Can finding self-love really be as simple as ‘loving yourself’? Seems easier said than done, but there’s something to be said about those feel-good endorphins you feel post-orgasm. Using intimate moments of self-pleasure to celebrate my body has been one of the most valuable tools on my body-acceptance journey. And it can be for you, too!
I’ve always had a tumultuous relationship with my body image and confidence. While most of this can be chalked up to internalized fatphobia & conventional beauty standards that dominate our society, many of us can relate to the discomfort & shame we feel when our body changes or doesn’t meet our perceptions. Self-love might feel unattainable for many of us, but acceptance and gratitude can guide you down the right path.
On a day when I was struggling to find the love I once felt for myself, I stripped down. Seems counterintuitive I know, but bare with me! My desire for self-touch awakened a need in me, and it wasn’t just pleasure; it was rediscovery. Getting to know this body of mine was like being re-introduced to myself. It was both uncomfortable & pleasurable, new & familiar, exciting & comforting. I had found myself again, in the most intimate and personal ways possible, and it was nothing short of empowering. I didn’t want this feeling to dissipate, so I made it a routine. Making this connection that self-pleasure could also be self-care, it was one of the clearest ‘a-ha’ moments I’ve ever experienced. If loving yourself is seen as a radical movement, masturbation is an incredibly powerful tool!
Getting familiar with my body has not only helped me to feel more comfortable in my own skin, its allowed me to better communicate my needs and desires to my partner. I know what I like (and what I don’t) and being able to express or demonstrate these things has made things that much more pleasurable for the both of us.
Maybe you’re struggling to find compassion for your body, and that’s okay! Remember that sometimes letting yourself be a little vulnerable might allow you to make great strides in accepting and celebrating who you are. These are just a few ways you can explore your body and find empowerment and acceptance (and pleasure!).
Take a Look
The mirror may seem daunting, but it can be an incredibly useful tool. If you’ve never seen your anatomy up close, that’s a great place to start! One of the ways I learned to steer clear of negative self-talk was by standing nude in front of a full-length mirror. Think of it as a gratitude practice: speak kindly to yourself, praise your body for the ways it feels pleasure, compliment the features you admire the most. Or take it a step further and masturbate in front of your reflection! Watch how your body reacts and changes as you reach climax.
Mix It Up
Even exploring different ways in how you experience pleasure can be transformative. Maybe that means trying a new toy (or even going without one, if you’re already accustomed to a certain vibrator), or playing in a different setting (like in the shower or mutually with a partner). Even touching different erogenous zones on your body can be fulfilling. You might find a new sensation along the way, and in turn and find new appreciation for what your body can do.