Pleasure is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Everyone’s desires and preferences are unique and what is arousing to one may not be for all. Getting curious about and exploring one’s own pleasure practice is a great exercise in discovering one’s erotic blueprint so they can enjoy pleasure in all capacities, whether solo or with partners.
In this episode of the Modern Intimacy Podcast, Dr. Kate Balestrieri chats with author of the book Slow Pleasure and full spectrum pleasure coach, Euphemia Russell, about the importance of curating a pleasure practice with mindfulness and intention.
What is a Pleasure Practice?
A pleasure practice is a means to mindfully notice sensuality and pleasure throughout the day, whether situations are overtly erotic or not. Pleasure practices invite all five senses to the forefront to explore avenues of pleasure. This could look like closing your eyes and breathing in the warm scent from a favorite candle, running your hands over your favorite, softest blanket, slowly savoring a favorite dish, and many other scenarios that might night seem particularly sexy, but with intention, can become sensual experiences.
Some people, especially those who tend to feel more disconnected from their body, tend to have a harder time noticing and connecting with pleasure, whether sexual or otherwise. People who experience high or chronic levels of anxiety or those who have been through trauma(s) often can be more prone to stress and dissociation which can lead to disembodiment.
If you do not have a pleasure practice, think of it as a roadmap of sensuality. Using your senses, what makes you feel good, calm, safe, cozy, and any other feel-good sensations? It can be easy to forget to “stop and smell the roses,” but creating a pleasure practice can be a permission slip to engage with your sense mindfully, intentionally, and slowly.
Why a Slow Pleasure Practice?
For those who live in fast-paced and productivity-obsessed societies, the concept of slowing down sometimes feels foreign. Many struggle with detaching from the never-ending to-do list, emails that need answered, the laundry and dishes piling up, and every other non-pleasurable task that needs addressed.
Carving out time for yourself oftentimes requires intention as many have a hard time organically dedicating time to self-care. Making time to explore and engage with your pleasure practice whether it’s meditation, solo or partnered sex, reading or listening to an erotic novel or podcast, wrapping yourself in a fluffy or silky robe; any of these things and many more can constitute as pleasure practices and serve as a reminder that you are deserving of pleasure every day, no matter what that practice looks like for you.
Euphemia Russell, (they/them) is a full spectrum pleasure coach and bestselling author of Slow Pleasure.
Slow Pleasure is a practical and philosophical exploration of pleasure, teaching you how to claim, prioritize and integrate pleasure into your daily life.
They combine their training in somatic coaching, and sex education to create space for their clients. Creating space for them to pause, listen and remember their full spectrum of pleasure and choices in each moment, drip by drip and microdose by microdose. All in the name of aliveness and reestablishing a nourishing connection to self, others, and the land.
Euphemia is trained and certified in somatic coaching, International Coaching Federation, sex-positive education, sexual violence counseling, and trauma-informed facilitation, and has a background in Community Cultural Development.
Their work aims to support people to flourish and feel pleasure. Even despite our collective crisis of pace and disconnection. They’ve been featured in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vice, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.
Dr. Kate and Euphemia discuss why people have forgotten, through Covid and other factors, how to know what pleasure is anymore. They discuss remembering… how to and why it’s important for connection and joy. We can start slowly, and build our capacity for pleasure and fun again!