Tamica Wilder, Founder of ‘The Orgasmic Mama’, gets candid with us on female sexuality and the impact of masturbation on our relationships.
Sex coach, Kinesiologist, EFT practitioner and Lovehoney’s resident sex coach, Tamica Wilder, has been studying female sexuality for 18 years.
She has dedicated her career to teaching mothers and young women how to re-connect with their bodies, as well as the art of shamelessly indulging in their sexuality.
As we draw a close to 2021’s ‘Masturbation May’, Happy sat down with Tamica, to discuss all things female sexuality, including the domino effect that masturbation can have on our relationships with ourselves and others.
Conversations around sexuality and masturbation have always been a little taboo.
However, Wilder enthusiastically acknowledges that masturbation has shifted from a prohibited topic, to one that is now embraced and viewed as a pathway to “sexual identity and empowered self-exploration.”
“There are many different reasons why people masturbate. It’s a completely healthy, natural and normal sexual behaviour that has multiple benefits,” Wilder told Happy.
According to Lovehoney’s Masturbation May study, Aussies masturbate primarily “to relax (28.8%), to relieve stress (28.6%) and to aid with sleep (18%).”
“It feels good, and releases hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. These hormones help reduce stress, create calm, confidence and mental clarity, promote relaxation and improve our sleep (Umm I’m a big fat YES to all of these!),” she continues.
“Engaging in self-pleasuring can also boost your immunity and in some cases even provide pain relief!”
A 2011 study on young adult perceptions of masturbation found that women struggled with accepting the act as “normal“. Contrastingly, men acknowledged the benefits of masturbation, particularly in aiding “healthy sexual development“.
The study appears to be an acute reflection of the time it was conducted in, as conversations regarding female solo play have opened wide up!
“And rightly so!” exclaims Wilder.
Regardless of the beautiful sex-positivity that is blooming across our culture, some of us may be struggling to shake off the shame and have a healthy conversation on sexuality with ourselves.
Wilder acknowledges that seeing sex as something natural creates a pathway to self-acceptance:
“When we reject, ignore or relegate our sexuality to the furthest corners of our awareness and expression, we are rejecting an aspect of our most primal, natural and authentic human functioning,” Wilder says.
“We are rejecting an aspect of ourselves. Our sexuality is both an archaic biological urge and a stunning opportunity for connection, pleasure and joy. Our pleasure is no longer reserved for procreation. Our pleasure allows us to harness all of the best things about being in this human body.
“When we uplift healthier narratives about our human sexuality and normalise it by sharing clear and accurate information, we are contributing to a sex-positive, pleasure inclusive culture.”
Wilder believes that re-educating people on sex and masturbation is critical in leading to the de-stigmatisation of the topic overall.
“I spend my days teaching people how to bring sensation and pleasure into their bodies,” Wilder says.
“The fact is – the rebellious act of choosing yourself, your pleasure and erotic embodiment is a skill that anyone can master and one that may profoundly benefit your entire life. Love yourself this month and every other month.
“Tell yourself you’re worth it, because you are. Explore your body, because pleasure is your divine right of life.
Wilder also emphasises the duality of sexuality, and that whilst it is “natural,” it is also very much “learned”.
This solidifies her claims that masturbation is so important, as it invites us to explore what we want, what we like, what we need and what we desire. In turn, we learn more about ourselves.
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Not only does masturbation feel great and provide numerous health benefits, but it can also be integral in harbouring healthy relationships:
“Healthy relationships start with you and the relationship you have with yourself,” Wilder said.
“When you’ve spent time understanding what your body enjoys, and you’re taking full responsibility for your pleasure, you’ll bring this self-awareness to your relationships.
“It’s easy to forget that sexuality is as much personal as it is relational.
“When we neglect to take care of and strengthen our solo sex practises, we may arrive in habits that make another person, usually our partners, responsible for our pleasure.
This can be a dangerous comfort zone as we create an expectation that others are in charge of how we feel, instead of personally regulating that. What may follow once your sexual fantasies have not been fulfilled, are feelings of disappointment and resentment.
“By understanding your own body and pleasure points, it can help you communicate with your partner for a more open and fulfilling relationship in the bedroom – Remember, your pleasure is your responsibility. Not theirs,” Wilder notes.
“Mutual masturbation is an amazing way to highlight what each other enjoy. Lovehoney’s research revealed that almost 1 in 3 (30.6%) of us have masturbated with a partner. I’d love to see this number increase!
“Openly sharing what you enjoy, what you desire, and even specifics about strokes and positions is such a connective and intimate experience for couples. This practice can strengthen your intimacy and increases your pleasure as it ensures your receiving top-notch touch!”
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A huge takeaway from our interview with Wilder is that we hold the power to our own happiness.
To begin feeling comfortable with our status as sexual beings, we must take a step back and look at ourselves with “fresh eyes“. Once we let go of any idea regarding how we should be, a happier, more fulfilled and confident version of us awaits.
Challenge traditional notions of what sex involves by discovering what sex means to you.
Have fun exploring your sexuality, be patient and take your time but also take full responsibility for your own pleasure. This level of self-awareness will then unfold into your relationships and lead to healthier, more conscious connections with others.