Advertisement

The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

All About Eve’s Garden

 

It is summer, hot and horny, and I am on a roll. So I am going to continue this theme of beauty, attraction, seduction, sex, love and self-love until I run out of content — or steam, whichever comes first.

 

This is the story of Dell Williams, a Queen who dared to take her sexual pleasure into her own hands, as it were, and in the process succeeded in making the world a more sexually accessible place for women.

“Women didn’t have orgasms. Not officially. Not in 1922, the year I was born,” tells Dell who can remember a time when women’s sexual pleasure was officially nonexistent. An odd and sadly depressing thought for those of us who came of age during the sexual revolution. We have Dell, one of the first women sexual revolutionaries, to thank for our freedom to feel and express our sexual Selves.

Advertisement

During the 1930s and 40s, she spent her late teens and early twenties as a free-spirited singer, actress, artists’ model and writer. She then shifted gears and went into advertising, where she had a meteoric career, rising within the ranks to become one of the first successful female advertising executives in New York City.

When she was in her late forties, which was then considered to be middle-aged and well past a woman’s prime, Dell surprised everyone (including herself) by experiencing a life-changing sexual awakening. Her epiphany came, so to speak, when a boyfriend introduced her to her clitoris. “I didn’t even know I had one,” Williams said.

For me, the two greatest discoveries of the twentieth century were the Cuisinart and the clitoris. – Gael Greene

Advertisement

The realization of her full sexual potential was extraordinarily liberating for Dell. When she was 50 she took herself to Macy’s to buy a vibrator. This turned out to be an extremely awkward and humiliating experience that left her scarred and shamed.

But righteous indignation soon overcame her embarrassment and she vowed that no woman should have to feel embarrassed about her sexuality again. So she left her high-paying executive position and became a visionary activist, diving into the liberation trenches of the sexual and feminist revolutions.

Queen Dell was influenced by the writing of Wilhelm Reich, by the work of sexuality educator Betty Dodson and by her experience organizing a Women’s Sexuality Conference for the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women in 1973.

Advertisement

In 1974 she established the now legendary Eve’s Garden, which she envisioned as a safe, private and supportive way for women to purchase vibrators, educational materials and sexual aids without feelings of shame or self-consciousness. These instruments of pleasure were more than simply sexual aids, they were tools for subversive political and social movements, as well.

This oasis of friendly, discreet, supportive sex-positivity was the first store of its kind. Her inaugural advertisement read, “Eve’s Garden is a feminist sexuality boutique and mail order catalog created by women for women and their partners.” Eve’s Garden thrives today as a shop in Manhattan and an international web-based email marketplace of all things sexy.

Advertisement

Written 35 years ago, her mission statement is still resonant and relevant:

Eve’s Garden was created to empower women to celebrate their sexuality as a positive, nourishing and creative force in their lives. An outgrowth of the Women’s Rights Movement, Eve’s Garden seeks to erase the sense of shame and guilt experienced by countless women as a result of a society that historically condemns the sexual nature of women as sinful. Our version of “Eve” is a transformation from a fallen, shamed woman to a strong, powerful woman proud of her strength, sensitivity, and sexuality.

Queen Dell, you are my shero! I shimmy at your feet in sincere appreciation.

*****

Advertisement

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

***

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Learning to Approve of Me
  By Joyce Rothman Low self esteem and the desperate need for approval has plagued me since childhood. Never thinking I was enough, surely everyone else knew better than me what I should do or how I needed to act. Or so I ...

posted 6:00:51am Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Cherish Yourself
By Michelle Morris Spieker Roles in society are expanding more and more. We strive to accomplish, manage, organize, direct, and star -- all in an attempt to make our lives richer, fuller, more meaningful. Yet as we look outward for ...

posted 6:00:13am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

A Revelation
  By Alicia Keys For as long as I can remember, I've hidden myself. It might have started in school when I realized that I caught on to things a little quicker, and teachers started to show slight favor to me, or use me as an ...

posted 6:00:40am Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

A Matter of Choice
  by Joan Chittister Most of us know when we’re at a crossroad in life, when old answers have gone dry, when our souls have gone dry here, when nothing but another choice is possible. Then come the struggle and the dickering, the ...

posted 6:00:36am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Peace in Hot Times
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is sizzling at its most intense in August. This period is referred to as The Dog Days of Summer. Though named after the Dog Star, Sirius, this is the weather when, according to Noel Coward, only ...

posted 6:00:32am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.