We can be made to feel as if our genitalia are separate from us, or foreign. They are completely a part of us, and serve multiple essential functions, most commonly referred to for reproduction. As humans, and especially as women, that’s not all our bodies and genitals are for — We are unique in that we also experience pleasure, for no reason other than being able to enjoy it.
While many species only have sex for reproductive purposes, we are wired to crave and act sexually as our human experience. For this reason, things like vaginal lubrication, sensation, tingling, blood flow, erections, and more are normal and expected functions of the human body when aroused. We may have been taught to try and avoid these sensations in the past, leading to negative emotions about our body, self-image, and our experience enjoying sexual pleasure.
As a woman, it’s normal to have sexual craving and desire
Sexuality and desire being taboo isn’t new, and especially not for women. These heavy taboos can discourage women from exploring their sexuality, or feeling secure in their desires and needs. Contrary to the popular belief, it’s completely normal for women to have high libido and sexual desire. Even more normal is acting on those desires by partnered or solo interactions, using masturbation as a typical tool of self-care and sexual health. We recommend all women explore their pleasure with masturbation to see what sensations and methods are enjoyed. This can lead to increased sexual satisfaction with self, a partner, and exploration into tools like sex toys to meet those needs.
Masturbation can help us normalize our sexuality
Masturbation may be frowned upon and hard to do when we are experiencing sexual shame. Ironically, it’s one of the most powerful tools to help empower us to love our bodies and get comfortable with our sexuality.
We recommend setting aside an ample amount of time through the week to explore your body at your own pace.
- This can begin by touching yourself while looking in a mirror, and getting familiar with your own anatomy. Perhaps experiment with different rubbing motions, pressures, and rhythms to see what feels pleasurable while also taking your time.
- Trace other parts of the body, and see what feels sensitive and conductive to more pleasure. For women, they may find that alongside typical clitoral stimulation, things like rubbing of the nipples or gentle squeeze of the inner thighs can provide more arousal to the experience.
- If manual stimulation with hands is satisfying or is missing just a little sensation, try a sex toy like a vibrator or “rabbit” style insertable toy. These toys can help stimulate the clitoris and “G-Spot” or the internal portion of the clitoris. We recommend reading our blog "Getting Familiar with Clitoral Stimulation" to explore more methods.
- We highly recommend pairing any form of sexual activity with lubricant to ensure optimal glide, protection, and pleasure. A few pumps can lead to a more comfortable, blissful experience!
Talking to someone helps us feel more secure in our sexuality
Our social circles and sources of support have a huge impact on how we view our own sexuality, and sexuality as a whole. Perhaps we struggle with views from our families or our partners, making our own feelings around sexuality hard to navigate. When we can confide and feel vulnerable with others about our sexuality, we can normalize the conversation and our feelings around it.
This can be done by having candid conversations with family, friends, and especially our sexual partners. A helpful tool may be visiting a sex therapist, who can help us work through feelings of sexual shame or beliefs that aren’t easily guided outside of professional help. Remember, these beliefs and shame weren’t built overnight — they take time, and healing to undo.
Healthcare providers that support your sexuality
Healthcare providers that support your sexual health, pleasure, and development are essential. While sexuality serves its evolutionary function, we must also incorporate pleasure into the conversation. Perhaps you’re experiencing pain during sex, problems with arousal, or uneasy with parts of your sexuality — the right practitioner will make you feel safe and empowered in seeking help for these common topics. This may require interviewing different practitioners to find an unbiased, compassionate, and understanding voice that can be of service to your needs.
Going forward, do…..
- Have respect for your body and its natural functions. Make sure to research your anatomy, but most importantly… explore it on your own.
- Make masturbation an intentional routine, setting aside time to explore your pleasure with time and patience.
- Experiment with different sensations, like sex toys to enhance your experience
- Seek support from those around you, or a trusted professional to discuss your experience with sexual shame
- Interview different practitioners that are compassionate about your sexual health and journey.