Yoni Awakening

In tantra and tantra massage we use the Sanskrit term “yoni” to refer to the female genital area. By choosing a term that is free from Western interpretations, we avoid having to use either a word with more vulgar associations or a purely medical term. So “yoni” is free to represent our female lust organs in all their beauty, diversity and uniqueness. Every yoni is beautiful, completely regardless of the size of the labia, whether the inner lips protrude beyond the outer ones, how large or small the clitoris is, whether it is hidden under the hood or shows itself more openly. Every yoni is characteristic of the woman it belongs to. And each yoni’s smell and the liquids associated with it are different and distinctive, too.

What is the yoni? 

The yoni is a very delicate organ which has both perceptive and receptive roles. Unfortunately, many women do not think their yoni is beautiful and tend not to touch it themselves. In a circle of women, I learnt to accept my yoni – my femininity – and realised that each woman is also an aspect of my self. We are very diverse beings and for this reason our ways of expressing our sexuality are also very diverse and complex. However we express it, activating our sexuality as a health-promoting energy is definitely also a nourishing and joyful path to take, while also strengthening our self-confidence.

A yoni massage can promote our sensitivity and capacity to be touched. One opportunity for women is the Yoni Awakening: I have come to prefer this term compared with Yoni Healing Massage, and it often perfectly describes the effect. Most yonis which I massage “talk” and are willing to let themselves be touched if this happens with love, care and dignity. Emotions that have long been buried can then surface and also demand attention.

Reflexology zones for our inner organs are located within the yoni so a massage can benefit in many ways – as can particular positions during love-making – by stimulating specific organs and bringing about health-enhancing effects. This is described at length in “The Tao of Sexology” by Dr. Stephen T. Chang.

Intent-free touch

How beautiful a touch can be if it is free from intention, appreciates me as a woman and is expressed perfectly naturally! Before a yoni massage begins, the whole body should be massaged and energised. Stomach, breasts and inner thighs are generally very sensitive and erogenous zones for women but it is important to remember that each woman wants to be touched differently and reacts to stimuli differently. What we consider appropriate and pleasurable also depends on our current emotional and physical state. I always pay careful attention to how a woman’s body reacts and how her breathing changes: this is somewhat like reading tracks in the landscape of the body and is a very intuitive process. I let myself be led by the woman I am massaging and feel with her. I do this slowly, stopping now and again to look inward, accepting anything that arises. There is no goal to reach; the journey is the goal. The only aim is to experience each moment as it is. Sometimes this is very easy and sometimes it takes a great deal of patience. Sometimes it is very quiet but at other times it can be loud and boisterous ­- and every shade between. No one yoni massage is the same as another.

The lower chakras

A grounding effect can be achieved by massaging the two lowest chakras – the root chakra and the sexual chakra. Once these chakras have been freed up, your energy can rise. Our pelvic area forms a connection between the lower and upper body halves: it is through this area that energy can flow through the whole body, which then connects our genital region with our heart. Being grounded and at home in our pelvis strengthens our steadiness and ability to take good care of ourselves. It increases our courage, willpower and our capacity to speak both a clear No and a clear Yes. It strengthens our autonomy. So it really is worth striving for.

How do restrictions on lust arise?

Restrictions in your yoni’s sensitivity (which can be as extreme as a total lack of feeling) can often be traced back to sexual abuse or physical encroachment in early childhood, puberty, or adulthood ­- such as rape, accidents or other traumatic events. Illnesses can also provoke restrictions. It is also quite common for a mother to experience trauma during the act of giving birth if she suffers immeasurably high levels of pain arise or especially if there are injuries. So this can also lead to a feeling of alienation from our own body. I often hear from women that they no longer feel sexual desire after giving birth to their child, which in turn places a burden on their relationship.

In cases of traumatic events, sensitivity to lust can be cut off and suppressed into the subconscious. Lust is then only experienced in a very restricted way, if at all. The connection between lust and heart is broken and this is detrimental to our self-love and the physical act of love. Where this connection is tainted by guilt and shame, the solution is to recultivate a positive attitude to our own sexuality, which involves finding a suitable expression for it.

