Bonnie Bliss and Elise Savaresse are two phenomenal women transforming the way both men and women see and experience sexuality. Elise’s sensual French accent sure makes it easy to drop straight into the teachings without hesitation, forgetting all you have been told and letting go of societal taboos around sex. Their countless years studying, practicing and working with various modalities of tantra, somatic sexology, conscious sexuality, massage and empowerment has led them down a path that has never been walked before, opening the doors to a new level of intimacy within their practice not only for themselves but for hundreds of men and women across Australia and soon to be the world, allowing them to create their very own modalities in health and sensuality.
Elise and Bonnie are both based in the Byron Bay area but travel frequently throughout Australia on the Yoniverse Tour. They have just made it halfway through their first ever Australian tour, which has so far sold out each weekend, allowing them to present this unique workshop across multiple weekends in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Byron Bay. They have educated, empowered and brought together hundreds of couples and curious singles of all ages, genders and backgrounds through their unique approach to intimacy and anatomy. Their blend of education, role play and live demonstrations is basically the kind of anatomy class we all wish we had of experienced but never got.
It is truly hard to put into words without giving away too much and while still honouring and appreciating my own personal lessons and takings from that day.
If you have ever been curious about anatomy, the functions of our reproductive and sexual organs, where orgasm begin, how to rid yourself of shame associated with these things, understanding intimacy and your creative potentials or want to get to know your body on a deeper level then this workshop has been designed especially for you. No two people will walk away with the same experience as each of us has our own personal background in self acceptance, intimacy and relationships and as the day progresses you come to know yourself on a level which most adults never have the chance of experiencing. Bonnie Bliss answered some questions from Yanina Benavidez.
When did you first begin the Yoniverse journey? What education/experiences lead you here?
I’ve been immersed in Yoni world for about 5 years now, mostly working with women in private sessions and women’s Tantra groups. I first discovered Yoni Massage when I moved to Denmark in 2012 and had an incredibly profound experience receiving my first Yoni Massage. That’s when I knew that I wanted all women to know about this! I studied all kinds of different courses and trainings and went deeper and deeper into this whole new world, experiencing things I never even knew were possible.
The Yoniverse workshop series was born when Elise came to me with the idea. We were both full of enthusiasm and inspiration to create these amazing whole day experiences for people to learn about the mysteries of the vagina. Our first workshop for men sold out in 48 hours flat! We knew we were onto something special. The workshops are a great way for us to reach more people with this message – we only have so much time for private sessions these days – we are both booked out months in advance!
What is your first memory of sex?
I had my first orgasm on a bicycle, riding down a dirt road on the farm I grew up on. I became obsessed with clitoral orgasms – even using an electric toothbrush as a teenager to have these explosive orgasms that felt good for a few seconds, but weren’t really deeply satisfying. Little did I know what I’d be doing 15 years later! Now I know that women can have SO MANY different kinds of orgasms.
What inspired you to take your education and experience across Australia?
We first started offering the workshops in our home town of Mullumbimby, near Byron Bay. There’s a big alternative community there so people are really open for this kind of work. Suddenly all our workshops were selling out and people from all over Australia were writing to us asking if we’d bring the workshops there. That’s when the Yoniverse Tour was born. We love going on tour as vagina specialists… it’s an amazing adventure, and people keep telling us how important this work is! So far we’ve been to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and we’re going to Perth next. We have plans for New Zealand in 2017.
At the end of each Yoniverse workshop we invite people to share their experience of the day. Often they say things like “I wish I discovered this 20 years ago!” or “I can’t believe this was possible all along and I had no idea!” or “Why don’t they teach us this in school?”
Elise and I have both worked with women extensively over the last few years, and we’re both passionate about supporting women to discover what’s possible, however doing this work for men is new for us, and deeply rewarding. Most men learn about sex from porn – which, as we all know, is nothing like reality! They are usually blown away at the end of the day and excited to take their newfound inspiration home to their partners to continue discovering the mysteries of the Yoniverse. This makes us all warm and fuzzy inside… we are in awe that we get to do this for work!
What are some simple tips for people to connect to their own sexuality?
Take it slow – get really curious about your body and what’s possible. Let go of the goal of orgasm and just explore. When you notice yourself going into patterns of tension or contraction, pause, take a deep breath and relax! For women the most powerful practice I recommend is learning how to give yourself a Yoni Massage – we teach this in the workshop.
Why is it important for people to explore and understand their own bodies?
I truly believe that most people have no idea how good their bodies are designed to feel! Especially for women, our genitals are mostly on the inside, there is so much we can’t see… so we tend to just focus on external pleasure… but there are so many other pleasure zones inside the vagina that we miss out on that way.
Also, people who know their own body intimately make the best lovers. Not people who are obsessively trying to please and wondering what their butt looks like and fantasising about being with someone else to get aroused. When we let go of trying to please a partner and just surrender to the beauty of the intimate experience together, sex is way more enjoyable and profound. After all, it is the catalyst for life!
In what ways does understanding the function of a woman’s body help men to develop their own sexuality?
Many men I talk to have learned about sex from porn – therefore they tend to have quite a goal-oriented, performance focused approach to intimacy. Understanding women’s sexuality more clearly is essential for men relating with women – so they can focus on exploring and deepening together rather than trying to work out what’s going on or how to find the g-spot, or give her an orgasm.
Do you have any visions of how this journey will go for you both?
Well, we say that the Yoniverse is the infinite mystery of the universe! So anything can happen! Apart from touring with the day workshops, we are REALLY excited about offering Yoniverse Retreats where couples can deepen their relationship and learn Tantric massage, intimacy practices and Tantric rituals. This is really exciting for us as couples will actually have a chance to practice the Tantric massage in both directions, and take it home to become part of their intimate life together. The first one is in September on the Sunshine Coast.
What is one core un-truth we have been told about our sexuality that needs re-education?
One of my biggest frustrations is so-called “sexperts” writing articles online saying things like “all orgasms are clitoral” and that “90% of women CAN’T have internal orgasms”. It’s true that 90% of women DON’T have internal orgasms, but that’s because they tend to mostly focus on the clitoris and don’t take the time to activate and sensitise the inside of the vagina. In the Yoniverse we teach that ALL women can have a myriad of different orgasms and orgasmic states and that our pleasure potential is literally limitless. Curious? Come join us!
How early should young men and women be encouraged to explore their bodies?
Kids naturally start to explore their bodies and their sexuality from a very young age. People sometimes come to me, freaking out about their young kids touching their genitals and starting to rub them on things… But it’s totally natural! The most important thing as a parent is not to shame your kids’ exploration. Create a safe space for them to do it, and make it clear that it’s not good to do it in front of others – but empower them to discover their bodies and give themselves loving attention. Too many of my clients have trauma from their parents telling them their genitals were “dirty” or touching them was “wrong”. It’s ridiculous – most of us were BORN from a vagina – it is the source of creation, literally! How could it be wrong or dirty?!
To learn more about the impact this work is having or to book yourself in for a private session or attend one of their fast selling workshops visit www.elisesavaresse.com and uncover your personal guided tour of the vagina.
Bonnie and Elise’s next workshop series begins in October in Byron Bay and is now taking reservations.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ingrid Pullen Photography