When people learn that I’m a pleasure and intimacy coach, they often think I’m just teaching things like how to have sex with passion, what to do when you have a higher sex drive than your husband, how to fix your sexless relationship or how to spice up the sexual chemistry with your partner.
But intimacy and pleasure is so much more than sex.
Which is why I believe lack of pleasure is one of the largest threats to women's health today.
Anhedonia is the medical term referring to the inability to feel pleasure, and is becoming more and more common amongst women with them feeling more exhausted, burnt out, depressed and joyless than ever.
Unfortunately, even once you identify that you’re experiencing Anhedonia, traditional sex, intimacy, self-care and relationship advice isn’t enough to fix it. This is because as Superwomen, we’ve spent our lives in sympathetic nervous dysregulation (aka. fight-or-flight) and that’s where our body is comfortable. When our nervous systems are in sympathetic overdrive, we literally cannot tolerate pleasure.
But what we can do is resensitize our mind and body to feel more pleasure – in every area of our lives.
You’re going to hate me for this, but feeling more pleasure and joy means feeling more of everything. Including the feelings you’ve been pushing down forever.
I often explain it to the women I work with like this – Pleasure is like a dial that you’ve turned down, and you can’t turn it up without turning ALL the dials up. You pleasure dial being turned down can look like not being able to truly relax on a vacation, having the career/house/family and still feeling numb, not being able to celebrate or receive compliments, or not being able to go without your favourite numbing behaviour.
So how do we turn up the pleasure dial? We need to train ourselves to feel again.
The journey to pleasure, to better sex with passion, to more connected relationships, to escaping the void, to more ease and flow… is a journey to feeling.
It’s not always going to be comfortable, but it will be worth it.
I’m going to be honest with you, healing the conditioning that got you here isn’t going to happen overnight. But these tips are a great starting point to train your nervous system to tolerate more pleasure.
Here are a few simple yet effective ways to become more vulnerable, present and aware of your feelings in your daily life and in the bedroom, and start resensitizing your body for more pleasure.
This is so hard for Superwomen to grasp. They think that because they meditate or go to yoga they are slowing down, but that isn’t slowing down your nervous system. Some signs you need to practice slowing down include doing several things at once, thinking about your to-do list when you sit down, or feeling the need to speed up when you’re dysregulated/stressed.
We stay busy to avoid feeling things. We sit on the couch and “relax” but instead of truly being present and relaxing, we watch Netflix, eat, drink that glass of wine we need after work, etc. Going slow forces us to sit and feel things we don't want to feel. You need to intentionally go slower – walk slower, make tea slower, kiss slower. Actually feel something , because feeling your feelings is the work.
Removing excess stimulation is a great idea for Superwomen, because we are always plugged in. Even when we’re driving we’re listening to a podcast or making a work call. Unplugging means having time during your day where you would normally engage in your dopamine hits (scrolling social media, online shopping, etc.) where instead, you disconnect.
You can start small – unplug and sit with feelings for 5 minutes. Try to relax and do nothing. No phone, no numbing activities. Allow yourself to feel what comes up.
Implement a regular practice where you move your body in a way that FEELS GOOD. This doesn’t just mean going to a workout class or forcing yourself to go on a walk. It’s about moving your body in a pleasurable way. It’s about checking in with yourself and asking “how does my body need to be moved right now?”.
This should look different every day. Maybe it’s a really good stretching routine or putting on a song you love and moving to it. It may feel uncomfortable, but it’s not about doing it right, it’s about doing what your body needs.
You’re going to need help with this one. Whether it’s therapy or a community of women like the Pleasure Collective to be witness. We need to feel our full emotional expression – joy, pain, anger, frustration. A few ways you can do this on your own include journalling, screaming into a pillow, throwing something (safely). Allowing yourself to finally express these emotions (even the “bad” ones) will feel SO good! No more pushing it all down.
Where in your body is tense right now? Where does the trauma get stored? It could be your neck, jaw, pelvic floor, etc. Strong emotions are stored in the body but can be released with interventions like massage and deep breathing.
Find a point of tension, apply some gentle pressure and feel it release as you exhale. I teach these concepts in my programs but you may want to work with a professional – pelvic floor physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, TCM practitioner, etc. – that is aware of these concepts and how the mind/body works together.
Do nothing. Take a nap.
We need to relax our nervous system because when we are dysregulated and focused on stress, the pleasure centers in our brain are turned off. I know as Superwomen it feels very foreign to relax, but the more we can relax, the more open we will be to feeling pleasure!
Increased feeling and sensitivity leads to deeper intimacy. If you’re feeling like something is missing and you’re no longer able to experience true joy and happiness, it’s time to stop hiding.
If my work speaks to you and you know that you can’t keep ignoring this area of your life, there are two ways you can work with me right now.
1:1 Coaching (limited spots available for 2023): Coaching for women who "have it all" (the career, house, car) but feel like something is missing when it comes to intimate relationships.
The Pleasure Principles: A self-paced foundational program for Superwomen seeking fulfillment in life and relationships.
I’m also hosting a live, online training on March 23rd that I’ve never offered to the public and don’t plan on offering again.
Pleasure Fundamentals: The Art of Feminine Communication is a one-time opportunity to learn the fundamental skills that will improve your intimate relationships and SO much more.
I know that Superwomen like yourself have read the books, attended the webinars, have done the courses and things haven't really improved. And that's because for over-achieving Superwomen like us, the traditional advice just isn't going to cut it.
This is different. This framework was designed for Superwomen like you, cutting through the noise and bullsh*t to help you learn the skills you needed to communicate your desires without feeling needy, stuffing it down, doing it yourself, or feeling fake. To finally feel seen, heard and supported in your intimate relationships. To stop having the same issues surface in your relationship and ENJOY each other again.
This is the framework I teach to women who work with me in The Feminine Mentorship and in 1:1 coaching. This is the good stuff. And I don't have plans to offer this to the public again in the future, so click here and register to join me on March 23rd (replay available).
Because you deserve this.