Why I Self-Pleasure
As a result of the recent yoni and sexuality workshops I have attended, as well as receiving a beautiful, intentional yoni massage (yoni: sanskrit word for vagina), I felt reminded and inspired to write about how transformative and important the practice of self-pleasuring is.
You may notice that resistance immediately arises when you think of self-pleasuring (AKA masturbation). It's a taboo subject that when discussed, is often accompanied by awkward laughter, shame, secrecy, or avoidance altogether. So if you feel uncomfortable with it, please welcome and love yourself in that discomfort because you are not alone.
The interesting thing about sexuality (or taboo topics in general) is that because it can be so intensely shameful, vulnerable, and suppressed within ourselves and our culture, addressing our sexual shame and resistance can massively shift the rest of our lives. So while this post is called "Why I Self-Pleasure," it could also be called how your life can change through self-pleasure.
It is also worth noting that the benefits of self-pleasure that I write about below are those that I experienced when pleasuring myself in an exploratory, relaxed, and curious way. While self-pleasuring with the specific goal of orgasm is still an enjoyable and beneficial practice, I did not experience these shifts as profoundly until I began self-pleasuring with the intention of simply connecting with myself.
This was one of the first shifts I noticed when I began to intentionally self-pleasure. There are many reasons as to why we don't give ourselves permission, which may have to do with shame, a belief that it's wrong, fear of judgment from others, or not feeling worthy. So by intentionally pleasuring yourself, you may become aware of how you have not previously allowed yourself pleasure - from others or yourself. For me, it was realizing that I needed to give myself permission to deeply receive. To deeply love myself. The self-permission to self-pleasure then begins to show up in other areas of life because those limiting beliefs and patterns are transformed on such an intimate and powerful level. Freer self-expression. Confidence in making decisions or setting boundaries. More ease with prioritizing your own self-care... Self-permission is huge! Because it doesn't actually matter if others give you permission to do something if you can't allow yourself.
2. Freedom from Shame
For many, simply attempting to self-pleasure will bring up shame. Shame around masturbation. Shame around some aspect of our vagina (how it looks/smells/tastes etc.). Shame around being sexual in general. Shame around giving to oneself. Shame around feeling disconnected from one's sexuality or vagina. Shame around disrespecting our own bodies (i.e. having sex when we didn't want to). Maybe even shame around being a woman (or man). So when we self-pleasure, we come face to face with this shame and are provided with the opportunity to release it.
3. Knowing Thyself
As we discover how to pleasure ourselves, we learn what we really want from our lovers. This also works the other way around, as we realize that what we like to receive from a partner we can often give to ourselves. One misconception about self-pleasure is that it is just about pleasuring the "sexual parts" of ourselves. But self-pleasure can be touching and massaging ourselves in all kinds of ways, not just stroking our genitals. The exploration and learning is endless!
4. Pleasure Potential
As we explore and go deeper with ourselves, we give ourselves the opportunity to discover the profound depths of pleasure. Personally, I feel as though I have yet to come anywhere close to experiencing my full pleasure potential. However, I can say that the more I spend time with an exploratory and non-goal-oriented approach, the more I am able to self-pleasure in a relaxed and curious way - which continues to result in greater pleasure-filled discoveries!
Intentional self-pleasure is like a meditation. It's about slowing down, being mindful, and creating awareness by observing our body's physical and emotional responses. It's an incredible way to connect with ourselves and induce relaxation away from our typical fight-or-flight state of being. In addition, it can create awareness of the emotions we may have been suppressing or avoiding
Often our self-esteem is affected by the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves or the value we place on the judgments of others. By addressing and breaking through these issues in an embodied and action-oriented way (i.e. actually doing the things we fear), especially at the level of our sexuality, our self-respect and confidence can increase. This happens because we are literally showing ourselves with our own actions that we are worthy and lovable.
- Body image: By actively loving, appreciating, and experiencing the pleasure potential of our body, we can feel more reverence and love for the beautiful vessel that we live in.
The value and enjoyment we can receive from being pleasured by another person is huge. But it's incredible when we no longer need to rely on someone else to provide this to us. We can meet our own needs and this results in a sense of empowerment and freedom.
We give our body the ability to heal itself when we relax and surrender into deep pleasurable states. By massaging and bringing awareness to the internal and external parts of ourself that we don't often connect with, we can release tension, emotions, pain, and trauma. So as we self-pleasure, allowing ourselves to fully express anger, sadness, laughter, and deep joy or relief can be an essential part of the healing process.
You may notice that these are fairly broad benefits, which means that the benefits you personally experience can be something much more specific and profound to you. Because we all have different relationships to ourselves and our bodies, the ways in which self-pleasuring may change your life are awaiting your own personal discovery.