Some Approaches To Improve Your Eroticism
Eroticism is one of those terms that can be hard to pin down. According to Miriam Webster eroticism is; an erotic theme or quality, a state of sexual arousal or an insistent sexual impulse or desire. To me hearing eroticism described so flatly, so clinically - takes away from the magic that is eroticism. However I might be biased as I have spent the last couple years taking back my personal eroticism. So let's talk about how I define eroticism and how I have turned that definition into a way of life and a force with which I am taking back my sexuality, sensuality and you guessed it - my erotic self.
Beth Bloom’s definition of eroticism: the ability to fully experience situations through your body, with all your senses and an imaginative flair. Just about every situation and experience you have in your day to day life has the opportunity for eroticism.
*Please note that obviously this does not include children ever*
The idea that eroticism is simply a state of arousal or sexual impulse takes the oomph out of the actual experience of the erotic. It reduces the concept to a sexual lust or lusting. We all know what it’s like to be filled with an intense sexual urge and the need to release via orgasm. Experiencing lust with an erotic lens is an entirely different experience in my opinion. Sort of like seeing the world in shades of black and white and then in swoops the erotic with all the colours of the wind.
Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2006) suggests that eroticism is critical for personal pleasure development as it is an expression of individual freedom and sovereignty, the cultivation of pleasure for its own sake, as well as a way to reconnect with our playful curious selves while tapping in our vibrancy and vitality as humans. Through capitalism humans have created a world where vibrancy and vitality in our day to day life often takes a back seat to “the grind.” It’s extremely difficult to experience eroticism when you are rushing from task to task in an effort to achieve/produce tangible results.
So why bother with the erotic - what makes it worth seeking out when you already have sexual lust and a fully booked calendar?
I’ll start by sharing my experience of purposefully dropping into an erotic way of being in my day to day life. I noticed I had gotten into the habit of disconnecting my mind/body when masturbating. So I was achieving the physical release, endorphins and happy brain chemicals… but I was still left unsatisfied. I knew that my disconnection had something to do with it - so I went to work on reconnecting with my body, dropping into my body and out of my head throughout all kinds of experiences. As a neurodivergent human with ADHD and a tendency to carry stress in my body this was not always easy. Dropping into my body meant also experiencing the stress, trauma and countless other things I was avoiding by staying in my brain, which thanks to my ADHD moves at a million miles an hour and serves as an excellent distraction from the unpleasant such as trauma and stress.
Dropping into my body was not an overnight process by any stretch of the imagination. I started simply enough with more yoga, stretching and intentional movement as well as intentional rest. I started paying attention to how my body felt - where it hurt, where I could experience a release via stretching or yoga. I also started paying attention to how my body felt at rest. Rather than plunking down with social media and a television show I made an effort to take more baths and actively disconnect from the business of the outside or online world. I read smutty books and erotica rather than watching porn during this process as well. I wanted to stimulate my sexual imagination rather than stifle it with the redundant themes we see playing out in mainstream porn.
Combining my newfound ability to be in my body while also experiencing vivid sensual and sexual thoughts opened a world of possibilities for pleasure in my case. Rather than rush my masturbation practice by heading straight for my clit with a fav
vibe, I started my self pleasure sessions with self massage, alternating between light and hard pressures. I began incorporating new sensations like feathers, rose petals, oils...basically if you can imagine it I tried it! My body began coming alive in ways I hadn’t experienced in many many years. I found myself dancing through joy and even through sorrow. Even now as I write this I am savoring the smoothness of my keyboard under my finger tips, the satisfying sounds of the keys clicking as I share this part of myself with you. I began knowing how to soothe my body while still acknowledging and accepting the trauma I had experienced. I acquired skills to handle the more stressful parts of life without the drama and meltdowns I had previously used to cope.
So to answer the question of why one should seek out the erotic rather than just subsisting on sex - it’s because our desire, our joy, our pleasure, our freedom - is our responsibility. There is no perfect partner, toy, drink or pill that will suddenly open your erotic floodgates. It is a commitment to yourself. To experience all of the joys, pleasures and even sorrows of this world, while being in your body. To be vividly connected to all of the pleasures and pains our bodies and imaginations can provide us.
How do you get even more eroticism outside of your
relationship with yourself and your body?
I recommend starting in nature rather than with a partner. Experience sunlight as joy on your skin, the wind as a casual caress, the delight of sweat running down your back as you hike your favourite trail. The reason I recommend expanding your personal practice of eroticism through nature before moving on to sharing your erotic self with a partner comes from my personal experience. I was so eager to share this new awakened part of myself with someone (naturally I assumed this would make sex a million times better) that when it came time to get physical I reverted quickly to old habits of disconnection and numbness. Trauma responses are very real and valid. They are also your body communicating with you. After the initial disappointment in my disconnection wore off, I was able to recognize that this was simply my body telling me that I had more work to do. After all, the most important relationship I have is with myself and my body - not with someone I wanted to share my body with. So don’t beat yourself up when you experience disconnection or a lack of the erotic from time to time. It’s natural for things to eb and flow. Not to mention you have your whole life to keep delving into your erotic self. Eroticism is not always neat and comfortable, it can expose our deepest inner struggles, emotional tensions, and even at times our childhood experiences of touch, play or trauma. Oftentimes in our childhood and even in adulthood, the one thing we can control is shutting down. I like to imagine it similar to the revenge bedtime procrastination response in which people delay going to sleep in response to stress or a lack of free time during the day. Plunging into your erotism requires an openness to expansion and demands that you be present in your body and mind and the moment. It’s often much easier to shut down our erotic selves than it is to stay present through excitement, anxiety and vulnerability.
Explore your senses - which do you use the most, which feel/come most naturally to you, what senses are triggered when you’re angry, sad, happy, turned on etc. Get honest with yourself about why you want to explore your erotic self. Be aware that it may bring up some less than pleasant things before you reap the rewards. Remember eroticism doesn’t have to be inherently sexual rather it can encompass the wondrous experience of being alive and experiencing the world!
Some exercises that can help get you started!
I turn myself on when….
I turn myself off when…
I feel most deserving when…
I feel undeserving when…
I am my most sensual erotic self when…
I am my least sensual erotic self when…
I sincerely hope you begin exploring your erotic self, deepening your connection with yourself and finding peace in the forever home of your body.
☆꧁✬ ɮ.ɮʟօօʍֆ ✬꧂☆🌈™