“No girl is born hating her body or feeling ashamed of her sexuality,” begins Emily Nagoski in Come as You Are. Yet the sex negative culture around us often acts like poison ivy in our sensual garden. Throughout this amazing guide, Nagoski parallels sexual growth to your personal garden and approaches sexual desire in terms of accelerating or braking.
So where does yuck start? “Many of us were raised in cultures that say our own sexual bodies are disgusting and degrading, and so are the fluids, sounds and smells those bodies make. Avoid sex! Sex is gross as well as dangerous!” Nagoski bluffs. Of course this ingrained negativity starts feelings of self-criticism; and instead of saying yes, disgust hits the brakes.
“Predictably, the experience of disgust is context sensitive – we’re less grossed out by sex related things while we are sexually aroused. Begin to notice your ‘yuck’ responses and ask yourself if those responses are making your sex life better or worse” says Nagoski. You didn’t choose your plot of land or what was originally planted in your garden, but you are the gardener now and can choose what stays and grows versus what you would like to let go of forever.
“How do we maximize the yum, in a world that tries to convince us we’re yucky?” Asks Nagoski. By combining self-compassion with love and celebration for your body, ignore the critical and judgmental thoughts and focus on the positive. Practicing sensuality, you can easily tap into the eagerness mechanism and voluptuous sensations. Nagoski’s words seduce:
Now imagine having sex when you feel tremendously confident and beautiful. Imagine a person you care about touching your skin with their hands and their gaze, when you love every inch of yourself and can feel your partner appreciating how gorgeous you are.”
You are luscious and your lover is devouring every inch of you as if you’re a yummy piece of pie. Nagoski prompts us to “Try on the possibility that the sights, the smells, the sounds, the stickiness of your own sexual organism are glorious and beautiful parts of being a human being.” Your body is abundant, alluring and cause for celebration. Savor your slice. Maximize yum.
Check out Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski in The Sensualogist bookshop.