It’s a New Year and cuffing season is upon us all. It’s that wintery time of year where you want to cuddle under a new boo if you’re single, or under your bae if you are taken. It’s also vision board time, lose 10 pounds time, and block everyone you’re cutting off time. What if we took this time to explore some positive self-care resolutions we will actually stick to? Self-care is often marketed as a set of things you do that cost you money that veer off the path of your normal maintenance. It’s the extra stuff you “deserve to splurge on”, or a way to celebrate that you can break away from life and pay attention to your needs. It always seems like a protest. On the contrary, I define self-care as things we do to anticipate the needs of our future self. It’s caring for yourself days before you need it. It’s carving out money, time, or resources for the things that make hard days a little easier. Maybe you like candles but always forget to grab them. Your self care may be getting a candle subscription. Maybe you love soul food but your local place is always booked. Your self care may be scheduling a reservation months in advance and sticking to it even if no one else is free. In other words, it’s about the effort and thoughtfulness you put into creating a peaceful life, not the money you spend to achieve it. If you like this way of seeing self-care, I encourage you to let me convince you to treat your sex life the same way.
Sexual self-care would be similarly, anticipating the needs of your future self during erotic experiences. This would encompass figuring out what things you like, finding items to stimulate your senses, shopping for clothing that make you feel sexual, ordering books that engage your mind, downloading a podcast that pushes your body to pleasure, and beyond! Women often carry so many extra mental tasks and responsibilities, that it can carry over into the bedroom. Even in a partnership it’s been noted that women are often the ones responsible for managing the invisible to-do list in the home. This can create a perfect storm for a wandering mind that can’t get fully in the mood and having what I call a sexual imagination can be key to connecting. Masturbating is nice but having the ability to really let your mind wander is what can carry that comfortability into a session with someone else. Why not take that time to flex your brain muscles? Let’s explore some ways to use your 5 senses to develop your sexual imagination.
Sense of Sight
Adult films and pornography can be enjoyable, especially if you opt for the more sensual type like sapphic erotica. However, as we explore ways to delve into imagination, let’s try and develop our mind’s eye. Pick your favorite celebrity crush and take them on a date in your mind. Where are you headed? What are they wearing? What are you wearing? It’s not so much about objectifying them for pleasure as much as it is being able to imagine yourself in a sexy, intimate space with someone that is not in front of you. If you have a partner who you enjoy in this way, they can be swapped into this activity too.
Sense of Sound
Create a playlist of songs that get you going and try them out in different places. Instead of just playing them while you’re pleasuring yourself, why not try your playlist out in the shower? How about on a drive? See if changing up the scenery allows you to grow your imagination. If music is not your thing, try the same thing with a graphic novel. Read it out loud in the kitchen or parked in the car and see if it gets your heart pumping.
Sense of Touch
Try different types of touch pressure when you enjoy your private moments. Edging has been one of my favorite things to try, which consists of using your hands to heighten your arousal and retreat right at the perfect time to create a build up of desire. You can also try using different materials to graze across your body.
Sense of Taste
I know you are tired of hearing about charcuterie boards but what if I make it sexy? Gather your favorite ice cream toppings (carmel, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, cherry sauce) and have a blindfolded taste test. Put them into bowls and shuffle them around blindfolded. Dip one finger into each one and see what you get! If you really are trying to get wild in 2023 you can lie on your back with a towel underneath and use your body….
Sense of Smell
Grab a few tester sizes of cologne from the department store and spray them on before your next session. Try a different one each time and see if the unfamiliar scent creates some excitement.
The number one rule is to have fun. The second rule is stay tuned for part two.
Byline – Crystal Saiyge is a Black woman, sex-positive interfaith minister, wife, and mom of three. Her virtual chapel, #Churchofthebando is a liberated space for global spirituality, thoughtful inspiration, grief counseling, sex-positive education and trap karaoke. Visit crystalsaiyge.com for more info.