Devi Ward interviews Beverly Engel on What to do when your partner has a history of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and the author of 20 self-help books, including the bestsellers: The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, … Continue reading
Thursday, October 10th on Better Love and Sex~ Join Devi and Explosive Sexual Healing Founders, Ben and Jen Rode, as they discuss how awakening a woman’s orgasmic potential can facilitate awakening in every other area of her life! Find Out: … Continue reading
|Recently a student of mine and I were discussing the revitalizing aspects of pleasure. She is a new mother, and she was expressing how transformative she has found it to prioritize her needs for self-pleasure- sexual and sensual- and how that has positively affected the happiness of her entire family.
We were chuckling at the irony, because when I tell most women that the key to experiencing more inner peace, contentment, and joy in life, is to schedule in 20-30 minutes a day of “self-pleasure,” they look at me like I’m crazy.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” they say. “I have a job, a family, a husband, a PTA meeting. I don’t have time for “self-pleasure”.
Which is exactly the problem!
As women, we are conditioned to prioritize giving to everyone and everything, above giving to ourselves. Our culture tends to glorify self-sacrificing female role models who override their own needs for the sake of their families, friends, co-workers, and children.
As a result of this societal “pressure”, many women feel guilty just thinking about taking time to meet needs for self-care, much less self-pleasure.
And yet one of the vital keys to effectively contributing to the lives of those we love, is honoring our own needs for self-pleasure, as a way of caring for and loving our selves.
When we don’t prioritize meeting our needs for self-love through self-pleasure, we are disconnected from our inner wisdom, and our true source of happiness, love, and joy.
This affects our relationships, our families, our business, our entire lives.
Plus- it just plain sucks walking around feeling tired, overwhelmed, and stressed out because we are not honoring our own needs for self-care.
Understandably, many women mistakenly think of “self-pleasure” in a sexual context only, but there are many different ways to meet needs for pleasure, (which I describe in my book as The 4 Forms of Pleasure,) which are- Physical/Sensual, Emotional, Spiritual, and Sexual.
I describe how consciously cultivating each of The 4 Forms of Pleasure on a daily basis can enrich physical health and vitality, help improve mood and balance emotions, increase libido, and enhance relationships.
Which all sounds great, but how do you begin prioritizing your own pleasure, and creating more balance, joy, and fulfillment in your life right now? It’s easy.
#1. Awareness– The first step in making any type of change is acknowledging to your self the need for change. Be honest with yourself about the fact that you would like to be experiencing more pleasure and joy in your life, and that you are ready to take action.
#2. Commitment- Look at your weekly planner and daily “to-do” list, and schedule yourself in. I recommend giving your self a good 20-30 minutes of time each day, and possibly scheduling in longer periods of time as often as once a week, and as little as once a month.
#3. Discovery- There are a variety of ways to meet needs for pleasure, such as hot baths, walks in the park, and shopping trips, and these are a great way to fill in the gaps. But if you are wanting to really draw upon the many physical, emotional, and relationship benefits of pleasure, I suggest learning more about The 4 Forms of Pleasure and how they can be accessed through The 4 Principles of Self-Pleasure. You might even be inspired to create your own daily “Pleasure Program.”
Women are designed to “pay it forward” so to speak. You know that saying “Educate a man and you educate one person; educate a woman and you educate a whole nation?”
Same goes for self-care…..
- From Hero to Zero:The Day My Orgasms Sucked! (deviward.wordpress.com)
- Your G-Spot 101:The What, Where & How It Works! (deviward.wordpress.com)
As some of you may know- I often share that one of the main reasons many women may have difficulty experiencing their full orgasmic potential, is a result of unresolved emotions or “traumas” locked in the genital tissue. This frozen … Continue reading
Q – DEAR DEVI,
My partner and I have been together for more than 10 years. Although I like our sex and the way he touches me, there are times when I desire a little something different.
I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for how to communicate this to him – without making him feel inadequate, or that our sex isn’t good enough?
A – Yes, I do have some suggestions!
