Understanding Your Pleasure

The human body has dozens of erogenous zones, meaning our bodies are built for pleasure. Some of these zones will feel better on some people, and sometimes these areas will feel less sensitive/more sensitive depending on our internal and external world (a bio-psych-socio-cultural approach). This creates a context, which is imperative to consider when understanding your desire, or lack thereof.

A common scenario for many people might sound like this: work is busy and stressful, ones’ romantic relationship has its ups and downs, if there are children in the dynamic, then their needs come first, which can create the feeling of being touched out and exhausted by the end of the day. Extended family might be a concern, trying to fit in a social life and see friends is important yet also tiring, not to mention also trying to maintain a self-care regime. In this common scenario, intimacy and desire often takes a backseat. Waiting for a partner and negative self-beliefs can result in not engaging with one’s body and not remembering what pleasure feels like.

Whilst self-pleasure can come with a stigma, the happy hormones released (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, just to name a few) provide a benefit to the body, both physically and mentally. This is why understanding your pleasure is a fantastic first step to better partnered sex. If you can start to identify what will throw the brake on to engaging in pleasure, and what will help want you to engage, you are now mastering your dual control model when it comes to sexual desire!

Majority of vulva owners report clitoral stimulation is either needed or helps achieve greater satisfaction of an orgasm. Not only do the statistics weigh heavily in favor of clitoral touch, but 41% also report only needing to be touched in one way to be satisfied 1 of the 1,055 women surveyed, only 18% reported vaginal penetration alone was sufficient to orgasm.

Using toys for outer play is a common practice for many vulva owners; some are confident to bring toys into partnered sex, and others are fearful on how to integrate the two. If using toys is common practice, then why the shame and stigma? Being pleasure positive, in whatever way your body sees fit is a great way to shed the shame. Your body was designed for pleasure and using toys can only enhance this beautiful experience. For the novice, a wand or a bullet would be a great exploration tool. The Amalfi is a great place to start. For those that enjoy penetration, or might even be curious in the solo space, the Miami is a great choice. Lastly, as the stats above show, clitoral stimulation is a must for majority of vulva owners; so why not try the Byron.

1. Herbenick et al. (2017). Women’s Experiences with Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure, and Orgasm: Results from a US probability Sample of Women 18 to 94. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Vol. 0(0), 1-12.

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