Mirror Masturbation Affirmation :: A Solo Sex Practice to Move Through Shame Into Body + Sex Positivity by Morgen Love

You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

-Louise Hay

As a part of my National Masturbation Month 30-day self-pleasure challenge, I renewed my commitment to pushing back against body and sex shame with a simple but revolutionary practice I like to call: Mirror Mirror On The Wall, I’ll Fuck Myself And Watch It All...AKA: taking intentional time once a week to witness myself in the mirror as a regular part of my self-pleasure practice.

If this sounds like an absolutely ridiculous thing to do, I implore you to saddle up and get after it, because that is exactly what I thought the first time I embarked on this adventure in self-voyeurism. Let me tell you...there is nothing quite like witnessing yourself in your solo naked sexy glory to illuminate any dark corners where the imprints of shame may still be lingering in your body and your soul.

Making love to yourself in the mirror is uniquely powerful because it begs the difficult question "Can you allow yourself to be truly seen, appreciated, activated, and loved by YOU?" It asks us to embody our sexiness fully, just for the way it feels on a cellular level when the juice of our creative lifeforce is surging like lava through our veins.

Becoming active enthusiastic participants in our own arousal challenges the bullshit stories we've been told about our bodies and our sexuality since the day we burst forth out of the holy hole from which we came. And raising the bar in our solo loving raises the bar for the presence, attentiveness, and quality of the loving we experience with those we choose to share our bodies with.

While there are other effective ways to unpack shame, I've personally found that consciously engaging with our bodies as we tackle this work (as apposed to just sitting and talking about it) is often a direct path into the heart of our old stories, limiting beliefs, and trauma. In my years teaching yoga and embodied movement, I've seen and felt firsthand how we carry our emotions in our bodies. Shame, in particular, can cause feelings of physical stuckness, resulting in locked pelvises, immobile spines, and feelings of general all-around awkwardness in our movement. And what lives beneath this, in the dark subbasements of our souls, are the deeper feelings of being cut off and disconnected from our innate sensuality and blocked or completely shut down in our sexuality. When we approach this work from the somatic realm, we come home to ourselves, and to that raw wild place that the dominant cultural narratives work hard to condition out of us. 

The more we unpack the bullshit, the more we can enjoy our bodies...and because we have to live in these things till we die, WE MIGHT AS WELL ENJOY AND CELEBRATE THEM!

So give this a read, and take a solo sex journey through the looking glass!

1. Diving in 

During one of your intentional solo-loving dates, incorporate a nice big mirror into your sensuality practice...the bigger the better (I swear I'm only a size queen when it comes to mirrors). If you need to, begin your breathwork and sensation play with your eyes closed. Start slow and take time to savor the subtleties. Once you're feeling activated, gently open your eyes and begin to drink yourself in. Trace your lines and curves in the mirror...with your eyes, with your fingertips. Meet your body with tenderness, wonderment, and presence. Move in any and all ways that feel good for you. You've all heard the Tweet + Missy Elliot song "Oops, Oh My"...BE LIKE TWEET. Watch the way your body moves when you are really feeling yourself. Make eye contact with yourself while you caress your body. So many of us have spent most of our solo sexytime with our eyes closed, or in the dark, or under the covers (which is also perfectly normal and enjoyable!) but in this practice, notice the heightened experience of stimulation through the added sensory experience of sight. Know that you have full permission to let the vision of you embodied in your sexiness feed the fire of your arousal. 

2. Masturbation affirmation

How we speak to ourselves really matters. YOU are your longest and deepest sexual relationship, so as you enter into ritual solo sex space, practice speaking to yourself with the kindness and care you would want from a lover. Sounds simple, but it is nothing short of revolutionary. While you touch yourself, practice telling yourself that your body is pure fucking magic, and that you are a vessel for entire worlds of pleasure. Practice telling yourself that you honor your sexuality as a direct line to Source/Spirit/Creator. Practice telling yourself that your body is beautiful and that enjoying it is a nourishing, healing expression of self-love. Practice doing this while you behold yourself in the mirror.

If it feels unnatural or uncomfortable to say things like this to yourself, make it a consistent practice, not just in your sexytime, but in your day-to-day. The most beautiful thing about unpacking our shame imprints is that we wake up to the power we have to throw them in the trash (where they belong). It takes practice, but we can choose which stories we keep breathing life into.

It is not necessary that you reach climax, and if you need to stop at any point, that's ok. But come back and show up to this ritual space again. The intention is to literally reprogram ourselves through consistent somatic/sensory/spoken reframes. Negative body-talk is just like any other harmful habit...it thrives in the darkness and relies on silence and isolation to continue living in us. When we draw our gremlins out into the light, we have the opportunity to rewrite the script with new beliefs that reflect how we truly want to feel in our bodies. This simple act starves these stories of their power, and supports us in cultivating a healthier relationship with our bodies and our sexuality. 

