Last week, I taught a new workshop to a room full of moms at Soho Beach House, Miami called Get Selfish: A Workshop on Sensual Self-Love, Desire, and Pleasure.
I opened the night with a story on how being “selfish” in your self-love and self-pleasure is NOT, in fact, selfish at all.
How, by giving yourself more pleasure, you’re actually doing a service for the people you love. Your family. Your partner. Your kids, too.
Because when we practice self-love and pleasure, we’re creating positive energy.
And the greatest gift we can give others is our positive energy!
After some storytelling, I shared 3 practices with the group to help increase their experience of
SENSUAL SELF-LOVE, DESIRE and PLEASURE in this new year.
Together, we created sensual, pleasure “road maps” to strengthen and support their journey of sensual self-love.
Practice No. 1 focused on creating a weekly ritual of self-love – a regular date with yourself to connect with yourself, have an orgasm and put yourself first.
Practice No. 2 is an exercise I call “The Desire Download.” It’s a fun activity to do with your lover, or even by yourself, that gives you permission to explore different fantasies, activities and erotic energies you think you may enjoy. And if you’re wondering, “Well, why is it important to explore my desires?”
Simply put: because if you don’t know what you want, it’s difficult to ask for and get it.
RIGHT? And so much sex advice encourages women to “ask for what you want!”
But many of us don’t know what we want! We’re socialized to be accommodating. (You know how when someone asks you, ‘where do you want to eat?’ and you instinctively say, ‘well, where do YOU want to eat?’). We’re conditioned to go along and be agreeable, to not explore and voice our desires. Or if we have desires, we believe we need to censor them, for fear of being perceived as a “bad girl.”
I say, screw that!
Before you can ask for what you want, you have to know what you want. And this Desire Download exercise guided the women to discover what their current desires are and practice building the confidence to share them with their partners.
Practice No. 3 was all about INFUSING PLEASURE into your everyday life. Finding pleasure in the little things. Seeking out the majestic in the mundane. Allowing your mind to make sensual connections that get your desire flowing and bring pleasure into your tasks, especially those you would rather not be doing.
Because when you actively sprinkle pleasure throughout your life, then your whole life becomes more pleasurable. And I think we can agree that pleasure makes life worth celebrating…
And then, of course, we shared. I shared stories with the women. They shared stories with me. And I’m not ashamed to say that there were tears at a few points. And it’s ABSOLUTELY and AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL, these women, all coming together to support one another and FINALLY feel safe enough to be open and honest about sex, desire and pleasure — and what’s missing, what they want, and what they need.
And I feel so damn BLESSED to be a part of it.
Because each time I lead one of these live workshops, I learn something new from the women I encounter. Because every woman’s story is unique. Every hang-up and relationship and outlook is different, and yet, there, in that space, we’re all connected through our desire to feel sensually confident and sexually satisfied.
We’re connected through our want to be more sexually expressive and feel more adored. And we’re connected through our need to know our bodies more intimately and passionately than we ever have.
We. Are. Connected.
And still, sometimes, even in this exhilarating and freeing environment, it takes a little extra nudge from me to awaken those desires in the women in attendance. To help a woman understand that her desires are valid and that she is worthy and deserving of all the confidence and pleasure and satisfaction available in life. To inspire her to give herself PERMISSION to intimately know her body and give herself pleasure. To give herself PERMISSION to ask for what she wants from her partner, both in and out of the bedroom. To bring sex and pleasure out of the shadows and into her daily life.
And through this process of putting strangers in a room together and getting them to open up and talk honestly about sex, desire, pleasure, and masturbation, I learned something, or relearned, really, about women, sex, and sisterhood. Three things actually.
1. Many women are scared to talk about sex and share their truths.
Which means they need to be encouraged to open up and share. They need to know that it’s a safe place to have this conversation. And sometimes they need someone else to go first. To give them the strength and confidence to speak their own truth, to voice their own desires. And sometimes they just need to hear someone say, “I got you, girl!” to know they’re not alone.
But what so many women don’t realize is that opening up and talking about sex and our issues with sex and coming to the understanding that we’re NOT ALONE in our desires, it’s HEALING. Talking heals. Sharing frees us. It feels SO DAMN GOOD to just talk openly about sex without having to hold back in fear of judgment or ridicule or shame.
So, if you’re reading this, I have an assignment for you. I want you to share with your girlfriends. I want you to be a leader and call for a gathering. Or even just get together one-on-one. But open up a conversation about sex, about letting go of blocks and creating a plan for living a sexier, juicer, more turned on life. Be that friend. Because every woman needs a friend like that
2. Women have a lot of blocks when it comes to sex and pleasure.
A block is anything that drains you of desire, lowers your self-esteem and sexual confidence, or becomes an obstacle to fully expressing yourself as a sensual and sexual woman.
At this workshop, I saw women suffering from:
- Negative body banter
- Viewing sex as a chore
- Skipping sensual self-care
- Being too nervous to share their desires with their partner
- Holding onto sex guilt or shame
- Feeling disconnected from their sensual nature
- Experiencing resentment in their relationship
The list could go on and on. But what intrigued me most was this idea of FEAR. So many women were afraid of what would happen if they fully stepped into their sexuality. If they openly, honestly shared their true desires with their partner. They were fearful it would be too much for their lover. Too much for themselves.
I say, enough with all these damn blocks! Smash them. And the only way of effectively doing so is to TALK ABOUT THEM! Once women start voicing their concerns and hear other women who feel the same way or who have overcome something similar, only then do the walls start to fall down
3. Sisterhood HEALS.
Once a woman opens up to a sisterhood, then they understand and TRUST that there’s someone who wants to listen to them and hear what they have to say. Someone who wants to share their story in return.
These brave, beautiful women bared their souls and sexuality with me and they confirmed that talking about sex with a sisterhood is one of the best things for promoting self-care and confidence. Sharing truth amidst a group of other women in a safe space has the power to release the heavy weight of sexual shame, guilt, shyness, and embarrassment that so many of us carry around.
Being around other women and speaking about SEX and SENSUALITY and PLEASURE in a frank, fun, open, and honest with, with enthusiasm and excitement, has the power to offer women the permission to take that enthusiasm and excitement into their own lives.
It’s like sometimes I forget how AMAZING and EMPOWERING these workshops can be. How powerful a group of women can be and what they can do for each other. And doing these live events, where I can inspire women to express and embrace themselves, explore their sensual side, and grow their sexual pleasure without shame or embarrassment, well, it’s why I love this work. Helping women have better sex and better relationships and be better mothers, it’s absolutely what I love to do.
And these workshops remind me of my goal. Changing lives, one O at a time!
So tell me, mama: Do you have a sisterhood of women you can really talk about these issues with? How do they inspire you? Share your experience in the comments!