Your Pleasure and Self Care are Important
It is hard to feel sexy, experience desire or want to be intimate when you feel like your body has been medicalised and it doesn't feel like it is your body anymore or you are so busy taking care of everyone else.
Surgical scars, chronic pain, lost body parts, fatigue, treatment side effects, medical menopause, pain with sex, changes in sensation treatment, weight changes, housework, work stress, traffic jams, ‘Mum’ this ‘Mum’ that, stress and anxiety;
Do not equal,
‘I feel sexy, let's get naked’.
So let’s start with SEXUAL SELF CARE.
Sexual self-care means understanding your likes, dislikes, and knowing that if those change, it’s ok.
It doesn’t just mean what you like sexually. We experience pleasure in all areas of our life. Illness can change many aspects of our lives including how we experience pleasure and what we enjoy and appreciate. It forces us to face these changes so that we can move forward. Mindful self-touch, like meditating can settle our mind and our body. Pleasure mapping solo or partnered can be a nonsexual to redefine pleasure. Pleasure mapping can also be used to start to explore pleasure in sexual touch.
Sexual self-care means communication & patience.
This refers to communication with your health professionals about treatment options and sexual function outcomes or problems you are having. It also refers to communication with your partner. Sometimes sex is hard to talk about, family, religion, cultural norms, etc.. can all impact on how comfortable we are talking about sex. Communication is key. Learning to work together is an important part of sharing pleasure. Patience is with yourself, your partner and your health professional. We are all human and this is hard but worth it.
This is an idea I first read about on www.womanlab.com a great resource for women post Dx and Rx for cancer. I just expanded and changed up a few points to fit what I know in working with clients.
Sexual self-care means being mindful during sexual experiences.
Does this sound familiar? - 101 things on my to-do list - Fatigued and pained - Too busy, Too tired - My scars are ugly - Hurry up or no that is not right.
Who has all this and far more going on in their head?
It all distracts us during intimacy & sexual experiences. I make that distinction on purpose.
There is an abundance of pleasure, connection & health benefits to be had in nonsexual, consensual touch. Being able to be mindful during those interactions is sexual self-care.
Sexual self-care is knowing it is ok to use lubrication or other aides to improve your comfort and pleasure.
Knowing it is OK to use lubricants. Knowing the importance of and using quality lubricants. Lubricants, vaginal moisturisers and other adult toys can help increase your pleasure and comfort. Using quality lubes, toys or other products is important for your health and your pleasure.
Sexual self-care is knowing that there is more to sex than intercourse.
This could be a long one. Do not let your definition of sex be defined by porn. Sex and pleasure are a smorgasbord and you get to choose what works for you and you can change your mind and go back for seconds. Its all the fun, pleasurable, cheeky, exciting stuff you can get up to before orgasm, before intercourse and even before your clothes come off. It is pleasure in whatever form that takes for you.
Sexual self-care is knowing sex does not have to be spontaneous.
Spontaneous sex is a romantic notion that modern life does not always allow and health challenges chuckle at. Make a date and commit to it, manage your time, your energy and your connection in the lead up to it. Place a priority on your connection and your pleasure. Talk about it and what you are ready for beforehand. It tells your partner what your boundaries are and it also builds anticipation.
Remember life happens so it is OK to change plans but try not to make it every time – that’s not priority or commitment. Start small.
Sexual self-care is saying no when you need to & asking for help when you need it.
There is nothing wrong with saying no. You do not need to be a sex goddess and turned on all the time. There is a very big difference between saying no when you need to in order to take care of you and saying no in order to avoid intimacy. If you are in a place where you are avoiding intimacy because it causes you pain, because it makes you anxious or there is something else going on, it is ok to ask for help. There are professionals that can help you. You are not alone and you are worth it.
Sexual self-care is valuing your pleasure.
It is the ultimate form of sexual self-care or self-care in general. Pleasure is an important part of a happy healthy life and a priority in general self-care and sexual self-care. It encompasses all the points before it and more.
Valuing your pleasure is a part of valuing, accepting and loving yourself.
A great sexual self-care accessory is massage oil for that relaxing treat or if you are looking for an intimate wearable that can be worn during intercourse and may help with pain during deep penration then you should check out The Ohnut.
This is sexual self-care.
You are worth it.