3. Slaying the gremlins

We are not inherently born with shame about our bodies and our sex - it is conditioned into us. The stories that have taught us to feel this way run deep, and they can come from lots of different places - the media, religion, our families of origin, socialization, and (mis)education. When I rock my mirror practice now, it feels incredible, and it nourishes me to the core, but when I first started exploring in this way years ago, it could not have felt more awkward, foreign, and straight up wrong.

As I leaned into the discomfort I was feeling, I began to pinpoint and excavate a lifetime of internalized experiences and sexist microagressions that led me to believe that enjoying how my body looks and feels was shameful. I've been talking intimately with women about body image, sexuality, and pleasure for years, and through these conversations, it became crystal clear that regardless of all the unique details, learned narratives of body and sex shame affect and hurt us all. Remember you are not alone in this work, and that there is likely someone out there who has a story that so closely parallels your own it would make your head spin.

If challenges came up for you in this practice, set aside time to do some reflective writing. Revisit any old narratives that surfaced in your practice and see if you can excavate their origin. Can you pinpoint any formative experiences that caused you to feel shame about your body or sexuality? Can you think back to your earliest memories of body shame? Can you identify who or what put these harmful ideas and judgements in your head? Write out your answers.

Then write out two columns - what you used to believe, and what is true now. Create a list of statements that reflect your formative experiences, for example: "I was taught that touching my body was dirty, and something that only 'slutty' girls did.", "I was taught that masturbation was a sin and that I would go to hell if touched myself.", "I was taught that my body should be hidden because showing it could make me a target for sexual violence." In the second column write a reframe for each of your statements that reflect a new set of beliefs about your body and sex: "Touching my body and celebrating my orgasmic nature are beautiful and healthy expressions of self-love.", "My sexuality is a direct reflection of my divinity. I nourish my relationship to Spirit by honoring my sexuality and worshiping my body.", "My body is not an apology. My body belongs to ME, and me only."

Practice repeating these affirmations to yourself regularly. Make a longer list if you need to. Weave them into a paragraph or a prayer. Speak them with genuine reverence. Rewrite them whenever you need to, as you continue to adjust your lens.

4. Get sexy and get after it

If you feel compelled to continue this work outside the bedroom, there are a lot of incredible resources to support your journey. Here is a short list of some of my favorite talks and articles about body image, shame, and healing sexual trauma, just to begin:
Brene Brown :: Listening to Shame 
Dr. Gail Brenner :: 10 Life Changing Ways to Move Through Shame
Jes Baker :: Why We've Learned to Hate Our Bodies
Psalm Isadora :: Sexual Healing
Ev'Yan Whitney :: 5 Ways to Overcome Shame in Masturbation
Emily Nagoski :: Unlocking the Door to Your Authentic Sexual Wellbeing

Share your stories and your progress in whatever containers feel safe for you...with close friends who can hold empathetic space, with other women doing this work, with survivors support groups, or with a therapist, coach, or counselor. Leave a comment or reflection here, and join the movement at Bad Witch Body Wisdom for more resources and badass events throughout California!

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When I Think About Me, I Touch Myself :: A Practical Guide to Rocking Your Own World and Bringing Ritual Into Self-Pleasure by Morgen Love

photo ::  AlanAdetolArts

In case you didn't already get the memo, May is National Masturbation Month!

For me, self-pleasure has been a longtime pastime, but at the beginning of this month I made a commitment to deepen my intention with this practice, as a part of my greater overall commitment to self-love, and as way to engage more fully with my magic.

Discovering what rocks our worlds is our birthright, and while it is delicious to share in pleasure with partners, we certainly do not need to rely on outside sources to satisfy and nourish us.

I was in a workshop with Max Madame a couple months back and they said something to the group that struck a deep chord in my heart, soul, and pussy: "You deserve to be fucked exactly how you want to be fucked. And you especially deserve to fuck yourself exactly how you want to be fucked!" (PREEEEACH).

Awakening to the fullness of our erotic worlds feeds us at the individual level and supports us in living healthier more empowered lives (which makes us all-around less sucky human beings), and at the same time, is a crucial step in inviting our partners, when we have them, to expertly read the pleasure maps of our bodies and prioritize the things that ignite our senses on all levels...the things that send electricity coursing through our veins...the things that make us melt, and drip, and literally ache with desire. 

So in honor of collectively rubbing one out for the good of humankind, and inspired by the work I'm doing currently with Bad Witch Body Wisdom, I've mapped out some of my own sex woo and pleasure practices to share with you all.

