When we think of women and our sexuality, we tend to assume that if we’re not with a partner, we’re somehow sexually dormant, waiting for the next person to come along. That can’t be further from the truth. In fact, being unattached is the ideal time to check in with yourself and connect with your body, and it starts by saying “yes.”
The ‘Yes’ practice
You can practice deepening your relationship to love now, without a partner. It starts with feeling the flow of love through your own body. It’s not uncommon for women to feel numb and disconnected from their bodies.
This can be a function of having experienced abuse and developing a pattern of disassociating from the body. Or it can be a sad outcome to sitting in front of a computer all day. Or you may just want more pleasure running through your love-making.
To feel more pleasure coursing through your body, I suggest doing what I call the “Yes” practice. You can do the “Yes” practice formally or you can do it casually throughout your day. Let’s start with the casual version of the “Yes” practice.
The casual ‘Yes’ practice
What this involves is becoming aware of your body, bringing attention to your felt experience in the moment and looking for any pleasurable sensation which feels like a “yes” to you. For example, your chest might feel tight and constricted, but is there some simple pleasure to a stretch of your spine in this moment? If so, stretch your spine and say “yes” to that pleasure. Whisper “yes” out loud to yourself.
This may feel funny at first. And that’s okay. As you keep going, place your attention on the felt experience of the moment and specifically keep finding sensations in your body that feel good. No matter what else is going on, focus on something — any one thing — that feels wonderful about your body. It could be the breeze on your skin, a stretch of your neck or a deep, cleansing breath.
Just in this short moment, were you able to feel even the slightest hint of pleasure moving through your body? If so, however large or small, that’s perfect. If not, that’s OK. Notice if judgment comes up for you — or fears or excuses. Rather than giving them authority, discipline your mind to embrace your body and shower it with love. Many of us have been conditioned to spend most of our time focusing on the negative feelings which are circulating in our bodies or on cravings for food or incessant troubling thoughts of a broken love relationship. This leads to a relationship with the body which can feel like a battleground. The “Yes” practice rewrites that relationship toward pleasure.
These things take time and they will come with practice. Just continue to explore your body and breath until you find a specific movement or area that does feel pleasurable and when you find it, say, “yes.” Some of you may find it within seconds, others within minutes, hours or even months. Trust the process and you will improve greatly with practice.
You can do this sitting at your desk in the middle of a hectic work day to breathe some life back into your body. You can do it on a short walk outside in nature. Even a few seconds of this practice can do wonders for keeping pleasure and embodiment in the picture. If you’d like to take this practice a step deeper, you can do it in a more formal way.
The formal “Yes” practice
To go deeper with this, you will want to find a private space where you can relax and feel comfortable closing your eyes and making noise. You will set a timer to keep your attention directed for a specific amount of time. I recommend starting with 10 minutes and increase as you get more adept at this.
You can do this practice while reading along for the first couple of times. If you choose to read along, set your timer to 10 minutes now.
Adjust the position of your body however you need to so that your body feels most open and relaxed.
Now bring your attention to your toes. What are your feet doing? Begin to feel every inch of your feet fully. Even permit your toes to curl and stretch…slowly. As you focus on the “yes” of the toes, how does that impact your breath?
From here, take a long, slow, deep breath down the front surface of your body and notice what you feel.
Once again, feel into your body: your toes, your fingers, your thighs. What needs to move? What needs to soften? What needs to adjust so this moment would become even slightly more pleasurable for you?
As you adjust, bring your attention back to your breath, and slowly inhale through your nose as you soften the back of your tongue, and invite that deep, slow breath down your throat and into your womb.
Take your time. Give yourself a minute or two to really find it. Can you find a pleasure point? Where is it? Locate it now.
Once you find that pleasure point, whether it be in your toes, between your thighs or in the center of your heart, say “yes” to the sensation. By saying “yes” out loud, you stimulate your vocal chords, creating greater openings. You also reassure the inner child that it is OK to feel pleasure. If you find yourself too shy to speak it out loud, you can say “yes” in your mind. But just know, your ultimate goal is to be able to confidently bring volume to your sensation.
Continue softening into your pleasure point. Notice, is it moving to a different area? Is the area getting more sensitive or less? Whatever happens is fine, just continue to stay with it, and remember…breathe.
Every few seconds, sound another “yes.” Imagine your “yes” dilating, amplifying the feeling, making it larger and ever lusher. And with every inhale, receive the pleasure of it fully with another “yesss.”
Now, we invite you to close your eyes and immerse yourself in the exploration until time runs out.
Notice if you’re eager to drop the practice and climb back into the comfort of your head space. Or maybe it’s the opposite, and you’re still basking in the goo of pleasure and find it hard to transition out. There’s no right or wrong — just mindful observations.
Now that you’re back, on a scale from zero to 10, how much pleasure were you able to find? (Zero being you found no pleasure at all, and 10 being you were fully immersed in ecstasy.) If you gave yourself a six or below, what was blocking you from receiving the pleasure of the moment? Was it thoughts of judgment or unworthiness? Was it physical pain? Was it emotional pain? Was it a busy mind? If you gave yourself a seven or above, what’s one way you could creatively bring this practice to your next intimate encounter?
Whatever number you gave yourself this time, do not judge it. Let it be a motivating reflection of your current relationship to your own pleasure, and possibly explain some of the results you may be experiencing in the bedroom.
This is a powerful practice to reveal your current relationship to pleasure. And remember, the amount of pleasure you can feel on your own is directly correlated to the amount of pleasure you will be able to feel with a partner.
In the intimate occasion, it is the pleasure that you experience in your own body that quite literally attracts and draws out the full force of your partner’s presence. If you are withholding, or unable to access the pleasure of your own essence, your partner will likely match you, reciprocally, in withholding or be unable to access his or her full presence.
To live a life where we are fully met by love, we need to do our part and that is to cultivate our ability to receive the full force of our own essence, as love. We do this by returning to the “Yes” practice regularly. We do this through allowing breath, softening our defenses, unleashing authentic expression, and being willing to say a full-bodied “yes” to the good stuff.