In this time of self-isolation and lockdowns, have you been concerned about your sex-life? Maybe you’re single and have no idea when you’ll have partnered sex again. Or perhaps you’re housebound with a partner and you’re concerned about keeping the flame alive.
In this episode, I talk about the importance of prioritising your pleasure now, even more so than normal. I’ll share:
- Why it’s normal to think about sex during crisis
- The stages of connection, intimacy and sex
- Practices for you to try at home to explore your pleasure potential
- Using pleasure as a stress reliever
Links and Resources
Start your journey to explore your own personal pleasure language with my free quiz, including a bonus worksheet with journaling prompts to help you dive even deeper. Take the quiz now: www.eleanorhadley.com/pleasurelanguage
Get out of your head and into your body by joining my signature online course in The Art of Sensual Movement. Special offer to get 50% off until the end of April with the code HOME – https://www.eleanorhadley.com/tasmBuy your own genuine crystal sex toys from my favourite Aussie business here – you can use the code YONILOVE to receive $10 off your purchase.
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Hey there beauties and welcome to episode 6 of The Sensuality Academy podcast.
Firstly, thank you all so much for your amazing support of the podcast so far. For everybody who has left an amazing review, who has subscribed, left a 5-star rating, and shared the love – thank you, thank you, thank you, I really appreciate it. And if you haven’t yet, it would absolutely mean the world to me if you could – it really helps to get the message out there. So if anyone comes across the podcast in the future they know it’s worth tuning in to. So, thanks.
Okay, enough of that. Today, I want to talk to you about prioritising pleasure in a pandemic. And yes, I do like alliteration.
So, this week as I sat down to record, I really debated whether or not to choose one of the topics that I had lined up from a very loooong list that you all very kindly supplied me with. When I first floated the idea of a podcast past you a couple of months ago. I got lots of submissions on topics you wanted me to talk about – so yes that’s going to come and I was also thinking, if I should mention the c word. I know you know the one I’m thinking of.
And honestly – while I think it’s very important to focus on other things right now and don’t get all consumed. I feel that it would be neglectful of me if I didn’t actually mention the HUGE global pandemic that is hitting us right now. It’s having a huge impact on many people and most likely you are included in that.
Now, this episode is not about Coronavirus. Don’t worry, I’m not going too deep into that coz I know you are probably really bloody sick of that by now. But, having said that I’m aware that a lot of you are at home in quarantine, I know that at the time of recording right now in Melbourne, Victoria here in Australia, we are basically on lock-down and a lot of countries around the world already are and you might be going into lock-down soon as well.
So, we’re spending more time at home than we ever have and quarantine life brings up a lot of emotions for a lot of people – I wonder what emotions you are feeling right now, it’s pretty crazy out there and of course given my area of expertise, I almost said Sexpertise, but that kind of works doesn’t it? Given my area of Sexpertise, of course the thing that I am interested in the most with this whole quarantine situation is how your pleasure is being affected right now.
So, just in the past 24 hours I have had about 4 different conversations with people who have brought up their concern about sex during quarantine. So, for the singles, this is a fear of not getting any sex or if its people not living with a partner, there’s this fear around of oh my gosh when is the next time I’m going to be able to have partnered sex and then how to cope until then, what am I going to do? And for the people who are actually living with a partner and on lock-down, with their partner, their beloved, their lover, their husband, wife, their significant other whoever it is. They’re potentially considering how do we maintain desire and not drive each other absolutely crazy?
So, one of the people that I spoke with today, they told me that something that came up for them when they were thinking, where should they be during this pandemic and what they’re going to do was this concern about when I’m going to have sex next? That’s scary to me and it’s a concern and they told me that they mentioned this to another friend whose reaction was —> “oh my gosh, how can you possibly be thinking about sex during a pandemic” and that was a normal response for them and for alot of people, may be you’re the same, may be it’s the furtherst thing from your mind because you’re body is dealing with anxiety and stress and pressure but I want you to know, this is what I’m going to talk about in this episode that if that came to your mind as well about the lack of sex, the potential lack of sex that’s totally normal because sex is a basic human need.
So, right now, we’re all struggling with the notion of extended isolation and what that means. Human connection is one of our most basic human needs. Most of us, during everyday life we connect on some level – even though this might be more surface level, not very, very deep connections but actually connecting with people each day, saying hi to someone in the street, working in an office, getting a coffee, whatever.
