Can specific toys impact our access to pleasure? Can they heighten it or put us on a path of desensitisation? Here's a query from a woman and my reply. Please note, my reply relates to men and their self-pleasure practices too!
"I haven't had sex with anyone for around 6 months now. I have been using my glass wand and I am able to be stimulated in a really pleasurable way with them. The other day when I decided to use a silicone dildo it was completely underwhelming. I didn't experience much pleasure and my big concern was that it felt like penis in vagina sex with a man. I'm aware that many people say that vibrators can desensitise the clitoris in a way that women can no longer orgasm so I'm now concerned that due to my use of crystal wands, I won't be able to enjoy sex with a man as I may not feel his penis.
What's your advice?"
Here was my reply...
Our nervous system can get used to a particular way of doing things. Over time, if you’re doing the same thing in the same way with the same material, your body gets used to what’s next. It knows what to expect. It gets comfortable. Our nervous system likes to be able to predict, in the same way we create patterns of behaviour in our relationships we create patterns of behaviour in our pleasure. This is why in self-pleasure practices it’s really important to create variety. So we haven't to start, proceed and finish in the same way each time.
Maybe sometimes start with a breast massage, maybe sometimes start with pelvic thrusts to engage sexual energy, or breathwork to bring yourself into the body… whatever it might be… changing it up.
Also positions are important too. Do you self-pleasure on your back with legs open or legs closed or on all 4s or leaning up against a wall… variety is the spice of life…
Toys… again, variety here is important as well as using fingers.
Doing something different each time is letting our nervous system know that if we want to experience pleasure there are so many different ways that we can access it. Our body learns that pleasure can come from so many new and exciting ways. What this means is that when you partner with someone, you are more likely to fall into a new way of doing it with more ease and confidence. You will be more open and receptive a different type of touch and enjoy a myriad of positions.
They say it can take 21 days to create a new habit. Which means that it will take a while of practice before you can begin to enjoy a new way of accessing pleasure.
What you might find supportive is to take orgasms off the table for a while. Remove any pressure on yourself to 'perform'. Performance anxiety doesn't only happen when we're partnered. Oftentimes many of us feel a certain amount of pressure that if we're dedicating time to a self-pleasure practice that there should be some 'reward' for us at the end. What if you allowed yourself to build up and increase your pleasure and then stored it your Tan Tien (this is a Taoist practice of storing sexual energy) and went about your day? Storing the energy in your Tan Tien gives you access to creativity and is an energy that is really confidence building. You notice when someone walks in the room oozing with confidence in their body.
My invitation is to get curious and explore.
How else can you introduce pleasure into your self-pleasure practice in a new way?
As you do this, notice any resistance of ‘this isn’t working’, ‘I’m never going to enjoy something different’, etc.., and when that resistance comes up, show yourself the biggest amount of love, compassion and acceptance.
Don’t try to change overnight.
It’s a process.
Remove any goal of what you ‘should’ be ‘achieving’ in your practice.
And... have fun... this is pleasure we're talking about!
If you've got yourself into a pattern or routine in your self-pleasure practice or in your partnered sex life and look to make a change, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a free compatibility call.
An article you might find interesting after reading this one: