In last week’s post, we got reacquainted with our bodies and learned the real terms for our powerhouse parts. This week, we explore HOW to explore – at your own pace and comfort level.
Proceed in going at your own pace. Be kind, gentle, and accept wherever you are at emotionally with all this. After all, this is about you treating yourself better and loving all the parts of you.
If you haven’t had a lot of opportunity or positive experiences exploring your own body and pleasure – that’s pretty normal. Not only are we indoctrinated to not explore our own sexuality, when we have experienced a toxic or abusive relationship – that exploration can also be filled with pain and fear. So here are some starting points that can be accessible and safe no matter your comfort/experience level:
Option 1: Carve out some alone time. Turn on music that evokes positive feelings for you. Lock the door or put a giant neon DO NOT DISTURB sign out. Jump under the sheets of your bed. Shed those clothes. Close your eyes and be present with how different parts of you feel. Mentally scan yourself from head to toe a couple times and notice any sensations of your skin against the sheets.
Option 2: Start out the way we outlined in Option 1. With your eyes closed, run your hands over your body starting with your forehead. Trace the outline of your face, down to your ear lobes, and the sides of your neck. Keep tracing all the way down your body. Noticing different textures and sensations. Shift your position to reach areas as you go. Once you explore one time, take 3 to 5 deep breaths and explore yourself again – except start somewhere new. Repeat Option 2 a total of 3 times. Each time starting to explore at a new starting point.
Pick Your Pleasure
Here are 4 different ways that you can masturbate and explore what you like and don’t like. These pleasure pathways are meant to be utilized without sex/pleasure toys – but you can always incorporate them later at your comfort/desire level.
Tapping. Lay on your back or side. Gently tap on your clitoris with no lubrication on your finger. Start and stop with different lengths of time and pressure in between. Over time sensation may begin to build.
Sensual Suds. Sit or lay in the bath/shower. Depending on where you are, you can use any or all of the following gently on your clitoris with varying pressure and length of time touching yourself using a clean washcloth or loofa, your fingers, or the showerhead.
Multitasking. Sit or lay on your side or back. Take one hand and use your finger on your clitoris in whatever way feels good. Take your other hand, with a lubricant of your choice on the tip of your pointer finger and rub it on the outside of your anus while continuing to stimulate your clitoris.
Palm Pleasure. Lay face down, propped up on your side or side laying. Use the palm of your dominant hand (depending on your position) on the top of your clitoris (where the clitoris and lips all meet) and gently push down with small back and forth / up and down movements. Depending on your position you can use your other hand behind the one on your clitoris to apply more pressure.
If reading any of these exploration activities felt overwhelming, jarring, anxiety-provoking, or triggered trauma symptoms like flashbacks, tensing, pain– take a break. Listen to your body. Do what you need to do to reset (deep breaths, grounding, talking to a supportive person in your life, or seek support from a therapist). This is all about exploring AND honoring where you are.