Practicing Pleasure with Intention
Embracing our sexual energy each day.
Often, when we talk about intentional living, the conversation centers on how mindfulness practices like journaling and meditation can improve our mental or physical health by helping us be present and aware of how we feel in the moment. Truly leading a life of intention means bringing consciousness to all aspects of our existence, including our sex lives.
Our sexuality is a direct conduit to our creativity, vitality, and divinity that contributes to our overall well-being in myriad ways. Juliet Allen, sexologist and founder of the holistic sexual wellness brand Yinn, even calls our sexual energy our lifeforce. This is because it fuels our health, relationships, careers, and more. “When we set intentions for our sexual experiences, we literally supercharge them with energy, and our pleasure potential increases,” she says.
And while we’re all on our own paths, when it comes to our pleasure journeys, whether you’re single or have a sexual partner, you can enhance yours by becoming intentional about how you rē-late to your sexual energy.
Using pleasure to drive our purpose
According to Allen, when our sexual energy is balanced and healthy, we can use it to funnel our passions in productive ways. “It’s like having extra fuel in our tank and extra vitality stores when we wake each morning,” she says.
Conversely, “when we feel depleted, stressed, and uninspired, our sexual energy often takes a hit, and our body goes into survival mode, decommissioning our libido, so that we can get the bare minimum done,” Allen explains.
Aside from a lower sex drive, imbalanced sexual energy doesn’t allow us to enjoy our lives to the fullest. But this is where becoming intentional about how we relate to our sexual energy can be so beneficial because bringing conscious awareness to your emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations as they relate to your sex life can help us reharmonize our entire system.
Bringing our sexual energy into balance
Over the years, Allen has crafted a holistic, authentic approach to sexual wellness. Rather than focusing simply on sex and the pleasure derived from the physical act, she uses her work to teach others how to tap into their sexual energy to power their lives. She focuses on three core pillars to help individuals embody their sexuality and sensuality: connection, contact, and comfort.
Each of these pillars plays its role in our sexual wellness, authentically deepening our relationship with ourselves and others. To Allen, comfort focuses on natural, organic sex products that nourish our body rather than deplete it and create safe, secure spaces to experience our sexuality.
In terms of connection and contact, Allen explains that “it’s normal and natural for us to yearn for human touch and intimacy, and this contributes to feel-good hormones being produced in our body.” So getting clear on how we prefer to be touched—either by ourselves or another person—is a core component of bringing our sexual energy into balance because our relationship with ourselves is at the root of connection.
To deepen that connection, Allen emphasizes self-love, encouraging self-touch, and self-pleasure in our daily routines. It’s a concept she’s delving deeper into with her new holistic sex education curriculum Pleasure School, which opens for enrollment on August 23.
With intimate partners, it’s all about entering into sexual encounters and relationships with others consciously, according to Allen. “Meaning we choose mindfully, tuning into the four centers in our body to support us to choose the right people to share our energy and pleasure with.” These centers include our head, heart, gut, and sex organs, all of which offer valuable feedback about how we genuinely feel in the presence of a potential sexual partner.
Practicing pleasure with intention
Allen says that the foundation for enjoying good sex with others is to be able to have great sex with ourselves first. “Self-love comes in all forms; self-pleasure is one of them, and in my opinion, I think it’s really important we all master the art of self-pleasure,” she says. “Start slow, take out the end goal of orgasm, and enjoy exploring your body and your pleasure zones. Then, once you’ve mastered your own pleasure, you can connect with lovers and share what you’ve learned with them, teaching them about what turns you on.”
She also suggests embracing your curiosity and exploring all of the new ways and methods in which you can express your sexuality and welcome new experiences of pleasure into your life. “We are a product of our environment,” Allen says, “and the people we spend time with—be mindful of this in the area of your sex life.”