What Self-Pleasure Has Taught Me About Myself

I wasn't expecting my self-pleasure practice to be such a mirror for self reflection when I started, or how much resistance I'd feel when it came time to practice. 

I was so used to masturbating to my own fantasies and only using a vibrator for clitoral stimulation, that slowing down to pay attention to the subtle sensations I felt was very uncomfortable.
The exploration of subtlety and offering myself high-quality attention through self-pleasure has been (and continues to be) a powerful initiation, providing lessons that have come to influence the way I show up in the rest of my life...

Lesson #1: Cultivation of Presence
Presence was hard for me, and the urge to escape from the moment by forcing my body towards orgasm was very hard to resist. 
At times, when consciously self-pleasuring, the sensations in my body felt almost unbearable. Agitation, a sense of panic, and even my own arousal all felt over-stimulating.
This highlighted to me everything I was avoiding feeling - when I slowed things down enough to focus on pleasure rather than a release. 
Through self-pleasure, I realized how much of life I did not have the capacity to be present for. All the ways I would escape into my thoughts or habits to avoid feeling what my body was trying to communicate to me. 
And I learned the ways I could not be with my own pleasure...
It was hard to enjoy the subtle sensations and the states of higher arousal while continuing to keep my body in a state of ease. I felt a need to tense my body and squeeze my pelvic floor muscles, dissociate altogether, or drift off towards a fantasy. 
Lesson #2: Alchemizing Emotions
Self-pleasure taught me how to be with my emotions and transmute them. I learned (and continue to learn) how truly resilient I am through this. I am an alchemist. I am able to soften into the strongest sensations of fear that arise within me and find safety.
At times, I do this through affirmations and speaking out loud the words my heart longs to hear.

Other times, I align the energy of my heart and womb through conscious breathing while massaging my heart, and nurturing my emotions. 

When I allow myself to be present with my pleasure, there are many ways it leads me to release aside from an orgasm. This may look like screaming if anger or rage arises, crying or laughing. I allow my body to express in whatever ways feels most authentic in the moment - without judgement. 
As a result, my tolerance has grown for feeling difficult emotions without being thrown off my centre, as well as my ability to be with stronger sensations of pleasure and joy.
Lesson #3: Relationship Insights

Self-pleasure has taught me how my feelings of shame and unworthiness were creating the relationships and experiences I was having, by highlighting the ways I showed up in relationship with myself and my own body.
For example, I would experience bodily contractions and thoughts of feeling "wrong" or "bad" for what I was doing, how I was moving, or what I desired, which resulted in me settling for less even with myself. This revealed the places where I wasn't fully choosing myself and was dismissing my own desires.
I was then able to release the stories that led to the contractive sensations and thoughts, and I started to practice giving myself the love and touch I was learning to believe I was worthy of.
By understanding my body’s way of communicating through pleasure, and what it needs to feel safe and loved, self-pleasure taught me what type of relationships I need to feel fulfilled, and the type of primary relationship I long for.
By witnessing myself so authentically after releasing shame, I discovered that I long to be seen, valued and accepted.
I realized that I do not feel safe enough to open my heart fully without this in any of my relationships. I desire to be cared for and celebrated for my depth of feeling, because I've been able to recognize that my ability to feel so deeply is a gift and those that cherish it receive my whole heart in return.
Lesson #4: Boundary Awareness
Self-pleasure taught me how unaware I was of my own boundaries until they were crossed. This took practice for me. Living a life of constantly overstepping myself to please others and ensure I was “loved," it was hard to trust myself and know what I truly wanted.
Through my self-pleasure practices I was able to track what was happening in my body when I did something I didn't like or dismissed an internal NO. Often a feeling of contraction would happen in my body or a sense of my yoni shutting down.
Physically it would feel like hitting a wall.
By listening to my body and following my pleasure, I learned the difference between what it feels like to endure something I don't enjoy vs. my body being in full enjoyment.

In summary, self-pleasure has been a way for me to truly reflect on how I show up in my life. My wounds have become exposed, my limiting beliefs have come up to be questioned, and my pain has come into focus to be alchemized.
It is a profound tool and spiritual practice for all who choose to receive its medicine.

Written by Natasha Dupuis
Instagram: @the_uninhibitedmama