4 self-pleasure and body positivity resolutions you should make for 2021
This year has brought many things, and the ‘always-on’, self-improvement culture that developed because of lockdown is one key change that many would prefer to leave in 2020. Between the pressure to acquire an interesting new skill or hobby while in isolation, and the desire to keep up with the lives we led before lockdown, even the best of us are in need of a break
Luckily, there is one thing that we can all enjoy embracing no matter where we are, or who we’re with, in 2021: pleasure. Mia Sabat, sex therapist at Emjoy, the sexual wellbeing audio app for women, is here to help us ensure that pleasure is at the top of our list of New Year’s resolutions.
1. Connect with self-pleasure
Self-pleasure can only benefit our minds and bodies, and it plays a very important role in our overall wellbeing, thanks to the endorphins we release during orgasm. Endorphins are hormones that promote our overall health as they combat stress, reduce pain, improve the immune system, exercise the pelvic floor, improve sleep and boost our mood. However, the benefits of self-pleasure don’t stop there.
Self-pleasure helps us discover our sexuality, turn-ons, desires and sexual preferences, all while encouraging us to connect with our minds and bodies in a liberating and safe space. As a result, self-pleasure can greatly improve our sex lives, too. As we learn more about our bodies and needs, we’re better able to articulate and communicate these desires to our partner(s), enabling us to have a better sex life not only with ourselves, but also with others. Self-pleasure also helps us to become more aware of how pleasure changes day-to-day, which helps us to become a more considerate partner.
2. Love your vulva
When was the last time you really looked at your vulva? It might sound strange, but engaging with your vulva, exploring its appearance and making the effort to know what it looks like, in detail, can help you embrace your sexuality, and improve your body image in more ways than you expect. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are a few simple things you can do to experience your vulva comfortably.
I recommend starting by exploring your vulva in a mirror, so you can comfortably see it at all angles. Shine a light on your vulva, sit on a cushion in front of a mirror, and engage and explore it as fully as you can. If you want to kick things up a notch, drawing your vulva can be an extremely valuable experience that will help you to appreciate your vulva for all its greatness: notice if your lips are different sizes, see the different colours throughout, and let yourself feel liberated by this connection and experience. You can embrace the romantic or sensual aspect of this moment too. Light candles, play music and wear your favourite perfume: there is no reason you shouldn’t appreciate your vulva in all its glory.
3. Explore a new type of erotica
We’re all guilty of having a favourite genre of erotica, but sometimes we’re also guilty sticking with our initial favourites because they’re convenient and live within our comfort zones. I encourage you to look beyond the erotica you normally reach for, as there are many benefits to looking for a little variety, too. Not only can changing up your area or type of erotica help to expose you to different fantasies and storylines, but it can also help you engage with your mind and body in ways you might not always think of trying.
Change things up by exploring erotica that focuses on stimulating your mind before your body, like audio erotica or literary erotica, and engaging with the details of each story. If you’re more visually conscious, consider erotic magazines, ethical pornography videos or images, or female created and led erotic experiences in any form. Exploring these different areas of erotica will help to keep you engaged in each experience, and will also get your imagination racing, and boost your libidio.
4. Show your body gratitude
Cultivating feelings of gratitude and appreciation for your body is extremely important, as these encouraging thoughts play a key role in achieving body positivity. Start by looking beyond your appearance, with the goal of feeling love and appreciation for everything your body is capable of accomplishing: from eating to moving to resting, no action is too small to recognise and cherish. Practice this daily and develop a routine.
Don’t be afraid to stand in front of a mirror and send yourself positive messages out loud. Repeat them as many times as you need, and make an effort to understand and believe every positive thing you’re telling yourself. It’s okay if you laugh or feel awkward at first - the important thing to take away from this practice is that you accept and love your body. Remember that your body enables you to feel, live, and enjoy life, and accepting it will only help you to embrace your life more fully.
Read more: How to choose your first sex toy
Read more: Dealing with incontinence during sex
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter