I spent most of my life thinking that I was sexually broken. When I had sex with my partners, I felt mostly pain and discomfort. I was never lubricating and never felt aroused. I was allowing my partners to penetrate me year after year because I saw sex as my duty as a girlfriend and I didn’t want to lose the relationship.
I felt so embarrassed that I never talked to anybody about my ‘condition’. I had never received any sexual education and had no idea how to be a great lover and have pleasurable sex. Wherever I turned, people seemed to love and crave sex, and the movies were full of scenes of couples in an erotic embrace full of passion and orgasmic bliss.
I felt like I was the only person in the world who didn’t enjoy sex which was making me feel very lonely and inadequate. I wanted to be like others, I wanted to belong, I wanted to be “normal”.
Once I started studying Tantra, I learned the truth:
Barely anybody in our society is truly happy and fulfilled in the bedroom.
We’ve all had our fair share of sexual trauma, varying from mild cases of social programming to extreme cases of rape and sexual aggression.
To a larger or lesser extent, whether we realize it or not, we all have been sexually wounded, hurt or abused. I don’t know of anybody that was able to escape this fact. However, the extent, degree, and severity of our wounding vary greatly.
After discovering the path of Tantra, I started my journey of sexual healing using different techniques and practices to let go of the shame and trauma around my sexuality. It wasn’t an easy path but I persisted, and it was absolutely worth it.
I am going to share with you some practices that were particularly helpful.
1. Treat Sex as a Sacred Ritual
Creating a ritual around your sexual activity gives it a special status and helps you let go of the idea that sex is wrong or dirty. In our western culture, we have gone through hundreds of years of religious and social conditioning, aimed at suppressing our sexual desires. If you want to achieve society’s respect, you cannot be seen as a sexual person. Otherwise, you’ll be labeled as a pervert or a slut. We learned to hide our sexual selves and only express them behind closed doors. And even there we often suffer shame and guilt about our sexual desires, needs, and fantasies.
In Tantra sex is seen is healthy, natural and sacred. When two beloveds get together, their sexual union is perceived as a prayer of gratitude sent to the divine.
Start your sexual experience with an affirmation: “My body is beautiful and gives me pleasure. My eroticism is healthy, natural and wonderful. I enjoy and celebrate my sensuality and delight in my sexual experiences.” Start cultivating a mindset of unashamed joy and liberated bliss in the bedroom.
2. Use Your Breath Consciously
When shame, guilt or embarrassment does arise, use your breath to process it. Breathing through any negative experience or emotion is a powerful way of letting it go.
In our society, we chronically hold onto our “shit”. We brace ourselves and push through anything difficult, determined to keep a straight face and not show the world how we really feel. When pain or discomfort arises, we tense our bodies and try to bottle up whatever we don’t want to acknowledge.
Next time you experience anything you consider ‘negative’ around your sexuality – relax and breathe. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and allow the feeling to pass through you instead of getting stuck in your system. When you relax and breathe deeply, the emotion (i.e., energy in motion) can move through you and dissipate instead of tormenting you for years and years.
Be gentle with yourself, allow your entire body to relax and take a few deep, slow, controlled breath. After about five breaths, you should start feeling better!
3. Celebrate Your Self-Pleasuring Practice
When you touch yourself, do it with patience and reverence. See your body as a temple of love, pleasure, and sensuality. Take your time, don’t rush it. Don’t go straight for the genital strokes but start by giving yourself a loving full-body massage. Give yourself permission to fully enjoy and delight in your body. Look for pleasure – massage your ankles, stroke your hair, caress your neck. Love your skin with your hands and maybe even with your mouth and tongue.
Remember – you are your own best and first lover. Treat yourself as you would treat the most amazing and attractive partner in the world!
4. Practice Non-Demanding Touch With a Partner
When you engage in partnered sex, let go of the need for anything to happen, let go of any agenda. Touch each other for the sake of feeling and giving pleasure.
In our society, many people see sex as a race to orgasm. We almost forget how amazing and miraculous the act of sex is in itself and we treat it as a way of getting to the climax. By doing so, we rob ourselves of tons of blissful sensations and pleasure. Sex is a journey, and this journey in itself is a wonderful experience.
By doing so, we also put pressure on ourselves and our partner to ‘deliver’ something. We’re creating an end goal, and we try to get there. This pressure is unhealthy and inhibits our ability to be orgasmic.
Practice presence, mindfulness – the ability to bring the mind and body together. Do not “try” to make your partner orgasm. Do not “try” to orgasm yourself. Let go of the need for anything to happen and simply stay with the sensations, pleasure and touch that you’re experiencing.
5. Embrace Gemstones as a Healing Tool
This one mostly applies to women. However, men can also give it a go! A lot of women report healing and deeply blissful experiences when inserting crystals and precious stones into their vaginas. Particularly the practice of using a jade egg has been hugely helpful to myself and my female friends. There are different practices and exercises that can be performed with a jade egg, aiming at strengthening the pelvic floor muscle, letting go of tension and re-sensitizing the vaginal canal. But I find that even simply sleeping with a jade egg inside me has the ability to increase my enjoyment of sex and penetration.
I’m also very fond of my rose quartz wand which I have been using to connect with my cervix and to deepen my cervical orgasms.
According to Rosie Rees: “The wand brings about a higher level of consciousness and vibration to your Yoni, sex life, but also to your own relationship to your body and self. It helps let go of the scripts we have of what sex should look like and allows us to trust our own pleasure-based instincts, guilt, and shame-free.”
As it is the case with anything in life – listen to your body and choose only the practices that feel good to you.
Trust your intuition and be guided by your inner knowing.
Your body has a wisdom – learn to listen to it.