I was recently asked, "what is a healthy sexuality?"
This isn't a comprehensive list, and it will change as I grow and learn—but at this moment, this is what I've learned about healthy sexuality.
A healthy sexuality has a lot to do with presence, and being in the moment.
That means: not always lost in fantasy of porn or an ex, not stuck reliving a past traumatic experience, not in a constant chatter of the mind that says, “Am I doing this right? How do I look right now? Is my partner okay?” And when we do go these places (and we all do, from time to time), an ability to self-resource (or resource with your partner) and come back to the present moment.
A healthy sexuality is a capacity for pleasure that continues to expand, and the ability to think about sex, self-pleasure, or make love with a partner without a shame hangover.
It’s knowing your body is your own, and being able to communicate a yes, no, or maybe. It’s staying within your own boundaries without shame, yet having the flexibility to try new things on your terms.
A healthy sexuality has expressions of winter, spring, summer, and fall: that is, you trust the ebbs and flows of your body and desire, and understand that sometimes you will be ravenous, and just as often, you will feel little or no desire.
A healthy sexuality isn’t destructive of Self or others; it’s not not compulsive; and it doesn’t use sex or self-pleasure to fill a hole or numb out. A healthy sexuality looks like choosing partners you can trust, feel safe with, and be fully yourself with.
A healthy sexuality is conscious and examined.
It's excavating your parents' beliefs, your lineage, your religion, society—it's parsing out what is yours and what you want to carry forward, from what you've been given by your caregivers and society. It's knowing deeply that you are yours, your body is yours, and you are the one who gets to create your sexual belief system.
Healthy sexuality is a continuum, and it’s perfectly normal and okay to not meet all of the above.
I don’t always. It’s a journey, a spiral, a path, and it changes throughout our lives. My personal healthy sexuality looks different than yours. We all have our own Core Erotic Themes (read The Erotic Mind by Jack Morin) and erotic blueprints (look up Jaiya’s work), and can work with these to achieve our own unique flavor of healthy sexuality.
Above all, a healthy sexuality isn’t boring—it can take you to greater heights of pleasure than you've ever experienced.
When your sexuality is aligned in your own Truth, it doesn't come with feeling bad after sex or self-pleasure. It feels pure, unfettered and clean, but not in the way we're used to using those words. You can still be having anal sex, or exploring spanking, and feel pure, unfettered and clean. It's about full consent from you and a partner, and being your full Self in sex.
For me, it was moving from behaviors that made me feel disoriented or shameful, to behaviors that made me feel good.
I used to think sexuality was dark, because of the things it “made” me do, and the intensity of its call. Once I realized that sexuality is actually life-force, that it’s perfectly natural, that it is our creativity and our capacity for pleasure, I shifted into a new expression of sexuality. One that felt aligned in every way, one that felt like my Truth. I brought my sexuality out of the shame-filled shadow, and into the light—just doing that causes immense healing.
My shift took years of work, with some huge leaps, some steps backwards, some repeated mistakes: your usual Heroine’s journey. This is how we transform. Some things click immediately; others take years to fully shift.
A healthy sexuality can look like multiple orgasms, energy orgasms, visions, and transcendent sex. It can also look like sobbing mid-sex, grieving your past, letting out frustration by beating pillows, stopping sex or slowing down any time you feel like you’re leaving your body or having a trauma response. Having a healthy sexuality means you allow what’s present to be present.