Today we're going to talk about sex and intuitive eating. I want to ask…
Do you have as much pleasure in your life as you would like?
Are you enjoying your sex life?
Are you satisfied with your current sex life, whether your solo and your sex life is self pleasure time, or whether you are in relationships or experiencing sex with other people and enjoying that time?
I'm really curious how that is feeling for you, if you're satisfied with it?
Part of my personal journey is that I've always been a sexual person and enjoyed sex and pleasure. But I definitely felt some things were lacking. I didn't always feel connected to pleasure, or like it was accessible to me. For a lot of years, I was not only dieting, but I also was experiencing a lot of burnout, a lot of physical pain, and I was very disconnected from my body.
Through intuitive eating, I started to have a much more attuned relationship with my body, and was so much more connected to what was happening in my body. That meant that I was really able to feel pleasure at a different level. It also meant that I was able to recognize when there were barriers to having the life that I really wanted. I was able to recognize when I was experiencing depression, what my pain really felt like in my body, and what kind of barriers that pain and depression created to being connected to my body. When I saw all of that with curiosity, I was then really motivated to address that pain and depression as best I could. It helped to have let go of the shame and judgement around it first.
After doing intuitive eating for some time, I also had more body acceptance and felt braver about exploring sexually with people. At the time, I had a spouse, exploring with him and exploring sex with myself. I'm going to actually publicly admit this and I don't know if I have publicly admitted this before, but it took me until 38 or 39 (I'm 42 now) to actually start having orgasms using self touch only. I was only having orgasms either through very specific types of sex with my spouse, or through using a vibrator or something of that nature. I wasn't using them very often so I was almost exclusively only having orgasms when I was with my partner, when they put in the effort that it took for me to have an orgasm. I definitely felt like it wasn't as often as I wanted.
It wasn't until after I started doing intuitive eating and getting that sense of body attunement, getting a lot more curious about my body, letting go of shame, having a deeper relationship with my body, more connection with my body that I was like, why am I not experiencing this? Like, I know I can have orgasms. But I'm just not having this experience. I was missing out! And so I started doing some research and figured it out.
There's a website called OMG Yes...it is a great website for working on learning different types of self pleasure, exploring different types of sex, and different sexual acts. It's really an
educational tool for women; they actually provide animated drawings showing you how to do particular motions, and give suggestions of what you might like to try out. They have videos of women actually doing that type of self pleasure, the actual anatomy, and actually modeling it. Be aware that for some that could be activating if you have trauma around around sex; know that may not be the place for you, please check in with yourself first. If it feels safe to you, it's a great resource that I highly recommend.
Going back to my Intuitive Eating journey, after I started eating intuitively, having a more secure relationship with myself and with my body, being more connected and more attuned to my body, then I really started having more desire and wanting to experience more pleasure. My sex drive actually increased. I was well nourished so I wasn't so exhausted. I had more of an abundance of energy. This created a really beautiful opening for me in connecting to my sexuality and exploring it more and experiencing more pleasure. So it wasn't just about orgasms. That was kind of a side note; I had been really limited and didn't feel like I could figure out how to pleasure myself in that way. It's much more comprehensive than that. It is much more about enjoying all of the aspects of our bodies and really allowing more pleasure.
Oftentimes in diet culture we are so focused on controlling and managing our body and trying to contort it to fit this ideal standard. We're much less connected to questions like: what do I feel like in my body? What do I want to feel like in my body? How much pleasure do I want to experience?
I actually found through intuitive eating, with body attunement, and secure attachment with myself that my capacity for pleasure and sexual experience could really be increased and enhanced. I was able to prioritize that a lot more when it felt safe to do so because I didn't feel shame around my body and I felt acceptance over all my folds and rolls and dimples...all the things. When I had the bandwidth, because I wasn't spending all of my time- my mental and emotional energy, obsessing over food, trying to control and manage that, then I had bandwidth for other things. Again, I was well nourished, I had more actual energy. It's amazing how much having energy will increase your sex life. Satori Madrone researched the connection between intuitive eating and sexuality and how some people are really seeing the benefits of intuitive eating in their relationship with their body and that relationship with their body improving is improving their sex life. I'm not sure if that research paper is out yet but she is a great resource on this topic.
The last thing I want to say is that I really found that this sent me on another journey. I actually ended up deciding to leave my marriage, which I wouldn't say is because of intuitive eating or because of this expansion and my sexuality. I left my marriage because it was not right for me anymore. When I became single for the first time in 17yrs, I really wanted to grow and explore my sexuality more. I hired a sex coach. Her name is Jessie Fresh, she's a pretty incredible person. For some people, when we start diving into their intuitive eating journey and their body attunement, you may find that you aren't satisfied in this way. And for whatever reason, we don't talk about it. I was really fortunate to meet Jessie at just the right time. The base coursework is called the erotic freedom course created by Jaiya. Similar to the way that I have the food attachment model and the food attachment styles and you can take my quiz online, you can take the quiz on Jessie's website, or on Jaiya’s website, and find out what your sexual blueprint type is. It's kind of like your love language for sex. You can find coaches through the erotic freedom club or work with Jesse if you're interested in getting support in those ways.
I found that becoming more in tune with my body and getting curious about my body and prioritizing pleasure over restriction and diet and all of that misery, shame, really made a huge difference in my life.
I would encourage you to start to explore pleasure as you become more in tune with your body. Consider allowing pleasure to be part of your journey because pleasure is so good for our nervous systems. It's so good for our relationships. It's so good for your overall health, and it just feels amazing. Go out there and get yourself some pleasure!
I hope this will help you to see more of the benefits of moving away from diet culture, weight stigma, and shame and restriction. Buck those systems of oppression with self pleasure!
If you're ready to dive into your relationship with food and want to get curious, you can take the food attachment style quiz here.
Download your free hunger scale now!
The first step to healing our relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals our body gives us. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale.