Introduction to the Dating Detox Day 7: Sexual Empowerment
How much is your sexuality a source of pleasure, creativity and inspiration? Today’s focus is exploring your connection to sexuality as a potential source of self-worth and self-intimacy.
When we meet with dating coaching clients – inevitably, sex comes up.
Sex can have a humungous influence on your dating life. And something that makes that a little tricky is that the influence of sex has infinite variations among people. Here are just some of them:
Your sexual orientation.
Maybe your experience is that your orientation is less acceptable than others. Maybe you’ve been discriminated or abused because of your orientation. There’s asexual, bisexual, pansexual, homosexual, heterosexual, on and on. Maybe you’re mostly heterosexual, but it’s different depending on the person with whom you’re connecting. Maybe it depends on the day. Truly there’s as many sexual orientations as there are individuals – because everyone has their own unique version of it. So, you may find it difficult to really know how to communicate that to a person you’re just meeting or what box to check in your online profile.
Maybe you experienced something scary, confusing, or shameful to you that was associated with sex. Maybe sex was really taboo in your family or culture. Maybe you think you have little or no experience with sex. This might seem like a stretch for some – but you may even consider the intergenerational transmission of a sex history. Someone we worked with from Germany was having a hard time identifying anything from her history that would have made her feel so constricted when it came to sex – until she realized that her grandmother’s experience during the holocaust was probably passed onto her mother and then passed onto herself.
This topic is related to sex history because it’s typically what manifests as a result of sex history. Maybe you don’t know how to express your sexual energy. Maybe you feel totally unharnessed with your sexual energy. Maybe you fear expressing yourself sexually.
One of our clients Sarah found out that she learned how to repress her sexual energy because she was scared of men thinking she wanted to go further. Another client Steve said he felt like he just couldn’t help but leak his sexual energy all over the place, which he said got him into some dangerous situations. Rob was the type who didn’t want to express himself sexually because he feared intimacy. Others have said that they feel inadequate when it comes to sexual expression – like they don’t know how to flirt. Again – sexual expression has many variations.
Talking about sex.
This can relate to any of the topics above. Maybe you fear of bringing up sex – not knowing when to bring it up or how to bring it up. Maybe you feel embarrassed to talk about safe sex, sexually transmitted infections, personal boundaries, or fantasies. Maybe you don’t know how to tell someone what really turns you on.
“I believe the more whole we are as sexual beings the more fulfilled we are as human beings”
- Amy Jo Goddard, Sexual Empowerment Coach
There are many more variations than these – but this is a start to get your mind thinking about how sex has been impacting your dating life.
In the next section, we invite you to ask yourself some questions that may uncover some new information. After you’ve gone through the questions, we’ll take you through a process that aims to bring you a new sense of sexual empowerment.
Sex life assessment. [allow 5 minutes]
Use this worksheet to discover new information about how your sex relates to your current situation. Print out the exercise, find something to write on and a comfy place to sit. Try grounding with the BAM practice and then begin!
Self-intimacy Practice. [allow at least 10 minutes]
This practice is about cultivating intimacy within ourselves – regardless of having a partner. One thing we’ve learned over the years is this…
Being able to be in an intimate relationship starts with myself.
Both the capacity to attract an intimate relationship and to be fully present in an intimate relationship are dependent on practicing an intimate relationship with myself.
Intimacy with another starts with myself.
Follow the steps below:
Set the space.
Find a time and a place where you feel totally free to be with yourself for 5-10 minutes. Look around the space and notice if there’s any way that you could make it more inviting to yourself. So, it’s as if you’re inviting yourself over as a favorite special guest. How can you make the space super sensual, welcoming, and comfortable?
Sit on your bed in a comfortable position – neither collapsed, nor rigid in your body. Inhale a big, deep breath if that feels good to you, and then let it out with a light sigh sound. Repeat this breath a few times.
Become the receiver.
Set a timer for 1 minute. Close your eyes and visualize the last time you felt loved by someone. This could be any relationship – a person, a pet, a friend, anyone. Notice what it feels like in your body to remember this experience.
Become the giver.
Set a timer for 1 minute. Close your eyes and visualize the last time you felt love for someone. Again, this could be any relationship – a person, a pet, a friend, anyone. Notice what it feels like in your body to remember this experience.
Self-applied intimate touch.
Set a timer for 3 minutes. Rub your hands together as fast as you can for several seconds, breathing fully, in and out. Separate your hands and see what you feel there. Whether it’s tingling or warmth or buzzing – imagine that sensation as a lotion that is infused with love and genuine care. Bring your hands to your face. Brushing down your face. Oscillate your attention between being the receiver of this kind of touch and being the giver this kind of touch. Bring your touch down your neck, shoulders, down your arms, over your hands, touch your chest and belly, your back, touch your sides, hips, legs, and feet. You may have to unwind your legs. Really take your time from head to toe, both receiving and giving this intimate touch.
After this practice, see if you can identify which was easier. Was it harder to allow yourself to receive intimate touch? Was it harder to give intimate touch? Was it hard to do either option?
Most people have ease with one way or the other. And this can show up in the way that we self-pleasure. For instance, if you feel more comfortable giving intimate touch – then you might self-pleasure in a way that is rushed, robotic, or not at all. You also are probably a very attentive lover. But if you’re paying attention to your lover because you can’t fully receive their intimate attention – the relationship will likely feel unsatisfying and unsustainable.
Take a moment to journal about how your capacity to give and receive intimate touch shows up in the way you relate to lovers.
This practice is really about becoming empowered in your sexuality. Some people tend to put our turn-on in the hands of the other person. Some people put their turn-on to the side and make the other person more important. But we feel that in order to have a mutually empowered sexual relationship – we gotta know that our turn-on is a choice. It’s self-generated, and it’s also up to us to communicate openly about our turn-on.
We really encourage you to do this practice again, but add the element of de-robing yourself. See if you can feel you sensuality as your touch the fabric of your clothes. As you slide the fabric over your skin – really allow yourself to be fully present with any sensations you feel. Nurture yourself in a slow, mindful process – just as you might a lover. Breathe as each item comes off.
Then follow the above steps again. You may want to use some coconut oil or whatever is your favorite. Sometimes just doing bare skin to bare skin is even more powerful.
Letting this journey become a part of a self-pleasure practice with genital stimulation could also offer some insights into how you show up as a lover or receiver of love.
While self-pleasuring to the point of climax is totally healthy and awesome. For this particular practice, we ask you to try coming close and then allowing a dip – going back and forth, like riding a wave. This can increase your capacity for orgasmic energy coursing through your entire body. By feeling orgasmic energy, letting it build up in your body – your turn on will be more alive in your being. And with some practice, you’ll notice that dating and all moments of connection with others may feel more vibrant. Your sexuality will become something that is a doorway to love rather than a brick wall against it.