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  • Writer's pictureSarah Foley

TSS- 027 ~ some sexy intentions for 2024


For the last couple of weeks, in the spirit of the universally insufferable annual January existential crisis, I've been pondering the ways in which I thought I might have grown since I last wrote my sex resolutions three years ago (to the day!). I waited to re-read my January 2021 sex resolutions post so that I could truly absorb myself in a moment of swelling pride and devotion to praising my blossoming sexual self, knowing that I have taken sexual leaps in the last three years. And so reading it, I didn't quite feel what I thought I'd feel. I most definitely felt proud, but, more so flooded with evidence of heart opening devotion to this practice I have now enacted for more than three years. The same themes dominate me now that did then, but in a remarkably different way. Frustratingly (the theme of every post I ever write), the work doesn't just end?!?!  

 

In 2021, I wrote that I wanted to focus on five areas: embodiment, intuition, slowness, patience, and commitment. My biggest focus was on beginning to bridge the ocean between my sexual brain and body. I had become deeply aware of the disparity between the physical and the intellectual and I felt restricted by engrained forces relegating my sexual energy to my mind. I was weighed down with years of sexual shame, contrasted with often bountiful sexual desire and really, obsession.  

 

So this time around, my reflections and intentions are springing from the product of multiple years of focusing on sexual growth. I am building on the places I wanted to be in 2021, having reached, since that time, some level of cathartic sexual renewal. This time around, I am aspiring to more: greater pleasure, greater communication, greater embodiment, and generally great fucking sex.  

 

EMBODIMENT:  


I don't want to speak too soon... but I feel like I've kind of come literal leaps and bounds in this department?! In the last year particularly my body has entered a realm of sparkly untapped pleasure and desire, the sort of sensation I thought impossible for my body. Years of thinking about sex and pleasure compounded during the hardest year I could have imagined for myself. Re-reading my 2021 post I was struck by the safeness and distinct difference of my sexuality when in a loving partnership. That level of relational safety feels so foreign now. I could never have predicted that my 2023 would have resulted in the evaporation of that version of me, nor that in the sinking into darkness I could have found a new sexuality. While the sex I was having in the years before this had moments of incredibly intense pleasure, there was a frequent performativity and inauthenticity to my actions that spoke to my disconnect with myself. I did, though, have the distinct benefit of being deeply connected and safe with someone, and subsequently unlocked an ability to explore sex in a way that was newly emotive and cradled in care. Sex without love is a different experience, and as a result, I've been focusing my attention inward on the sexuality I possess with myself in newly eruptive quantities. It's magical. In some ways, it feels like my expansion in pleasure came out of nowhere, but really, it's been eons in the making. For years there were barriers to my experiences of pleasure with myself and others, that meant I was only ever reaching 80% of the heat I am flooded with now. It's bizarre, and spiritual, and at once both anticlimactic and life changing.  

 

And so my 2024 intention in relation to embodiment, is partnered embodiment. I want to find a way to bridge the sexual connection I have built with myself to the people I have sex with. Without the safe container of love. The biggest and most important step in my sexual odyssey was always connecting to myself, releasing 20 years of layered and nuanced shame. Unearthing space in my body to hold myself earnestly and erotically was a task I had thought impossible. I want to find a way to carry this cherished version of my body into a space where it is touched by another, without tapping out of my body. How do you stay firmly within the confines of your flesh when you are touched by another? Sometimes I catch myself flittering in the warmth around my body, or residing un-profoundly in my thoughts. Sometimes during sex, the only exemplar of my humanity is in my vocalisation: a channel into my body, moving with the weight of penetration and flashes of fullness and satisfaction. I am acutely aware of the mechanics of sex, and at times feel overwhelmingly absorbed by the physicality of penetration that errs between delight and sensitivity. But what I am struggling to do is connect with the other person. I suppose what I am most afraid of is them seeing something horrifying in my depiction and experience of sex. I worry that if I truly offer myself during sex, they will see all the ways in which sex is complex for me. Of course, sex is complex for everyone, but I worry that my version of ‘complex’ is particularly grotesque. I worry that if I let our eyes lock too earnestly, they will see what is missing: the orgasm, the ease. While I am not in any way assuming someone else's orgasmic potential has anything to do with connection, I have always assumed mine does. And so, this year, I am awake in my intention to stop hiding during sex. I am going to breathe life into my perceived body, and tentatively allow myself to be seen, one protective layer unravelling at a time.  

