When we think of sex and intimacy, we often think of experiences with others. But there is a wonderful world of solo pleasure out there! And this world can be a gateway for us to access not only physical pleasure but also increase our body awareness our comfort within ourselves, and help to heal our relationship with our own body.
So what are the benefits of exploring solo pleasure, and how exactly can that help us heal our relationship with our body?
One great benefit of solo pleasure is that it gives you a completely safe space to learn what you like, what turns you on, and what doesn’t bring you pleasure.
While there are safety methods in partnered sex, there is no 100% guaranteed safe method of having sex. The risk of STIs or pregnancy always has to be considered when with a partner, but solo sex gives you peace of mind that you are giving yourself a 100% safe way to explore your desires.
[This is assuming an “acoustic” (no toys) approach to self-pleasure. When using toys, it is still crucial to consider health & safety and use proper sterilization methods and body-safe materials & toys.]
Taking this time to learn what you like helps you not only feel more connected to your desires and more comfortable considering them as they shift but also empowers you to let partners down the road know exactly what you like.
Solo pleasure can also be a mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment–something you likely want to do if you’re engaging in something pleasurable. And solo pleasure already engages the senses, making it easy to focus on what you see, feel, hear, smell, taste, etc.
If you frequently find yourself feeling anxious when thinking about sex, practicing mindfulness within the solo play can help you practice letting go of those anxious thoughts and returning to the moment when seeking pleasure.
Self-pleasure gives you a path to engage with your body in a positive way, which encourages positive feelings toward your body.
When you are able to access and experience pleasure in your body, your attitude toward your body is able to start shifting to something more positive. Masturbation releases chemicals in our brain like dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, testosterone, and prolactin, all of which can positively impact your mood. This means you’re naturally teaching yourself that engaging with your body will help make your mood better and make you feel good.
Sensuality also offers an avenue for body love for those who struggle with body image issues. Achieving body love or body neutrality while struggling with body image issues is extremely difficult. But your body image isn’t the only layer of your body. If you aren’t at the point where you can love your body for what it looks like, that doesn’t mean you can’t love your body for other things. You can find pleasure in and affection for different aspects of your body: the way it feels when you touch it, the way fabrics feel against it, the ways it offers you physical pleasure, etc.
It gives you a creative outlet.
Solo play doesn’t have to be boring just because you’re on your own! Give yourself a chance to engage with your fantasies. Set the mood so you’re relaxed and able to be in the moment (through things like lowering the lighting, using candles or incense, taking time to prepare your body by showering, moisturizing, dressing in something that makes you feel good, etc.) and let your imagination run wild.
You can use it like playtime. We know that playtime is great for kids, but we don’t talk about the fact that adults can benefit from playtime too. Solo pleasure is a great way to give yourself that playtime. You can even play dress-up! Wear something that makes you feel confident and sensual, like lingerie or clothes with soft textures you enjoy touching, etc. You can include toys in your playtime or stick to just imagination-based play, it’s up to you. Give yourself permission to be as creative and imaginative as you want. Make it fun. It doesn’t have to be serious.
Self-pleasure helps you stay connected to yourself, not just physically but mentally and emotionally.
When you make time for solo play, you’re having to choose to engage with your desires consciously! That means you’re frequently checking in on what feels good, what excites your imagination, what makes you feel happy and satisfied, etc. And desire isn’t a constant state. It shifts and changes. By regularly taking time to engage with yourself and find what feels good, you’re staying connected to your ever-shifting desires.
Engaging in solo play can be sexually empowering for those who have difficulty connecting sexually to others.
Many people have trouble seeking or feeling pleasure with others, especially if there is a history of sexual trauma in their past. This can make the idea of sex at all seem frightening or inaccessible, but solo pleasure can be a safe way to find empowerment and enjoyment in sex when you’re not ready to be vulnerable with someone else.
With self-pleasure, you are the only one in the scenario, so you can trust yourself to listen to and respect your body’s cues, as well as the emotional ones that tell you when you’re pushing boundaries and when you need to stop. Then, as you listen to those cues and gain more trust in the process of exploring pleasure, you can get more imaginative and creative and perhaps even feel more comfortable sharing your pleasure with others if that’s something you desire.
To learn about more unexpected benefits of solo pleasure, and learn how to have a happy, healthy sex life, contact us today!