First off – I want to congratulate you on your long-term relationship and that you’re still having sex.
The latest statistics show that over 40 million marriages are sexless … so kudos to you!
Secondly – a great thing to keep in mind is that as we mature in life, our bodies change.
Our bodies are in a constant state of flux so depending on what’s going on for us mentally, emotionally, and physically, chances are our sexual sweet spot may not be the same from year to year, or even from experience to experience.
Hormone levels are different, energy levels fluctuate, stress levels may increase or decrease due to children, career, retirement etc.
All of these things will effect how we respond to sexual stimulation, and this is just as true for men as it is for women.
And this is where attitude is all important.
Sex is like a conversation – if we enter into it thinking that we already know what the other person is going to say – there is very little room for growth, expansion, or change.
Personally, I like to approach every sexual experience like an adventure or a “game” of sensual discovery, and I recommend setting aside some time for this by making a sensual “play date” once a week.
This sensual play date is the opportunity for you to begin exploring your new and ever changing bodies with a spirit of curiosity, innocence, and mutual pleasure.
I suggest taking some time to just give and receive sensual touch, while communicating about placement, pressure, and what feels the most delicious for each of you.
It’s kind of like you get to learn each other all over again, but as you are right now – after all those years of commitment, growth, triumph and challenges.
Taking time to explore your sensual pleasure will significantly increase the intimacy in your marriage, and may help resolve lingering intimacy problems, and smooth out relationship difficulties.
Thirdly – believe it or not, there are just as many men as there are women out there craving a little something “different.” And they are often just as afraid to ask for it!
It sounds as if what you are essentially wanting is to deepen your sexual intimacy, deepen the bond between you, and explore your mutual pleasure.
What loving partner wouldn’t want that?
Find out more about how you can create more conscious loving intimacy, and have more passion and excitement in the bedroom at Better Love and Sex.com
This is a common experience for most women, and one which you may be able to relate to- the kissing is hot, the passion juices are flowing, everything is green light go, but when your partner starts touching your genitals, everything goes a little numb.
It’s as if the rest of your body is vibrant and alive with stereo sound, and the sensation in your genitals is sort of… muted.
Or- you are experiencing pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, and then…oops! Oh god, I lost it! Oh crap, where did it go? Now I’m taking too long,…. maybe if he/she just went a little harder/softer/sideways, etc. etc.
And now you’re lost in your head, trying vainly to recapture those sweet moments of bliss you were just starting to get a glimpse of.
Disconnecting from our pleasure and desire during the sexual experience is very, very, common for many women. Most likely every woman will experience varying degrees of presence during sex, at various times throughout each sexual encounter.
But knowing that doesn’t make it any more fun when it happens.
So the question is- why is it happening and what can you do?
There are a few different reasons for disconnecting during sexual intimacy, and usually one or more of these issues is at play in any given moment:
1) You are have trouble focusing and getting “out of your head”
2) You are distracted by the recurrent thoughts of what would feel better, but are unable to communicate it verbally.
3) You are worrying- i.e. am I taking too long, is my partner is getting bored, are my thighs too fat?
4) You are trying to orgasm, straining, trying to perform
5) You are feeling emotionally unsafe or uncertain
6) You are afraid to really feel the pleasure, because it might be over too soon.
7) You feel uncomfortable with your body, the way it looks, smells, sounds
8) You feel guilty or shameful about sexual pleasure (i.e. good girls don’t like/want/enjoy sex)
9) You were sexually abused or violated in your past
10) You experienced a deep heartbreak, painful break-up, or serious let-down from a past relationship
One of these issues is enough to make your sexual pleasure train derail, but the fact of the matter is- often there are a few of these “sensual saboteurs” going on simultaneously.
So what’s a girl to do?
Well the typical answer is to encourage people to “Be More Present” during sex.
Which I find really unhelpful given that we spend 90% or more of our waking time lost in thought- thinking of what’s next on our “to do” list, being driven by unconscious thoughts and desires – and yet somehow we expect ourselves to just magically know how to get, and stay present, during sex.
