Imagine. You’re deep in a beautiful forest blooming with native wildflowers greeting the beginning of spring. The moon is full and the forest is awash with bright silvery light. The setting relaxes you and awakens you to a deep sensuality and bliss.
Now start to be aware of the part of your body between your legs that would touch a bicycle seat. Breathe into that area and notice and observe sensations or thoughts that arise. Notice the sensation of clothing touching you there, any tensions. Try clenching your muscles and releasing. Be aware of your breathing and relish the delight of the present moment. How did that feel? What emotions came up for you?
I was taught meditation when I was 13. At the end of drama class we’d lie down and go through a guided meditation. We learnt how to relax different parts of our body using our mind. Our imagination transported us to beautiful scenes. Our imagination can open us to a world of sexual bliss or keep us hostage to fear and anxiety and closed off to pleasure.
At 22 I was trained in mindfulness to overcome stress. I kept practicing until it became easier and now I can reach ecstatic states in one breath. Women who regularly practice mindfulness have better orgasms and sexual response. These early teachings helped me tap into my sexual energy and experience ecstatic trance-like states.
Sexual assault, feeling unsafe or stressed affects how women breathe and experience pleasure. Learning to depart this fight or flight mode through conscious breathing transforms our sexuality. When women experience healthy sexual response we can enter into altered state of consciousness where the brain and body work together to create blissful multiple orgasms that can last for hours.
Women have unlimited sexual potential. We can orgasm to music, a kiss, a sunset or a caress to our foot. But stress and exhaustion from our fast-paced, hectic lives can block our sexual response and appetite.
I’m so excited to be running a women’s retreat in October at a lush, boutique homestead deep in a National Park because this is such important work. We will have our own personal chefs and it’s a time for we women to unwind and reconnect with ourselves.
I have named the retreat, ‘Reclaim Your Passion. Ritual, Mindfulness and Creativity’ because these are the tools to access inner parts of ourselves for greater self insight.
We can hold ourselves back by internalising broader cultural messages about our bodies and our right to pleasure. Relationships can be a microcosm of personal issues we are facing, especially if we struggle to ask for what we want. It starts with us and our attitudes about ourselves.
At the retreat we will be re-educating ourselves about our sexual and menstrual cycles and how our sexual response changes throughout the month. It’s time to work with our bodies not against them.
Come away with me and for an empowering journey into the pleasure of mindful sexuality and the joy of the now!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make any booking enquiries.
Cat O’Dowd – Sex Therapist, Relationship Counsellor, Art Therapist.