Trauma can often force our sexuality to express itself in an unnatural way. This could, for example, lead to lustful feelings only arising in connection with pain or humiliation. Sexuality then loses its autonomy and becomes associated with insecurity and speechlessness. Every woman is affected by this to some extent. Fortunately, it is possible to awaken consciousness of our pain and sadness, bringing feelings into the light and transforming them into appreciation, joy of living, vitality, sensitivity to touch and empathy.


Another expression of the consequences of sexual harassment or abuse can be a permanent sense of lust in our yoni. This might be a feeling akin to sitting on top of a volcano and perpetually and restlessly searching for the next sexual partner. Here there may be a lot of lust but it is dissociated. It is not opening into your heart; it is never satiated and a general psychological dissociation (thinking yourself out of your body) frequently occurs. This in turn continues to feed the injurious experience that triggered the trauma. It is nonetheless often considered to be normal and might not be questioned until we notice that sex has become increasingly vapid.


If you are wondering whether a yoni massage is right for you, please ask yourself a few questions first. If you discover – it might only be a vague suspicion – that your yoni has been psychologically or physically injured, then accept this injury and do not deny it any longer. Even if you do not know or remember what the cause of this injury was: if you can feel the wound, then accept it. From women who are lacking feeling in their yoni I sometimes hear: “I never suffered any abuse.” The earlier the abuse occurred, the more persistent its effects, since it has been suppressed so deeply that it subconsciously shapes our whole behaviour when it comes to sexuality and love. A change cannot occur until we make a conscious decision to stop being a victim and assume an attitude of self-determination. Here I am drawing on my own experience and that of many women who I have massaged in the past twenty years. Once this decision has been taken, then things become very exciting.

If there is a lack of feeling, then something surely happened which gave rise to this. We have to accept that, otherwise there can be no healing of the trauma. In this regard it is not important to uncover all the details of the injury. Anyway, this is often impossible: the events are not precisely recorded in our memories and suggestion cannot be completely distinguished from reality. What is important is to regain the energy that has been cut off and restore the ability to feel.

Ask yourself

Here are some suggested questions for you to ask yourself. The purpose here is not to share your answers with anyone but for you to gain your own clarity about where and who you are.

  • Are you or have you been in therapy?
  • Are you aware of what happened?
  • Do you experience sexual arousal? Are you in a near-permanent state of arousal? Do you dissociate during sexual contact if aversion or uncomfortable feelings arise? (Dissociation is when you remove your perception from the present moment, from your body and/or from your feelings. You let the situation happen to you without feeling what is happening. Your awareness is not present, you are ‘spaced out’.)
  • Do you feel very little or nothing in your yoni?
  • Do you have difficulties touching yourself?
  • Can you have an orgasm?
  • Do you know what you want during sex and can you communicate this?
  • Do you make noises when you feel lust?
  • Do you have an ambivalent relationship to your lust? In other words, do you feel guilt or shame when you feel lust?
  • Do you suppress your lust with these other feelings?
  • Are you willing to take full possession of your body and your lust again?
  • Are you ready to let yourself feel uncomfortable feelings, so they can be transformed?

A careful approach

The preliminary conversation is particularly important for the yoni awakening. It is essential if we are later to carefully navigate your own limits together. Then we start with careful touch, during which I regularly stop and look inwards to sense what is happening in the moment. It is initially important for you to develop a perception for your body and to watch your feelings. Being held within a protected space and being seen for the woman you are then enables you to come closer to every part of your own body, including your yoni. This brings you closer to your own lust. All sorts of sensations and images can arise during this process – it is a journey deep into female nature.

There is no fixed concept of how far a yoni massage should go. It can start by awakening the neighbouring regions such as the stomach and inner thighs, or even the breasts. In this way, feeling is carefully strengthened in the outer areas before moving on to an internal massage if that is the right thing to do. Extensive caresses and deep breathing both ensure that the yoni-heart connection is encouraged.
You are fully in charge of how far your massage goes. The journey is much more important than reaching a destination.


Bettina Dornics founded the tantra massage institute Yonitalk in Berlin in 2002. She also massages people who want to resolve trauma in their genital areas as part of a course of therapy. Since 2004 she has been a member of the professional association Tantramassage-Verband e.V., and was its Chair from 2008 to 2012.  www.yonitalk.de