So we have these surface level connections. But what most of us really, really deeply crave is intimacy. This can be platonic or romantic intimacy. Intimacy is all about allowing yourself to be authentic with someone, being close and connected and having that sense of trust.
So, a lot of us are not only missing just regular connections with other humans but we are missing that deep connection, maybe we’ve always been missing that deep connection but right now it’s definitely going to be magnified for a lot of us.
And so, when we look at connection, that’s basic we need connection, we’re communal creatures as much as a lot of us live solo, work solo – like hey, hello, putting my hand up over here, I live solo and I’m an introvert and an Earth sign and bit of a homebody and I’m also a solo entrepreneur. So I work at home a lot of the time and it doesn’t bother me. Obviously, I’m not a complete hermit, I do see my friends and go out and do things but it’s not as uncomfortable for me as it is for the extroverts of the world and they are definitely struggling a lot more than us introverts, in this situation.
So, back to connection, being so, so basic on our human needs, then if you take it a bit deeper you’ve got intimacy and we all need intimacy both platonic and romantic. Intimacy is not something you just have with someone you are in love with, you can have intimacy with your best friend. You can have intimacy with people who you don’t have sexual feelings towards.
But then, if we take that even deeper down that spectrum of connection intimacy then you have sex and sex is also a basic human need and I think that is remised to think of as frivoulous and an extra added bonus. I really truly believe that it is a basic human need and if we are not having sex and enjoying sex and connecting with people in that way then yes, we are going to be struggling. Except if you are asexual and don’t have that desire but I do believe that for a lot of us it’s a basic human need. It’s simply an extension of human connection. So, to actually make love with someone is the most intimate thing you can do with another person. It’s highly intimate. It can be incredibly connected – if we are present and that’s a little caviart. But the topic of present vs detached sex that’s a topic for another day. I’ll definitely do a podcast all about that sometime.
So – sex, as we’ve established, is a basic human need. We know this – I hope that we know this. And, for many of us, we’re facing an undetermined amount of time separate from others. In many ways, as well as sexually. Right now, we’re probably feeling unsettled, scared, confused, angry, sad, overwhelmed. Some of us might even be feeling relieved and you know what, that’s ok. They are all totally understandable and natural reactions to what is going on. And, on a side note, I really, really want to encourage you to feel and allow yourself to feel this full spectrum of emotions right now. What is happening in the world is bonkers. Just straight up, bonkers.
So in this time – I would actually argue that pleasure is more important now than ever before.
We now have the time where we are, I don’t want to use the word ‘stuck’ at home, but we are at home and that’s where we have to be for a time. We don’t know how long yet, but we have this time and space to really drop into our pleasure and when we are experiencing something that is so left of centre, something that none of us alive have really experienced to this degree before, that’s not true, but you know what I mean. This is a strange situation and there are a lot of feelings and stress that come up for it. I believe that pleasure is more important now than it ever has been and there’s absolutely no need to feel guilty for still desiring sex and pleasure during this time. In fact, I think that it’s incredibly natural. Sex, afterall is the ultimate stress reliever, so you a nice little tool in your toolbox there. So to speak.
So, I want to encourage you now to prioritise your pleasure. Promise me, you’ll prioritise your pleasure. In fact, I hereby give you permission to prioritise your pleasure above all else right now.
And when I say pleasure, I am of course referring to intentional and mindful pleasure. There’s a really big difference between being present with your pleasure and being detached, doing something that numbs you out. And I know the stereotypical example is Netflix and starfishing on the couch – Sometimes when I say starfishing people don’t understand. Imagine your arms and legs are displayed like a big starfish and you’re just laying on the couch. Anyway, starfishing on the couch and that can be really pleasurable if you’re present with it. There’s other things you might be doing that are numbing yourself out because things are stressful. And, I want to encourage you to be gentle with yourself and be mindful and aware.
So, when I talk about being present and aware with your pleasure. It’s about really putting it first and making it something that is front of mind and really making it a mindful practice.
Pleasure can mean so many things as well. And, right now, actually, I’d love to challenge you to come up with a list of your top ten most pleasurable pastimes. Seriously – bonus points if you DM me or post to your story and tag me!
What are your Top 10 Most Pleasurable Pastimes? I’m really going hard on this ‘P’ alliteration today, aren’t I?
I want you to think about what you find so much joy and pleasure in and they can be little things, non sexual things absoultely, but I’m going to be focusing on sex today, because we all need sex.
So, what brings you pleasure?
