Hear me out.
Before you say ew, or close your browser, or flush with embarrassment, I want to say something: It’s time to take the power (and the pleasure) back into your own hands. It’s time—now.
When done in certain ways, masturbation is one of the most important practices in our political revolution.
I’ve had women tell me the guy they’re dating doesn’t like it when they self-pleasure. He feels like he should be enough. For some women I work with, it’s been years since they’ve had any sexual experience, solo or otherwise.
I’ve heard stories about being shamed for self-pleasure. I even remember seeing some creepy video in my sex ed class showing a teenage cartoon character in his bed touching himself and an ominous voice with a message of “it’s wrong.”
What they were saying is “you’re wrong. And so is your desire.”
This breaks my heart.
Because it wasn’t until I started exploring my own terrain that I experienced incredible sex and deep orgasms with a partner—internally, not just clitorally. Because it wasn’t until I stopped using a vibrator that I felt the sacred connection with my own body and its capacity for joy. Because it wasn’t until I reclaimed my sexual essence that I felt truly empowered as a woman to create change in the world.
Not only is masturbation a beautiful thing, but it has the power to transform our entire planet. And it is the most fun thing you can do to join the resistance movement—I promise.
How? Here are three simple strategies to take the power back into your own hands and use your sexual pleasure for good! These techniques are not easy, but they are worth it, I assure you.
Say yes to you: Focus inward.
When we self-pleasure, we’re turning our attention toward ourselves. Simply giving ourselves joy is something we’re trained not to do; it would upset our religious and consumer-driven society. For the most part, being sexually independent is not looked upon favorably. However, learning how to stoke your own fire gives you lots of power and independence, which allows you to choose interdependence.
In my relationship, self-pleasure brings me closer to my man. It helps me to open to him even more because I’m open with and connected to myself. And, by focusing internally, I can respond instead of react to politics. I can take healthy action, like marching in a peaceful protest, calling a congressperson, or donating to a cause, and not just spin my wheels on social media.
How to master this?
Slowly (or cold turkey, if that’s your style) let go of addictions to porn and “fast-food” sexuality. Try to self-pleasure without any media—just with touch. Let go of living someone else’s reality (after all, a reality TV star is what got us into this mess), and be in the moment and in your body. Which leads me to my next point…
Say yes to your power: Connect to your body outside of fear.
It can be frightening to connect to your own body instead of using external sources of arousal. I remember being so addicted to fantasy and my vibrator that I wasn’t in the present moment. I was just living a scene in the future or replaying one from the past.
When I did notice how I was feeling, my physical sensations were numb and disconnected. I craved the hit of a quick orgasm to help me go to sleep or to curb my anxiety. But I was still stuck in my mind and obsessed with my “tool.” Things changed when I started to pay attention to my breath, my touch, and my inner response. I learned these skills in a non-sexual way from my somatic therapist, and as applied to sexuality from my Tantra teacher, Layla Martin. It was not a fast journey but it laid the foundation of being multi-orgasmic and stopping painful sex.
Connecting to and celebrating your body is an act of empowerment. Knowing your body is beautiful and enough, that it’s capable of great pleasure, brings strength. And in fact, most major political revolutions happened because enough bodies, physical, beautiful, messy, human bodies, stood up. They marched, or did a sit-in, or fought for change.
How to master this?
Practice five minutes of body scan meditation. Notice the sensations as they arise in your pelvic area and describe them as you touch yourself. Breathe deeply in and out of the mouth without pausing in between inhales and exhales. Do this at least once a week instead of using your vibrator. Don’t worry if you don’t climax, you’re training your sexual sensitivity muscle.
Say yes to a new reality: Use your sexuality to create change.
When one of my teachers, James Stellar, suggested self-pleasure as a spiritual practice, I thought he was crazy. The idea that my sexuality was holy and existed for me, not simply to meet others’ needs, was revolutionary. As I explored sexuality as a spiritual healing tool, I read Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity. It all clicked! I discovered I was using fantasy to reclaim a part of my psyche. Whatever I was fantasizing about was something deeper that I wouldn’t let myself have. This doesn’t mean I wanted to be a construction worker. What it means is that my fantasy around hot dirty men was indicative of my own desire for power, strength, and earthiness, and literally constructing something new.
When I fantasized the old way, I was wearing that groove deeper with each session and giving my power away to a false reality. What wires together fires together, neurologically. I was training my brain and body to only get turned on in a specific way.
But when I uncovered the deeper craving behind my fantasies, I started imagining things I did want to happen. Like feeling powerful and creative. I pictured myself standing over the world, my pleasure nourishing the planet. And it was incredibly hot for me! When I do fantasize, I choose situations that I want to create, ones which serve my highest good.
When we look at fantasy and identify what we want (innocence, power, attention), and visualize ourselves embodying that trait, it is deeply healing. This is an ancient Tantric practice of transfiguration—imagining yourself as that which you wish to be—with a sexual rocket booster.
After the election, I fantasized about myself as an earthquake of pleasure. I visualized the ripples of my orgasm spreading through the world and waking millions of people up to sexual healing (like the real deal, not just the Marvin Gaye song). I believe when we heal sexually, we no longer need to control the sexuality of others. And that creates a revolution based on freedom, choice, and love.
How to master this?
Identify your favorite fantasy. What does that person, or situation, embody that you secretly want for yourself? Now imagine yourself having that trait…what would you wear? Where would you be and what would you be doing? Setting that context in mind, fill out the other sensory details, and explore!
There are many ways to be politically active right now, and this article is not meant to replace the necessary work of advocacy, marches, legislation research, and donating to causes, to name a few.
But perhaps it’s time to re-think the way you take care of yourself, the way you harness your potent energy, and the way you use your mind to shape your reality.
I’m curious to hear what you discover. What do you find challenging about focusing inward, connecting to your body, and fantasizing about what you really want? What “clicks” for you? What sensations and emotions arise? Let me know in the comments or find my website in the bio below.
Devoted to your pleasure.
Author: Violet Lange
Images: Bryce Widom (with permission)
Editor: Catherine Monkman