How do you express your sexuality?
What’s the big deal about sexuality? It evokes such emotional responses whenever it is brought up. Sexuality is presented in extremes in our culture: either you’re a “wife material” (or husband material), or have “too much” sexual desire. Either you are a “prude” or a “slut.” It’s no wonder women are so confused–there are mixed messages everywhere we turn. This makes it difficult for women to embrace our bodies and express ourselves sexually in a non-judgmental, positive way.
The good news is that this can be fixed. It doesn’t matter what your stance on sex is, or whether you’re in a relationship. When it all boils down, sexuality is really about embracing yourself in every aspect–mind, body, soul. It’s about finding your attractive qualities and feeling confident in them. Every being is sexual–there should be no shame or judgement in that. So follow these tips and tricks to find your inner sexual being and let her loose.
How to Express Your Sexuality in a Healthy Way
1. Do things that make you feel good.
This is an absolute must. What makes you feel beautiful, sensual or just plain confident? This could be taking a bubble bath, going on a sunset stroll… How about candlelight yoga paired with your favorite mellow tunes? (This is my personal go-to). For most of our day, we concentrate our energies in our heads rather than our physical senses. Give yourself time to focus on the body, and give way to your senses.
2. Look at yourself naked.
Most of us limit our time spent undressed, often times out of shame, embarrassment, or insecurity. The body is natural, functional, and amazing. Admiring those qualities should not be taboo. The more time you spend naked, the more comfortable you will be with the idea–and, most likely, with your body. Simply look at yourself in front of the mirror. Try to eliminate body-negative thoughts and try to focus on what you love about yourself. This can help condition you to see yourself in a more positive light.
3. Get comfortable with the idea of being single (even if you’re not).
As cliché as it is, you really don’t need someone else to make you feel whole or loved. You can achieve this completely on your own. That is not to say that relationships aren’t important, because they totally can be. But what’s more important is building up the relationship you have with yourself.
4. Touch and be touched.
All touch sensations are engaging and nourishing to your body, whether it’s erotic, platonic, or just therapeutic. Give hugs, get massages. Once again, this is really about gaining comfort with yourself. You will learn to open yourself up to intimacy, on both the giving and receiving ends. Touch is so vital to how we feel and even how we perceive the world round us. The more we expose ourselves to touch, the more comfortable we become with it. The same is true if we go without touch–we can easily become frigid and mentally want to avoid contact (even though this is what the body craves).
5. Keep lists of what you like.
Learn to listen to your instincts and acknowledge your desires, no matter how crazy or embarrassing you think they may be. Write them all down and then commit to them. Maybe not all at once, but a little at a time you can begin to assert your wants and actually heed them. It doesn’t matter whether a romantic partner is involved or not–this exercise is helpful for anyone because you will become more conscious of your wishes and more willing to put them into practice.
6. Eliminate media (or at least free yourself from its “standards”).
There are so many false ideas out there about how sex and sexuality “should” be. The truth is that most of what is in movies is not very representative of real life. Sexuality is so utterly complex. It can be very fluid and very gray, so comparing your experiences never turns out well. Not to mention the fact that media overload can desensitize us sexually. Sexuality can be just as mental as it is physical, so let your mind wander and your creativity flow. Dream up your own ideas of what sexuality looks like to you and reject societal norms if you don’t feel like they fit within your life.
7. Learn about sex positivity.
I recommend reading Janet Hardy’s The Ethical Slut, and Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, and any other book you’re attracted to in sexuality corner of your local bookstore. Or try listening to podcasts like Why Are People Into That?! that open up scintillating dialogues about sex topics.
These are just a few recommendations,some of which I have personally had positive experiences with. But I would love to hear from you as well! Are there any other ways that you have found helpful for embracing your sexual entity?
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This article was first published on April 2, 2014 and most recently updated on October 2, 2019.
Photo: Vlture via Flickr