I just took part in a cultural event dedicated to Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) and her oeuvre. Nin is for me a kind of ‘erotic philosopher’. I don’t always agree about Nin’s erotic philosophy but she was, and still is, very controversial mainly because she dared, as a woman, to break all taboos about sex. Anaïs Nin dared to be, erotically, wild. That’s adouble sin for a woman: being wild is prohibited, but being erotically wild is one of the biggest taboos hanging like a Damocles sword on a woman’s head.

Kaouthar Darmoni DeBalie-01-Photo-by-Jan-Boeve-De-Balie-2

The word ‘wild’ and ‘erotic’ here are not used in the modern negative connotation, meaning out of control or being associated with pornographic or ‘immoral’ behavior. I refer to the original sense which means to be natural, spontaneous, to be powerful and in touch with that raw life force in our belly, in our womb.

Personally I discovered Nin as a young teenager, in Tunisia, in my father’s readings. My father -before he became a fanatic imam (leading Islamic prayers in the mosque) and dedicates his studies only to Koran texts- used to devour all kind of books. In the summer, he would always read before his siesta (an afternoon nap) until he fell asleep. Everybody in the house would sleep except me. I never wanted to sleep. I was a hyperactive child. In the West they would have probably labeled me as suffering from an ‘ADHD’ (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Quelle horreur! I am glad I spent my childhood in Tunisia; at least there I was hyperactive and normal.

Nevertheless, during these long siesta afternoons, as soon as my father fell asleep, I would read his book. Until I heard at his snoring sounds changing from loud to soft that he was about to wake up. Then I would delicately place the book back next to his hand and do as if I was sleeping. During all my summer childhood and teenager hood years my father thought I was sleeping and I was secretly reading all the books he was reading.

In the beginning I could not read, so I just watched the letters. By the time I could read, l did not understand much of what I read. But I got my father’s virus: I started devouring books. In these long and hot Mediterranean afternoons I read basically most of European and Arab classics. Some books have marked me like Le Journal d’Anne Frank (Diary of A.F.) That made me dream about living in Amsterdam, which I did about 30 years later…

Another book that marked me was a feminist book, Le Deuxieme Sexe of Simone de Beauvoir. Honestly I read it because I thought it was about sex. I found it quite boring but read it until the end hoping that I would find sex scenes! Despite the fact that I did not understand much of it, de Beauvoir’s book formed my young feminist brain.

One more book I was not supposed to read, and which also marked my way of dreaming and thinking, was Erotica of Anaïs Nin. That book was at least about sex! Finally! Nin’s book not only opened my eyes and brain about women’s sexual freedom and érotique but it also opened my eyes about my father’s hypocrisy. Honestly I could never take him seriously when he became an Imam. I always thought ‘yes, right… Erotica Imam… give me a break with all your religious preaches!’
Nin’s book helped me to have the courage to rebel against any kind of
patriarchal sexual oppression, starting with my father’s.

Her book made
me also dream: dream about living in a culture, a country, where women would be erotically as free as Nin’s personages. So my dream as a little girl was to live and study in Paris, Beauvoir and Nin’s city. And later to go and live in Anne Frank’s city, Amsterdam.

Many years later I moved to the West, full of hope and excitement. The years passed and I moved from country to country, exploring as many western cities as possible. I lived in Paris and Amsterdam and many other Western cities, looking for the wild feminine personages of Nin. Until I sadly realized that Nin’s personages were more of a fiction than a reality; that there were few women who reached that erotic mastery Nin was describing in her books. That my Western sisters were erotically also chained and limited, like my Arab-Muslim sisters… It’s just that their chains and limitations have different colors and flavors.

Ironically, East or West, at the end it came to the same: women’s érotique is distorted. Everywhere. It’s a patriarchal global disease. No matter what the religious or cultural background is, women are not supposed to be erotically wild, or wild, tout court. As Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes in her bestseller Women Who Run with the Wolves: “Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species”, The Wild Erotic Woman is as endangered as the wild Panthera Pardus Orientalis!

