This is not Eat/Pray/Love
So. Sadly, I realize that this journey towards self-pleasure is not going to be like Eat, Pray, Love. I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing and have enjoyed many of her other novels. She’s inspired me with her prose and with her various interviews, so please do not remotely read this post as a critique of her. It is, probably a sort of envy to not have the self discovery journey one could have on a trip to Bali. There are a variety of causes for this- one of which is the global pandemic, etc, but the other is just my life circumstance. Being EXACTLY where I’m at right now. Which is currently on my couch with my dog, next to the bowl of popcorn that I ate for dinner while reviewing content for the upcoming week for my clinical. I would love to say that I am sitting here after getting home, had a great time masturbating in order to focus on the tasks at hand (and yes, that does happen occasionally), today is not like that. Today feels messy and couldn’t feel less sexy if I tried. I’m tired. I am afraid for the future of our country, of our planet, and I’m overwhelmed with the looming choices ahead in my very close future- finishing grad school- a mountain I have been climbing for 6 years, looking for a job in the midst of a global economic depression. The presidential election looms large. On a more micro scale, I feel awkward. My eyes are dry with allergies and my jaw aches after sucking it up and going to the dentist. I’m not entirely sure what he did in there, but I am reasonably sure no one’s jaw should be put in that position for that long. Yes, I’m basically just whiney. And somehow, I have never heard whiney be related to the kind of kink anyone has had. (Please tell me if I’m wrong. I want to know!)
So how do I find pleasure or some sense of self desire in this time?
I am not getting a book deal to travel around the world, putting a giant pause button on my life. My job right now is to integrate all of these pieces into what is. What is right now.
Here are the things I have found that feel
A: Do-able as someone who isn’t a superhuman
B: Take less time than sprinkling rose petals across my silk sheets (I don’t own these btw…well. I do own $10 satin pillowcases from Amazon, but that’s more about hair care than romance).
C: Feel sensual and sexy in a time of unsexy
1.Paint my nails on Friday night.
2. Breathe. Deeply. Feeling the inhale of letting your belly expand. And exhale slowly feeling the muscles deflate. Just feeling my body be able to work. To control a voluntary process. Yes, my yogi sensibility and growing passion for pelvic floor health is shining through.
3. Pick out my clothes the night before. And put the ones that don’t make me feel beautiful in a donate bag. I’m so glad that “Marie Kondo it” has become a verb.
4. Put on lots and lots of lotion when I get out of the shower. Lots.
5. Drinking tea for the 10 minutes I’m awake when I get in bed with a book. Okay, 30 min. I’m not great at settling in to sleep.
6. Getting a new shower curtain. While I’ve replaced the liner, I have had the same shower curtain for 9 years. It is time.
I notice that most of these things could be classified as self-care. And they are. But it is the intentionality. And it does feel to me that self care with the energy of sensuality feels really different than “being good to yourself.” It feels...delicious. It feels a little bit like I am trying to woo myself. The sort of liking all of someone’s Instagram posts/watching their stories and talking too long when you bump into each other somewhere. The right before suggesting spending conscious time together part. So maybe this part is just where I’m going to be right now.