Self-care comes in seasons. Sometimes, you’re working on your fitness. Other times, you’re focused on clean eating. Maybe you’re more like me where you tend to take on a few self-care habits at once. Once I felt like I had my fitness and nutrition game down, I explored the areas of sexuality and relationships.

Lately, I’ve been working on my financial health and sexual boundaries. No coincidence that both are ruled by the sacral chakra. Unfortunately, all too often when we come to a fork in the road, it’s often because we feel like we have no choice. We can choose to keep doing the same things that brought us to our knees in pain, or we can choose to slowly, steadily make changes to our daily habits so we can do better next time the same situation comes around.

Recently, I was in a situation where my sexual boundaries were pushed a little too far. I did my due diligence, and communicated that I wasn’t ready to enter a sexual relationship, and had multiple vertical, fully-clothed conversations explaining why it was important to wait so we could
build real intimacy, but the thing is if you gotta have fourteen conversations to explain yourself, chances are that person just doesn’t get it and is not for you, boo. Lesson learned. My female intuition knew better. I chose to ignore it. I put myself in a situation where I was putting a man’s
sexual desires before my own values and beliefs. Five years ago, I swore I’d never do this to myself again, and here I was in almost the exact same situation letting a man penetrate my body before he penetrated my heart.

Damn, I wish I could back to the twenties when it was just a given that sex was off the table until marriage. But, here I was in bed with a man who didn’t respect my boundaries. And let me tell you that’s a painful place to be. You feel ashamed that you put yourself in such an intimate situation with someone who selfishly puts their sexual agenda before yours in the first place. You feel embarrassed that you’re far too grown to be making the same damn mistake in your thirties. You feel like you read all the books, and really learned to love yourself, yet here you are overriding your body’s signals, dismissing the red flags, all in the name of love. And for a man who isn’t even in your life as you write this blog post. Putting a man’s sexual needs before your own never, ever gets you the relationship you
really want, or makes you feel respected and cherished as a woman in any sexual relationship. Which brings me to the very important practice of sexual self-care.

By now, we’re all pretty familiar with self-care practices like carving out time for salt baths full of rose petals, scheduling a deep-tissue massage, dry skin brushing, oil pulling, exercising, eating well, and making regular trips to the hair and nail salon. But what about sexual self-care? How do we bring self-care into our sexual and romantic relationships? What does self-care even look like in the area of intimacy? Yeah, a Brazilian wax exfoliates your vulva, but if we really want to have healthy boundaries and be responsible when it comes to sex, we’ve got to practice sexual self-care on the regular so our bodies are strong enough to push back when our mind tries to tell us that it’s okay to have sex before you’re really ready.

What Is Sexual Self-Care And Why Does It Matter?

In my personal experience, sexual self-care is having regular practices in place that promote sexual health. What does that mean exactly, and why does it matter? Sexual health is two-fold. Sexual self-care is both inner and outer beauty care. Outer sexual self-care looks like the use of cleansing products for your vulva like The Honey Pot Company sold at IO Beauty Market, exfoliating/waxing/shaving, etc. Inner sexual self-care looks like regular vaginal steams, sexuality prayers, and taking Esther Perel’s Intimacy Inventory, “which is a list of questions to examine and explore yourself, your behaviors, your motives, and your history. Use it to explore what you bring to your relationships: your fears, expectations, wounds, and strengths. Access her free Intimacy Inventory here: ,”

Sexual self-care is important for two reasons: it promotes strong, healthy romantic relationships that are built on real intimacy, and empowers women to not only have, but also enforce self-respect when it comes to sexual relationships. Dating coach Matthew Hussey says, “the most dangerous point in a relationship is when we decide we really like someone because that’s when we have a tendency to compromise our standards”. Having sex before you’re really ready is an example of how women sometimes bend their standards for a guy they really like. But sex too soon tends to replace the communication between two people in the relationship instead of enhancing and deepening the connection. The deeper problem here is people are using sex to create emotional connection and sex alone, never ever will. But that’s another blog post for another day. Think about some of your friendships, and ask yourself: at what point in
the relationship did you feel like you really knew your friend? DeVon Franklin drives this point home in this interview with Lewis Howes on how women have so much more power in dating than they realize but tend to give it away to men. He also talks about the importance of an observation period in dating where taking sex off the table really helps women evaluate if the person they’re dating is the right fit for them or not. Watch the clip here.

Sexual self-care helps you enforce those sexual boundaries in a healthy way. When you’re neglecting your sexual health, and being irresponsible with sex like saying yes to having unprotected sex with men you barely know just because they want to feel you without a condom, and saying yes to sex before you’re ready, and neglecting to take care of your vagina, and have her back, chances are she’s not going to have yours when the time comes to say no.

How Sexual Self-Care Enhances Your Romantic Relationships.

Just like working out regularly tones your muscles, practicing sexual self-care strengthens the connection between your physical body and your sexual health. When our sexuality is healthy and in shape, then we can attract men and romantic partners who have the capacity to form
healthy romantic relationships and treat sex with the reverence that it deserves. We all want that dream partner, but very few of us are actually putting in the daily work to get in shape for that person that has the potential to take us on the sexual and romantic adventure of our lives.
I may have verbally communicated my sexual boundaries, values and beliefs on relationships, but my body didn’t back me up. I wasn’t taking my vagina to the gym. I was out of practice and out of touch with my own sexuality.

