pleasure practices + cyclic sex

000046880016.jpg

As you cycle, so does your sex.  As the fertility cycles waxes and wanes, so does your eros. Your emotions. Your sexual organs. Your sex fluids. Every “part” of you joins this dance, each an innate part of the whole. Here we’ll explore different practices to help you tune into your sexual desires, boundaries, and possible pleasure practices to explore.

inner ecology + outer ecology

Your eros changes in fluctuation with your fertility cycle. But it also changes in response to so many other things; relationships, emotions, trauma, sexual history, environment, etc. Yes, sex happens in the body, but your desire dances in relationship to your environment (internal and external), which in turn affects your inner experience of sex.

The ecological variables of your desires are infinite. Thus you may feel differently than what I’ve described below and that’s because so much is at play during sex. Our reproductive organs aren’t alone during this dance. We bring our whole self to the sexual experience. Keep this in mind when reading any sexual advice, including this. Ultimately this is just a toolkit for your own inner compass.

To keep it simple, I’ll be speaking to our inner ecology of fertility. How your breasts, fertile fluids, cervix, and hormones dance with your inner erotic self.

Here are some pleasure practices to explore with yourself; questions to tune into, practices to deepen into, and phrases as allies in communicating your changing erotic needs and desires.  

Above all else, listen to your body. These practices are simply here to help bring awareness to the fact that your sexuality, desire, and libido waxes and wanes.  

Some cycles you may “fit the template”. Other cycles you may be coloring outside of the lines. All is welcome. Your body is your compass. Everything else is just resource. You are the final gatekeeper and explorer. Tune into your pussy. Your breasts. Your breath. Tune into your desires. How would you like to be touched? Speak to your needs. Listen to the dance of your desires. How they change. Whether you are self-pleasuring or pleasuring with a partner(s), prioritize your pussy.

 

l u t e a l +

m e n s t r u a t i o n

f i n a l w e e k -

w e e k o n e

000046880018.jpg

In theory our libido is lowest during this part of the cycle. This is a time where penetration (penis, toys, or fingers) may not feel as welcomed. More often than not, external play is usually where my preference lays during this time.

Despite the fact that we’re bleeding this is considered a “dry time” in the menstrual cycle. During menstruation our cervical fluid is dry. We are still able to get aroused and have a lubricated vagina, but overall, there is more friction. If we are intimately engaging in a physical and sexual way during this is a time, its wise to welcome natural oils like coconut oil to help lubricate our vulvas and vaginas. However externally applied oil should never be a substitute for arousal fluids. We need to honor the timing of our body’s natural trajectory of arousal. We need our partners to learn the true pacing of our bodies.

During this time in the cycle the cervix is not only dry, but also firm and low. This means that our cervix protrudes more deeply into the canal of the vagina. This is likely because the uterus is larger during this time. Because the cervix is so low it’s extra important to take sex slow during this time and allow optimal time for arousal. Deep penetration may even feel uncomfortable or slightly painful due to the fact that the penis, finger, or toy may be rubbing up against a more accessible and firm cervix. If you are engaging in penetration during this time consider playing around with the introitus (the opening of the vagina). As more deep arousal occurs, consider g-spot stimulation with a finger or toy.

 

e x p a n d i n g  o u r  d e f i n i t i o n  o f  s e x 

d u r i n g  m e n s t r u a t i o n

Overall menstruation is a time where we have the opportunity to broaden our idea of what sex even is. Sex isn’t just penetration. Like Ester Perel says, sex is not something you do, it’s a place you go. So where can we go if not penetration? This is an amazing time to explore sex outside of the lense of penetration.

000046880019.jpg

Expanding into eye gazing, soft nipple caresses, prolonged slow kissing, and gentle oral sex are just a few ideas. Consider allowing yourself to be in full receiving mode. If your partner is willing to play along this can be an opportunity in exploring and speaking up to our desires. Have them ask you how you’d like to be touched. Tell them. It can be anything. Playing with your hair, feather like touch all over your body, or even just putting their hand over your vulva and holding it there like a hug. Is this not sex? Menstruation helps us redefine and reframe the meaning of sex.

Kimberly Anne Johnson, the author of “the fourth trimester” talks about the feminization of sex during the postpartum phase (after we’ve given birth). This is in reference to Laura Gutman’s book “Maternity, coming face to face with your own shadow”. Here she discusses how sex becomes feminized during the postpartum period. And because there’s so much overlap between postpartum and menstruation, I’d like to suggest that our sex may also become “feminized” during menstruation.

Can we slip into presence with each erotic encounter, while edging away from our preconceived ideas, roles, goals, and routines?

Internalized male supremacy wears many masks. It shows up at the voting polls and in the bedroom. The male model has infiltrated everything, even our sex. Having sex in a male oriented way furthers us away from our own unique way of erotic engagement. As women, people wih vuvlas, vaginas and uterus’s, it is our time to re-claim our own way of pleasure. There’s room for both to gain here. A more circular less goal oriented gain. This doesn’t mean less orgasm, but perhaps a wider range of how we define it. Many of us have been conditioned to only recognize one type of orgasm- the climax. But there are soooo many kinds of orgasm ! And we can start tuning into them by expanding our perception of what orgasms are. Perhaps moving from a climax oriented model to a more wavering one.

