We talk about pleasure in and out of the bedroom. We talk a lot about sex...
But sex is more than just getting to the point. Pleasure is a lifestyle. A mindset.
I had some interesting realizations while I was forced into celibacy from a surgery plus post-partum recovery…for 10 weeks total, that I would like to share with you.
You are probably wondering what happened…
I had surgery when I was 8.5 months pregnant. A surgery that left me sitting on the couch in pain, barely able to move and definitely not able to have sex.
Then I gave birth. To my amazing, beautiful, sweet and perfect daughter.
Then the postpartum train hit me.
So far, I would describe postpartum feeling a lot like being a teenager…
I get anxious and aggressive. Big swells of emotions that feel uncontrollable. Fear and anxiety. Add in a global pandemic and you have a recipe for disaster.
I am up in my head. Second guessing everything I do – “is my milk enough, is sleeping a bad idea, should I have started tummy time already?” -
A lot of days I wonder who the f* I think I am that I thought I could have a baby, a relationship and run 2 businesses simultaneously…
Now, I am no stranger to anxious and intrusive thoughts. But I have systems in place that help me manage my mind – systems that I have worked and studied for years to perfect. I prioritize my pleasure, know what I want and how to ask for it. I don’t feel guilty for having expectations and I stick to them.
So, these post-partum feelings are very different than what I am used to feeling – self-assured, trusting in the flow of things, taking big risks without flinching. Trusting my Pink Canary. Practicing exactly what I preach.
And for me, intimacy has always been a touch stone.
A safe place to come undone from all the things I hold together and the people I support on a daily basis.
Intimacy is my grounding. Where my anxious thoughts and doubts melt away and my mind can quiet for a while.
It is my centre. I can accomplish anything and have what I truly desire.
And my healing.
All the endorphins and hormones, I am put together more whole after.
And this is not always f* on the kitchen counter sex. But sometimes it is. Sometimes it is connecting. Deeper. Wellbeing in a way that only bodies can communicate.
But after surgery and birth…my pleasure was lost and so was I.
Thankfully only for a few weeks. Because I know how to fix this.
I had to remind myself of a few standpoints, when I was feeling lost and disconnected from myself and from my partner.
Sex is not just penetration:
The way we are educated (reproductive focus) puts focus on penetration – the gold standard for sex. This, by default, makes all other types of intimacy and connection “not as good” or “depriving our partners”…until we change our mindset.
I realized I was feeling very off that I could not have “sex”. OBs and midwives alike told me no sex for 6 weeks, making it a scary milestone to look forward to? Dread?
But the truth is there are SO MANY options for sex that does not include p in v.
I started to make time for and open myself to other intimate moments.
I am grateful for an amazing partner. Who works endless hours and comes home still excited to be a Dad.
But that also means leaving so much less room for the two of us.
And then, my emotions have been a roller coaster. The highest highs and lowest lows.
Looking at him to be my support and constant, but when I am anxious and not in control, it makes him pull away.
But this is my work. I know how to turn this around – how to find pleasure for myself first.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it is hard as hell at 3am when I am up breastfeeding and feeling alone isolated.
So I force myself to go back to the basics…
Intimacy and connection isn’t just sex. Sex isn’t just penetration. Penetration isn’t the only way to share pleasure. Pleasure can be:
Eye contact that is held.
A kiss when you walk in the door that lingers.
Pressing your body into mine in bed.
Bringing me coffee in the morning.
If you are constantly ordering the same item off the menu in your relationship, you will want to join me and the hundreds of other women in the Pleasure Mindset Bootcamp – where we disrupt the old ideas of what pleasure “should” be and start learning what pleasure means to us individually.