 

 

COMMUNICATION:  

 


While I have been practicing embodiment and getting far better at recognising the yes signals in my body, the less enthusiastic symbols still blur into each other in a way that speaks to my ongoing struggle to communicate. I notice them, but vocalising my discomfort still feels like a huge task (what if they don't like me?!) I have begun to really notice the difference between whole-body-yes sex and the array of alternatives: the ambivalent sex, the starts-fine-but-ends-up-being-not-great sex, the boundary crossing sex. So it is this, the sexual communication, that I'm going to be intentional about this year. In my wildest imagination, sexy communicating Sarah would say things like:  

 

  • mmm that doesn't feel great, can we do … instead  

  • I will only be having sex with a condom 

  • I think I need a little more …. before I want you inside me  

  • I don't like …. during sex  

 

And the most fucking courageous ones of all:  

 

  • It makes me uncomfortable when you talk about me orgasming, I am having a great time but don't need that to be satisfied 

  • I would love to use … toy during our sex, is that okay with you?  

 

I know sexual communication is something many, many people struggle with. So how do we get better at sharing the intimacy of our brains in such a moment of intimacy in our bodies? Giving a hollow body away has always been a simple task in comparison to the prospect of opening a passage to the interactions between brain and body. Perhaps because I didn't yet truly understand what was transpiring between my brain and body. But now, I can see there is significant possibility for a deeper experience of vulnerability in sharing some of the thoughts that narrate my sex. Of course, feeling safe with someone is key to this, but feeling safe with myself is always possible.  

 

 

SLOWNESS:  

 

Always.Fucking.Relevant. I recognised in my last set of intentions that I have a tendency to rush through sexual moments in fear of me being bored, them being bored, them noticing my disconnect, me noticing my disconnect. My MO was always hard and fast because slowness was equated with vulnerability, which I didn't have to give. I still sometimes catch myself craving hard and fast, which is not a problem if there's been ample time for my body to warm up. When I am touched softly, gently, mindfully, my whole body activates in a way that simply doesn't happen when I am touched without care. I wonder if it's a product of our pornified generation, or men acting out the sex they want to receive themselves, or a response to my own body, but gentle is seemingly quite hard to come by. Which brings me back to my sexual communication intention I suppose....  

 

Beyond the literal technique in which I touch and am touched, I also see my intention for slowness this time as allowing myself to be touched without fearing my self-imposed time limit for pleasure, contingent as it is on the fact that I won't orgasm. I have never been comfortable with someone spending too much time on my pleasure, fearful that they will feel horrifically betrayed when they realise I was never going to orgasm. But, I have been feeling an increasing amount of pleasure from oral/being touched, so I am more drawn to accepting this and perhaps even asking for it (wild, I know). It is however, very clear to me when someone is giving oral for the shortest acceptable amount of time to swiftly move to penetration. Although they also usually expect you to give them oral until they're on the precipice of orgasm, at which point they'll push themselves inside you briefly, orgasm, and ignore any possibility that you could be severely unsatisfied. The irony is that the frustration this provides is probably quite a mobilising force if they were to turn back to touching me, but they don't. And so, this year I'm not going to accept a selfish sexual experience (I mean I'll do my heckin best), and I'm going to soften my instinct to shrink myself. I am going to let myself enjoy being touched without feeling the crushing weight of people-pleasing and insecurity that tell me I must immediately disallow their touch in favour of placing all the attention on their body, their pleasure, their orgasm. Less of that, more slowness. Yum.  



