Even tho I was enthused about sharing my journey, I felt a bit of shame clouding my thoughts. Talking about sex, sexuality, and the like seems to be encouraged and embraced on one end of the spectrum, yet there are those who feel that it's still something that shouldn't be talked about. I seem to thrive on difficult conversations and when I'm passionate about a topic, I tend to go all-in, regardless of what I think opinions will be.
Why is sexuality such an important topic for me? Why write about something that some folks find uncomfortable to talk about? Why write about something that could ignite negative feelings toward me because I'm talking about it?
If I'm going to live life in a shadow, then everything is off the table. The world is full of uncomfortable topics, but one thing I learned is that in order to be my most fulfilled sexual self, I have to take some ownership in my pleasure. Pleasure is not just physical, but it's emotional and mental, too. It took me years to realize that when it came to experiencing and accepting pleasure in my life, I really didn't allow very much in.
I have struggled with self-worth issues for years. Looking back, I wouldn't be surprised that if a couple moments in my life really impacted how I viewed my sexual pleasure. Shame surrounded both instances, and because of that, you could say my sexual self experienced a delay in growth.
Sex and sexuality wasn't something that was regularly talked about in my younger years. My two main takeaways were: "Wait until you're married!" and the ever common "Don't you dare get knocked up." Other than that, sex was not made out to be something that I would enjoy, let alone crave. Masturbation was nonexistent. I didn't even realize that I could experience pleasurable sensations from touching myself. I read romance novels and wondered how the women were experiencing these amazing sensations because they were truly a foreign concept to me.
The lack of "sexucation" and the lack of talk about pleasure had me confused for many years. I ultimately did not wait until marriage to have sex, and the sex I had was nothing like what was depicted in the romance books I so often read. I mean, I had some good sex, but of course I didn't feel like my socks were knocked off. That is, until I discovered the joys of masturbating with a vibrator, and then I realized what I had been missing. That critical key. The clitoral orgasm.
Ironically, even tho I had a vibrator and it helped me discover my first orgasm, I felt shame with using it. It was as tho I thought of myself as "dirty" or "broken" for using a toy to help me get off. Try as I might, I had a terrible time trying to get off manually. Contorting my body and wrists to try and hit all of the points I wanted in order to have me come was frustrating. I couldn't quiet my mind nor could I be comfortable. I felt like a hopeless cause.
Nothing can spur you past a point like accepting that life is short and now is the time to nourish your sexual being. Not later. Now.
In my mid-30's I realized that it was time to cast off the shame that I had with using sex toys and accept that they have their place in my solo and partnered sessions. I used to feel think using toys meant I was "broken" but I've found that as I've gone through anxiety/depression and treatment for anxiety/depression that sometimes using a toy enhances my sensations and makes the whole experience more enjoyable. It helps me to alleviate the feeling of "failure" from my sexual escapades with my husband. Sometimes my brain can shut off and I can get off with my own hand and sometimes I just can't, either way, allowing myself to have a pleasurable experience no matter what I do has been extremely liberating.
I learned that in order to experience pleasure, I literally have to take it into my own hands. My pleasure is not solely dictated by another person because I have the capacity to make a choice on what I want to incorporate into a session or not. Realizing that I have the power to bring pleasure to myself in multiple ways is exhilarating. Tools were made for a reason, and there is nothing shameful or wrong about using a sex toy to enhance an experience whenever you feel you want to.
Allowing yourself to immerse yourself in your sexual self and experience pleasure whenever you want to is an amazing thing. It's not something that you should be ashamed or embarrassed by. It's truly a gift, especially if you come from a background where it is rarely talked about. I learned it's never too late to take a step back and learn about yourself, your body, your sexuality, and what makes you tick. Life in too many cases is short, and I want to experience as much pleasure as I can while I am able. It's the best gift I can give myself.