In a culture designed for and by men and male pleasure, women’s sexual pleasure has been pushed to the margins for decades. In fact, it has been commodified for so long that even pornography is based on unrealistic ideals of intercourse, to the point that male-dominated pornography has been shown to harm marriages and relationships in general – not to mention totally perpetuate largely false constructs on women’s sexual pleasure.Let us not forget: the clitoris was not discovered in its full structure until 1998. And even as more studies confirm the importance of mental stimulation when it comes to sexual stimulation, foreplay is still downplayed, while penetration – namely in heteronormative sexual frameworks – remains central to the idea of pleasure. What you want and crave First things first: a greater understanding of pleasure, how it originates, and how it is stimulated is required, in addition to sex-positive focus on women’s bodies. While it differs to everyone, women’s pleasure – generally speaking – necessitates us to be fully linked to ourselves, not just physically, but also emotionally. It is not about random moments, but rather must be seen as a continuum – a lifestyle. It requires constant refinement and fine-tuning through self-reflection. © Persian miniature What does that even mean? Let’s start off with the basics. Ask yourself: Have you ever questioned whether you are fully enjoying yourself during a sexual act? Have you ever found yourself over-worried about how you look or feel? Are you listening to what your body is trying to tell you? When you become your own compass on your own desires and pleasures, in and out of the bedroom, you start using every part of your body, emotions, senses, and thoughts. Why? Because you are more in tune with your body. Does it feel good with a certain person? Do you feel safe? Or are you closing up and feeling suffocated or anxious? If so, why? Your experience of your relationship, your body, your sexuality and your orgasms will transform. You are solely moved by your relationship to yourself, first and foremost. What you want and crave, why you crave what you crave, are going to be what help you decide how to behave and how to make decisions. When was the last time you took a deep breath and slowed down to spend a little time with yourself? Sex shifts from being goal-oriented, where an orgasm is the goal, to pleasure in the process; the journey rather than solely the destination. We may have a tendency to place a greater emphasis on eradicating pain and dysfunction, which is, after all, an important component of the quality of our life, including our sex lives. Health, on the other hand, is more than just the absence of disease. Joy, connection, and pleasure are all things that make life worth living, and they are all part of mental and physical health.In fact, one common misconception to debunk here is that pleasure and desire are uninhibited, unpredictable, and effortless. Throughout the day, modest acts of effort can help satisfy needs and provide pleasure. Consider it a “piggy bank” for your emotions and sexual desires. Ask yourself what you can do in your everyday activities to include small moments of joy and things that make you feel good – even before you get into bed. In a culture designed for and by men and male pleasure, women’s sexual pleasure has been pushed to the margins for decades. Yes, the first step is to learn about anatomy and sex education. Step two, on the other hand, is to cultivate a more intimate relationship with yourself. A fast Internet search or listening to facts here and there is insufficient. Begin by challenging your own perceptions. Taking it beyond the confines of the bedroom Ask yourself this, when was the last time you took a deep breath and slowed down to spend some time with yourself? “I like to use the example of peeling and eating a clementine orange, because it does use all five senses: you hold the orange and peel it with your fingers, and you can see, smell, and even hear the peel coming away from the flesh of the fruit, and then you taste the slice that you pop into your mouth,” says therapist Brooke Norton, MFT, MLS. © Kees van dongen Spending time at the beach is another excellent example. The feel of the sand underneath your feet can help you connect to your every action, while water can activate your senses. Do you have trouble tuning out of your mind? According to studies, a huge proportion of people share these sentiments. Don’t worry, humans have a direct neurological mind-body circuitry, as human anatomy demonstrates. You can take it a step further and match your breath to the sound of the waves to help you return your focus to your body. When was the last time you took a deep breath and slowed down to spend a little time with yourself? What does it take to make you happy? What exactly are you looking for? And are you silently shaming yourself for your own self-love? When you think of sex or self-pleasure, what thoughts come to mind? Ask yourself all these questions and more, and only then will you begin your journey to healing. While it differs to everyone, women’s pleasure – generally speaking – necessitates us to be fully linked to ourselves, not just physically, but also emotionally. And we are here to support you.
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