Get Physical

How To Tap Into Your Sexual Power — According to Two Sex Experts

by Susie Benitez

The Chill Times community is not one to shy away from the “taboo.” We’ll talk about practically anything and provide a platform to issues and causes that aren’t necessarily in the spotlight all that often. A huge part of taking care of yourself means being vocal about things that, although may make you uncomfortable to speak on, are necessary to your health and well-being. It’s the very first step to self-discovery, acceptance, and healing.

As part of the “Time to Talk” series hosted at Chillhouse, Gina Gutierrez, the co-founder and CEO of Dipsea, a tech company and story studio behind the hotly-anticipated app (launching in a few weeks) for short audio stories designed to turn women on, and Signe Simon, a psychotherapist and co-founder of LOVELINK, an education platform to help people explore intimacy in all forms and empower them to have more satisfying love lives, sat down with us and about 20+ passionate Chill Times readers to talk about something essential, meaningful, and beautiful.

Fine, we won’t beat around the bush here—we’re talking about sex, namely sexuality and how to tap into your sexual power. Have we gotten your attention yet? Alright, here’s what we learned.

Sex IS Wellness

Think about it: in both practicing wellness and engaging in sex, we mainly focus on our minds and bodies. Exercise gives us a rush of endorphins and so does sex. They both “flood our brain with good chemicals” as Gutierrez explained, and often leave us feeling confident and aware of our bodies. However, this is not always the case when it comes to sex education. “A lot of education around wellness in school is very focused on eating right and exercise,” Simon began, “but anything to do with sexuality becomes very fear-based and scary.” It’s hard to change the education that has been instilled in us for so long, but remembering that sex is wellness is key to allowing yourself to engage in it fully, realizing how incredibly beneficial and pleasurable it is, and letting yourself reach that inner sexual power. “Pleasure is good for self-esteem, for intimacy with ourselves and our partners, and key to relationships,” said Simon, so don’t leave the pleasurable part out of wellness either! It’s meant to feel good.

Our favorite moment on this topic came from Gutierrez, who simply said, “[Sex] is such an amazing way to maximize [your] own feeling of ‘alive-ness’ and connectedness to [your] own body.” Can you even think of a better way to put it than that?

Men and Women Desire Differently

As Gutierrez put it so succinctly, “men get horny very quickly.” Yup. So what about women? Why does it feel like women are the ones trying to catch up to the speed of men’s desires, or forcing themselves into the idea that they should be able to feel the urge to masturbate at any given time? Before you go thinking there’s something wrong with you (as Gutierrez said many women tend to do), there’s actually a scientific reason for this.

It’s called Spontaneous vs. Responsive desire. Male sexuality tends to fall into the “spontaneous desire” category, which means that their appetite for sex can be piqued at nearly any moment, regardless of the situation, whereas female sexuality tends to fall into the “responsive desire” category, which means that the craving for sex is in response to a situation, whether it be physical, like touching and kissing, or setting the mood with dim lighting and a warm bath. A woman’s desire is often based on the perfect scenario, requiring physical and mental stimulation. Gutierrez said that something like Dipsea, could “level the ramp to the highway” in terms of preparing for sex and feeling the same levels of arousal and desire together. Elements of fantasy are always welcome in the bedroom. (It’s science!)

Manage Anxiety With Mindful Touch

“There is this fear of being sexual by yourself or with a partner,” said Simon, and she couldn’t be more correct. Aside from societal norms, fear and anxiety are huge factors among younger generations nowadays who are coming out of that fear-based sex education we discussed. Simon revealed that fear, depression, and anxiety are some of the main causes in young people engaging in less sex. All of this creates what she calls a “block in desire,” with young people thinking that they can’t enjoy sex anymore, or at least not in the “right way.”

A major tip from Simon to combat this is through mindful touching. “Getting in touch with your body … is the first step,” she explained. “Touching and exploring different body parts and thinking, ‘how does it feel to be touched here?’ and being really mindful of that.” Alone or with a partner, doing this is great for getting back in touch with your sexuality and ultimately, your sexual power.

Change Your Mental Perspective

As mentioned earlier, engaging sexual arousal and desire is not just about the physicality of it all, a great deal of the ways in which we enjoy sex has to do with the mental aspects of it. Our mindset is key in the way we partake in our own sexuality. For one, Gutierrez said that “our bodies are more than just the genitals.” She suggests asking questions about other parts of your body like, “what does it mean to have your elbow caressed?” However, it’s what Simon said that left the biggest impact on us. She encouraged to ask ourselves, “what does it mean to say that I have skin that deserves to be touched lovingly?” That question right there, one that comes from so deep within ourselves, is enough to radically transform the way we look at intimacy and the relationship not just with our partners and what we deserve from them, but with ourselves and what we deserve from us. (We’re honestly still thinking about this one and it’s been like five days.)

Remember: Sexuality is a Spectrum

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase somewhere before, and it’s very true. Sexuality is not just black and white, heterosexual and homosexual. There are so many facets to sexuality, and it can dramatically change how we reach sexual desire and power.

When one audience member asked about being demisexual —  which, according to The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), falls under the asexuality spectrum: “A person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone,” — and navigating sexual pleasure, the conversation took an unexpected yet illuminating turn.

AVEN explains that “In general, demisexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone of any gender; however, when a demisexual is emotionally connected to someone else (whether the feelings are romantic love or deep friendship), the demisexual experiences sexual attraction and desire, but only towards the specific partner or partners.” This can make engaging in sexual pleasure extremely tricky, as the audience member pointed out, “arousal is very, very hard and attraction is very difficult.” She went on to say, “I know I’m capable of it, I’m excited by that, and I want that for myself — without someone else.” Simon’s suggested (which could be applied to anyone in a similar situation, regardless of sexuality, “was to eliminate the ‘pressure for sex to be sexual.’” She states to ask yourself questions like, “’What feels nice?’ ‘What’s comfortable?’” without the pressure of fitting it into the construct of what is “sexual” and being sure to communicate that with yourself and a potential partner are key to finding what works for you.

This thought-provoking question was so interesting and engaging because it showed that everyone, really everyone, has a different path to their sexuality and sexual power. It can be done and it’s exciting, empowering, and inspiring! All it really takes is you.

Dipsea will be officially available for download in a few weeks. Act quickly, there is a waitlist!

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Feature image via Ella Xu; images from Dispea and John Soat.

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