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    6 thoughts on “The Wild Woman is as endangered as the Wild Panthera Orientalis!

    1. Avatar
      Magdalena says:

      Dear Kaouthar, thank you for your power to go on and be true you,beautiful Dancer of Feminine,wild feminine.
      Im missing real woman too, always looking to meet more of my wild sisters, and it seems to be such a rare and precious when I finally meet one and be close together. I always got my inner beast,sexual very close to me.And I was so ashamed of it! I was starting to masturbate when I was 5 continued daily for years…I danced every day my own ecstatic dance without labeling it, spending hours in nature getting lost in deep oneness with Mother. Now I live in holland, in small city and in 3 years I allowed the conservative thinking to grab at least a part of my wildness. After a lot of energy poured into creating empowering circles for woman, belly dance and tantric temple here, im leaving. They dont get it here, its too much for them as it was for me. And Im empty, reaching out for a part of me lost in all of this giving-creating but not being received enough place. Good lesson. I call upon my wild Sisters to come out together, we are power as one body, one pussy, one heart.Lets support each other in reaching out the true wildness that we all are.

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Magdalena, merci for your courage to share your intimate experience. Most of us, women, unfortunately learned to suppress our wildness; and we have indeed to unite as sisters to break the chains of shame.

    2. Avatar
      Ewa A. Lacny says:

      How I apriciate your courage Kaouthar! All my life I was looking for true. I born in Catholic Poland – shortly in my life I would like to be nun.Actually at start I have so good. Twelve years old and thinking alone, independently not by verses and “holly” texts made by man any way. My not religious mother was so aggressive about ANY this type of ideas ….. I spent eight years of my life in strict Hinduism that for finish I was not really look at myself as nationality from Europe. Then over sixteen years in Yungdrung Bon (kind of Buddhism) and Buddhism. And this all only to return to my way from 12 years old what I at start with REAL passion and leave for type of imam propaganda what only build our ego with all this rituals, customs and diet. Today when I am thinking about movie “Small Buddha”… square or round it is not with me! Never not let deformation my children by any “wise” religion or philosophy. So many years to realize that it is only about sex. This what you are doing is great move. My observation people from many cultures have so similar outcomes to yours: energy level (vibration and wisdom as one) people’s around all Mother Earth is so similar and stupidity by limitation the same. Any religion not help. Main thing what doing religion for people: make so much trouble with sexuality (including (not) Buddha’s worlds) and of course make as killing each other. “Every great masters, teacher, they all tell you that every one is god.” – Mirek Frydrych man who hold my life and not only my not once and never want for it anything …
      Friend not affiliation with *religious* hierarchy. It will take a long time before people will understand…. but may be not. What do you think?

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Ewa, merci for your sharing. Indeed restrictions have been put through the ages on sexuality by patriarchal interpretation of religions. These religious interpretations suppressed both men and women in all cultures. Now it’s time to heal the dysfunctional sexuality and balance the femininity and masculinity in both women and men; connecting brain, heart and belly; and our ancient goddesses/gods dances are awesome for that!

    3. Avatar
      Hanna says:

      I like what you are saying. I stole Kama Sutra from library when I was 12.

      As an adult I have been confused and wondering what would be a healthy expression of female sexuality: not suppressed but not porn. I don’t see any examples.

      It seems that women are wanted to stay as girls, innocent and tamed.

      What is that adult womanhood?

      • Avatar
        Kaouthar says:

        Dear Hanna,

        We, as women, have gold inside, for we have this unlimited sensual life-force which has been seen as a threat for ages and therefore tried to be controlled and covered from the patriarchal side.
        We, as women, have to see our priceless value and preciousness and bring the sacredness in sensuality, sensuality, femininity. And as a goddess we want and need a god beside us who values the gift!

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