Ever hear the saying "you can't pour from an empty cup"?
What makes sex often feel hard for women is that we, modern women, are starting off with an empty cup. We focus on output and forgo the input.
The biological fact of female sexuality is that women need pleasure, attention and stimulation to arouse our sexual desire and to open to sexual connection - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Stimulation first, desire second. Not the other way around.
But when your body is depleted of pleasure - lacking the kind of touch that feels good and leaves you feeling full - it does not want sex.
What happens instead when a woman’s body is filled up on pleasure?
When you begin to fill up with the kind of touch that feels good to you (sexual or not) and leaves you feeling open, your body starts to come alive. Your desire juices start flowing. Your body feels more. Your mind quiets down.
You start feeling awake and wanting more. You start being able to receive and feel more pleasure. You start feeling confident in your desires. You start to feel beautiful in your body, whatever size, weight or shape you are.
You feel sexy and turned on. You relax into your body. You fill up and you want to share your overflow with your partner. You start having the confidence to ask for what you want - exactly how you want it.
Sex becomes easier. When your body overflows with energy and when you're in flow, life becomes easier too.
But this overflow does not happen overnight. It takes more than an occasional romantic dinner or date night with a partner. It takes more than a bath or a walk in the park. And it definitely takes more than 15 minutes of foreplay.
Filling up to the point of overflow takes a commitment to receiving. And it's a radical step for us women, as we've been taught to give and do for others rather than receive.
And it takes practice, daily practice of receiving pleasure, what I’ve coined the #PleasureQuota.
Because pleasure is an essential nutrient for women’s health and well-being. And as with all essential nutrients, you need a regular, daily dose.
Pleasure is not an option, it’s a necessity. It is an essential nutrient for women's health, vibrancy and sexual turn-on, on all levels - physiological, psychological and emotional.
Pleasure rejuvenates cells against stress. Pleasure resets emotions. Pleasure connects us to our bodies. Pleasure enhances the metabolism. Pleasure heals. Pleasure feeds.
How do you make sex feel easier?
The truth is that pleasure during foreplay is not enough. Vacation is not enough. Just like you would not brush your teeth once a month, focusing on pleasure once a month or on vacation does not work either. The filling up must happen before the bedroom door.
But here is the key. I am talking about goal-less pleasure. Pleasure for pleasure’s sake - just because it feels good.
We've been conditioned to think of pleasure in the context of sex. The kind of pleasure that then gets you off. You know the routine: you get "warmed up" during foreplay and then you go for the goal: sex, intercourse, orgasm, the fireworks.
I am going to challenge you to think about pleasure differently. Throw away the notion that pleasure equals sex. Pleasure equals feeling pleasure, not merely reaching the goal.
Remove the goal of sex out of the equation altogether. Take the pressure off. Think of pleasure as the entire experience. Think of pleasure as the feeling you get. It may be the pleasure of taking a walk in the middle of the day. Or basking in the beauty of the sunset. Or feeling every stroke of your partner’s hand on your genitals.
No goal, except to feel and receive pleasure.
When there is no goal, no getting somewhere, pleasure becomes nourishing and nurturing, not a means to an end. Pleasure becomes an end in itself. When you don't have to perform or do or give, and simply be, you can be in a state of pleasure that fuels your body, mind and soul.
Indeed, pleasure is a state of being - a state of receptivity and feeling - that is key for making sex feel easier and flowing.
Which is why I am instituting what I am calling the #PleasureQuota, or the minimum level of pleasure you need to stay vibrant, healthy and turned on. Each of our quota's are different, but the concept is the same: there is a minimum.
Filling your #PleasureQuota is a daily practice.
I am sure you're thinking: wow, that's a lot of work just to make sex easier.
It sounds like a lot of work, and I know that this way of living is radical in our busy world. But here is the thing: it will deeply change your life.
When I focused and prioritized my pleasure and how I treated myself - how I filled my cup - the rest of my life got easier. I felt more energy for my life, more confidence to speak up and ask for what I want, and more sexual energy that I ever had before. There was an ease and flow to life that I had never experienced in my life before.
How will you fulfill your #PleasureQuota?
Here are some of my daily pleasure practices. I start my day with 45 minutes of morning meditation, affirmations and journaling about my desires to set intentions for the day. My daily me-time grounds me in what's most important to me, before I let the world in and let it distract me.
During the day, I take time to feel the pleasure of food, mindfully preparing food and eating it unplugged from all devices.
And I always leave room for sexual pleasure in my day, taking at least 15 minutes a day for a daily partnered sexual practice called Orgasmic Meditation, where a partner strokes my clit with no goal other than to connect sexually and experience pleasure (no orgasm, romance or sex required). During this time, I am in receiving mode. And this is my daily minimum.
This nourishment for my body, mind and spirit, pumps me with essential nutrients and energy to do intense and intensive work in the world. I start off full so I have plenty to give.
How will you fill up your #PleasureQuota?
Your #PleasureQuota should come from a deep sense of who you are. The pleasure I am talking about here does not have a specific look or type - the most important thing is that it should light you up inside and leave you filled with pleasure.
For most women, we've never thought about this question. So take some time to think about it. Write a list of what truly delights you? What fills you up? What leaves you tingling, smiling and feeling content? The list not need to be all sexual, but be sure to include sexual pleasure in there too.
And then think about your minimum level of pleasure that keeps you energized, healthy and turned on. What is your #PleasureQuota?
Share your practices in the comments below that give pleasure and fill you up.