What I want to change about pleasure
Nikki speaks to HuffPost Women about sex, Orgasmic Meditation and "pleasure projects" as part of their "Meet the Women Who Want to Help Other Women Orgasm" panel exploring "the orgasm gap", why women have fewer orgasms than men.
Quite serendipitously, we are announcing the dates for our next YSW "Your Sexual Woman" Workshop today! Join us 28-30 July in Central London to learn how to bring more pleasure, freedom and orgasms into your life.
Excerpt from the article below. Read the full piece here.
Nikki Armytage-Foy, Leadership Coach and Founder of Electric Woman
Armytage-Foy is an international coach, founder of the Electric Woman community and a strong advocate for women’s leadership. She works 1-1 and in groups with CEOs, entrepreneurs and those want to make a difference in their own lives and to the lives of others.
When was your sexual awakening?
“My sexual awakening wasn’t one moment, it was over the course of a year (2013), that was the year which I dedicated to learning about and exploring my sexual pleasure and orgasm. It was a commitment I made to myself after being frustrated with a decade (I was 31 at the time) of unfulfilling sex, faking orgasms, feeling shame and embarrassment about my body.
“I lived in San Francisco and came across a practice called Orgasmic Meditation – a 15 minute partnered consciousness practice where a stroker strokes the clitoris of a strokee (me) for 15 minutes with no other goal than to feel sensation. I had my first ‘OM’ which was confronting and yet it was what I had been looking for – an opportunity to have intimacy with a partner, to feel sensation, to receive and to help me communicate what I was feeling and how I wanted to be touched.
“Over a number of months as I continued this practice, I decided to move back to London... I worked with coaches to explore the blocks and fear that held me back from embracing my pleasure and sexual energy. I learnt that it was something to feel proud of and invest in as it was the very thing that gave a deeper level of confidence as a woman - and I was much kinder and compassionate towards myself, my body and my partner as a result of this.”
How did you start working in women’s sexual pleasure? And what inspired you to get involved?
“I had been life coaching women for a number of years before becoming aware of the importance of owning our sexual pleasure and orgasm (in my own sexual awakening) and I always felt there was something missing – a spark to the coaching just wasn’t there. Talking about sexuality seemed hidden and not important, it was a back of the list type concern – most of the women wanted to get their career on track and even though their sex life was not fulfilling, they saw it as a nice to have but not essential.
“Once I became aware of the freedom and deeper connection to self that a woman could get from her pleasure along with hearing one too many complaints from my clients about feeling like sex was a chore and how they were exhausted all the time, I decided to partner with an woman who had been on her own journey of sexual exploration. We designed a 2.5 day course in London to allow women to embody their ‘sexual woman’ to release shame and embrace their desire. I have worked it into my core coaching practice with all the women who come on my group and 1-1 coaching programmes.”
What do you think is holding women back in the bedroom?
“The idea that her own pleasure doesn’t matter. This manifests itself in different ways. We aren’t always good at being vulnerable to ask for what we wants or stop and reflect on this. ‘What would be pleasurable for me right now? What do I really want?’
“I hear so often that sex is a chore or a performance, and she’s ‘doing sex’ as a list of things to do or just to please her partner. I see women running on empty in their lives and they take this mentality into the bedroom and feel they have to give more there too. Sex can be an opportunity to ‘fill up’ with energy, connection and intimacy and often we don’t see it like this.”
What do you want to change about women’s sexual pleasure? And how?
“That investing in her own sexual pleasure is as important as investing in something that she spends much time and effort in – her fitness, her career or her image.
“How? To have women start ‘pleasure projects’ - to find what gives her pleasure (and to ask for it) both in life and sexually so she is focusses on a life that is energy giving vs depleting. I would love to see women spending more time and connecting with their body and orgasm, to try Orgasmic Meditation, to masturbate regularly, and to notice the positive difference they feel in themselves as a result of this. To also speak about it more openly, and not feel embarrassment around it.”