The Temple Of The Flesh

Today’s post is a game of show and tell.  I am going to reveal the ritual that is at the heart of my seduction practice, and informs everything I do. It is the ritual that has opened me sensually more than any other, and has given my body an oasis of love and appreciation I didn’t even know was possible.

It is called: Naked Body Worship Ritual.

(N.B.W.R., for short.)

I created this ritual one lonely Friday night right after I separated from my husband. Having never lived alone in my life, those first weekends with nothing to do were absolutely terrifying. That night I had been crying on the phone with a girlfriend for about 20 minutes. (What you see in divorce movies about the non-stop crying is true!) It was only 6:30pm. With friends out of town and nothing to do, the barren weekend stretched out before me like a desert highway, and my little Brooklyn apartment felt as cavernous as a cathedral.

I contemplated going to a bar in my neighborhood alone and drowning my sorrows, but knew I’d just end up feeling even more afraid after chasing my tail.  So I asked myself, “What would a sacred seductress do?”

This thought emerged courtesy of my new friend Laura. A few nights earlier she had come by my apartment and commented on how excited she was to be in the home of Kitty Cavalier. As a fan of my blog she said she was excited to be visiting the sensual lair of the sacred seductress. Upon hearing this I was flattered, and also realized, it was time to get my shit together.

So on that lonely Friday night I asked myself “If Laura was outside my door right now, what would she expect Kitty Cavalier to be doing in here all by herself?” The message I received was: sitting in front of a mirror worshiping her naked body with exotic oils by candlelight. Duh.

Cabanel Birth Of VenusI lit every candle I owned. I set a big, old antique mirror on the floor against the wall and a warm, soft blanket before it. On a crystal plate I placed a bottle of patchouli-lavender infused body oil,  turned on Cleopatra invoking music, and removed all my clothes.

It’s not that this was my first time sitting if front of a mirror with the intention of appreciation. This was not my first body-love rodeo. Maybe it was because I had been brought to my knees in surrender that night, or maybe it was because this time the action was of my own invention rather than instructions I was following in a book. Whatever the reason, as my flesh appeared before my own eyes in that mirror, I was suddenly transported through time and space to an original temple of the erotic.

Intuitively I reached for the oil, poured it into my cupped hands and slid my fingers across my skin. As the oil shimmered in the candlelight, my red fingernails dovetailed around my thigh. My hands were both pilgrim and priestess at the same time, massaging, exploring and worshiping every soft swirl of my body.

I then began to move my body around in different positions; laying down on my side, sitting up on my knees, leaning forward on my elbows. At certain points I would be watching my hands, other times watching my body, and sometimes, getting really close to the mirror to look deeply, infinitely, eternally into my very own eyes.  I wasn’t checking myself out or evaluating myself the way we often do when we look in the mirror. I felt I was face to face with the Goddess herself.  It occurred to me that every place I had ever visited as a house of worship; churches, temples, synagogues – all of the beauty found there was just an attempt to come close to the glory of what I was now seeing: the temple of the human body.

Venus-and-CupidSlick with oil and soft as a flower petal, I took out my journal and wrote one page about what I experienced and enjoyed. As the ritual came to a close I slipped into my satin robe, not bothering to tie it. When I padded into the kitchen to get a glass of water I noticed that the feelings of panic I felt before were no longer there. I felt, well, home.

Over the next few months this ritual became one of the many things that helped soothe the acerbic sting of being newly alone.  As soon as the sun went down, my anxieties would go up, and N.B.W.R. was my refuge. It is something I still practice frequently, and every time I do it, I swear I encounter infinity itself.

Just last week during an N.B.W.R. a song came on my playlist that reminded me of my best friend who had recently moved from NYC to LA. In the tenderness of an N.B.W.R. the intensity of my love and gratitude for her blew my heart wide open. I began crying big, fat Snoopy tears. But these weren’t tears of loss, they were tears of deep gratitude and love.

Continuing the ritual I gazed into my own eyes deeply. Red, puffy and filled with tears I saw a familiar face: my four year old self. Vulnerable. Innocent.  As my aperture widened and I saw my four year old self sitting there in a grown up woman’s naked body, I witnessed the very cross section between vulnerability and sexuality. It was one of the most moving, profound experiences of my life.

“If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred” – Walt Whitman (click to tweet!)

Or, to quote Chazz from the movie Blades of Glory: “Personal philosophy? Clothing optional.”

Let The Sun Shine In!
k swirl signature





Images: Rokeby Venus, Birth Of Venus, Venus and Cupid



  1. You really are incandescent.

    What a perfect closing…
    “Personal Philosophy? Clothing Optional.”

    Adopting that for myself.

  2. Your writing is so practical and yet luscious. I love your insights and learnings on the sacred nature of our gorgeous bodies. You are lifting women into sacred space and I love you for it. xoxo

    • Sweet Barbara! Thank you for the beautiful praise! Yes to naked body worshipping in the midwest! Someone’s gotta do it. 😉

  3. darling kitty, how delightful to imagine you doing these divine and powerful high priestess rituals with your goddessly self!!!
    I’ve been drinking in so much Beauty here in Paris and just today went to a retrospective of one of my fave photographers, Robert Mapplethorpe. On the very first wall, it was written BIG: “I am looking for perfection in form. I do that with portraits, I do it with cocks, I do it with flowers.” and we do it with ourselves. Blessed Be <3

  4. So beautiful Beth is in LA-LA land now? Amazing-time flies. I wish her lots of love and adventures!

    This is a really poignant post, and something I will definitely adopt-I had a cry session myself earlier this week and said to myself: I need to take care of myself! No one else gets any more of me this week-I need me too much!

    Of course, I already had a few things planned but Memorial day weekend? If it doesn’t seduce me-I ‘aint doin’ it. As the wise Kitty once told me: “if it’s isn’t a HELL YES, it’s a no.”


    • Love YOU gorgeous Edie! Yes, I recommend a session of kissing yourself all over in front of a mirror STAT! 🙂

  5. Thank you Kitty for another honest post. I appreciate the ritual and am going to find a way to incorporate something similar into my life. I’ll be in my little Brooklyn apartment loving named self silly in no time…now about this Cleopatra invoking music, do tell.

  6. Oh Miss Kitty, what luscious healing words for this melancholy Goddess- your insights are always like a sensual soothing balm for my soul…

    So timely, thank you so much…. how I adore you! XO

  7. Ahhhhhh! Breathing in the beauty of you! You rawness, your openness, your vulnerability and your infinite strength ~ Feeling so much love and gratitude for your inspiring truth! You are magnificent!

  8. I totally enjoyed this entry, Kitty. I applaud your bravery in revealing and sharing your tears, fears and vulnerability.

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