(listen to the audio version)
Some big things happened when I found myself in a circle of strangers all engaged in group masturbation.
Not the least of which was the shocking realization that I should center any sexuality I offer to another person from my own explorations with self-pleasure.
Doing it For Me
Like most people I’ve been honored to know deeply, I was trained to think of sex as something that I do with other people. The sex I have with myself – call it self-pleasure, masturbation, playing with oneself – is unimportant at best, filthy at worst. But mostly it’s just a hidden act that is said to be insignificant when compared to the notches on our bedpost.
But if the goal of this piece is to share a perspective that sex is an act of spiritual expression worthy of your careful attention, here’s the secret to know: your true sexual power is most accessible when you are making love to you.
Because let me tell you that what I found when my hand was on my body in that group of people whose hands were on their bodies is that I am powerful enough, worthy enough, unique enough to ask for what I want from myself and my partners.
Can’t Meditate? Try This
Imagine if self-pleasure were a form of meditation. Imagine if it were a type of self-study. A way for us to worship at the temple of our bodies and learn to walk in the world with a reverence for the gift of being alive with erotic life force.
It might just change everything about how you have sex.
Embarking on a journey of self-pleasure is a commitment to your most important relationship – yourself. But it’s also a gift for anyone you choose to share your erotic energy with.
What Do You Want?
I’ve said this before – asking for what we want in bed is practice for life. But in order to ask for what we want we must first know what we want.
Imagine never having eaten before and being expected to name your favorite meal.
Imagine never having traveled and being asked if you prefer cities or mountains.
Imagine never having spoken a word and being expected to deliver a speech to a room full of strangers.
Yet this is what we ask of ourselves anytime we engage in partner sex without having done our homework.
Your Partner Is Not a Mind Reader
Some partners are tuned in. Some are intuitively gifted with the ability to sense a slight shift, a transition from smile to wince. But they are rare and not to be counted on.
If you are lucky enough to find one of those, celebrate that, but don’t neglect your need for self-exploration. Because outside of the challenges of growing dependent upon their skills is the reality that what we want in bed shifts. Desires are changelings, and each day’s context may bring one to the front and push the rest aside.
Rather than look for that mind reader in a sea of fish, count on the truth that most people – in and out of the bedroom – are looking for you to tell them how you’d like to be treated. They naturally believe you are the authority of your body. So be that.
Your exploration of your erotic nature – fantasies, types of touch, toys, pressure, positions – is far better done alone than with a partner. And when you find what you like, try it again. And again. And again. Then, once you’ve determined your discovery of what you desire is not a fluke but a definitive pattern, you might consider inviting a partner to try it with you.
Let’s be honest – the sexual education that 99% of us received is wholly inadequate in what should be its primary task: teaching us how to engage with this most pleasurable part of the human experience in a way that feels good on all levels.
This may be the sexual education we never received, but close the curtains (or keep them open) because it’s never too late to go back to school.
Want more on how to have better relationships? Dive into the story of the one who formed the foundation for your relationships: your mom. Get on the waitlist for BodyStory: Mother to rewrite the story of where you came from so you can redefine where you’re going.