This topic has been on my mind for a while, but I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach it. Similar to the blog post I wrote about fitness, I knew I needed an expert in this field. Besides having the basic knowledge around this topic, I’m not an expert and wanted to provide concrete information to back up my theory on sex being a form of self-care. So that’s what I did, I interviewed a sex educator to provide you with useful information, facts, and proof that sex can be a form of emotional and physical self-care. Check out my interview with Linnea, (ex.x.xiteme on Instagram). Linnea Marie is a Certified Clinical Sexuality Coach and Educator who’s an advocate for sex positivity and who’s goal is to change the way we think and discuss all things that relate to sex.
1. Is there such a thing as, or is there a relationship between sex and well-being? If so, how would you define it?
There is definitely a correlation between sex and well-being. Sex and Sexuality have an effect on our overall mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Sex is very mental and our brain is the biggest sex organ. Let’s use it, teach it, and enjoy it!
2. I talk a lot about emotional and physical self-care on my blog. Emotional self-care caters to our well-being and can include activities such as journaling, meditation and therapy. Our physical self-care can be exercising, mani/pedis, and facials. Do you think sex is a form of self-care? If so, how? And which of the self-care categories above does it fall under?
I definitely classify masturbation and self pleasure exploration as self-care. Hell, even sex can be self-care if that’s what that person decides works for them. I encourage it. Masturbation can be lots of fun and nowadays they have so many great options for pleasure products that you can choose from. Getting to know your own body can be an enlightening experience and when you know your body, what it likes and doesn’t like, then it is easier to communicate that to a partner for a more fulfilling sexual experience. Sex and pleasure fall under both categories. It stimulates both emotional and physical parts of our body. Self-care is important and rewarding, it is a surge of Dopamine which feels good!
3. The topic of sex is risqué and I don’t think it should be. I understand that it’s a very private activity for most people but it’s a natural part of life, it’s literally the creation of life so I think it should be celebrated more. Why do you think so many people shy away from the topic? Do you think having more conversations about it, or being open to talking about it has an effect on some aspects of our well-being?
Many people shy away from the topic for a few different reasons. The first is that there’s still a lot of shame and negative ideology that follows it. Many were never taught about sex or sex education, and if they were, it was negative abstinence only rhetoric that didn’t teach about pleasure or healthy relationships but merely only preventative measures or consequences. Sexuality Education is a studied science and it needs to be respected as such. There’s research, tests, and statistics done to help us better explain and understand it. We are still learning about it to this day, it’s fascinating.
It is a natural part of life, but many times it’s done in private and usually we don’t talk about things that are done in private. There’s a lot of stigma and expectations that surround it. I most definitely think talking about it more will help everyone’s overall health and wellness. People will be able to feel less alone, more comfortable, and open to more experiences.
4. Not everyone has a sexual partner. Do you think masturbation can full-fill our needs on the same level? If so, how?
I don’t think anything can replace an actual human touch, so no I don’t think it fulfills the exact same needs. Not everyone wants or needs a partner, and that’s perfectly okay, I might add. As long as they are happy and content with their sex life thats all that matters.
5. What are the benefits of having a sexual relationship with yourself? Any advice for anyone who may not feel comfortable exploring themselves sexually?
Having a sexual relationship with yourself is engaging in quality time with yourself. It can boost your self esteem, reduce stress, help with anxiety, and even act as a relaxation and sleep aid due to the endorphins and Oxytocin released.
It may be forgein territory to many and rightfully so, due to the lack of encouragement, environmental factors, beliefs, and general lack of know how. My advice for anyone uncomfortable with exploration is that… I am here to tell you that it is perfectly normal, perfectly healthy, and perfectly okay to do so. It’s your body and you deserve pleasure. There doesn’t need to be any pressure associated with it, you don’t even need to orgasm, just take some time out to enjoy pleasure.
6. I’m sure there are some people who have sexual wants and needs that aren’t being full-filled because they don’t feel comfortable speaking openly to their partner about it. What role does communication play in sex?
Communication is super important. Understanding is also a key contender. Your partner isn’t a mind reader so they need your feedback and tips to help them become a better lover and you to get the fulfillment that you are looking for out of the activity. Just because your partner critiques your performance doesn’t mean they dont like you, it just means that “this feels better, babe.” I hear all the time that people don’t know how to bring the subject up to their partner, I recommend they bring me up or a social media post about toys/pleasure and have a discussion about it. For example “Babe, look at this, would you ever want to try that?” or “Wow, that looks interesting, would you want to do something like that?” Those kinds of questions can get the dialog started and it can go from there. Also before Covid, I would recommend that couples go to the sex toy store and have a look around but now I suggest people take a look at some pleasure product websites into the comfort of your own home. There’s no pressure to buy anything but looking at all the possibilities can get the wheels spinning and the discussions going. Pleasure products are additions to sex, they are like surround sound to an awesome action flick, it makes the experience even more memorable. Don’t be intimidated, they are for fun!
7. Do you have any tips on how we can comfortably articulate our needs to our partner? Also, how can holding these needs inside affect our sexual well-being?
My tips are always be open, honest, and true to yourself when articulating your wants and desires to your partner. Holding them in negatively affects the whole relationship. Not discussing wants and desires can lead to looking elsewhere for satisfaction and having a negative attitude towards sex. Also, not discussing what you want can lead to low desire to engage in sexual activities. It’s best to talk about it and there’s Sex Coaches like myself that are willing to help individuals and couples navigate this territory if need be.
8. Let’s talk about the big O. Would you say achieving an orgasm is the ultimate level of sexual self-care? There’s just something about that release!! Would you agree? What does an orgasm actually do to the body?
The ultimate level of self-care is pleasure, not necessarily Orgasm. An orgasm is one hell of a thing let me tell ya. It’s what got me fully invested in this field. I had my first one in college and couldn’t believe no one told me about that shit! Mind you I had had sex before and none of my partners ever came close to that reaction. At that point I made it my mission to educate and help people obtain that feeling and overall pleasure.
An orgasm by definition is the climax of sexual excitement. It is the release of pleasure endorphins, Dopamine and Oxytocin. Most of the time it is a feel good sensation, however there’s been times when it can be too much for some. Orgasms can also add clarity to a situation. There’s something called “post orgasm clarity” which helps people concentrate better, so masturbating before a date can actually be very beneficial! I want to add that sex doesn’t have to stop after an orgasm nor does an orgasm have to be the sole purpose of sex. It’s one hell of a feeling however, whew!
9. So would you agree that an orgasm is a catalyst for relieving stress, anxiety or even frustration?
Yes, I mentioned this in a previous question but it does have many health benefits such as acting as a painkiller, helping with anxiety, and being a way of relieving stress. I have a saying “Make America Orgasm Again” and I fully believe that if more people had an orgasm the world would be a better place!
10. Would you say that sex is a cardio workout (physical self-care)? Can you elaborate.
Sex is for sure a cardio workout! It involves and stimulates many parts of the body including our muscles and organs. Sex gets the blood pumping and the heart beating!
11. Any additional tips you want to leave for my readers?
Yes, never Yuck anyones Yum! That’s a popular saying in my industry. If it is a consensual sex act between consenting parties then go for it!
Whoa! I can’t speak for anyone else but this was mind blowing to read. Not to mention incredibly informative. Thank you Linnea!! My personal favorites were the information about orgasms and communicating your wants and needs to your partner, “Make America Orgasm Again,” and Don’t yuck someone’s yum. I really love that. Everyone’s sexual interest may not be our own but that doesn’t mean that we should shame them simply because we do not agree. I think we need to normalize don’t yuck someone’s yum. Check out Linnea’s website.
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