Have you ever considered that self-pleasure could be an act of self-care? And even beyond that, an act of self-love?
The idea of self-pleasure may delight you or make you want to run and hide. You might think it is not for you or won’t work for you, or you’re not sensual or sexual enough, that you’re too young or too old, or you have a partner so there’s no need, and a cascade of many other thoughts and feelings. We are fed messages to believe that sexuality is something shared and experienced with another person. But if my body is mine, then so is my sexuality, whether as a shared experience, or for me and only me. And if you’re reading this, I have a sense, that someplace in your heart and mind, you are drawn or intrigued and ready to connect/get better connected to your sensuality, sexuality and beauty as a woman – regardless if you want to jump up and yell out a ‘yes please!’ or quietly exhale and smile to yourself.
Last year I came across this intriguing quote from Eva Longoria, a gorgeous sensual woman, that said, “I didn’t begin enjoying sex until I started masturbating.” Begin enjoying sex? I thought, I enjoy sex, but could I be enjoying it even more? It also got me thinking about pleasure, and my relationship to it. Then about self-pleasure and my relationship to that. And next I thought about my self-pleasure game (its presence, its absence, its cameo appearances) and I wondered, how does one nurture their self-pleasure game?
When I reflected on the idea of solo sex from conversations I’ve had and heard amongst the women in my life, in media and society, a lot of contradictory words popped up: joy, shame, discomfort, empowerment, guilt, taboo, orgasmic, amazing, wrong, divine, unsure, gratifying. There are so many myths and beliefs that can make it difficult to embrace solo play. It may make you emotionally uneasy at first and that’s okay. At first, it may make you emotionally uneasy and that is okay! It may take some time for your body’s memory to recognize this self-care practice as a positive experience. Keep at it. Take your time. This is the perfect time to practice kindness for yourself. Remember your first kiss? I know mine was awkward. I have some great resources to share with you to help you connect with yourself, tune into your own mood and emotions, spark your imagination and get started, even even if sex is far from your mind. What’s so great is that this is for everyone, whether you are in a relationship or not. Research has shown that more solo sex enhances partner sex!
Self-care is all about you and what feels good for you
An escapade in solo play surely counts as self-care: you’re taking time to focus on yourself, check; focusing on something that feels good for you, check; and gives you pleasure, check! Most medical professionals support solo sex as a healthy habit for both body and mind. All you need is an open mind with a positive curious attitude. This is purely for you, your exploration, and your pleasure. It can be and look any way you like. There’s no ‘normal’. Liberating the mind and being open includes liberating your sexuality. This can reconnect you to your body on a more profound level, connect you to your inner power and get you feeling more in tune with yourself, feel more confident, and more vibrant. When you take the time to get tuned into the experience with your body and mind, it becomes a more intense, fulfilling and fun experience.
Solo Sex is Healthy and Great for Your Physical & Psycho-Emotional Health
(references Jansen, Carlyle. 2015. Sex Yourself. Beverly: Quiver, The Quarto Group)
- Enhances partner sex – increases sexual satisfaction with your partner and better orgasm
- More solo sex = more partner sex
- Helps you fall asleep quickly, sleep soundly, and reduce insomnia
- Boosts your immune system
- Gets your blood pumping
- Stimulates the brain, preventing onset of dementia
- Increase sexual confidence, improve mood and overall self-esteem; the more frequent a woman masturbates, the more positive her body image
SELF-LOVE for all bodies and all ages
Self-pleasure as self-care is self-nurture and self-love. I don’t know many women who don’t have some sort of issue about their body, vagina, aging or sexuality. This beautiful poem by Nayyirah Waheed, captures the essence of loving your body:
And I said to my body, softly,
“I want to be your friend.”
It took a long breath and replied,
“I have been waiting my whole life for this.”
Self-touch has shown to improve a woman’s body image. It is a journey and a practice. With time, good intentions, patience, even a sense of humour, you can become more comfortable, and confident with experience and age.
To start on your self-pleasure journey, I’ve gathered some resources to assist you:
- Sex Yourself by Carlyle Jansen is a fantastic guide book with great techniques and inspiration to learn and/or make your self-pleasure game even hotter
- Dipsea is a new app made by women for women that gives you short, sexy audio stories and guided self touch sessions to get you in the mood and light up your imagination https://www.dipseastories.com
- Layla Martin is a sex, love and relationship coach with tons of resources online on her website and youtube channel – check out this link for 27 Exquisite Ways to Self-Pleasure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2w5phuA6rk&has_verified=1
As an RMT I practise positive, safe, and healing touch for stress management, physical and emotional pain, wellness, prevention, and overall well-being. I have seen over and over again the healing power of touch and see self-pleasure as a form of self-healing.
Anything we do for ourself is a message to our psyche that we matter, we are important, we are deserving, we have value and we have worth. Take time to tune in to yourself. Your sexuality is an important a part of you to celebrate, not to hide away or deny. Bringing your sexuality to light and owning your own sexuality is a part of being whole. Now what do you think about self-pleasure as self-care? To me it is the purest, deepest, truest act of self-love.
Yvette Marcek is a Registered Massage Therapist, Pilates Practitioner and Reiki Practitioner; she often incorporates each of these modalities with her clients. Recognizing that each person who comes in the treatment room has unique requirements and goals, her priority is to create a therapeutic environment that is safe, healing, and positive. Yvette sees the healing of massage therapy and touch as an international language, spoken without barriers and greatly benefiting anyone. She is particularly passionate about increasing body awareness, believing that consciousness of our physical body and the world around us is an integral part of maintaining our health and happiness. For more information about Yvette or massage therapy at the Integrative Health Institute, contact Yvette at [email protected]