I remember sitting in my bedroom scrolling on instagram when I first stumbled upon the concept of “self love” or “self care”.
“Self Love? Self Care? What does that mean? Are people babying themselves?"
At the time, I was a little taken back since it almost seemed a little selfish to me. In the ways I saw self love/ self care portrayed, it almost came off as people needing a “safe space” for life- be happy though, my views are far more evolved now. It took my some soul searching to understand the true purpose of self love, and why it felt so uncomfortable to talk about. I saw that in a modern world busy in jobs, money, social media, relationships, and so forth, we are constantly being torn down and brought to our limits. It was clear that no where in that narrative was there ever the encouragement to take care of yourself, or to truly love who you are.
Not even a couple years ago, I was the most selfless person in the world- there were many times my well-being took the back burner in order to accommodate others. There were countless times in my life where I was barely functioning with school, work, family, and navigating a relationship. I ignored how I felt about my body, put my sexual needs aside, took on as much work and responsibility as possible, and barely slept. Where did I leave room for myself in that equation? I didn’t know how to say no, I never knew how to set a limit, and I wasn’t upfront with what I needed.
Self pleasure translates to self love
The thing is, I wasn’t making time for myself at all. I've evolved to realize that having time for yourself and loving yourself isn’t an indulgence, its a necessity. Its a ritualistic sequence specific to every person that helps keep their peace of mind and sense of self-worth. When I thought long and hard about self love for me, it came down to loving my body, loving myself as a person, and investing in my sexuality through self pleasure.
I know what you’re thinking- what does getting off have anything to do with loving yourself or caring for yourself? Well let me break it down for you.
Your sexuality is the most vulnerable, raw, and pleasure holding place in your life. Your sexuality has everything to do about learning to love your body, learning to enjoy pleasure, and being confident with yourself- let alone in front of somebody else. During times that I wasn’t taking care of myself or actively practicing self love, my sexuality took a hit. I didn’t feel comfortable naked in front of myself or others, I was self conscious about expressing my pleasure, and my masturbation sessions were short, goal-oriented, and less than satisfying. Whats the point in owning a 10 speed vibrator if you’re half assing your self pleasure?
A safe place to explore your pleasure
This is the most important part to me- when self pleasuring, you’re in a complete safe space to try whatever you want to yourself. This gives you the freedom to explore things you might like, fantasies you may have, and in complete privacy without risking anyone judging you. Sometimes we get shy in front of partners, sometimes you feel the need to “perform” when with a partner- not here! Seriously take your time, a goal oriented orgasm is usually the least satisfying ones you will have. Try those things you’ve wanted to try, think about your fantasies, view a film, use a toy, be as loud or as quiet as you want. I tell people over and over again, there is no right or wrong way to masturbate- stop relying on what you’ve “seen” and invest in what feels right for you.
Get comfortable with your body
A big hurdle with self love is that we aren’t usually taught to be content with everything our body has to offer. Sexually speaking, we aren’t encouraged to express ourselves or openly be confident about our sexual powers. I find it completely ironic that self pleasure is frowned upon in society, when its one of the most human experiences to get us acquainted in the bodies we inhabit. A person I follow recommended self pleasuring in front of a mirror to become more familiar with your anatomy and sexual stimulation- male or female, this is a great strategy. There is something to be said in watching your own sexual responses- the blood flow, swelling, climax. If you are learning to love yourself, what better way then to love what you are sexually capable of and what your nether regions look like? My vagina is my favorite body part, hands down.
You’re giving yourself orgasms
What better way to self love than masturbation? You are literally giving yourself orgasms- one of the best reactions your body can possibly produce. When done correctly and with intention, you are provoking a flood of endorphins through your system, promoting calming and healing effects. For some, climaxing can be really scary or threatening since you may have been taught to suppress sexual urges and feelings. Even I coming from the most open family, felt a certain umbrella of uncertainty when learning I had the power to give myself intense pleasure. When working on self love, I started to harness this feeling into appreciation- orgasms are like playing with puppies: you never regret it, and you’re bound to smile for hours afterwards!
My “Self Love” ritual has evolved and has become a very simple 3 step process: Meditation, 20-30 minutes of self pleasure, and a damn good cup of coffee. I am a full believer that sexual energy runs the world, and this ritual is nothing short. When I practice this Self Love, I can honestly put my mind to anything and whole heartedly believe I can accomplish anything. So heres to all of you, whatever you choose to identify as- take at least 10 minutes a day to give yourself some self pleasure. Get grounded in your body and show gratitude in the magical things you can do. It is so painfully easy to let life suck you in and drain you- but only if you let it.