My Journey to Confidence Through Self-Pleasure
In 2018, I was eighteen and newly single. It was first relationship, so I had experienced a lot of intimacy first hand, for the first time. Up until this then, I had spent a lot of time reading about romance with a fiery passion. From this I had created a general idea of what sex was “supposed” to be, and what it was “supposed” to feel like. There was a problem: what I experienced was completely different than what I had read. Had I completely overestimated what sex was and set myself up for disappointment? Was it the relationship? Was it the expectation? Was it me? I started to analyze my relationship to see how I could improve it. I realized that I had no idea how to share with my partner what I wanted sexually because I didn’t actually know what I wanted sexually yet. I did not know anything about my body or my own pleasure. That’s where I started exploring my own path to pleasure, hoping to develop my confidence along the way.
“How to masturbate” was one of the first things I googled. Just the act of googling it made me feel so dirty, and that didn’t feel right. But I was determined to have a healthy relationship with my sexuality. People shared different techniques that I had never heard of. I learned new terms, looked at diagrams of sex organs for the first and I felt a little overwhelmed. I also noticed something. Many people had similar issues, questions, and concerns. I realized that this shame I was feeling came from the belief that this was wrong – but in fact, I was perfectly normal. Eventually, I decided to try a vibrator. So, I bought myself one. Spoiler alert: it was the best thing I ever did. And very addictive... I now boast a thriving toy drawer.
Listened to My Body
Sure, toys were great help, but the true beauty was in learning how to listen to my body. I remember being younger and trying to masturbate with my hand and feeling very uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it wrong or if I just felt way too guilty to try to enjoy it. Looking back, I think it was a mix of both. I didn’t know my body and I didn’t know what I was looking for. I hadn’t come across an instruction manual on how to touch myself. So, I left it at that.
But now as a new adult looking for pleasure, I knew I had the time, energy, and money to do it right. After my first vibrator came in, I set the scene. I lit some candles, put on some music, and looked at myself in the mirror. This last part was hard for me. As a curvy girl I have struggled with body insecurity for years, so looking at myself was never my favourite thing. But this was my own time, I was here to find out what I liked and to learn not to hate it. Since that night I have spent many other nights exploring my body and finding out what I enjoy and… it's awesome. The craziest thing I noticed is that now when I look in the mirror before my sessions, I see a beautiful, sexy woman staring back. I had felt so broken in the past because I struggled with personal and shared intimacy, but now that I had developed the time to be with myself, I felt brand new.
I Developed Community
It felt very lonely to embark on this journey alone, and I’d learned that other people were on it through google. So, I went looking for a community. My friends became my first community. When we started to speak about of intimacy, we found that we could relate strongly to each other. We had all shared unpleasurable moments and moments of failed communication when trying to explain what we wanted among other things. These issues seemed universal between us. Later, I found another community on Tik Tok. The Tik Tok algorithm worked hard to put me with like-minded people. With both my in person and virtual communities, I developed a safe space were thoughts and feeling could be shared without fear. Social media is a place to find community. Finding my psychological safety has generated amazing conversation and new ideas. I am so grateful to my community who have guided me in so many ways.
I found my confidence.
Two years ago, I noticed that my sexual fantasies and experiences didn’t line up. So, I googled. I listened to my body. I developed community. And I came out the other end knowing that I can allow myself to be sexy. I can find comfort in exploring my sexuality because I now know that it isn’t wrong. Masturbation and self-love are not bad things – they are good. In practice, pleasure is not exclusive to any one body type, gender, or sexual orientation. It is between me and myself, and that can create a beautiful connection between me and my body. I found my confidence in self-pleasure.