Sexual Self-Care

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Self-care (noun) definition: taking action to improve one’s own health. 


According to research, self-care officially crossed into mainstream in 2016 and it’s been gaining popularity ever since.  Healthcare touts the importance of practicing self-care in order to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. 


I believe sexual self-care should be included with other aspects of personal care, such as regular exercise, beauty regimens, healthy diets, and stress-reduction practices. Sexual self-care may help personal potential in ways similar to other healthy practices. 


Your Sexual Self-Care 

Sexuality is a part of nature. Spending time to nourish it may help heal old wounds, boost confidence, or make sexual expression more creative. Enjoy the pleasure but also appreciate the sexual growth that this routine may provide. 

 

Perhaps start by committing to a couple short self-care sessions. Consider journaling about your sexual self-care experiences to see if a common theme appears or if you can identify where improvements may take place. During your self-care sessions consider writing down sexual fantasies to see how your body responds. These sessions are for your own healthy care and growth, so I suggest using them creatively to learn more about your sexual self.  

 

We’ll look at ways to set your own sexual self-care routine next, but remember, you’re working toward creating a positive sexual relationship with yourself. Don’t put unneeded pressures on yourself. Everyone’s sexual self-care routines will be unique so create one that’s right for you. Focus on positivity and tune into your body. Give yourself permission to explore and care for your sexual self. 


#1 – Make time for Your Own Sexual Self-Care Routine

Every aspect of yourself deserves to be cared for. Sexuality should also be nourished and supported along with other parts of your whole self. A good place to start might be by establishing your own routine. Instead of setting steadfast goals around sexual self-care, I encourage you to slow down and simply set some initial commitments.


A sexual self-care routine is personal and needs to be a safe part of your life. Determine a good time that works best for you to have privacy and peace. Be flexible but don’t discount the importance of this routine. Perhaps, promise yourself at least an hour every month to practice your own sexual self-care.


#2 – Create a Safe Space 

Is your bedroom, bathroom, or someplace else best for your self-care sessions? Everyone feels comfortable in different places. Take time to determine where you can be your comfortable, authentic self and have the privacy to concentrate on yourself and your intimate needs. 


Not only should your safe space be private and comfortable, but it can also be lit with scented candles or strewn with cozy blankets. I suggest you incorporate elements and textures that create a sensual feel that speaks to you and your tastes. 


Incorporating elements to engage all your senses may make your self-care experiences fuller and more rewarding. 


#3 – Set Your Sexual Self-Care Intentions

Listen to your own needs to determine what your self-care should be and what journey you would like it to take you on. Be attentive to your own intentions and use them to focus this exercise on your own sexual wellbeing. 


Would you like to feel more comfortable in your own body? Does this mean exploring your skin and possibly finding new sensitive erogenous areas? Or does it mean dancing to your favorite music wearing nothing but candlelight? 


Use your sexual self-care sessions to take your own intimate journey and determine what benefits you. Your intentions may change every month as you become better acquainted with your sexual potential. 


#4 – Recognize Small Responses

As you experiment with your sexual self-care, you may notice a tingle here, a warmth there, a lightness or depth to your breath, a flush, a faster heartbeat. Your body may find ways to speak to you and these tiny reactions may encourage you to explore even more. 


Play with different sensations, music, sex toys, and other things that appeal to you and your senses. Practice listening to your body and notice when something creates a personal response within you. 

 

Should Discoveries be Shared? 

The decision to share your discoveries during your sexual self-care journey is up to you. Most often, when good things happen, they beg to be shared. 

 

If there is someone who you may share your journey with who can celebrate and support you, then perhaps your discoveries are meant to be shared. This person might be a friend, partner, lover, or therapist. Be sure to listen to yourself about your comfort level with sharing an intimate topic. There is no need to share everything you experience in your monthly self-care sessions but sharing even a small part may inspire someone else to explore their own sexual health as well. 

 

Self-Care and Self-Love 

Sexual self-care may include self-love. Masturbation releases tension and calm nerves. Medical News Today has reported that oxytocin and endorphins released during orgasms have been found to act as relaxants. While Planned Parenthood estimates that 39 percent of women use masturbation for relaxation purposes. 

 

Of course, your sexual self-care sessions don’t have to be all about masturbation but exploring different types of personal pleasure may help with overall self-care benefits related to stress reduction. A study found that showing yourself affection through masturbation provides a boost to overall happiness and helped support individual wellbeing.

 

Perhaps researching the benefits of masturbation can be included in sexual self-care sessions to learn more about how your life may be enriched. 

 

I recommend spending some self-care time on personal sexual exploration. Research suggests openness to exploration may facilitate positive sexual identity development. And according to a report on the characteristics of sexually healthy adults, integrating sexuality into a balanced way is a lifetime endeavor. Explore at your own pace and enjoy your journey. 


Are you committed to your own sexual self-care? Are you curious about what you would discover from your own sexual self-care routine? Please send me your questions and comments. I’m always here to help you.


Dr. Sunny does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.


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Dr. Sunny does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.