The time is now to claim our pleasure as OUR OWN and love ourselves on all levels. So spark one up, set the vibe, and enjoy this step-by-step practice for intentionally rocking your own world...

photo ::  AlanaAdetolArts

1. Baby, Take Your Time :: Set aside more time for self-pleasure than you usually do. Do you generally keep your wank time to15 minutes or less? Then give yourself a half hour. Want to go deeper? Give yourself even more time. Schedule it in your Google calendar if you have to. If getting to know your body deeply is new territory, or if you're a seasoned pro but too often place self-sexytime on the backburner because other things constantly take priority, or if you are currently partnered and seldom have sex with yourself as a result, I recommend scheduling in some intentional time to pleasure yourself every day, with one longer-format (1 hour +) self-love date per week, for at least a month. I know it sounds like a lot but I promise it will seriously flip some old scripts.

2. Disconnect :: Unplug. Get off of social media. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. Not airplane mode...not ringer on silent. (Seriously turn that shit off).

3. Get Into Your Senses :: Fuck heavily with the ambiance. Beautify your space. Take a bath. Aromatherapize and oiliate yourself. Consume an aphrodisiac if you like. Put on the sexiest playlist in your iTunes (or visit my Dutchess Soundcloud for artisanally-crafted panty-dropping playlists). Create a functional sexytime altar. If you have favorite toys, lubes, or other accoutrements, lay them all out intentionally and include any other sacred objects that would add to the vibe. (You like crystals? Great. You like butt plugs? Great. You like fancy bejeweled gemstone butt plugs? Best of all worlds).

4. Drop In :: Choose a private cozy place where you can move freely and comfortably. Stretch out on the floor or your bed (I personally prefer the grounding energy of the floor for this first part) and take many intentional breaths, just like you would at the beginning of a yoga practice, or when you sit down to meditate. Begin to breathe in three parts: first filling the lower belly/pelvic bowl, and then the lowest ribs, and then the upper chest. At the top of the inhale, contract your pelvic floor muscles and retain your in-breath. When you need to exhale, continue contracting your pelvic floor, while you let the breath empty from your upper chest first, then your lowest ribs, and then your belly. As you finish the exhale, release your pelvic floor muscles. Repeat this for as many breaths as you like.

5. Find Your Flow :: Begin to move slowly, in any and all ways that connect you in to your sensuality. Start with the subtleties...gently run your thumbs across all your fingertips, slowly roll through the neck and shoulders, touch your lips and your face, run your fingers through your hair, roll and circle the hips, grind on the floor, do literally whatever the fuck brings you into your earthiest and most primal expression. Really FEEL YOURSELF and luxuriate in your movement. Close your eyes. Take time to caress your ENTIRE body before you dive deeper (AKA: below the belt)Let the entire journey become an exploration of the most pleasurable sensations you are capable of feeling in your body. As you touch yourself in all of these ways, hold a vision of yourself as whole, loved, supported, and deserving of all the pleasure you desire. Let the vision of YOU in your most orgasmic and fulfilled state TURN YOU ON. When you're ready to go further, touch your sex with the same intention and presence as you touched the rest of your body.

5. Stay With You ::  If you start to get lost in fantasy land, and begin imagining all the freaky things you want to do with someone else (which is great fun, and something I totally get off on, but for this practice, it's literally all about YOU), come back to the present moment, your body, your senses, and your loving. Let your awareness drop down into your root. Take time to vary your touch, stop occasionally, or slow down as you ride the waves.

6. Ride The Edge :: When you feel like you're on the edge of orgasm, bring the energy back down and pause to breathe into that electric feeling in your cells. Take your time and let it build again. Visit this edge as many times as you like until you're ready to surrender into your orgasm. As you begin to peak, let the vision of yourself as whole, loved, supported, and deserving of all the pleasure you desire crystalize in your mind's eye, and as the waves of pleasure wash over you, feel yourself bathed in the ancient and indisputable truth of your orgasmic nature. (Or you can also choose to build up to that edge, close the practice before you climax, and enjoy marinating in the juice until your next orgasm...which is its own unique flavor of satisfaction). Keep one hand on your sex and place the other at heart center, and come back to slow intentional breaths, and spiritually high-five yourself for that bomb-ass loving.

7. Let The Entire Journey Be Pleasure :: Like I said before: this entire journey is meant to be an exploration of the most pleasurable sensations you are capable of feeling. Orgasm does not have to be the end result or even the goal. Liberating yourself into the primal nature of your sensuality is all that matters here. And pleasure is not one size fits all! This roadmap is just one way to heighten your senses and bring ritual into your self-sexytime. Take what you like and tailor it to fit your own needs and desires, or create your own unique intentional self-pleasure practice. Give yourself over to it and see how your life and your loving begins to change!

photo ::  AlanAdetolArts

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