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Pleasure Reclamation

empowerment midlife pleasure woman empowerment Apr 09, 2022

I talk to women about pain every day. As a clinician, I have a unique insight into women's bodies and their lives. We talk about the physical pain, which is usually why they come to see me. Where it is, how bad, it's history and unique qualities. But unlike mainstream approach, for me that is not enough information.

So we talk about emotional pain, the stressors in their lives, like work, family, children. Then we may go deeper and touch the pain in their hearts, their souls, the deep seated trauma, the societal conditioning that make them feel unlovable, ugly, old, not enough. The pain that comes from trying to match the impossible standards and imposed, confusing, and often contradictory expectations of what it means to be a good woman. The stories of trying to earn love and the right to be, by being of service to others at the price of burnout, and expense of their own wellbeing.

There is never enough time, because of the vastness of pain, we could talk about it for days. 

Then I may ask them about pleasure. Sometimes there is an embarrassed silence, sometimes stunned look, sometimes nervous laughter, and often, there are tears. 

These women, who with their effort, hard work, sacrifice, and resilience, strive to support and hold others up , became systematically disconnected from their pleasure - the source of joy and aliveness. Of course they hurt. 

The body, abandoned to it's own devices, driven to serve the endless flow of tasks, forgotten in service of accomplishments, robbed of the right to be, in favor of doing, rises against it's owner. And who do we usually blame? The Woman. 

"If you would only go to bed earlier, exercise, make yourself salads, and do Yoga, you would certainly have a prettier body, have more energy, erase those dark circles, and have a smile on your face!"

I have never seen someone able to accomplish a better state of being, by more doing. 

And I don't mean that you can't loose weight when you starve yourself, or chisel your muscles by spending 2 hrs daily at the gym. I mean a state of peace, joy, safety, grace, or love, which requires a whole different way of being in the world. 

We are not a society short on accomplishments. We are one short on these higher states of being. The way I see it, the restoration and reclamation of pleasure is the way to right the wrong. 

There is a definite gender disparity in how pleasure is perceived. Historically, culturally, and religiously, women were expected to be the objects and tools of pleasure. They were pretty and/or useful possessions, which added value to the lives of men, for whom pleasure was both available and expected. 

Women to this day, carrying the legacy of oppression passed through generations,  endure moral judgments if they dare to prioritize their pleasure, over that of others. Mothers are expected to sacrifice their hobbies, free time and pursuits for their children and family. Sexually liberated women are often judged as obscene, inappropriate, or labeled sluts. A woman who enjoys food and carries extra pounds is shamed for her lack of restraint, and body that doesn't conform to the default standard of beauty. Most women who have careers, are still expected to do disproportionate amount of housework, as compared to their male counterparts, who have an opportunity to "relax and enjoy the evening".

The archetype of a modern, liberated woman, takes into an account her ability to get a job, and have a career, while having family, and still doing all the stuff she did before. For most  women pleasure is a luxury, an indulgence, and superfluous frivolity. 

But pleasure is essential. 

Because pleasure connects us to the body, and it is the disconnection from the body that is at a root of most suffering. 

When we don't hear the body cues for food, water, or movement, because we are busy "doing our duty", we fall ill. When we carry imprints of trauma that makes us terrified to feel, we judge others, and project on them our own pain, and our relationships suffer. We constantly judge our own imagined imperfections, and it sends us into spirals of anxiety and depression.

The thinking brain can only think of pleasure, it cannot experience it. It can write poems about it, describe it in great detail, but it cannot touch it. 

The body is how we EXPERIENCE life. It's a difference between watching the sunset, and writing about it. No matter how vast your vocabulary, you will never be able to express what sunset looks and feel like.  When I tell you about my pain, you will never feel the extent of it. 

Pleasure brings us back into our senses. Into present moment reality. It knocks us out of the constant preoccupation with what is wrong with us, with others, and with the world, and helps us see the beauty, and the value of our own experience. 

Pleasure makes us feel worthy, alive, joyful. It helps us fall in love with what is, not what perhaps, some day, after I work super hard,  I may experience. It stops making our lives conditional on some other action, person , or circumstance. It helps us drop into our lives as they are unfolding. 