But I ask you – if you’re unable to be present in other area of your life, how could you expect to be instantly present for this area of your life?
If you want to be more present and connect to your body during sex, I invite you to practice BEING present and connected to your body, in every other moment of your life.
Which is a great thing to say, but how do you actually do it?
The quickest, fastest route for getting present in your body, and out of your head, is by focusing on your breath.
Wherever you are, in any moment, simply notice your breathing pattern.
First- Notice if you are taking short, shallow rabbit breaths, (which is a symptom of fight or flight response,) or are you taking nice full belly breaths. Most likely if you are lost in thoughts and worry about past or future, you are in “fight or flight” response.
Next- take a few nice deep conscious breaths, and FEEL your body.
Feel your lungs and belly expand with air, feel your ribcage lift and open to allow in more life essence. Feel the slow, sweet process of life happening within you.
Then- notice how your body feels. Are there any areas of tension or stress? Take a few moments to consciously breath into any areas of physical, emotional, or energetic tension. Bring your conscious awareness and your breath to these areas, and relax.
I invite you to do this exercise for 5-10 minutes, several times during your day. Some people call this meditation, or you can simply think of it as “body – awareness.”
After practicing being present for a while outside of your sexual experience, I invite you to do the same practice of self-awareness during your sexual experience.
Become aware of your breathing pattern during sexual pleasure, and consciously practice taking deep full breathes.
Instead of following thoughts in your head, follow the sensations in your body, and when they run into little obstacles, (or “blocks to bliss”), breathe into those areas of tension and dullness, and practice relaxing, softening, and letting go.
You may find a whole new depth of pleasure, connection, and joy in your sexual experience, and a profound intimacy with yourself and your significant other.
Wanna experience your FULL orgasmic potential as a woman? I invite you to contact me and begin creating your Personal Pleasure Program for awakening your true sexual pleasure potential!
Understand this & you will know how to live masculine & feminine polarized in bliss & love.
Do not make the error of attaching to one, both are always merging and becoming the other.
Women must learn to be strong without trying to be like men. It was useful to gain equality and rights, but now it can be an impediment in our sexual culture.
The power of woman is Yin, it is actually stated in some Taoist texts that yin is more powerful, as yin can yield and open to absorb all yang, she is flexible, like a willow tree in the wind, not like an oak tree.
Oak challenges the wind with firmness, and big branches break. The willow just flows and bends, very few branches fall.
Look to the power of Tai Chi, no resistance, bends & flows around the challenge-energy of attack.
The more the challenge-energy attacks, the more there is for the tai chi to overcome that very force, or embrace it and bring it to harmony & peace. Do you see?
The power of woman is magnificent, but not if she tries to use male force against, or in relationship, with male force.
There will only be pain for both.
Women, dance in polarity, openness & yielding in love, blissful, strong at heart, balanced.
Men, protect her, challenge her with love and you will both grow, lovingly penetrate her deeply for long periods of time, hours, without ejaculation and she will treat you like a king, and you will retain your strength, unafraid of woman power.
If we do this the patriarchy that is terrified of women will fall. Then there will be harmony. Get to work!
Arousal is your body’s ability to respond to sexual stimulation, meaning – when you do engage in sexual activity are you able to enjoy it, and does your body respond the way you would like it to?
If your answer is NO, fear not, for we have solutions at hand!
There are a few different factors that may be contributing to your body’s seeming lack of cooperation.
Again- it’s important to first rule out any possible medical condition such as hormonal imbalance or deficiency, and confirm that there is no anatomical obstructions of blood vessels, nerves, or arteries.
Once that is done, you can take matters into your own hands (so to speak) and look at these other possible options.
#1) Are you in your head?
Do you have a hard time shifting gears from day to day life, right into sexual response?
Of course you do. Who doesn’t?
Please always take into account the fact that –women especially need some time to “come down” and disengage from our overly active intellectual minds.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect your body to just instantly respond the minute stimulus is introduced.
