Sensuality is a powerful tool women can use to enhance their experience during labor and birth. Melting into her sensual nature allows a birthing woman to fully relax, stay present, and enjoy the process of labor and delivery.
Giving birth is the culmination of the sexual act. You birth with all of your sexual organs, stimulating and flooding them with sensation. Childbirth at its best also mirrors the trance states of arousal and orgasm. Melting into her sensuality heightens a woman’s experience of pleasure during childbirth, much like it does during sex.
Sensuality at its essence is a practice, a way of experiencing life. What if you were to treat your birth like the sensual ride of your life? What would that mean? What would your birth prep look like?
I had the honor of teaching a 50 minute class on the topic at the En*theos Academy. I’ve outlined the top 10 big ideas that I shared right here on the blog, but if you are inspired to delve deeper and experience the class in its entirety, you can watch the live class here on YouTube.
10 Big Ideas: How to expand your Sensuality in Preparation for an Ecstatic Birth:
- Sensual expansion = Feeling more pleasure in your body. Sensual and sexual are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, understanding the nuances between the two are key to having this discussion in relation to childbirth. Sensual is finding pleasure in the journey, in each moment. Sexual refers to a specific act, an end goal. Sensual expansion refers to the process of relaxing into the sensations of your body, learning to tap into the ones that give you pleasure, and amplifying your attention to and enjoyment of them. During childbirth the majority of the sensations are in our sexual centers, so even though we will discuss sensuality in all arenas, we will focus quite a bit on expanding sensuality in your sexual organs.
- Practice is the only doorway into the world of pleasure. Sensuality is not something you can cram into your brain or body. It is a reorientation in the way you live and feel in your body. It is a gradual opening to the ability to feel and soak in the world around you. The more you practice, the more you will feel, the more you can enjoy your life experiences. Sensual expansion is a life-long journey, but pregnant women only have a few short months to prepare. The key to getting the most powerful shifts quickly is journaling. If you set the intention to journal all your sensual experiences, where and how you feel pleasure throughout your days, you will raise your level of consciousness. As you practice and journal, pay attention to what you gives you pleasure, to what lights you up, inspires you, turns you on. Pay attention to all of your senses. The more you know what you like, the more you can bring these elements into the birthing room and infuse your birth with them.
- Learning to orgasm well is powerful birth preparation. Both orgasm and childbirth flood the body with an often overwhelming amount of sensation and massive amounts of energy flow. The journey to prepare for enjoying either experience to the max is to learn to surrender to the energy, to practice relaxing into it rather than resisting the process. The tools we use to help us are also one and the same- sound, breath, movement, a deep relaxation or letting go. Finally, the rhythms of both orgasm and birth are as follows: expansion, contraction, expansion contraction… . All of these parallels and similarities enable to you to use orgasmic expansion as a powerful form of birth prep for a pleasurable birth experience (and pleasurable life!).
- Is your birth environment sexy? Many of the conditions that make for optimal birthing are similar to the conditions that make for optimal sex. Given that in both situations a woman is allowing her inner most sacred and vulnerable self to open, most women want to be in an environment where they feel safe, cared for, and loved. Use this to inform where and with whom you want to birth. Further the physical environment should also resonate with your sensual nature. For most women, this might include dim lighting, soft and cozy fabrics, music. The more turned on you are, the more blood flow you will have in your pelvic area, and particularly in the erectile tissue in your vulva. This bloodflow and lubrication supports your body opening with ease and pleasure.
- Orgasms are a powerful labor management tool. Orgasms can be used to jump start labor. They can be used to move a sluggish labor along. They can also, perhaps most intriguingly, be used to manage labor. How? Orgasms are a powerful natural pain killer, more powerful than some of the strongest drugs out there. During an orgasm, the body releases both serotonin and endorphins. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood, sexual desire, and even pain perception. Endorphins are an opiate like chemical, which are proven to increase the body’s threshold to pain.The hormonal cocktail released with orgasms can increase your pain threshold by over 100%. Don’t believe me? Google it. You will be flooded with all the research and stats.
- Clearing the body’s energy paves the way for a smooth labor and birth. The sheer amount of life-force energy flowing through a woman’s body at birth is staggering and can often feel frightening if you don’t know what to do with it and nothing stalls labor like fear, right? You know what else this is like? Hint: Think about when else you might beg someone to stop, because it is just too much, too good?? Yup, it is all inter-related. Sensual expansion is an incredible birth prep tool because it teaches you what to do with massive amounts of energy, how to integrate it for your pleasure as opposed to resist it because it is too much to handle. The massive energy flow through the body also brings stuff up to be released. This can include old wounds, trauma, or limiting beliefs, all of which are better handled prior to childbirth than in the midst of labor. Often the release of this old negativity, opens the body to more flow and subsequently more pleasure.
- Get a guru. There is so much to learn about ourselves, our bodies, and what is possible for our sensual/ sexual selves. The more we know what is possible, the more possibilities are open to us. Get a guru. There are a million and one sexual educators out there, each with their own unique education and background, their own unique style and personality. Find someone who speaks to you, who you relate to and who you are inspired by. Learn from them. That person can guide you, support you, and ensure that whatever practices they recommend are also safe during pregnancy.
- “Feeling” is the simplest and most powerful practice. This is in direct opposition to the conventional approach to childbirth of numbing feeling. Lie down on your bed and breathe and relax. Feel into your body. Notice all of the sensations throughout. Do you feel pain? Do you feel pleasure? Can you feel them at the same time? Put your attention on different parts of your body, your limbs, organs, pleasure centers. The more you are able to fully feel with your body, the more you will learn to access and amplify the sensations that you enjoy. The first step is learning to feel them
- Our body is 100% programmable. Do you remember the story of Pavlov’s dogs? Each time he was about to feed them dinner he rang a bell and soon they were salivating at the sound of the bell, no food needed. What he did was create a neural connection between the sound of the bell and the experience of having a meal. We are just as programmable. For example, if your lover wears a certain cologne, you may find yourself getting very turned on with just the scent of that cologne. You can consciously program your body with childbirth in mind, to turn on, to relax, or even to orgasm on demand.
- Expansion, contraction, expansion, contraction…pulses through everything. Once you are conscious of this rhythm you can use it to your advantage. With your sensual expansion if things get too intense, press pause and allow your body to integrate. With birth, rather than panicking if you are going through a rough patch, you can learn to relax knowing that the contrast is right around the corner. In life as well, you can move more smoothly through your highs and lows by learning to anticipate them and build your quiet moments around your greatest achievements. This rhythm reinforces a more pleasurable way to move through sex, birth and life. There is no need to muscle through every moment. The surrender and relaxation is anintegral a part of the process, just as powerful if not more so.