Sexual Independence? The 3 Steps You’re Missing!
With the 4th of July upon us, our minds turn to BBQs, fireworks, and independence.
However, there is one type of independence whose name is rarely spoken.
One that lives in the shade of a willow tree by the river where you had your first kiss. Hides under the blankets when you’re trying to masturbate before work, quietly so your roommates don’t hear.
It lurks in the climax triggered by a partner or your go-to sex toy. Its name is Sexual Independence. But how do you claim this sexual freedom? We find out…
What is Sexual Independence?
When we talk about independence, it’s rare that the term, ‘sexual independence’ follows. So I think it’s important to first define what it is before we explore how to experience it, and why you’d even want to.
Sexual independence is a state of being, one in which you feel full ownership of your sexuality and your pleasure. You have a close, loving, understanding relationship with your body, and its role in facilitating your pleasure. Acceptance of your sexuality has been found, along with exploration and enjoyment.
A sense of autonomy accompanies sexual independence, but not one that isolates you from partners, should you so desire partnership. It’s an autonomy that expands your sexual experience and enriches every sexual encounter.
It’s what I refer to in my work as Sexual Sovereignty. The knowledge that you are the highest authority on your sexuality. Feeling excited? Yearning for some of this sovereignty in your own life? Well, let’s dive in!
Step 1: Starting Fresh
The first step on the journey to sexual independence involves ‘unlearning’. This is the stage where you pause on your sexual path and take a look around. How did you get here? Was it truly from your own motivation or direction? More often, our sexual journey is shaped by our sex education (or lack of), our family or community’s narrative of sexuality, desires championed by our sexual partners, and a media-induced assortment of limiting social-sexual constructs. Sound sexy? You’re right, it’s not.
It is SO much more sensual and liberating to be on a sexual journey that’s truly motivated by your own sexual interests and curiosities. First, try doing some journaling around the following questions:
-Where did my sex education come from?
-How have my family’s (or community’s) beliefs around sexuality influenced my own?
-What did I learn about sex through the media?
Once you can identify where your sexual narrative has come from, you can lovingly assess how much of it is truly authentic for you, and what is just baggage from other people that can leave behind.
Think back to a time when you felt really sexually inquisitive. What were you intrigued by? Where did your curiosities stem from? This is the place to return, so you can learn where your autonomous sexual journey should begin. This creates sexual independence from social narratives, and helps define your own personal relationship to sex.
Step 2: Sex That’s For Me
Now that you have a sense of your sexual narrative, it’s time for the next step. This is where you get to do the profound work of claiming your sexuality as your own. This is sex for YOU! No longer ruled by what past (or present) partners might desire, what you learned about sex growing up, or how the media depicts sexuality.
Sometimes at this step, people feel a little nervous. They wonder if claiming their sexuality will make them closed off to partners or hard to sexually connect with. Luckily, it’s quite the opposite. Claiming your sexuality as your own makes you a fantastic partner during sex. It helps you feel passionate about pleasure and connection, and knowledgable about your own body and how you like to embody your sexuality.
Journal about the things that create sexual energy and excitement for you, and also the ways you feel you’ve adapted your sexuality in the past to suit a partner. Some good questions to ask yourself are:
-What creates major turn-on for me?
-What dulls my sexual pilot light?
-Do I truly feel I am deserving of pleasure outside of a relationship? If not, what healing would I need to feel worthy?
This helps create sexual independence that comes from within, instead of having sexual energy that’s only awakened in partnership. Other great practices to help strengthen this are sensual self-portraits, self-love as self-care, and prioritizing solo sex.
Step 3: Unbridled Pleasure
The last step is removing any ‘must-haves’ from your sexual repertoire, and embracing desire instead. It’s common to have one or many sexual ‘must-haves’. These are the toys, positions, angles, techniques, etc, that we ‘must have’ in order to experience pleasure or orgasm.
We operate under the false impression that we need these things in order to feel the most pleasure. However, they are actually crutches, and releasing them helps expand your immense erotic potential.
First, make a list of all your sexual ‘must-haves’. Then, thank yourself and celebrate each of your ‘must-haves’. It’s so great that you’ve found these fantastic tools and techniques for pleasure. Now that you know you have them, you can rest easy, assured that they will be there if you need them. You’ve found these sure-fire routes to pleasure, so make note of those paths, and then go off trail.
Now, It’s Time To Roll Up Your Sleeves…
Because we’re getting into the really juicy stuff. First, experiment with removing the goal of orgasm, and instead just explore and embrace pleasure. I recommend starting this practice during solo sex, and once you’re more comfortable with it, moving to partnered sex. Experimenting with different toys, tools, and techniques, explore what feels good for you.
It doesn’t have to make you climax, it’s successful if it just feels good. Stay present and be mindful of your emotional and physical sensations, returning to deep slow breathing if you’re feeling over (or under) whelmed. Just be present to pleasure, that’s all you need to do.
You might want to explore new erogenous zones, orgasm types, oral techniques like the Kivin Method, or revolutionary toys like the Womanizer and Zumio. If you haven’t experimented with lube, now would be a great time. Enjoy being a sexual scientist, with exploring your personal pleasure patterns as the only goal of your experiment.
While this is technically the ‘last’ step, all three steps are truly only the beginning. Once you have created this container of authentic sexual sovereignty and a sexual narrative that truly resonates with you, the fun can really begin. As you go on this journey of sexual liberation with yourself, try and hold the energy of always being inquisitive about your own sexuality. That way you’re always expanding your sexuality and pleasure.
Go forth and prosper dear ones, living your best sex lives ever!
Isabella Frappier is an Australian ex-pat living in LA, who swapped gumtrees for palm trees. She’s a writer and a holistic Sexuality Doula, who specializes in body literacy, sexual sovereignty, and BDSM.
She is also a host on the popular new Sex Magic Podcast. When she’s not busy championing her sex positive agenda, she—oh wait—she’s always busy doing that. Follow her adventures on Instagram.