Pleasure changes our biochemistry. It helps us ground in safety, in the parasympathetic state of stay and play, rest, and digest, heal, repair, and regenerative mode. Our bodies recover. We think better. We are more creative.

Pleasure makes us heal the past pain, and digest trauma, connect to what is important, and remind us, that this is not a rehearsal. Life happens now, and today will never again be. 

So I invite you to slow down and bring back the pleasure. Challenge the lies, that tell you that you have to earn it, or that it is a luxury. Pleasure is essential. Like oxygen. Without it, we wither and die, slow, painful death, riddled with pain, exhaustion, resentment, regret, and disappointment. 

So what is pleasure? 

It is anything that feels good to any of your senses, and anything that feels good on an emotional level and soul level. It is anything that feels good TO YOU.

In order to experience pleasure we must be intentional about it. We must name it, because humans have trouble experiencing that for which they have no language. You may really like driving, but until you name it as pleasure, you will not experience the full pleasure potential that lies in the act of driving. Your pleasure will be limited. 

 When we become clear and intentional about what brings US pleasure, we can find it in literally anything. 

I see often, especially in women, the tendency to carry a conditioning of what "should be pleasurable", or what pleasure "should look like". We try to make ourselves feel pleasure, or perform pleasure in this before-agreed-upon way, and understandably when the body doesn't comply, we feel frustrated, broken, and often give up on pleasure altogether.  

But when we let go of all of that, and connect to our own body, we get to learn, what pleasure potential is buried here. What pleases you and how, and what is your authentic expression of pleasure. Maybe you don't jump up and down when you are in pleasure, maybe you get slow, and languid and sensual instead...

There is only one way to find out. Connect to the body. No matter how disconnected you may be, how hard, and elusive pleasure is, every person, every woman, can rebuild, restore and renew her ability to feel pleasure. Sexual, sensual, and sensory.

How? There are building blocks of pleasure:

1. Let go of expectation of what pleasure SHOULD look or feel like, and experience what YOUR body responses are.

2. Practice relaxation by sloooooooowing down. You have to slow down to open perception. Stress is a survival response, and has build in urgency. When you slow down, you signal to the body that you are safe, and it opens it's ability to take in more information. 

3. You have to engage with your 5 senses to sensitize the body.

4. You need to know what your pleasure breaks and accelerators are. They are not just the opposites of each other. What delights you may be completely different than what turns you off. You may be turned off by a pile of laundry, but clean, and folded clothes are not enough to turn you on. For this, you may need clean room, warm socks, candle, and tantalizing smells. Minimize breaks, and increase accelerators. 

When you start on the journey of increasing pleasure in your life,  you will encounter obstacles. In Tantra, this is called a path of pleasure and purification. Any time you declare a desire, your nervous system is going to kick up everything that it is your way, and things will get hard. It may be beliefs, conditioning, trauma, etc. It doesn't mean that this is a wrong desire, or you don't have what it takes. It simply points you to where you need to heal, integrate, and love pieces of yourself, so you CAN get what you want.

Your body is your ally. It wants you to thrive. Make peace with it, connect, and repair the relationship. Give it pleasure, and it will set you free.

The path of self improvement is hard. When you want to "improve yourself", you affirm to yourself ALL THE TIME, that you are broken.  

When you switch courses, and decide to pursue your dreams through pleasure, love, and play, you blossom. You heal your past, fall in love with your body, build amazing relationships, wake up your creativity, and sexual energy. This is a woman's way. 

I will help you with that. My methods do not lead through thinking and talking. They return you to your body. 

Connect with me and let me help you reach your desires the feminine way. Playful, pleasure filled, sensual, wild, deeply wise, and deliciously magical. 

Connect HERE





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Wild: unapologetically yourself

Powerful: Calling your own shots

Pleasure: Anything that feels good to YOU

Leadership: Leading by example from your truth and power

Healing: Learning, growing and enjoying WHILE living your life

Creatrix: Woman making sh-t happen

Somatic: Body based 

Rewilding: Returning to your original, authentic nature