- I am 21
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And pleasure, she says, starts within. When people come to her with questions about their sex lives, she helps them explore their own sensuality through guided practices and uses her own intuitive wisdom to help people discover what satisfies them. We love the advice she gave us about sexual blocks in part because none of it has anything to do with having a partner. What prevents us from experiencing the wonderful realms of pleasure to the fullest? As a sexuality doula, I have intimate conversations with people, predominantly women, about their experiences of pleasure.
It has broken my heart over and over to hear about all the ways that people shut pleasure out of their lives. Before I came to this beautiful work, I spent most of my life in bodily shame and sexual disconnection. To be honest with you, I hated my body. I developed eating disorders in my youth that took years to recover from.
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I only ever had sex that was performative and disconnected. Rarely did I ever self-pleasure, and if I did, it was in a hurried manner and filled me with shame afterward. I was immensely disconnected from my body as a source of pleasure and power. Eventually, I hit a breaking point. I started dating myself. I devoted my time to really learning what I enjoyed both in and out of the bedroom: buying myself fresh flowers and beautiful lingerie, cooking healthy foods, taking sensual self-portraitsspending time in nature, and kicking my self-study into high gear.
I began voraciously learning about womb wisdom, sensual sexual power, and intuitive ancient teachings around pleasure. Every word I read nourished my soul. Slowly, I started coming back home to my body. While the symptoms always presently uniquely to each client, they usually distill down to one of three key blocks or a combination of them.
See which resonates with you, and practice the rituals to move through disconnection and into more fulfillment.
There is often an issue with feeling undeserving of pleasure, which limits you from being able to fully drop into your body and experience all the beauty within. Symptoms are performative receiving, a disconnected mental space from physical activities, and persistent sex-negative thoughts.
You put everyone and everything ahead of taking care of yourself. When you feel like a giver all day, it can be hard to make the switch into the role of experiencer. This is a tough one for everyone, and particularly for women, people of color, and anyone who lives in a body that is overly scrutinized by modern Western society. This issue manifests with any type of emotional or mental discomfort around your body. Symptoms are negative self-talk, pushing your body too hard, and not taking up the sensual space you deserve.
Identify and heal your pleasure blocks. Here are tips to help you get started on your journey. Spend some time reflecting on the way you view yourself, your life, your body, and your relationship to pleasure. I highly encourage journaling, and you may want to consider some of the following prompts:.
How does this change when another person is involved? How might I like to feel?
What are three small steps I could take toward that feeling? These are just a few to help get you started. My online course, The Pleasure Devotionalhas many more, including activities and guided practices that can support you in radically transforming your relationship to pleasure. Let your intuition and inner wisdom guide you into deeper exploration with yourself.
You are an apprentice to your pleasure. It may seem daunting, but sharing your journey can really help. Ideally, you do this with folks who know how to hold space without projecting. You may want to share over a cup of tea with a close friend, seek one-on-one support with a sex educator or therapist, or even find a safe online space.
While this step happens gradually along the way, it is also a key step on its own. From this space, consider what specific medicine you may need. For example, if you are having issues loving and celebrating your body, take sensual self-portraits and share them with close friends, or frame and hang them in your home. This step helps you connect with your own wisdom and inner healing. I truly believe that each person has all the tools and wisdom they need within, and I just help them see that more clearly.
You want to buy yourself that beautiful new sex toy, but you chicken out and save the money instead. We are human beings just doing our best. In my opinion, this is the most important step of all. We should be understanding when we let ourselves down, and instead of falling all the way off the self-love horse, we just hop back on the next day.
Make a personal commitment to loving and celebrating yourself as an erotic creature. This is big, important work. Figure out what works for you and commit to it. Schedule it. Make it as important as everything else in your calendar. Try my self-care guidebook for more structured support. Engage in present pleasure. I encourage my clients to feel more pleasure in the tasks they are already doing.
The three common pleasure blocks
This means no extra time in your day and a lot more pleasure. Here are a few of my favorite ways to do this:. Drop into your body and engage in the senses. Notice how warm and silky the washing-up water is, how coarse the sponge is, how warm and soft the laundry is.
Not enough? Pop in a butt plug or a wearable vibrator and try again. Play your favorite sensual music.
Dance in your car by grinding and swiveling your hips. Breathe into your pelvis. Practice your Kegels.
Play some audio erotica. Make it a beautiful moment of sensual time for yourself. Eat it as slowly as you can. Chew mindfully, savoring every taste and texture. Think about how incredible this gift of food is to nurture your body. While all the tools above can nourish and support your pleasure landscape into full bloom, there is something to be said for the beauty of ritual.
I use rituals as a way to deeply connect with myself and unlock bodily knowledge that just thinking about it cannot access.
Guided solo practices for increasing pleasure
This can be done with sacred smoke such as cinnamon sticks, rosemary, lavender, bay leaves, or my personal favorite, cedar. Bear in mind that all plants, but particularly sage and palo santo, should be mindfully, ethically, and sustainably sourced.
You can also clean your home in preparation for the ritual with a cinnamon broom, Florida water, or even a flower essence. A ritual bath beforehand can also be a beautiful way to cleanse, ground, and energetically connect with yourself. You can also cleanse through visualization.