Permission to Touch, Permission to Feel

"Because women learn to compromise even before they learn to come, few women have felt their own sexual pleasure erupt, like Mt. Saint Helens, or crash wave after wave, like an ocean. I recommend a rather steady diet of self-pleasuring." Regena Thomashauer, "Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts."

In last week’s blog, I invited you to consciously adopt an attitude of reverence and using a mirror, to look at your yonis and note what you see. I encouraged you to be aware of any critical voices and to lovingly affirm your intention to replace those voices with a new voice—filled with strength, reverence, tenderness and self-respect. Don’t you think that the part of you that gives life and tremendous pleasure deserves respect and reverence? I sure do!

Keep practicing mirror play until you genuinely feel a shift—remember there are literally generations of cultural negativity heaped on our yonis that we absorb and pass down over time. Change begins in this moment, with you.

In this next step, I invite you to move beyond visual reverence and to discover or reclaim your yoni’s capacity to experience pleasure—for you. Let’s face it, nobody teaches girls or young women that their yonis are a source of exquisite pleasure; nobody teaches girls or young women that it is perfectly acceptable (and even desirable) for a woman to know how to pleasure herself. Most important, nobody teaches us that it is truly ok for a woman to know herself, her desires and how her body responds to touch. For the most part, most of us have been trained to believe that touching ourselves is somehow wrong and to the extent we experience pleasure at all, it is incidental to a man’s experience. Even worse, “[m]ost school sex education programs in the United States are not allowed to use the words “clitoris” or “pleasure.” Marty Klein, Sexual Intelligence: What we REALLY Want from Sex and How to Get it.

Set aside time in a private, quiet space in which you will not be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone. Wash your hands, grab your mirror and lube. Coconut oil will be a fabulous lube option for this exercise. For more information on lubes, check out my blog, "Enhance your Pleasure, Know Your Lubes," dated July 2, 2015. Tell yourself: “It is ok for me to touch myself; it is ok for my yoni to experience pleasure; it is ok for me to know how my yoni responds to touch, and what makes me feel good.”

Hold your mirror so you can watch your yoni respond to your touch—if you have never done this, you may be in awe as you observe your labia grow more plump and voluptuous and as your clitoris engorges. Set the intention that your touch will be about exploration—do not set a goal of experiencing orgasm. (If you do chose to experience orgasm—great! Just don’t make it a goal.) Try different stroking techniques and experiment with how you use your fingers, front of your hand, the back of your hand. Gently massage your labia. Feel how your lovely yoni experiences pleasure free of any “performance” pressures or issues. At this stage, do not use vibrators or other toys—simply focus on the sensual touch your fingers and hand provides and be aware of how it feels.

Notice how you feel emotionally. Are you feeling: Excited? Guilty? Ashamed? Afraid? Free? Sensual? Sexual? Curious? If you feel guilty, ashamed or afraid, ask where these feelings are coming from. Whose voices are behind the guilt or shaming? Can you set these voices aside and relax into the moment of simply exploring your yoni? Be gentle with yourself if you feel overwhelmed. And: you are at choice in this exercise. Stop at any time—and affirm: “It is ok for me to touch myself. I am allowed to experience sexual pleasure for my own enjoyment. I’ll come back to this when I feel calmer.”

I invite you to return to this exercise over and again, so that you really learn your yoni—and know how you experience pleasure for you. When we own the secrets to our sensual and sexual pleasure, we own ourselves—which is an act and statement of tremendous empowerment. And understand this: it is not anyone else’s responsibility—partner, lover or husband—to know your body and its responses better than you. It is yours—to own, cherish, and to teach to whomever you wish.