In a world that benefits from self-doubt, being your true and authentic self, fuelled with self-love, is actually an act of rebellion.
And what better way to rebel than to sit comfortable with yourself and love every single inch of your body, mind, and soul? This is the ultimate form of freedom.
And in doing so, you'll notice a slew of other benefits, including ones in your sex life.
Whether you're with someone or you're living your best single life, self-love is the best medicine for healthy sexual wellness... and it feels entirely amazing too!
What is Self-Love?
Self-love is an action, not merely a state of feeling good. And when we love ourselves, truly and unapologetically, we begin to notice how other spheres of our life change.
Finding a mate, picking a career, how others treat you, and problem solving, for example, all transcend when self-love is involved.
Self-love isn't simply getting a makeover complimented with new clothes, a different hair style, new make up tips or skin care regimes. And it's not reading inspirational books either.
Yes, these are all great acts of self-love that can help you feel positive and happy, but they're not the golden ticket to achieving a kind of self-love that continues to grow. After all, loving oneself is a life-long process.
Self-love is born when we use actions that mature us. It's when we can accept our flaws and out strengths, have compassion for ourselves as we navigate the world, and are more centred in our purpose and values.
It's also when we can appreciate ourselves, and have the highest regard for ourselves and our wellbeing. It's when we don't sacrifice ourselves in order to please others.
Self-love is, simply put, not settling for anything less than we truly deserve.
Why is Self-Love Important for Sexual Wellness?
When we practice and imbibe self-love, we are able to practice self-acceptance and awareness of sexual desires. When we actively explore and get to know our own bodies, that is self-love.
When we love our body, and thank it for everything it does for us, we also begin to feel more confident and happy in our own skin. Self-esteem and confidence too is a major sexual wellness boost.
And so, in developing habits of self-love that include sexual pleasure, we are developing a healthy relationship with ourselves.
Becoming sexually aware, realising and fulfilling our sexual desires, especially for women, is a huge deal. So often, there are individuals who compromise on their needs in order to please others.
During sexual self-care however, the journey of love and self-acceptance of our own bodies and pleasure leads to better self-love in general. It directly translates to how we see ourselves and how we interact with others, strengthening our self-love.
Not only that, but when we take the time to sexually please ourselves, we learn about what our bodies like, love, and lust after. This, in turn, not only increases our ability to have bigger and better orgasms, but also helps us to communicate these likes, loves, and lusts to our partner.
There are no boundaries when it comes to sex and self-love. Sex is what feels amazing, healthy, and safe for you. Self-love reminds us that there are no norms when it comes to our sexual health, and embracing our sexuality without worrying what others think is absolute freedom.
How to Practice Self-Love
Yes, self-love is not limited to sexual wellness. Which is why we're going to give you 8 tips on how to practice self-love in and out of the bedroom.
Being mindful means knowing how and what you feel, and identifying what you need and want (and knowing the difference between the two).
Being mindful allows you to act on this knowledge accordingly, without external influences or doing things that others want or expect of you.
2. Needs vs. Wants
There are things in life that we want, and things that we need. The two are entirely different. We may want to go on a night out until the early hours of the morning, but we need to wake up early the next day for an important work meeting. Self-love is saying no to the night out.
When you can actively say no to the things you want because it interferes with the things you need, that is self-love, encapsulated. It allows you to stay focused, rather than engaging in behaviour that may be troublesome.
3. Self-Care Rituals
Self-love means taking excellent care of yourself. So while we mentioned that a makeover and reading inspirational literature is not the be-all-and-end-all of self-love, it is a part—a tool—which can help you achieve self-love.
For example, nourishing yourself with healthy meals, moving your body, getting enough sleep, having healthy social interactions, and healthy sexual interactions with yourself and with others.
The ultimate form of self-care, masturbation is like a kind of meditation that is deeply-rooted in mindfulness. It's being present in the moment, being intimate with oneself, lovingly, and experiencing sheer sexual bliss and attaining a healthy sexuality.
Psst! Read all about our founder, Lesley Cragg, and her journey of self-love through masturbation and self-pleasure.
And there are so many different ways to masturbate too. You could use your hand, touching your body, lesser-known erogenous zones, as well as your sweet spots. Or you could use a sex toy that targets your most sensual zones.
Setting boundaries is a way in which to live your life authentically, staying true to what you need and will allow.
By setting boundaries, be it with a partner, with friends or family, or at work, you're protecting yourself in a way that removes things that can harm you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Saying 'no' to things that do not serve you is not selfish, it's self-love.
You have the power to have the right people in your life. Toxic friends, lovers, co-workers or family members don't have to take up space in your mind and in your life.
Getting rid of people who don't lift you up or bring you happiness is self-protection, which ultimately leads to even higher levels of self-love and self-respect.
Everyone has the capacity to be hard on themselves. It's in our nature to beat ourselves up when we mess up or when we make mistakes. Self-love however is when we can identify those mess ups and mistakes, own up to them, learn from them, then forgive ourselves.
Forgiveness is knowing that we aren't perfect, but that we're actively taking steps to doing the right thing. We don't need to be so hard on ourselves, but taking our mistakes as lessons rather than failures is exactly what self-love is.
8. Live Intentionally
Goals and aspirations are a tool to live intentionally. When you know what you want to achieve and live your life accordingly, you'll begin to love yourself even more.
For example, perhaps you want to surround yourself with people who are sex positive, who are open to talking about and experiencing sex in its healthiest and purest form. Those who uplift and encourage you to connect with yourself sexually. Finding people and or communities that are sex positive is you living intentionally.
In the same token, removing friends or communities that shame you for your sexuality is also to live intentionally, and a form of self-love.
At Your Pleasure Toys, we're all sex positive! We want to remove the stigma attached to sexual pleasure, and help you to live your very best life so you too can shower yourself with self-love and self-care.
For more information on our sexual wellness products, say hi! We'd love to chat with you!