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Autoeroticism: Finding The Perfect Moment For Self-Love

23 de febrero de 2018

Maria Suarez

Sex therapist Adriana Zapata Sanchez helps us discover how to best enjoy a moment with ourselves and our bodies.

I’ve recently been following a debate on Instagram, one that apparently has been going on for a while: Can women become addicted to vibrators? I looked that question up and found articles that went as back as 2014. There are hundreds of accounts of women telling the story of how they became addicted to their sex toy and had to get help to return to their “regular” selves. However, I think one of the best answers to this came from Rachel Kramer Bussel who said that it depended on who was asking.


Elena from The Yoni Empire, an IG account that talks about female sexuality, pleasure, and eroticism, took up this question a few days ago. It’s all relative, I guess. I mean, if you’re finding yourself unable to get out of bed to go to school or work because you would rather spend your entire day with your battery-fueled lover, it’s possible that there is some level of addiction, or better said dependency, involved. Yet my question to all this is, has anyone wondered if men can get addicted to some form of sexual stimulation? We’ve heard about sex and porn addiction, but usually when we talk about this we’re referring to people whose dependency has led them down a path of violence or assault towards others. It just seems like the debate on vibrators is very different to the one about whether someone spending a substantial amount of time masturbating to the point where they might dissolve their connection to the world around them or even ruin their relationships.


As women, it’s hard to find a truly nonjudgmental and positive perspective on self-pleasure. I mean, we’ve all heard about how it can help with period pain, stress, and even overall health. Yet what happens when you never find the right time? What if you’re constantly worried that someone is going to walk in and find you in the midst of it? Or worse, what if you don’t know what you’re even supposed to be doing because nothing you do seems to turn you on or work for you? Our sexuality does not come with a user manual. We can look at porn but the people on there are usually some form of super humans. We can read tons of sex guides but we might still be squeamish of trying out their suggestions. Where do we start?


Image by Zoha


According to sex therapist Adriana Zapata Sanchez, it all has to do with how we relate to ourselves and our own bodies. We sat down with Adriana to hear her suggestions for finding and creating the perfect moment for self-pleasure.


“Autoeroticism is the practice of satisfying ourselves. I prefer this term over masturbation since masturbation is a concept that was created for the practice of male self stimulation. This is a practice that has been heavily labelled and frowned upon. And even though most women also perform autoeroticism, they won’t mention or talk about it for fear of being criticized or judged.”


“There are some points we should keep in mind when we want to get to know ourselves, explore, discover, enjoy, and experience our sexuality to the fullest. However, the first one should be self-esteem. It’s about our context, how we feel at that moment. It’s important to check up on that before we actually get started. How do we feel with ourselves, how do we take care of ourselves, how are we on an emotional level, in our relationship (in case we are in one)?”




Discovering our body


“It’s important to get to know our own physiology, to observe and see what our vulva looks like. What do our labia majora or minora look like? We need to get to know where our own vaginal opening is located. We need to get acquainted with all these external organs. It’s even about looking at our pubis, knowing where our urethral opening and anus are. We need to discover our bodies, how each part feels, as well as how we relate or feel about them. At first we can use a mirror while we lay in our bed or we can stand in front of a large mirror. We can do some self-exploration in the shower. Once we know our body, we start paying attention to our vulva in our everyday life. Whether we’re taking a shower or getting dressed, we can observe whether it changes color or feels different. We get to know what it tastes like, what it smells like, we even notice when these scents and flavors change. That’s being aware to our vulva.”



Image by Zoha





Setting the mood


“We need to find a time when we’re comfortable, devoid of interruptions, when we’re relaxed and can create an ambience where we feel safe.. It’s about having a moment when we know we can leave our phone on silent and that nobody’s going to walk in on us. It’s even about having our own space without our partner.”




Finding the right accessory


“In terms of objects, every person discovers, through self-exploration and discovery, what they like. We can use our hands one day, then play with a dildo or a pillow on another occasion. I think that to make it less invasive or scary we can start small and build from there. If we’re trying out dildos, we can try a vibrating one before going for larger, there’s plenty of options in terms of options and textures.”




Letting go


“When we’re in that moment, we need to go with the flow. It’s about letting these sensations and emotions lead the way. It’s about being aware of what we’re feeling, how our body reacts and gets aroused: whether we feel like everything tenses up or relaxes, how our heartbeat or body temperature changes. When we let go and start focusing on those sensations, we can actually achieve a moment of joy and pleasure.”



Image by Zoha





Hygiene


“It’s important to talk about hygiene in terms of washing our hands before touching our vulva. Maybe even having some baby wipes or tissues nearby. When we’re only beginning to discover our bodies we’ll find out that we don’t need lubricants because our body will do that for us.”




Orgasm is not the main goal.


“It’s important to note that the main point of autoeroticism is not orgasm. It’s more about knowing ourselves and our bodies. It also doesn’t have to always focus on the vulva. Our largest sexual organ is actually our skin. We can choose the best way to explore ourselves. We can even just gaze at our own naked bodies. We’re a body. We’re an entity. We’re not just a vulva. We’re not just our sexual organs. When we embrace every part of ourselves, we begin to enjoy. It can even be just getting in the shower and feeling how the water touches our skin. Or when we come out, dry ourselves, and put lotion on. That can be autoeroticism as well. Self-love and pleasure doesn’t need to be centered around the vulva or even focused on achieving orgasm.”


Image by Zoha





Finding time when we’re in a relationship


“There’s always a decrease in autoeroticism when we get into a relationship. Our priorities change because suddenly there’s this person that becomes the source or the basis of my sexual satisfaction. But since autoeroticism begins from knowing, loving, and enjoying ourselves and our bodies, it shouldn’t matter whether we’re with someone or not.”




Every vagina is different.


“Just because I saw a picture or watched porn, that doesn’t mean that that’s the perfect vulva or vagina. There are different shapes and sizes. At the end of day, we are women, not just a vagina or a vulva. We are pleasure beings. If I love myself, if I know myself, if I accept myself, if I care for myself, then I can begin to understand my body. I can start shedding my prejudice, my fears, and taboos.”



Image by Zoha


This last point reminds me of a more practical aspect of autoeroticism. When we know our bodies, when we’re not strangers to our own physiology, then it’s easier for us to notice changes and differences. We might realize that stress is taking its toll on us. We can discover whether something isn’t feeling right or is making us uncomfortable, even if it isn’t sexual. The less ashamed we are of our bodies, the closer we can be to actually knowing ourselves and finding what bring us real pleasure.


So, is it time to get acquainted with yourself?



You can get in contact with Adriana Zapata Sanchez through her social media and ask other important questions you might have.




Main image by Zoha


TAGS: Sexuality
SOURCES: The Guardian Clued In Bust

Maria Suarez


Coordinadora Editorial CC+

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