Like nature, we humans move through the seasons in many different parts of our lives.
Our sexuality is no different. There may be times when our appetite feels insatiable. We are in tune with our bodies, turn on is super accessible. We have orgasms for breakfast.
There are other times, when being lovingly held by a partner or perhaps not being touched at all feels most nourishing to us.
Your sexual seasons will shift and change throughout your life. They may be affected by your cycle, pregnancy and motherhood, menopause... but also by what is going on in your life. Stress, finances, work, partners, family.... the list goes on.
Lets chat for a moment about the expectations of sexuality for women and V-Owning humans. Very often we are given mixed messages from society. We are shamed for being too sexual, yet our bodies and sexuality are used to market pretty much anything these days. On the other hand, there is an expectation to preform for partners (very often for male partners). The porn industry has warped the perception of sex, and put unrealistic ideas in the minds of men. While we are shamed for being too sexual, we are then shamed again for not being sexual enough.
What if we completely shifted the way we perceive and think about sex? Much of our sex ed is steeped in patriarchy. Did you learn anything about the female orgasm or pleasure as a youth? I remember my sex ed class, boys and girls separated. We learned about periods and pregnancy. Boys learned about wet dreams and erections. From the beginning we are excluded from conversations that pair pleasure with sex. We are taught that sex is something that is done to us, not something we are active participants in. As we grow into sexual beings, we then prioritize the male ego, and our sexuality can become performative, never for us, always for them.
When was the last time you told your partner exactly what you wanted in a sexual experience. Can you ask for more? Or maybe less? Are you often disappointed? Do you feel pressure to perform sexual acts?
Your Sexual Seasons help create an understanding of how to honor yourself when it comes to your pleasure. Consent is a foundational part of claiming sexual sovereignty.
" Consent is a voluntary agreement made without coercion, between persons with
decision making capacity, knowledge, understanding and autonomy. The use of
consent allows a person to affirm or deny any request or interaction."
- The Consent Academy
Take a deep breath, beautiful. Feel your feet on the floor and drop your awareness into that support. 3 more deep breaths. We are going to have a conversation that might be triggering, so please come back to this anchored breath, or take a break from reading if it feels like too much.
Winter is a sexual season where we feel little, or no desire for sexual pleasure or experiences. We may crave intimacy in the form of physical closeness (hugs, massages) or emotional connection (meaningful conversation, play etc). Winter is a beautiful place to be. It is the season where we can really learn to pay attention to what we really need in terms of intimacy, and our own inner healing. We might experience Winter as a result of changes in our lives. Pregnancy, motherhood, work, family.... all these can play a part in how much energy we have to extend towards our sexual selves.
It is when women and V-owners are in their winter, that they might experience pressure from their partners to engage in sexual activity. The commonality of this saddens me deeply. I have my own lived experience, of this, and have yet to speak to someone who has been in a hetero relationship who hasn't experienced this. Winter is the sexual season when we will often ENDURE sex with our partners. We give in to the shaming, the guilt, the pressure because it is just easier, safer to do so.
If you feel you are in a Winter Season, you can lean into it by asking yourself a few questions about engaging in sex.
"How and why am I participating?"
"Who is this engagement for?"
"What do I need to feel safe and validated in this moment?"
By checking in with these 3 questions, we are able to bring awareness to sex, and whether it is nourishing, or depleting. Any time the answers lean towards depletion, and performance, take a break and come back to it later to see if anything changes. Winter may be asking you to take a break from partner sex, or from any sort of sexual pleasure at all. What might happened if you listened to it.
(Beautiful soul, if for any reason you feel endangered or very unsafe to say No to your partner, please contact your local women's shelter. It is your right to say NO, whenever you want to. If you need help with this, please reach out to me and I will do my very best to find you the most supportive resources possible.)
Sometimes, winter can seem like it goes on forever. Should you feel stuck in your winter, I recommend first, reading Come As You Are by Emily Nagaski, Ph.D. and then perhaps spending some time with a professional to examine what might be holding you in a winter.
Autumn is typically the time of slowing down, letting go. In your sexuality, you may feel less desire, or a desire for slower, more intimate lovemaking. When we are in autumn, we might need a little more foreplay, or a little extra romance from our partners. This is where an understanding of Responsive Desire can be helpful. (I discuss this in detail in "Low Desire Does Not Mean Broken" from June 17th 2022) . It is really just as it seems. Desire rises in response to appropriate stimuli. Most V-owners and women need 20-40 minutes of foreplay in order to reach full arousal. (This can be anything from sexting to naked massages). If you are in autumn, your partner might need to be a little more attentive. You may benefit from asking what you need.
Try this exercise with your partner or a close friend. Choose a massage oil or lotion that you love, and simply exchange hand or foot massages. During the exchange, practice telling your partner what feels good, and what you'd like more or less of. This is a beautiful, safe way to begin to learn to use your voice to advocate for your intimacy and pleasure needs. The goal of Autumn isn't to create more desire, it is simply to honour what is there, slow down and listen to your body, and your soul. Autumn can also show you where you may have previously been rushing, goal oriented or enduring in your pleasure journey. Just like Winter, there is a wealth of self knowledge to uncover in Autumn. This can be known as the learning zone, where you can be curious about what you'd like to shift or change in your sexual experiences.
Summer is the season that we most often associate with a vibrant, healthy sexuality. Let me state very clearly, that this is terribly incorrect. Every season of our sexuality is valid, and beautiful. Healthy sexuality is not determined by how active you are. It is determined by how safe, held, loved, and respected you feel in your sexual experiences with yourself and a partner.
We can associate Summer with a period of wanting. Where desire is high and arousal is accessible, we are acting from the more primal part of ourselves. We might tend to initiate sex more, or move towards our partners more often.
For women and V-owners, we may experience shame while we are in our Summer. Our society conditions us to believe that female bodies who have high desire are shameful. Slut. Whore. Promiscuous... all words that can be used to shame us away from embracing our full and expansive sexual power. Sometimes these beliefs become so engrained, that even though we experience desire, it may be hard for us to act on it, or surrender to the fullness of pleasure.
Summer can be for sexual exploration and experimentation. Maybe trying out some new things with your partner, but remembering to check in at each stage of this with consent. "Is this ok?" "Would you like to try a little more?" Summer is a time of claiming your sexual power and welcoming the full spectrum of desire and arousal.
Spring is the season of growth and expansion. It is the time when we may feel a little playful, as we emerge from our winter. We may feel increasing desire or crave more attention from our partner. It is a season when we often will experience a "Yes" in our mind, but our body might still ask for a little extra care. We are willing and open to experience sex, but again, much like Autumn, we may have more conditions to be able to move to wanting. It is very common for women and V-owners to be in Spring. We deeply want to have desire, but may feel like something is holding us back from being an enthusiastic YES. (And we know, anything less than that is not consent.) Spring might see a little more passion than Autumn, a little more desire as well.
We move through these seasons sometimes very slowly, and sometimes we can feel them all deeply in a matter of a week. Whatever season you are in, I invite you to explore it, notice what your needs are, and practice asking for them. Whether your need is space, sleeping alone, a massage, or hours of lovemaking devoted to your pleasure only.... you deserve to have them honoured.
Please reach out to me if any of this felt difficult to receive, or if you would like to learn more.
Love and Magick,