It seems like the last few years we’ve been hearing the term self love everywhere. It’s become an effective, yet confusing, marketing tool. While this messaging at first seemed like a positive step, it’s clearly more about selling the product than celebrating women, better known as the consumers. Love yourself by using this deodorant… Love yourself by buying this $50 wrinkle cream. Hurry, you’re almost 30!.. Love yourself by fulfilling your chocolate craving with this fiber bar that tastes like kitty litter… they’ve convinced us that self love is about “indulging” in a piece of sugar-free candy. That’s certainly not a bad idea, but we’re selling ourselves way short. There’s something we can tap into that’s much more powerful and long-lasting, and it’s as natural as a 3:00 pm yearning for something sweet.
Self love actually means putting yourself and your needs first. Sometimes this feels like we’re disappointing others or being selfish, but it’s kind of like how on the airplane you have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs. Women have a hard time with this since patriarchal systems have convinced us that our sole purpose and the measure of our worth is based on taking care of others. But this is why taking care of and loving ourselves is such a crucial step towards liberation.
It may sound like a tall order, smashing patriarchy and all, but one way to generate self love is by doing just that: masturbating. Self-cultivation, as Oprah calls it, truly enables us to take control. By fulfilling our needs, we are owning our power. Exploring our bodies and what brings us pleasure enables to get connected with our true selves on a deep level. Think of it almost like physical meditation, because the benefits are similar—increased clarity, fulfillment and joy, to name a few. By experiencing self-created pleasure, we find we don’t need to depend on someone else. Once this is realized, an overwhelming sense of freedom sweeps in.
In addition to the mental and emotional benefits, many studies show the overall health advantages of masturbating. If happiness and higher self esteem aren’t enough to convince you, loving on yourself also prevents UTI’s and lowers blood pressure. There are all different techniques and tools to play with, as noted by Adam and Eve, and they include standard vibrators, clitoris-stimulating devices, G-Spot massagers, and several others. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. Start out with some gentle vaginal massaging and work up to more intense stimulation. This is about doing what feels good for you. What’s most important is letting go of preconceived notions and enjoying yourself.
Self love isn’t just for when you’re solo. Having healthy sexual relationships with ourselves leads to improved relations with our partners. It’s no surprise that Psychology Today states that masturbating is the number one key to sexual happiness. When we’re comfortable with our bodies and aware of what we like, we’re able to communicate that to our partners. This is a win-win situation. It relieves stress for our partners since they won’t be playing the guessing game. They can enjoy themselves knowing they’re pleasing us, and we can enjoy being pleased.
It’s true what they say: “You can never love anyone until you learn to love yourself.” So re-think all that time, money, and energy you put into pleasing other people. Maybe next time you’re getting ready for a date, avoid the crippling emotional distress of applying false eyelashes and instead connect to the divine within yourself.