Do you notice when you FEEL GOOD?Jan 12, 2021
I have just completed a year-long course studying sex and the nervous system.
When we are stressed out our nervous systems can get very oriented to fear and threat. So, the noticing of pleasure needs a practice. And strange as it might sound, feeling good might be something we gently work at improving—even in difficult times.
In our bodies we often fixate on pain or ignore it. A helpful tool is to notice the other sensations in the body. Are there places that feel ok? Or even good? Can we cultivate a relaxed noticing?
What I hear from my clients is that they desire feeling grounded, alive and connected to their bodies and this can include wanting to enjoy sex. Often, we are SO stressed out, over-done, tuned out or turned off that enjoyable sensual connection with ourselves or partners seems like a far-off dream.
To me, this sounds VERY similar to the issues we face in movement—hardly time for it, last on our list, not feeling as embodied as we hoped, another to-do, etc....
So, this makes me think that supporting our bodies and energy regulation might help us with both pleasure and movement.
In our classes we often look at working with pain in movement, but we ALSO include practices to support settling in the body and our pleasure as we need the good of life to touch us.
The last few years I have been really inspired by the work of psychotherapist Esther Perel who looks at the erotic not only in the sexual realm but as a way to live a meaningful and satisfying life.
I love these questions of Esther's—"I turn myself off when... I turn myself on when..." Potent questions I think, and they are connected to noticing what gives our bodies energy and what drains or shuts them down. The practice of noticing these subtleties can help us begin to track what is filling our tank and what is draining it.
Have you ever gotten to the time you wanted to move your body or have sex and you just don't have energy for it or can't access your wanting anymore? We talk about this because it has a lot to do with our nervous systems and the ways we connect to ourselves throughout the day BEFORE we get to pleasure or movement practices.
I have been practicing this past year, filling my energy cup, by bringing in pleasure as practice in small daily ways. Feeling the water of my shower enliven my body, noticing the warmth of a cup of tea, these things help soothe my body. Practicing on softer surfaces like (faux) sheepskin rugs, cozier clothes and giving myself time to feel and support my sensations.
How we practice movement can really affect how we experience our sensual and sexual health. Movement can be a place to practice presence, awareness, boundaries and the noticing of enjoyment. Mostly the fitness industry suggests that changing how you look will magically improve your sex life. I believe movement practices can improve our sex life, but I think their power is in supporting us more deeply than merely changing how we look, and instead, connecting us to the many ways we can feel good.
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