Here’s what sexual self-care is not: only thinking, doing, feeling about sex when it comes to actually doing the act of sex itself. Nurturing a man’s sexual desires before your own. Letting him talk you into having sex before you’re really ready for his own selfish reasons. Neglecting your sexual well-being: not getting tested regularly, not getting regular pap smears, skipping
gynecologist visits, breast exams, not having proper conversations about your sexuality and relationship beliefs and desires, both partners getting tested before you enter into a sexua relationship, and instead claiming that you can just “trust” each other. Allowing a man to enter you without protection without having that conversation or being in a place in your relationship where you’re both ready for that and the outcomes that it could produce.

Not all women, but many of us don’t even think of putting sex and self-care in the same sentence. We think getting tested and wearing condoms is enough. But if we want to go deeper into our relationship with our own sexuality, the basics just won’t cut it. Much like eating well and exercising just isn’t enough. We also need good sleep, meditation to calm the mind, and self-care to help us relax and recenter.

3 Ways To Practice Sexual Self-Care

For the woman who has said yes to sex before she was really ready, please be gentle with yourself and start slow. Be prepared to cry and feel some pent up emotions and try your best to love yourself through the messy, uncomfortable process of sexual self-care. Here are some simple steps you can take to implement a sexual self-care practice into your daily routine:

  1. Stop Saving Lingerie For Special OccasionsJust like sex isn’t for procreation purposes anymore, lingerie shouldn’t be bought or worn solely for the act of sex itself. Sexual self-care means you see yourself as a beautiful sexual being, in touch with your body and a woman who is in tune with her glistening sexuality. Playing with lingerie and
    wearing it for yourself is a great way to get back in touch with your sexual side without the pressure of having another person there with their own needs or sexual desires. The best sex happens when a woman is fully comfortable and confident in her own skin, and
    she is able to feel safe in her body — and that is a power that is for God and God alone. It’s very important for a man to provide a sense of safety for a woman, but safety in your body, in this world, with or without a man comes from divine protection. I highly
    recommend going into an Intimacy store now known as Ribgy and Pellar and let the ladies take care of you, make suggestions, and just try things on and enjoy decorating your body for no reason (or special occasion).
  2. Find A Sexual Self-Care Routine That Speaks To You. You may think nothing of it, but doing little things like moisturizing your body and using a spray for on top of you panties from The Honey Pot Company, purchasing Lovability feminist condoms that comes in a travel tin that say, “Babe with the power” are really great to have in tow. Even if you’re not sexually active, you’ll just feel like you’re sexually responsible walking around with these bad-ass, sustainable condoms tested for all shapes and sizes. Treat yourself to a Brazilian at European Wax Center and do other things like read an erotic novel to get your sexuality flowing. Last but not least, create a DIY Vaginal Steam practice, which I outline in a recent blog post here with corresponding plant-based essential oils for personalized sexual healing.
  3. Practice communicating your sexual desires and boundaries verbally, and physically. Using prayer, sexual self-care, and regular exercise to strenghten your bod helps you follow through when it’s time to put those boundaries in physical practice. A healthy fit body is a body that feels strong and connected. I wasn’t working out regularly, and hardly at all. So even though I communicated my boundaries verbally from my mind, when it came down to being in the physical situation, it’s like I was literally in slow motion with my response. If my body had my heart’s back, then those boundaries would have never been crossed. But I was physically weak, and that translated into physically weak boundaries.

Start Your Sexual Self-Care Routine Right Now

Having your sexual boundaries crossed is a very painful experience. Implementing a regular, sexual self-care practice and working out frequently keeps your sexuality and your body in shape. There’s often no way around it than going through it. But you can turn the titanic around.
Sex can go from being a painful experience to a pleasurable one. You’ve just got to put in the work. Click here to subscribe to my email list to get more sexuality and relationship tips and learn how you can use personal style and a well-balanced wardrobe to take your power back,
own your sexuality, and feel confident and sexy in well-fitted clothes, with boundaries in tact!

What’s one of the three sexual self-care practices you can start implementing today? Better yet, pick one inner sexual self-care practice and one outer sexual self-care practice that I mentioned above, and marry them to create your own unique sexual self-care routine. Pick a day on your
calendar where you have an hour or two alone. For example, you could pair the DIY Vaginal Steam as your outer practice with the Intimacy Inventory by Esther Perel. The inventory exercise could bring an area to light where you specifically need sexual healing, and then you can create your own DIY Vaginal Steam recipe to start the healing process. Schedule your Sexual Self-Care Routine in your calendar right now, (you can abbreviate it as SSC if you want to be more private). Give yourself two hours minimum. Draw yourself a bath, set yourself up for your sexual self-care routine, and do your practice. Read through the DIY Vaginal Steam ahead of time and make sure you have all the ingredients you need for your sexual self-care date. Tonight’s a great night to start. Let me know what inner and outer routines you paired, and how it goes in the comments below!

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