Once you’ve had the opportunity to explore your own sexual pleasure, as discussed in yesterday’s post, take the time to check in with yourself and your body and see if you feel comfortable to move forward with your partner.
Firstly, it is highly recommended that as you engage in sexual intimacy, and eventually intercourse, it is with a loving, patient, and kind partner who has your best interests at heart, and who you feel safe with.
If your partner doesn’t know about any past sexual abuse or assault, you are not required to inform them. If you choose to tell him/her, you do not need to give them the details. A brief statement is all that’s required.
Have a conversation with your partner first. Let them know you are open to exploring sexual intimacy with them, but at your pace. Make it clear to your partner that you are in control. Whatever you say goes, and whenever you say stop, he/she is to immediately stop.
As you may dissociate or check out, ask your partner to lovingly check in with you every now and then to ensure you are present. Ask them to be aware of your body, and if you are actively participating. If you are lying still, it likely means you have checked out. Also, if it feels safe to do so, try to look at your partner in the eyes to stay present. If that is too difficult or feels too vulnerable, use a check point in the room to focus on.
Choose a time and day that’s good for you for each of the different stages below. Have a shower or bath to relax and feel clean. Each stage may take several weeks or months. Go at your own pace.
You are going to start very small. The first sexual intimacy may be cuddling on the couch, holding hands, or light kissing. That may happen for several weeks, not necessarily every night. You get to choose and you get to say when it’s over.
Then move up to deeper kissing and them caressing parts of your body with your clothes on and their hands touching your body over the clothes. You get to choose which parts of your body. Let them know if anything feels uncomfortable or pleasurable. Try to find your voice and let them know what feels good or not so good. You are not criticizing them; you are informing them of what you like. Again, this may go on for several weeks or months. Go at your own pace. If he/she truly loves you, they will be patient.
Next you can move onto having your partner stroke your breasts or vagina while still fully clothed, but with their hands underneath your clothes and more kissing. The above three stages can all be happening on the couch, unless you feel more comfortable on your bed.
If previously on the couch, move to the bedroom. Light candles, put on music, and incense if that makes you feel more at ease and allows you to get in the mood. Your partner is going to stay fully clothed and you are going to get naked. Gather together some objects that your partner can trace over your body. For example, a feather, a silk scarf, or a rock; whatever floats your boat. You are going to ask your partner to trace these objects over your body and your job is to stay as present with the sensations as possible.
Next stage, you both are naked on the bed and they get to touch you and kiss you where you feel safe for them to do so. If something is completely off limits, like going down on you, then let them know ahead of time. As your partner is also naked, try to engage with touching them as well and looking them in the eyes to connect and stay present. Unless you feel ready, there is still no intercourse at this stage. If you do not feel comfortable helping your partner orgasm, then they are responsible for doing that for themselves. Just let them know. Again, you get to say stop whenever in any of these stages.
Finally, the last stage will be a culmination of all the other stages and will include intercourse. Let your partner know which position(s) you prefer and to check in with you to make sure you are fully present with them. It’s okay if you are unable to climax. It may take some time before you are able to fully let yourself go and be vulnerable.
Check in and notice after each stage and with each intimate interaction your level of ability to stay present with your body, your partner, the sensations, and your aroused state. Over time, this should continue to improve.
Enjoy the beauty, pleasure, and deep connection of being sexually intimate with your partner.
Find out more about feeling into sensations in the body and connecting with your bod, in the mult- award-winning book Embodied: How to Connect to Your Body, Ignite Your Intuition, and Harness Universal Energy for Healing.
If you require support due to unprocessed trauma, reach out to a counsellor in your city.