(Photo credit: Chloe Crespi)
Regena Thomashauer was finally divorced.
She’d given her engagement ring back to her ex-husband, even though she could have sold it for a few thousand—money her lawyer knew she needed.
She was broke, but she had a business, full custody of her daughter, a brownstone in New York City…
And $250,000 worth of debt.
The worst was yet to come.
This isn’t the story you’d expect from the woman known as Mama Gena.
Mama Gena is a fabulously self-assured teacher of the “womanly arts.” She exhorts women to listen to their desires and flirt outrageously. She’s radical in her embrace of pleasure. Her 2016 book celebrating feminine power—provocatively titled P*ssy: A Reclamation—became a New York Times bestseller.
But Regena Thomashauer wasn’t born Mama Gena.
She created Mama Gena.
Like Beyoncé with Sasha Fierce, she created a persona large enough to contain her dream.
Back in the 1990s, Regena dreamed of opening a School of Womanly Arts, where women would learn the ancient arts of the courtesans and discover the goddess within.
“No woman I knew—including myself—had grasped the vital importance of pleasure in a human being’s life,” she writes. “As headmistress of the courtesan academy, I would force women to have more pleasure than they ever dreamed possible.”
Her very first class took place in her living room with only 12 students.
Regena knew she would have to become larger than life if she hoped to inspire her student to step into a larger version of their own life.
So she carefully crafted Mama Gena.
Mama Gena, like all great courtesans, “believed utterly and completely in her own perfection, and that of her life. She charted her course with pleasure as her North Star. Joy was her compass.”
Her transformation wasn’t without setbacks.
To achieve the perfect look for a portrait painting, Regena bought a $6000 dollar dress on credit. She had to split the charge between two cards to afford it. Friends encouraged her. If she wanted to be Mama Gena, she had to look the part.
Between the costs of the dress, building her business, rent, and paying for preschool, she nearly went under.
Perhaps it wasn’t surprising that her marriage broke up in 2003, just 5 years after her school began.
But Mama Gena wasn’t deterred. This wasn’t the end, but rather a new beginning. She wanted to make space in her life for a GREAT love, the kind of love that felt like fate.
And she found him.
Dr. Tiitus Siegmar was European, wealthy, powerful, and a connoisseur of beautiful things. He intimidated her and fascinated her at the same time. “When he called, violins played inside me,” she writes.
They began a relationship, and Mama Gena was at peace at last. She was home, with the legendary love she’d always dreamed of.
Then tragedy struck.
His son broke his neck in a swimming accident. Tiitus flew to L.A. to be by his side. He no longer had time for Regena—or so she felt. A year later, she received a phone call. Tiitus was dead. His cancer had come back over the past year, and he’d refused treatment.
That was the dark point in the story of Mama Gena.
The point at which she understood the cost of becoming the woman she’d wanted to be.
Today, Mama Gena teaches the importance of rupture, of facing tragedy and grief head-on. We are allowed to get mad. We’re allowed to rage. We’re allowed to scream and cry and beat the pillows.
Because if we don’t move through our grief—if we stuff those difficult feelings down so that we can keep on performing like good girls—we ended up going numb. We refuse to feel our pain, so we can’t feel our joy, either.
A goddess is made up of both lightness and dark. She embraces the full range of her emotions. As Mama Gena says:
Growing up in this male-dominated world, women use about 6 of the 88 keys on our piano. Sugar and spice and everything nice is what we get to be. But what happens to a woman’s rage? Her passion? Her lust? Those ivories never get tickled.”
Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts is now a multimillion-dollar business.
Mama Gena wears Gucci and Prada. She appears on television talking with Conan O’Brien, Ricki Lake, Katie Couric and Rachel Ray. She dates when she pleases.
There is no difference between Regena Thomashauer and her alter ego. She has become the woman she always dreamed of being.
And she’s helping thousands more women do the same.
Inspiring Mama Gena Quotes
Pleasure is the direct antidote to the crisis of confidence and powerlessness women are currently experiencing. The journey from victim to heroine is only possible through it.”
When she ignores her pleasure, a woman can mistake her purpose and believe that her function is to enslave herself to her job, or live only to serve her husband, her kids, her family. This misapprehension can turn into a life where she is utterly starved for pleasure.”
You can actually see when a woman is turned on or turned off. There is an inner light to her when she’s turned on, which goes dark when she’s turned off. Even if she is physically beautiful, she will not look radiant. Conversely, if she is plain or ordinary-looking … her radiance illuminates her like a thousand inner candles.”
Flirtation is nothing more than enjoying ourselves. Enjoying ourselves like the world is our playground. Enjoying life like we’re kids at a carnival.”
[T]he world of healthy relationship is ruled by the woman’s happiness, not her partner’s. Why? Because when he prioritizes her, she makes sure that he is happy.”
Stay Tuned for More #BrilliantBabe Profiles
Here at Your Brilliance, we believe the best way to figure out how bright you’re able to shine is to look up to other woman who are doing what you’ve always wanted to do.
The women you see featured in glossy magazines, climbing sheer rock cliffs and heading Fortune 500 businesses and crafting unique Etsy art from the comfort of their own homes, got there on guts and faith.
They didn’t know if they’d be able to succeed at their dream. But each and every one made the decision to take the first step. And the second. And the third.
We hope these profiles of brilliant women inspire you to reach for your dreams.