Give yourself some time to get fully present in your body, and CONNECT with it, before demanding that it perform for you.
#2) Are you ready?
One of my favorite info tidbits to share with people is the fact that women have as much erectile tissue internally as a man does externally.
It just takes us 20-45 minutes to get a hard on!
Expecting your body to instantly respond to any sort of stimulation is again- unrealistic.
It’s kinda like trying to go for a 10 mile run without warming up at all, or driving your car in the freezing cold, without warming up the engine first.
Everyone knows the importance of warming up the engine before going on a long or even short drive. Same applies to your body’s sexual engine.
#3) What are you feeling?
Do have a lot of anxiety or “should’s” about sex?
How do you feel about your partner?
Are there unexpressed hurts between you?
Have you been sexually or emotionally traumatized?
Part of the beauty in the design of the human body is the fact that we store emotions in the cellular tissue.
It is a very normal and natural function to “desensitize “when are experiencing stress, fear, shame, hurt, guilt, or any kind of emotional pain.
Thoughts, emotions, and traumas that relate to sexuality or our sexual identity naturally get stored in the genital and pelvic region.
This is why regularly practicing exercises such as the 5 core pelvic movements and vulva massage, are so essential to our sexual health and ongoing sexual pleasure.
In my work, I find that so many women and men are in pain about some aspect of their sexual experience; whether it’s past abuse, religious conditioning, being poorly treated and undervalued in relationship, or simply don’t understand their body and the way it works.
If you have questions about your sexual experience, your sexual pleasure, or even just need some perspective, I invite you to contact me for a free consultation, or shoot me an email anytime.
Often the answer to these questions is a lot simpler and easier than one would think.
All it takes is a little education and a change in perspective.
I recently read a very insightful article addressing just this issue, which broke down the libido question into 2 categories- 1. desire for sex or 2. sexual aroual.
Libido is defined as- a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity, which would look something like- your partner walks in the door and you want to jump their bones.
This is an entirely different issue than one of sexual arousal, which would look like- you jump your partners bones, but don’t really feel physically turned on, have much sensation, and/or have difficulty experiencing orgasms.
From my perspective (and the previously mentioned authors perspective) these are 2 very different scenarios, which will require very different strategies to correct.
Libido – (actual desire for sex)- can be affected by a number of different circumstances.
Personally, I find that once a possible hormonal imbalance or deficiency has been ruled out, the top 2 culprits for lack of sexual desire are:
#1. Stress, and
#2. Relationship issues such as- unexpressed emotions of hurt and/or resentment.
So when a woman asks me about how to increase her libido, I typically answer with a question of my own which is-
“How stressed out are you?”
Our modern lives are filled with an inordinate amount of ongoing daily stress triggers, keeping us in an almost constant state of fight or flight.
Being in this constant state of high alert wears down our body, causing physical aging and degeneration of tissue, and contributes to emotional irritability and lack of present moment awareness (think inner peace and joy!)
This can leave us feeling exhausted, depleted, and drained. I compare this to draining a battery, and as we all know batteries operate on electrical charge.
Think of your sexual desire in a similar way, as a current or charge of energy.
If you are feeling drained and depleted by the overwhelming demands of life, you probably won’t have a lot of extra juice available for frequent sexual connection.
Unexpressed feelings of hurt or resentment also drain the life energy out of a relationship, so chances are if you aren’t “sexing” it’s because you aren’t saying something that needs to be communicated in order for you to WANT to be physically intimate with that person.
I also find that for many women sexual desire is more of an emotional impulse than a physical urge.
If you aren’t feeling emotionally connected to your partner, if there are walls and barriers between you, then the desire for sexual union can be almost entirely snuffed out.
Remember- sexual desire is the physical expression of our heart and soul’s desire for union.
If desire for sex isn’t the problem, the next thing to look at is the arousal factor, which I will share some insights about next week.
Do you have questions about your sexual experience?
Would you like to learn more about your FULL orgasmic potential as a woman?