Far too often, I talk to clients about making themselves a priority when they have sex. But how does one center themselves sexually when no one ever taught us how to do this or what the heck this looks like? I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn how to consider my sexual desires and needs, let alone that I COULD even do this, in my Newark High School Sex Ed class!
Cue, The Selfies.
So here’s what I like to call the Sexy Selfies which help us explore ourselves and center this when we’re having sex.
The practice of communicating your personal desires, preferences, needs, boundaries, and rights to yourself and to partners. Take responsibility for yourself as a sexual and intimate person by advocating for what you want and do not want through explicit communication.
How to practice self-advocacy:
Practice self-awareness: know yourself, determine your strengths, weaknesses, personal wants, boundaries, and desires.
Make your preferences, needs, boundaries, and desires known through explicit communication with others.
You are unique! Do not assume others know what you want and do not want.
The practice of taking yourself seriously, allowing yourself to feel, think, and accept without judgment or second-guessing yourself.
How to practice self-validation:
Pay attention to your thoughts. Are they helpful or hurtful?
Be mindful of how you feel. Your emotions are telling you something.
Try to understand your thoughts and feelings.
Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings are valid.
Treat yourself with respect. Remember you are doing your best!
Stand up for yourself.
Loving yourself unconditionally. Caring for, respecting, taking responsibility, and knowing yourself. Appreciating yourself to support your physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Practice self-love by accepting your weaknesses, strengths, and having compassion for yourself.
How to practice self-love:
Mindfulness: What are you saying to yourself? What thoughts are you having and how do these thoughts affect your mood, health, and behavior?
Be grateful and appreciate yourself
Forgive yourself: learn and grow from your choices and lessons learned
Set boundaries with self and others: say no and set boundaries in your personal life
Live with intention: set intention to find your purpose and life meaning
Activities to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.
How to practice self-care:
Eating healthy food Relaxation exercises
Showering or bathing Spending time with partner
Exercising Prioritize self-care
Getting enough sleep Explore and receive pleasure
"Me" time or "we" time Leisure activity time
Meditation Connect with nature
Practicing positive inner dialogue to help you achieve your goals and reduce negative thoughts and feelings. Use your positive self-talk to increase your desire and arousal when participating in intimate and sexual events
How to practice positive self-talk:
Create a specific statement that empowers you and repeat this to yourself before and during sex.
Use positive wording and avoid "don't" statements during your self-talk statements
Practicing self-pleasure involves taking time to explore your body and give yourself pleasure. Self-pleasure can be empowering, enjoyable, and informative. It may also seem intimidating, foreign, or awkward.
How to practice self-pleasure:
You are unique. Explore what you find to be pleasurable.
Use external aids: lubrication, erotic images, sex toys.
Be mindful of the sensations you are feeling in your body. Get out of you head and into your skin. Feel the feels whether yippy or meh!
Be patient with yourself
Engage in positive self-talk throughout and afterwards.
The Selfies Action Plan:
I will advocate for myself by: _________________________________
I will validate myself by: ______________________________________
I will show myself love by: ____________________________________
Self care tasks I will do this week: _____________________________
Positive self talk statement: ___________________________________
Self-pleasure strategy I will try: _______________________________
Create your coaching statement to empower yourself to achieve your personal goals.
Selfie Coaching Statement: ________________________________________________________________
If this or any other part of these suggestions feel like they’d be hard to implement, perhaps you’d be interested in sexual wellness counseling to work through these suggestions specific & authentic to you! Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a 15 minute consultation to chat more about sexual wellness counseling.