Is Your Body Image Getting In The Way Of Your Pleasure?

In the wake of International Women’s Day it felt an appropriate time to talk a little bit about what it means to be a woman and how the social constructs we’re encased in, no matter what the culture, can have devastating effects.

Body image affects nearly every single woman at some stage in their lives in varying degrees; from having a little cry because you don’t like the way your body looks in the new underwear your partner bought you to having eating disorders or the all to-common body dysmorphia.

Our bodies are unique, wonderful vessels that we should celebrate continuously and love as much as we can. Just because our shape or size may not fit the fashion catwalk stereotype it does not make us any less beautiful or as equally important and desirable.

The further I delve into my work as a Body Image & Intimacy Coach the more I find a recurrent theme: the lack of self love and the burden of body image being the root cause of lack of pleasure.

Admittedly this isn’t the case for everyone I know but it’s an ever increasing trend that doesn’t seem to be waning even with the millennial shift. We are surrounded from such a young age by images of what the perfect body should be and as we grow people can be cruel and judgemental and it can scar us for life. So, before we’ve even got out of our pleasure starting blocks, we have he biggest hurdle ever to jump…..ourselves! And trust me that is no mean feat, my breakthrough was in 2017 after 34 years on this planet and in all honesty I’m one of the young ones!

But do not fear!  You don’t have to be prisoner to yourself or how you feel judged by society, it’s time to reclaim the pleasure power by reclaiming our bodies!

This is the era of self appreciation, self love and making love to yourself! Yes ladies that’s right to unlock this reservoir of orgasmic potential you have hiding behind the fear of yourself you’ve got to start spending a bit more time with yourself.

Take some time to appreciate your body, we’re aiming to shift our perspectives a little and not get so hung up on the parts we don’t like. If you don’t love somewhere at least appreciate it.  Consider what would life be like without it. I’ve always had muscular thighs and for years I was convinced they were massive and lumpy and disgusting, whereas, now, I accept and love them for how they are,  imperfect and a bit bumpy in places but I have them and they allow me to do some wonderful things!

If we can start loving ourselves a bit more, touching our own bodies with affection (a bit more) and increasing our own pleasure receptors, through our own touch, then there’s the opportunity to open up to more pleasure overall! As Emily Nagoski beautifully says in her empowering book: ‘Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life:

A women’s body and her pleasure belong to her and no one else

So how do we achieve this pleasure I hear you say.
Every body is different but here are a few things you can try, even if you don’t have the time!

Sensual showering…..take the mundane and functional art of washing yourself and turn it into 5/10/15 minutes of pure body indulgence! Fabulous if you’re not, but if you are washing your hair it ups the sensuality feel all the more!

Close your eyes, listen to the water trickling, step under the shower and feel the water running down your face, tilt your head backwards and allow it to run down your neck. Notice the sensation of the water flowing over the curves of your body, trickling gently over your nipples. Follow the feeling of the water flow as it runs towards your vulva and in between your bum cheeks. Turn around in the shower and get the best of both worlds, move your hands around your body, allowing them to glide over your skin with the water, savour the moment.

When you start to wash I want you to really notice every bit of your body as you do so, start with your feet paying attention to the soles of the feet, in between each toe, your ankles…every part moving up the body, noticing any feelings or sensations that arise. Breathing deeply as you do this as you take your final rinse appreciating your fabulous body and stepping out into the world much more connected with yourself!

The same principle can be applied to putting on moisturiser, don’t just do it in autopilot, really pay attention. Notice how your skin feels as you apply, try and be aware of any feelings or sensations that arise.

That can be your first step into the journey of appreciating and reconnecting with your body and pleasure.

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BY victoria helen roberts
body image & INTIMAY COACH

PS: If you are curious to attend one of Victoria’s workshop on “How to be a better Lover (with yourself & with a partner)” check here