As it’s #selfcare week, here is a cordial reminder of the importance of sexual self care.
No you dirty bugger- it’s not just about wanking (although, that is kinda part of it).
Sexual self care is about all increasing your wellness.
And specifically your sexual wellness.
It makes sense that if you’re feeling tired, empty, sad, numb… you aren’t going to be able to pour out any hot love making any time soon.
So sexual self-care is about filling your cup up and looking after yourself so that you nourish your sexual identity.
So, how do you do it?
(I hear you wondering furiously.)
Because our sexual health is so linked to our mental and physical health, looking after the latter two will always increase the first.
So sexual self-care involves looking after all parts of you (physical, emotional, social, sensual) so that you feel in tip-top shape to have sex.
Some of those things may involve more explicitly sexual activities, others are just general self-care that makes you feel good.
So this could be anything from running, to reading books on sex to painting your toe-nails.
Try to think of it as an investment in yourself, just as you might put a face mask on or get a massage for your physical health!
Below are some of my personal examples, but we’re all different so what works for you is completely individual:
- There is an amazing guide called “how to create a satisfying sex life using self care“ over on The Good Sex which is really worth a look!
- “What the heck is sexual self-care?” (WomanLab)
- “My Daily Sexual Self-care Practise” (Layla Martin)
The most important thing?
By far the most important (and difficult) thing about sexual self-care is finding time to do so.
It often slips off of a to-do list because it feels indulgent, and not necessary.
But if you want to want sex, and figure out that to want sex you need to be freshly washed and have brushed your hair, then self-care is totally important.
Without it, your sex drive is always going to be at a low ebb.
Try blocking out time every week for sexual self-care.
It’s about really ring fencing the time you spend on yourself as much as you can, so that you’re able to dedicate the energy you deserve into making you want sex and not feeling selfish for doing so.
How about you, do you sexually self-care? I’d love to know in the comments.
How to create abundant self-love
Quick tip: before we begin, check out this article on “self-care isn’t a state of being- it’s a process” for a really important grounding in what self-love actually is.
Now, how to self-love (as told by me:)
1. Recognise the negative thoughts
So, this is the idea that we need to slow down our thoughts, catch them, and label them as really fucking unhelpful.
Check out these two posts on:
Horizontal hostility– do you know what horizontal hostility is? Find out why bitching about other women can lower your sex drive.
Challenge negative thoughts and defeat your inner villain.
2. Fall in love with yourself
Then, the plan is to replace those thoughts with positive, loving, supportive words. And fall in love with yourself.
Yes, sounds stupid, but I don’t mean get all smooshy and do that thing where you stand in the corner facing the wall and move your hands around like you’re snogging someone.
It means learning how to become your own best friend.
Instead of kicking you when you’re down, it’s having an inner voice step into the storm with you. It bigs you up, validates you. It’s the friend that knows you best- knows you inside and out completely. And adores you, whatever.
Give it a name, a face, a personality. God, have Joanna Lumley incarnate as your best mate if that works for you. But cultivate her, create her, and then feed her until she’s all-powerful. The ONLY voice in your head that deserves hearing is her.
To get to this point, the BEST tricks I’ve tried are:
- Create a “little book of you”. Buy yourself a snazzy notebook, and title pages things like “compliments I’ve received”, “my role models”, “my achievements”, “things that help me relax”, “things that make me weird”- (this is my FAVE category BTW. Go on, explore what makes you weird. This is your bread and butter- that’s what makes you unique, cool, interesting, fun. Weird is amazing). Then write down as you go through life things under the categories. This serves as your roadmap back to you if you get lost, your anchor when times get tough. For me, it’s literally been a life saver.
- 24 tips for self-esteem: I always come back to this article and it’s like my 24 commandments. It’s great!
- Write a Journal– so if someone would’ve told me a year ago that writing a diary would sort out my mental health, I’d have laughed in their face. But turns out, my journal is the one thing that literally keeps me sane. Everyday I write in three things I’m grateful for. Some days they’re sweet- a friend for being kind, my morning cup of tea, other days it’s more bleak- that I have a bed to sleep in, I’m physically healthy. Whatever it is that you write, use it to begin your day in a way that helps you tune in to positive rather than negative thoughts.
- Look at your vagina. Sounds strange yes, but how many times have you actually looked? Then when you look, on a regular basis I’ve advocate, learn to love what you see. Read my post on Two reasons why looking at your vagina can boost your sex drive. Oh, and how looking at other vulva’s does too 😉
- Fierce self-love– this to be honest is really the grandmummy of all self-love tips I’ve ever been given or done. Have a read about my experiences here.
Sign up to their updates for an inbox that feels encouraging, motivating and negativity-free!
I’m not going to say much on self-care here as there’s other spaces that really hit the nail on the head!
First, have a read of this super blunt, super powerful article on The Pool about self-care, and what it is and isn’t.
Then I’d suggest checking Pinterest for self-care ideas and themes, as well as the gorgeous blog Morning Coffee with Dee. Dee is a social worker who writes beautiflly about the power of caring for ourselves, and her blog is a feast for the eyes (and so zen).
There’s also more on sexual self-care in the section on “Making time to feel sexy”.
So, are you ready to join me to become a warrior woman, in open rebellion against the beauty, diet and fashion industry?
Let’s go our own way.
Life’s too fucking short to be so concerned with what we look like. The more you love and find other women of all sizes and shapes beautiful, the more you’ll love yourself. Fact.
There’s scientific proof that this is true (of just me. But that’s as good as anything).
PS: how do you self-care? Let me know in the comments.
If loving yourself and your body are areas you struggle with, you might also be interested in the sections on making time to feel sexy.