By Gabriela Herstik

 

In 2018, I realized I had to give myself the love I kept looking for in others. I decided to stop entertaining emptiness. I decided to become my own lover. Instead of being disappointed or unfulfilled or unsatisfied (here’s to you #orgasmgap) I decided to approach my sexuality with more intention. I decided to embrace my desires. I decided to really, actually, figure out what I wanted, and most importantly I asked, “How can I give this to myself?”


This question is more loaded than it seems because it’s something that can be really hard to remember, especially with sexuality. We can’t rely on anyone else to fulfill us or all of our needs; only you can do that. Answering the question of satisfying myself meant carrying the responsibility of my fulfillment; I could no longer blame this on the partner, or lack thereof. And while this intention was more than anything, centered around my own sexual desires and interests, sexual energy is something that permeates more than just the bedroom. Lovers are who we play with, who we bond with, those we share intimate connections with. At the time I made the decision to see things this way, I was looking for a relationship. I realized that I felt resentful that I hadn’t found what I was looking for, that I wasn’t experiencing the things I wanted to experience. So, I decided what I would do is seduce myself, invest in my own sex life and just become my own damn boo.


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After making this decision, I started exploring kink more seriously. I started taking more classes, reading more, going to dungeons and play parties, exploring more on my own and with partners. I allowed myself to care about my sexuality in this way; I gave myself permission to adventure. I gave myself permission to explore taboos. I gave myself permission to be fully expressed and realized. I started seeing my masturbation session as rituals, and I started taking the time to really get to know myself sexually. I started to explore different sensations, different types of play, different toys and feelings. I started fulfilling my own fantasies, taking myself out on dates and investing in my health more. I started working with my senses, allowing my body and mind and imagination to guide me.


I can’t pinpoint exactly when I made this decision, but since then things have bloomed and blossomed in beautiful and synchronistic ways. Even though I didn’t end up in a relationship, I ended up realizing that wasn’t what I was looking for. I had found that when I gave myself what I needed, when I decided to invest in myself in a sexy way, I didn’t need anyone else. That I was enough. I also realized I’m at a point in my life where the only person I want to be committed to is myself. This doesn’t mean closing myself off from love, but in fact, the opposite. I realized how much love I already have in my life, from myself, family, friends, and my community. I am still opening my heart, but for the first time it’s in a way that’s present, that flows, that’s aligned.


Becoming my own lover forced me to love myself in a more multifaceted way than I ever had before. I was forced to see myself through a new lens. It was like the eye gazing I was practicing in the mirror with my daily affirmations; I was watching the way I viewed my world melt and shapeshift.


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I wish I could say that this decision taught me some new, totally never realized thing. An epiphany. In many ways it was. But more than anything it changed the filter. It wasn’t so much a download or an aha-moment as it was a remembering, a being called back to. Giving myself permission to be seen, satisfied, taken care of and loved in all my fullest, rawest essence changed how I allowed others to see, satisfy, love and take care of me. It wasn’t that I suddenly realized my worth, but I came back to it. When I saw myself fully, I started seeing partners and lovers as reflections of me. The experiences I’ve encountered since this decision have mirrored my own growth. I’ve had multiple partners tell me that they notice how much I know my body, how I know what pleasure feels like. I always say thank you, but secretly want to thank them because I’ve practiced.


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Destigmatizing pleasure is vital, and we can literally start with ourselves by doing ourselves and asking what it really means for us to commit to loving ourselves how we want to be loved. Giving yourself space to desire is sexual alchemy. It’s transformative. What do you want? What turns you on? Be your own baby and satisfy yourself! Get creative and play. Adventure. Try something new. I don’t believe in comfort zones. Growth is uncomfortable. Having self-compassion through the ups and downs is critical and necessary. Community is a gift, as are best friends and family (whether chosen or not.) Question people who tell you the only kind of love that matters is romantic. Create your own sexual agenda and then follow through with it, both with compassion and intention. Invest in platonic and self-love and never doubt your worth. Become your own favorite lover.



 

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