If you were to build a house, you would need a toolbox. You would need a load of different tools, ideally sharpened in all different shapes and sizes, right? Stay with me. You would want this house to be able to withstand anything from the aftermath of a loose as fuck NYE party to any kind of unexpected storm that (mother) nature hurled your way when she was pissed off.
Your body is the house. The toolbox is the way you build emotional resilience and intelligence against internal and external stressors (ie. family trauma and triggers, come downs, heart break, capitalism induced burn out). Realistically, you’re pretty likely to make contact with a handful of these stressors in the coming months…
The festive season dawns upon us, and the toolbox is likely feeling a little lacklustre. Off the back of some pretty gnarly astrological events and a year that has required us to draw out our superannuation, learn how to cook more than pesto pasta and recalibrate what connection means to us on a soul level, but via Zoom, I think it’s totally fair if we’re feeling a tad rusty.
Family? Christmas? Where.
The way you experience this festive period would depend largely on where you are geographically located, your current socio-economic status, what ‘family’ fundamentally looks like for you and how safe you feel being yourself, within that family, chosen or otherwise. In this postmodern-apocalyptic world, the idea of the nuclear family is long gone. According to Google Trends, during COVID-19, Google searches for the term ‘divorce’ surged to their highest point in 12 months at the end of June, surpassing the usual spike after Christmas and new year.
Breathe into acceptance
Old systems are breaking, transmuting and taking new forms, whether we like it or not. My advice? Refresh the toolbox. So first things first, let’s practice some good old fashioned acceptance. This year maybe won’t look or feel how it has in the past, because the events of the year have likely re-wired us all on a cellular, social and ‘value system’ level. We have a lot less fucks to give, but also know how quickly things can get dark. The good news is, we have all grown the fuck up, and hopefully gained an entirely new, more creative, more open-hearted way of connecting with ourselves and the people in our lives who matter.
In case your parents don’t say it (because they’re Aquarians or something): I am really fucking proud of you. Feel into that for a moment. Okay good, now let being proud of yourself feel just as good.
Introducing: sexual healing
Taking responsibility for your own pleasure always feels better than letting someone else take the cake. And it may or may not be new info to you, but sexual and sensual pleasure is directly linked to our sense of personal power, inspiration and groundedness. Eat your own creamy cake.
So let’s talk about how to make this holiday period sensual as hell, even if you have a weird aunt who drinks a lot and always says your septum ring looks like a bull. Or you are having a vegan family dinner over FaceTime this year. Or, you aren’t ready to come out so you and your ‘best friend’ have to sneak off to make out on the washing machine at the strike of midnight, 2021.
Imagine your toolbox again, give it a colour, a shape, a weight, a vibe.
TOOL #1 STAY HYDRATED
Starting with the most simple tool of all, drink fucking water. You are going to need it. Christmas parties, end of year parties, boxing day parties. We celebrate a lot of things at this time of year, with a ridiculous amount of prosecco and pretty much everything you could possibly roast or BBQ. Water helps hangovers, water helps our body flush out toxins and water helps us process emotions. Oh yeah, it also helps you stay wet. Hello NYE dream humxn love-making.
TOOL #2 THINK OUTSIDE THE PATRIARCHAL BOX
Unlearn the patriarchal ideal of needing to capture, pursue or dig your nails into the sensual like it will leave you. That feeling is daddy patriarchy talking, not you. There’s plenty of sensuality around you all the time, and there is plenty to go around. Sensual energy moves through all of us and pretty much anything, when we soften into it. Don’t be grabby, don’t be clingy. Change your perspective.
TOOL #3 MAKE THE MUNDANE SEXY
Watch the bees make their honey, let yourself go to nougat-caramel maple syrup-level ooze. See how the ocean gushes itself wet at your feet? Meet it. Pash the moon. Observe the sexual tension between stars. Venus will totally eye-fuck you, if you let it. Pluto will watch voyeuristically, from afar.
Instead of trying to smoke a spliff out of your mum’s bathroom window to relieve the anxiety of her asking you if you are still in your ‘bi-sexual phase’ — try going outside. Find the local forest, the park, the sea, suss out water bodies on google maps, or follow your nose. Nature is all around us and it is damn delightful.
