Reservations and Inhibitions Around Self Pleasure
Sexually experienced people know that sex is not just about the body and its responses. For that reason, if at the back of your mind or deep in your psyche there is some feeling that masturbation (or sex generally) is wrong or even sinful, it will be much more difficult to relax and feel pleasure, or to feel good afterwards.
Yet our bodies are naturally sexual. The reason that people have hang-ups about sex is that it is often a taboo subject in the family as they grow up. Most of us were given negative or mixed messages about sex and the sexual part of our bodies as we grew up. Take a moment to think about what messages you were given by your parents and teachers about sex and your body.
Have you accepted all their beliefs wholesale? Or have you adapted some of them to suit your own beliefs and values, or even rebelled and rejected those old-fashioned ideas completely? Your parents did what they thought was right, but your body is your own and your life is your own. It is important to nurture in yourself the beliefs that help you grow as a person.
Your body is unique, and you have the right to self-pleasuring, which is a wonderful celebration of your body. If you realize you have inhibitions about sexual pleasure (perhaps feeling it is sinful to enjoy yourself in any way or that you should think of others not yourself) you find shadow work with a qualified facilitator helpful in overcoming these blocks.
The Power of the Mind: Finding Your Favorite Fantasies
When you start to experience pleasure and arousal in your sessions, you may find some of the ideas that most excite you are not what you might expect or what you might choose consciously.
This is your unconscious mind at work, and it can play a huge part in sexual arousal and orgasm. Many women feel shocked or guilty about their fantasies: but the book My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday is a wonderful collection of fantasies collected from real women. It is worth a read if only to understand the huge variety of women’s fantasies – and you might even find a new one that turns you on!
We would like to emphasize at this point that feeling turned on by erotic material is a normal part of being human. There’s nothing wrong with this, provided that the material which you find arousing is tasteful and respectful of women.
Oddly enough, some women who are opening themselves up to their erotic and sensuous nature find it hard to recognize their own arousal.
Experiments conducted in the 1970s demonstrated that women will become aroused almost as quickly as men when they watch a film of two people making love, at least if you measure arousal by vaginal lubrication.
However, when questioned, many of these women reported that they did not feel in the least aroused mentally. This probably reflects the fact that it has traditionally not been seen as acceptable for women to enjoy erotic materials.
It may also reflect the fact that a lot of women simply do not recognize the signs of arousal in their own bodies. Again, we would like to emphasize that this is completely normal and natural when you are beginning to become more aware of your sexuality.
You may even find it necessary to move your attention from the erotic material you are reading or watching to your own body before you can identify whether or not you feel aroused.
Things to look for include vaginal lubrication, nipple erection, throbbing in your genital region, and mentally feeling sexual aroused – whatever form that takes for you. For example, if you have found yourself fantasizing or having unexpected sexual thoughts, could this be a sign of your sexual arousal?
Benefits of sexual pleasuring
It’s important to remember that even if you have reservations about masturbation, it’s only by continuing to explore your body that you will become comfortable with your sensuousness nature and your sexuality. This is why we encourage you to focus on the potential benefits of self-pleasuring. These potential benefits include greater relaxation, greater pleasure, and greater connection with your own body.
So at this point we would like you to consider what it gives you the greatest pleasure in bed. For example, did you notice that different kinds of movements, or different pressures, or different rhythms, gave you the most pleasure? Learning all about your body and what gives you the greatest pleasure is an essential part of becoming a fully sexual woman.
And of course this does not apply only to your genitals. When you are stroking, caressing, or touching other parts of your body, you will also find that different strokes give you different feelings, pleasure, and a different experience.
One of the biggest concerns that women experience when they are learning to self-stimulate is whether or not they are feeling sexual arousal.
However this is actually very unhelpful to the process of becoming more sexually aware, because you begin to “watch” your own feelings and responses, and you become a spectator rather than being fully engaged in the process.
If you find that this is happening to you, simply bring your attention back to what is happening inside your body.
Try and bring your attention to the places where you are touching yourself; and every time you find your attention wandering, simply bring it back to focus on the feeling you get where you are touching yourself.
You probably realize that not every session of self-pleasuring will be the same. On occasions you will be frustrated and think that your progress is too slow. On other occasions you will be delighted at the progress you believe you are making.
This is exactly the way the personal growth happens, and it is important not to criticize yourself if you feel that you are not making the progress that you would wish to do so. It’s also extremely helpful not to compare sessions. Each session is what it is. However, we encourage you to focus on the positive pleasure you get after each session, and to remind yourself about the things that you did well.
So, for example, even feeling just a little bit more comfortable about self-touching, especially about touching your genitals, is something positive and rewarding. The important thing is to focus on the positive, and to congratulate yourself on your success, rather than beating yourself up about the things that didn’t go as you would have wished.
Having said that, you can also learn from the sessions that didn’t go very well. For example, were you distracted by things that you have to do for your friends and family? If so, try and choose a time when you know that there will be no pressure or demands on you, and when you are able to allocate time solely for your own relaxation and self-pleasuring exercises.