I know right now you’re likely being absolutely inundated with courses and projects – there are a million and one activities that you can do right now and a lot of people are taking a lot of that up right now and I think it’s wonderful. If you don’t have work to do anymore, you’ve lost your job or you can’t be working as much as you usually would have. There’s not things that you are leaving the house to do anymore. It’s a great time to upskill and to learn things and dive into other passion projects and I totally recommend that.
But, I want to gently suggest that you don’t necessarily have to do or achieve anything right now. Now is actually a time to be incredibly gentle with yourself. And yeah, spend more time indulging in your pleasure.
If you’re coupled up and in lockdown, with your partner – see this as a time to rekindle your desire for one another, to really explore each other’s pleasure language, to make your lovemaking deep and sacred. I’m planning to do another episode about communication in relationships and navigating cabin fever and any triggers during the lockdowns – so if that sounds appealing to you please DM me on instagram to let me know and I’ll make sure to prioritise that episode.
And, if you’re solo during this crazy time. Maybe your lover is in another state or country or simply a different suburb – and you’re not able to visit, because you understand the importance of flattening the curve. Or maybe you’re single but concerned about when you’ll get sex next – we still don’t know how long these lockdowns will go for – this time is perfect for you to commit to your own personal exploration and self pleasure practice.
You may be you’re already on to this – an article in The Sun has shared that sales of sex toys have risen by 13% since self-isolation was introduced in the UK, by 71% in Italy and an impressive 135% in Canada – go Canada! I think that is fucking brilliant. Take a leaf out of Canada’s book.
So, how can you prioritise your pleasure? Here are some ideas for you..
First things first – get in touch with your body more. Right now I’m betting you’re up in your head. Try to shift your focus and energy to your physical body instead – give yourself a nice sensual oil massage or take turns with your partner. Use some natural oil like coconut or jojoba, maybe add in some skin safe essential oils and make it long and luxurious – you have the time now! So dive into something like that.
My favourite way to enjoy self massage with oils is fully naked in front of the mirror, with some really sexy music on, it is the best – go ahead and seduce your damn self. It’s amazing.
Secondly – take a leaf out of the books of the UK, Italy and Canada and get yourself some toys! I’m pretty sure most online stores are still shipping so why not experiment with some new toys – for solo or partnered play? Personally I love using crystal pleasure wands and yoni eggs – I’ll be doing an episode about these in more depth in a future episode. Let me know if these interest you as well. These tools, these toys are so beautiful to work with, I highly recommend right now definitely explore a little bit more and really try and find new ways to reach climax rather than just doing the standard way you might be used to and your body might be trained in.
Also, I’ll have a link in the shownotes to some links to my favourite places to get genuine crystal sex toys, so check that out. Orgasms are amazing for your immunity, sooooo get on it. Seriously!
Third – this is the perfect opportunity to work towards becoming multi-orgasmic or exploring ejaculation control for the fellas. I’ll share more on this another time, but I swear this is a total game changer and the way to unlock really, really deep pleasure and of course, extended sex sessions. So, look it up, have a practice and again rather than just doing the usual – left, right, around, around – I’m thinking about that scene in Friends, where Monica is saying ‘One, Two. One, Two, Three’ and she says ‘Seven, Seven’. Has anyone seen that? I hope that you have and you are laughing along right now, because you get it, otherwise I might sound crazy but that’s ok.
So, I highly recommend taking this time to practice being more multi-orgasmic, extending your pleasure, practising ejaculation, if that are the parts you have. It is so amazing when you allow yourself to really extend out your pleasure rather than just being this goal that I have to quickly have an orgasm and getting it over and done with. You’ve got plenty of time – Keep on keeping on.
So all of these you can do solo or partnered and there’s one more pleasure practice I want to float by you.
And that is cyber sex, phone sex and sexting! Do you have a lover who isn’t in quarantine with you? Take this time to take some epic nudes, give them a call, send steamy voice notes. You’re both at home with plenty of time, – so don’t be afraid to initiate something saucy. It’s a lot of fun and forces you to get creative. so, give that a whirl.
So, I hope that this episode inspires you to prioritise your pleasure during this pandemic. And remember that you are multifaceted human beings and you are capable of holding and feeling many emotions at once. Yes, you can be concerned about the state of the world and experience joy and pleasure at the same time. Maybe not at the exact same time, maybe you can, I don’t know. But, you can hold all of these emotions within you, you don’t have to choose one end of the spectrum and stay there. So, give yourself permission and prioritise your pleasure.
That’s all from me for now, until next time, stay safe, stay home and of course, stay sensual.
Let me know your thoughts!