Elements of Embodiment, part 8: Sensual Explorations

Many trans folks, because of dysphoria, discomfort, or feelings of vulnerability, feel cut off from their bodies, and cut off from feelings of pleasure. Truthfully, in our society, many people feel that way for a variety of reasons: ways were were socialized in childhood, trauma, and/or feelings of self-judgement about our bodies.

Being fully embodied, and feeling at home in our bodies would mean full access to our senses, and the pleasure that comes from our senses. Experimentation and exploration, with curiosity and compassion, of course, can allow us to have more access to pleasure from our bodies. And finding the ways to touch your body (or have it be touched) in gender-affirming ways can go really far in helping us find pleasure in our bodies.

How to start? First, spend time noticing during your day when you find pleasure in your body. Maybe it's the hug you got in the morning from your partner, or pleasure you found in caressing them. Perhaps it's just noticing the sun on your face, and how good that feels. Then, read this post, about finding pleasure in simple touch. Start the practice with your hands.

Create a container (I'll talk more about that in the next post as well) to experiment with sensual touch. For instance, say that you'll spend 5 minutes exploring touching your own arms in a way that feels good. Or, you'll spend 5 minutes having your partner touch you non-sexually in ways that feel pleasurable. You might even experiment with getting a "Bossy Massage." Make sure to really notice, during these experiments, what's happening: how it feels, what emotions arise in you, what you notice about the experience.

The more you experiment with allowing pleasure, and feeling pleasure, the more you'll feel at home in your body, and less disconnected from it.