Slowing down & bringing the sacred into self-pleasure
By Guest Contributor, Robin Hilton
Do you remember learning about the sexual response cycle in sex ed?
The sexual response cycle was created in 1966 by Masters & Johnson. They defined pleasure & orgasm in four stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm, & resolution.
Before this, Alfred Kinsey defined orgasm as an “explosive discharge of neuromuscular tensions at the peak of sexual response.”
While both of these descriptions of sexual excitement and response are adequate - they are also quite bland & unexciting.
Pleasure, sex, and orgasm deserve more exciting descriptions like this one from Wilhelm Reich, who describes orgasm as ‘‘the capacity to surrender to the flow of biological energy, free of any inhibition; the capacity to discharge completely dammed up sexual excitation through involuntary, pleasurable contractions of the body’’.
Reich’s definition invites energy into the conversation.
Amara Charles takes this further with her definition, "Orgasms allow the mind to stretch beyond usual consciousness, nourish our bodies, and fill the spirit with truth and beauty’’
Energy is something that we can’t see, but we can feel it.
Bringing attention to energy can take an ordinary sexual experience and turn it into something profound, or even sacred.
One of the ways we can invite an energetic experience to emerge is through ritual.
Sacred Sexuality is an approach to sex that uses ritual as a tool to access transcendent pleasure experiences. Doing this allows us to touch in on our Divine nature - or explore something that feels larger than the mundane.
Sacred Sexuality is experienced on three tiers - we can experience one of the tiers or multiple tiers simultaneously:
1. The personal - this is our own experience of sensation, energy, and specific practices or rituals
2. The interpersonal - this is the shared partner experience wherein a sense of separateness dissolves creating profound intimacy and connection
3. The transpersonal - these go beyond our egoic perceptions and allow us to experience something beyond our everyday perceptions
Rituals give us access to an unseen energetic field and bring order and a sense of safety to a chaotic world. Feeling safe makes way for your liberated sexual self to emerge.
Here are three rituals you can use when you self-pleasure that will invite a sacred element into your pleasure practices:
Set up a ritual space for your practice:
The first ritual you can try is to be intentional about how you set up your practice space.
What kinds of things bring you sensory pleasure? This might be things like soft blankets, essential oils, candles, or flowers.
Set up your space with these things - be intentional about inviting beauty into your ritual space.
Set an intention for your practice:
The second ritual is to be intentional about what you want to experience. Before you start your self-pleasure practice - drop into your body, check in with yourself and ask, “What do I want to experience today?”
Set an intention for this experience to happen.
“I want to notice all the ways my body is experiencing pleasure and move towards what feels the most expansive and exciting in each moment."
“I want to experience a full-body orgasm.”
It’s important to know that setting an intention does not mean getting attached to the outcome. Setting an intention adds a quality of desire to your practice. This allows you to be more present for the experience you’re having.
Practice Mindfulness while you self-pleasure.
The last way to bring ritual into self-pleasure is through mindfulness practice. Bring awareness to your breath, the way you’re moving, and the sensations you’re experiencing from moment to moment. Treat your self-pleasure practice the same way you’d treat any other mindfulness practice - like yoga, breathwork, or meditation.
Some things to notice while you’re self-pleasuring:
Can you move energy through your body with your breath?
What happens when you let yourself move freely?
What happens when you move toward the most pleasurable sensations?
If you find focus challenging and need extra help - using tools like crystal dildos and vaginal eggs can be very supportive. These tools help you pinpoint your awareness in your body allowing you to focus on the sensations you’re feeling using them.
Adding rituals allows for more intimacy with yourself and the people you have sex with. Rituals may also support an improvement in self-esteem, and feelings of positivity related to sex and pleasure.
Author Robin Hilton (she/her) supports women to have a celebratory relationship with their bodies, pleasure & sex.
Her lifelong passion is to help women confidently express their most authentic selves, to let their guard down so they can shine brightly and confidently in all areas of their lives but most importantly in their capacity to experience the deep joy of embodiment and sexual pleasure.
Robin's work as a Pleasure Expert & Feminist Sex Coach blends the power of personal experience with current best trauma-informed practices in the fields of sexual health coaching & education. Visit and learn more about Robin at robinjoy.ca.
Download the 30 Days of Pleasure Challenge here: https://robinjoy.ca/30-days-of-pleasure