I did not make up the term GOOPASUTRA, but honestly it sounds like raw milk pasta, which sounds about as far from sexy as possible.
But snakes, right? I mean once you have endorsed a medium as legitimate the next step is clearly a snake charmer. It’s honestly a full on traveling shit show of snake oil at GOOP.
See what I did there? Snake oil.
A lot of the GOOPASTURA and the GOOP Sex Issue is about the feminine. Apparently, being masculine is earning your own money and having opinions and being feminine is giggling about your hard day at the spa over the martinis with organic olives (natch) you lovingly hand crafted for your man.
Nothing says sexual empowerment more than Stepford.
But back to trouser snakes. I mean snakes, real snakes most definitely not the one-eyed ones. Apparently, if you let them crawl all over you and dance with them they will awaken your inner feminine, which is totally not destructively Freudian in any way.
THE SNAKES WILL SEE YOU.
The woman who will awaken your inner goddess with snakes is Londin Angel Winters.
According to the GOOPASUTRA (which is my new favorite word):
A lot of what spiritual intimacy teacher Londin Angel Winters helps women do involves getting out of their heads and into their own bodies and divine feminine power. She offers workshops, intensives, coaching sessions, and online courses (some for men, too, alongside her male partner) designed to heal deep-seated wounds, awaken sexual energy in individuals, and deepen intimacy among couples.
All that for the low, low price of $350 for 90 minutes.
I really hope this isn’t Medusa-like for some women, because of course Medusa was turned into a monster as punishment by Athena for being raped by Poseidon. I guess if the snakes also awaken some kind of past trauma her years as a TV producer will be invaluable.
On her website Winters says after a snake ceremony more women “feel juicy and embodied.”
All I can do is present that statement without comment. I got nothing.
I was curious about some of the comments made by GOOP and Winters about snakes, so I asked David Steen, Ph.D., Research Ecologist at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. Here is our e-mail exchange:
JG: Do snakes interact with our “energy?” Do they “see” us? (this is not really visual, but in a do they get our inner selves or something)?
DS: Snakes can use their various senses to perceive our presence and this can lead to interactions. For example, most snakes in the wild will consider us as a predator and may either try to escape by crawling away or rely on their camouflage to avoid detection. I am less familiar with studies that have examined a snake’s interaction with energy per se or efforts to quantify the percentage of ‘you’ that a snake will see, although they can see fairly well in general. Snakes that hunt in trees tend to have particularly good vision so if there was a snake that could see you for your whole you it would more likely be something like an eyelash viper rather than a snake that spends most of its time underground like a worm snake.
JG: Winters says snakes can “offer you exactly what you need to open to your next level of spiritual arousal.” How would a snake do that?
DS: This is out of my area of professional expertise.
JG: GOOP says snakes have the “oldest DNA on the planet” because they “survive extinction?” Do snakes have the oldest DNA? Did they survive the extinction that took out the dinosaurs?
DS: None of species alive on Earth today have gone extinct. That said, species are the result of millions of years of evolution and over those millions of years life forms have spun off and become unique in different directions and at different times; we refer to these branches on the evolutionary tree as lineages. We are always learning more about evolutionary lineages but scientists have found fossils of animals that we can consider snakes from the Cretaceous period, about 80 million years ago. But, that doesn’t mean they haven’t changed since then; that is why we have hundreds of different species today.
JG: Do snakes detect vibration with their “bellies?”
DS: Snakes can sense vibrations with their ears, although the anatomy of these structures differs significantly from ours. They can use any part of their body to engage in the sense of touch, so I think they would easily perceive whether the surface below them was vibrating.
JG: During the session, which can be $350 for 90 minutes but up to 3 hours you appear to have snakes on your body and you dance with them. Do snakes enjoy being handled in this way or do you think they just tolerate it because they have been trained to expect a meal afterwards?
DS: There are several species of snakes that have been bred in captivity for so long that they are practically domesticated. Unfortunately it is difficult to assess what individual snakes might enjoy because they do not often respond to stimuli in ways that we can easily recognize. Most animals would perceive three hours of dancing as a relatively stressful experience.
JG: The snakes that Winters uses are an albino ball python, a Bolivian short-tailed boa, a “baby” Columbian boa, and a jaguar carpet python. Are these snakes safe for this kind of handling? Are they risks for participants or the snakes?
DS: With enough handling, most snakes will get used to interacting with humans and will not immediately perceive our approach and touch as a dangerous situation, although it is possible to wear down a snake’s patience, just like it is possible with us. It is always important to consider an animal’s health and welfare when interacting with them and the appropriate precautions will vary by the situation. I think there are limited risks to participants although it is always important to be alert and cognizant when sharing space with large animals. These particular snakes are relatively large but not generally considered a threat to adult humans.
If you want to pay $350 for a sacred snake ceremony you’re on your own, however, I would place that experience firmly in the entertainment camp and not consider it medical or sexual therapy of any kind. Presenting “temple snakes” as some kind of valuable or valid sexual therapy is bullshit. But that is GOOP’s game, offering bullshit along with some okay information. Women can tell the difference! (which is totally not at all why GOOP now has a coding system to help sort out utter bullshit from basic bullshit).
Women who are suffering with sexual difficulties are desperate and they don’t need someone, especially someone with a large platform, to suggest anything but legitimate therapies.
As for this GOOP feminine ideal which features heavily (but in a skinny way, you know) in the section that I read and the reason I couldn’t stomach reading more, that is their brand. The womanly (but in a thin, heterosexual way) woman. The submissive woman who is charmingly convinced by her man that she can still order him around with a giggle and a smile. The thin, blonde, California woman who is rad enough to be friends with a snake charmer and smoke a cigarette down on the beach.
GOOP has mastered offering the Stepford woman as the model of empowerment and it is making them rich.