Pleasure as a tool for self-discovery

Pleasure is an incredible tool that opens us up to the vast, deep, intimate parts of who we are. There are many ways in which we can use pleasure to learn more about who we truly are, including how our bodies are asking to be touched, learning the voice of our innate desires, and how to create a more meaningful relationship with our feminine essence. 
Not only does pleasure invite us into ecstatic embodiment and aliveness, she shows us how to walk home to ourselves on a path of self-discovery.
Pleasure is a ceremony that we enter again and again, and shows up as both limitless and nuanced for the ones willing to walk its path.
Whether you are just beginning on your pleasure path, or have been walking it for years, some key components to excavating the jewels it has to offer include slowness and open-mindedness. When we come to the temple of our bodies bearing offerings of presence and breath, we begin to unlock new levels and layers that were not available to us before. Of course, pleasure includes the juiciness of genital stimulation and arousal, but it encompasses so much more than that.  When we slow down and get quiet enough to hear, we can begin to listen to where our bodies are calling us to touch them, and the specific quality of touch they desire.

As we grow and evolve as women, it is important that our pleasure grows and evolves with us as well. 

The same pleasure practices that made us feel good in our bodies and served us when we were younger may not offer us the same level of enjoyment that they once did, and for good reason. Expansion is the name of the game, and a good dose of curiosity will help you to carve the way. By creating the time and space to be with our bodies and play in the realm of pleasure, we open up the conversation, allowing our bodies to share with us how to connect with them and what would support us in feeling more open, satiated, and free.
Depending on the day, our bodies may ask us for sweet, sensual touch. This can be gentle massaging of the breasts, womb, thighs or feet. Sometimes our bodies will ask for the tips of our fingers to brush along our cheeks, our ears, or our lips. Other times we crave something deeper such as squeezing our hips tight with our hands, asking a lover to nibble or bite our neck, or give us a smack on the booty. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to pleasure, so breathe deeply and listen to the innate guidance of your body.
A great way to explore pleasure is to have a few objects that each offer a unique flavour of sensation. For instance, moving a feather across your chest and breasts to experience soft and gentle sensation, running a pleasure wand under cold or hot water to experience different temperatures, or digging/scratching your nails into the flesh of your inner thighs to evoke a more wildly erotic sensation. Perhaps your body will respond with a yes and ask for more, or it might not enjoy the sensation in that moment and whisper a no.
Women are cyclical creatures, and what does not feel good to us one day may prove to be the most delightful kind of touch the next. Where we are at in our menstrual cycle or mood will often dictate the kind and quality of touch we most desire to receive. It is through continually showing up to our pleasure as a practice to connect with our bodies and ourselves that we can truly reap the rewards of learning what turns us on and makes us feel absolutely delicious.
When we come to know pleasure more intimately, we can know ourselves more intimately as well. And a woman who knows how she wants to be touched, knows what she likes and doesn’t like is more able to communicate it clearly in the bedroom compared to a woman who has never explored the world of pleasure with her own heart and hands. 
Great communication is a foundational piece that leads to amazing and deeply satisfying sexual experiences with self and others.  Not only does a pleasure practice help you to discover your own body and preferences, but it teaches you how to listen to the body of your lover. We can tune into what feels good or not for our lovers when we have put in the time learning to read the many shapes and sounds of our bodies exploring the world of pleasure.
It is also important to note that our journey down the path of pleasure can lead us into mysterious territory, filled with new experiences and ideas that we haven’t come across before. Pleasure invites us to drop out of the mind and into the body, where we are sometimes guided beyond the bounds of our known experiences, either with a lover or with ourselves. For instance, when moving towards a new type of orgasm we haven’t encountered before, it is normal to feel excited, unsure, or totally bewildered. This is where the time we put into practicing connecting with and exploring the different landscapes of pleasure pays off, because we understand how to sink into deeper states of relaxation, surrender, and enjoyment of uncovering new sensations that feel good and turn us on.
Whether we are in the heat of the bedroom, the solitude of nature, or the bustling streets of a city, knowing the voice of our bodies in an intimate way will serve us wherever we find ourselves. When we know how to listen to our body, and can follow her guidance, we experience more grace & ease as we move through life.
Remember, the origin of our connection to pleasure is rooted in the sensations of our childhood that made us feel joyful; the feeling of warm sand between our toes, the loving arms of our mothers holding us, the comfort provided by our favourite stuffed animal. Pleasure is energetically playful in nature, and even though it evolves with us as we do, the foundations stay the same. Pleasure offers us an opportunity to be present with our bodies and our senses, and to understand more of what makes us feel safe and supported enough to soften, surrender, expand and come fully alive.
If we don’t know our bodies, how can we truly know ourselves? Release your inhibitions and invite yourself back to the playground of pleasure; you might just discover who you really are.

Written by Autumn Rose 
Instagram: @embodyjaguar