Have you ever questioned your relationship with your own sexuality, sensuality, and erotic self? If you had asked me these questions a year or two ago, I really wouldn’t know how to respond. Now, you’ll see my Instagram feed full of sex educators, body positive activists, and Lizzo energy all over the place.
Once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives…Audre Lorde
Social media has been my main refuge amidst the exploration of pleasure and the unraveling of shame. I can recommend to you a few accounts that have transformed my life:
I love these accounts, not only for queer enby energy and representation but for the power they all exude. It extracts that same power out of me, that— I don’t give a fuck about what you think about me, I’m the shit—energy. At first glance, you may think that these accounts are about thirst trapping, or receiving external validation, or all in relation to the male gaze (which is unfortunately somewhat inevitable, I’ve discovered). Men always think you’re doing it for them, just to turn them on, no matter how explicit you are in that being the opposite of your intention. Of course, if that is, no shame. But to assume, that’s the issue.
Over the years, I’ve resonated with the concept of sexual autonomy. Having a sense of ownership and body sovereignty that allows me to dance however I want, eat whatever I want, wear whatever I want, sleep with whoever I want.
Reexamining my relationship with my own sense of sensuality has been so healing in a multitude of ways. Not only is it empowering and confidence-boosting, but it seriously has aided in recovering from sexual trauma. Of course, this is still an every-day process. Some days are better than others. Often I find that we’ll talk about survivors’ stories and pain (which is important), but not the joy found in after. How often do we talk about reclaiming our sexuality, enjoying sex, and demanding our restored right to pleasure?
To me, the erotic, the sensual is more than sexual acts, but rather learning to be the utmost present with our senses, embodied, and infatuated with our being-ness. I wrote this short little poem a while back that encapsulates this for me:
What if I fell so deeply in love with the way sunlight kisses my cheek, my body, my being?
What if we learned to love ourselves the way we crave others to?
To notice the sweetness of our own laughter. To tenderly trace our own hands. To be enthralled with our shadows
To be our own beloved
But sure, sometimes it’s also twerking in ‘slutty’ clothes on my bed, taking dancing videos, and sensual selfies. Just as everything else in life, sexuality is fluid, in all the senses.
Not only do I have a pleasure activist and sex-positive approach to social justice issues, but in my direct experience, sexual and body liberation has allowed me to own what I want, what I need, what I desire, and focus on what’s important instead of staying stuck on self-criticism or body fixation. This freedom opens up space in our lives to dream, to mobilize, to commune, to partake in meaningful, honest relationships, to celebrate others. The shame ingrained in us from a young age holds us back from progressing revolution. It is an act of deep love to resist the impulsive rejection of our whole selves, and instead embrace that which we wish to deny, extending that magic to those around us.
TAKE UP SPACE!!!
When I speak of the erotic, then I speak of it as an assertion of the life force of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.Audre Lorde
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