Ray’s Rays, Number 26
Radiance Angelina Petro
Touch yourself. When people hear those two words together
a lot of their imaginations go directly to their genitals,
which is, of course, fine. Go ahead and touch your genitals
if you want/need. They’re yours. Learn about them. Explore
them. What makes them feel good? What doesn’t?
There are people like me that don’t particularly like
touching my own genitals. Sometimes this is all about gender dysphoria,
other times it’s just a lack of interest and/or libido, other times
it’s about me working through another layer of sexual trauma,
and it would actually make things worse. Other times it can be
empowering, but for me, I tend to not. Another thing
that may contribute to a lack of interest in my genitals
is my being asexual. I’m simply not interested in sexual pleasure.
I’m willing to help give that to a partner (which is totally
valid for my particular kind of being ace), but for me, I could care less
about my own sexual pleasure. It’s perfectly valid to be ace
and masturbate too, but for me, that is rarely the case.
So, the little, two-word phrase: “Touch yourself,”
is often associated with touching your genitals. However, there are
other body parts to touch, and when this phrase is taken
to mean touching other parts of your body, and should you practice
this, it can be a powerful expression of self-care and self-love, and
self-affirmation. It can be soothing too. For example, perhaps
explore stroking your arm with soft touches. Perhaps
massage your feet, your hands, your face, your legs. Touching
yourself all over your body can be like exploring a holy thing–
because it is. It can be a meditation, an expression of mindfulness and embodiment.
Honor your body with loving touches—brush
your hair, brush feathers over your arms, use various self-acupressure
techniques, like EFT; dance, touch your chest, belly, shoulders
with love. Of course, for some people the chest can be a source
of gender dysphoria, so explore what, if anything feels right.
To sum it all up, “touching yourself,” can mean many things.
Main thing is honor your body, let it sing with pleasure
and affirmation and self-affection. It is a holy act of worship
in my mind—the holy act of worshiping your own body–
and you are allowed to feel good. Perhaps give it a try.