How Sexuality Empowers Self-Love

Sex is often left out of the self-esteem and self-love conversation. It is time women addressed the significance of sexuality in truly expressing self-love.

By Catarina Pámela Fernandes ~

Sex and Self Love 1

Even though we're in 21-century and sex remains a taboo for women. Women continue to live under the shadow of shame, the guilt of sexual pleasure as if it were a form of selfishness and as something unworthy, all as a result of centuries of a patriarchal society that oppressed and deprived women as well as religious beliefs that pleasure is a sin. Hiding sexuality is hiding part of ourselves, is disconnecting us from our body and it profoundly affects many areas of our life like health, wellbeing, and relationships. Ladies, it's more than time to openly speak about our sexuality, without any restrictions, since sex and pleasure are natural, beneficial and a crucial part of life, we must free ourselves from society's misconceptions and embrace pleasure and our body to really feel whole again and finally being able to celebrate ourselves.

The intention of this article is to awaken your longing to connect with your body, to feel and understand every inch of it, become aware of what makes you feel pleasure and be open to share it with your partner, guide him or her on how you want to be touched and stimulated.

The countless health benefits of sex

To begin with, I'd like to address this as a health issue. The health benefits of sex have been thoroughly investigated and documented by the scientific community, such as the reduction of heart disease, enhanced physical fitness, improves the immune system, sleep quality, and slows aging. And most of them are related to achieving orgasm, the good part is, you don't need to be with someone to achieve that.

Sex has the same impact as endurance physical activity, it increases your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, reduces your stress levels, and creates a feeling of wellbeing due to the releasing of endorphins.

The way sex helps you sleep better is because of the rise of Dopamine (the “feel-good” hormone) during the anticipation of a sexual climax. After the climax oxytocin and endorphins are released and these calming hormones produce a feeling of warmth that allows you to fall asleep. And the "morning after" glow is not a myth, it's real and it can be attributed to a combination of stress relief, better mood, and the flush of blood under your skin.

There are many other health benefits of sex and with just these ones you can already see that sex makes you feel happier, more confident, and feel good overall, being a great solution for a more rewarding and healthier life.

The importance of knowing your body and self-love

A modern approach to the phenomenon of orgasm and sexual education of women, make the absence of orgasm a failure. The consequence of this is low self-esteem, self-doubt, or a sense of lack of attractiveness.
So it's mandatory to understand that the strong correlation between the state of subjective arousal and genital response (erection) is typical for men, for women is different. There are other important roles to consider about the arousal and consequently greater sexual interaction such as emotions, cognitive interpretation of the situation, age, self-esteem, and previous sexual experiences. For these reasons, arousal for women takes more time and is more complex, women need a minimum of 20 minutes of foreplay to be in the arousal peak, and unfortunately, much of the sex intercourses takes less time than this.

The individual’s response to sexual pleasure during their life is a mixture of both the physical processes and the subjective responses to those processes. Some refer to the sensation of orgasm as being frightening; others speak of it as being the most exciting, fulfilling, and enjoyable sensation imaginable (Blackledge, 2004). Some women experience orgasm as the ultimate loss of control and consider it to be a vulnerability that should be avoided (Laan & Rellini, 2011). Furthermore, among women experiencing orgasm during intercourse or masturbation is not a goal in itself.

It's also crucial to understand the role that women's hormones play in predisposition to engage in sexual activities. During the menstrual cycle, there are fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone causing alterations in the mood and body functions, so in the ovulatory and luteal phase, women are more predisposed for sex than in menstrual or follicular phases (also known by dry phases). There is also a decrease in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes women also produce testosterone) in the pre or menopause phases causing a reduction in your libido.

All these can be the reasons why studies have provided consistent results that men experience orgasms in intercourse considerably more frequently than women. More than 90% of men usually experience orgasm in their intercourse; among women, this proportion is only around 50% (Darling, Haavio-Mannila & Kontula, 2001; Kontula, 2009).

Now that you understand the intricacy of women's arousal and that sexual pleasure is influenced by past experiences, the meanings we give to them, and self-confidence, you may start to understand why you don't have the pleasure you expected or wanted, and that it's nothing wrong about you.

The best way to discover what gives you pleasure is to explore your own body. Be your own detective, let curiosity guide you. Be totally open and free without prejudice. Recognize what works for you, and you only. The practice of masturbation, or self-love, will open the door to a sacred way of enjoying,

nurturing and connecting with your body. I invite you to set aside time in your schedule every week to do this practice and awaken the sensuality that exists within you. This will change your life.

Talking about sex to improve your relationship

We all know that sex is a vital part of any relationship, but too often women are left out of the conversation. We need to be comfortable with our own bodies and be able to communicate our desires to our partners so sex can be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Female orgasms are also important for men. Men enjoy their partners’ orgasms, and they feel that they have the physical responsibility to stimulate their female partner to orgasm (Salisbury & Fisher, 2014).
Male participants reported judging themselves negatively if they were unsuccessful in their attempts to produce a female orgasm. Better knowledge of the predictors of female orgasms could therefore promote sexual well-being in both partners (Kontula & Miettinen, 2016).

If we can tell our partners what we like to eat the most, why can't we say what gives us more pleasure?
It's time to be in a more empowered position when it comes to orgasm, women should take responsibility and guide their partner in what pleases them, this will improve the sexual experience for both and increase the connection.

Final reflection

Before delving into the physical part of self-love, I would like to invite you to reflect first, especially if you feel some shame and guilty about this matter. Take some time and answer the following questions, it may give you some insights into the barriers you may feel regarding your right to sexual pleasure.

What was the loudest message you received around sex while you were growing up?
Whose voice is telling you this is wrong?
What do you like about sex?

What do you think about pleasure?
How do you like to experience pleasure and sexuality?

Join me in this movement to break this taboo by sharing this article with your friends and family.

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At Butterfly Effect Project we offer coaching services to women who seek to improve their overall health and wellbeing but do not know where or how to start. By creating a safe space like a cocoon, we seek to empower women to discover their core values, their needs, their boundaries, what patterns and beliefs are keeping them to achieve what they want and deserve. As a result, women will strike through their own metamorphosis refreshed, confident, energized, empowered, and ready to fly like a beautiful and colorful butterfly!

We also have  a Platform as a Facilitator space where women can transform themselves by accessing programs designed to improve mind, body, and soul by guiding towards healthy eating, exercise, restful sleep, meditation, etc; as well as immersive events with inspiring content (masterclass, webinars, interviews) created with women needs in mind.

We aim to build a strong and supportive community of beautiful and empowered women so that together we can change the world.


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