • Writer's pictureelle

clay + pleasure


  • shapable; i can form it

  • it can change

  • keep its structure

  • go through many forms

  • not wet, not dry

  • comes from the earth, like me


plasticity is like clay in a hand

moving between fingers

it has no choice but to be shaped

by the pressure of its existence in the hand

[think of the big + small shifts clay can take: 1) chunk-wise: it can be a cube, a sphere, a blob, etc. 2) surface-wise: it can receive tiny lines from the fingerprints and palms. there is a spectrum of impact the clay experiences.]

its unlike clay in a lot of ways, of course.

but maybe the clay has something to teach us about how we have been shaped in our past.

and maybe it could offer us a sliver of hope in the way we *will* be shaped in our future.

i've been reading a lot about neuroscience lately.

and if there's one thing for certain in this field that all neuroscientists are on board's plasticity.

this explains an evolutionary mechanism of our brain and nervous system.

the word plastic (often bringing thoughts of milk jugs, butt plugs, or cosmetic surgery) is meant to describe an ever-changing, adaptive process of the brain.

the brain is in a constant (and i mean *constant*) remolding process.

you are already basically a different person than you were when you woke up this morning. that's because since you've woken up, you've been exposed to an environment that your internal ecosystem needs to adjust to. in that adjustment, your brain made a shit load of new neuron connections. enough to literally change what it looks like under a microscope. i mean, woah.

plasticity is exactly how the brain is designed to operate. it is meant to be adaptive, changing and responding to its environment and all the stimuli that comes along with it.

a beautiful (and often frustrating) thing about all this is another weird agreed-upon notion of this system: it's always in ally-ship with self. basically meaning that the body is never gonna do something that isn't in the best interest for itself.

it just doesn't work any other way - it only knows how to adapt to exist as comfortably as possible in the environment of which it exists.

this tidbit of knowledge has helped me tremendously in my own therapy work. i have succumbed to the belief (in my own healing adventures) that this is exactly why panic attacks are my friend, not my enemy. they show up to let me know i am NOT comfortable and by golly i better fucking do something about it or shit ain't gonna feel good anymore. all the panic attack is saying is 'hey, something needs attention' and if i actually let myself listen to what needs attention, my body *will* [eventually] regulate itself in its giving attention of what it needs. the body is always in a dire attempt to be as cozy as possible (that looks wildly diff for each person) and therefore, always on team SELF.


if we know that the brain has plasticity

that it adapts to its surroundings

couldn't we take advantage of that process

and give the brain opportunities to shape itself around pleasure?

couldn't we benefit from such an intentional hijacking of the brain's operational system? based on the science, i don't see an argument for why it wouldn't work. if we know the brain is shaped by its experiences, then why wouldn't an intentional opportunity exposed to pleasure reshape our somatosensory memory in a more pleasurable fashion? i meeeeaaan, that's literally what the science says will happen.

**i duuunnnnooo y'all, but i think we are ONTO SOMETHING here**

this is exciting because i believe a Somatic Security OR Intimacy session with me is 1000% an opportunity for the brain to reshape itself around pleasure.

{nerd pause: i read about this stuff and get giddy on how it applies to my work - how regular ass every day people like you and me can just *figure it out* - this is so cool}

i know without a doubt in my cells

that i am good at what i do.

i am good at touching people.

(such a weird thing to say)

but it's because of the context of which my services are delivered that makes it so good.

it is with my full acceptance and full understanding that clients come to the table already being shaped by a [likely] extremely cruel world.

a world that i know has also kept me silent more than i would like to admit (welp).

..but maybe we are silent because the world has shaped us in ways that being silent is safest

..maybe it has taught us that staying closed off and isolated is what is best for everyone involved

..maybe it has done a good job at convincing us that our dreamscapes are pipe dreams

so of course we would let ourselves become small - because the world has shaped us in ways that being small is safer.

there are hands all over the place

getting into your brain

molding it into inauthentic versions of ourselves



listening to the silence that keeps us safe

touch seems to be really good at helping people shift their narrative about themselves across the good and bad spectrum. good touch shapes us as much (and intensely) as bad touch. it somehow penetrates into this deep layer of silent memories that gets twisted around other memories that build a loud perception about ourselves and our physical bodies (and the way everything shows up).

touch can be painful; it hurts sometimes

at the same time

touch can also mend, nourish, & clense.


it's all happening under the same evolutionary, self-serving operation of the adaptive brain.

we know sensation is entirely dependent on the context it is received.

a tickle from someone you're upset with will feel awful.

but a tickle from a romantic partner when you are aroused might feel amazing.

or maybe you always hate tickling, so fuck that noise.

but i think we can all agree...

a soft caress from a safe lover often feels better

than a soft caress from a werido stranger

(usually, not always, but you get it)

it's all about context

a lot of the time, the world is a cruel context.

people don't seem to give any flying shits about the way they treat people sometimes

is it worth our while to explore other contexts?

what if!

we adventure into contexts that are meaningful and pleasurable to our experience

with an intentional 'let's fuck around and find out how good we can feel' vibe?

if we are clay

then we are probably shaped by a lot of hands

there are the hands of capitalism

...of patriarchy

...of colonialism

...of whiteness




...our family of origin many. hands. can't. keep. up.

(also, a big fuck you to ^^ all that ^^)

and what about the other systemic hands? all the -isms we are faced with daily?

what about the relational hands of our personal connections? the people we have chosen to mutually trust, appreciate, and respect?

most importantly, how are we holding ourselves in our own hands?

i pray about hands a lot

i find myself in god's hands all the time

her palm is just the best

i sleep in it

eat in it

pray in it

i cry, laugh, orgasm, and rage out

all the time

in her hand

and now...

what i'm wondering is:

can we be both?

the clay and the hands?

can we move out of the hands of others and into our own?

is this a fluid experience?

it must be, right?

what does it even fucking mean to no longer be molded by the hands we have gotten used to? (sounds like a lyric from an alanis morissette song)

what does it mean to let ourselves be molded differently?

when we find ourselves in a new hand will we be like, 'uhm, excuse me, this palm is unfamiliar and unsanitary!'?

how freaked out are we gonna feel in this new hand?

probably pretty freaked out.

do we need to maybe rewrite (remold) the story a little bit?

maybe the old story got us where we needed to be

and now we need to be somewhere else in the form of something new.

maybe the hand is the storyteller!

i really wonder...

who are we letting write the story of our form?


let us sculpt ourselves

and join with other sculptors

for we are the clay

and the hands

//together, we can decorate each other's gardens!

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