One of the easiest ways to ‘ground’, is not to go on a 10-day fasting retreat in India, it’s to stand barefoot on some real, gritty earth. Sand, dirt, grass… lean against a mountain, whatever. Just take your shoes off.
Humans really do need to expose themselves regularly to things bigger than they can comprehend. It’s good for the soul, and the ego. Just close your eyes and soften, you are literally breathing in tree juices as you decompose energy back into the earth. You hot, ecosexual thing, you.
TOOL #4 FIND YOUR GROUND ZERO
Okay, once you have a reference point for what being grounded can feel like, store that shit. Now, make a shortlist of people who make you feel like that, just with their pure unadulterated presence. Have them on speed dial if you particularly struggle in this period of the year. Maybe give them a heads up, letting them know you might need some extra ‘bringing back down to earth’. Call in the Taureans, Virgo, Cap placements of your life. P.S. Have a think when the last time you told them how good they make you feel was. Send them a cute text. Spread love, not fear and all that jazz.
TOOL #5 LEARN TO WITNESS YOURSELF
Whether or not your relationship survived COVID(don’t worry mine certainly didn’t), this one is the metaphorical cement mixer of all tools. In the words of somatic researcher and OG embodiment queen, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, “In order to embody ourselves, we need to know what is not ourselves. It’s a relationship.”
When we witness ourselves emotionally without an audience, we take sole responsibility for what is ours, and leave the rest. Journaling is a great starting point, but if pen to paper style journalling doesn’t click for you, I would recommend voice memo journaling or video journaling on your phone. Listen back a few days later, empathise with yourself, but also notice what has already shifted form the initial expression of the feeling and then reflect on that. Emotional evolution.
Another really beautiful way to witness yourself in your physical body when you feel disassociated is to film, or photograph yourself. While selfies may seem a bit self-indulgent, I like using them to try and authentically capture
how I am feeling with my face, and notice how I am moving in my body. Filming yourself in free-movement (ie. free form dancing) will give you a lot of information about your body. Observe. Is one side of the body moving more? Is one shoulder/ foot / hand/ knee staying close to the body? Is your face tense or relaxed? Then sit in conversation with yourself on what that might all mean.
Oh yeah, and gaze at your own pussy. If you don’t have one, but know someone who consents, get around it. That’s some real magic juju and will bring you right smack bang into the present.
TOOL #6 KICK IT OLD SCHOOL
If you have to travel to be with your family, bringing your vibrating double rabbit toy may not be super practical. When was the last time you kicked it old school? No porn, no toys. All kinds of self-pleasure and orgasms are great, but think of it like the acoustic version of your favourite song. Slow and sexy, so you can really hear those strings. Good to note, vibrating toys do tend to reduce sensation in the vulva over time.
Your mother birthed you from her womb to connect and love and create, not to be an Instagram fiend.
If you really enjoy toys or want to gift your lover something a bit cheeky, Rosie Rees over at Yoni Pleasure Palace has a range of rad, chemical free, queer friendly, natural pleasure products for all bodies. (P.S. Something like the tiger’s eye yoni egg would be a super grounding option for daily use over this time).
TOOL #7 STAY IRL WHERE YOU CAN
After a year of getting Zoom degrees, use this time off, with a deep appreciation for what it feels like to look at someone’s real face. Your mother birthed you from her womb to connect and love and create, not to be an instagram fiend. This time of the year is really challenging for people facing socio-economic barriers too, so maybe think twice about what you’re putting into online spaces and be a humxn lover, not a mindless consumer. Hint: Cultivate the same grounded and reflective approach you are working on IRL, in how you navigate your socials.
Bring these tools in when you need, re-invent them, make them your own. Visualise them in their sexy little tool box, and select as needed. Add your own. If in doubt, come back to the basics.
And so you survived another year on earth. Take a breath. Seriously stop reading and take one.
Listen to your family and friends, deeply. Look at their face and witness them in all their crazy beautifulness! Eye gaze with your lover(s). Hold your little cousin’s hand when they tell you their secrets (but wash them really well after?). Hug your grandma like you bloody mean it. Tell your friends all the reasons you are proud to know them.
Love yourself first, then let it ooze from your pores, all over the glorious humans you are lucky enough to celebrate life with.