Yes, the desire for the feminization of sex during menstruation is possible and powerful. That’s not to leave out however that penetrative sex while bleeding can also be super powerful and potent at times. It really just comes down to what  y o u  are desiring. You never want to welcome penetration unless you’re ready (aka in full arousal, body begging for it). This becomes especially important when you’re bleeding. Like anything, tuning into your own body and feeling into what you want and what you don’t want will always be the most empowering approach.

 

s e x u a l  e x p l o r a t i o n s

d u r i n g  m e n s t r u a t i o n 

000046870018.jpg

p h r a s e s  a s  a l l y

“my body needs extra time right now, can we move slow?”

“can we just explore?”

I’d really enjoy if we could let go of any end goals//orgasm”

“Lets focus on sensation and breathing”

 

p o n d e r i n g s  f o r  s e l f

does my pussy want to be entered?

where can I slow down ? how can I titrate touch?

how else can I explore the many meanings + definitions of sex & pleasure?

How can I pleasure myself? How do I want to receive pleasure?”

s e l f   p l e a s u r e  p r a c t i c e

Create a ritual space to self pleasure in. Get cozy. If you’re on the ground in front of a mirror, make sure you’re warm. Bring a space heater next to you or sit on a heating pad. Focus on receiving. If you’re feeling eager to go straight toward your genitals, or if you’re feeling like you’re “not already turned on”, begin to focus on one part of your body at a time. Do a body scan with your attention and your hands. Try body oiling yourself or caressing with a feather light touch. This is also pleasure. Touch yourself how you’d like another to explore you. Play with your different places of arousal (cliterous, vaginal opening, g-spot, the outer lips of the vuvla, legs, breasts, anus, and anything else). Experiment with titration and anticipation.

f o l l i c u l a r p h a s e

+ o v u l a t i o n

w e e k t w o -

w e e k t h r e e

000046860014.jpg

After menstruation our energy and libido start to rise like a thermometer. Cervical fluid becomes increasingly abundant as the body prepares to support ovulation. The cervical os opens and retracts inviting sperm to enter and cervical protection from deep penetrative sex. Our cervix is soft, high, and wet.

Our increasing desire for sex and pleasure is a natural reflection and outcome of our increasing fertility. Here its common to feel more vibrant, flirtatious, and juicy. It’s a time where our fertility increases as we approach ovulation. Naturally as we become more fertile we tend to desire sex more. Where the body returns to its fluency in arousal and pleasure.

This is an amazing window to explore pleasure whatever that means for you. Our bodies are naturally more open now. This is a time to play with our edge within the realm of what feels safe, pleasurable, and consensual. Here we can consider different orifices for sex. Different positions. Different roles of dominance and submission. Different times to give and to fully receive. Different time spams and intervals.

e x p a n d i n g  a r o u s a l  +  o r g a s m 

d u r i n g  o v u l a t i o n. . .

000046860018.jpg

In no way would I want to pressure anyone to orgasm whether that be how often, how intense, or by what means. In truth, many people have trouble reaching orgasm whereas others may struggle with rushing to it.

By “expanding orgasm during ovulation” I mean expanding our bodies capacity to hold charge. For some that may mean edging towards feeling more comfortable with the intense energy that can accompany orgasm by allowing more of it. For others this may mean getting more comfortable with subtle sensation and expanding our capacity to hold onto the charge that is pleasure and arousal.

But really what I mean by expanding orgasm during ovulation is utilizing the resiliency and curiosity present during ovulation to explore the edges of our comfort zone. To of course remain consensual, safe, and in desire, but to also edge ever to gently towards new and unexplored territory. This will mean something totally different to each individual.

For some this will mean receiving or giving oral sex and practicing roles of submission and dominance (not necessarily referring to bdsm). For others this may mean slowing way down and for others speeding up. Exploring new orifices or in a new way. Experimenting with new sex toys, outfits, or scenery. Being intimate outside or in a new place.

As always, sex isn’t just with other people. We do it with ourselves. So yes, also considering how to revamp your self-pleasure. If you tend to explore your external genitals such as the clitoris perhaps try exploring your internal pleasure anatomy.

Whatever is right outside of our current comfort zone yet still deeply rooted in our desires within a safe and consensual setting, that’s what we’re talking about here.

 

s e x u a l  e x p l o r a t i o n s

d u r i n g  o v u l a t i o n

000046860022.jpg

p h r a s e s  a s  a l l y

“Can I do? // will you?”

“I’ve never done this before but I’m curious to give it a try”

“I’m scared but also excited to try…”

 

p o n d e r i n g s  f o r  s e l f

What are my current comfort zones / habits during sex?

Am I able to stay embodied and present if I’m acting from a place of habit?

What am I curious to try? With myself? With my partner? With a new partner? With multiple partners? With a partner of a gender I’ve never let myself explore before?

How can I explore the edges of my / their comfort zone while still remaining consensual?

 

s e l f   p l e a s u r e  p r a c t i c e

Do something new, somewhere new, in a new way.

Maybe this means self-pleasuring in front of a mirror. Maybe this means pleasuring yourself outdoors. Maybe this means trying out a new kind of sex toy. Maybe you can try dressing up for yourself. Wear lingerie under your clothing knowing you have a self-pleasure date awaiting you when you get home. Anything that expands your capacity for new sources of arousal. Anything that gives you more permission to explore your own desires. Maybe your body is the canvas you experiment on before trying it with another person. How can you expand the timeframe of arousal ? How does it feel to tease yourself ?

Megan conn