Self-care is quite possibly one of the most commonly used terms in the health and wellness industry. And while self-care encompasses many things, from your facemask routine to your weekly yoga class, sexual wellness and pleasure aren’t always near the top of everyone’s list. But it’s high on my list...because, after all, a well-rounded self-care routine means caring for every part of you. Yes, every part.
The meaning of sexual wellness is different for everyone, but essentially, it embraces not just the physical aspect of sexuality and sexual pleasure, but the emotional, relational and spiritual as well. How you feel about yourself and your body, knowing what you like and don’t like, and the way you connect with intimate partners— they can all benefit by making sexual wellness part of your self-care practice. And while sexual self-care isn’t yet a topic of conversation around the dinner table, I love witnessing the women-forward companies advocating to make this topic less taboo.
Two of my favourite brands, XIXILI, a Malaysia-based lingerie company, and Singapore-based personal massager and lubricant brand, Smile Makers, are the perfect example of companies here in Asia partnering together to lead the charge to open up the conversation on sexual self-care. Their partnership aims to normalise female sexuality and pleasure, encourage body positivity and empower women to feel more confident to take control of their sexual health and overall wellness. Slow clap!
If you’re sexual self-care-curious, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! I’ve been there. Here are a few ways I started incorporating sexual wellness into my self-care routine—and how I benefitted!
How—And Why!—To Incorporate Sexual Self-Care Into Your Routine
Put on something sexy
Don’t underestimate the power of the panties you wear! Seriously. I think a little something sexy (whatever that means to you) can go a long way! Something as simple as a properly-fitting cute bra and panty set takes my confidence to the next level and makes me feel great inside and out. I love to get my lingerie from XIXILI.
They have a huge selection of size-inclusive styles, and I can find just about anything I want on their website, from t-shirt bras to something a little racier.
My top picks from XIXILI
The Carin loungewear set is so comfy and chic—it’s my go-to for a cosy night in.
The Janice wireless bra is super soft and goes great under a casual top or sexy blouse for a night out.
Knowing my body on an intimate level—what feels goods, what I like, what I don’t like—was a major ingredient in finding my sexual self-care routine. Finding what felt good to me took some exploring and practice, but it was worth it! After all, the female orgasm has been scientifically proven to help with anti-ageing, menstrual cramps, stress and pain, sleep...shall I go on? And according to psychiatrist and sexologist Dr Juliette Buffat, “having a fulfilling sex life clearly contributes to good physical and psychological health, whether the satisfaction is obtained solo or between two persons.”
Here are a few tips from a personal fave of mine, Smile Makers, on how to make the most of self-sexploration:
Look at your body
Use a handheld mirror to explore your body—your entire body. Many women aren’t familiar with their intimate regions, but knowing your body helps you connect not only to yourself but with your partner as well.
Use your hands
Using your hands to explore your whole body allows you to understand how it reacts to different movements and touches. Take this time to explore without any pressure to please someone other than yourself
Experiment with a vibrator
No longer as taboo as it once was, owning—and using—a vibrator is now a norm. “Vibrators are very useful for learning feminine pleasure,” states Dr Buffat. Don’t know where to begin? Smile Makers offers a wide range of body-safe sexual wellness products, including vibrators and personal lubricants which can now be purchased on XIXILI as part of their partnership. I just love Smile Makers’ colourful and fun variety of vibrators to fit every individuals’ wants.
Practice makes perfect
Need I say more? As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more you understand your body, the better you’ll be able to communicate your needs to your intimate partner, bringing you both more satisfaction—and fun!
Start a dialogue
For me, at the end of the day, my sexual self-care journey has really been about arming myself with the confidence to talk about my own pleasure and/or sexual health wellness, whether it’s with my doctor, my partner or my girlfriends, without judgment or shame.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a huge proponent of adding sexual wellness to your self-care routine. As I said, sexual self-care may mean different things to different individuals. Try experimenting to find what works for you; adopt the practices you like, discard the ones you don’t. Above all, I hope you feel empowered to embark on your sexual wellness journey confidently and purposefully!