We Are Here

I am always amazed at how quickly a year elapses.

A year ago, I was working on this site, dancing at night and unsure about how to bridge the gap between sexual expression and healing arts in a way that is authentic to myself and that would hopefully be valuable and accessible to others.

In 2017 I'm still doing that. Finding a way to wrap it up and make a life with it while trappin' during the day or at night.

There is an inherent sexuality present in how I show up in the world creatively. I'm sure this is true for many others but I can only speak on my personal experience.  

This blog is definitely for Submerge but Submerge wouldn't be what it is without my experience in the blurry world of sexual commerce that made me see that as a society we need more than either the option of a medical or an illicit experience to deal with the most collectively convoluted and most powerfully influential aspect of our humanity; our sexual energy, which beyond that is truly our life force energy. It is the pulse of the cosmos.

I have spoken of peeling myself away from the adult entertainment industry many times during my three years inside of it but instead I dove even deeper into it this past year.

I have friends and acquaintances who work in sex work. I always told myself "oh I'm a dancer, I won't cross that line". 

In a lot of ways that's been true but then at a certain point, I crossed over a threshold that led me beyond my comfort zone into "erotic massage" aka a massage with an orgasm induced with my hands at the completion (or a happy ending for all you fools who need to say it like that as cliche as it is).

It was something I could handle doing without having a self undoing- dealing with my own sexual wounding is something I am present to and was clear enough that I didn't want to make it worse by having sex with people I truly don't wish to fuck even if there is money on the table.

This is not to at all degrade my home gurls that do escort work, but we all have individual levels of comfort and thresholds for what we can do and I felt that I could make my money and leave out anything that didn't work for me. So that's what I've done.

After having danced at fully nude clubs and dealing with a new level of groping from the clientele I figured this wouldn't be that big of a deal- even though in a way it was.

This type of work was a new level of being present with others, practicing discernment and non-judgement, holding certain boundaries while expanding others as well as broadening my own perceptions and opinions around relating with others intimately. 

Still at the shallow end of the sex work, however I've now been inside the pool instead of dancing on the periphery. Pun intended.

Let me back up for a minute.

I have had particular rules for myself in my sexual and intimate life. I felt that if I adhered to those rules that I had imposed on myself that somehow I would have more integrity and I would be more valued by a man, which growing up in the culture I grew up with, was the epitome of success for a woman, being valued by men.  

Interestingly enough I didn't follow them to a "T" so carried judgement and internalized shame that I didn't realize I carried until I had the relationship that really broke this cycle.

These rules were made up of a menagerie of concepts that I had been exposed to by my community, the media and some were my own personal opinions after being exposed to an array of ideas, ideals and belief systems from others.

Like so many women, my relationship with men has been marred with deception, abuse, degradation, discord and dysfunction.  

I am taking ownership of the fact that I've co created that dynamic due to my unconscious approach to relationship, false projections and attempting to seek something from others that I needed to give to myself; acceptance and unconditional love (both a work in progress).

This dynamic has been interwoven into the last decade and a half of my romantic life and has absolutely impacted my level of personal power and the way that I show up in the rest of my life. 

My most recent previous relationship has been a painful and challenging experience to say the least and at the same time the absolute crushing nature of it is what ultimately propelled me to pursue my own path even though it was a taboo one.

The stripper realm gave me a chance to take back my sexuality as mine rather than as a tool to appeal to someone else or as something I had to rationalize.

This gave me an insight to look at relationship dynamics and the beliefs and perceptions that created the typical dysfunctional relationship model that has become such a status quo that it is glorified to violate the trust of your intimate partner. Just listen to any of our favorite trap songs and you can hear it all there, then watch how people behave at a large scale level and you can see it.

Dancing showed me that I can be strong even when I am despised by someone that I love or by passerbys. It gave me a sense of personal freedom and liberation from the constraints of culture.

It helped me grow my confidence in being able to display this strength and commitment to seeing and being present with men and women that generally I would feel dwarfed by.

I also discovered how many men felt the same way I have; unloved, unappreciated, carrying feelings of lack or inferiority and masking it with alcohol, illicit affairs, money and other such self sabotaging behaviors. I felt for them and for their families that feel the impact of their wounding.

The interesting part is that I was now the one that was administering their distraction. This lead me to ask myself what it is I am really interested in creating for myself and for others. It also had created an inner conflict for myself around relationship and wanting to have an intentional relationship with one person but also at times enjoying the way my work that allows me to be close to people without having to actually be responsible to a relationship while getting paid good money to do what I do best, be myself.

There is a giant industry that caters to the fantasies and the dysfunctions in human psycho-sexuality but not a much of an industry that is committed to the cultivation of healthfully integrated and authentically expressed sexuality where those who are seeking connection and fulfillment can go to be assisted in generating results in their personal lives that leave them spiritually, emotionally and mentally nourished.

There is a need now more than ever to heal, ourselves, each other and the planet. This requires new perceptions, new practices and a commitment to growth.

I created Submerge to be a vehicle for people to connect with the parts of themselves that they've forgotten, to have a space for nurturing the entirety of who they are and to learn ways to be that person for themselves, their intimate partners and their families and friends.

It is my pleasure to bring beauty and sensuality to the table, it is a gift I invite others to share in.

I am in the midst of creating products and services that generate more love for the planet and it's people. 

I appreciate the patience and attention from you all and know that while it may be a bit of a slow start, the roots run deep and that I am committed to bringing forth a new paradigm of healing arts that starts in the roots and flourishes beyond the crown.

Image by @scottgallant

Image by @scottgallant

Ashley Edmond

Submerge, Los Angeles CA 90041, USA