I never had any problem accepting the idea that masturbation was normal, even healthy. What I came to discover later, is that self-pleasure is also a powerful way to meet and honor my deepest self.
For many years, I used to masturbate quickly, shamefully, rarely, and with the help of external stimulation. While this combo led to a high probability of getting turned-on and climax, somehow, it could have felt more pleasurable. I even came to realize that I would mostly masturbate for two main goals: a quick stress release or to put myself to sleep. And it worked! Was it pleasurable? Yes. Was it fulfilling, nourishing and blissful? Not exactly.
About 5 years ago, I started to question my sexuality. Was there more to what I knew? I heard about tantra, multiorgasms, spiritual awakening through sexuality and I got very curious and hopeful. I started reading and taking courses around women’s sexuality and I spent a lot of time getting to know my anatomy and exploring new ways to please my body. After many hours of training I was still not able to reach an orgasm, but what I did find on my way there ended up being extremely valuable.
Craving For Love & Connection
Even though the quality of my self-pleasure practices was increasing, I couldn’t get rid of the idea that somehow the purpose of this sexual training was to help me achieve more pleasurable and mind-blowing orgasms with a partner. What I was craving most was being held, touched, cared for, and desired. The question was, how could I give that to myself? To understand that, I had to connect with my deepest desires. I laid down in my bed, took a few breaths and asked my heart: « What do you really desire? » and the answer I got was « love ». My brain jumped in: « You’re single, sorry there’s no love around ». But I asked my heart again: « How can I give you the love you need? » And it said: « Love is like sunlight, it’s everywhere, just allow it in, just breathe it in », and though I was really unsure that I could actually do that, I tried. I intentionally breathed in love, and while I was exhaling I imagined it filling up every part of my body. I did that for a few minutes and it felt so good, so gentle, and so deeply nourishing.
If I could do that for myself, what else was actually possible? I asked my body: « How can I show myself even more love?» and I started having visions that would bring a smile to my face. Here’s how I started creating self-pleasure rituals:
1. Taking The Time
I started dedicating time in my schedule just for that for at least 1 hour once a week, around sunset. I love the energy of the sunset because I’m usually not exhausted yet but the day is over. It also somehow felt more « romantic », like a date with myself and I loved that. Of course, any time can work, as the only important thing is to turn off the phone and make sure nobody will interrupt your ritual.
2. Set An Intention & Create The Atmosphere.
Self-pleasure can be a celebration: very sexy, very playful, very innovative, very self-care oriented, etc. It is your moment, what you want. I like candles and incense, body-friendly oils like coconut oil or sweet almond oil, a dedicated playlist that fits my mood and desires at the moment, and my toys handy, to make sure the bed is welcoming. I like to cover mine with my favorite sarong, and I always make sure I have everything I need to feel comfortable in case it gets too hot or too cold. I also have a glass of water or hot tea and sometimes a delicious fruit or chocolate nearby, because at that point, nothing is too good for me.
3. Dancing To Land In My Body
When my space is set, I usually undress and start dancing in my underwear. I close my eyes and feel what movements my body wants to do, no matter how it looks. Sometimes I gently stretch my arms, feeling the center of my chest opening, I move my hips in circles and really connect with my breath.
Sometimes I dance while looking at myself in the mirror and I give myself compliments while stroking my hair, sometimes I dance with my shadow on the wall imagining that the silhouette I see is my inner goddess… and I dance with her, for her. Sometimes I hold myself in my own arms while dancing slowly, like I would do with a partner, to feel into the energy of my Inner lover. There is no limit to my intuition or my creativity. I just follow what is there for me in the moment and remind myself at all times that this is my space, my intention, my moment, my body, my pleasure.
4. Slow & Mindful Touch
Even the days when I already feel relaxed and turned on as I start my ritual, I would still lie down and focus on my breath and my body sensations for a moment to keep dropping in, connecting to my body. Then I start with a very gentle, slow, mindful touch.
If you desire a partner who will be patient and take time with you, even when you feel quickly turned-on and ready to be touched in a sexual way, I invite you to take your time. It’s very powerful to intentionally offer yourself the presence you desire from a lover. Give it to yourself first. As within, so without.
5. Self-Pleasure As A Healing Practice
Sometimes, as we connect with our body and our sensations in a very deep authentic way, we might tap into a softer, more vulnerable part of ourselves and experience intense emotions related to heartbreak or sexual trauma and this is very normal. Think of it as clearing, removing your blocks to pleasure and to thrive sexually. Sometimes sadness is there. Sometimes we encounter guilt and shame, sometimes anger or fear shows up.
When intense emotions arise, breathe deeply, and welcome everything. Observe without trying to judge or analyze. Locate the emotion in your body. Breath into the discomfort. As you keep breathing, hold yourself in your arms or put one hand or your belly and one hand on your heart and let yourself soften. Take all the time you need and when you feel the emotion is released, you can let your whole being be overflowed with pleasure. If you had an intense healing experience, take a few minutes to rest in stillness and thank yourself.
The Benefits of Self-Pleasure
For me, longer periods of celibacy are not a punishment anymore, on the contrary, I am finding freedom as I am not hopelessly waiting for someone else to fulfill my sexual and affective needs anymore. From that space, it became much easier to say no to unwanted attention and no to sexual experiences I didn’t want, and yes to quality partnership. I value myself more. By knowing my body better and honoring its rhythm, it also became much easier to know what kind of touch I liked and to guide lovers or partners.
I feel empowered, as I can stay sexually alive with or without a partner, which is good for my health, my creativity, my joy, and my energy. Allowing myself time and space to connect with my body and feel everything has truly become my most radical act of self-love.