Just as we meditate to still the mind, awakening the pleasure body also requires practice.
Many women feel intimidated when I ask them about self pleasure. Some confess to not knowing how to give themselves an orgasm-so they don’t see the point of a pleasure practice. Others don’t see the value of feeling their sexual desire without a partner to share it with. They’d rather not experience the ache of their longing. Others say they already have too much sexual energy and don’t know what to do with it. Their constant desire causes reckless behavior that leads to them not feeling good about themselves.
While suppressing our sexual energy may serve us in the short run, sexual practice is what allows us to break through our fears and befriend our sexual energy so that we can utilize our inner fire for our highest good.
We don’t have to know what we’re doing. We just have to show up. We can start as simple as lying naked on a soft blanket and running our fingertips up the inside of our arms. Women have many different erogenous zones that never get touched, like the insides of our elbows and arm pits. Circling the outside of the breasts arouses the nipples. Circling the hip bones awakens the pelvis. Running my fingernails up the inside of my thighs and around my hips can be as delicious as chocolate cake.
As I get older, sometimes I don’t like the way my body looks-the way my breasts hang to the sides or the extra rolls on my belly. But I’m always surprised that when I touch myself, I can feel pleasure in spite of my judgment.
It’s actually be a very erotic experience to “force” myself to feel pleasure against the will of my critical mind- similar to being held in bondage by a lover. And because pleasure triggers oxytocin, the natural feel good hormone, I can more easily love my body when I am experiencing so many delicious sensations.
Our vaginas are like our bodies. They know and will tell us how they want to be touched. Maybe we begin with a simple, feather like stroke with our finger. Maybe we cup our hand over our vagina. Maybe we gently tug the lips on either side to feel their rose petal softness.
The tiny right muscles around our vaginas often hold suppressed emotions. When I’ve pressed on and in between them with my fingers, I’ve felt everything from grief to rage, followed by ecstatic surges of freed up energy. It’s all about exploring. Our own personal exploration is better than any technique inside a book.
The more we know how to give ourselves pleasure-the more we are in touch with what feels good and what doesn’t feel good in our bodies-the more empowered we are to communicate our needs and desires, not only with lovers, but with everyone we are in relationship with.
Women who know what they want and how to ask for it are sexy.
But what happens when what we want isn’t available at the moment?
While it’s true, sexual practice often triggers my heart’s longing, I find that feeling my unrequited desire is also a deeply gratifying experience. It’s like extended foreplay. I get to feel layer upon layer of my vulnerable wanting.The first layer is always the hardest to open if I’ve shut my desire down for a while. But I’ve found consistently that by exploring my body slowly with my fingertips, breathing, pausing and noticing what I experience, my sexual desire starts to flow again. It usually begins as a trickle, a soft current of energy, that builds exponentially, becoming like waves in the ocean.
In my heart, desire often feels like ecstatic grief. I might let out sounds and/or tears. Sometimes I have an orgasm, sometimes not, depending on what my body needs at the moment. Our bodies know what they need. If we need more energy, either physically or to feel something emotionally that’s been suppressed, we won’t have a release until we’ve built up a sufficient amount of energy. Sometimes I’m building my sexual energy for a week before I experience a deep release.
Which brings me to those angsty days when I have more energy than I know what to do with. Though I have more control over my hormones and am not as sexually reckless as I was when I was younger, I find that if I don’t take time to tend to my sexual energy, it can turn into irritation and even anger-without me even realizing why.
Our sexual energy is like a child in some ways, born of our masculine life force and our feminine desire. If we give it the space it needs in our bodies, it will grow in vibrational frequency. We can help our sexual energy to grow with our breath. Breath expands our inner spaciousness and fans our sexual fire, so that our raw sexual impulses can become spontaneous creative inspiration. Instead of having sex with someone who is not worthy of my love, I might dance under the stars or write a poem for the moon or bake cupcakes with homemade strawberry frosting, decorated with rainbow sprinkle hieroglyphics.
In this way, sexual practice is like meditation for my hormones. It has taught me how to stay with myself in the midst of big energy, so that I can make clear choices.
Instead of swinging back and forth between sexual suppression and addiction, I am learning that by tending to my sexual energy and creating relationship with it, this divine, wild eros child is actually here to serve my life.