Cultivating Sexual Energy: Daily Self-Care Routines
American culture is very dismissive of sex, even though it is foundational to our well being. Sex is of course not limited to the bedroom; It’s much bigger than that. Your active connection to healthy sexual energy impacts your physical and emotional well being in a major way. It impacts how much pleasure you take in your relationships, how you show up at work, and how in touch with your creativity you are. This is why incorporating sex into your self-care routine will lead to you feeling healthier, more confident, and in-touch with your body. Basically, you will derive greater satisfaction from your life as a whole.
What Does “Self-Care” Mean?
“Sexual self-care” may sound like a fancy way to talk about masturbation, but that is not where we are going with this (although masturbation can certainly be a part of it). Self-care is about being healthy and feeling your life. When you practice self-care you are taking an active role in creating wellbeing and calling in more pleasure.
Self-care should not be confused with self-improvement. Self-care is not about trying to be better than you already are, its about deepening your relationship with yourself as you are. The priority is connecting with your body in the present moment with kindness and care. It is IN the body that arousal is experienced which is why taking care of your body is where it all starts.
Self-care is taking the time to ask yourself what you need, and giving yourself that. You do not need a partner to meet your sexual needs and masturbation can be a very healthy outlet.
Self-care requires reflection and honesty. What is your body craving in this moment? In any given moment what could make your experience just 1% more pleasurable. Is it putting on your favorite soft sweater, packing a cookie for your work break, or drawing a nice long bubble bath at the end of the day? Sexual energy is not just about the genitals its a lifestyle. Could it be as simple as taking the time to notice the temperature of the wind coming into contact with your bare skin as you step outside or slowly lathering soap all over your body and groaning? Yes, sometimes it’s that simple.
Your sexual needs are important and deserve time and consideration. Notice is you feel ashamed about any of your sexual desires. Your sexuality is an important part of connecting with others and understanding yourself, so don’t be shy to spend some time with this part of your identity, it deserves your attention too.
Sexual self-care starts with honesty. Schedule some time to think about your sexual needs. You might write about your sexuality in a journal, reflect while taking a bath, or spend time thinking on a jog. Find activities and spaces that feel safe and reassuring.
Sexual honesty can lead to many discoveries. You might be very happy and fulfilled with your sex life. You might realize that you have new interests that you want to explore. You may start questioning your sexual identity or preferences. You may realize you want to leave your partner. You do not need to feel ashamed when you are honest with yourself. Acknowledging uncertainty is healthy.
Knowing Your Body
When you practice self-care I invite you to reflect on your relationship to your body and just take inventory of what comes up. Sexual self-care might involve connecting with your body via self-pleasure, oiling yourself to deeply nourish your skin, grooming rituals, or getting a massage. Your body needs touch, Freud referred to this as skin hunger. Does your body want more touch from yourself or others? Ask it what it craves and give it just that. Feeling like you can experience sexual pleasure with your body is important.
Self-care includes checking on your health. Giving your body exercise, plenty of clean water, and nourishing foods. How we feel in our own skin, dictates how we feel when someone touches us or desires to enter us. Check-in with your body and make sure that you it’s feeling well, it deserves your utmost attention and care. If you don’t like your body it will be hard to let other people like it. Take the time to check on any pain you might be feeling and get the support you need through bodywork or physical therapy. Move your body, it will reward you by flooding you with serotonin and endorphins. Plan your next checkup for STIs or STDs. Take time to connect with your body and prioritize your physical wellbeing, erotic sensation and pleasure can’t flow freely without adequate self-care.
Building Pleasure Rituals
You can use pleasure rituals to practice self-care every day. When you set aside time to enjoy your senses, you will feel more in tune with your body. You can develop a pleasure ritual for any sensation that you enjoy. Contemporary life is so busy that we often forget the importance of experiencing intimate pleasure. Find time every day to engage with your senses in simple, pleasurable ways. Cook a decadent meal for yourself and enjoy slowly eating it. Spend some time breathing fresh air- go on a hike or walk through the city as the sunsets. Plan out your wardrobe and admire your appearance before you start your day. Sit down and listen to one of your favorite songs without multitasking and slip a piece of dark chocolate into your mouth. Let it melt slowly as your mouth fills with water. When you practice pleasure rituals you reduce feelings of stress and burnout. Pleasure rituals do not have to be complex or extravagant, even appreciating the smell of a cup of coffee can be a pleasure ritual. The best pleasure rituals lead to a more relaxed and rejuvenating day without extra planning.
One way to start your self-care routine is to practice mindfulness through meditation. Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the here-and-now without passing judgment on yourself or others. Mindfulness has been found to reduce both stress and negative fixation while improving memory and focus. If you meditate in the morning and evening you will feel healthy and in control. You can use the free InsightTimer app to start your self-care routine with an AM and PM guided meditation every day. This will help you be more in tune with your body as well which is where all your wisdom lives and sexual energy is stored.
If you’d like to talk more, contact me and set up a free 20 minute session.
Sophia Lou. O’Connor, MA, Ph.D (Cand)
Psychotherapist | Trainer | Educator
Tel: (720) 935 2706