By Gabriella Espinosa 4-Minute Read
Are you longing to reignite that inner spark, feel good in your body, and invite more pleasure into your life?
At Womaness, we believe your pleasure and sexual health are fundamental to your overall health and wellbeing—and it certainly doesn’t have an age limit or expiration date. We asked Midlife Empowerment and Sexuality Coach Gabriella Espinosa to share with us her top five tips for awakening pleasure through menopause. And it all starts with reconnecting to yourself and exploring what lights you up.
1. Prioritize Pleasure
Feeling connected with ourselves is the first step to awaken pleasure—sexual or otherwise. We often soldier on through our day to ensure that everyone else is happy, sometimes at the expense of our own wellbeing. Prioritizing pleasure is not selfish or indulgent. When you take time to invite pleasure into your day, you expand your capacity to feel more of it and this has a lovely rippling in all aspects of your life.
Start with focusing on the things that bring you joy and make you feel vibrant. It can be wearing a bright red lipstick, sipping that first cup of coffee, moving your body, or dancing to your favorite song. Whatever it is, bring mindful attention to the things that bring you pleasure so you can consciously cultivate more of it. Notice the feelings and sensations in your body when you do those things. This helps to bring natural pleasure into your life as a state, rather than another thing to be ticked off the to-do list.
2. Take Matters Into Your Hands
Touch has the power to lower cortisol levels, raise the love hormone oxytocin, and provide us with a sense of safety and feeling comfortable in our own skin. Taking pleasure into our own hands lights up sensual engagement with ourselves and those we love, creating meaningful connection. Explore areas more sensitive to pleasure such as the neck, inner arms, breasts, abdomen, pelvis, inner thighs, and feet with the following types of touch:
Energetic: Barely touching, anticipating, like air moving across the skin
Sensual: Soft, light, fluid-like touch and strokes
Grounding: Firm, deep, and purposeful
Fiery: scratching, slapping, pinching, intense with an element of surprise
Take a moment to notice which one lights you up!
"When you take time to invite pleasure into your day, you expand your capacity to feel more of it and this has a lovely rippling in all aspects of your life."
3. Befriend Your Vulva
Becoming familiar with our intimate parts leads to sexual wellness and empowerment. This means getting to know our vulvas. The vulva is external, and includes the mons pubis, clitoris, inner labia minora, outer labia, urethra, vaginal opening, and anus. The vagina is the internal canal between the vulva and the cervix.
Oestrogen decline in menopause affects collagen and elasticity to the vulva leading to thinning, dryness, pain, and discomfort known as Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. These changes can lead us to disconnect from pleasure and intimacy all together.
Explore what your vulva looks like whilst sitting in a comfortable position using a hand mirror. Use this time to know what is normal for your vulva so that any unusual changes can be reported immediately to your doctor. Moisturize daily to alleviate dryness, discomfort, and to maintain the integrity of vulval tissue.
4. Pleasure Yourself
A self-pleasure practice is a wonderful way to connect with your body and light that spark. In addition to feeling amazing, we also know that masturbation helps improve blood flow, moisture, and elasticity to the vulva/vagina, and enhances sleep, mood, and sexual function. Self-pleasure can start with your fingers and/or a vibrator and involve the whole body, not just the genitals. There is no right or wrong way to self-pleasure because it’s guided by what feels good to you.
Exploring for yourself in this way puts you in the mood for pleasure and empowers you to later communicate your needs and desires to a partner. It’s normal to have some resistance, so recognize this and create a feeling of comfort and safety by taking slow, deep breaths. Use a good quality lubricant to get things going.
"We can feel frustrated and betrayed by our bodies in menopause... Instead of blaming your body, try building a more compassionate relationship with your body and appreciate all that your body has done for you."
5. Appreciate Your Body
We can feel frustrated and betrayed by our bodies in menopause, but the truth is our bodies are meant to change as we age. Instead of blaming your body, try building a more compassionate relationship with your body and appreciate all that your body has done for you. Consider how are you caring for your body right now. Are you speaking kindly to your body? How can you regard your body with the mutual respect, gratitude, and trust of a dear friend?
Creating positive bodily affirmations that you repeat to yourself can help challenge limiting beliefs and shift how you feel about your body. Repeat the following affirmations anytime you’re engaging your body while exercising, taking a shower, getting dressed, or self-pleasuring:
My Body Is My Ally
I Trust My Body’s Wisdom
My Body Can Do Amazing Things
I Feel at Home in My Body
My Body Welcomes Pleasure
Embrace menopause as a powerful time to reflect on how you can deepen intimacy with yourself and reawaken new pathways for a life full of pleasure.
For more pleasure inspiration, access a free copy of Gabriella’s Awaken Pleasure Checklist here.