And finally.... SPIRITUALITY:  

 

In greeting this new world of sensation and pleasure I have entered, I want to connect deeper to a sense of collective sexuality. This is a very new concept to me, so hopefully in a year I can come back to you with a far more comprehensive explanation, but one that I am very intrigued by. I love the idea of there being an 'other-worldly' element to sex. In a way, that's always how I've seen sex: ethereal, magical, transcendent. That's the sex I've always been searching for, and one that I've had glimpses of without feeling that I am myself ethereal, magical, and transcendent. In the most heightened experiences of hot pleasure I have, there is an element of exiting my body that feels simultaneously like I've never been more interwoven with my body. I am at once existing on a luscious, earthly plane alight with sweltering heat, and bobbing giddily through the clouds. I am both earth and air, I am body and spirit.


When I was a child envisioning orgasming, it was primal, loud, courageously uninhibited. When I started having sex, I was so deeply disappointed with my body's inability to be and do that, that I discarded it as an empty chamber of numbness. I belittled my body's ability to feel pleasure, shrouded in very real feelings of shame, and berated my body for its failings. In unwinding from this and diluting my shame with empowerment, I have realised that the affirmations that most let me sink into my body during masturbation are spiritual. In fact, men don't really come into my mind when I'm masturbating at all. I am envisioning myself, not being touched by another, but as a deeply pleasurable and powerful woman. The words that drop me further and further into my body, revolve around an idea of my connection to femininity, and women generally. In essence, what was the missing fire in igniting my sensuality and access to my body, has been separating the narratives of pleasure of my youth (sex to please and appease men), and pleasure of my adulthood (embodiment, power, universality). And so I am curious about this part of me and where she will be in a year. The part that so desires a collective acknowledgement of the wonder and victory of women honing in on their power and pleasure. My capacity for sexual sensation soared once I stopped seeing my body as lacking pleasure and instead saw pleasure overflowing from me. It has been crucial for me, in walking away from shame and sexual trauma, to feel in control of my sexuality and abundant with pleasure. And so, in 2024, I'm seeking more of this narrative. I want to continually affirm the notion of my innate pleasure, and stray further from concepts of deficits and brokenness.  

 

Is the core of your sexuality based on your interactions with other people, or in a connection to your own magic? This year I intend to step further into the idea of sexuality as sacred, so sure I am of the safety this has already offered me. Where do you stand with this idea? Am I outrageously late to the party you've been celebrating for years?  

 

But mostly, really, I want this year to be about unlocking more and more delicious orgasmic potential in my body. I am certain that the time for blossoming has begun, in honour of the planting and tending of 2021, 2022, 2023. I don't want to speak too soon, but I see orgasmic-themed celebrations in my 2024.... (you know I'll be writing about this if it happens!)  

 

My final point to share is that I am also completely here for the idea that we can't always be growing. My constant growth mindset is both exhausting and frustratingly neo-liberal in a way that I'd like to be a little more critical of. If your year of sex in any way centres rest and self-acceptance (not self-growth, self-criticism, self-intellectualisation), I would say you have done something divinely subversive. While I do hope to learn and grow more this year, I intend to ground all of that in a foundation of acceptance that all I am, in this very moment, is already perfectly enough.  

 

In saying that, do you have intentions for your sexuality this year? Have you ever had intentions for your sex? 

 

If you do, please share them with me! I'm calling it, 2024 is the year of our collective sexuality. I am absolutely, 100% certain that this is going to be the year for copious, radiant, luscious and transcendent pleasure for you and for me. Yay for us!

 

<3 <3 <3


Ps. The 1st, 2nd and 4th images on this post are from the divine Maki Levine! I'll be scattering loads more of her gorg content through the coming posts. You can find her at @maki.levine.

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