What is painfully true is that as you age, if you give up on sex, then sex will give up on you. And this can happen as early as your mid 30s. If you have stopped self pleasuring, stopped being intimate with a partner or have no partner to be intimate with, and give no effort to the various practices that are possible to keep your libido and your vagina healthy -- you may very well end up with a vagina with a thinning wall that could cause bleeding and pain when you want to have sex again. When we don't stimulate our sexual desires, our body can forget how to turn up the heat. When a woman gives up on her sexuality, she is on her way to losing it. And I believe in the ability of a woman to have a sexual renaissance with her own sexuality. I have seen it over and over again.
The dry desert can bloom again. Women can come back to her own innate sexual nature and make friends with her own relationship with her body; she just needs support. Women can rediscover sex, and more women want to.
What is true is that so many people turn off to sex because they have been hurt in relationships, or have only learned about sex through abuse. When sex has been tied to pain, heart break, disappointment and abuse -- we create a fear of sex.
Rediscovering Sex: A Personal Step by Step Approach
The best first step toward sex rehab, is through getting to know ourselves. Our own sexuality is an evolution, so we change. Forget what you think you know now about your own sexuality, and go on a pilgrimage.
I think that most women today own a sex toy and a vibrator of some kind (look in your dresser drawer under the dust bunnies; I promise you it's there). Most women know that it's really okay to touch ourselves "down there" and that touching ourselves will not cause us to go blind or meet the devil.
The first step to your own sexual rehabilitation lies in your ability to get intimate with yourself. So, let's go there:
1. Throw everybody out of the house. That's right. Clear the decks. Doesn't your partner need to get some milk? Mow the lawn? Pick up the dry cleaning? Send your partner on a mission that will take about an hour. Your partner needs a "to do" list. If you live alone, turn off your phone.
2. If you are feeling really badass, tell your family you need some alone time and not to bother you for an hour. Take over the bedroom or the bathroom. Run a tub.
3.Pull together a "Self Pleasuring Kit."
Buy yourself a lovely sexy zipper or satchel bag and keep this in a place of importance so that you remind yourself that it's there. Fill this bag with your hot and essential self pleasuring accessories. In my bag you will find an assortment of vibrators. I have several different Lelo toys in my bag as they not only feel good; they are sexy and sleek in design. Just touching them and owning them turns me on. Find the toys and brands that rock you. Experiment. Think about all the parts of you when you create your bag. Do you like direct clitoral stimulation? How about internal? Do you like a dildo? Do you like toys that are hard or soft or vibrates? Indulge yourself and experiment. Sex toys are more than "The Rabbit" and "The Hitachi." There is a brand new world of sexy toys out there. Go exploring.
Your kit needs lube because fingers and toys will give you way more pleasure with lubricant. Try Sex Butter which also has a mild stimulant in it, or Orange Blossom. Coconut oil also works but can stain the sheets!
Make sure that you have music that you enjoy set up and in the kit, plus bathroom essentials if you plan on taking this to the tub. Having audio erotic books to listen to can also be fun. Put it in the kit! How about candles? Why not? Plan on watching porn? Put it in the kit!
4. Are you really having trouble getting started? There are some resources that might help: There are even self pleasuring guided meditations you can try as a part of your self exploration and self pleasuring practices. Sometimes, working with a virtual coach can really help get things started, or even make self pleasuring more fun! There are also in-person workshops that are held all over the country that can help women connect back to their bodies and even more deeply into how to let go. The world is changing and you can have the relationship with your pleasure that you want to have. Reach out.
Take the time and create the "Self Pleasuring Kit." Invest both in time, support and resources in your own sexual rehabilitation. Think outside the box and put in it exactly what you want to be in it,
Go to a sex shop and browse around. What can you add to your bag to keep things exciting and fun for yourself?
Sometimes, sex rehab can be the gift that we give to ourselves. It's not always a "couples" thing. It can be time alone for you to enjoy your body. It's not selfish; it's self nourishment. You need to eat, sleep, exercise and be connected to your sexuality. It's all a part of self care, and we need to use our sex muscles if we don't want our erotic life to turn to stone.
Pamela Madsen's runs retreats around the world to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner" (Rodale 2011). Pamela's ground breaking work with women has recently been featured in "O" Oprah Magazine.